Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/169

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157
THE LADY-RUSTIC.

ished according to the tale-bearer's zeal. The Anglomane stood criticism as badly as our own journalists do. He raged, and called his calumniator a bear and a provincialist.

This was the footing they were upon when Beréstoff's son arrived. He had been brought up at the ———— University, and intended entering the army; but his father would not give his consent. For the Civil Service the young man had no taste. Neither would give in, and the young Aleksèy in the meanwhile led the life of a private gentleman, having, however, allowed his moustache[1] to grow, ready for any emergency.

Aleksèy was really a good fellow, and it would have been a pity indeed were his well-proportioned figure never to be seen in a uniform, and were he, instead of showing himself off on horseback, to spend his youth bending over office-papers. The neighbours who saw him lead on the hunting-field, reckless of the way he followed, all agreed in saying that he would never turn out a creditable head of a department. All the young ladies watched him, and sometimes would take a furtive look at him; but Aleksèy took little notice of them, and they attributed his indifference to some love affair. The copy of the address on one of his letters was actually being handed about amongst them: "To Akulina Pétrovna Kourótchkin, Moscow, opposite the Aleksèy Monastery, in the house of the coppersmith Savélieff,

  1. Formerly in Russia the military only were allowed to wear moustaches.—Tr.