“Where they played last night. Then I found this bench and sat down, and thought and thought--and at last I fell fast asleep.”

“Yes, yes, yes!” said the prince, once more, nodding his head, and blushing slightly. “Yes, it was so, or nearly so--I know it. And besides, you see, I had not slept the night before, in the train, or the night before that, either, and I was very tired.”

“Well?” said Mrs. Epanchin angrily, surprised at his tone; “well, what more?”

Aglaya gazed coldly, intently, and composedly at him, without taking her eyes off his face, and watched his confusion.

“If I wish! That’s good, I must say! Do you think I am deceived as to the flagrant impropriety of my conduct? I am quite aware that his money is his own, and that my action--is much like an attempt at extortion. But you-you don’t know what life is! If people don’t learn by experience, they never understand. They must be taught. My intentions are perfectly honest; on my conscience he will lose nothing, and I will pay back the money with interest. Added to which he has had the moral satisfaction of seeing me disgraced. What does he want more? and what is he good for if he never helps anyone? Look what he does himself! just ask him about his dealings with others, how he deceives people! How did he manage to buy this house? You may cut off my head if he has not let you in for something--and if he is not trying to cheat you again. You are smiling. You don’t believe me?”

“Better read on without any more beating about the bush,” said Gania.

“It’s not the first time this urchin, your favourite, has shown his impudence by twisting other people’s words,” said Aglaya, haughtily.

“Strange things are going on in our so-called Holy Russia in this age of reform and great enterprises; this age of patriotism in which hundreds of millions are yearly sent abroad; in which industry is encouraged, and the hands of Labour paralyzed, etc.; there is no end to this, gentlemen, so let us come to the point. A strange thing has happened to a scion of our defunct aristocracy. (_De profundis!_) The grandfathers of these scions ruined themselves at the gaming-tables; their fathers were forced to serve as officers or subalterns; some have died just as they were about to be tried for innocent thoughtlessness in the handling of public funds. Their children are sometimes congenital idiots, like the hero of our story; sometimes they are found in the dock at the Assizes, where they are generally acquitted by the jury for edifying motives; sometimes they distinguish themselves by one of those burning scandals that amaze the public and add another blot to the stained record of our age. Six months ago--that is, last winter--this particular scion returned to Russia, wearing gaiters like a foreigner, and shivering with cold in an old scantily-lined cloak. He had come from Switzerland, where he had just undergone a successful course of treatment for idiocy (_sic!_). Certainly Fortune favoured him, for, apart from the interesting malady of which he was cured in Switzerland (can there be a cure for idiocy?) his story proves the truth of the Russian proverb that ‘happiness is the right of certain classes!’ Judge for yourselves. Our subject was an infant in arms when he lost his father, an officer who died just as he was about to be court-martialled for gambling away the funds of his company, and perhaps also for flogging a subordinate to excess (remember the good old days, gentlemen). The orphan was brought up by the charity of a very rich Russian landowner. In the good old days, this man, whom we will call P----, owned four thousand souls as serfs (souls as serfs!--can you understand such an expression, gentlemen? I cannot; it must be looked up in a dictionary before one can understand it; these things of a bygone day are already unintelligible to us). He appears to have been one of those Russian parasites who lead an idle existence abroad, spending the summer at some spa, and the winter in Paris, to the greater profit of the organizers of public balls. It may safely be said that the manager of the Chateau des Fleurs (lucky man!) pocketed at least a third of the money paid by Russian peasants to their lords in the days of serfdom. However this may be, the gay P---- brought up the orphan like a prince, provided him with tutors and governesses (pretty, of course!) whom he chose himself in Paris. But the little aristocrat, the last of his noble race, was an idiot. The governesses, recruited at the Chateau des Fleurs, laboured in vain; at twenty years of age their pupil could not speak in any language, not even Russian. But ignorance of the latter was still excusable. At last P---- was seized with a strange notion; he imagined that in Switzerland they could change an idiot into a man of sense. After all, the idea was quite logical; a parasite and landowner naturally supposed that intelligence was a marketable commodity like everything else, and that in Switzerland especially it could be bought for money. The case was entrusted to a celebrated Swiss professor, and cost thousands of roubles; the treatment lasted five years. Needless to say, the idiot did not become intelligent, but it is alleged that he grew into something more or less resembling a man. At this stage P---- died suddenly, and, as usual, he had made no will and left his affairs in disorder. A crowd of eager claimants arose, who cared nothing about any last scion of a noble race undergoing treatment in Switzerland, at the expense of the deceased, as a congenital idiot. Idiot though he was, the noble scion tried to cheat his professor, and they say he succeeded in getting him to continue the treatment gratis for two years, by concealing the death of his benefactor. But the professor himself was a charlatan. Getting anxious at last when no money was forthcoming, and alarmed above all by his patient’s appetite, he presented him with a pair of old gaiters and a shabby cloak and packed him off to Russia, third class. It would seem that Fortune had turned her back upon our hero. Not at all; Fortune, who lets whole populations die of hunger, showered all her gifts at once upon the little aristocrat, like Kryloff’s Cloud which passes over an arid plain and empties itself into the sea. He had scarcely arrived in St. Petersburg, when a relation of his mother’s (who was of bourgeois origin, of course), died at Moscow. He was a merchant, an Old Believer, and he had no children. He left a fortune of several millions in good current coin, and everything came to our noble scion, our gaitered baron, formerly treated for idiocy in a Swiss lunatic asylum. Instantly the scene changed, crowds of friends gathered round our baron, who meanwhile had lost his head over a celebrated demi-mondaine; he even discovered some relations; moreover a number of young girls of high birth burned to be united to him in lawful matrimony. Could anyone possibly imagine a better match? Aristocrat, millionaire, and idiot, he has every advantage! One might hunt in vain for his equal, even with the lantern of Diogenes; his like is not to be had even by getting it made to order!”

