society, it certainly does seem rather incredible; but you know—Shakespeare has said already, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, etc." Life too is not to be trifled with. Here is a simile for you; a tree stands before you when there is no wind; in what way can a leaf on a lower branch touch a leaf on an upper branch? It 's impossible. But when the storm rises it is all changed . . . and the two leaves touch.'
'Aha! So there were storms?'
'I should think so! Can one live without them? But enough of philosophy. It 's time to go.'
Litvinov was still hesitating.
'О good Lord!' cried Potugin with a comic face, 'what are young men coming to nowadays! A most charming lady invites them to see her, sends messengers after them on purpose, and they raise difficulties. You ought to be ashamed, my dear sir, you ought to be ashamed. Here's your hat. Take it and "Vorwärts," as our ardent friends the Germans say.'
Litvinov still stood irresolute for a moment, but he ended by taking his hat and going out of the room with Potugin.