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daughter Anna had revealed to him, and restrictions even as to the number
that the old social order, with which of their male students ; therefore these
he was alone familiar, was changing young women demanded permission to
with a bewildering rapidity and to an proceed to a foreign university - to
alarming extent. It was the first of Zurich or Heidelberg — there to prose-
several hard lessons which General cute their studies without let or bin-
Kroukovsky was destined to learn. drance.
He determined, however, when Sophie To most parents the idea of permit-
was seventeen, to transport his family ting their young daughters to leave
to St. Petersburg for the winter. Per- home, to travel alone, to live alone as
haps he entertained the hope that the students in a foreign university town,
gaieties and distractions of the capital seemed intolerable ; and the demand
would act as an antidote to the mis- was peremptorily refused. The expe-
chicvous influences which he had been dient to which the daughters then re-
unable to exclude from his isolated sorted is one of the strangest that can
home in the country. If so, any such be imagined, and is an unmistakable
hope proved quite illusory. At St. symptom of the non-natural, highly
Petersburg the two girls found them- strung, unwholesome moral and mental
selves in the very midst of the intel- condition of the community in which
lectual and political ferment of the it could be conceived and executed.
time. Madame Edgren-Leffler relates Rather than not attain their ends, they
that in later years her friend was ac- were prepared to tamper with life's
customed to look back to this period of gravest realities, and with its most
her life, and to exclaim,“Ah, that was sacred duties and relationships. The
such a happy time !” She would re- device they adopted was to contract a
call the sanguine hopes entertained by fictitious marriage. The would-be stu-
herself, in common with the circle of dent selected a young man whom she
young enthusiasts whom she daily met, knew, or imagined to be sufficiently
hopes of a golden age of liberty and “modern.” To him she applied, ex-
enlightenment, which it was believed plaining that she wished to leave home,
was close at hand — "so near, so wished to study abroad, and she pro-
sure.” It was in close connection with posed that he should enter into a ficti-
exalted sentiments such as these that tious marriage with her. If he agreed,
the demand was made by many of these a proposal was made in due form to
daughters of old aristocratic families, her parents, and if all went well, the
that they should be permitted to study, marriage ceremony was duly performed
to develop their powers to the utmost, with all the solemn ritual of the Greek
in order that they might be devoted to Orthodox Church. This accomplished,
the well-being of their beloved coun- the newly made wife was free from pa-

rental control, and could start forthwith “ The fact,” says Mr. Mackenzie for the university of her choice. The Wallace, writing of this time, “that pseudo-husband occasionally escorted very few people had clear, precise ideas her thither, and saw ber safely settled, as to what was to be done, did not pre- then took up again his own occupation, vent, but rather tended, to increase the leaving her to follow hers. Many of reform enthusiasm. All had at least the women students of Zurich, afterone common feeling — dislike to what wards suspected of Nihilistic tendenhad previously existed. ... All thirsted cies, and recalled by an imperial ukase, for reforming activity ... and every had adopted these “tactics characterRussian was to act spontaneously and istic of the period,” as Madame Edzealously at the great work of national gren-Leffler calls them. It must not regeneration." The universities of be assumed that these “ tactics" Russia were not open to women, had, regarded only as a hard necessity. On indeed, till within a few years, been the contrary, in the circle of sentimenunder strict government surveillance, Italists and un-realists, who acted and

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reacted upon each other in the drawing- also of Sophie, towards both of whom rooms of St. Petersburg, they were she would act the part of chaperon. regarded with much favor — were in- They immediately set to work to disdeed “popular.” To these young folks cover a suitable person to assist them this “abstract relation " seemed 1 much in their undertaking. After some conmore “ ideal” than " the low and vul- sideration, they fixed upon a young gar union between two human beings professor at the university, whom they ... which is called a marriage of affec- did not know personally, but hoped tion” and which in their vocabulary might prove to be in sympathy with was equivalent to“selfish indulgence.” their views. Accordingly the trio set The world had heard these sentiments out to interview this gentleman. They before and had been laughing at them were ushered into his apartment, and for about a couple of centuries, but found him at work. Even in Russia, they appear to have been adopted with and at this “ideal” period, the face of much gravity as a revelation by these the young professor betrayed his suryoung Russians.

