THE prince did not die before his wedding—either by day or night, as he ha_oretold that he might. Very probably he passed disturbed nights, and wa_fflicted with bad dreams; but, during the daytime, among his fellow-men, h_eemed as kind as ever, and even contented; only a little thoughtful whe_lone.
The wedding was hurried on. The day was fixed for exactly a week afte_vgenie's visit to the prince. In the face of such haste as this, even th_rince's best friends (if he had had any) would have felt the hopelessness o_ny attempt to save "the poor madman." Rumour said that in the visit o_vgenie Pavlovitch was to be discerned the influence of Lizabetha Prokofievn_nd her husband… But if those good souls, in the boundless kindness of thei_earts, were desirous of saving the eccentric young fellow from ruin, the_ere unable to take any stronger measures to attain that end. Neither thei_osition, nor their private inclination, perhaps (and only naturally), woul_llow them to use any more pronounced means.
We have observed before that even some of the prince's nearest neighbours ha_egun to oppose him. Vera Lebedeff's passive disagreement was limited to th_hedding of a few solitary tears; to more frequent sitting alone at home, an_o a diminished frequency in her visits to the prince's apartments.
Colia was occupied with his father at this time. The old man died during _econd stroke, which took place just eight days after the first. The princ_howed great sympathy in the grief of the family, and during the first days o_heir mourning he was at the house a great deal with Nina Alexandrovna. H_ent to the funeral, and it was observable that the public assembled in churc_reeted his arrival and departure with whisperings, and watched him closely.
The same thing happened in the park and in the street, wherever he went. H_as pointed out when he drove by, and he often overheard the name of Nastasi_hilipovna coupled with his own as he passed. People looked out for her at th_uneral, too, but she was not there; and another conspicuous absentee was th_aptain's widow, whom Lebedeff had prevented from coming.
The funeral service produced a great effect on the prince. He whispered t_ebedeff that this was the first time he had ever heard a Russian funera_ervice since he was a little boy. Observing that he was looking about hi_neasily, Lebedeff asked him whom he was seeking.
"Nothing. I only thought I—"
"Is it Rogojin?"
"Why—is he here?"
"Yes, he's in church."
"I thought I caught sight of his eyes!" muttered the prince, in confusion.
"But what of it!—Why is he here? Was he asked?"
"Oh, dear, no! Why, they don't even know him! Anyone can come in, you know.
Why do you look so amazed? I often meet him; I've seen him at least fou_imes, here at Pavlofsk, within the last week."
"I haven't seen him once—since that day!" the prince murmured.
As Nastasia Philipovna had not said a word about having met Rogojin since
"that day," the prince concluded that the latter had his own reasons fo_ishing to keep out of sight. All the day of the funeral our hero, was in _eeply thoughtful state, while Nastasia Philipovna was particularly merry, both in the daytime and in the evening.
Colia had made it up with the prince before his father's death, and it was h_ho urged him to make use of Keller and Burdovsky, promising to answer himsel_or the former's behaviour. Nina Alexandrovna and Lebedeff tried to persuad_im to have the wedding in St. Petersburg, instead of in the public fashio_ontemplated, down here at Pavlofsk in the height of the season. But th_rince only said that Nastasia Philipovna desired to have it so, though he sa_ell enough what prompted their arguments.
The next day Keller came to visit the prince. He was in a high state o_elight with the post of honour assigned to him at the wedding.
Before entering he stopped on the threshold, raised his hand as if making _olemn vow, and cried:
"I won't drink!"
Then he went up to the prince, seized both his hands, shook them warmly, an_eclared that he had at first felt hostile towards the project of thi_arriage, and had openly said so in the billiard-rooms, but that the reaso_imply was that, with the impatience of a friend, he had hoped to see th_rince marry at least a Princess de Rohan or de Chabot; but that now he sa_hat the prince's way of thinking was ten times more noble than that of "al_he rest put together." For he desired neither pomp nor wealth nor honour, bu_nly the truth! The sympathies of exalted personages were well known, and th_rince was too highly placed by his education, and so on, not to be in som_ense an exalted personage!
"But all the common herd judge 'differently; in the town, at the meetings, i_he villas, at the band, in the inns and the billiard-rooms, the coming even_as only to be mentioned and there are shouts and cries from everybody. I hav_ven heard talk of getting up a 'charivari' under the windows on the wedding- night. So if 'you have need of the pistol' of an honest man, prince, I a_eady to fire half a dozen shots even before you rise from your nuptia_ouch!"
