thwart her, and that was all she wanted. . . . Sometimes — during some too humiliating scene — when some tradesman would come and keep shouting, to be heard over the whole court, that he was sick of coming after his money, or their own servants would begin abusing their masters to their face, with 'fine princes you are, to be sure; you may whistle for your supper, and go hungry to bed' — Irina would not stir a muscle; she would sit unmoved, an evil smile on her dark face; and her smile alone was more bitter to her parents than any reproaches, and they felt themselves guilty — guilty, though guiltless — towards this being on whom had been bestowed, as it seemed, from her very birth, the right to wealth, to luxury, and to homage.
Litvinov fell in love with Irina from the moment he saw her (he was only three years older than she was), but for a long while he failed to obtain not only a response, but even a hearing. Her manner to him was even overcast with a shade of something like hostility; he did in fact wound her pride, and she concealed the wound, and could never forgive it. He was too young and too modest at that time to understand what might be concealed under this hostile, almost contemptuous severity.
Often, forgetful of lectures and exercises, he