Dream Tales and Prose Poems/Poems in Prose/A Contented Man

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1957405The Novels of Ivan Turgenev
Volume X: Dream Tales and Prose Poems
Poems in Prose — A Contented Man
Constance GarnettIvan Turgenev


A young man goes skipping and bounding along a street in the capital. His movements are gay and alert; there is a sparkle in his eyes, a smirk on his lips, a pleasing flush on his beaming face. . . . He is all contentment and delight.

What has happened to him? Has he come in for a legacy? Has he been promoted? Is he hastening to meet his beloved? Or is it simply he has had a good breakfast, and the sense of health, the sense of well-fed prosperity, is at work in all his limbs? Surely they have not put on his neck thy lovely, eight-pointed cross, О Polish king, Stanislas?

No. He has hatched a scandal against a friend, has sedulously sown it abroad, has heard it, this same slander, from the lips of another friend, and—has himself believed it!

Oh, how contented! how kind indeed at this minute is this amiable, promising young man!

February 1878.