Check out this quote from his short story “Agafya“:
With all his soft-heartedness and good-nature, Savka despised women. He behaved carelessly, condescendingly with them, and even stooped to scornful laughter of their feelings for himself. God knows, perhaps this careless, contemptuous manner was one of the causes of his irresistible attraction for the village Dulcineas. He was handsome and well-built; in his eyes there was always a soft friendliness, even when he was looking at the women he so despised, but the fascination was not to be explained by merely external qualities. Apart from his happy exterior and original manner, one must suppose that the touching position of Savka as an acknowledged failure and an unhappy exile from his own hut to the kitchen gardens also had an influence upon the women.
I’ve observed men like Savka operate in the field, and to the uninitiated, it’s mesmerizing. Flies in the face of everything you’ve been taught about being a gentleman and a “nice guy”. Roissy has broken it down to a science, but Chekhov understood it well before. Being a gentleman made sense before feminism killed chivalry. Now that chivalry is dead, men who aren’t willing to MGTOW would be wise to take a page from Savka’s book. (Another option is to join a religion with traditional, firmly regimented gender roles — but that’s for another post.)