Part 7, Chapter 22 Summary
Stepan Arkadyevitch is completely nonplussed by the strange talk about religious matters. Though he is generally inspired and stimulated by his time in St. Petersburg as it rouses him from his “Moscow stagnation,” this experience is disconcerting to him. As Countess Lidia reads and as Landau’s eyes are focused on him, Stepan Arkadyevitch is aware of a peculiar heaviness in his head.
The story has something to do with a dead child and faith, and these images combine with others in his head to create great confusion. He is growing quite sleepy and even finds himself on the verge of snoring when he hears the countess say that he is asleep. He starts, guilty at being caught, but her comment referred to Landau. While Stepan Arkadyevitch’s falling asleep would have been an insult (or perhaps not, in such a confusing environment), the Frenchman’s sleeping seems to delight them.
Countess Lidia tells the man she loves to go quietly and take Landau’s hand; though he is not quiet, Alexey Alexandrovitch walks over and lays his hand on the Frenchman’s hand. Stepan Arkadyevitch goes with him, trying to wake himself up and wondering if any of this is real. It is, but he feels as if his head is getting worse and worse. Landau is either asleep or feigning sleep, and now, without opening his eyes, he speaks.
In French he says: “The person who arrived last, the one who is inquiring, let them depart! Let them depart! You will excuse me, but you see…Return around ten o’clock, or even better, tomorrow.” He repeats: “Let them depart!” Stepan Arkadyevitch asks if this refers to him. When he receives an affirmative answer, he forgets all about asking for the favor of a recommendation, he forgets all about his sister and her request for a divorce and is filled with a desperate desire to leave this place as soon as possible. He tiptoes out of the room and runs into the street as if there were a...
(The entire section is 514 words.)