whether I ought to be confidential with you, prince; but, I assure you, you are the only decent fellow I have come across. I have not spoken so sincerely as I am doing at this moment for years. There are uncommonly few honest people about, prince; there isn’t one honester than Ptitsin, he’s the best of the lot. Are you laughing? You don’t know, perhaps, that blackguards like honest people, and being one myself I like you. Why am I a blackguard? Tell me honestly, now. They all call me a blackguard because of her, and I have got into the way of thinking myself one.
That’s what is so bad about the business.”
“I for one shall never think you a blackguard again,” said the prince. “I confess I had a poor opinion of