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Vronsky pleading with Anna. 

Original Drawing by E. Boyd Smith. 

Anna Karenina 










Copyright, 1899, 


ALEXANDER PUSHKIN, Russia's greatest poet 
and the inspirer of the two best works of Gogol, 
the father of Russian realism, may perhaps be regarded 
as the direct cause of Count Tolstoi's greatest novel. 
A relative happened to be visiting at Yasnaya Polyana, 
and had been reading a volume of Pushkin. Count 
Tolstoi picked up the work and opened it casually. 
Some one entered as he was glancing over the pages, 
and he exclaimed, " Here is something charming ! This 
is the way to write ! Pushkin goes to the heart of the 

Count Tolstof was so impressed by Pushkin's direct- 
ness that he immediately felt like emulating him. He 
asked to be kept free from interruptions, shut himself 
into his library, and began "Anna Karenina." 

The publication of it began in the Russky Viestnik 
or Ricssian Messenger in 1875; but it was frequently 
interrupted. Months and even years elapsed before it 
was concluded ; yet it kept public attention. Not even 
the break of several months between two of the parts 
was sufficient to cool the interest of its reader. After 
the appearance of the first part he wrote a friend : — 

" You praise ' Anna Karenina,' and that is very pleas- 
ant to me ; the more so as I hear much in its favor ; 
but I am sure that there never was an author more 
indifferent to his success than I am in this case." 

A year later he wrote : — 

" For two whole months I have forborne to stain my 
hands with ink or to burden my heart with thoughts. 
Now, however, I turn once more to that dull common- 
place * Anna Karenina,' moved solely to rid my desk of 
it — to make room for other tasks." 



Even then he did not finish it. The next year he 
wrote : " The end of winter and the opening of spring 
are my busiest months for work. I must finish the 
novel of which I have grown so tired." But when he 
once took hold of it the spirit of it quickly seized him 
again, and much of it was written, as any one can see, 
with almost breathless haste. 

Polevoif, in his illustrated " History of Russian Litera- 
ture," says of this story: "Count Tolsto'f dwells with 
especial fondness on the sharp contrast between the 
frivolity, the tinsel brightness, the tumult and vanity, of 
the worldly life, and the sweet, holy calm enjoyed by 
those who, possessing the soil, live amid the beauties of 
Nature and the pleasures of the family." 

This contrast will strike the attention of every reader. 
It is the outgrowth of Count Tolstoi's own life ; his dual 
nature is portrayed in the contrasting careers of Levin 
and Vronsky. The interweaving of two stories is done 
with a masterly hand. One may take them separately 
or together ; each strand of the twisted rope follows its 
own course, and yet each without the other would be 
evidently incomplete. 

As one reads, one forgets that it is fiction. It seems 
like a transcript of real life, and one is constantly im- 
pressed by the vast accumulation of pictures, each illus- 
trating and explaining the vital elements of the epopee. 
At times one is startled by the vivifying flashes of 
genius. The death of Anna is dimly suggested by the 
tragic occurrence of the brakeman's death in the Mos- 
cow railway station. A still more suggestive intimation 
of the approaching tragedy is found in the death of 
Vronsky's horse during the officers' handicap race at 
Peterhof. If one may so speak, the atmosphere of the 
story is electrified with fate. In this respect it is Hke 
a Greek drama. There is never a false touch. 

Count Tolstoi's brother-in-law says there is no doubt 
that Levin is the portrait of the novehst himself, but 
represented as being "extremely simple in order to bring 
him into still greater contrast with the representatives 
of high life in Moscow and St. Petersburg." He also 


says that the description of the way that Levin and 
Kitty make use of the initial letters of the words in 
which they wish to express to each other their mutual 
love is faithful in its minutest details to the history of 
Count Tolstoi's own wooing. And undoubtedly many 
of the experiences of Levin on his estate are also tran- 
scripts of Count Tolstoi's own experiences. 

Tolstoi, like Levin, sought to reform and to better 
everything about him, and took part in the Liberal 
movements of the time ; but his schemes came to naught, 
one after the other, and his nihilism, — for he declares 
in his confession that he was a Nihilist in the actual 
meaning of the word, — his nihilism triumphs in bitter- 
ness on their ruins. The struggle in Levin's mind and 
the horror of his despair tempting him also to suicide 
are marvelously depicted. At length, as in Tolstoi's 
real life, the muzhik comes to his aid, light illumines 
his soul, and the work ends in a burst of mystic happi- 
ness, a hymn of joy, which he sings to his inmost soul, 
not sharing it with his beloved wife, though he knows 
that she knows the secret of his happiness. 

Interesting and instructive as this idyllic romance is, 
the chief power of the novelist is expended in portray- 
ing the illicit love of Vronsky and Anna. Its moral 
is the opposition of duty to passion. It has been said 
that the love that unites the two protagonists is sincere, 
deep, almost holy despite its illegality. They were born 
for each other ; it was love at first sight, a love which 
overleapt all bonds and bounds. But its gratification at 
the expense of honor brings the inevitable torment, espe- 
cially to the woman who had sacrificed so much. The 
agony of remorse, intensified by the mortifications and 
humiliations caused by her position, unites itself with 
an almost insane jealousy, product also of the unstable 
relation in which she is placed. At last the union 
becomes so irksome, so painful, so hateful, that the only 
escape from it is in suicide. 

Count Tolstoi manages with consummate skill to retain 
his own respect for the guilty woman. Consequently 
the reader's love and sympathy for the unhappy woman 


never flag. He lays bare each throb of her tortured 
heart. He is the Parrhasius of novehsts. 

Mr. Howells says : " The warmth and Hght of Tol- 
stoi's good heart and right mind are seen in 'Anna 
Karenina,' that saddest story of guilty love in which 
nothing can save the sinful woman from herself, — not 
her husband's forgiveness, her friend's compassion, her 
lover's constancy, or the long intervals of quiet in which 
she seems safe and happy in her sin. It is she who 
destroys herself persistently, step by step, in spite of all 
help and forbearance ; and yet we are never allowed to 
forget how good and generous she was when we first 
met her ; how good and generous she is fitfully, and 
more and more rarely to the end. Her lover works out 
a sort of redemption through his patience and devotion ; 
he grows gentler, wiser, worthier through it ; but even 
his good destroys her." 

Mr. Howells also comments on the extraordinary 
vitality of the work. 

" A multitude of figures pass before us," he says, 
"recognizably real, never caricatured nor grotesqued, 
noP*in any way unduly accented, but simple and actual 
in t]^ir evil or their good. There is lovely family Ufe, 
the tenderness of father and daughter, the rapture of 
young wife and husband, the innocence of girlhood, the 
beauty of fidelity ; there is the unrest and folly of fashion, 
the misery of wealth, and the wretchedness of wasted 
and mistaken Ufe, the hollowness of ambition, the cheer- 
ful emptiness of some hearts, the dull emptiness of 
others. It is a world, and you Hve in it while you read 
and long afterward, but at no step have you been be- 
trayed, not because your guide has warned or exalted 
you, but because he has been true, and has shown you 
all things as they are." 

It is hardly worth while to particularize the immortal 
scenes with which the panoramic canvas is crowded, 
though the Vicomte de Vogii^ characterizes the death- 
bed scene of NikolaY Levin as " one of the most finished 
masterpieces of which Uterature has reason to be proud," 
and the description of the races at Tsarskoye-Selo, apart 


from its tragic moment, is amazing for its vividness and 
beauty. Indeed, there are dozens of wonderful pictures 
of life and death in the story. And no translation, 
however faithful, can do justice to the quiet humor 
packed away often in a single word of the staccato mu- 
zhik dialect, which no one ever handled more success- 
fully than Count Tolstoi. 

The translation has been thoroughly revised and 
largely rewritten. All passages formerly omitted have 
been restored, and the occasional temptation to em- 
broider by paraphrase on what the author left purposely 
simple, plain, and direct, has been resisted. 

The Russian words and interjections (which, with the 
idea of giving local color, were employed in the first 
edition) have been for the most part eliminated, and the 
glossary is therefore superfluous. The translator's whole 
purpose has been to give a faithful presentation of this 
immortal work. 


Aleksel Aleksandrovitch Karenin. 

Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (Madame Karenin). 

Count Aleksei (Alosha) Kirillovitch Vronsky. 

His mother, the Countess Vronsky or Vronskaya. 

His brother, Aleksandr Kirillovitch Vronsky. 

Prince {Kniaz) Stephan (Stiva) Arkadyevitch Oblonsky. 

Princess {Kniaginya) Darya (Dolly, Dolinka, Dashenka) Aleksandrovna 

Oblonsky or Oblonskaya. 
Konstantin (Kostia) Dmitriyevitch (Dmitritch) Levin, proprietor of Po- 

His brother, Nikolai Dmitriyevitch Levin. 
His mistress, Marya Nikolayevna. 

His kalf-brother, Sergyel Ivanovitch (Ivanuitch, Ivanitch) Koznuishef. 
Prince Aleksandr Shcherbatsky. 
Princess Shcherbatsky or Shcherbatskaya. 
Their daughter, the Princess (^Kniazhna) Yekaterina (Kitty, Katyonka, 

Katerina, Katya) Aleksandrovna Shcherbatsky or Shcherbatskaya 

(afterwards Levin or Levina). 
Their nephew, Prince Nikolai Shcherbatsky. 



" Vengeance is mine, I will repay " 


ALL happy families resemble one another; every 
unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. 

All was confusion in the house of the Oblonskys. 
The wife had discovered that her husband was having 
an intrigue with a French governess who had been in 
their employ, and she declared that she could not live 
in the same house with him. This condition of things 
had lasted now three days, and was causing deep dis- 
comfort, not only to the husband and wife, but also to all 
the members of the family and the domestics. All the 
members of the family and the domestics felt that there 
was no sense in their living together, and that in any 
hotel people meeting casually had more mutual inter- 
ests than they, the members of the family and the 
domestics of the house of Oblonsky. The wife did not 
come out of her own rooms ; the husband had not been 
at home for two days. The children were running over 
the whole house as if they were crazy ; the English 
maid was angry with the housekeeper and wrote to a 
friend begging her to find her a new place. The head 
cook had departed the evening before just at dinner- 
time ; the kitchen-maid and the coachman demanded 
their wages. 

On the third day after the quarrel, Prince Stepan 
Arkadyevitch Oblonsky — Stiva, as he was called in 
society — awoke at the usual hour, that is to say about 

VOL. I. — I I 


eight o'clock in the morning, not in his wife's chamber, 
but in his library, on a leather-covered divan. He 
turned his portly pampered body on the springs of the 
divan, as if intending to go to sleep again, and as he 
did so threw his arm round the cushion and pressed his 
cheek to it. But suddenly he sat up and opened his eyes. 

" Well, well ! how was it .-' " he mused, recalling a 
dream. " Yes, how was it .'' Yes ! Alabin was giving a 
dinner at Darmstadt ; no, not at Darmstadt, but it was 
something American. Yes, but that Darmstadt was in 
America. Yes, Alabin was giving a dinner on glass 
tables, yes, and the tables sang '// inio tesoro ' / no, not 
'// mio tesoro,' but something better; and some little 
water-bottles, they were women ! " said he, continuing 
his recollections. 

Prince Stepan's eyes flashed gayly and he smiled as 
he said to himself : — 

" Yes, it was very good, very good. There was some- 
thing extremely elegant about it, but you can't tell it in 
words, and when you are awake you can't express the 
reality even in thought." 

