"You are ill and overwrought," he said; "believe me, you're exaggerating dreadfully.
There's nothing so terrible in it.
" And Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled.
No one else in Stepan Arkadyevitch's place, having to do with such despair, would have ventured to smile (the smile would have seemed brutal); but in his smile there was so much of sweetness and almost feminine tenderness that his smile did not wound, but softened and soothed.

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