just now that I no longer loved you. . . . No, Tanya, I have not ceased to love you, but a different, terrible, irresistible passion has come upon me, has overborne me. I fought against it while I could. . . .'
Tatyana got up, her brows twitched, her pale face darkened. Litvinov too rose to his feet.
'You love another woman,' she began, 'and I guess who she is. . . . We met her yesterday, didn't we ? . . . Well, I see what is left for me to do now. Since you say yourself this passion is unalterable' . . . (Tatyana paused an instant, possibly she had still hoped Litvinov would not let this last word pass unchallenged, but he said nothing), 'it only remains for me to give you back . . . your word.'
Litvinov bent his head, as though submissively receiving a well-deserved blow.
'You have every right to be angry with me,' he said. 'You have every right to reproach me for feebleness ... for deceit.'
Tatyana looked at him again.
'I have not reproached you, Litvinov, I don't blame you. I agree with you: the bitterest truth is better than what went on yesterday. What sort of a life could ours have been now!'
'What sort of a life will mine be now!' echoed mournfully in Litvinov's soul.