"And now look at you," he said, folding up the newspaper, "a beggar, in rags, good for nothing! Even working-class people and peasants obtain education in order to become men, while you, a Poloznev, with ancestors of rank and distinction, aspire to the gutter! But I have not come here to talk to you; I have washed my hands of you " he added in a stifled voice, getting up.
And when the flunkey whispered to him what I was, the son of Poloznev the architect, he became embarrassed, turned crimson, but immediately recovered himself and said: "Devil take him."
Besides, in a story entitled "My Life," Poloznev, speaking of the peasants, expresses himself in the following manner: "They were, for the most part, nervous and irritable people, ignorant, and improvident, who could think of nothing but the grey earth and black bread; a people who were crafty, but were stupid about it, like the birds, who, when they want to hide themselves, only hide their heads.
Your great-grandfather Poloznev, the general, fought at Borodino; your grandfather was a poet, an orator, and a Marshal of Nobility; your uncle is a schoolmaster; and lastly, I, your father, am an architect! All the Poloznevs have guarded the sacred fire for you to put it out!" "One must be just," I said. "Millions of people put up with manual labour." "And let them put up with it!
"I am so bored that I watch you every day out of the window; you must excuse me," she went on, looking at the newspaper, "and I often see your sister; she always has such a look of kindness and concentration." Dolzhikov came in. He was rubbing his neck with a towel. "Papa, Monsieur Poloznev," said his daughter.
She received me ceremoniously. "This is Poloznev, mamma," Tcheprakov introduced me. "He is going to serve here." "Are you a nobleman?" she asked in a strange, disagreeable voice: it seemed to me to sound as though fat were bubbling in her throat. "Yes," I answered. "Sit down." The dinner was a poor one. Nothing was served but pies filled with bitter curd, and milk soup.
Again the young official motioned me with both hands to the door, and I went up to a big green table at which a military general, with the Order of Vladimir on his breast, was standing. "Mr. Poloznev, I have asked you to come," he began, holding a letter in his hand, and opening his mouth like a round "o," "I have asked you to come here to inform you of this.