Then, as he noticed a ray of sunlight which came in at 
the side of one of the heavy window-curtains, he gayly 
set his feet down from the divan, found his gilt morocco 
slippers — they had been embroidered for him by his wife 
the year before as a birthday present — and, according 
to an old custom which he had kept up for nine years, 
he, without rising, stretched out his hand to the place 
where in his chamber hung his dressing-gown. And then 
he suddenly remembered how and why he had been 
sleeping, not in his wife's chamber, but in the library; 
the smile vanished from his face and he frowned. 

" Akh ! akh ! akh ! akh ! " he groaned, as he recol- 
lected everything that had occurred. And before his 
mind arose once more all the details of the quarrel with 
his wife, all the hopelessness of his situation, and most 
lamentable of all, his own fault. 

" No ! she will not and she cannot forgive me. And 
what is the worst of it, 't was my own fault — my own 
fault, and yet I am not to blame. In that lies all the 


tragedy of it," he said to himself. "Akh ! akh ! akh ! " 
he kept murmuring in his despair, as he thought over 
the exceedingly unpleasant consequences that would 
result to him from this quarrel. 

The most disagreeable moment was at the very first, 
when, as he came home from the theater, happy and 
self-satisfied, bringing a monstrous pear for his wife, he 
did not find her in the sitting-room, nor, to his surprise, 
was she in the library, and at last he saw her in her cham- 
ber holding the fatal, all-revealing letter in her hand. 

She — Dolly, that forever busy and fussy and foolish 
creature as he always considered her — was sitting mo- 
tionless with the note in her hand, and looked at him 
with an expression of terror, despair, and wrath. 

" What is this ? This ? " she demanded, pointing to 
the note. 

And as often happens, Stepan's torment at this recollec- 
tion was caused less by the fact itself than by the answer 
which he gave to those words of his wife. His experi- 
ence at that moment was the same as other people have 
had when unexpectedly detected in some shameful deed. 
He was unable to prepare his face for the situation caused 
by his wife's discovery of his sin. Instead of getting 
offended, denying it, justifying himself, asking forgive- 
ness, or even showing indifference — anything would 
have been better than what he really did — in spite of 
himself (by a reflex action of the brain as Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch explained it, for he loved Physiology) abso- 
lutely in spite of himself he suddenly smiled with his 
ordinary good-humored and therefore stupid smile. 

He could not forgive himself for that stupid smile. 
When Dolly saw that smile, she trembled as with phys- 
ical pain, poured forth a torrent of bitter words, quite 
in accordance with her natural temper, and fled from 
the room. Since that time she had not been willing to 
see her husband. 

" That stupid smile caused the whole trouble," 
thought Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

" But what is to be done about it, what is to be done } " 
he asked himself in despair, and found no answer. 



Stepan Arkadyevitch was a sincere man as far as 
he himself was concerned. He could not practise self- 
deception and persuade himself that he repented of his 
behavior. He could not, as yet, feel sorry that he, a 
handsome, susceptible man of four and thirty, was not 
now in love with his wife, the mother of his five living 
and two buried children, though she was only a year 
his junior. He regretted only that he had not suc- 
ceeded in hiding it better from her. But he felt the 
whole weight of his situation and pitied his wife, his 
children, and himself. Possibly he would have had bet- 
ter success in hiding his peccadilloes from his wife had 
he realized that this knowledge would have had such an 
effect upon her. He had never before thought clearly of 
this question, but he had a dim idea that his wife had 
long been aware that he was not faithful to her, and 
looked at it through her fingers. As she had lost her 
freshness, was beginning to look old, was no longer 
pretty and far from distinguished and entirely common- 
place, though she was an excellent mother of a family, 
he had thought that she would allow her innate sense 
of justice to plead for him. But it had proved to be 
quite the contrary. 

" Akh, how wretched ! aJ ! ai' ! ai" ! how wretched ! " 
said Prince Stepan to himself over and over and could 
not find any way out of the difficulty. " And how well 
everything was going until this happened ! How de- 
lightfully we lived ! She was content, happy with the 
children ; I never interfered with her in any way, I 
allowed her to do as she pleased with the children and 
the household ! To be sure it was bad that she 
had been the governess in our own house ; that 
was bad. There is something trivial and common in 
playing the gallant to one's own governess ! But what 
a governess ! " 

He vividly recalled Mile. Roland's black roguish eyes 
and her smile. 


"But then, while she was here in the house with us, I 
did not permit myself any liberties. And the worst of 
all is that she is already.... All this must needs happen 
just to spite me. Al! ail al'l But what, what is to be 
done ? " 

There was no answer except that common answer 
which life gives to all the most complicated and unsolva- 
ble questions, — this answer : You must live according 
to circumstances, in other words, forget yourself. But 
as you cannot forget yourself in sleep — at least till 
night, as you cannot return to that music which the 
water-bottle woman sang, therefore you must forget 
yourself in the dream of life ! 

"We shall see by and by," said Stepan Arkadyevitch 
to himself, and rising he put on his gray dressing-gown 
with blue silk lining, tied the tassels into a knot, and 
took a full breath into his ample lungs. Then with his 
usual firm step, his legs spread somewhat apart and 
easily bearing the solid weight of his body, he went 
over to the window, lifted the curtain, and loudly rang 
the bell. It was instantly answered by his old friend 
and valet Matve, who came in bringing his clothes, 
boots, and a telegram. Behind Matve came the barber 
with the shaving utensils. 

" Are there any papers from the court-house } " asked 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, taking the telegram and taking 
his seat in front of the mirror. 

...."On the breakfast-table," replied Matve, looking 
inquiringly and with sympathy at his master, and after 
an instant's pause, added with a sly smile, " They have 
come from the boss of the livery-stable." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch made no reply and only looked 
at Matve in the mirror. By the look which they inter- 
changed it could be seen how they understood each 
other. The look of Stepan Arkadyevitch seemed to 
ask, " Why did you say that .■* Don't you know.?" 

Matve thrust his hands in his jacket pockets, kicked 
out his leg, and silently, good-naturedly, almost smiling, 
looked back to his master : — 

" I ordered him to come on Sunday, and till then that 


you and I should not be annoyed without reason," said 
he, with a phrase evidently ready on his tongue. 

Stepan Arkady evitch perceived that Matve wanted to 
make some jesting reply and attract attention to him- 
self. Tearing open the telegram, he read it, using his 
wits to make out the words, that were as usual blindly 
written, and his face brightened. 

.... " Matve, sister Anna Arkadyevna will be here 
to-morrow," said he, staying for a moment the plump 
gleaming hand of his barber, who was making a pink 
path through his long, curly whiskers. 

"Thank God," cried Matve, showing by this excla- 
mation that he understood as well as his master the 
significance of this arrival, that it meant that Anna 
Arkadyevna, Prince Stepan's loving sister, might effect 
a reconciliation between husband and wife. 

" Alone, or with her husband ^ " asked Matve. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch could not speak, as the barber 
was engaged on his upper lip, but he lifted one finger. 
Matve nodded his head toward the mirror. 

"Alone. Get her room ready .-* " 

" Report to Darya Aleksandrovna, and let her decide." 

"To Darya Aleksandrovna.? "repeated Matve, rather 

"Yes! report to her. And here, take the telegram, 
give it to her, and do as she says." 

" You want to try an experiment," was the thought 
in Matve's mind ; but he only said, " I will obey! " 

By this time Stepan Arkadyevitch had finished his 
bath and his toilet, and was just putting on his clothes, 
when Matve, stepping slowly with squeaking boots, and 
with the telegram in his hand, returned to the room. 
The barber was no longer there. 

" Darya Aleksandrovna bade me tell you she is going 
away. just as he — as you — please about it," 
said Matve, with a smile lurking in his eyes. Thrust- 
ing his hands into his pockets, and bending his head to 
one side, he looked at his master. Stepan Arkadyevitch 
was silent. Then a good-humored and rather pitiful 
smile lighted up his handsome face. 


" Well, Matve?" he said, shaking his head. 

" It 's nothing, sir ; she will come to her senses," 
answered Matve. 

" Will come to her senses ?" 

" Sure she will ! " 

"Do you think so? — Who is there?" asked Stepan 
Arkadyevitch, hearing the rustle of a woman's dress 
behind the door. 

" It 's ine^' said a powerful and pleasant female voice, 
and in the doorway appeared the severe and pimply 
face of Matriona Filimonovna, the nurse. 

"Well, what is it, Matriosha?" asked Stepan Ar- 
kadyevitch, going to meet her at the door. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Stepan Arkadyevitch 
was entirely in the wrong as regarded his wife, and he 
himself acknowledged it, still almost every one in the 
house, even the old nurse, Darya Aleksandrovna's chief 
friend, was on his side. 

" Well, what ? " he asked gloomily. 

" You go down, sir, ask her forgiveness, just once. 
Perhaps the Lord will bring it out right. She is tor- 
menting herself grievously, and it is pitiful to see her; 
and everything in the house is going criss-cross. The 
children, sir, you must have pity on them. Ask her 
forgiveness, sir ! What is to be done ? No gains with- 
out pains." .... 

"But you see she won't accept an apology.".... 

" But you do your part. God is merciful, sir ; pray to 
God. God is merciful." 

"Very well, then, come on," said Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch, suddenly turning red in the face. — "Very well, let 
me have my clothes," said he, turning to Matve, and 
resolutely throwing off his dressing-gown. 

Matve had everything all ready for him, and stood 
blowing off something invisible from the shirt stiff as a 
horse-collar, and with evident satisfaction he put it over 
his master's well-groomed body. 



Having dressed, Stepan Arkadyevitch sprinkled 
himself with perfume, straightened the sleeves of his 
shirt, according to his usual routine put into his various 
pockets cigarettes, his letter-case, matches, his watch 
with its double chain and locket, and, shaking out his 
handkerchief, feeling clean, well-perfumed, healthy, and 
physically happy in spite of his unhappiness, went out 
somewhat unsteadily to the dining-room, where his cof- 
fee was already waiting for him, and next the coffee his 
letters and the papers from the court-house. 

He read his letters. One was very disagreeable, — 
from a merchant who was negotiating for the purchase 
of a forest on his wife's estate. It was necessary to sell 
this forest, but now nothing could be done about it until 
a reconciliation was effected with his wife. Most un- 
pleasant it was to think that his pecuniary interests in 
this approaching transaction were complicated with his 
reconciliation to his wife. And the thought that he 
might be influenced by this interest, that his desire for 
a reconciliation with his wife was on account of the sale 
of the forest, this thought mortified him. 

Having finished his letters Stepan Arkadyevitch took 
up the papers from the court-house, rapidly turned over 
the leaves of two deeds, made several notes with a big 
pencil, and then pushing them away, took his coffee. 
While he was drinking it he opened a morning journal 
still damp, and began to read. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch subscribed to a liberal paper, and 
read it. It was not extreme in its views, but advocated 
those principles which the majority held. And though 
he was not really interested in science or art or politics, 
he strongly adhered to such views on all these subjects 
as the majority, including his paper, advocated, and he 
changed them only when the majority changed them ; 
or more correctly, he did not change them, but they 
themselves imperceptibly changed in him. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch never chose principles or opin- 


ions, but these principles and opinions came to him, just 
as he never chose the shape of a hat or coat, but took 
those that others wore. And, living as he did in fash- 
ionable society, through the necessity of some mental 
activity, developing generally in a man's best years, it 
was as indispensable for him to have views as to have 
a hat. If there was any reason why he preferred 
liberal views rather than the conservative direction which 
many of his circle followed, it was not because he found 
a liberal tendency more rational, but because he found it 
better suited to his mode of life. 

