The Brothers Karamazov
4. A Lady of Little Faith
A visitor looking on the scene of his conversation with the peasants and his
blessing them shed silent tears and wiped them away with her handkerchief. She
was a sentimental society lady of genuinely good disposition in many respects.
When the elder went up to her at last she met him enthusiastically.
"Ah, what I have been feeling, looking on at this touching scene!... "She could not
go on for emotion. "Oh, I understand the people's love for you. I love the people
myself. I want to love them. And who could help loving them, our splendid
Russian people, so simple in their greatness!"
"How is your daughter's health? You wanted to talk to me again?"
"Oh, I have been urgently begging for it, I have prayed for it! I was ready to fall on
my knees and kneel for three days at your windows until you let me in. We have
come, great healer, to express our ardent gratitude. You have healed my Lise,
healed her completely, merely by praying over her last Thursday and laying your
hands upon her. We have hastened here to kiss those hands, to pour out our
feelings and our homage."
"What do you mean by healed? But she is still lying down in her chair."
"But her night fevers have entirely ceased ever since Thursday," said the lady
with nervous haste. "And that's not all. Her legs are stronger. This mourning she
got up well; she had slept all night. Look at her rosy cheeks, her bright eyes! She
used to be always crying, but now she laughs and is gay and happy. This
morning she insisted on my letting her stand up, and she stood up for a whole
minute without any support. She wagers that in a fortnight she'll be dancing a
quadrille. I've called in Doctor Herzenstube. He shrugged his shoulders and said,
'I am amazed; I can make nothing of it.' And would you have us not come here to
disturb you, not fly here to thank you? Lise, thank him -- thank him!"
Lise's pretty little laughing face became suddenly serious. She rose in her chair
as far as she could and, looking at the elder, clasped her hands before him, but
could not restrain herself and broke into laughter.
"It's at him," she said, pointing to Alyosha, with childish vexation at herself for not
being able to repress her mirth.
If anyone had looked at Alyosha standing a step behind the elder, he would have
caught a quick flush crimsoning his cheeks in an instant. His eyes shone and he