`Oh, of course there's no reason whatever,' he said frowning.

`That's just what I say,' she said, willfully refusing to see the irony of his tone, and quietly turning back her long, perfumed glove.

`Anna, for God's sake! What is the matter with you?' he said, watching her exactly as once her husband had done.

`I don't understand what you are asking.'

`You know that it's out of the question to go.'

`Why so? I'm not going alone. Princess Varvara has gone to dress - she is going with me.'

He shrugged his shoulders with an air of perplexity and despair.

`But do you mean to say you don't know?...' he began.

`But I don't care to know!' she almost shrieked. `I don't care to. Do I regret what I have done? No, no, no! If it were all to do again from the beginning, it would be the same. For us, for you and for me, there is only one thing that matters, whether we love each other. Other people we need not consider. Why are we living here apart and not seeing each other? Why can't I go? I love you, and I don't care for anything,' she said in Russian, glancing at him with a peculiar, obscure for him, gleam in her eyes, `if you have not changed to me.... Why don't you look at me?'

He looked at her. He saw all the beauty of her face and full dress, always so becoming to her. But now her beauty and elegance were just what irritated him.

`My feeling cannot change, you know, but I beg you, I entreat you,' he said again in French, with a note of tender supplication in his voice, but with coldness in his eyes.

She did not hear his words, but she saw the coldness of his eyes, and answered with irritation:

`And I beg you to explain why I should not go.'

`Because it might cause you...' He hesitated.

`I don't understand. Iashvin n'est compromettant, and Princess Varvara is no worse than others. Oh, here she is!'

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