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Nikolai Vsevolodovich did not sleep that night, and all the time he sat on the sofa, often gazing fixedly at a particular point in the corner near the chest of drawers. All night long the lamp burnt in his room. About seven o’clock in the morning he fell asleep where he sat, and, when Alexei Egorovich, according to invariable custom, came into his room at half-past nine precisely with a cup of coffee and, by coming in, woke him, he seemed unpleasantly surprised that he should have slept so long and that it was already so late. He hastily drank his coffee, hastily dressed himself, and hurriedly left the house. To Alexei Egorovich’s hesitating question “Any orders?” he made no reply. He walked along the street looking at the ground, deep in thought, save that now and then he looked up for a moment, raised his head, showing a certain vague but violent uneasiness. At one crossing, not far from the house, a crowd of peasants, about fifty or more, crossed the road; they walked orderly, almost silently, in deliberate order. At the little shop, where he had to wait a moment, some one said that these were “Shpigulin’s workmen.” He hardly paid any attention to them. At last, about half-past ten, he approached the gate of Our Lady Spasso-Efimev Monastery, on the outskirts of the town, by the river. Here only he suddenly seemed to remember something alarming and troublesome, stopped, hastily fumbled for something in his side pocket and—smiled. Upon entering the enclosure he asked the first youth he met how to find Bishop Tikhon, who was living in retirement in the Monastery. The youth began bowing, and immediately showed the way. Near the little flight of steps, at the end of the long two-storied Monastery buildings, he was taken over from the youth, authoritatively and promptly, by a fat grey-haired monk, who took him through a long narrow corridor, also bowing all the time (though because of his fat he could not bow low, but only twitched his head frequently and abruptly), and all the time begging him to follow, though Nikolai Vsevolodovich followed without being told to. The monk asked questions incessantly and spoke of the Father Archimandrite, but, receiving no answers, he became more and more deferential. Stavrogin observed that he was known here, although, so far as he remembered, he had only been here as a child. When they reached the door at the very end of the corridor the monk opened it, as if he had authority, and enquired familiarly of the lay-brother, who instantly appeared, whether they might go in; then, without waiting for a reply, he threw the door wide open, and, bending down, let the “dear” visitor enter. On receiving a gratuity he quickly disappeared, as if in flight. Nikolai Vsevolodovich entered a small room, and almost at that very moment there appeared in the door of the adjoining room a tall thin man, aged about fifty-five, in a simple cassock, looking rather ill, with a vague smile and with a strange, somewhat shy expression. This was that very Tikhon of whom Nikolai Vsevolodovich had heard for the first time from Shatov, and about whom he had since managed to collect in passing certain information.

Fiction e letteratura
18 aprile
Library of Alexandria

Altri libri di Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky