portant subjects would be insulting Tatyana; she after her custom made no demands, but everything in her said plainly, 'I am waiting, I am waiting.' . . . He must fulfil his promise. But though almost the whole night he had thought of nothing else, he had not prepared even the first introductory words, and absolutely did not know in what way to break this cruel silence.
'Tanya,' he began at last, 'I told you yesterday that I have something important to say to you. I am ready, only I beg you beforehand not to be angry against me, and to rest assured that my feelings for you . . .'
He stopped. He caught his breath. Tatyana still did not stir, and did not look at him; she only clutched the book tighter than ever.
'There has always been,' Litvinov went on, without finishing the sentence he had begun, 'there has always been perfect openness between us; I respect you too much to be a hypocrite with you; I want to prove to you that I know how to value the nobleness and independence of your nature, even though . . . though of course . . .'
'Grigory Mihalitch,' began Tatyana in a measured voice while a deathly pallor overspread her whole face, 'I will come to your