Keller also advised, in anticipation of the crowd making a rush after th_eremony, that a fire-hose should be placed at the entrance to the house; bu_ebedeff was opposed to this measure, which he said might result in the plac_eing pulled down.
"I assure you, prince, that Lebedeff is intriguing against you. He wants t_ut you under control. Imagine that! To take 'from you the use of your free- will and your money—that' is to say, the two things that distinguish us fro_he animals! I have heard it said positively. It is the sober truth."
The prince recollected that somebody had told him something of the kin_efore, and he had, of course, scoffed at it. He only laughed now, and forgo_he hint at once.
Lebedeff really had been busy for some little while; but, as usual, his plan_ad become too complex to succeed, through sheer excess of ardour. When h_ame to the prince—the very day before the wedding—to confess (for he alway_onfessed to the persons against whom he intrigued, especially when the pla_ailed), he informed our hero that he himself was a born Talleyrand, but fo_ome unknown reason had become simple Lebedeff. He then proceeded to explai_is whole game to the prince, interesting the latter exceedingly.
According to Lebedeff's account, he had first tried what he could do wit_eneral Epanchin. The latter informed him that he wished well to th_nfortunate young man, and would gladly do what he could to "save him," bu_hat he did not think it would be seemly for him to interfere in this matter.
Lizabetha Prokofievna would neither hear nor see him. Prince S. and Evgeni_avlovitch only shrugged their shoulders, and implied that it was no busines_f theirs. However, Lebedeff had not lost heart, and went off to a cleve_awyer,—a worthy and respectable man, whom he knew well. This old gentlema_nformed him that the thing was perfectly feasible if he could get hold o_ompetent witnesses as to Muishkin's mental incapacity. Then, with th_ssistance of a few influential persons, he would soon see the matte_rranged.
Lebedeff immediately procured the services of an old doctor, and carried th_atter away to Pavlofsk to see the prince, by way of viewing the ground, as i_ere, and to give him (Lebedeff) counsel as to whether the thing was to b_one or not. The visit was not to be official, but merely friendly.
Muishkin remembered the doctor's visit quite well. He remembered that Lebedef_ad said that he looked ill, and had better see a doctor; and although th_rince scouted the idea, Lebedeff had turned up almost immediately with hi_ld friend, explaining that they had just met at the bedside of Hippolyte, wh_as very ill, and that the doctor had something to tell the prince about th_ick man.
The prince had, of course, at once received him, and had plunged into _onversation about Hippolyte. He had given the doctor an account o_ippolyte's attempted suicide; and had proceeded thereafter to talk of his ow_alady,—of Switzerland, of Schneider, and so on; and so deeply was the old ma_nterested by the prince's conversation and his description of Schneider'_ystem, that he sat on for two hours.
Muishkin gave him excellent cigars to smoke, and Lebedeff, for his part, regaled him with liqueurs, brought in by Vera, to whom the doctor—a marrie_an and the father of a family—addressed such compliments that she was fille_ith indignation. They parted friends, and, after leaving the prince, th_octor said to Lebedeff: "If all such people were put under restraint, ther_ould be no one left for keepers." Lebedeff then, in tragic tones, told of th_pproaching marriage, whereupon the other nodded his head and replied that, after all, marriages like that were not so rare; that he had heard that th_ady was very fascinating and of extraordinary beauty, which was enough t_xplain the infatuation of a wealthy man; that, further, thanks to th_iberality of Totski and of Rogojin, she possessed—so he had heard—not onl_oney, but pearls, diamonds, shawls, and furniture, and consequently she coul_ot be considered a bad match. In brief, it seemed to the doctor that th_rince's choice, far from being a sign of foolishness, denoted, on th_ontrary, a shrewd, calculating, and practical mind. Lebedeff had been muc_truck by this point of view, and he terminated his confession by assuring th_rince that he was ready, if need be, to shed his very life's blood for him.
Hippolyte, too, was a source of some distraction to the prince at this time; he would send for him at any and every hour of the day. They lived,—Hippolyt_nd his mother and the children,—in a small house not far off, and the littl_nes were happy, if only because they were able to escape from the invali_nto the garden. The prince had enough to do in keeping the peace between th_rritable Hippolyte and his mother, and eventually the former became s_alicious and sarcastic on the subject of the approaching wedding, tha_uishkin took offence at last, and refused to continue his visits.
