light yellowish-green color. In the adults, as I was to
"On the contrary, I do . . . After dinner, especially."
"Grushnitski is right in saying that you have very prosaic tastes . . . and I see that you like music in a gastronomic respect."
"You are mistaken again: I am by no means an epicure. I have a most wretched digestion. But music after dinner puts one to sleep, and to sleep after dinner is healthful; consequently I like music in a medicinal respect. In the evening, on the contrary, it excites my nerves too much: I become either too melancholy or too gay. Both are fatiguing, where there is no positive reason for being either sorrowful or glad. And, more- over, melancholy in society is ridiculous, and too great gaiety is unbecoming" . . .
She did not hear me to the end, but went away and sat beside Grushnitski, and they entered into a sort of sentimental conversation. Ap- parently the Princess answered his sage phrases rather absent-mindedly and inconsequently, although endeavouring to show that she was listening to him with attention, because sometimes he looked at her in astonishment, trying to divine the cause of the inward agitation which was expressed at times in her restless glance . . .
But I have found you out, my dear Princess! Have a care! You want to pay me back in the same coin, to wound my vanity -- you will not succeed! And if you declare war on me, I will be merciless!
In the course of the evening, I purposely tried a few times to join in their conversation, but she met my remarks rather coldly, and, at last, I retired in pretended vexation. Princess Mary was triumphant, Grushnitski likewise. Triumph, my friends, and be quick about it! . . . You will not have long to triumph! . . . It cannot be otherwise. I have a presentiment. . . On making a woman's acquaintance I have always unerringly guessed whether she would fall in love with me or not.
The remaining part of the evening I spent at Vera's side, and talked to the full about the old days. . . Why does she love me so much? In truth, I am unable to say, all the more so because she is the only woman who has understood me perfectly, with all my petty weaknesses and evil passions. . . Can it be that wickedness is so attractive? . . .
Grushnitski and I left the house together. In the street he took my arm, and, after a long silence, said: