'Are you ill, Irina?' he articulated in a shaking voice. (They had already begun on great occasions to call each other by their first names.) 'Let me go at once for a doctor.'
But Irina did not let him finish; she stamped with her foot in vexation.
'I am perfectly well. . . . but this dress . . . don't you understand?'
'What is it? . . . this dress,' he repeated in bewilderment.
'What is it? Why, that I have no other, and that it is old and disgusting, and I am obliged to put on this dress every day . . . even when you—Grisha—Grigory, come here. . . . You will leave off loving me, at last, seeing me in such a filthy rag!'
'For goodness sake, Irina, what are you saying? That dress is very nice. . . . It is dear to me too because I saw you for the first time in it, darling.'
'Do not remind me, if you please, Grigory Mihalovitch, that I had no other dress even then.'
'But I assure you, Irina Pavlovna, it suits you so exquisitely.'
'No, it is horrid, horrid,' she persisted, nervously pulling at her long, soft curls. 'Ugh, this poverty, poverty and squalor! How is one