Continuing to gaze into the box, he observed that all the persons in it treated Mihalevitch as an old friend. The performance on the stage ceased to interest Lavretsky, even Motchalov, though he was that evening in his "best form," did not produce the usual impression on him.
'I shan't die of hunger; God will provide when I've no money. I shall have friends. And what is money.... Dust and ashes! Gold is dust! He shut his eyes, felt in his pocket, and held out to me in the palm of his hand two sixpences and a penny. 'What's that? 'But you had better tell me, have you read Polezhaev? 'Yes. 'Have you seen Motchalov in Hamlet? 'No, I haven't.
Lavretsky turned the conversation on the theater, on the performance of the previous day; she at once began herself to discuss Motchalov, and did not confine herself to sighs and interjections only, but uttered a few true observations full of feminine insight in regard to his acting.
One day at the theatre Motchalov was then at the height of his fame and Lavretsky did not miss a single performance he saw in a box in the front tier a young girl, and though no woman ever came near his grim figure without setting his heart beating, it had never beaten so violently before.