prise at this visit from three young The reader may judge whether the ladies, who were all strangers to bim. daughters of General Kroukovsky were He rose, however, and politely relikely to remain long uninfluenced by quested them to be seated. They such surroundings as these. Anna responded to this invitation by seating seems to have become at once an un- themselves “all in a row on a long compromising partisan of the new sofa,” and then a short pause ensued, theories. A young friend of hers, who during which the professor scanned about this time had married the man of the faces of his visitors. Anna, pulling her choice, was positively afraid to en- herself together, made the plunge, and, counter her mingled pity and contempt. without the least trace of confusion," Moreover she was not long in making asked whether the professor would be up her mind that she must study in good enough to assist them to carry out a foreign university, and accordingly their wish to study in Germany or must be “free.” Sophie greatly ad- Switzerland, by “fictitiously” marrymired her beautiful sister, who was ing herself or Inez - Sophie was colibesides several years older than her- sidered too young. Few professors, self. She was naturally much influ- one would suppose, can have found enced by her, and “followed her like a themselves in a more trying situation ; shadow."

but this one behaved admirably, and, Anna, on the other hand, had a adopting in his turn, a perfectly matterwarm affection for this strange, re-of-fact tone, replied, “ that he had not served little Sophie, with the short, the least desire to do anything of the curly, chestnut hair, and the piercing, kind.” The young ladies rose, shook intelligent, dark eyes, admitted her hands with him, and took their leave. fully into her confidence, and trusted Abashed ? Not at all. What could be her with her plans. For Anoa - to- more entirely business-like ? and was gether with her intimate friend, Inez anybody a penny the worse? Not if

- had decided that, in order to obtain these fantastic girls had been coutented freedom, they would resort to the with their first experiment, and had “popular tactics.” One of the two – been willing to conclude the comedy fate apparently was to decide which when the first act had been played. would contract a “fictitious” marriage. Unhappily, they tempted fate a second She would then be in a position to time, when she was not in a mood to effect the deliverance of the other, and let them off so easily. Their next ven

ture was not to be without results pro? " Langt mer ideela än den vulgara och laga foundly influencing the life of one of föreningen af tva manniskor, som ej sökte nägot them. Anna and Inez, turning from annat än kanslans och sinnenas, med andra ord egoismens tillfredsställelse, i det man kaller gifter: professors to students, fixed on one mal af kärlek." - Sonja Kovalevsky.

with whom they had a slight acquaint

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ance, and whom they knew to be lim- | unknown to any one but Anna, left the self desirous of going to study in house. With a beating heart, and Germany. Vladimir Kovalevsky was feeling herself to be a veritable "heroa young fellow of good family, and a ine of romance," she sped through the promising student. Anna and Inez streets to the abode of Vladimir Kovahoped, therefore, that (whichever of levsky. Ayna stood watching till she them might be chosen) their respective disappeared from sight, and returned parents might be ivduced to regard to her room to prepare for dinner bin with some favor. They agreed not, let us hope, without some misgivthat on this occasion there should be ings as to the wisdom of the enterprise iess formality, and that the young man into which she had thrust her little should not be alarmed by seeing three sister. Sophie, having reached her girls in a row on his sofa. Anna seized destination, and given two or three the opportuuity of a chance meeting feeble knocks at the door, was straightwith him to propound her question. way ushered into Vladimir's studentHe replied that he should have much room, who, rising to the situation, pleasure in assisting them to carry out received the breathless girl,

much 66 their programme, with, however, one an elder brother might have done,” slight alteration - he preferred to gave her a seat, took another himself, marry Sophie !

