Anna karenina, p.200
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       Anna Karenina, p.200

           graf Leo Tolstoy
 

  Chapter 11

  "What a marvelous, sweet and unhappy woman!" he was thinking, as hestepped out into the frosty air with Stepan Arkadyevitch.

  "Well, didn't I tell you?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, seeing that Levinhad been completely won over.

  "Yes," said Levin dreamily, "an extraordinary woman! It's not hercleverness, but she has such wonderful depth of feeling. I'm awfullysorry for her!"

  "Now, please God, everything will soon be settled. Well, well, don't behard on people in future," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, opening thecarriage door. "Good-bye; we don't go the same way."

  Still thinking of Anna, of everything, even the simplest phrase in theirconversation with her, and recalling the minutest changes in herexpression, entering more and more into her position, and feelingsympathy for her, Levin reached home.

  At home Kouzma told Levin that Katerina Alexandrovna was quite well, andthat her sisters had not long been gone, and he handed him two letters.Levin read them at once in the hall, that he might not over look themlater. One was from Sokolov, his bailiff. Sokolov wrote that the corncould not be sold, that it was fetching only five and a half roubles,and that more than that could not be got for it. The other letter wasfrom his sister. She scolded him for her business being still unsettled.

  "Well, we must sell it at five and a half if we can't get more," Levindecided the first question, which had always before seemed such aweighty one, with extraordinary facility on the spot. "It'sextraordinary how all one's time is taken up here," he thought,considering the second letter. He felt himself to blame for not havinggot done what his sister had asked him to do for her. "Today, again,I've not been to the court, but today I've certainly not had time." Andresolving that he would not fail to do it next day, he went up to hiswife. As he went in, Levin rapidly ran through mentally the day he hadspent. All the events of the day were conversations, conversations hehad heard and taken part in. All the conversations were upon subjectswhich, if he had been alone at home, he would never have taken up, buthere they were very interesting. And all these conversations were rightenough, only in two places there was something not quite right. One waswhat he had said about the carp, the other was something not "quite thething" in the tender sympathy he was feeling for Anna.

  Levin found his wife low-spirited and dull. The dinner of the threesisters had gone off very well, but then they had waited and waited forhim, all of them had felt dull, the sisters had departed, and she hadbeen left alone.

  "Well, and what have you been doing?" she asked him, looking straightinto his eyes, which shone with rather a suspicious brightness. But thatshe might not prevent his telling her everything, she concealed herclose scrutiny of him, and with an approving smile listened to hisaccount of how he had spent the evening.

  "Well, I'm very glad I met Vronsky. I felt quite at ease and naturalwith him. You understand, I shall try not to see him, but I'm glad thatthis awkwardness is all over," he said, and remembering that by way oftrying not to see him, he had immediately gone to call on Anna, heblushed. "We talk about the peasants drinking; I don't know which drinksmost, the peasantry or our own class; the peasants do on holidays,but..."

  But Kitty took not the slightest interest in discussing the drinkinghabits of the peasants. She saw that he blushed, and she wanted to knowwhy.

  "Well, and then where did you go?"

  "Stiva urged me awfully to go and see Anna Arkadyevna."

  And as he said this, Levin blushed even more, and his doubts as towhether he had done right in going to see Anna were settled once forall. He knew now that he ought not to have done so.

  Kitty's eyes opened in a curious way and gleamed at Anna's name, butcontrolling herself with an effort, she concealed her emotion anddeceived him.

  "Oh!" was all she said.

  "I'm sure you won't be angry at my going. Stiva begged me to, and Dollywished it," Levin went on.

  "Oh, no!" she said, but he saw in her eyes a constraint that boded himno good.

  "She is a very sweet, very, very unhappy, good woman," he said, tellingher about Anna, her occupations, and what she had told him to say toher.

  "Yes, of course, she is very much to be pitied," said Kitty, when he hadfinished. "Whom was your letter from?"

  He told her, and believing in her calm tone, he went to change his coat.

  Coming back, he found Kitty in the same easy chair. When he went up toher, she glanced at him and broke into sobs.

  "What? what is it?" he asked, knowing beforehand what.

  "You're in love with that hateful woman; she has bewitched you! I saw itin your eyes. Yes, yes! What can it all lead to? You were drinking atthe club, drinking and gambling, and then you went ... to her of allpeople! No, we must go away.... I shall go away tomorrow."

  It was a long while before Levin could soothe his wife. At last hesucceeded in calming her, only by confessing that a feeling of pity, inconjunction with the wine he had drunk, had been too much for him, thathe had succumbed to Anna's artful influence, and that he would avoidher. One thing he did with more sincerity confess to was that living solong in Moscow, a life of nothing but conversation, eating and drinking,he was degenerating. They talked till three o'clock in the morning. Onlyat three o'clock were they sufficiently reconciled to be able to go tosleep.

 
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