Rogojin seized her in his arms and almost carried her to the carriage. Then, in a flash, he tore a hundred-rouble note out of his pocket and held it to the coachman.

Rogojin was not smiling now; he sat and listened with folded arms, and lips tight compressed.

“That same husband of your sister, the usurer--”

“No, oh no!” cried Lebedeff, waving his arms; “if she is afraid, it is not for the reason you think. By the way, do you know that the monster comes every day to inquire after your health?”

“House of Rogojin, hereditary and honourable citizen.”

“Oh! but you may have been sitting behind the bushes somewhere. However, I am very glad, on your account, of course. I was beginning to be afraid that Mr. Gania--might have the preference!”

“What’s all this? Is he really heir to anything?”

Hippolyte suddenly burst into a fit of hysterical laughter, which turned into a choking cough.

Could not something be made of this man under good influences? asked the prince of himself, for he began to feel a kind of pity for his visitor. He thought little of the value of his own personal influence, not from a sense of humility, but from his peculiar way of looking at things in general. Imperceptibly the conversation grew more animated and more interesting, so that neither of the two felt anxious to bring it to a close. Keller confessed, with apparent sincerity, to having been guilty of many acts of such a nature that it astonished the prince that he could mention them, even to him. At every fresh avowal he professed the deepest repentance, and described himself as being “bathed in tears”; but this did not prevent him from putting on a boastful air at times, and some of his stories were so absurdly comical that both he and the prince laughed like madmen.

They walked silently, and said scarcely a word all the way. He only noticed that she seemed to know the road very well; and once, when he thought it better to go by a certain lane, and remarked to her that it would be quieter and less public, she only said, “it’s all the same,” and went on.

He leaped into the carriage after Nastasia and banged the door. The coachman did not hesitate a moment; he whipped up the horses, and they were off.

“I like you too, Colia.”

“Yes, it is serious for a poor man who lives by his toil.”

“Were you to blame, or not?”

“Quite so, quite so; and he swears that his wife never found out that one of his legs was wooden all the while they were married. When I showed him the ridiculousness of all this, he said, ‘Well, if you were one of Napoleon’s pages in 1812, you might let me bury my leg in the Moscow cemetery.’ ”

“You are very unfair to me, and to that unfortunate woman of whom you spoke just now in such dreadful terms, Aglaya.”

General agitation prevailed. Nina Alexandrovna gave a little cry of anxiety; Ptitsin took a step forward in alarm; Colia and Ferdishenko stood stock still at the door in amazement;--only Varia remained coolly watching the scene from under her eyelashes. She did not sit down, but stood by her mother with folded hands. However, Gania recollected himself almost immediately. He let go of the prince and burst out laughing.

“Especially as you know all, eh?”

