He sat at the window without stirring a muscle, literally absorbed in listening to the flow of the quiet life surrounding him and the occasional sounds of the peaceful rural world. Somewhere beyond the nettles someone hummed a melody in the finest of thin voices, and a gnat seemed to take up the refrain. The voice ceased, but the gnat continued to hum: through the concerted, naggingly plaintive buzzing of flies there resounded the droning of a fat bumble-bee which now and then tapped against the ceiling; a cock started crowing in the street, wheezily prolonging its final crowing note; a cart rattled by and in the village a gate creaked. 'What'sat?' a woman's voice suddenly screeched. '0h, you're a little madam!' said Anton to the two-year-old girl he was dandling in his arms. 'Bring the kvass,' repeated the same woman's voice and suddenly dead silence ensued; nothing tapped, nothing stirred; one by one swallows swooped along the ground without a murmur, and the very silence of their flight made the heart sad.
Ivan Turgenev, Home of the Gentry, Penguin Classics, Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1971, P.88.
PLACE: Russia, a country estate
TIME: ca. 1860
CIRCUMSTANCE: Lavretzky listening to the country life in Russia, experiencing it for the first time after his return from France and Germany.
In the Kalitin's garden, in a large lilac bush, lived a nightingale; the first notes of its evening song resounded during pauses in the eloquent speech;
Everything grew quiet in the room; only the faint crackling of the wax candles could be heard, and occasionally a hand tapping the table, an exclamation or a reckoning of the score, and, in a broad wave of sound pouring in through the windows together with the dewy night air, the powerful, audaciously resonant song of the nightingale.
Ivan Turgenev, Home of the Gentry, Penguin Classics, Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1971, p.136.
PLACE: A small town in Russia
TIME: ca. 1860
CIRCUMSTANCE: a gathering of friends on a summer night.