allusions made by our unhappy journalists at the time of the Crimean war, to the defects in the English War Department, exposed in the Times. I am not an optimist myself, and all humanity, all our life, all this comedy with tragic issues presents itself to me in no roseate colours: but why fasten upon the West what is perhaps ingrained in our very human nature? That gambling hall is disgusting, certainly; but is our home-bred card-sharping any lovelier, think you? No, my dear Grigory Mihalovitch, let us be more humble, more retiring. A good pupil sees his master's faults, but he keeps a respectful silence about them; these very faults are of use to him, and set him on the right path. But if nothing will satisfy you but sharpening your teeth on the unlucky West, there goes Prince Kokó at a gallop, he will most likely lose in a quarter of an hour over the green table the hardly earned rent wrung from a hundred and fifty families; his nerves are upset, for I saw him at Marx's to-day turning over a pamphlet of Vaillot. . . . He will be a capital person for you to talk to!'
'But, please, please,' said Litvinov hurriedly, seeing that Potugin was getting up from his place, 'I know Prince Kokó very little, and besides, of course, I greatly prefer talking to you.'
'Thanks very much,' Potugin interrupted