Marital Advice from Russia, circa 1860


‘If we are to have made-up stories,’ said [Zinaida], ‘then let everyone quite definitely invent something and tell us that.’

Byelovzorov again was obliged to begin. The young hussar was acutely embarrassed. ‘I can’t think of anything to say,’ he cried.

‘What nonsense!’ Zinaida caught him up. ‘Can’t you imagine, let us say, that you are married, and tell us how you would arrange your life with your bride. Would you lock her up?’

‘I should.’

‘And you would remain with her yourself?’

‘Certainly. I should certainly stay with her all the time.’

‘Admirable. And if this happened to bore her, and she deceived you?’

‘I should kill her.’

‘And if she ran away?’

‘I should pursue and catch her and still kill her.’

‘I see. And supposing that I were your wife, what would you do then?’

Byelovzorov, after a silence, said, ‘I should kill myself.’

Zinaida began to laugh. ‘I see your tale is quickly told.’


– Ivan Turgenev,

First Love.

One Response to “Marital Advice from Russia, circa 1860”

  1. ilfiore66 Says:

    A male response and the female one? To just leave were it possible!

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