It seemed to him that this was not Speranski but someone else.

Everything that had formerly appeared mysterious and fascinating in Speranski suddenly became plain and unattractive.

At dinner the conversation did not cease for a moment and seemed to consist of the contents of a book of funny anecdotes.

Before Magnitski had finished his story someone else was anxious to relate something still funnier.

Most of the anecdotes, if not relating to the state service, related to people in the service.

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