The liberal party declared that everything in Russia 
was wretched; and the fact was that Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch had a good many debts and was decidedly short of 
money. The liberal party said that marriage was a de- 
funct institution and that it needed to be remodeled, and 
in fact domestic life afforded Stepan Arkadyevitch very 
little pleasure, and compelled him to lie, and to pretend 
what was contrary to his nature. The liberal party said, 
or rather took it for granted, that religion is only a curb 
on the barbarous portion of the community, and in fact 
Stepan Arkadyevitch could not bear the shortest prayer 
, without pain in his knees, and he could not comprehend 
the necessity of all these awful and high-sounding words 
about the other world when it is so very pleasant to live 
in this. Moreover, Stepan Arkadyevitch, who liked a 
merry jest, was sometimes fond of scandalizing a quiet 
man by saying that any one who was proud of his origin 
ought not to stop at Rurik and deny his earliest ancestor 
— the monkey. 

Thus the liberal tendency had become a habit with 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, and he liked his paper, just as he 
liked his cigar after dinner, because of the slight hazi- 
ness which it caused in his brain. He was now reading 
the leading editorial, which proved that in our day a cry is 
raised, without reason, over the danger that radicalism 
may swallow up all the conservative elements, and that 
government ought to take measures to crush the hydra 
of revolution, and that, on the contrary, " according to 
our opinion, the danger lies not in this imaginary hydra 


of revolution, but in the inertia of traditions which block 
progress," and so on. He read through another article 
on finance which made mention of Bentham and Mill, 
and dropped some sharp hints for the ministry. With 
his peculiar quickness of comprehension he appreciated 
each point, — from whom and against whom and on 
what occasion it was directed ; and this as usual afforded 
him some amusement. But his satisfaction was poisoned 
by the remembrance of Matriona's advice and of the un- 
fortunate state of his domestic affairs. He read also 
that Count von Beust was reported to have gone to 
Wiesbaden, that there was to be no more gray hair ; he 
read about the sale of a light carriage and a young- 
woman's advertisement for a place. But these items 
did not afford him quiet, ironical satisfaction as usual. 

Having finished his paper, his second cup of coffee, 
and a buttered roll, he stood up, shook the crumbs of the 
roll from his waistcoat, and, filling his broad chest, 
smiled joyfully, not because there was anything extraor- 
dinarily pleasant in his mind, but the joyful smile was 
caused by good digestion. 

But this joyful smile immediately brought back the 
memory of everything, and he sank into thought. 

The voices of two children — Stepan Arkadyevitch 
knew they were Grisha, his youngest boy, and Tania, 
his eldest daughter — were now heard behind the door. 
They were dragging something and upset it. 

" I told you not to put passengers on top," cried the 
little girl in English. — " Now pick them up." 

" Everything is in confusion," said Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch to himself. " Now here the children are, running 
wild!" And going to the door, he called to them. They 
dropped the little box which served them for a railway- 
train, and ran to their father. 

The little girl, her father's favorite, ran in boldly, 
threw her arms around his neck and laughingly hugged 
him, enjoying as usual the odor which exhaled from his 
whiskers. Then kissing his face, reddened by his bend- 
ing position and beaming with tenderness, the little girl 
unclasped her hands and wanted to runaway again, but 
her father held her back. 


" What is mamma doing ? " he asked, caressing his 
daughter's smooth, soft neck. "How are you?" he 
added, smiling at the boy, who stood saluting him. He 
acknowledged he had less love for the little boy, yet he 
tried to be impartial. But the boy felt the difference, 
and did not smile back in reply to his father's chilling 

" Mamma.? She 's up," answered the little girl. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch sighed. " Of course she has 
spent another sleepless night," he said to himself. 

" Well, is she cheerful ? " 

The little girl knew that there was trouble between 
her father and her mother, and that her mother could 
not be cheerful, and that her father ought to know it, 
and that he was dissembling when he questioned her so 
lightly. And she blushed for her father. He instantly 
perceived it and also turned red. 

" I don't know," she said ; " she told me that we were 
not to have lessons this morning but were to go with 
Miss Hull over to grandmother's." 

" Well, then, run along, TancJmrotcJika nioya. — Oh, 
yes, wait," said he, still detaining her and smoothing her 
delicate little hand. 

He took down from the mantelpiece a box of candy 
which he had placed there the day before, and gave 
her two pieces, selecting her favorite chocolate and 

" For Grisha .-' " she asked, pointing to the chocolate. 

"Yes, yes ; " and still smoothing her soft shoulder he 
kissed her on the neck and hair, and let her go. 

"The carriage is at the door," said Matve, and he 
added, "A woman is here — a petitioner." 

" Has she been here long ? " demanded Stepan 

" Half an hour." 

" How many times have you been told to announce 
visitors instantly .'' " 

" I had to get your coffee ready," replied Matve in 
his kind, rough voice, at which it was impossible to take 


"Well, show her in quick!" said Oblonsky, frowning 
with annoyance. 

The petitioner, the wife of Captain Kalanin, asked 
some impossible and nonsensical favor; but Stepan 
Arkadyevitch, according to his custom, gave her a com- 
fortable seat, listened to her story without interrupting, 
and then gave her careful advice to whom and how to 
make her application, and in lively and eloquent style 
wrote, in his big, scrawling, but handsome and legible 
hand, a note to the person who might aid her. Having 
dismissed the captain's wife, Stepan Arkadyevitch took 
his hat and stood for a moment trying to remember 
whether he had forgotten anything. He seemed to 
have forgotten nothing except what he wanted to forget 
— his wife. 

"Ah, yes!" 

He dropped his head, and a gloomy expression came 
over his handsome face. 

"To go or not to go," he said to himself; and an 
inner voice told him that it was not advisable to go, that 
there was no way out of it except through deception, 
that to straighten, to smooth out, their relations was 
impossible, because it was impossible to make her 
attractive and lovable again, or to make him an old man 
insensible to passion. Nothing but deception and lying 
could come of it, and deception and lying were opposed 
to his nature. 

" But it must be done sometime ; it can't remain 
so always," he said, striving to gain courage. He 
straightened himself, took out a cigarette, lighted it, 
puffed at it two or three times, threw it into a mother- 
of-pearl-lined ash-tray, went with quick steps through 
the sitting-room, and opened the door into his wife's 



Darya Aleksandrovna, surrounded by all sorts of 
things thrown in confusion about the room, was stand- 
ing before an open chiffonnier from which she was 
removing the contents. She had on a dressing-sack, and 
the thin braids of her once luxuriant and beautiful hair 
were pinned back. Her face was thin and sunken, and 
her big eyes, protruding from her pale, worn face, had 
an expression of terror. When she heard her husband's 
steps she stopped in her work and, gazing at the door, 
vainly tried to give her face a stern and forbidding 
expression. She was conscious that she feared him and 
that she dreaded the coming interview. She was in the 
act of doing what she had attempted to do a dozen times 
during those three days : gathering up her own effects 
and those of her children to carry to her mother's 
house ; and again she could not bring herself to do it, yet 
now, as before, she said to herself that things could not 
remain as they were, that she must take some measures to 
punish him, to put him to shame, to have some revenge 
on him, if only for a small part of the anguish that he 
had caused her. She ctill kept saying that she should 
leave him, but she felt that it was impossible ; it was 
impossible because she could not cease to consider him 
her husband and to love him. Moreover, she confessed 
that if here in her own home she had barely succeeded 
in looking after her five children, it would be far worse 
where she was going with them. In the course of these 
three days the youngest child had been made ill by eat- 
ing some poor soup, and the rest had been obliged 
to go almost dinnerless the night before. She felt that 
it was impossible to leave, yet for the sake of deceiving 
herself she was collecting her things and pretending 
that she was going. 

When she saw her husband, she thrust her hands into 
a drawer of the chiffonnier, as if trying to find some- 
thing, and looked at him only when he came close up 
to her. But her face, to which she had intended to give 


a stern and resolute expression, showed her confusion 
and anguish of mind. 

" Dolly," said he, in a gentle, subdued voice. He 
hung his head and tried to assume a humble and sub- 
missive mien, but nevertheless he was radiant with fresh 
life and health. She gave him a quick glance which 
took in his whole figure from head to foot, radiant with 
life and health. 

" Yes, he is happy and contented," she said to her- 
self, .... " but I ? .... And this good nature which makes 
everybody like him so well and praise him is revolting 
to me ! I hate this good nature of his." 

Her mouth grew firm, the muscles of her right cheek 
contracted, she looked pale and nervous. 

"What do you •want.''" she demanded, in a quick, 
unnatural tone. 

" Dolly," he repeated, with a quaver in his voice, 
"Anna is coming to-day." 

" Well, what is that to me } I cannot receive her," 
she cried. 

" Still, it must be done, Dolly." .... 

"Go away! go away! go away!" she cried, without 
looking at him, and as if her words were torn from her 
by physical agony. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch might be calm enough as his 
thoughts turned to his wife, he might have some hope 
that it would all straighten itself out according to Matve's 
prediction, and he might be able tranquilly to read his 
morning paper and drink his coffee ; but when he saw 
her tortured, suffering face, when he heard that resigned 
and hopeless tone of her voice, he breathed hard, some- 
thing rose in his throat, and his eyes filled with tears. 

"My God! What have I done.!* for God's sake!.... 

He could not say another word for the sobs that 
choked him. 

She shut the drawer violently, and looked at him. 

" Dolly, what can I say ? .... Only one thing : forgive 
me. Just think ! Cannot nine years of my life pay for 
a single moment, a moment .... " 


She let her eyes fall, and listened to what he was 
going to say, as if beseeching him in some way to per- 
suade her of his innocence. 

" A single moment of temptation," he ended, and was 
going to continue ; but at that word, Dolly's lips again 
closed tight as if from physical pain, and again the mus- 
cles of her right cheek contracted. 

" Go away, go away from here," she cried still more 
impetuously, " and don't speak to me of your tempta 
tions and your wretched conduct." 

She attempted to leave the room, but she almost feii, 
and was obliged to lean upon a chair for support. 
Oblonsky's face grew melancholy, his lips trembled, 
and his eyes filled with tears. 

" Dolly," said he, almost sobbing, " for God's sake 
think of the children. They are not to blame ; I am 
the one to blame. Punish me ! Tell me how I can 

atone for my fault I am ready to do anything. I 

am guilty ! No words can tell how guilty I am. But, 
Dolly, forgive me ! " 

She sat down. He heard her quick, hard breathing, 
and his soul was filled with pity for her. She tried 
several times to speak, but could not utter a word. He 

" You think of the children, because you like to play 
with them ; but I think of them, too, and I know what 
they have lost," said she, repeating one of the phrases 
that during the last three days she had many times 
repeated to herself. 

She had used the familiar tin (thou), and he looked 
at her with gratitude, and made a movement as if to 
take her hand, but she turned from him with abhor- 

" I have consideration for my children, and therefore 
I would do all in the world to save them ; but I do not 
myself know how I can best save them : by taking them 
from their father, or by leaving them with a father who 
is a libertine, — yes, a libertine ! .... Now tell me after 
this, — this that has happened, can we live together } 
Is it possible.? Tell me, is it possible?" she demanded, 


raising her voice. "When my husband, the father of 
my children, has a love-affair with their governess .... " 

" .... But what is to be done about it .'' what is to be 
done ? " said he, interrupting with broken voice, not 
knowing what he said, and letting his head sink lower 
and lower. 

