谁是全国最大的城市【“】My young friend,【”】 he began, unmistakably enjoying himself, 【“】I made you a confession just now, perhaps an inappropriate one, that I sometimes have an irresistible desire to put out my tongue at people in certain cases. For this naive and simple-hearted frankness you compare me to Polichinello, which really amuses me. But if you wonder or reproach me for being rude to you now, and perhaps as unmannerly as a peasant, with having changed my tone to you in fact, in that case you are quite unjust. In the first place it happens to suit me, and secondly I am not at home, but out with you . . . by which I mean we【’】re out for a spree together like good friends, and thirdly I【’】m awfully given to acting on my fancies. Do you know that once I had a fancy to become a metaphysician and a philanthropist, and came round almost to the same ideas as you? But that was ages ago, in the golden days of my youth. I remember at that time going to my home in the country with humane intentions, and was, of course, bored to extinction. And you wouldn【’】t believe what happened to me then. In my boredom I began to make the acquaintance of some pretty little girls . . . What, you【’】re not making faces already? Oh, my young friend! Why, we【’】re talking as friends now! One must sometimes enjoy oneself, one must sometimes let oneself go! I have the Russian temperament, you know, a genuine Russian temperament, I【’】m a patriot, I love to throw off everything; besides one must snatch the moment to enjoy life.. We shall die — and what comes then! Well, so I took to dangling after the girls. I remember one little shepherdess had a husband, a handsome lad he was. I gave him a sound thrashing and meant to send him for a soldier (past pranks, my poet), but I didn【’】t send him for a soldier. He died in my hospital. I had a hospital in the village, with twelve beds, splendidly fitted up; such cleanliness, parquet floors. I abolished it long ago though, but at that time I was proud of it: I was a philanthropist. Well, I nearly flogged the peasant to death on his wife【’】s account. . . . Why are you making faces again? It disgusts you to hear about it? It revolts your noble feelings? There, there, don【’】t upset yourself! All that【’】s a thing of the past. I did that when I was in my romantic stage. I wanted to be a benefactor of humanity, to found a philanthropic society. . . . That was the groove I was in at that time. And then it was I went in for thrashing. Now I never do it; now one has to grimace about it; now we all grimace about it — such are the times. . . . But what amuses me most of all now is that fool Ichmenyev. I【’】m convinced that he knew all about that episode with the peasant . . . and what do you think? In the goodness of his heart, which is made, I do believe, of treacle, and because he was in love with me at that time, and was cracking me up to himself, he made up his mind not to believe a word of it, and he didn【’】t believe a word of it; that is, he refused to believe in the fact and for twelve years he stood firm as a rock for me, till he was touched himself. Ha-ha-ha! But all that【’】s nonsense! Let us drink, my young friend. Listen: are you fond of women?【”】My soul thirsteth for Thee; my flesh longeth for Thee,King shot short, striking it in the fore-paw only, whereon it shook outUnquestionably it is the masses whom we have first to consider. Sooner than that the great mass of the dwellers in towns should be debarred from the influences of Nature—sooner than that they should continue for another century to be debarred as now they are— it might be better that Cumbrian statesmen and shepherds should be turned into innkeepers and touts, and that every poet, artist, dreamer, in England should be driven to seek his solitude at the North Pole. But it is the mere futility of sentiment to pretend that there need be any real collision of interests here. There is space enough in England yet for all to enjoy in their several manners, if those who have the power would leave some unpolluted rivers, and some unblighted fields, for the health and happiness of the factory-hand, whose toil is for their fortunes, and whose degradation is their shame.谁是全国最大的城市
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