Skvernyy anekdot (A Bad Joke)



Only humanity.

Humanity with subordinates serves as a

reminder that they are human beings also.

I must admit, Ivan Illich,

I still can't understand what

you are getting at.

You are extolling humanity.

Does it mean love of fellow men?

Let it be love of fellow men.

Love of fellow men has always been there.

But reforms cannot amount solely to it.

Different issues have arisen:

legal, economic, financial, moral ones.

And there is no end to those issues.

And all of it

together can engender significant,

I would say, unrest.

That is what we are worried about,

not just humanity.

The issue is much more profound.

I do understand.

But I daresay, Semyon Ivanovich,

that I will not fail to keep up with your

understanding of profoundness of things.


I daresay, Stepan Nikiforovich,

that you too have not understood me.

I haven't?


Let's take a syllogism.

I'm humane,

therefore I'm loved.

I'm loved, therefore

I'm trusted.

I'm trusted, therefore I'm believed in.

I'm believed in, therefore...

What I mean is that reforms

will also be believed in.

They will be embraced,

their very essence will be grasped.

We can't take it.

What do you mean?

I mean,

we can't take it.

We can't take it, you say.

At least, I can be sure about myself.

We have been here for too long.

It's time to leave.

This ugly story

happened exactly at the moment

when began with such uncontrollable power

and with such touching naive impulse

the renewal of our beloved motherland

and its valiant sons' urge

towards new destiny

and new hopes.

Damn! Where is Trifon with my carraige?


have you seen the carriage

of His Excellency?

It was standing right there,

and the next moment it was gone.

What a git. He begged me

to allow him to go to some girl. Rascal.

Somewhere around here,

on Petersburg Side.

I strictly forbade him to leave.

And I bet that's where he has gone.

That's right, he's gone there,

but he promised to be back in time.

I had a feeling this would happen.

I'll show him.

Have him flogged a couple

of times in the barracks.

That will teach him to follow orders.

Don't worry, Semyon Ivanovich.

I can give you a lift if you want.

Good night.


No, thanks.

I will show you.


I will go on foot to spite.

Then you will feel...

Then you will have, so to say,



He will come back and discover

that his master had to go on foot.

What retrogrades they are,

those people.

We can't take it.

What did he mean by that?

The main thing is that

I'm deeply convinced -

if I'm humane, then the man

is mine, he is caught...

whatsitsname... in the net.

And then I can do with him

anything I want, I mean...

for his own good.

And this Semyon Ivanovich,

what an ugly mug he has!

No way!

Flog him yourself, I will not flog anyone.

I will punish

Trifon with word.

Then he will feel...


Go away, beggar!

Listen, brother.

Whose house is it, brother?

Official Pseldonimov's, the registrar.


Ah, that Pseldonimov!

Is he getting married?

He is, Your Excellency.

With titular counsellor's daughter.

Titular counsellor Mlekopetayev

served in the town council.

This house is a part of the bride's dowry.

So it's Pseldonimov's and not

Mlekopetayev's house now?

It is indeed, Your Excellency.

It was Mlekopetayev's.

Not it's Pseldonimov's.

I'm asking you, brother, because

I'm his superior.

I'm the general of the place he serves in.

Given present relationships

within the society,

for to me visit my subordinate would mean

defiance of the ideas, confusion.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Skvernyy anekdot (A Bad Joke)" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <>.

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