met him with a gay and careless face, casually mentioned how much she had enjoyed the ball of the evening, and asked him when he was leaving. Although Boris had come with the intention of speaking of his love, and was therefore resolved to take a tender tone, he began to speak irritably of the fickleness of woman; saying that women could so easily pass from sadness to joy, and their state of mind depended entirely on what sort of man happened to be paying them attention. Julie was offended, and said that that was quite true, indeed, that a woman wanted variety, and that always the same thing would bore any one.

“Then I would advise you…” Boris was beginning, meaning to say something cutting; but at that instant the mortifying reflection occurred to him that he might leave Moscow without having attained his object, and having wasted his efforts in vain (an experience he had never had yet). He stopped short in the middle of a sentence, dropped his eyes, to avoid seeing her disagreeably exasperated and irresolute face, and said, “But it was not to quarrel with you that I have come here. On the contrary…” He glanced at her to make sure whether he could go on. All irritation had instantly vanished from her face, and her uneasy and imploring eyes were fastened upon him in greedy expectation.

“I can always manage so as to see very little of her,” thought Boris. “And the thing’s been begun and must be finished!” He flushed crimson, raised his eyes to her face, and said to her, “You know my feeling for you!” There was no need to say more. Julie’s countenance beamed with triumph and self-satisfaction; but she forced Boris to say everything that is usually said on such occasions, to say that he loved her, and had never loved any woman more than her. She knew that for her Penza estates and her Nizhnigorod forests she could demand that, and she got all she demanded.

The young engaged couple, with no further allusions to trees that enfolded them in gloom and melancholy, made plans for a brilliant establishment in Petersburg, paid visits, and made every preparation for a splendid wedding.

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