"It is so."
"Excuse me, I can't, I can't believe it!"
Alexey Alexandrovitch sat down, feeling that his words had not
had the effect he anticipated, and that it would be unavoidable
for him to explain his position, and that, whatever explanations
he might make, his relations with his brother-in-law would remain
"Yes, I am brought to the painful necessity of seeking a
divorce," he said.
"I will say one thing, Alexey Alexandrovitch. I know you for an
excellent, upright man; I know Anna--excuse me, I can't change my
opinion of her--for a good, an excellent woman; and so, excuse
me, I cannot believe it. There is some misunderstanding," said
"Oh, if it were merely a misunderstanding!..."
"Pardon, I understand," interposed Stepan Arkadyevitch. "But of
course.... One thing: you must not act in haste. You must not,
you must not act in haste!"
"I am not acting in haste," Alexey Alexandrovitch said coldly,
"but one cannot ask advice of anyone in such a matter. I have
quite made up my mind.
"This is awful!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "I would do one
thing, Alexey Alexandrovitch. I beseech you, do it!" he said.
"No action has yet been taken, if I understand rightly. Before
you take advice, see my wife, talk to her. She loves Anna like a
sister, she loves you, and she's a wonderful woman. For God's
sake, talk to her! Do me that favor, I beseech you!"
Alexey Alexandrovitch pondered, and Stepan Arkadyevitch looked at
him sympathetically, without interrupting his silence.
"You will go to see her?"
"I don't know. That was just why I have not been to see you. I
imagine our relations must change."