of irresistible enchantment. As I gazed at it on that far-gone
Yesterday, for the first time, Vera made her appearance at the well. . . She has never gone out of doors since we met in the grotto. We let down our tumblers at the same time, and as she bent forward she whispered to me:
"You are not going to make the Ligovskis' acquaintance? . . . It is only there that we can meet" . . .
A reproach! . . . How tiresome! But I have deserved it. . .
By the way, there is a subscription ball to- morrow in the saloon of the restaurant, and I will dance the mazurka with Princess Mary.
THE saloon of the restaurant was converted into the assembly room of a Nobles' Club. The company met at nine o'clock. Princess Ligovski and her daughter were amongst the latest to make their appearance. Several of the ladies looked at Princess Mary with envy and malevolence, because she dresses with taste. Those who look upon themselves as the aris- tocracy of the place concealed their envy and attached themselves to her train. What else could be expected? Wherever there is a gathering of women, the company is immediately divided into a higher and a lower circle.
Beneath the window, amongst a crowd of people, stood Grushnitski, pressing his face to the pane and never taking his eyes off his divinity. As she passed by, she gave him a hardly per- ceptible nod. He beamed like the sun. . . The first dance was a polonaise, after which the musicians struck up a waltz. Spurs began to jingle, and skirts to rise and whirl.
I was standing behind a certain stout lady who was overshadowed by rose-coloured feathers. The magnificence of her dress reminded me of the times of the farthingale, and the motley hue of her by no means smooth skin, of the happy epoch of the black taffeta patch. An immense wart on her neck was covered by a clasp. She was saying to her cavalier, a captain of dragoons:
"That young Princess Ligovski is a most intolerable creature! Just fancy, she jostled against me and did not apologise, but even turned round and stared at me through her lorgn- ette! . . . C'est impayable! . . . And what has she to be proud of? It is time somebody gave her a lesson" . . .