"You are revolting to me, you are insulting," she 
cried, with increasing anger. " Your tears are water ! 
You never loved me ; you have no heart, no honor. 
You are abominable, revolting, and henceforth you are 
a stranger to me, — yes, a perfect stranger," and she 
repeated with spiteful anger this word "stranger" which 
was so terrible to her own ears. 

He looked at her, and the anger expressed in her face 
alarmed and surprised him. He had no realizing sense 
that his pity exasperated his wife. She saw that he felt 
sympathy for her, but not love. " No, she hates me, she 
will not forgive me," he said to himself. 

" This is terrible, terrible ! " he cried. 

At this moment one of the children in the next room, 
having apparently had a fall, began to cry. Darya 
Aleksandrovna listened and her face suddenly softened. 
She seemed to collect her thoughts for a few seconds, 
as if she did not know where she was and what was 
happening to her, then, quickly rising, she hastened to 
the door. 

"At any rate she loves my child," thought Oblonsky, 
who had noticed the change in her face as she heard 
the little one's cry. " My child ; how then can she hate 

" Dolly ! just one word more," he said, following her. 

" If you follow me, I will call the domestics, the 
children ! Let them all know that you are infamous ! 
I leave this very day, and you may live here with your 

And she went out and slammed the door. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch sighed, wiped his face, and 
softly left the room. 

" Matve says this can be settled ; but how ? I don't 
see the possibility. Akh ! akh ! how terrible ! and 


how foolishly she shrieked," said he to himself, as he 
recalled her cry and the words "infamous" and "para- 


" Perhaps the chambermaids heard her ! horribly 
foolish, horribly ! " 

Stepan Arkadyevitch stood by himself a few seconds, 
rubbed his eyes, sighed, and then, throwing out his 
chest, left the room. 

It was Friday, and in the dining-room the German 
clock-maker was winding the clock. Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch remembered a joke that he had made about 
this punctilious German clock-maker, to the effect that 
" he must have been wound up himself for a lifetime for 
the purpose of winding clocks," and he smiled. Stepan 
Arkadyevitch loved a good joke. "Perhaps it will 
straighten itself out. That 's a good little phrase ! 
straighten itself out," he thought ; " I must tell that." 

"Matve!" he shouted; and when the old servant 
appeared, he said, " Have Marya put the best room in 
order for Anna Arkadyevna." 

"Very well." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch took his fur coat, and started 
down the steps. 

" Shall you dine at home ? " asked Matve, as he 
escorted him down. 

" That depends. Here, take this if you need to spend 
anything," said he, taking out a bill of ten rubles from 
his pocket-book. "That will be enough." 

" Whether it is enough or not, it will have to do," 
said Matve, as he shut the carriage-door and went up 
the steps. 

Meantime, Darya Aleksandrovna, having pacified the 
child, and knowing by the sound of the carriage that he 
was gone, came back to her room. This was her sole 
refuge from the domestic troubles that besieged her as 
soon as she went out. Even during the short time that 
she had been in the nursery, the English maid and 
Matriona Filimonovna asked her all sorts of questions 
demanding immediate attention, questions which she 
alone could answer, — what clothes should they put on 


the children for their walk ? should they give them 
milk ? should they send for another cook ? 

" Akh ! leave me alone, leave me alone ! " she cried, 
and, hastening back to the chamber, she sat down in 
the place where she had been talking with her husband. 
Then, clasping her thin hands, on whose fingers the rings 
would scarcely stay, she reviewed the whole conversation. 

"He has gone! But has he broken with her?" she 
asked herself. " Does he still continue to see her } 
Why did n't I ask him } No, no, we cannot live together. 
Even if we continue to live in the same house, we are 
only strangers, strangers forever ! " she repeated, with 
a strong emphasis on the word that hurt her so cruelly. 
"How I loved him! my God, how I loved him!..,. 
How I loved him ! and even now do I not love him } 
Do I not love him even more than before .'' that is the 
most terrible thing," she was beginning to say, but she 
did not finish out her thought, because Matriona Fili- 
monovna put her head in at the door. " Give orders to 
send for my brother," said she ; " he will get dinner. If 
you don't, it will be like yesterday, when the children 
did not have anything to eat for six hours." 

" Very good, I will come and give the order. Have 
you sent for some fresh milk .-* " 

And Darya Aleksandrovna entered into her daily 
tasks, and in them forgot her sorrow for the time being. 


Stepan Arkadyevitch had done well at school, by 
reason of his excellent natural gifts, but he was lazy and 
mischievous, and consequently had been at the foot of his 
class ; but, in spite of his irregular habits, his low rank in 
the Service, and his youth, he, nevertheless, held an im- 
portant salaried position as nachalnik, or president of 
one of the courts in Moscow. This place he had secured 
through the good offices of his sister Anna's husband, 
Aleksef Aleksandrovitch Karenin, who occupied one of 
the most influential positions in the ministry of which he 


was a member. But even if Karenin had not been able 
to get this place for his brother-in-law, a hundred other 
people — brothers, sisters, cousins, second cousins, uncles, 
aunts — would have got it for Stiva Oblonsky, or some 
place as good, together with the six thousand rubles' 
salary which he needed for his establishment, his affairs 
being somewhat out of order in spite of his wife's con- 
siderable fortune. 

Half the people of Moscow and St. Petersburg were 
relatives or friends of Stepan Arkadyevitch ; he was 
born into the society of the rich and powerful of this 
world. A third of the older officials attached to the 
court and in government employ had been friends of his 
father, and had known him from the time when he wore 
petticoats ; a second third addressed him familiarly in 
the second person singular ; the others were " hail fel- 
lows well met." He had, therefore, as his friends, all 
those whose function it is to dispense earthly blessings 
in the shape of places, leases, concessions, and the like, 
and who could not neglect their own. And so Oblonsky 
had no special difficulty in obtaining an excellent place. 
All he had to do was not to shirk, not to be jealous, not 
to be quarrelsome, not to be thin-skinned, and he never 
gave way to these faults, because of his natural good 
temper. It would have seemed ridiculous to him if he 
had been told that he could not have any salaried place 
that he wanted, because it did not seem to him that he 
demanded anything extraordinary. He asked only for 
what his companions were obtaining, and he felt that he 
was as capable as any of them of performing the duties 
of such a position. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch was liked by every one for his 
good and amiable character and his unimpeachable 
honesty. There was moreover something in his brilliant 
and attractive personality, in his bright, sparkling eyes, 
his black brows, his hair, his vivid coloring, which exer- 
cised a strong physical influence as of friendliness and 
gayety on those who came in touch with him. 

" Aha, Stiva ! Oblonsky ! Here he is ! " people 
would generally say, with a smile of pleasure. Even if 


it happened that the results of meeting him were not 
particularly gratifying, nevertheless people were just as 
glad to meet him the second day and the third. 

After filling for three years the office of nachalnik of 
one of the chief judiciary positions in Moscow, Stepan Ar- 
kadyevitch had gained, not only the friendship, but also 
the respect of his colleagues, both those above and those 
below him in station, as well as of all who had had dealings 
with him. The principal qualities that had gained him 
this universal esteem were, first, his extreme indulgence 
for people, and this was founded on his knowledge of his 
own weaknesses ; secondly, his absolute liberality, which 
was not the liberalism which he read about in the news- 
papers, but that which was in his blood, and caused him 
to be agreeable to every one, in whatever station in life ; 
and thirdly and principally, his perfect indifference to 
the business which he transacted, so that he never lost 
his temper, and therefore never made mistakes. 

As soon as he reached his tribunal, Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch, escorted by the solemn Swiss who bore his port- 
folio, went to his little private office, put on his uniform, 
and proceeded to the court-room. The clerks and other 
employees all stood up, bowing eagerly and respectfully. 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, as usual, hastened to his place, 
shook hands with his colleagues, and took his seat. He 
got off some pleasantry and made some remark suitable 
to the occasion, and then opened the session. No one 
better than he understood how far to go within the limits 
of freedom, frankness, and that official dignity which is 
so useful in the expedition of official business. A 
clerk came with papers, and, with the free and yet re- 
spectful air common to all who surrounded Stepan 
Arkadyevitch, spoke in the familiarly liberal tone which 
Stepan Arkadyevitch had introduced : — 

" We have at last succeeded in obtaining reports from the 
Government of Penza. Here they are, if you care to ...." 

" So we have them at last," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
touching the document with his finger. " Now, then, 
gentlemen ...." 

And the proceedings began. 


" If they knew," he said to himself, as he bent his head 
with an air of importance while the report was read, " how 
much their president, only half an hour since, looked like 
a naughty school-boy!" and a gleam of amusement came 
into his eyes as he listened to the report. 

The session generally lasted till two o'clock without 
interruption, and was followed by recess and luncheon. 
The clock had not yet struck two, when the great glass 
doors of the court-room were suddenly thrown open, 
and some one entered. All the members, glad of any 
diversion, looked round from where they sat under the 
Emperor's portrait and behind the zertsdlo, or procla- 
mation-table ; but the doorkeeper instantly ejected the 
intruder, and shut the door on him. 

After the business was read through, Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch arose, stretched himself, and in a spirit of sacri- 
fice to the liberalism of the time took out his cigarette, 
while still in the court-room, and then passed into his 
private office. Two of his colleagues, the aged veteran 
Nikitin, and the chamberlain Grinevitch, followed him. 

" There '11 be time enough to finish after luncheon," 
said Oblonsky. 

"How we are rushing through with it!" replied 

" This Famin must be a precious rascal," said Grine- 
vitch, alluding to one of the characters in the affair 
which they had beqn investigating. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch knitted his brows at Grinevitch's 
words, as if to signify that it was not the right thing to 
form snap judgments, and he made no reply. 

" Who was it came into the court-room .?" he asked of 
the doorkeeper. 

'' Some one who entered without permission, your 
excellency, while my back was turned. He asked to 
see you : I said, * When the court adjourns, then .... ' " 

" Where is he .? " 

" Probably in the vestibule ; he ,was there just now. 
Ah ! there he is," said the doorkeeper, pointing to a 
solidly built, broad-shouldered man with curly beard, 
who, without taking off his sheepskin cap, was lightly 


and quickly running up the well-worn steps of the stone 
staircase. A lean chinovnik, on his way down, with a 
portfolio under his arm, stopped to look, with some indig- 
nation, at the newcomer's feet, and turned to Oblonsky 
with a glance of inquiry. Stepan Arkadyevitch stood 
at the top of the staircase, and his bright, good-natured 
face, set off by the embroidered collar of his uniform, 
was still more radiant when he recognized the visitor. 

" Here he is ! Levin, at last," he cried, with a friendly, 
ironical smile, as he looked at his approaching friend. 
" What ! you got tired of waiting for me, and have 
come to find me in this den } " he went on to say, not 
satisfied with pressing his hand, but kissing him affec- 
tionately. " Have you been in town long ? " 

" I just got here, and was in a hurry to see you," said 
Levin, looking about him timidly, and at the same time 
with a fierce and anxious expression. 

