'I told her that I no longer loved her.'
'She asked why?'
'I did not disguise the fact that I loved another woman, and that we must part.'
'Ah . . . and what did she do? Agreed?'
'О Irina! what a girl she is! She was all self-sacrifice, all generosity!'
'I 've no doubt, I 've no doubt . . . there was nothing else for her to do, though.'
'And not one reproach, not one hard word to me, who have spoiled her whole life, deceived her, pitilessly flung her over. . . .'
Irina scrutinised her finger nails.
'Tell me, Grigory . . . did she love you?'
'Yes, Irina, she loved me.'
Irina was silent a minute, she straightened her dress.
'I must confess,' she began, 'I don't quite understand what induced you to explain matters to her.'
'What induced me, Irina! Would you have liked me to lie, to be a hypocrite to her, that pure soul? or did you suppose——'
'I supposed nothing,' Irina interrupted. 'I must admit I have thought very little about her. I don't know how to think of two people at once.'
'That is, you mean——'
'Well, and so what then? Is she going