temper, fond of power, and headstrong; one class-mistress prophesied that her passions would be her ruin — 'vos passions vous perdron' ; on the other hand, another class-mistress censured her for coldness and want of feeling, and called her une jeune fille sans cœur. Irina's companions thought her proud and reserved: her brothers and sisters stood a little in awe of her: her mother had no confidence in her: and her father felt ill at ease when she fastened her mysterious eyes upon him. But she inspired a feeling of involuntary respect in both her father and her mother, not so much through her qualities, as from a peculiar, vague sense of expectations which she had, in some undefined way, awakened in them.
'You will see, Praskovya Danilovna,' said the old prince one day, taking his pipe out of his mouth, 'our chit of an Irina will give us all a lift in the world yet.'
The princess got angry, and told her husband that he made use of 'des expressions insupportables' ; afterwards, however, she fell to musing over his words, and repeated through her teeth:
'Well . . . and it would be a good thing if we did get a lift.'
Irina enjoyed almost unlimited freedom in her parents' house; they did not spoil her, they even avoided her a little, but they did not