Alexey Alexandrovitch and Lidia Ivanovna exchanged meaningful glances, and the reading began.
Stepan Arkadyevitch felt completely nonplussed by the strange talk which he was hearing for the first time.
The complexity of Petersburg, as a rule, had a stimulating effect on him, rousing him out of his Moscow stagnation.
But he liked these complications, and understood them only in the circles he knew and was at home in.
In these unfamiliar surroundings he was puzzled and disconcerted, and could not get his bearings.

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