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I’m the only one so wretched as to have to sit here on such a day. ” “Who tells you to get yourself hired? You weren’t on duty today, it was Zastupov hired you to replace him. ” “The devil it’s greed! What’s there to be greedy about: two roubles in cash, plus a necktie … It’s need, not greed! And, you know, it would be nice to go with them all to church now, and then break the fast4… Have a drink, a bite to eat, then hit the sack … You sit at the table, the kulich5 has been blessed, and there’s a hissing samovar, and some little object beside you … You drink a glass, chuck her under the chin, and it feels good … you feel you’re a human being … Ehh … life’s gone to hell!

The lamp flared and crackled … And Nevyrazimov felt better. MARCH 1885 THE HUNTSMAN Asultry and stifling day. Not a cloud in the sky … The sun-scorched grass looks bleak, hopeless: there may be rain, but it will never be green again … The forest stands silent, motionless, as if its treetops were looking off somewhere or waiting for something. A tall, narrow-shouldered man of about forty, in a red shirt, patched gentleman’s trousers, and big boots, lazily saunters along the edge of the clearing.

A case in point is his resignation from the Russian Academy in quiet protest when the young Maxim Gorky was refused membership. His relations with Alexei Suvorin are another case in point, and a more telling one. The publisher of New Time became more and more conservative and pro-government as he grew older. Chekhov was far from sharing Suvorin’s views and often wrote him caustic letters about them, but they remained friends. The only real break between them came over the Dreyfus affair. Chekhov had suffered a severe hemorrhage of the lungs in March of 1897 and was living in Nice when the Dreyfus case was reopened.

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