'And why not obey her?' flashed through his brain. 'She loves me, she is mine, and in our very yearning towards each other, in this passion, which after so many years has burst upon us, and forced its way out with such violence, is there not something inevitable, irresistible, like a law of nature? Live in Petersburg . . . and shall I be the first to be put in such a position? And how could we be in safety together? . . .'
And he fell to musing, and Irina's shape, in the guise in which it was imprinted for ever in his late memories, softly rose before him. . . . But not for long. . . . He mastered himself, and with a fresh outburst of indignation drove away from him both those memories and that seductive image.
'You give me to drink from that golden cup,' he cried, 'but there is poison in the draught, and your white wings are besmirched with mire. . . . Away! Remain here with you after the way I . . . I drove away my betrothed . . . a deed of infamy, of infamy!' He wrung his hands with anguish, and another face with the stamp of suffering on its still features, with dumb reproach in its farewell eyes, rose from the depths. . . .
And for a long time Litvinov was in this agony still; for a long time, his tortured thought, like a man fever-stricken, tossed from side to