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English Audio Request

280 Words / 1 Recordings / 0 Comments
Note to recorder:

The stress on the proper names:
Yepan' chin, Litei' ny, Preobrazhen' sky, Sado' vaya, Ivan', Fyo' dorovich

General Yepanchin was the owner of a house close by the Liteiny Prospect, on the side of the Preobrazhensky Cathedral. As well as this splendid residence, five-sixths of which were let out, he had another spacious house in Sadovaya Street, which also brought in a huge income. Besides these two houses, he had on the very edge of St Petersburg a large, very profitable estate; and there was also a factory somewhere or
other in the district. In times gone by, General Yepanchin, as everybody knows, dabbled in the wine trade. More recently, he took pride in being a very influential member on the board of several established public companies. He had the reputation of being very wealthy, very enterprising and very well connected. In some quarters, not least in the government department in which he worked, he had become totally indispensable. And yet it was also common knowledge that General Yepanchin had no formal education and came from a humble military background, which of course could not but redound to his honour; but the General, though undoubtedly a highly gifted man, was not without his foibles, and was not particularly pleased if these were ever alluded to. But that he was gifted and worldly-wise, there could be no doubt whatsoever. For instance, he knew instinctively never to overreach himself – in fact, where necessary, to vacate the scene altogether – and the thing that people valued him for in particular was his artlessness, the knack of always knowing his place.

If only these judges of his character had a mere inkling of what sometimes went on deep in the soul of Ivan Fyodorovich, who knew his place so well!


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