“Why, he wears an ‘order,’ and it looks so well!”

“Very well, then there’s an experiment, and the thing is proved; one cannot live and count each moment; say what you like, but one _cannot_.”

“You won’t? Very well. I shall be as short as possible, for my part. Two or three times to-day I have had the word ‘hospitality’ pushed down my throat; this is not fair. In inviting me here you yourself entrapped me for your own use; you thought I wished to revenge myself upon the prince. You heard that Aglaya Ivanovna had been kind to me and read my confession. Making sure that I should give myself up to your interests, you hoped that you might get some assistance out of me. I will not go into details. I don’t ask either admission or confirmation of this from yourself; I am quite content to leave you to your conscience, and to feel that we understand one another capitally.”

“Yes, I remember he boasted about the blank wall in an extraordinary way,” continued Evgenie, “and I feel that without that blank wall he will never be able to die eloquently; and he does so long to die eloquently!”

Gania was a beginner, as it were, upon this road. A deep and unchangeable consciousness of his own lack of talent, combined with a vast longing to be able to persuade himself that he was original, had rankled in his heart, even from childhood.

He was a remarkably handsome young fellow of some twenty-eight summers, fair and of middle height; he wore a small beard, and his face was most intelligent. Yet his smile, in spite of its sweetness, was a little thin, if I may so call it, and showed his teeth too evenly; his gaze though decidedly good-humoured and ingenuous, was a trifle too inquisitive and intent to be altogether agreeable.

They walked silently, and said scarcely a word all the way. He only noticed that she seemed to know the road very well; and once, when he thought it better to go by a certain lane, and remarked to her that it would be quieter and less public, she only said, “it’s all the same,” and went on.

Nastasia must have overheard both question and reply, but her vivacity was not in the least damped. On the contrary, it seemed to increase. She immediately overwhelmed the general once more with questions, and within five minutes that gentleman was as happy as a king, and holding forth at the top of his voice, amid the laughter of almost all who heard him.

“Too much talk,” said Rogojin, breaking the silence for the first time.

The room had a blue wall-paper, and was well, almost pretentiously, furnished, with its round table, its divan, and its bronze clock under a glass shade. There was a narrow pier-glass against the wall, and a chandelier adorned with lustres hung by a bronze chain from the ceiling.

“Enough,” cried Lizabetha Prokofievna abruptly, trembling with anger, “we have had enough of this balderdash!”

When the prince entered, Lebedeff was standing in the middle of the room, his back to the door. He was in his shirt-sleeves, on account of the extreme heat, and he seemed to have just reached the peroration of his speech, and was impressively beating his breast.

“From you to me? Ha, ha! that’s nothing! Why, she always acts as though she were in a delirium now-a-days! Either she says, ‘Come on, I’ll marry you! Let’s have the wedding quickly!’ and fixes the day, and seems in a hurry for it, and when it begins to come near she feels frightened; or else some other idea gets into her head--goodness knows! you’ve seen her--you know how she goes on--laughing and crying and raving! There’s nothing extraordinary about her having run away from you! She ran away because she found out how dearly she loved you. She could not bear to be near you. You said just now that I had found her at Moscow, when she ran away from you. I didn’t do anything of the sort; she came to me herself, straight from you. ‘Name the day--I’m ready!’ she said. ‘Let’s have some champagne, and go and hear the gipsies sing!’ I tell you she’d have thrown herself into the water long ago if it were not for me! She doesn’t do it because I am, perhaps, even more dreadful to her than the water! She’s marrying me out of spite; if she marries me, I tell you, it will be for spite!”

“How pale you have grown!” cried Aglaya in alarm.

“I remember--I remember it all!” he cried. “I was captain then. You were such a lovely little thing--Nina Alexandrovna!--Gania, listen! I was received then by General Epanchin.”

“Go nearer,” suggested Rogojin, softly.

Sure enough, the train was just steaming in as he spoke.

But the father of the family was out in the road already. Colia was carrying his bag for him; Nina Alexandrovna stood and cried on the doorstep; she wanted to run after the general, but Ptitsin kept her back.

“It seems absurd to trust a little pepper-box like you,” said Aglaya, as she returned the note, and walked past the “pepper-box” with an expression of great contempt.

