Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/250

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

at last, and he clapped himself on the breast: 'can you suppose I have anything in common with the ordinary, self-satisfied moralist, a preacher? Don't you understand that simply from interest in you, however strong it might be, I would never have let fall a word, I would never have given you grounds for reproaching me with what I hate above all things—indiscretion, intrusiveness? Don't you see that this is something of a different kind altogether, that before you is a man crushed, utterly obliterated by the very passion, from the results of which he would save you, and . . . and for the same woman!'

Litvinov stepped back a pace.

'Is it possible? What did you say? . . . You . . . you . . . Sozont Ivanitch? But Madame Byelsky . . . that child?'

'Ah, don't cross-examine me . . . Believe me! That is a dark terrible story, and I 'm not going to tell you it. Madame Byelsky I hardly knew, that child is not mine, but I took it all upon myself . . . because . . . she wished it, because it was necessary for her. Why am I here in your hateful Baden? And, in fact, could you suppose, could you for one instant imagine, that I'd have brought myself to caution you out of sympathy for you? I 'm sorry for that sweet, good girl, your fiancée, but what have