A couple of days later, however, Hippolyte's mother came with tears in he_yes, and begged the prince to come back, "or HE would eat her up bodily." Sh_dded that Hippolyte had a great secret to disclose. Of course the princ_ent. There was no secret, however, unless we reckon certain pantings an_gitated glances around (probably all put on) as the invalid begged hi_isitor to "beware of Rogojin."
"He is the sort of man," he continued, "who won't give up his object, yo_now; he is not like you and me, prince—he belongs to quite a different orde_f beings. If he sets his heart on a thing he won't be afraid of anything—"
and so on.
Hippolyte was very ill, and looked as though he could not long survive. He wa_earful at first, but grew more and more sarcastic and malicious as th_nterview proceeded.
The prince questioned him in detail as to his hints about Rogojin. He wa_nxious to seize upon some facts which might confirm Hippolyte's vagu_arnings; but there were none; only Hippolyte's own private impressions an_eelings.
However, the invalid—to his immense satisfaction—ended by seriously alarmin_he prince.
At first Muishkin had not cared to make any reply to his sundry questions, an_nly smiled in response to Hippolyte's advice to "run for his life—abroad, i_ecessary. There are Russian priests everywhere, and one can get married al_ver the world."
But it was Hippolyte's last idea which upset him.
"What I am really alarmed about, though," he said, "is Aglaya Ivanovna.
Rogojin knows how you love her. Love for love. You took Nastasia Philipovn_rom him. He will murder Aglaya Ivanovna; for though she is not yours, o_ourse, now, still such an act would pain you,—wouldn't it?"
He had attained his end. The prince left the house beside himself with terror.
These warnings about Rogojin were expressed on the day before the wedding.
That evening the prince saw Nastasia Philipovna for the last time before the_ere to meet at the altar; but Nastasia was not in a position to give him an_omfort or consolation. On the contrary, she only added to his menta_erturbation as the evening went on. Up to this time she had invariably don_er best to cheer him—she was afraid of his looking melancholy; she would tr_inging to him, and telling him every sort of funny story or reminiscence tha_he could recall. The prince nearly always pretended to be amused, whether h_ere so actually or no; but often enough he laughed sincerely, delighted b_he brilliancy of her wit when she was carried away by her narrative, as sh_ery often was. Nastasia would be wild with joy to see the impression she ha_ade, and to hear his laugh of real amusement; and she would remain the whol_vening in a state of pride and happiness. But this evening her melancholy an_houghtfulness grew with every hour.
The prince had told Evgenie Pavlovitch with perfect sincerity that he love_astasia Philipovna with all his soul. In his love for her there was the sor_f tenderness one feels for a sick, unhappy child which cannot be left alone.
He never spoke of his feelings for Nastasia to anyone, not even to herself.
When they were together they never discussed their "feelings," and there wa_othing in their cheerful, animated conversation which an outsider could no_ave heard. Daria Alexeyevna, with whom Nastasia was staying, told afterward_ow she had been filled with joy and delight only to look at them, all thi_ime.
Thanks to the manner in which he regarded Nastasia's mental and mora_ondition, the prince was to some extent freed from other perplexities. Sh_as now quite different from the woman he had known three months before. H_as not astonished, for instance, to see her now so impatient to marry him—sh_ho formerly had wept with rage and hurled curses and reproaches at him if h_entioned marriage! "It shows that she no longer fears, as she did then, tha_he would make me unhappy by marrying me," he thought. And he felt sure tha_o sudden a change could not be a natural one. This rapid growth of self- confidence could not be due only to her hatred for Aglaya. To suppose tha_ould be to suspect the depth of her feelings. Nor could it arise from drea_f the fate that awaited her if she married Rogojin. These causes, indeed, a_ell as others, might have played a part in it, but the true reason, Muishki_ecided, was the one he had long suspected—that the poor sick soul had come t_he end of its forces. Yet this was an explanation that did not procure hi_ny peace of mind. At times he seemed to be making violent efforts to think o_othing, and one would have said that he looked on his marriage as a_nimportant formality, and on his future happiness as a thing not wort_onsidering. As to conversations such as the one held with Evgenie Pavlovitch, he avoided them as far as possible, feeling that there were certain objection_o which he could make no answer.
The prince had observed that Nastasia knew well enough what Aglaya was to him.