Hippolyte had been waiting for the prince all this time, and had never ceased looking at him and Evgenie Pavlovitch as they conversed in the corner. He became much excited when they approached the table once more. He was disturbed in his mind, it seemed; perspiration stood in large drops on his forehead; in his gleaming eyes it was easy to read impatience and agitation; his gaze wandered from face to face of those present, and from object to object in the room, apparently without aim. He had taken a part, and an animated one, in the noisy conversation of the company; but his animation was clearly the outcome of fever. His talk was almost incoherent; he would break off in the middle of a sentence which he had begun with great interest, and forget what he had been saying. The prince discovered to his dismay that Hippolyte had been allowed to drink two large glasses of champagne; the one now standing by him being the third. All this he found out afterwards; at the moment he did not notice anything, very particularly.

“No, no, no, can’t _bear_ him, I can’t _bear_ your young man!” cried Aglaya, raising her head. “And if you dare say that _once_ more, papa--I’m serious, you know, I’m,--do you hear me--I’m serious!”

Colia was a nice-looking boy. His expression was simple and confiding, and his manners were very polite and engaging.

Five seconds after the disappearance of the last actor in this scene, the police arrived. The whole episode had not lasted more than a couple of minutes. Some of the spectators had risen from their places, and departed altogether; some merely exchanged their seats for others a little further off; some were delighted with the occurrence, and talked and laughed over it for a long time.

Lizabetha Prokofievna suddenly flared up.

The wearer of this cloak was a young fellow, also of about twenty-six or twenty-seven years of age, slightly above the middle height, very fair, with a thin, pointed and very light coloured beard; his eyes were large and blue, and had an intent look about them, yet that heavy expression which some people affirm to be a peculiarity as well as evidence, of an epileptic subject. His face was decidedly a pleasant one for all that; refined, but quite colourless, except for the circumstance that at this moment it was blue with cold. He held a bundle made up of an old faded silk handkerchief that apparently contained all his travelling wardrobe, and wore thick shoes and gaiters, his whole appearance being very un-Russian.

The prince rose to go, but the general once more laid his hand in a friendly manner on his shoulder, and dragged him down on to the sofa.

“Hippolyte,” said the prince, “give me the papers, and go to bed like a sensible fellow. We’ll have a good talk tomorrow, but you really mustn’t go on with this reading; it is not good for you!”

“Honour, indeed!” said the latter, with contempt.

“‘Escape, general! Go home!--’

“Indeed? She looks very sweet. I should like to make her acquaintance.”

“You may smile,--but there’s a career in this,” said the general. “You don’t know what a great personage I shall show this to, prince. Why, you can command a situation at thirty-five roubles per month to start with. However, it’s half-past twelve,” he concluded, looking at his watch; “so to business, prince, for I must be setting to work and shall not see you again today. Sit down a minute. I have told you that I cannot receive you myself very often, but I should like to be of some assistance to you, some small assistance, of a kind that would give you satisfaction. I shall find you a place in one of the State departments, an easy place--but you will require to be accurate. Now, as to your plans--in the house, or rather in the family of Gania here--my young friend, whom I hope you will know better--his mother and sister have prepared two or three rooms for lodgers, and let them to highly recommended young fellows, with board and attendance. I am sure Nina Alexandrovna will take you in on my recommendation. There you will be comfortable and well taken care of; for I do not think, prince, that you are the sort of man to be left to the mercy of Fate in a town like Petersburg. Nina Alexandrovna, Gania’s mother, and Varvara Alexandrovna, are ladies for whom I have the highest possible esteem and respect. Nina Alexandrovna is the wife of General Ardalion Alexandrovitch, my old brother in arms, with whom, I regret to say, on account of certain circumstances, I am no longer acquainted. I give you all this information, prince, in order to make it clear to you that I am personally recommending you to this family, and that in so doing, I am more or less taking upon myself to answer for you. The terms are most reasonable, and I trust that your salary will very shortly prove amply sufficient for your expenditure. Of course pocket-money is a necessity, if only a little; do not be angry, prince, if I strongly recommend you to avoid carrying money in your pocket. But as your purse is quite empty at the present moment, you must allow me to press these twenty-five roubles upon your acceptance, as something to begin with. Of course we will settle this little matter another time, and if you are the upright, honest man you look, I anticipate very little trouble between us on that score. Taking so much interest in you as you may perceive I do, I am not without my object, and you shall know it in good time. You see, I am perfectly candid with you. I hope, Gania, you have nothing to say against the prince’s taking up his abode in your house?”