"Well, come into my office," said Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch, who was aware of his visitor's egotistic sensi- 
tiveness, and, taking him by the hand, he led him along 
as if he were conducting him through manifold dangers. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch addressed almost all his acquain- 
tances with the familiar "thou," — old men of three- 
score, young men of twenty, actors and ministers, 
merchants and generals, so that there were very many 
of these familiarly addressed acquaintances from both 
extremes of the social scale, and they would have been 
astonished to know that through Oblonsky they had 
something in common. He thus addressed all with 
whom he had drunk champagne, and he had drunk 
champagne with every one, and so when in the presence 
of his subordinates he met any of his shameful intimates, 
as he jestingly called some of his acquaintances, his 
characteristic tact was sufficient to diminish the dis- 
agreeable impressions that they might have. 

Levin was not one of his shameful intimates, but 
Oblonsky instinctively felt that Levin might think he 
would not like to make a display of their intimacy be- 
fore his subordinates, and so he hastened to take him 
into his private office. 


Levin was about the same age as Oblonsky, and their 
intimacy was not based on champagne alone. Levin 
was a friend and companion from early boyhood. In 
spite of the difference in their characters and their 
tastes, they were fond of each other as friends are who 
have grown up together. And yet, as often happens among 
men who have chosen different spheres of activity, each, 
while approving the work of the other, really despised it. 
Each believed his own mode of life to be the only rational 
way of living, while that led by his friend was only illusion. 

At the sight of Levin, Oblonsky could not repress a 
slight ironical smile. How many times had he seen him in 
Moscow just in from the country, where he had been doing 
something, though Oblonsky did not know exactly what 
and scarcely took any interest in it. Levin always came 
to Moscow anxious, hurried, a trifle annoyed, and vexed 
because he was annoyed, and generally bringing with 
him entirely new and unexpected views of things. 
Stepan Arkadyevitch laughed at this and yet liked it. 

In somewhat the same way Levin despised the city 
mode of his friend's life, and his official employment, 
which he considered trifling, and made sport of it. But 
the difference between them lay in this : that Oblonsky, 
doing what every one else was doing, laughed self-con- 
fidently and good-naturedly, while Levin, because he was 
not assured in his own mind, sometimes lost his temper. 

" We have been expecting you for some time," said 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, as he entered his office, and let 
go his friend's hand to show that the danger was past. 
" I am very, very glad to see you," he continued. " How 
goes it .-* how are you .'' Wheo did you come ? " 

Levin was silent, and looked at the unknown faces of 
Oblonsky's two colleagues, and especially at the elegant 
Grinevitch's hand, with its long, white fingers and their 
long, yellow, and pointed nails, and his cuffs, with their 
huge, gleaming cuff-buttons. It was evident that his 
hands absorbed all of his attention and allowed him to 
think of nothing else. Oblonsky instantly noticed this, 
and smiled. 

" Ah, yes," said he, " allow me to make you acquainted 


with my colleagues, Filipp Ivanuitch Nikitin, Mikhail 
Stanislavitch Grinevitch ; " then turning to Levin, "A 
landed proprietor, a rising man, a member of the 
zemstsvo, and a gymnast who can lift two hundred 
pounds with one hand, a raiser of cattle, and huntsman, 
and my friend, Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin, the 
brother of SergyeT Ivanuitch Koznuishef." 

" Very happy," said the little old man. *' I have the 
honor of knowing your brother, Sergyei' Ivanuitch," 
said Grinevitch, extending his delicate hand with its long 

Levin frowned ; he coldly shook hands, and turned 
to Oblonsky. Although he had much respect for his 
half-brother, a writer universally known in Russia, it 
was none the less unpleasant for him to be addressed, 
not as Konstantin Levin, but as the brother of the famous 

" No, I am no longer a worker in the zemstsvo. I 
have quarreled with everybody, and I don't go to the 
assemblies," said he to Oblonsky. 

" This is a sudden change," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
with a smile. " But how .-' why .-' " 

" It is a long story, and I will tell it some other time," 
replied Levin ; but he nevertheless went on to say, " To 
make a long story short, I was convinced that no action 
amounts to anything, or can amount to anything, in 
our provincial assembles." He spoke as if some one had 
insulted him. " On the one hand, they try to play Parlia- 
ment, and I am not young enough and not old enough 
to amuse myself with toys ; and, on the other hand," — 
he hesitated, — " this serves the district ring to make a 
little money. There used to be guardianships, judg- 
ments ; but now we have the zemstsvo, not in the way 
of bribes, but in the way of unearned salaries." 

He spoke hotly, as if some one present had attacked 
his views. 

" Aha ! here you are, I see, in a new phase, on the 
conservative side," said Stepan Arkadyevitch. " Well, 
we '11 speak about this by and by." 

"Yes, by and by. But I want to see you particu- 


larly," said Levin, looking with disgust at Grinevitch's 

Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled imperceptibly. " Did n't 
you say that you would never again put on European 
clothes ? " he asked, examining his friend's new suit, 
evidently made by a French tailor. " Indeed, I see ; 
'tis a new phase." 

Levin suddenly grew red, not as grown men grow 
red, without perceiving it, but as boys blush, conscious 
that they are ridiculous by reason of their bashfulness, 
and therefore ashamed and made to turn still redder till 
the tears almost come. It gave his intelligent, manly 
face such a strange appearance that Oblonsky turned 
away and refrained from looking at him. 

"But where can we meet.'' You see it is very, 
very necessary for me to have a talk with you," said 

Oblonsky seemed to reflect. 

" How is this .'' We will go and have luncheon at 
Gurin's, and we can talk there. At three o'clock I 
shall be free." 

*' No," answered Levin after a moment's thought; 
** I 've got to take a drive." 

"Well, then, let us dine together." 

" Dine ? But I have nothing very particular to say, 
only two words, to ask a question ; afterward we can 

"In that case, speak your two words now; we will 
chat while we are at dinner." 

" These two words are .... however, it 's nothing very 

His face suddenly assumed a hard expression, due 
to his efforts in conquering his timidity. " What are 
the Shcherbatskys doing .'' — just as they used to .-*" 

Stepan Arkadyevitch, who had long known that 
Levin was in love with his sister-in-law Kitty, almost 
perceptibly smiled, and his eyes flashed gayly. " You 
said ' two words ' ; but I cannot answer in two words, 
because .... excuse me a moment." 

The secretary came in at this juncture with his 


familiar but respectful bearing, and with that modest 
assumption characteristic of all secretaries that he knew 
more about business than his superior. He brought 
some papers to Oblonsky ; and, under the form of a 
question, he attempted to explain some difficulty. With- 
out waiting to hear the end of the explanation, Stepan 
Arkadyevitch laid his hand affectionately on the secre- 
tary's arm. 

" No, do as I asked you to," said he, tempering his 
remark with a smile ; and, having briefly given his own 
explanation of the matter, he pushed away the papers, 
and said, " Do it so, I beg of you, Zakhar Nikititch." 

The secretary went off confused. Levin during this 
scene with the secretary had entirely recovered from 
his embarrassment, and was standing with both arms 
resting on a chair ; on his face was an ironical expres- 

" I don't understand, I don't understand," said he. 

"What don't you understand.''" asked Oblonsky, 
smiling, and taking out a cigarette. He was expecting 
some sort of strange outbreak from Levin. 

" I don't understand what you are up to," said Levin, 
shrugging his shoulders. " How can you do this sort 
of thing seriously ? " 

"Why not.?" 

" Why, because it is doing nothing." 

" You think so .'' We are overwhelmed with work." 

" On paper ! Well, yes, you have a special gift for 
such things," added Levin. 

"You mean that I .... there is something that I lack.-*" 

" Perhaps so, yes. However, I cannot help admiring 
your high and mighty ways, and rejoicing that I have 
for a friend a man of such importance. But, you 
did not answer my question," he added, making a des- 
perate effort to look Oblonsky full in the face. 

" Now that 's very good, very good ! Go ahead, and 
you will succeed. 'T is well that you have eight thou- 
sand acres of land in the district of Karazinsk, such 
muscles, and the complexion of a little girl of twelve; 
but you will catch up with us all the same Yes, as to 


what you asked me. There is no change, but I am 
sorry that it has been so long since you were in town." 

" Why ? " asked Levin in alarm. 

" Well, it 's nothing," replied Oblonsky; "we will talk 
things over. What has brought you now especially.-'" 

" Akh ! we will speak also of that by and by," said 
Levin, again reddening to his very ears. 

"Very good. I understand you," said Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch. "You see, I should have taken you home 
with me to dinner, but my wife is not well to-day. If 
you want to see tliem, you will find them at the Zoologi- 
cal Gardens from four to five. Kitty is skating. You 
go there; I will join you later, and we will get dinner 
together somewhere." 

" Excellent. Da svidanya ! " 

" Look here — you see I know you — you will forget 
all about it, or will suddenly be starting back to your 
home in the country," cried Stepan Arkady evitch, with 
a laugh. 

" No, truly I won't." 

Levin left the room, and only when he had passed 
the door realized that he had forgotten to salute Oblon- 
sky's colleagues. 

" That must be a gentleman of great energy/' said 
Grinevitch, after Levin had taken his departure. 

"Yes, batyushka," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, throw- 
ing his head back. " He is a likely fellow. Eight 
thousand acres in the Karazinsky district ! He has 
a future before him, and how vigorous he is! He is 
not like the rest of us." 

" What have you to complain about, Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch .-' " ^ 

" Well, things are bad, bad," replied Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch, sighing heavily. 



When Oblonsky asked Levin for what special rea- 
son he had come, Levin grew red in the face, and he 
was angry with himself because he grew red ; but how 
could he have replied, ** I have come to ask the hand of 
your sister-in-law " ? Yet he had come for that single 

The Levin and the Shcherbatsky families, belonging 
to the old nobility of Moscow, had always been on inti- 
mate and friendly terms. During Levin's student life 
the bond had grown stronger. He and the young 
Prince Shcherbatsky, the brother of Dolly and Kitty, 
had taken their preparatory studies, and gone through 
the university together. At that time Levin was a fre- 
quent visitor at the Shcherbatskys, and was in love with 
the house. Strange as it may seem, he was in love with 
the house itself, with the family, especially with the femi- 
nine portion. Konstantin Levin could not remember his 
mother, and his only sister was much older than he 
was, so that for the first time he found in the house 
of the Shcherbatskys that charming cultivated life so 
peculiar to the old nobility, and of which the death of 
his parents had deprived him. All the members of 
this family, but especially the ladies, seemed to him 
to be surrounded with a mysterious and poetic halo. 

Not only did he fail to discover any faults in them, but 
underneath this poetic and mysterious halo surrovmding 
them, he saw the loftiest sentiments and the most ideal 
perfections. Why these three young ladies were obliged 
to speak French and English every day ; why they had 
to take turns in playing for hours at a time on the piano, 
the sounds of which floated up to their brother's room, 
where the young students were at work ; why professors 
of French literature, of music, of drawing, of dancing, 
came to give them lessons ; why the three young 
ladies, at a certain hour, accompanied by Mile. Linon, 
drove out in their carriage to the TverskoT Boulevard, 
wearing satin shubkas, Dolly's very long, Natalie's 


of half length, and Kitty's very short, showing her 
shapely ankles and close-fitting red stockings ; and why 
when they went to the Tverskoi" Boulevard they had to 
be accompanied by a lackey with a gilt cockade on his 
hat, — all these things and many others v/ere absolutely 
incomprehensible to him. But he felt that all that 
took place in this mysterious sphere was beautiful, and 
he was in love especially with this mystery of accom- 

While he was a student he almost fell in love with 
Dolly, the eldest ; but she soon married Oblonsky ; then 
he began to be in love with the second. It was as if he 
felt it to be a necessity to love one of the three, only he 
could not decide which one he liked the best. But Na- 
talie entered society, and soon married the diplomat, 
Lvof. Kitty was only a child when Levin left the uni- 
versity. Young Shcherbatsky joined the fleet, and was 
drowned in the Baltic ; and Levin's relations with the 
family became more distant, in spite of his friendship 
with Oblonsky. At the beginning of the winter, how- 
ever, after a year's absence in the country, he had met 
the Shcherbatskys again, and learned for the first time 
which of the three he was destined really to love. 

