Alexey Alexandrovitch was speaking so quickly that he stammered,
and was utterly unable to articulate the word "suffering." In
the end he pronounced it "thuffering." She wanted to laugh, and
was immediately ashamed that anything could amuse her at such a
moment. And for the first time, for an instant, she felt for
him, put herself in his place, and was sorry for him. But what
could she say or do? Her head sank, and she sat silent. He too
was silent for some time, and then began speaking in a frigid,
less shrill voice, emphasizing random words that had no
"I came to tell you..." he said.
She glanced at him. "No, it was my fancy," she thought,
recalling the expression of his face when he stumbled over the
word "suffering." "No; can a man with those dull eyes, with that
self-satisfied complacency, feel anything?"
"I cannot change anything," she whispered.
"I have come to tell you that I am going tomorrow to Moscow, and
shall not return again to this house, and you will receive notice
of what I decide through the lawyer into whose hands I shall
intrust the task of getting a divorce. My son is going to my
sister's," said Alexey Alexandrovitch, with an effort recalling
what he had meant to say about his son.
"You take Seryozha to hurt me," she said, looking at him from
under her brows. "You do not love him.... Leave me Seryozha!"
"Yes, I have lost even my affection for my son, because he is
associated with the repulsion I feel for you. But still I
shall take him. Goodbye!"
And he was going away, but now she detained him.
"Alexey Alexandrovitch, leave me Seryozha!" she whispered once
more. "I have nothing else to say. Leave Seryozha till my...I
shall soon be confined; leave him!"
Alexey Alexandrovitch flew into a rage, and, snatching his hand
from her, he went out of the room without a word.