"Well, but what did you buy this mass of things for?" said the
princess, smiling, and handing her husband a cup of coffee.
"One goes for a walk, one looks in a shop, and they ask you to
buy. 'Erlaucht, Durchlaucht?' Directly they say 'Durchlaucht,'
I can't hold out. I lose ten thalers."
"It's simply from boredom," said the princess.
"Of course it is. Such boredom, my dear, that one doesn't know
what to do with oneself."
"How can you be bored, prince? There's so much that's interesting
now in Germany," said Marya Yevgenyevna.
"But I know everything that's interesting: the plum soup I know,
and the pea sausages I know. I know everything."
"No, you may say what you like, prince, there's the interest of
their institutions," said the colonel.
"But what is there interesting about it? They're all as pleased
as brass halfpence. They've conquered everybody, and why am I
to be pleased at that? I haven't conquered anyone; and I'm
obliged to take off my own boots, yes, and put them away too; in
the morning, get up and dress at once, and go to the dining room
to drink bad tea! How different it is at home! You get up in no
haste, you get cross, grumble a little, and come round again.
You've time to think things over, and no hurry."
"But time's money, you forget that," said the colonel.
"Time, indeed, that depends! Why, there's time one would give a
month of for sixpence, and time you wouldn't give half an hour of
for any money. Isn't that so, Katinka? What is it? why are you
"I'm not depressed."
"Where are you off to? Stay a little longer," he said to