Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/251

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SMOKE

I to do with your future, with you both? . . . But I am afraid for her ... for her.'

'You do me great honour, Mr. Potugin,' began Litvinov, 'but since, according to you, we are both in the same position, why is it you don't apply such exhortations to yourself, and ought I not to ascribe your apprehensions to another feeling?'

'That is to jealousy, you mean? Ah, young man, young man, it's shameful of you to shuffle and make pretences, it 's shameful of you not to realise what a bitter sorrow is speaking to you now by my lips! No, I am not in the same position as you! I, I am old, ridiculous, an utterly harmless old fool—but you! But there 's no need to talk about it! You would not for one second agree to accept the position I fill, and fill with gratitude! Jealousy? A man is not jealous who has never had even a drop of hope, and this is not the first time it has been my lot to endure this feeling. I am only afraid . . . afraid for her, understand that. And could I have guessed when she sent me to you that the feeling of having wronged you —she owned to feeling that—would carry her so far?'

'But excuse me, Sozont Ivanitch, you seem to know . . .'

'I know nothing, and I know everything! I know,' he added, turning away, 'I know where

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