Petersburg The Walls Were Snow, Not Walls!

Apollon Apollonovich did not like his spacious flat; the furniture there shone so tiresomely, so eternally: and when the covers were put on, the furniture in its white covers stood before the gaze like snowy hills; resonantly, distinctly the parquets here returned the senator’s tread.

Resonantly, distinctly thus did the hall return the senator’s tread, a hall more like a corridor of the grandest dimensions. From a ceiling covered in white garlands, from a moulded circle of fruit there hung a chandelier with fragments of rock crystal, draped with a muslin cover; as though it were transparent, the chandelier swung and trembled regularly like a crystal tear.

While the parquetry, like a mirror, shone with little squares.

The walls were snow, not walls; these walls were everywhere lined with high-legged chairs; their high white legs were covered in gold riffles; from everywhere among the chairs, upholstered in pale yellow plush, rose columns of white alabaster; and on all the white columns towered an alabaster Archimedes. Not one single Archimedes, but different Archimedes, for their common name was the Ancient Greek statesman. Coldly from the walls did an icy mirror flash; but some solicitous hand had hung circular frames along the walls; below the glass a pale-toned painting stood out; the pale-toned painting imitated the frescoes of Pompeii.

Apollon Apollonovich glanced in passing at the Pompeian frescoes and remembered whose solicitous hand had hung them along the walls; the solicitous hand belonged to Anna Petrovna: Apollon Apollonovich pursed his lips with distaste and went into his study; in his study Apollon Apollonovich was in the habit of locking himself in; an unaccountable sadness was evoked by the spaces of the suite of rooms; out of them someone eternally familiar and strange seemed for ever to be running; Apollon Apollonovich would have been very glad to move out of his enormous suite of rooms into one more modest; after all, his subordinates lived in more modest little flats; while he, Apollon Apollonovich, must for ever renounce that captivating narrowness: the exaltedness of his position compelled one to this; thus was Apollon Apollonovich compelled to idly languish in the cold flat on the embankment; he often recollected the former resident of these shining rooms: Anna Petrovna. It was already two years since Anna Petrovna had left him for an Italian artist.