A Contented Man

Ivan 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

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, O 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!

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