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Virgin Soil
Ivan S. Turgenev

Page 1 of 615


VIRGIN SOIL 

"To turn over virgin soil it is necessary to use a deep plough
going well into the earth, not a surface plough gliding lightly
over the top."--From a Farmer's Notebook. 

AT one o'clock in the afternoon of a spring day in the year 1868,
a young man of twenty-seven, carelessly and shabbily dressed, was
toiling up the back staircase of a five-storied house on Officers
Street in St.  Petersburg.  Noisily shuffling his down-trodden
goloshes and slowly swinging his heavy, clumsy figure, the man at
last reached the very top flight and stopped before a half-open
door hanging off its hinges.  He did not ring the bell, but gave
a loud sigh and walked straight into a small, dark passage. 

"Is Nejdanov at home?" he called out in a deep, loud voice. 

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