“Take fifty roubles for your cloak?” he shouted, holding the money out to the girl. Before the astonished young woman could collect her scattered senses, he pushed the money into her hand, seized the mantle, and threw it and the handkerchief over Nastasia’s head and shoulders. The latter’s wedding-array would have attracted too much attention, and it was not until some time later that the girl understood why her old cloak and kerchief had been bought at such a price.

And he handed the prince the very letter from Aglaya to Gania, which the latter showed with so much triumph to his sister at a later hour.

“Did no one awake me besides yourself? Was there no one else here? I thought there was another woman.”

“I will, Nastasia Philipovna.”

“I am not very well, and my head aches. Doubtless the effect of the journey,” replied the prince, frowning.

They were walking slowly across the garden.

“Quite so; I understand. I understand quite well. You are very--Well, how did she appear to you? What did she look like? No, I don’t want to know anything about her,” said Aglaya, angrily; “don’t interrupt me--”

At this moment Gania and Ptitsin entered the room together, and Nina Alexandrovna immediately became silent again. The prince remained seated next to her, but Varia moved to the other end of the room; the portrait of Nastasia Philipovna remained lying as before on the work-table. Gania observed it there, and with a frown of annoyance snatched it up and threw it across to his writing-table, which stood at the other end of the room.

Heaven knows how long and upon what subjects he thought. He thought of many things--of Vera Lebedeff, and of her father; of Hippolyte; of Rogojin himself, first at the funeral, then as he had met him in the park, then, suddenly, as they had met in this very passage, outside, when Rogojin had watched in the darkness and awaited him with uplifted knife. The prince remembered his enemy’s eyes as they had glared at him in the darkness. He shuddered, as a sudden idea struck him.

“Whom? What power?” asked her mother, crossly.

He could not believe that this was the same haughty young girl who had once so proudly shown him Gania’s letter. He could not understand how that proud and austere beauty could show herself to be such an utter child--a child who probably did not even now understand some words.

“It is revolting and unseemly!” cried Hippolyte, jumping up in a fury.

“No, sir, Kapitoshka--not Eroshka. I mean, Kapiton Alexeyevitch--retired major--married Maria Petrovna Lu--Lu--he was my friend and companion--Lutugoff--from our earliest beginnings. I closed his eyes for him--he was killed. Kapiton Eropegoff never existed! tfu!”

“P.P.S.--It is the same green bench that I showed you before. There! aren’t you ashamed of yourself? I felt that it was necessary to repeat even that information.”

“Excellency, I have the honour of inviting you to my funeral; that is, if you will deign to honour it with your presence. I invite you all, gentlemen, as well as the general.”

“Really?” asked the prince. “Why, it’s twenty years since my father died.”

But it was more serious than he wished to think. As soon as the visitors had crossed the low dark hall, and entered the narrow reception-room, furnished with half a dozen cane chairs, and two small card-tables, Madame Terentieff, in the shrill tones habitual to her, continued her stream of invectives.

Sure enough the cloak was lying on the ground. Nastasia had thrown it off her towards the prince, expecting him to catch it, but the prince had missed it.

“He burned his hand!”

“I don’t know--perhaps--by morning it will be.”

But it was difficult, if not impossible, to extract anything from Lebedeff. All the prince could gather was, that the letter had been received very early, and had a request written on the outside that it might be sent on to the address given.

On the latter’s arrival, at six in the morning, Gania had gone to him in his room, bringing with him the singed packet of money, which he had insisted that the prince should return to Nastasia Philipovna without delay. It was said that when Gania entered the prince’s room, he came with anything but friendly feelings, and in a condition of despair and misery; but that after a short conversation, he had stayed on for a couple of hours with him, sobbing continuously and bitterly the whole time. They had parted upon terms of cordial friendship.

The rest of the company followed her example.

“Oh--h--h! You mean the four hundred roubles!” said Lebedeff, dragging the words out, just as though it had only just dawned upon him what the prince was talking about. “Thanks very much, prince, for your kind interest--you do me too much honour. I found the money, long ago!”

“Very simply indeed! I found it under the chair upon which my coat had hung; so that it is clear the purse simply fell out of the pocket and on to the floor!”

