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The District Doctor – Ivan Turgenev (1818 1883)
Born at Orel in 1818, Turgenev was educated in his native country. Though the greater part of his life was spent in Paris, he wrote invariably about his own people. He is one of the finest figures in Russian literature, surpassing all other Russians in beauty of language and form.

A Sportsman’s Sketches was one of his earliest works. It is a collection of stories, from which The District Doctor has been chosen. The present translation is by Constance Garnett, and is published by William Heinemann.
The District Doctor
From A Sportsman’s Sketches

The District Doctor – One day in autumn on my way back from a remote part of the country I caught cold and fell ill. Fortunately the fever attacked me in the district town at the inn; I sent for the doctor. In half-an- hour the district doctor appeared, a thin, dark-haired man of middle height. He prescribed me the usual sudorific, ordered a mustard- plaster to be put on, very deftly slid a five-ruble note up his sleeve, coughing drily and looking away as he did so, and then was getting Up to go home, but somehow fell into talk and remained. I was exhausted with feverishness; I foresaw a sleepless night, and was glad of a little chat with a pleasant companion.

Tea was served. My doctor beg an to converse freely. He was a sensible fellow, and expressed him- nrir with vigor and some humor. Queer things happen in the world: you may live a long while with some people, and be on friendly terms with them, and never once speak openly with them from your soul: with otlicrs you have scarcely time to get acquainted, and all at once you are pouring out to him or he to you all your secrets, as though you were at confession. I don’t know how I gained the confidence of my new friend anyway, with nothing to lead up to it, he told me a rather curious incident; and here I will report his tale for the information of the indulgent reader. I will try to tell it in the doctor’s own words.

The District Doctor part 9

Well, I spent the whole night with her in this way. Before morning I went away, feeling as though I were mad. When I went again into her room it was daytime, after morning...

The District Doctor part 8

She did not speak; her fingers trembled in my hair; I listen; she is weeping. I began to soothe her, to assure 1 her. … I really don`t know what I did say to...

The District Doctor part 7

The maid was sitting there too, and snoring away in full swing; I can`t find fault with the poor girl, though; she was worn out too. Aleksandra Andreyevna had felt very unwell all the...

The District Doctor part 6

I, too, on my side assure them that it`s nothing, but meantime my heart sinks into my boots. To add to our troubles, the roads were in such a state that the coachman was...

The District Doctor part 5

But God Almighty did not make me a fool; I don`t take black for white; I know a thing or two; I could see very clearly, for instance, that Aleksandra Andreyevna that was her...

The District Doctor part 4

She looked at me, and then took me by the hand. `I will tell you why I don`t want to die; I will tell you now; we are alone; and only, please don`t you…...

The District Doctor part 3

I see a clean little room, a lamp in the corner; on the bed a girl of twenty, unconscious. She was in a burning heat, and breathing heavily it was fever. There were two...

The District Doctor part 2

I was sitting at his house our judge`s, you know playing preference. Our judge is a good fellow, and fond of playing preference. Suddenly” (the doctor made frequent use of this word, suddenly) “they...

The District Doctor part 1

Ivan Turgenev (1818 1883)Born at Orel in 1818, Turgenev was educated in his native country. Though the greater part of his life was spent in Paris, he wrote invariably about his own people. He...

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