Anna karenina, p.219
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       Anna Karenina, p.219

           graf Leo Tolstoy
 

  Chapter 30

  "Here it is again! Again I understand it all!" Anna said to herself, assoon as the carriage had started and swaying lightly, rumbled over thetiny cobbles of the paved road, and again one impression followedrapidly upon another.

  "Yes; what was the last thing I thought of so clearly?" she tried torecall it. "'_Tiutkin, coiffeur?_'--no, not that. Yes, of what Yashvinsays, the struggle for existence and hatred is the one thing that holdsmen together. No, it's a useless journey you're making," she said,mentally addressing a party in a coach and four, evidently going for anexcursion into the country. "And the dog you're taking with you will beno help to you. You can't get away from yourselves." Turning her eyes inthe direction Pyotr had turned to look, she saw a factory hand almostdead drunk, with hanging head, being led away by a policeman. "Come,he's found a quicker way," she thought. "Count Vronsky and I did notfind that happiness either, though we expected so much from it." And nowfor the first time Anna turned that glaring light in which she wasseeing everything on to her relations with him, which she had hithertoavoided thinking about. "What was it he sought in me? Not love so muchas the satisfaction of vanity." She remembered his words, the expressionof his face, that recalled an abject setter-dog, in the early days oftheir connection. And everything now confirmed this. "Yes, there was thetriumph of success in him. Of course there was love too, but the chiefelement was the pride of success. He boasted of me. Now that's over.There's nothing to be proud of. Not to be proud of, but to be ashamedof. He has taken from me all he could, and now I am no use to him. He isweary of me and is trying not to be dishonorable in his behavior to me.He let that out yesterday--he wants divorce and marriage so as to burnhis ships. He loves me, but how? The zest is gone, as the English say.That fellow wants everyone to admire him and is very much pleased withhimself," she thought, looking at a red-faced clerk, riding on a ridingschool horse. "Yes, there's not the same flavor about me for him now. IfI go away from him, at the bottom of his heart he will be glad."

  This was not mere supposition, she saw it distinctly in the piercinglight, which revealed to her now the meaning of life and humanrelations.

  "My love keeps growing more passionate and egoistic, while his is waningand waning, and that's why we're drifting apart." She went on musing."And there's no help for it. He is everything for me, and I want himmore and more to give himself up to me entirely. And he wants more andmore to get away from me. We walked to meet each other up to the time ofour love, and then we have been irresistibly drifting in differentdirections. And there's no altering that. He tells me I'm insanelyjealous, and I have told myself that I am insanely jealous; but it's nottrue. I'm not jealous, but I'm unsatisfied. But..." she opened her lips,and shifted her place in the carriage in the excitement, aroused by thethought that suddenly struck her. "If I could be anything but amistress, passionately caring for nothing but his caresses; but I can'tand I don't care to be anything else. And by that desire I rouseaversion in him, and he rouses fury in me, and it cannot be different.Don't I know that he wouldn't deceive me, that he has no schemes aboutPrincess Sorokina, that he's not in love with Kitty, that he won'tdesert me! I know all that, but it makes it no better for me. If withoutloving me, from _duty_ he'll be good and kind to me, without what Iwant, that's a thousand times worse than unkindness! That's--hell! Andthat's just how it is. For a long while now he hasn't loved me. Andwhere love ends, hate begins. I don't know these streets at all. Hillsit seems, and still houses, and houses .... And in the houses alwayspeople and people.... How many of them, no end, and all hating eachother! Come, let me try and think what I want, to make me happy. Well?Suppose I am divorced, and Alexey Alexandrovitch lets me have Seryozha,and I marry Vronsky." Thinking of Alexey Alexandrovitch, she at oncepictured him with extraordinary vividness as though he were alive beforeher, with his mild, lifeless, dull eyes, the blue veins in his whitehands, his intonations and the cracking of his fingers, and rememberingthe feeling which had existed between them, and which was also calledlove, she shuddered with loathing. "Well, I'm divorced, and becomeVronsky's wife. Well, will Kitty cease looking at me as she looked at metoday? No. And will Seryozha leave off asking and wondering about my twohusbands? And is there any new feeling I can awaken between Vronsky andme? Is there possible, if not happiness, some sort of ease from misery?No, no!" she answered now without the slightest hesitation. "Impossible!We are drawn apart by life, and I make his unhappiness, and he mine, andthere's no altering him or me. Every attempt has been made, the screwhas come unscrewed. Oh, a beggar woman with a baby. She thinks I'm sorryfor her. Aren't we all flung into the world only to hate each other, andso to torture ourselves and each other? Schoolboys coming--laughingSeryozha?" she thought. "I thought, too, that I loved him, and used tobe touched by my own tenderness. But I have lived without him, I gavehim up for another love, and did not regret the exchange till that lovewas satisfied." And with loathing she thought of what she meant by thatlove. And the clearness with which she saw life now, her own and allmen's, was a pleasure to her. "It's so with me and Pyotr, and thecoachman, Fyodor, and that merchant, and all the people living along theVolga, where those placards invite one to go, and everywhere andalways," she thought when she had driven under the low-pitched roof ofthe Nizhigorod station, and the porters ran to meet her.

  "A ticket to Obiralovka?" said Pyotr.

  She had utterly forgotten where and why she was going, and only by agreat effort she understood the question.

  "Yes," she said, handing him her purse, and taking a little red bag inher hand, she got out of the carriage.

  Making her way through the crowd to the first-class waiting-room, shegradually recollected all the details of her position, and the plansbetween which she was hesitating. And again at the old sore places, hopeand then despair poisoned the wounds of her tortured, fearfullythrobbing heart. As she sat on the star-shaped sofa waiting for thetrain, she gazed with aversion at the people coming and going (they wereall hateful to her), and thought how she would arrive at the station,would write him a note, and what she would write to him, and how he wasat this moment complaining to his mother of his position, notunderstanding her sufferings, and how she would go into the room, andwhat she would say to him. Then she thought that life might still behappy, and how miserably she loved and hated him, and how fearfully herheart was beating.

 

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