Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/133

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SMOKE

riding a donkey, but the blood fairly rushed into Litvinov's cheeks, and he felt intense bitterness: his tightly compressed lips seemed as though drawn by wormwood. ' Despicable, vulgar creatures,' he muttered, without reflecting that the few minutes he had spent in their company had not given him sufficient ground for such severe criticism. And this was the world into which Irina had fallen, Irina, once his Irina! In this world she moved, and lived, and reigned; for it, she had sacrificed her personal dignity, the noblest feelings of her heart. ... It was clearly as it should be; it was clear that she had deserved no better fate! How glad he was that she had not thought of questioning him about his intentions! He might have opened his heart before 'them' in 'their' presence. . . . 'For nothing in the world! never!' murmured Litvinov, inhaling deep draughts of the fresh air and descending the road towards Baden almost at a run. He thought of his betrothed, his sweet, good, sacred Tatyana, and how pure, how noble, how true she seemed to him. With what unmixed tenderness he recalled her features, her words, her very gestures . . . with what impatience he looked forward to her return.

The rapid exercise soothed his nerves. Returning home he sat down at the table and

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