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Chapter 11


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

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

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

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

Still thinking of Anna, of everything, even the simplest phrase
in their conversation with her, and recalling the minutest
changes in her expression, entering more and more into her
position, and feeling sympathy for her, Levin reached home.


At home Kouzma told Levin that Katerina Alexandrovna was quite
well, and that 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 them later. One was from Sokolov, his
bailiff. Sokolov wrote that the corn could 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 was from 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,"
Levin decided the first question, which had always before seemed
such a weighty one, with extraordinary facility on the spot.
"It's extraordinary how all one's time is taken up here," he
thought, considering the second letter. He felt himself to blame
for not having got 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." And resolving that he would not fail to
do it next day, he went up to his wife. As he went in, Levin
rapidly ran through mentally the day he had spent. All the
events of the day were conversations, conversations he had heard
and taken part in. All the conversations were upon subjects
which, if he had been alone at home, he would never have taken
up, but here they were very interesting. And all these
conversations were right enough, only in two places there was
something not quite right. One was what he had said about the
carp, the other was something not "quite the thing" in the tender
sympathy he was feeling for Anna.

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

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

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

But Kitty took not the slightest interest in discussing the
drinking habits of the peasants. She saw that he blushed, and
she wanted to know why.

"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
to whether he had done right in going to see Anna were settled
once for all. 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,
but controlling herself with an effort, she concealed her emotion
and deceived him.

"Oh!" was all she said.

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

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

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

"Yes, of course, she is very much to be pitied," said Kitty, when
he had finished. "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 to her, 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 it in your eyes. Yes, yes! What can it all lead to? You
were drinking at the club, drinking and gambling, and then you
went...to her of all people! No, we must go away.... I shall go
away tomorrow."

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



Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Category:
Fiction - Russian literature
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