It would seem as if there could be nothing simpler for 
a young man of thirty-two, of good family, possessed of 
a fair fortune, and likely to be regarded as an eligible 
suitor, than to ask the young Princess Shcherbatskaya 
in marriage, and probably Levin would have been ac- 
cepted as an excellent match. But he was in love, and 
consequently it seemed to him Kitty was a creature so 
accomplished, her superiority was so above everything 
earthly, and he himself was such an earthly insignificant 
being, that he was unwilling to admit, even in thought, 
that others or Kitty herself would regard him as worthy 
of her. 

Having spent two months in Moscow, as in a dream, 
meeting Kitty almost every day in society, which he al- 
lowed himself to frequent on account of her, he suddenly 
concluded that this alliance was impossible, and took his 
departure for the country. Levin's conclusion that it 


was impossible was reached by reasoning that in her 
parents' eyes he was not a suitor sufficiently advanta- 
geous or suitable for the beautiful Kitty, and that Kitty 
herself could not love him. In her parents' eyes, he 
was engaged in no definite line of activity, and at his 
age had no position in the world, while his comrades 
were colonels or staff-officers, distinguished professors, 
bank directors, railway officials, presidents of tribunals 
like Oblonsky ; but he — and he knew very well how he 
was regarded by his friends — was only a pomyeshchik, 
or country proprietor, busy with breeding of cows, 
hunting woodcock, and building farmhouses : in other 
words, he was an incapable youth who had accomplished 
nothing, and who, in the eyes of society, was doing just 
what men do who have made a failure. 

Surely, the mysterious, charming Kitty could not love 
a man so ill-favored, dull, and good-for-nothing as he 
felt that he was. Moreover, his former relations with 
her, consequent upon his friendship with her brother, 
were those of a grown man with a child, and seemed to 
him only an additional obstacle to love. 

It was possible, he thought, for a girl to have a friend- 
ship for a good, homely man, such as he considered 
himself to be ; but if he is to be loved with a love such 
as he felt for Kitty, he must be good-looking, and above 
all, a man of distinction. 

He had heard that women often fall in love with ill- 
favored, stupid men, but he did not believe that such 
would be his own experience, just as he felt that it would 
be impossible for him to love a woman who was not 
beautiful, brilliant, and poetic. 

But, having spent two months in the solitude of the 
country, he became convinced that this was not one of 
his youthful passions, that the state of his feelings al- 
lowed him not a moment of rest, and that he could not 
live without settling this mighty question — whether she 
would, or would not, be his wife ; that his despair arose 
wholly from his imagination, and that he had no absolute 
certainty that she would refuse him. 

He had now returned to Moscow with the firm inten- 


tion of offering himself and of marrying her if she would 
accept him. If not .... he could not think what would 
become of him. 


Coming to Moscow by the morning train, Levin had 
stopped at the house of his half-brother, Koznuishef. 
After making his toilet, he went to the library with the 
intention of telling him why he had come, and asking 
his advice ; but his brother was not alone. He was 
talking with a famous professor of philosophy who had 
come up from Kharkof expressly to settle a vexed 
question which had arisen between them on some very 
important philosophical subject. The professor was 
waging a bitter war on materialists, and Sergei" Koznui- 
shef followed his argument with interest ; and, having 
read the professor's latest article, he had written him a 
letter expressing some objections. He blamed the pro- 
fessor for having made too large concessions to the 
materialists, and the professor had come on purpose to 
explain what he meant. The conversation turned on 
the question then fashionable : Is there a dividing line 
between the psychical and the physiological phenomena 
of man's action ? and where is it to be found .'' 

Sergei Ivanovitch welcomed his brother with the 
same coldly benevolent smile which he bestowed on 
all, and, after introducing him to the professor, con- 
tinued the discussion. 

The professor, a small man with spectacles, and 
narrow forehead, stopped long enough to return Levin's 
bow, and then continued without noticing him further. 
Levin sat down to wait till the professor should go, but 
soon began to feel interested in the discussion. 

He had read in the reviews articles on this subject, but 
he had read them with only that general interest which 
a man who has studied the natural sciences at the uni- 
versity is likely to take in their development ; but he 
had never appreciated the connection that exists between 
these learned questions of the origin of man, of reflex 


action, of biology, of sociology, and those touching the 
significance of life and of death for himself, which had 
of late been more and more engaging his attention. 

As he listened to the discussion between his brother 
and the professor, he noticed that they agreed to a cer- 
tain kinship between scientific and psychological ques- 
tions, that several times they almost took up this subject ; 
but each time that they came near what seemed to him 
the most important question of all, they instantly took 
pains to avoid it, and sought refuge in the domain of 
subtile distinctions, explanations, citations, references to 
authorities, and he found it hard to understand what 
they were talking about. 

" I cannot accept the theory of Keis," said Sergef 
Ivanovitch in his characteristically elegant and correct 
diction and expression, " and I cannot at all admit that 
my whole conception of the exterior world is derived 
from my sensations. The most fundamental concept of 
being does not arise from the senses, nor is there any 
special organ by which this conception is produced." 

" Yes; but Wurst and Knaust and Pripasof will reply 
that your consciousness of existence is derived from an 
accumulation of all sensations, that it is only the result 
of sensations. Wurst himself says explicitly that where 
sensation does not exist, there is no consciousness of 

" I will say, on the other hand .... " began Sergei Ivan- 

But here Levin noticed that, just as they were about 
to touch the root of the whole matter, they again steered 
clear of it, and he determined to put the following ques- 
tion to the professor. 

" Suppose my sensations ceased, if my body were 
dead, would further existence be possible .'' " 

The professor, with some vexation, and, as it were, 
intellectual anger at this interruption, looked at the 
strange questioner as if he took him for a clown 
rather than a philosopher, and turned his eyes to 
Sergei" Ivanovitch as if to ask, "What does this man 

mean i 


But Sergeif Ivanovitch, who was not nearly so one- 
sided and zealous a partisan as the professor, and who 
had sufficient health of mind both to answer the pro- 
fessor and to see the simple and natural point of view 
from which the question was asked, smiled and said : — 

" We have not yet gained the right to answer that 

"Our capacities are not sufficient," continued the pro- 
fessor, taking up the thread of his argument. " No, I 
insist upon this, that if, as Pripasof says plainly, sensa- 
tions are based upon impressions, we cannot too closely 
distinguish between the two notions." 

Levin did not listen any longer, and waited until the 
professor took his departure. 


When the professor was gone, Sergeif Ivanovitch 
turned to his brother. 

" I am very glad to see you. Shall you stay long } 
How are things on the estate .-' " 

Levin knew that his elder brother took little interest 
in the affairs of the estate, and only asked out of cour- 
tesy ; and so in reply he merely spoke of the sale of 
wheat, and the money he had received. 

It had been his intention to speak with his brother 
about his marriage project, and to ask his advice ; but, 
after the conversation with the professor, and in conse- 
quence of the involuntarily patronizing tone in which his 
brother had asked about their affairs, — for their real estate 
had never been divided and Levin managed it as a whole, 
— he felt that he could not begin to talk about his proj- 
ect of marriage. He had an instinctive feeling that his 
brother would not look upon it as he should wish him to. 

" How is it with the zemstvo .'' " asked Sergei Ivan- 
ovitch, who took a lively interest in these provincial 
assemblies, to which he attributed great importance. 

" Fact is, I don't know.... " 

" What ! aren't you a member of the assembly ? " 


"No, I am no longer a member: I have not been 
going and don't intend to go any more," said Levin. 

"It's too bad," murmured Sergef Ivanovitch, frown- 

Levin, in justification, described what had taken place 
at the meetings of his district assembly. 

" But it is forever thus," exclaimed Sergef Ivanovitch, 
interrupting. " We Russians are always like this. Pos- 
sibly it is one of our good traits that we are willing to 
see our faults, but we exaggerate them ; we take delight 
in irony, which comes natural to our language. If such 
rights as we have, if our provincial institutions, were 
given to any other people in Europe, — Germans or 
English, — I tell you, they would derive liberty from 
them; but we only turn them into sport." 

"But what is to be done.-'" asked Levin, penitently. 
" It was my last attempt. I tried with all my heart ; I 
cannot do it. I am helpless." 

"Not helpless!" said SergeT Ivanovitch; "you did 
not look at the matter in the right light." 

" Perhaps not," replied Levin, in a melancholy tone. 

" Do you know, brother Nikolai has been in town 
again .'' " 

Nikolai was Konstantin Levin's own brother, and 
Sergef Ivanovitch's half-brother, standing between them 
in age. He was a ruined man, who had wasted the 
larger part of his fortune, had mingled with the strangest 
and most disgraceful society, and had quarreled with 
his brothers. 

"What did you say .'' " cried Levin, startled. "How 
did you know.? " 

" Prokofi saw him in the street." 

" Here in Moscow .<* Where is he ? " and Levin stood 
up, as if with the intention of instantly going to find 

" I am sorry that I told you this," said Sergei Ivan- 
ovitch, shaking his head when he saw his younger 
brother's emotion. " I sent out to find where he was 
staying ; and I sent him his letter of credit on Trubin, 
the amount of which I paid. This is what he wrote me 


in reply," and Sergei Ivanovitch handed his brother a 
note which he took from a letter-press. 

Levin read the letter, which was written in the 
strange hand which he knew so well : — 

I humbly beg to be left in peace. It is all that I ask from 
my dear brothers. Nikolai Levin. 

Konstantin, without lifting his head, stood motionless 
before his brother with the letter in his hand. 

The desire arose in his heart now to forget his un- 
fortunate brother, and the consciousness that it would 
be wrong. 

" He evidently wants to insult me," continued Serge'f 
Ivanovitch ; " but that is impossible. I wish with all 
my soul that I might help him, and yet I know that 
I shall not succeed." 

" Yes, yes," replied Levin. " I understand, and I 
appreciate your treatment of him ; but I am going to 

" Go, by all means, if it will give you any pleasure," 
said Sergef Ivanovitch ; " but I would not advise it. 
Not on my account, because I fear that he might 
make a quarrel between us, but, on your own account, 
I advise you not to go. He can't be helped. How- 
ever, do as you think best." 

" Perhaps he can't be helped, but I feel especially 

at this moment .... this is quite another reason I 

feel that I could not be contented...." 

"Well, I don't understand you," said SergeY Ivano- 
vitch; "but one thing I do understand," he added: 
"this is a lesson in humility. Since brother Nikolai" 
has become the man he is, I look with greater indul- 
gence on what people call 'abjectness.' .... Do you 
know what he has done .-' " .... 

" Akh ! it is terrible, terrible," replied Levin. 

Having obtained from his brother's servant NikolaY's 
address. Levin set out to find him, but on second thought 
changed his mind, and postponed his visit till evening. 
Before all, he must decide the question that had brought 


him to Moscow, in order that his mind might be free. 
He had therefore gone directly to Oblonsky; and, 
having learned where he could find the Shcherbatskys, 
he went where he was told that he would meet Kitty. 


