Find today’s 3342 short story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/175.html
Rashevitch is an egotistical motormouth who can’t help himself from taking up an intellectual argument and exhausting it to the point that nothing but ill-will is left from his listeners. He has alienated all of his neighbors and townsfolk, earning the nickname “toad.” It happens that Meier is at Rashevitch’s house to court one of his daughters. This doesn’t happen as Rahevitch rages on about blue bloods superiority to the “rabble” who believe they have equal footing in the world. Chekhov throws in a twist that allows Rashevitch to self-reflect in a self-loathing way realizing that he can’t have with any conversation or correspondence “…without being himself aware of it, gradually passed into abuse and slander...” I’ve seen alienating arguments isolate the speaker from their offended audience and I feel on occasion I may have done that myself. I hope though. that I won’t ever earn enough animosity to be called a toad.