He never spoke of it, but he had seen her face when she had caught hi_tarting off for the Epanchins' house on several occasions. When the Epanchin_eft Pavlofsk, she had beamed with radiance and happiness. Unsuspicious an_nobservant as he was, he had feared at that time that Nastasia might hav_ome scheme in her mind for a scene or scandal which would drive Aglaya out o_avlofsk. She had encouraged the rumours and excitement among the inhabitant_f the place as to her marriage with the prince, in order to annoy her rival; and, finding it difficult to meet the Epanchins anywhere, she had, on on_ccasion, taken him for a drive past their house. He did not observe what wa_appening until they were almost passing the windows, when it was too late t_o anything. He said nothing, but for two days afterwards he was ill.
Nastasia did not try that particular experiment again. A few days before tha_ixed for the wedding, she grew grave and thoughtful. She always ended b_etting the better of her melancholy, and becoming merry and cheerful again, but not quite so unaffectedly happy as she had been some days earlier.
The prince redoubled his attentive study of her symptoms. It was a mos_urious circumstance, in his opinion, that she never spoke of Rogojin. Bu_nce, about five days before the wedding, when the prince was at home, _essenger arrived begging him to come at once, as Nastasia Philipovna was ver_ll.
He had found her in a condition approaching to absolute madness. She screamed, and trembled, and cried out that Rogojin was hiding out there in th_arden—that she had seen him herself—and that he would murder her in th_ight—that he would cut her throat. She was terribly agitated all day. But i_o happened that the prince called at Hippolyte's house later on, and hear_rom his mother that she had been in town all day, and had there received _isit from Rogojin, who had made inquiries about Pavlofsk. On inquiry, i_urned out that Rogojin visited the old lady in town at almost the same momen_hen Nastasia declared that she had seen him in the garden; so that the whol_hing turned out to be an illusion on her part. Nastasia immediately wen_cross to Hippolyte's to inquire more accurately, and returned immensel_elieved and comforted.
On the day before the wedding, the prince left Nastasia in a state of grea_nimation. Her wedding-dress and all sorts of finery had just arrived fro_own. Muishkin had not imagined that she would be so excited over it, but h_raised everything, and his praise rendered her doubly happy.
But Nastasia could not hide the cause of her intense interest in her weddin_plendour. She had heard of the indignation in the town, and knew that some o_he populace was getting up a sort of charivari with music, that verses ha_een composed for the occasion, and that the rest of Pavlofsk society more o_ess encouraged these preparations. So, since attempts were being made t_umiliate her, she wanted to hold her head even higher than usual, and t_verwhelm them all with the beauty and taste of her toilette. "Let them shou_nd whistle, if they dare!" Her eyes flashed at the thought. But, underneat_his, she had another motive, of which she did not speak. She thought tha_ossibly Aglaya, or at any rate someone sent by her, would be presen_ncognito at the ceremony, or in the crowd, and she wished to be prepared fo_his eventuality.
The prince left her at eleven, full of these thoughts, and went home. But i_as not twelve o'clock when a messenger came to say that Nastasia was ver_ad, and he must come at once.
On hurrying back he found his bride locked up in her own room and could hea_er hysterical cries and sobs. It was some time before she could be made t_ear that the prince had come, and then she opened the door only jus_ufficiently to let him in, and immediately locked it behind him. She the_ell on her knees at his feet. (So at least Dana Alexeyevna reported.)
"What am I doing? What am I doing to you?" she sobbed convulsively, embracin_is knees.
The prince was a whole hour soothing and comforting her, and left her, a_ength, pacified and composed. He sent another messenger during the night t_nquire after her, and two more next morning. The last brought back a messag_hat Nastasia was surrounded by a whole army of dressmakers and maids, and wa_s happy and as busy as such a beauty should be on her wedding morning, an_hat there was not a vestige of yesterday's agitation remaining. The messag_oncluded with the news that at the moment of the bearer's departure there wa_ great confabulation in progress as to which diamonds were to be worn, an_ow.
This message entirely calmed the prince's mind.
The following report of the proceedings on the wedding day may be depende_pon, as coming from eye-witnesses.
The wedding was fixed for eight o'clock in the evening. Nastasia Philipovn_as ready at seven. From six o'clock groups of people began to gather a_astasia's house, at the prince's, and at the church door, but more especiall_t the former place. The church began to fill at seven.
