However, I do not care about receiving them here, in public. Excuse me, Lizabetha Prokofievna. They are coming, and you can see them, and then I will take them away. Please come in, gentlemen!”
Another thought tormented him: He wondered was this an arranged business — arranged to happen when he had guests in his house, and in anticipation of his humiliation rather than of his triumph?
But he reproached himself bitterly for such a thought, and felt as if he should die of shame if it were discovered. When his new visitors appeared, he was quite ready to believe himself infinitely less to be respected than any of them.
Four persons entered, led by General Ivolgin, in a state of great excitement, and talking eloquently.