Almost two months had passed. The hot summer was half over, but
Sergey Ivanovitch was only just preparing to leave Moscow.
Sergey Ivanovitch's life had not been uneventful during this
time. A year ago he had finished his book, the fruit of six
years' labor, "Sketch of a Survey of the Principles and Forms of
Government in Europe and Russia." Several sections of this book
and its introduction had appeared in periodical publications, and
other parts had been read by Sergey Ivanovitch to persons of his
circle, so that the leading ideas of the work could not be
completely novel to the public. But still Sergey Ivanovitch had
expected that on its appearance his book would be sure to make a
serious impression on society, and if it did not cause a
revolution in social science it would, at any rate, make a great
stir in the scientific world.
After the most conscientious revision the book had last year been
published, and had been distributed among the booksellers.
Though he asked no one about it, reluctantly and with feigned
indifference answered his friends' inquiries as to how the book
was going, and did not even inquire of the booksellers how the
book was selling, Sergey Ivanovitch was all on the alert, with
strained attention, watching for the first impression his book
would make in the world and in literature.
But a week passed, a second, a third, and in society no
impression whatever could be detected. His friends who were
specialists and savants, occasionally--unmistakably from
politeness--alluded to it. The rest of his acquaintances, not
interested in a book on a learned subject, did not talk of it at
all. And society generally--just now especially absorbed in
other things--was absolutely indifferent. In the press, too, for
a whole month there was not a word about his book.
Sergey Ivanovitch had calculated to a nicety the time necessary
for writing a review, but a month passed, and a second, and still
there was silence.
Only in the Northern Beetle, in a comic article on the singer
Drabanti, who had lost his voice, there was a contemptuous
allusion to Koznishev's book, suggesting that the book had been
long ago seen through by everyone, and was a subject of general