Colia and Vera Lebedeff were very anxious on the prince's account, but the_ere so busy over the arrangements for receiving the guests after the wedding, that they had not much time for the indulgence of personal feelings.
There were to be very few guests besides the best men and so on; only Dan_lexeyevna, the Ptitsins, Gania, and the doctor. When the prince aske_ebedeff why he had invited the doctor, who was almost a stranger, Lebedef_eplied:
"Why, he wears an 'order,' and it looks so well!"
This idea amused the prince.
Keller and Burdovsky looked wonderfully correct in their dress-coats and whit_id gloves, although Keller caused the bridegroom some alarm by hi_ndisguisedly hostile glances at the gathering crowd of sight-seers outside.
At about half-past seven the prince started for the church in his carriage.
We may remark here that he seemed anxious not to omit a single one of th_ecognized customs and traditions observed at weddings. He wished all to b_one as openly as possible, and "in due order."
Arrived at the church, Muishkin, under Keller's guidance, passed through th_rowd of spectators, amid continuous whispering and excited exclamations. Th_rince stayed near the altar, while Keller made off once more to fetch th_ride.
On reaching the gate of Daria Alexeyevna's house, Keller found a far dense_rowd than he had encountered at the prince's. The remarks and exclamations o_he spectators here were of so irritating a nature that Keller was very nea_aking them a speech on the impropriety of their conduct, but was luckil_aught by Burdovsky, in the act of turning to address them, and hurrie_ndoors.
Nastasia Philipovna was ready. She rose from her seat, looked into the glas_nd remarked, as Keller told the tale afterwards, that she was "as pale as _orpse." She then bent her head reverently, before the ikon in the corner, an_eft the room.
A torrent of voices greeted her appearance at the front door. The crow_histled, clapped its hands, and laughed and shouted; but in a moment or tw_solated voices were distinguishable.
"What a beauty!" cried one.
"Well, she isn't the first in the world, nor the last," said another.
"Marriage covers everything," observed a third.
"I defy you to find another beauty like that," said a fourth.
"She's a real princess! I'd sell my soul for such a princess as that!"
Nastasia came out of the house looking as white as any handkerchief; but he_arge dark eyes shone upon the vulgar crowd like blazing coals. Th_pectators' cries were redoubled, and became more exultant and triumphan_very moment. The door of the carriage was open, and Keller had given his han_o the bride to help her in, when suddenly with a loud cry she rushed fro_im, straight into the surging crowd. Her friends about her were stupefie_ith amazement; the crowd parted as she rushed through it, and suddenly, at _istance of five or six yards from the carriage, appeared Rogojin. It was hi_ook that had caught her eyes.
Nastasia rushed to him like a madwoman, and seized both his hands.
"Save me!" she cried. "Take me away, anywhere you like, quick!"
Rogojin seized her in his arms and almost carried her to the carriage. Then, in a flash, he tore a hundred-rouble note out of his pocket and held it to th_oachman.
"To the station, quick! If you catch the train you shall have another. Quick!"
He leaped into the carriage after Nastasia and banged the door. The coachma_id not hesitate a moment; he whipped up the horses, and they were oft.
"One more second and I should have stopped him," said Keller, afterwards. I_act, he and Burdovsky jumped into another carriage and set off in pursuit; but it struck them as they drove along that it was not much use trying t_ring Nastasia back by force.
"Besides," said Burdovsky, "the prince would not like it, would he?" So the_ave up the pursuit.
Rogojin and Nastasia Philipovna reached the station just in time for th_rain. As he jumped out of the carriage and was almost on the point o_ntering the train, Rogojin accosted a young girl standing on the platform an_earing an old-fashioned, but respectable-looking, black cloak and a sil_andkerchief over her head.
"Take fifty roubles for your cloak?" he shouted, holding the money out to th_irl. Before the astonished young woman could collect her scattered senses, h_ushed the money into her hand, seized the mantle, and threw it and th_andkerchief over Nastasia's head and shoulders. The latter's wedding-arra_ould have attracted too much attention, and it was not until some time late_hat the girl understood why her old cloak and kerchief had been bought a_uch a price.
The news of what had happened reached the church with extraordinary rapidity.
When Keller arrived, a host of people whom he did not know thronged around t_sk him questions. There was much excited talking, and shaking of heads, eve_ome laughter; but no one left the church, all being anxious to observe ho_he now celebrated bridegroom would take the news. He grew very pale upo_earing it, but took it quite quietly.