About four o'clock Levin dismissed his izvoshchik 
at the entrance of the Zoological Garden, and with 
beating heart followed the path that led to the ice- 
mountains and the skating-pond, for he knew that he 
should find Kitty there, having seen the Shcherbatskys' 
carriage at the gate. 

It was a clear frosty day. At the entrance of the 
garden were drawn up rows of carriages and sleighs ; 
hired drivers and policemen stood on the watch. Hosts 
of fashionable people, with their hats gayly glancing 
in the bright sunlight, were gathered around the doors 
and on the paths cleared of snow, among the pretty 
Russian cottages with their carved balconies. The an- 
cient birch trees of the garden, their thick branches 
all laden with snow, seemed clothed in new and solemn 

Levin followed the foot-path, saying to himself : — 

" Be calm ! there is no reason for being agitated ! 
What do you desire } what ails you ? Be quiet, you fool ! " 

Thus Levin addressed his heart. And the more he 
endeavored to calm his agitation, the more he was over- 
come by it, till at last he could hardly breathe. An 
acquaintance spoke to him as he passed, but Levin did 
not even notice who it was. He drew near the ice- 
mountains, on which creaked the ropes that let down 
the sledges and drew them up again. The sleds flew 
with a rush down the slopes, and there was a tumult 
of happy voices. 

He went a few steps farther, and before him spread 
the skating-ground ; and among the skaters he soon 
discovered /ler. He knew that he was near her from 
the joy and terror that seized his heart. She was 


standing at the opposite end of the pond engaged in 
conversation with a lady ; and nothing either in her 
toilet or in her position was remarkable, but for Levin 
she stood out from the rest like a rose-bush among 
nettles. Everything was made radiant by her. She 
was the smile that lightened the whole place. 

" Do I dare to go and meet her on the ice ? " he 
asked himself. The place where she was seemed like 
an unapproachable sanctuary, and for a moment he 
almost turned to go away again, so full of awe it was. 
He had to master himself by a supreme effort to think 
that, as she was surrounded by people of every sort, 
he had as much right as the rest to go on there and 
skate. So he went down on the ice, not letting him- 
self look long at her, as if she were the sun ; but he 
saw her, as he saw the sun, even though he did not 
look at her. 

On this day and at this hour, the ice formed a com- 
mon meeting-ground for people of one clique, all of 
whom were well acquainted. There were also masters 
in the art of skating, who came to show off their 
skill ; others were learning to skate by holding on 
chairs, and making awkward and distressing gestures ; 
there were young lads and old men, who skated as a 
gymnastic exercise : all seemed to Levin to be the 
happy children of fortune because they were near 

And all these skaters, with apparently perfect un- 
concern, glided around her, came close to her, even 
spoke to her, and with absolute indifference to her 
enjoyed themselves, making the most of the good 
skating and splendid weather. 

Nikolai Shcherbatsky, Kitty's cousin, in short jacket 
and knickerbockers, was seated on a bench with his 
skates on, and seeing Levin, he cried : — 

" Ah ! the best skater in Russia ! Have you been 
here long } The ice is first-rate ! Put on your skates 
quick ! " 

" I have not my skates with me," replied Levin, sur- 
prised at this freedom and audacity in her presence, and 


not losing her out of his sight a single instant, although 
he did not look at her. He felt that the sun was shin- 
ing nearer to him. She was at one corner and came 
gliding toward him, putting together her slender feet 
in high boots, and evidently feeling a little timid. A 
boy in Russian costume was clumsily trying to get 
ahead of her, desperately waving his arms and bending 
far forward. Kitty herself did not skate with much 
confidence. She had taken her hands out of her little 
muff, suspended by a ribbon, and held them ready to 
grasp the first object that came in her way. Looking 
at Levin, whom she had recognized, she smiled at him 
and at her own timidity. As soon as this evolution 
was finished, she struck out with her elastic little foot, 
and skated up to Shcherbatsky, seized him by the arm, 
and gave Levin a friendly welcome. She was more 
charming even than he had imagined her to be. 

Whenever he thought of her, he could easily recall 
her whole appearance, but especially the charm of her 
small blond head, set so gracefully on her pretty shoul- 
ders, and her expression of childlike frankness and 
goodness. The combination of childlike grace and deli- 
cate beauty of form was her special charm, and Levin 
thoroughly appreciated it. But what struck him like 
something always new and unexpected was the look 
in her sweet eyes, her calm and sincere face, and her 
smile, which transported him to a world of enchantment, 
where he felt at peace and at rest, as he remembered 
occasionally feeling in the days of his early childhood. 

" Have you been here long ? " she asked, giving him 
her hand. 

"Thank you," she added, as he picked up her hand- 
kerchief, which had dropped out of her muff. 

"I.'' No, not long; I came yesterday .... that is, to- 
day," answered Levin, so agitated that at first he did 
not get the drift of her question. " I wanted to call 
upon you," said he ; and when he remembered what 
his errand was, he grew red, and was more distressed 
than ever. "I did not know that you skated, and so 


She looked at him closely, as if trying to divine the 
reason of his embarrassment. 

" Your praise is precious. A tradition that you are 
the best of skaters is still floating about," said she, 
brushing off with her little hand, in its black glove, the 
pine needles that had fallen on her muff. 

" Yes, I used to be passionately fond of skating. I 
had the ambition to reach perfection." 

" It seems to me that you do all things passionately," 
said she, with a smile. " I should like to see you skate. 
Put on your skates, and we will skate together." 

" Skate together .-* " he thought, as he looked at her. 
" Is it possible.?" 

" I will go and put them right on," he said ; and he 
hastened to find a pair of skates. 

" It is a long time, sir, since you have been with us," 
said the katalshchik, as he lifted his foot to fit the heel 
to it. " Since your day, we have not had any one who 
deserved to be called a master in the art. Are they 
going to suit you ?" he asked, as he tightened the strap. 

"Excellent, excellent; only please make haste," said 
Levin, unable to hide the smile of joy which, in spite 
of him, irradiated his face. "Yes," said he to himself, 
" this is life, this is happiness. ' We will skate together^ 
she said. Shall I speak to her now.-* But I am afraid 
to speak, because I am happy, happy only in the 
hope .... Yet when .-'.... But it must be, it must, it must. 
Down with weakness ! " 

Levin stood up, took off his cloak, and, after making 
his way across the rough ice around the little house, he 
skated out on the glare surface without effort, hasten- 
ing, shortening, and directing his pace as if by the 
mere effort of his will. He felt timid about coming up 
to her, but again her smile assured him. 

She gave him her hand, and they skated side by side, 
gradually increasing speed ; and the faster they went, 
the closer she held his hand. 

" I should learn very quickly with you," she said. 
" I somehow feel confidence in you." 

"I am confident in myself when you cling to my 


hand," he answered, and immediately he was startled at 
what he had said, and grew red in the face. In fact, 
he had scarcely uttered the words, when, just as the sun 
goes under a cloud, her face lost all its kindliness, and 
Levin became aware of the well-remembered play of 
her face indicating the force of her thoughts ; a slight 
frown wrinkled her smooth brow ! 

" Has anything disagreeable happened to you ? but I 
have no right to ask," he added quickly. 

" Why so .'' No, nothing disagreeable has happened 
to me," she said coolly, and immediately continued, 
" Have you seen Mile. Linon yet .-' " 

" Not yet." 

" Go to see her ; she is so fond of you." 

" What does this mean ? I have offended her ! Lord ! 
have pity upon me ! " thought Levin, and skated swiftly 
toward the old French governess, with little gray curls, 
who was watching them from a bench. She received 
him like an old friend, smiling, and showing her false 

"Yes, but how we have grown up," she said, indicat- 
ing Kitty with her eyes ; " and how demure we are ! 
Tiny bear has grown large," continued the old gover- 
ness, still smiling ; and she recalled his jest about the 
three young ladies whom he had named after the three 

bears in the English story " Do you remember that 

you used to call them so ."^ " 

He had entirely forgotten it, but she had laughed at 
this pleasantry for ten years, and still enjoyed it. 

" Now go, go and skate. Does n't our Kitty take to it 
beautifully } " 

When Levin rejoined Kitty, her face was no longer 
severe ; her eyes had regained their frank and kindly 
expression ; but it seemed to him that her very kindli- 
ness had a peculiar premeditated tone of serenity, and 
he felt troubled. After speaking of the old governess 
and her eccentricities, she asked him about his own life. 
•* Is n't it a bore living in the country in the winter .? " 
she asked. 

" No, it is not a bore; I am very busy," he replied, 


conscious that she was bringing him into the atmosphere 
of serene friendliness from which he could not escape 
now, any more than he could at the beginning of the 

" Shall you stay long ? " asked Kitty. 

" I do not know," he answered, without regard to 
what he was saying. The thought that, if he fell back 
into that tone of calm friendship, he might return home 
without reaching any decision, occurred to him, and he 
resolved to rebel against it. 

" Why don't you know .'' " 

" I don't know why. It depends on you," he said, 
and instantly he was horrified at his own words. 

She either did not understand his words, or did not 
want to understand them, for, seeming to stumble once 
or twice, catching her foot, she hurriedly skated away 
from him; and, having spoken to Mile. Linon, she went 
to the little house, where her skates were removed by 
the waiting-women. 

" My God ! what have I done ? O Lord God ! have 
pity upon me, and come to my aid ! " was Levin's secret 
prayer ; and, feeling the need of taking some violent 
exercise, he began to describe outer and inner curves on 
the ice. 

At this instant a young man, the best among the re- 
cent skaters, came out of the caf/ with his skates on, 
and a cigarette in his mouth ; with one spring he slid 
down, slipping and leaping from step to step, and, with- 
out even changing the easy position of his arms, skated 
down and out upon the ice. 

" Ah, that is a new trick," said Levin to himself, and 
he climbed up to the top of the bank to try the new trick. 

" Don't you kill yourself ! it needs practice," shouted 
Nikolai Shcherbatsky. 

Levin went up to the platform, got as good a start as 
he could, and then flew down the steps preserving his 
balance with his arms ; but at the last step he stumbled, 
made a violent effort to recover himself, regained his 
equilibrium, and with a laugh glided out upon the ice. 

"Charming, glorious fellow," thought Kitty, at this 


moment coming out of the little house with Mile. Linon, 
and looking at him with a gentle, affectionate smile, as if 
he were a beloved brother. "Is it my fault ? Have I 
done anything very bad? People say, 'Coquetry.' I 
know that I don't love him, but it is pleasant to be with 
him, and he is such a splendid fellow. But what made 
him say that .-* ".... 

Seeing Kitty departing with her mother, who had 
come for her, Levin, flushed with his violent exercise, 
stopped and pondered. Then he took off his skates, 
and joined the mother and daughter at the gate. 

"Very glad to see you," said the princess; "we re- 
ceive on Thursdays, as usual." 

"To-day, then.?" 

"We shall be very glad to see you," she answered 

This coolness troubled Kitty, and she could not re- 
strain her desire to temper her mother's chilling man- 
ner. She turned her head, and said, with a smile, " We 
shall see you, I hope."^ 

At this moment Stepan Arkadyevitch, with hat on 
one side, with animated face and bright eyes, entered 
the garden. But as he came up to his wife's mother, 
he assumed a melancholy and humiliated expression, 
and replied to the questions which she asked about 
Dolly's health. When he had finished speaking in a 
low and broken voice with his mother-in-law, he straight- 
ened himself up, and took Levin's arm. 

" Now, then, shall we go .'' I have been thinking of 
you all the time, and I am very glad that you came," 
he said, with a significant look into his eyes. 

