A Lear of the Steppes -- Acia -- Faust
e for Titanic heroes. Legends were invented about him. They used to recount that he had one day met a bear in the forest and had almost vanquished him; that having once caught a thief in his beehouse, he had flung him, horse and cart and all, over the hedge, and so on. Harlov himself never boasted of his strength. 'If my right hand is blessed,' he used to say, 'so it is God's will it should be!' He was proud, only he did not take pride in his strength, but in his rank, his descent, his common sense.
"Our family's descended from the Swede Harlus," he used to maintain. "In the princely reign of Ivan Vassilievitch the Dark (fancy how long ago!) he came to Russia, and that Swede Harlus did not wish to be a Finnish count--but he wished to be a Russian nobleman, and he was inscribed in the golden book. It's from him we Harlovs are sprung!... And by the same token, all of us Harlovs are born flaxen-haired, with light eyes and clean faces, because we're children of the snow!"
"But, Martin Petrovitch," I
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