Prokofievna, carrying several large and beautifully bound books, apparently quite new.
“What is it?” demanded the lady.
“This is Pushkin,” replied the girl. “Papa told me to offer it to you.”
“What? Impossible!” exclaimed Mrs. Epanchin.
“Not as a present, not as a present! I should not have taken the liberty,” said Lebedeff, appearing suddenly from behind his daughter. “It is our own Pushkin, our family copy, Annenkoff’s edition; it could not be bought now. I beg to suggest, with great respect, that your excellency should buy it, and thus quench the noble literary thirst which is consuming you at this moment,” he concluded grandiloquently.