Anna karenina, p.218
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       Anna Karenina, p.218

           graf Leo Tolstoy
 

  Chapter 29

  Anna got into the carriage again in an even worse frame of mind thanwhen she set out from home. To her previous tortures was added now thatsense of mortification and of being an outcast which she had felt sodistinctly on meeting Kitty.

  "Where to? Home?" asked Pyotr.

  "Yes, home," she said, not even thinking now where she was going.

  "How they looked at me as something dreadful, incomprehensible, andcurious! What can he be telling the other with such warmth?" shethought, staring at two men who walked by. "Can one ever tell anyonewhat one is feeling? I meant to tell Dolly, and it's a good thing Ididn't tell her. How pleased she would have been at my misery! She wouldhave concealed it, but her chief feeling would have been delight at mybeing punished for the happiness she envied me for. Kitty, she wouldhave been even more pleased. How I can see through her! She knows I wasmore than usually sweet to her husband. And she's jealous and hates me.And she despises me. In her eyes I'm an immoral woman. If I were animmoral woman I could have made her husband fall in love with me ... ifI'd cared to. And, indeed, I did care to. There's someone who's pleasedwith himself," she thought, as she saw a fat, rubicund gentleman comingtowards her. He took her for an acquaintance, and lifted his glossy hatabove his bald, glossy head, and then perceived his mistake. "He thoughthe knew me. Well, he knows me as well as anyone in the world knows me. Idon't know myself. I know my appetites, as the French say. They wantthat dirty ice cream, that they do know for certain," she thought,looking at two boys stopping an ice cream seller, who took a barrel offhis head and began wiping his perspiring face with a towel. "We all wantwhat is sweet and nice. If not sweetmeats, then a dirty ice. And Kitty'sthe same--if not Vronsky, then Levin. And she envies me, and hates me.And we all hate each other. I Kitty, Kitty me. Yes, that's the truth.'_Tiutkin, coiffeur._' _Je me fais coiffer par Tiutkin...._ I'll tellhim that when he comes," she thought and smiled. But the same instantshe remembered that she had no one now to tell anything amusing to. "Andthere's nothing amusing, nothing mirthful, really. It's all hateful.They're singing for vespers, and how carefully that merchant crosseshimself! as if he were afraid of missing something. Why these churchesand this singing and this humbug? Simply to conceal that we all hateeach other like these cab drivers who are abusing each other so angrily.Yashvin says, 'He wants to strip me of my shirt, and I him of his.' Yes,that's the truth!"

  She was plunged in these thoughts, which so engrossed her that she leftoff thinking of her own position, when the carriage drew up at the stepsof her house. It was only when she saw the porter running out to meether that she remembered she had sent the note and the telegram.

  "Is there an answer?" she inquired.

  "I'll see this minute," answered the porter, and glancing into his room,he took out and gave her the thin square envelope of a telegram. "Ican't come before ten o'clock.--Vronsky," she read.

  "And hasn't the messenger come back?"

  "No," answered the porter.

  "Then, since it's so, I know what I must do," she said, and feeling avague fury and craving for revenge rising up within her, she ranupstairs. "I'll go to him myself. Before going away forever, I'll tellhim all. Never have I hated anyone as I hate that man!" she thought.Seeing his hat on the rack, she shuddered with aversion. She did notconsider that his telegram was an answer to her telegram and that he hadnot yet received her note. She pictured him to herself as talking calmlyto his mother and Princess Sorokina and rejoicing at her sufferings."Yes, I must go quickly," she said, not knowing yet where she was going.She longed to get away as quickly as possible from the feelings she hadgone through in that awful house. The servants, the walls, the things inthat house--all aroused repulsion and hatred in her and lay like aweight upon her.

  "Yes, I must go to the railway station, and if he's not there, then gothere and catch him." Anna looked at the railway timetable in thenewspapers. An evening train went at two minutes past eight. "Yes, Ishall be in time." She gave orders for the other horses to be put in thecarriage, and packed in a traveling-bag the things needed for a fewdays. She knew she would never come back here again.

  Among the plans that came into her head she vaguely determined thatafter what would happen at the station or at the countess's house, shewould go as far as the first town on the Nizhni road and stop there.

  Dinner was on the table; she went up, but the smell of the bread andcheese was enough to make her feel that all food was disgusting. Sheordered the carriage and went out. The house threw a shadow now rightacross the street, but it was a bright evening and still warm in thesunshine. Annushka, who came down with her things, and Pyotr, who putthe things in the carriage, and the coachman, evidently out of humor,were all hateful to her, and irritated her by their words and actions.

  "I don't want you, Pyotr."

  "But how about the ticket?"

  "Well, as you like, it doesn't matter," she said crossly.

  Pyotr jumped on the box, and putting his arms akimbo, told the coachmanto drive to the booking-office.

 

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