He jumped up quickly. "No, this can't go on!" he said to himself
in despair. "I'll go to her; I'll ask her; I'll say for the last
time: we are free, and hadn't we better stay so? Anything's
better than endless misery, disgrace, unfaithfulness!" With
despair in his heart and bitter anger against all men, against
himself, against her, he went out of the hotel and drove to her
He found her in one of the back rooms. She was sitting on a
chest and making some arrangements with her maid, sorting over
heaps of dresses of different colors, spread on the backs of
chairs and on the floor.
"Ah!" she cried, seeing him, and beaming with delight. "Kostya!
Konstantin Dmitrievitch!" (These latter days she used these names
almost alternately.) "I didn't expect you! I'm going through my
wardrobe to see what's for whom..."
"Oh! that's very nice!" he said gloomily, looking at the maid.
"You can go, Dunyasha, I'll call you presently," said Kitty.
"Kostya, what's the matter?" she asked, definitely adopting this
familiar name as soon as the maid had gone out. She noticed his
strange face, agitated and gloomy, and a panic came over her.
"Kitty! I'm in torture. I can't suffer alone," he said with
despair in his voice, standing before her and looking imploringly
into her eyes. He saw already from her loving, truthful face,
that nothing could come of what he had meant to say, but yet he
wanted her to reassure him herself. "I've come to say that
there's still time. This can all be stopped and set right."
"What? I don't understand. What is the matter?"
"What I have said a thousand times over, and can't help thinking
...that I'm not worthy of you. You couldn't consent to marry
me. Think a little. You've made a mistake. Think it over
thoroughly. You can't love me.... If...better say so," he said,
not looking at her. "I shall be wretched. Let people say what
they like; anything's better than misery.... Far better now
while there's still time...."