Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/298

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XXV

The next morning Litvinov had only just come home from seeing the banker, with whom he had had another conversation on the playful instability of our exchange, and the best means of sending money abroad, when the hotel porter handed him a letter. He recognised Irina's handwriting, and without breaking the seal—a presentiment of evil, Heaven knows why, was astir in him—he went into his room. This was what he read (the letter was in French):

'My dear one, I have been thinking all night of your plan. . . . I am not going to shuffle with you. You have been open with me, and I will be open with you; I cannot run away with you, I have not the strength to do it. I feel how I am wronging you; my second sin is greater than the first, I despise myself, my cowardice, I cover myself with reproaches, but I cannot change myself In vain I tell myself that I have destroyed your happiness, that you have the right now to re-

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