8. CHAPTER VIII.
THIS same morning dawned for the prince pregnant with no less
painful presentiments,--which fact his physical state was, of
course, quite enough to account for; but he was so indefinably
melancholy,--his sadness could not attach itself to anything in
particular, and this tormented him more than anything else. Of
course certain facts stood before him, clear and painful, but his
sadness went beyond all that he could remember or imagine; he
realized that he was powerless to console himself unaided. Little
by little he began to develop the expectation that this day
something important, something decisive, was to happen to him.
His attack of yesterday had been a slight one. Excepting some
little heaviness in the head and pain in the limbs, he did not
feel any particular effects. His brain worked all right, though
his soul was heavy within him.
He rose late, and immediately upon waking remembered all about
the previous evening; he also remembered, though not quite so
clearly, how, half an hour after his fit, he had been carried
He soon heard that a messenger from the Epanchins' had already
been to inquire after him. At half-past eleven another arrived;
and this pleased him.
Vera Lebedeff was one of the first to come to see him and offer
her services. No sooner did she catch sight of him than she burst
into tears; but when he tried to soothe her she began to laugh.
He was quite struck by the girl's deep sympathy for him; he
seized her hand and kissed it. Vera flushed crimson.
"Oh, don't, don't!" she exclaimed in alarm, snatching her hand
away. She went hastily out of the room in a state of strange