and patieutly awaited the further deHere was an unforeseen addition to velopment of the matter. Sophie's their difficulties. It endangered, in- absence was not remarked until the deed, the success of their whole proj- assembled friends were about to seat ect; for it might be taken for granted themselves at table, when,

in response that General Kroukovsky would refuse to a question from her father, Anna to hear a word on the subject of such replied that “Sophic had gone out." a marriage for Sophie. This forecast “Gone out! what does that mean ? proved to be quite correct. Palibino With whom ?" " Alone. She has might have its dangers, but it was safer left a vote on her toilette table.” Mid than St. Petersburg, and the general death-like silence, the note was placed gave orders to prepare for their imme- in the hands of the unhappy Ivan diate return to the country. Matters, Sergeievitch. The note

thus : therefore, had come to a crisis, for to “ Papa, forgive me. I am at Vladigo back to Palibino at this juncture mir's, and I implore you no longer to would put an end to hope. “ It was refuse your cousent to our marriage.” now,” says her biographer, “ that the The host, with a murmured apology little, timid, reserved Sophie displayed to his nearest guests, hastily left the the strength of will and the determina- table. Shortly after, “Sonia” and her tion which lay at the root of her char- companion heard his step on the stairacter. Once she had resolved on or case, and knew that their uncomfortwilled anything, she did so with all the able tête-à-tête was ended. A few concentrated energy of her nature, minutes later - ere his friends bad 66 and what she now willed was to leave finished dinner he reappeared with home, to continue her studies," to pro- Sophie and Vladimir.

" Allow me,” cure the freedom of her sister and her said he, “to introduce to you my friend (which had come to depend on daughter Sophie's fiancé." Shortly hier), and all this should be accom- after-in October, 1868 — they were plished, cost what it might.

married. There not much originality Such is the “dramatic” story of Main the plan she adopted. It was the dame Kovalevsky's marriage, as related old, well-worn one of fight from home, by herself, long afterwards, to her and the forcing of her father's hand. friend and biographer. Is it the frigid Choosing a day when a family party Anglo-Saxon temperament that diswas to assemble at her parents' house, poses us to assign it rather to the she wrapped herself in a cloak, and, 'category of melodrama ; to melodrama


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of the particular school known as kindly attentions, took upon himself Transpontine? We have all the fa- most of the cares of the ménage, and miliar characteristics, the grandiose did for her various things which she sentiments, the “high falutin',” the never showed any aptitude in doing for ludicrous disproportion between ends herself. “She never,” says this stu

" and means, the somewhat cumbrous dent friend, “ took the least trouble machinery, and the banal plot. It about her looks or her dress,” and disis so difficult to take the affair seri- played much helplessness in the matter ously. We may be pardoned for of shopping. M. Kovalevsky, theredoubting whether any kind of “ fic- fore, undertook her commissions, and tion" is a sound basis from which to supplied her deficiencies in these restart for the regeneration of one's spects. This division of labor told country ; and whether it is really worth rather unfavorably on his studies, but while to play “such fantastic tricks be- he accepted the situation cheerfully fore High Heaven” for the sake of enough. The Russian friend who had attending lectures at any university ample opportunities for forming an upon earth. But the laughable side of opinion, admired his many good qualthe story is not the only one. It is ities. also true that these young, impression- Naturally Madame Kovalevsky's unable men and women, ignorant of life usual gifts and extremely rapid progand of themselves, victims of the ress, drew on her the attention alike of hysterical state of the society of which professors and fellow-students. Her they formed a part, have a very real fame spread beyond the walls of the claim upon our pity. “Oh, Sancta university into the little town, where simplicitas ! ” we exclaim, as we watch the folks began to look after her as she them lightly trifling with life's best and passed to and fro, and to point her out highest possibilities, and treating Na- as worthy of observation. "Sieh, sieh, ture, “that most strong-minded of das ist das Mädchen was so feissig in strong-minded ladies," with open die Schule geht.” At the same time

her simplicity and modesty won for her At any rate, for Sophie the die was the good opinion of teachers and comcast; she had obtained “ freedom,” rades. The friend who records her and, accordingly, after a few months, memories of these days was of opinion the young couple departed for Hei-that Sophie had much to make her delberg, enrolled themselves as stu- happy, she was so talented and sucdents at the university, and journeyed cessful, and united to her young husat once to England to spend the sum- band in such a “poetic relation," loved mer vacation. They obtained intro- with wholly “ideal affection." ductions to several celebrities — to “ When I think of all this it seems to Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, and George me that she had no reason to comEliot. Some years

later, Madame plain; to me she appeared happy in Kovalevsky wrote an account of this such a noble way. And yet, when in visit to England in the Stockholm Dag- after years she looked back to and blad.

