Its just then that Ill appear. Here, you are a proud man, I shall say: you have shown it; but now take the money and forgive us! And then he will take it!
Alyosha was carried away with joy as he uttered the last words. And then he will take it! Lise clapped her hands.
Ah, thats true! I understand that perfectly now. Ah, Alyosha, how do you know all this? So young and yet he knows whats in the heart. I should never have worked it out.
The great thing now is to persuade him that he is on an equal footing with us, in spite of his taking money from us, Alyosha went on in his excitement, and not only on an equal, but even on a higher footing.
On a higher footing is charming, Alexey Fyodorovitch; but go on, go on!
You mean there isnt such an expression as on a higher footing; but that doesnt matter because
Oh, no, of course it doesnt matter. Forgive me, Alyosha, dear. You know, I scarcely respected you till nowthat is I respected you but on an equal footing; but now I shall begin to respect you on a higher footing. Dont be angry, dear, at my joking, she put in at once, with strong feeling. I am absurd and small, but you, you! Listen, Alexey Fyodorovitch. Isnt there in all our analysisI mean your analysis. No, better call it oursarent we showing contempt for him, for that poor manin analysing his soul like this, as it were, from above, eh? In deciding so certainly that he will take the money?
No, Lise, its not contempt, Alyosha answered, as though he had prepared himself for the question. I was thinking of that on the way here. How can it be contempt when we are all like him, when we are all just the same as he is. For you know we are just the same, no better. If we are better, we should have been just the same in his place. I dont know about you, Lise, but I consider that I have a sordid soul in many ways, and his soul is not sordid; on the contrary, full of fine feeling. No, Lise, I have no contempt for him. Do you know, Lise, my elder told me once to care for most people exactly as one would for children, and for some of them as one would for the sick in hospitals.
Ah, Alexey Fyodorovitch, dear, let us care for people as we would for the sick!
Let us, Lise; I am ready. Though I am not altogether ready in myself. I am sometimes very impatient and at other times I dont see things. Its different with you.
Ah, I dont believe it! Alexey Fyodorovitch, how happy I am.
I am so glad you say so, Lise.
Alexey Fyodorovitch, you are wonderfully good, but you are sometimes sort of formal. And yet you are not a bit formal really. Go to the door, open it gently, and see whether mamma is listening, said Lise, in a nervous, hurried whisper.
Alyosha went, opened the door, and reported that no one was listening.
Come here. Alexey Fyodorovitch, Lise went on, flushing redder and redder. Give me your handthats right. I have to make a great confession, I didnt write to you yesterday in joke, but in earnest, and she hid her eyes with her hand. It was evident that she was greatly ashamed of the confession.
Suddenly she snatched his hand and impulsively kissed it three times.
Ah, Lise, what a good thing! cried Alyosha joyfully. You know, I was perfectly sure you were in earnest.
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