"Oh, yes, that is most..." said Stepan Arkadyevitch, glad they
were going to read, and let him have a chance to collect his
faculties. "No, I see I'd better not ask her about anything
today," he thought. "If only I can get out of this without
putting my foot in it!"
"It will be dull for you," said Countess Lidia Ivanovna,
addressing Landau; "you don't know English, but it's short."
"Oh, I shall understand," said Landau, with the same smile, and
he closed his eyes. Alexey Alexandrovitch and Lidia Ivanovna
exchanged meaningful glances, and the reading began.