talked of her youth, she always spoke Returned to Heidelberg, they com- of it bitterly and with regret.” menced their studies, Sophie taking Anna and Inez at length joined the mathematics and plıysics, Vladimir party at Heidelberg, but their arrival geology and paleontology. A Russian had a distinctly disturbing effect. To girl, a friend of Sophie's, who shared begin with, M. Kovalevsky gave up his her enthusiasms, and who seems to room to the new-comers, and betook have obtained her parents' permission himself with his books to another lodgto study with her, completed the group. ing. The change was perhaps not altoThe little party lived amicably, and gether an unwelcome one to him ; he worked industriously. Vladimir sur- could resume his student habits, and rounded Sophie with an atmosphere of settle to his work with less chance of


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interruption. But the arrangement with her point by point through the could not be said to work well. On the paper. Great was his surprise to fiud one hand, there was Sophie paying every solution not only correct, but him frequent visits, and still demand- neatly put and telling. The eager little ing his assistance “in every trifle ; " Russian girl, with her hat tossed off, resenting his withdrawal, bis ability to and her short, curly hair tumbling over get on without ber, and his cheerful her face, flushed with pleasure at his contentment with a book and a glass evident wonder and approval, made at of tea.” On the other hand were the that moment a friend for life in the uncompromising Anna and her friend, elderly German professor ; one of the holding very decided views as to his truest and best friends she ever had. deportment towards Sophie, and inti. For the next four years Madame mating that there must be “nothing Kovalevsky worked in Berlin under the confidential or familiar about it.” The direction of Weierstrasse, and stimusituation might be “poetic,” but it was lated doubtless by his teaching and the very uncomfortable and distracting ; consciousness of her powers, she demoreover, this sort of thing was not voted herself to work of the most "in the bond," and M. Kovalevsky severe and incessant nature – work decided to remove himself out of the continued all day and often far into the reach of all these disturbing elements, night, to the neglect of all consideraand to complete the work for his de- tions of health, taking vo thought gree in Jena, a decision which Ma- either for exercise, or food, or sleep. dame Edgreu-Leffler frankly admits So hard was this life, that her friend seemed to her perfectly natural, but has recorded how she looked back to which, as she remarks, Sophie did not the old days at Heidelberg as to a lost see in the same light. She was “jéal- paradise. ous" of these studies which deprived They lived an almost isolated life, her of his society ; and in later years, Sophie showing no interest in anything when she spoke of this period of her but her work. “Not,” says her bioglife, her bitterest complaiut was alway's rapher, " that she was in the least dethis : “No one has ever really loved gree a blue-stockivg (kvinnliga pedant),

but she suffered under her peculiar After two terms spent in Heidelberg, social position, and was conscious of Madame Kovalevsky, accompanied by being regarded with some wonder, the same faithful girl-friend, went to even by the friendly members of the Berlin. The University of Berlin was Weierstrasse household. Her husband not open to women, but her strong de- paid her a visit occasionally, but she sire to carry on her studies under the did not introduce him, and in his abdirection of Professor Weierstrasse sence did not speak of him. She wade her resolve to employ every effort turned to her work for distraction, and to become his private pupil.

was occupied in writing the important The celebrated professor, “the father treatises which subsequently gained of modern mathematical analysis,” re- her the degree of doctor in philosophy ceived her and listened to her request at Göttingen, when she was aroused with unconcealed mistrust and charac- from her absorption in abstract science teristic German phlegm. He, however, by the necessity of having to deal with consented to set her a test paper, prob- the concrete facts of life. ably as the most polite way of getting The character of Anna Kroukovsky rid of her, for he took care that its diffi- was evidently much less stable than culties should be such as would try his that of her younger sister. She had most advanced students. A week later very soon grown tired of study at Heihe was surprised to see her reappear delberg, and made use of her freedom with the simple statement that she had to proceed, without the consent or solved all his questions. Still incredu- even the knowledge of her parents, to lous, be bade her sit down, and went | Paris. She had decided that it was her


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