TORRENTS OF SPRING ('Vishniya Voclui)), by Ivan Sergeyevitch Turgenief, is the tragicomedy of a man of weak will who succumbs to a passionate impulse, yields to the seductions of the typical °vampire° woman and throws away the happiness of his whole life. °Weak men,° says the author, "never bring things to an end; they always wait for the end to come.° The title is symbolical and not quite adequate, the comparison being introduced in the wrong place.
Sinin, a young nobleman, is in his 22d year, very good-looking, with handsome graceful figure, kindly bluish eyes, golden hair, a clear skin, a smile like a child's and giving the im pression of °freshness, health and softness, softness,
a man '
It results, however, in Gemma's breaking her engagement with the ridiculous and pusil lanimous Gruber, but Signora Roselli begs Saran to use his influence with her daughter to persuade her not to ruin her prospects and reputation by such an act, an engagement being regarded in Germany as no less sacred than marriage itself. Sinin reluctantly undertakes
to fulfil this delicate mission but finds it im possible, since he has himself fallen in love with the beautiful girl and she is no less fas cinated with him. He decides to sell his estate in Russia and invest money in the widow's con fectionary business. By another turn of fate he meets at this moment his former school mate, Polozof, another type of the lazy, easy going Russian, who is married to an enor mously rich young woman. Polozof tells Sinin that his wife will perhaps buy his estate and offers him a place in his carriage to Wiesbaden where Marya Nikolayevna is taking a cure. She is beautiful but unscrupulous and plays all her arts to fascinate Sinin, who weakly yields and never returns to Gemma. Thirty years later Sanin, always unhappy in his remorse for his dastardly behavior finds a little garnet cross which Gemma had given him. It brings up all the details of his soul's tragedy. He goes to Frankfurt and through Baron von Difinhof learns that Gemma had married a rich Ameri can. He writes to her and when she replies, enclosing a photograph of her own daughter, he sees in the picture the very image of his lost love and sends her the garnet cross to gether with a magnificent string of pearls. Genuna is the very ideal of sweet girlish purity and charm and is presented in strilcing con trast with the fascinating and not unsym pathetic Russian siren who ruins men for her selfish amusement. It is an amusing and yet rather repulsive story. Originally published in the European Messenger (Vyestnik Yevropui) in 1872, it has been translated as (The Torrents of Spring) by Constance Garnett (1897) ; (Spring Freshets) by Isabel F. Hapgood (New York 1904) ; (Spring Floods' by S. M. Butts (1874-75), and by E. Richter (London 1896).