The heavy curtain was drawn now, and it was very dark. The bright Petersburg summer nights were already beginning to close in, and but for the full moon, it would have been difficult to distinguish anything in Rogojin’s dismal room, with the drawn blinds. They could just see one anothers faces, however, though not in detail. Rogojin’s face was white, as usual. His glittering eyes watched the prince with an intent stare.

“Well, bring them, with or without respect, provided always you do not drop them on the way; but on the condition,” went on the lady, looking full at him, “that you do not cross my threshold. I do not intend to receive you today. You may send your daughter Vera at once, if you like. I am much pleased with her.”

“Do you know anything about Gavrila Ardalionovitch?” she asked at last.

“You will reach that with nothing to help you but credit? Without recourse to any moral principle, having for your foundation only individual selfishness, and the satisfaction of material desires? Universal peace, and the happiness of mankind as a whole, being the result! Is it really so that I may understand you, sir?”

Murmurs arose in the neighbourhood of Burdovsky and his companions; Lebedeff’s nephew protested under his breath.

“Well, then--they were all children there, and I was always among children and only with children. They were the children of the village in which I lived, and they went to the school there--all of them. I did not teach them, oh no; there was a master for that, one Jules Thibaut. I may have taught them some things, but I was among them just as an outsider, and I passed all four years of my life there among them. I wished for nothing better; I used to tell them everything and hid nothing from them. Their fathers and relations were very angry with me, because the children could do nothing without me at last, and used to throng after me at all times. The schoolmaster was my greatest enemy in the end! I had many enemies, and all because of the children. Even Schneider reproached me. What were they afraid of? One can tell a child everything, anything. I have often been struck by the fact that parents know their children so little. They should not conceal so much from them. How well even little children understand that their parents conceal things from them, because they consider them too young to understand! Children are capable of giving advice in the most important matters. How can one deceive these dear little birds, when they look at one so sweetly and confidingly? I call them birds because there is nothing in the world better than birds!

“Then it must be one of the guests.”

“I thought I spat on the ground and left him in disgust. Colia told me, when I quite recovered my senses, that I had not been asleep for a moment, but that I had spoken to him about Surikoff the whole while.

The prince observed Gania’s eyes flashing at him, as though they would gladly annihilate him then and there.

“No, no, you needn’t do anything of the sort; you mustn’t hint gently at all. I’ll go down myself directly. I wish to apologize to this young man, because I hurt his feelings.”

“I will not deceive you. ‘Reality’ got me so entrapped in its meshes now and again during the past six months, that I forgot my ‘sentence’ (or perhaps I did not wish to think of it), and actually busied myself with affairs.

“But, my goodness me,” laughed Ivan Petrovitch, “why can’t I be cousin to even a splendid man?”

“Mother,” said Rogojin, kissing her hand, “here is my great friend, Prince Muishkin; we have exchanged crosses; he was like a real brother to me at Moscow at one time, and did a great deal for me. Bless him, mother, as you would bless your own son. Wait a moment, let me arrange your hands for you.”

He suddenly took a seat, very unceremoniously, and began his story. It was very disconnected; the prince frowned, and wished he could get away; but suddenly a few words struck him. He sat stiff with wonder--Lebedeff said some extraordinary things.

“Yes.”

Nastasia Philipovna was ready. She rose from her seat, looked into the glass and remarked, as Keller told the tale afterwards, that she was “as pale as a corpse.” She then bent her head reverently, before the ikon in the corner, and left the room.

But Nastasia could not hide the cause of her intense interest in her wedding splendour. She had heard of the indignation in the town, and knew that some of the populace was getting up a sort of charivari with music, that verses had been composed for the occasion, and that the rest of Pavlofsk society more or less encouraged these preparations. So, since attempts were being made to humiliate her, she wanted to hold her head even higher than usual, and to overwhelm them all with the beauty and taste of her toilette. “Let them shout and whistle, if they dare!” Her eyes flashed at the thought. But, underneath this, she had another motive, of which she did not speak. She thought that possibly Aglaya, or at any rate someone sent by her, would be present incognito at the ceremony, or in the crowd, and she wished to be prepared for this eventuality.

“Yes, I see your mother and sister,” muttered Rogojin, through his teeth; and Lebedeff seemed to feel himself called upon to second the statement.