Onegin locked himself indoors;

                yawning, took up a pen;

                wanted to write; but persevering toil

                to him was sickening: nothing

                from his pen issued,

                nor did he get into the cocky guild

                of people, upon whom I pass no judgment —

                since I belong to them.


                And once again to idleness consigned,

                oppressed by emptiness of soul,

                he settled down with the laudable aim

                to make his own another’s mind;

                he put a troop of books upon a shelf,

                read, read. . . .


                — Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

                (translated from the Russian by Vladimir Nabokov)


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