Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/195

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SMOKE

crab, he too tried his luck, but without success; no symptom of catalepsy showed itself. Then the waiter was called, and told to take away the crab, which he accordingly did, grinning from ear to ear, as before; he could be heard exploding outside the door. . . . There was much laughter afterwards in the kitchen über diese Russen. The self-taught genius, who had gone on striking notes during the experiments with the crab, dwelling on melancholy chords, on the ground that there was no knowing what influence music might have—the self-taught genius played his invariable waltz, and, of course, was deemed worthy of the most flattering applause. Pricked on by rivalry, Count H., our incomparable dilettante (see Chapter I.), gave a little song of his own composition, cribbed wholesale from Offenbach. Its playful refrain to the words: 'Quel œuf? quel bœuf?' set almost all the ladies' heads swinging to right and to left; one went so far as to hum the tune lightly, and the irrepressible, inevitable word, 'Charmant! charmant! was fluttering on every one's lips. Irina exchanged a glance with Litvinov, and again the same secret, ironical expression quivered about her lips. . . . But a little later it was still more strongly marked, there was even a shade of malice in it, when Prince Kokó, that representative and champion of the interests of the

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