In this segment, one which finds Onegin facing Tatiana as she is riddled with equal parts fear and shame, our calculated fop offers instead an unexpected softness.

Johnston uses this word – softness – while Falen, Mitchell and Nabokov opt for tenderness, or a variation thereof.

It’s interesting that Falen chooses the word dart, as if Onegin’s kindness somehow tranquilized his prey. Only Nabokov (express) offers so much as an action verb to accompany the tenderness/softness which Tatiana receives.

For the second line, it is Mitchell who seems different from the rest. To him, Onegin puts Tatiana at ease. For our other three translators, Onegin’s glance does something in the form of restoration. Where Mitchell sees Tatiana in danger before this moment, our other three view the fragile love she cradles something closer to deceased.

In any event, we exit this couplet with Tatiana restored. Her fears allayed; she’s ready to believe in the promise of Onegin once again… if only he weren’t about to take Olga’s hand.

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