If it had been any other family than the Epanchins’, nothing particular would have happened. But, thanks to Mrs. Epanchin’s invariable fussiness and anxiety, there could not be the slightest hitch in the simplest matters of everyday life, but she immediately foresaw the most dreadful and alarming consequences, and suffered accordingly.

“Oh, well,” thought the general, “he’s lost to us for good, now.”

“‘Maybe sad Love upon his setting smiles, And with vain hopes his farewell hour beguiles.’

“Oh, a long way off, near the Great Theatre, just in the square there--It won’t be a large party.”

“No, you fool--you don’t know whom you are dealing with--and it appears I am a fool, too!” said Parfen, trembling beneath the flashing glance of Nastasia. “Oh, curse it all! What a fool I was to listen to you!” he added, with profound melancholy.

“_Au revoir!_ I shall amuse them all with this story tomorrow!”
“Read this,” she said, handing him Gania’s note.

“Meanwhile he continued to sit and stare jeeringly at me.

“Oh, aren’t you ashamed of yourself--aren’t you ashamed? Are you really the sort of woman you are trying to represent yourself to be? Is it possible?” The prince was now addressing Nastasia, in a tone of reproach, which evidently came from his very heart.
“I shall laugh--I know I shall; I shall die of laughing,” she said, lugubriously.
He bowed and retired without waiting for an answer.

“Well, they do heat them a little; but the houses and stoves are so different to ours.”

“I arrived at the old woman’s house beside myself. She was sitting in a corner all alone, leaning her face on her hand. I fell on her like a clap of thunder. ‘You old wretch!’ I yelled and all that sort of thing, in real Russian style. Well, when I began cursing at her, a strange thing happened. I looked at her, and she stared back with her eyes starting out of her head, but she did not say a word. She seemed to sway about as she sat, and looked and looked at me in the strangest way. Well, I soon stopped swearing and looked closer at her, asked her questions, but not a word could I get out of her. The flies were buzzing about the room and only this sound broke the silence; the sun was setting outside; I didn’t know what to make of it, so I went away.“Kapiton didn’t exist either!” persisted Gania, maliciously.Nastasia Philipovna seemed delighted at the appearance of this latest arrival, of whom she had of course heard a good deal by report.