13. CHAPTER XIII.
THE prince was very nervous as he reached the outer door; but he
did his best to encourage himself with the reflection that the
worst thing that could happen to him would be that he would not
be received, or, perhaps, received, then laughed at for coming.
But there was another question, which terrified him considerably,
and that was: what was he going to do when he DID get in? And to
this question he could fashion no satisfactory reply.
If only he could find an opportunity of coming close up to
Nastasia Philipovna and saying to her: "Don't ruin yourself by
marrying this man. He does not love you, he only loves your
money. He told me so himself, and so did Aglaya Ivanovna, and I
have come on purpose to warn you"--but even that did not seem
quite a legitimate or practicable thing to do. Then, again, there
was another delicate question, to which he could not find an
answer; dared not, in fact, think of it; but at the very idea of
which he trembled and blushed. However, in spite of all his fears
and heart-quakings he went in, and asked for Nastasia Philipovna.
Nastasia occupied a medium-sized, but distinctly tasteful, flat,
beautifully furnished and arranged. At one period of these five
years of Petersburg life, Totski had certainly not spared his
expenditure upon her. He had calculated upon her eventual love,
and tried to tempt her with a lavish outlay upon comforts and
luxuries, knowing too well how easily the heart accustoms itself
to comforts, and how difficult it is to tear one's self away from
luxuries which have become habitual and, little by little,
Nastasia did not reject all this, she even loved her comforts and
luxuries, but, strangely enough, never became, in the least
degree, dependent upon them, and always gave the impression that
she could do just as well without them. In fact, she went so far
as to inform Totski on several occasions that such was the case,
which the latter gentleman considered a very unpleasant
But, of late, Totski had observed many strange and original
features and characteristics in Nastasia, which he had neither
known nor reckoned upon in former times, and some of these
fascinated him, even now, in spite of the fact that all his old
calculations with regard to her were long ago cast to the winds.