Chapter II

"Yes, but first give me a rub down, dearest Papa," said Arkady in a voice which, though a little hoarsened with travelling, was yet clear and youthful. "See! I am covering you with dust!" he added as joyously he returned his father's caresses.

"Oh, but that will not matter," said Nikolai Petrovitch with a loving, reassuring smile as he gave the collar of his son's blue cloak a couple of pats, and then did the same by his own jacket. Thereafter, gently withdrawing from his son's embrace, and beginning to lead the way towards the inn yard, he added: "Come this way, come this way. The horses will soon be ready."

His excitement seemed even to outdo his son's, so much did he stammer and stutter, and, at times, find himself at a loss for a word. Arkady stopped him.

"Papa," he said, "first let me introduce my good friend Bazarov, who is the comrade whom I have so often mentioned in letters to you, and who has been kind enough to come to us for a visit."

At once Nikolai Petrovitch wheeled round, and, approaching a tall man who, clad in a long coat with a tasselled belt, had just alighted from the tarantass, pressed the bare red hand which, after a pause, the stranger offered him.

"I am indeed glad to see you!" was Nikolai Petrovitch's greeting, "I am indeed grateful to you for your kindness in paying us this visit! Alas, I hope that, that——But first might I inquire your name?"

"Evgenii Vasiliev," replied the other in slow, but virile, accents as, turning down the collar of his coat, he revealed his face more clearly. Long and thin, with a high forehead which looked flattened at the top and became sharpened towards the nose, the face had large, greenish eyes and long, sandy whiskers. The instant that the features brightened into a smile, however, they betokened self-assurance and intellect.

"My dearest Evgenii Vasiliev", Nikolai Petrovitch continued, "I trust that whilst you are with us you will not find time hang heavy upon your hands."

Bazarov gave his lips a slight twitch, but vouchsafed no reply beyond raising his cap—a movement which revealed the fact that the prominent convolutions of the skull were by no means concealed by the superincumbent mass of indeterminate-coloured hair.

"Now, Arkady," went on Nikolai Petrovitch as he turned to his son, "shall we have the horses harnessed at once, or should you prefer to rest a little?"

"Let us rest at home, Papa. So pray have the horses put to."

"I will," his father agreed. "Peter! Bestir yourself, my good fellow!"

Being what is known as a "perfectly trained servant," Peter had neither approached nor shaken hands with the young barin, but contented himself with a distant bow. He now vanished through the yard gates.

"Though I have come in the koliaska," said Nikolai Petrovitch, "I have brought three fresh horses for the tarantass."

Arkady then drank some water from a yellow bowl proffered by the landlord, while Bazarov lighted a pipe, and approached the ostler, who was engaged in unharnessing the stagehorses.

"Only two can ride in the koliaska," continued Nikolai Petrovitch; "wherefore I am rather in a difficulty to know how your friend will——"

"Oh, he can travel in the tarantass," interrupted Arkady. "Moreover, do not stand on any ceremony with him, for, wonderful though he is, he is also quite simple, as you will find for yourself."

Nikolai Petrovitch's coachman brought out the horses, and Bazarov remarked to the ostler:

"Come, bestir yourself, fat-beard!"

"Did you hear that, Mitiusha?" added another ostler who was standing with his hands thrust into the back slits of his blouse. "The barin has just called you a fat-beard. And a fat-beard you are."

For answer Mitiusha merely cocked his cap to one side and drew the reins from the back of the sweating shafts-horse.

"Quick now, my good fellows!" cried Nikolai Petrovitch. "Bear a hand, all of you, and for each there will be a glassful of vodka."

Naturally, it was not long before the horses were harnessed, and then father and son seated themselves in the koliaska, Peter mounted the box of that vehicle, and Bazarov stepped into the tarantass, and lolled his head against the leather cushion at the back. Finally the cortège moved away.


  1. The original Russian for this word is "ehkipash" (экипаж) which translates to something like a crew or entourage. However, Hogarth has chosen "cortege" which, while having a similar meaning to the Russian word, also has associations with a funeral procession. This is possibly an indication of future conflict or trouble with the main characters in the story.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  2. While in today's vernacular a blouse is most strongly associated with a woman's garment, this was not always the case in earlier centuries. For many peasants and the poor, a blouse referred to a loose garment that hung over the body and was held close by a belt.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  3. At way stations and inns during times when traveling by horse was more common, "ostlers" were those who changed horses for carriages and generally kept them fed and housed. The word is derived from the French hostelier which means innkeeper and shares a root with "hostel."

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  4. During the 19th century, two words were generally used for “carriage” in Russian: “kareta” and “koliaska.” The choice of use depended on the speaker, but generally we can understand that a koliaska can only hold two people and is pulled by one or maybe two horses.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  5. It's unclear why Hogarth has translated this compound adjective in such a way. The original Russian directly translates to a dark blond or fair color of hair (темно-белокурые). Possibly, he is using this as a moment to add something even more odd or unique about Bazarov's first appearance.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  6. In the 19th century, several pseudosciences gained prominence in the public mind as well as in literature. One of the more notable ones is phrenology, or the study of the size and shape of the skull and how that relates to moral and intellectual characteristics. Turgenev likely points out Bazarov’s skull to indicate to readers something subliminal in Bazarov’s character or intellect.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  7. The original Russian directly translates to “I hope, Evgenii Vasiliev, that you will not be bored with us” (Надеюсь, любезнейший Евгений Васильич, что вы не соскучитесь у нас). Hogarth has instead used this idiom to possibly add a bit of a country flair to the dialogue, showing that Nikolai Petrovich is more of a country gentleman and prone to using flowery language.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  8. While it is not possible to notice, except for one detail, in English, the Russian shows that Nikolai Petrovich does not say Bazarov’s name in the same way that Bazarov introduces himself. Bazarov says “Evgenii Vasiliev” (Евгений Васильев) and Nikolai Petrovich says “Evgenii Vasilich” (Евгений Васильич). The difference is small, but Nikolai Petrovich is using the traditional patronymic form here. Notice that in the next paragraph Bazarov’s lips twitch, just barely indicating his displeasure, likely for this difference.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  9. Whereas a beard covers the cheeks, chin, and upper lip of a man's face, the whiskers typically only cover the cheeks. This style was much more popular in the 19th century than it is today, with the term "sideburns" serving as a more popular word choice.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  10. Turgenev's description of how Bazarov says his first words establishes much about his character. Instead of "slow," the original Russian uses the word "ленивый" (leniviy, or "lazy"). The use of "virile" is appropriate, and the general image of Bazarov conveyed by these word choices is one who possesses power but cares little for what is going on around him. Notice how laziness, which manifests as contempt, tends to characterize Bazarov and reinforce his views of the world.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  11. It is important to note that Hogarth has added the word "comrade" (товарищ) to this sentence. Garnett's 1917 translation simply says "my great friend, Bazarov, about whom I have so often written to you." Hogarth's translation came out in 1921, and Lenin and the Communists had largely taken over the Russian Empire. This addition of "comrade" then is a political choice and not true to Turgenev's original.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  12. This is an inconsistent example with the translation from the first chapter. The original Russian is the same here as it was for the “posting-house.” It’s unclear why Hogarth would translate it differently, but perhaps this allows for readers to better understand the purpose of the location as a kind of waypoint for travelers.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor