it at once. Litvinov's fortune was considerable. . . .
'But his family, his family!' . . . protested the princess. 'Yes, his family, of course,' replied the prince; 'but at least he 's not quite a plebeian; and, what 's the principal point, Irina, you know, will not listen to us. Has there ever been a time when she did not do what she chose? Vous connaissez sa violence! Besides, there is nothing fixed definitely yet.' So reasoned the prince, but mentally he added, however: 'Madame Litvinov — is that all? I had expected something else.' Irina took complete possession of her future fiancé, and indeed he himself eagerly surrendered himself into her hands. It was as if he had fallen into a rapid river, and had lost himself . . . And bitter and sweet it was to him, and he regretted nothing and heeded nothing. To reflect on the significance and the duties of marriage, or whether he, so hopelessly enslaved, could be a good husband, and what sort of wife Irina would make, and whether their relations to one another were what they should be—was more than he could bring himself to. His blood was on fire, he could think of nothing, only—to follow her, be with her, for the future without end, and then—let come what may!
But in spite of the complete absence of