2. CHAPTER II.
THE prince suddenly approached Evgenie Pavlovitch.
"Evgenie Pavlovitch," he said, with strange excitement and
seizing the latter's hand in his own, "be assured that I esteem
you as a generous and honourable man, in spite of everything. Be
assured of that."
Evgenie Pavlovitch fell back a step in astonishment. For one
moment it was all he could do to restrain himself from bursting
out laughing; but, looking closer, he observed that the prince
did not seem to be quite himself; at all events, he was in a very
"I wouldn't mind betting, prince," he cried, "that you did not in
the least mean to say that, and very likely you meant to address
someone else altogether. What is it? Are you feeling unwell or
"Very likely, extremely likely, and you must be a very close
observer to detect the fact that perhaps I did not intend to come
up to YOU at all."
So saying he smiled strangely; but suddenly and excitedly he
"Don't remind me of what I have done or said. Don't! I am very
much ashamed of myself, I--"
"Why, what have you done? I don't understand you."
"I see you are ashamed of me, Evgenie Pavlovitch; you are
blushing for me; that's a sign of a good heart. Don't be afraid;
I shall go away directly."
"What's the matter with him? Do his fits begin like that?" said
Lizabetha Prokofievna, in a high state of alarm, addressing