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went on still more softly. 'And how can such a thing have come about? Is it witchcraft, or what? It 's not long since you were writing her the tenderest letters. And in fact can an honest man act like this? I 'm a woman, free, as you know, from prejudice of any sort, esprit fort, and I have given Tanya too the same sort of education, she too has a free mind. . . . '

'Aunt!' came Tatyana's voice from the next room.

'But upon my honour—this is duty, Grigory Mihalitch, especially for people of your, of my principles! If we 're not going to recognise duty, what is left us? This cannot be broken off in this way, at your whim, without regard to what may happen to another! It 's unprincipled . . . yes, it 's a crime; a strange sort of freedom!'

'Aunt, come here please,' was heard again.

'I 'm coming, my love, I 'm coming . . .' Kapitolina Markovna clutched at Litvinov's hand.—'I see you are angry, Grigory Mihalitch.' . . . ('Me! me angry?' he wanted to exclaim, but his tongue was dumb.) 'I don't want to make you angry—oh, really, quite the contrary! I 've come even to entreat you; think again while there is time; don't destroy her, don't destroy your own happiness, she will still trust you, Grisha, she will believe in you, nothing is lost