"I was afraid," he muttered, scarcely audibly, "but I hardly thought it woul_ome to this." Then after a short silence, he added: "However, in her state, it is quite consistent with the natural order of things."
Even Keller admitted afterwards that this was "extraordinarily philosophical"
on the prince's part. He left the church quite calm, to all appearances, a_any witnesses were found to declare afterwards. He seemed anxious to reac_ome and be left alone as quickly as possible; but this was not to be. He wa_ccompanied by nearly all the invited guests, and besides this, the house wa_lmost besieged by excited bands of people, who insisted upon being allowed t_nter the verandah. The prince heard Keller and Lebedeff remonstrating an_uarrelling with these unknown individuals, and soon went out himself. H_pproached the disturbers of his peace, requested courteously to be told wha_as desired; then politely putting Lebedeff and Keller aside, he addressed a_ld gentleman who was standing on the verandah steps at the head of the ban_f would-be guests, and courteously requested him to honour him with a visit.
The old fellow was quite taken aback by this, but entered, followed by a fe_ore, who tried to appear at their ease. The rest remained outside, an_resently the whole crowd was censuring those who had accepted the invitation.
The prince offered seats to his strange visitors, tea was served, and _eneral conversation sprang up. Everything was done most decorously, to th_onsiderable surprise of the intruders. A few tentative attempts were made t_urn the conversation to the events of the day, and a few indiscreet question_ere asked; but Muishkin replied to everybody with such simplicity and good- humour, and at the same time with so much dignity, and showed such confidenc_n the good breeding of his guests, that the indiscreet talkers were quickl_ilenced. By degrees the conversation became almost serious. One gentlema_uddenly exclaimed, with great vehemence: "Whatever happens, I shall not sel_y property; I shall wait. Enterprise is better than money, and there, sir, you have my whole system of economy, if you wish!" He addressed the prince, who warmly commended his sentiments, though Lebedeff whispered in his ear tha_his gentleman, who talked so much of his "property," had never had eithe_ouse or home.
Nearly an hour passed thus, and when tea was over the visitors seemed to thin_hat it was time to go. As they went out, the doctor and the old gentlema_ade Muishkin a warm farewell, and all the rest took their leave with heart_rotestations of good-will, dropping remarks to the effect that "it was no us_orrying," and that "perhaps all would turn out for the best," and so on. Som_f the younger intruders would have asked for champagne, but they were checke_y the older ones. When all had departed, Keller leaned over to Lebedeff, an_aid:
"With you and me there would have been a scene. We should have shouted an_ought, and called in the police. But he has simply made some new friends—an_uch friends, too! I know them!"
Lebedeff, who was slightly intoxicated, answered with a sigh:
"Things are hidden from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes. I hav_pplied those words to him before, but now I add that God has preserved th_abe himself from the abyss, He and all His saints."
At last, about half-past ten, the prince was left alone. His head ached. Coli_as the last to go, after having helped him to change his wedding clothes.
They parted on affectionate terms, and, without speaking of what had happened, Colia promised to come very early the next day. He said later that the princ_ad given no hint of his intentions when they said good-bye, but had hidde_hem even from him. Soon there was hardly anyone left in the house. Burdovsk_ad gone to see Hippolyte; Keller and Lebedeff had wandered off togethe_omewhere.
Only Vera Lebedeff remained hurriedly rearranging the furniture in the rooms.
As she left the verandah, she glanced at the prince. He was seated at th_able, with both elbows upon it, and his head resting on his hands. Sh_pproached him, and touched his shoulder gently. The prince started and looke_t her in perplexity; he seemed to be collecting his senses for a minute o_o, before he could remember where he was. As recollection dawned upon him, h_ecame violently agitated. All he did, however, was to ask Vera very earnestl_o knock at his door and awake him in time for the first train to Petersbur_ext morning. Vera promised, and the prince entreated her not to tell anyon_f his intention. She promised this, too; and at last, when she had half- closed the door, he called her back a third time, took her hands in his, kissed them, then kissed her forehead, and in a rather peculiar manner said t_er, "Until tomorrow!"
Such was Vera's story afterwards.
She went away in great anxiety about him, but when she saw him in the morning, he seemed to be quite himself again, greeted her with a smile, and told he_hat he would very likely be back by the evening. It appears that he did no_onsider it necessary to inform anyone excepting Vera of his departure fo_own.