“Why, how am I to blame?” asked Adelaida, smiling.
“You wouldn’t draw his portrait for us, that’s why you are to blame! Aglaya Ivanovna asked you to draw his portrait, and gave you the whole subject of the picture. She invented it herself; and you wouldn’t.”
“What was I to draw?
According to the lines she quoted:
“‘From his face he never lifted
That eternal mask of steel.’”
“What sort of a face was I to draw? I couldn’t draw a mask.”
“I don’t know