Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/247

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SMOKE

you . . . the impression made on me by your betrothed . . . she is betrothed to you, I think? . . . well, anyway, by the girl to whom you introduced me to-day. I must say that in the course of my whole existence I have never met a more attractive creature. A heart of gold, a really angelic nature.'

Potugin uttered all these words with the same bitter and mournful air, so that even Litvinov could not help noticing the incongruity between his expression of face and his speech.

'You have formed a perfectly correct estimate of Tatyana Petrovna,' Litvinov began, 'though I can't help being surprised, first that you should be aware of the relation in which I stand to her; and secondly, that you should have understood her so quickly. She really has an angelic nature; but allow me to ask, did you want to talk to me about this?'

'It's impossible not to understand her at once,' Potugin replied quickly, as though evading the last question. 'One need only take one look into her eyes. She deserves every possible happiness on earth, and enviable is the fate of the man whose lot it is to give her that happiness! One must hope he may prove worthy of such a fate.'

Litvinov frowned slightly.

'Excuse me, Sozont Ivanitch,' he said, 'I

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