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On the Eve.
What did Turgenev mean? On the eve of what?
Turgenev made no answer; but over the troubled waters of his story moves the brooding spirit of creation. Russians must and will learn manhood from foreigners, from men who die only from bodily disease, who are not sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought. At the very close of the book, one man asks another, "Will there ever be men among us?" And the other "nourished his fingers and fixed his enigmatical stare into the far distance." Perhaps Turgenev meant that salvation would eventually come through a woman — through women like Elena. For since her appearance, many are the Russian women who have given their lives for their country.
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