Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev - First Love

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev - First Love

Vladimir Petrovich Voldemar, a 16-year-old, is staying in the country with his family and meets Zinaida Alexandrovna Zasyekina, a beautiful 21-year-old woman, staying with her mother, Princess Zasyekina, in a wing of the manor. This family, as with many of the Russian minor nobility with royal ties of that time, were only afforded a degree of respectability because of their titles; the Zasyekins, in the case of this story, are a very poor family. The young Vladimir falls irretrievably in love with Zinaida, who has a set of several other (socially more eligible) suitors whom he joins in their difficult and often fruitless search for the young ladys favour.
The party had long ago broken up. The clock struck half-past twelve. There was left in the room only the master of the house and Sergei Nikolaevitch and Vladimir Petrovitch. The master of the house rang and ordered the remains of the supper to be cleared away. ‘And so it’s settled,’ he observed, sitting back farther in his easy-chair and lighting a cigar; ‘each of us is to tell the story of his first love. It’s your turn, Sergei Nikolaevitch.’ Sergei Nikolaevitch, a round little man with a plump, lightcomplexioned face, gazed first at the master of the house, then raised his eyes to the ceiling. ‘I had no first love,’ he said at last; ‘I began with the second.’

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