HE found them all at home, but he did not at once disclose his plan to them; he wanted to discuss it first with Lisa alone. Fortune favoured him; they were left alone in the drawing-room. They had some talk; she had had time by now to grow used to himand she was not shy as a rule with any one. He listened to her, watched her, and mentally repeated Lemms words, and agreed with them. It sometimes happens that two people who are acquainted, but not on intimate terms with one another, all of sudden grow rapidly more intimate in a few minutes, and the consciousness of this greater intimacy is at once expressed in their eyes, in their soft and affectionate smiles, and in their very gestures. This was exactly what came to pass with Lavretsky and Lisa. So he is like that, was her thought, as she turned a friendly glance on him; so you are like that, he too was thinking. And so he was not very much surprised when she informed him, not without a little faltering, however, that she had long wished to say something to him, but she was afraid of offending him.
You are so good, she began, and at the same time, she thought: Yes, I am sure he is good you will forgive me, I ought not to dare to speak of it to you buthow could you why did you separate from you wife?
Forgive! broke in Lavretsky. Ought you not first to know whom you are interceding for? Forgive that woman, take her back into my home, that empty, heartless creature! And who told you she wants to return to me? She is perfectly contented with her position, I can assure you But what a subject to discuss here! Her name ought never to be uttered by you. You are too pure, you are not capable of understanding such a creature.
Why did I marry her? I was young and inexperienced; I was deceived, I was carried away by a beautiful exterior. I knew no women. I knew nothing. God grant you may make a happier marriage! but let me tell you, you can be sure of nothing.
Stop a minute, Lavretsky cried after her unexpectedly. I have a great favour to beg of your mother and you; to pay me a visit in my new abode. You know, I have had a piano sent over; Lemm is staying with me; the lilac is in flower now; you will get a breath of country air, and you can return the same daywill you consent? Lisa looked towards her mother; Marya Dmitrievna was assuming an expression of suffering; but Lavretsky did not give her time to open her mouth; he at once kissed both her hands. Marya Dmitrievna, who was always susceptible to demonstrations of feeling, and did not at all anticipate such effusiveness from the dolt, was melted and gave her consent. While she was deliberating which day to fix, Lavretsky went up to Lisa, and, still greatly moved, whispered to her aside: Thank you, you are a good girl; I was to blame. And her pale face glowed with a bright, shy smile; her eyes smiled tooup to that instant she had been afraid she had offended him.
It is hard for me, my darling, she said, to give my old bones a shaking; and to be sure theres nowhere for me to sleep at your place: besides, I cant sleep in a strange bed. Let the young folks go frolicking.
Lavretsky did not succeed in being alone again with Lisa; but he looked at her in such a way that she felt her heart at rest, and a little ashamed, and sorry for him. He pressed her hand warmly at parting; left alone, she fell to musing.