Turgenev’s ideal woman

When you’ve been sitting in an arbour on your estate for hours, reflecting on your life, she comes looking for you, wondering where you’ve got to. You say: “I’m here. I’m coming. You run along.”

And she does run along.

When you look back on the woman you fell in love with you remember she had “a slim waist, innocently inquiring eyes and a plait of hair knotted tightly on her childish neck.”

Of course she had a childish neck.

On your first meeting she blushed.

When you remember the early impressions she made on you, you keep “picturing that pure, gentle, timidly upturned face; [you] could feel that soft hair under the palms of [your] hands, and see those innocent, slightly parted lips through which pearly teeth gleamed with moist brilliance in the sunshine.”

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