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Excerpt from  First Love

- Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

Mark this excerpt        Romance

Context: Narrated by Vladimir, a 16-year old, an only child of ill-matched parents. Last evening, he visited their new neighbor - Princess Zayeskin - and got infatuated by her daughter, Zinaida, a 21-year old.


The next morning, when I came down to tea, my mother scolded me - less severely, however, than I had expected - and made me tell her how I had spent the previous evening. I answered her in few words, omitting many details, and trying to give the most innocent air to everything.

'Anyway, they're people who're not comme il faut,' my mother commented, 'and you've no business to be hanging about there, instead of preparing yourself for the examination, and doing your work.'

As I was well aware that my mother's anxiety about my studies was confined to these few words, I did not feel it necessary to make any rejoinder; but after morning tea was over, my father took me by the arm, and turning into the garden with me, forced me to tell him all I had seen at the Zasyekins'.

A curious influence my father had over me, and curious were the relations existing between us. He took hardly any interest in my education, but he never hurt my feelings; he respected my freedom, he treated me - if I may so express it - with ...(more)


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