"Come on, come on," replied the happy Levin, who 
did not cease to hear the sound of a voice saying, " We 
shall see yon, I Jiope,'' or to recall the smile that accom- 
panied the words. 

"At the Anglia, or at the Hermitage .-' " 

" It 's all the same to me." 

"At the Anglia, then," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
making this choice because he owed more there than at 

1 Simply da svidanya, equivalent to au revoir. 


the Hermitage, and it seemed unworthy of him, so to 
speak, to avoid this restaurant. "You have an izvosh- 
chik ? So much the better, for I sent off my car- 

While they were on the way, the friends did not 
exchange a word. Levin was pondering on the mean- 
ing of the change in the expression of Kitty's face, and 
at one moment persuaded himself that there was hope, 
and at the next plunged into despair, and he saw clearly 
that his hope was unreasonable. Nevertheless, he felt 
that he was another man since he had heard those 
words, "We shall see you, I hope," and seen her smile. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch was meantime making out the 
'tnenu for their dinner. 

" You like turbot, don't you .-' " were his first words 
on entering the restaurant. 

"What.''" exclaimed Levin "Turbot.? Yes, I 

am excessively fond of turbot." 


Levin could not help noticing, as they entered the 
restaurant, how Stepan Arkadyevitch's face and whole 
person seemed to shine with restrained happiness. Ob- 
lonsky took off his overcoat, and, with hat over one ear, 
marched toward the dining-room, giving, as he went, his 
orders to the Tatars who in swallow-tails and with nap- 
kins came hurrying to meet him. Bowing right and left 
to his acquaintances, who here as everywhere seemed 
delighted to see him, he went directly to the bar and 
took some vodka and a little fish, and said something 
comical to the barmaid, a pretty, curly-haired French 
girl, painted, and covered with ribbons and lace, so that 
she burst into a peal of laughter. But Levin would not 
drink any vodka simply because the sight of this French 
creature, all made up, apparently, of false hair, rice- 
powder, and vinaigre de toilette was revolting to him. 
He turned away from her quickly, with disgust, as from 
some horrid place. His whole soul was filled with 


memories of Kitty, and his eyes shone with triumph and 

" This way, your excellency ; come this way, and 
your excellency will not be disturbed," said a specially 
obsequious old Tatar, whose monstrous hips made the 
tails of his coat stick out behind. " Will you come this 
way, your excellency?" said he to Levin, as a sign of 
respect for Stepan Arkadyevitch, whose guest he was. 
In a twinkling he had spread a fresh cloth on the round 
table, which, already covered, stood under the bronze 
chandelier; then, bringing two velvet chairs, he stood 
waiting for Stepan Arkadyevitch's orders, holding in 
one hand his napkin, and his order-card in the other. 

" If your excellency would like to have a private 

room, one will be at your service in a few moments 

Prince Galitsuin and a lady. We have just received 
fresh oysters." 

"Ah, oysters! " 

Stepan Arkadyevitch reflected. " Supposing we 
change our plan. Levin," said he, with his finger on 
the bill of fare. His face showed serious hesitation. 

" But are the oysters good ? Pay attention ! " 

** They are from Flensburg, your excellency ; there 
are none from Ostend." 

** Flensburg oysters are well enough, but are they 

" They came yesterday." 

"Very good! What do you say.' — to begin with 
oysters, and then to make a complete change in our 
menu f What say you .'' " 

" It 's all the same to me. I 'd like best of all some 
skchi^ and kasJia^ but you can't get them here." 

" Kasha a la riisse, if you would like to order it," said 
the Tatar, bending over toward Levin as a nurse bends 
toward a child. 

" No. Jesting aside, whatever you wish is good. I 
have been skating and should like something to eat. 
Don't imagine," he added, as he saw an expression of 
disappointment on Oblonsky's face, " that I do not 

1 Cabbage soup. * Wheat gruel. 


appreciate your selection. I can eat a good dinner with 

" It should be more than that ! You should say that 
it is one of the pleasures of life," said Stepan Arkady e- 
vitch. " In this case, little brother mine, give us two, 
or.... no, that 's not enough, three dozen oysters, vegetable 
soup .... " 

" Printanikre," suggested the Tatar. 

But Stepan Arkadyevitch did not allow him the 
pleasure of enumerating the dishes in French, and con- 
tinued : — 

" Vegetable soup, you understand ; then turbot, with 
thick sauce ; then roast beef, but see to it that it 's all 
right. Yes, some capon, and lastly, some preserve." 

The Tatar, remembering Stepan Arkadyevitch's ca- 
price of not calling the dishes by their French names, 
instead of repeating them after him, waited till he had 
finished; then he gave himself the pleasure of repeating 
the order according to the bill of fare : — 

" Potage printanih'e, turbot, sauce Beatimarchais, 
ponlarde a V estragon, macidoine de fruits^ 

Then instantly, as if moved by a spring, he substi- 
tuted for the bill of fare the wine-list, which he presented 
to Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

" What shall we drink .? " 

"Whatever you please, only not much.... champagne," 
suggested Levin. 

** What ! at the very beginning ? But you may be 
right ; why not .'' Do you like the white seal } 

" Cachet blanc^' repeated the Tatar. 

" Well, then, give us that brand with the oysters. 
Then we '11 see." 

" It shall be done, sir. And what table wine shall I 
bring you } " 

"Some Nuits ; no, hold on — give us some classic 

" It shall be done, sir ; and will you order some of 
f02er cheese .'' " 

"Yes, somQ parmesan. Or do you prefer some other 


" No, it 's all the same to me," replied Levin, who 
could not keep from smiling. 

The Tatar disappeared on the trot, with his coat 
tails flying out behind him. Five minutes later he came 
with a platter of oysters opened and on the shell, and 
with a bottle in his hand. Stepan Arkadyevitch crum- 
pled up his well-starched napkin, tucked it into his 
waistcoat, calmly stretched out his hands, and began 
to attack the oysters. 

" Not bad at all," he said, as he lifted the succulent 
oysters from their shells with a silver fork, and swal- 
lowed them one by one. " Not at all bad," he repeated, 
looking from Levin to the Tatar, his eyes gleaming 
with satisfaction. 

Levin also ate his oysters, although he would have 
preferred white bread and cheese ; but he could not 
help admiring Oblonsky. Even the Tatar, after un- 
corking the bottle and pouring the sparkling wine into 
wide, delicate glass cups, looked at Stepan Arkadyevitch 
with a noticeable smile of satisfaction while he adjusted 
his white necktie. 

" You are not very fond of oysters, are you .'' " asked 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, draining his glass. " Or you are 
preoccupied.'* Hey.-'" 

He wanted Levin to be in good spirits, but Levin was 
anxious, if he was not downcast. His heart being so 
full, he found himself out of his element in this restau- 
rant, amid the confusion of guests coming and going, 
surrounded by the private rooms where men and women 
were dining together ; everything was repugnant to his 
feelings, — the whole outfit of bronzes and mirrors, the 
gas and the Tatars. He feared that the sentiment 
that occupied his soul would be defiled. 

" I .'' Yes, I am a little absent-minded ; but besides, 
everything here confuses me. You can't imagine," he 
said, "how strange all these surroundings seem to a 
countryman like myself. It 's like the finger-nails of 
that gentleman whom I met at your office." .... 

" Yes, I noticed that poor Grinevitch's finger-nails inter- 
ested you greatly," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, laughing. 


" It is of no use," replied Levin. " Suppose you come 
to me and try the standpoint of a man accustomed to 
living in the country. We in the country try to have 
hands suitable to work with; therefore we cut off our 
finger-nails, and oftentimes we even turn back our 
sleeves. But here men let their nails grow as long as 
possible, and so as to be sure of not being able to do 
any work with their hands, they fasten their sleeves with 
plates for buttons." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled gayly : — 

"That is a sign that he has no need of manual labor; 
it is brain-work .... " 

" Perhaps so. Yet it seems strange to me, no less 
than this that we are doing here. In the country we 
make haste to get through our meals so as to be at work 
again ; but here you and I are doing our best to eat as 
long as possible without getting satisfied, and so we are 
eating oysters. " .... 

" Well, there 's something in that," replied Stepan 
Arkadyevitch ; " but the aim of civilization is to trans- 
late everything into enjoyment." 

" If that is its aim, I should prefer to be untamed." 

" And you are untamed I All you Levins are un- 

Levin sighed. He thought of his brother Nikolai", 
and felt mortified and saddened, and his face grew 
dark ; but Oblonsky introduced a topic which had the 
immediate effect of diverting him. 

" Very well, come this evening to our house. I mean 
to the Shcherbatskys'," said he, pushing away the 
empty oyster-shells, drawing the cheese toward him, 
and flashing his eyes significantly. 

"Yes, I will surely come," replied Levin; "though 
it did not seem that the princess was very cordial in her 

"What rubbish ! It was only her manner Come, 

friend, bring us the soup It was only her graiidc da^ne 

manner," replied Stepan Arkadyevitch. " I shall come 
there immediately after a rehearsal at .the Countess 
Bonina's How can we help calling you untamed .-' 


How can you explain your flight from Moscow ? The 
Shcherbatskys have kept asking me about you, as if I 
were Ukely to know ! I only know one thing, that you 
are always likely to do things that no one else did." 

" Yes," replied Levin, slowly, and with emotion ; " you 
are right, I am untamed ; yet it was not that I went, 
but that I have come back proves me so ! I have come 

" Oh, what a lucky fellow you are ! " interrupted 
Oblonsky, looking into Levin's eyes. 


" I know fiery horses by their brand, and I know 
young people who are in love by their eyes," said 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, dramatically ; " everything is be- 
fore you ! " 

" And yourself, — is' everything behind you .-' " 

" No, not altogether, but you have the future ; and I 
have the present, and this present is between the devil 
and the deep sea ! " 

" What is the matter ? " 

" Nothing good. But I don't want to talk about my- 
self, especially as I cannot explain the circumstances," 
replied Stepan Arkadyevitch. " What did you come to 
Moscow for .-*.... Here! clear off the things!" he cried 
to the Tatar. 

" Can't you imagine ? " answered Levin, not taking 
his glowing eyes from Oblonsky's face. 

" I can imagine, but it is not for me to be the first to 
speak about it. By this you can tell whether I am 
right in my conjecture," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
looking at Levin with a sly smile. 

" Well, what have you to tell me ? " asked Levin, 
with a trembling voice, and feeling all the muscles of 
his face quiver. " How do you look at this ? " 

Stepan Arkadyevitch slowly drank his glass of Chablis 
while he looked steadily at Levin. 

" I .'' " said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "There is nothing 
that I should like so much — nothing. It is the best 
thing that could possibly be ! " 

" But are n't you mistaken ? Do you know what we 


are talking about ? " murmured Levin, with his eyes fixed 
on his companion. "Do you beHeve that this is possible ? " 

" I think it is possible. Why should n't it be .-* " 

" No, do you really think that it is possible .-' No ! 
tell me what you really think. If.... if she should refuse 
me.... and I am almost certain that.... " 

"Why should you be ? " asked Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
smiling at this emotion. 

" It is my intuition. It would be terrible for me and 
for her." 

" Oh ! in any case, I can't see that it would be very 
terrible for her ; a young girl is always flattered to be 
asked in marriage." 

" Young girls in general, perhaps, not she." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled ; he perfectly under- 
stood Levin's feeling, knew that for him all the young 
girls in the universe were divided into two categories : 
in the one, all the young girls in existence except her — 
and these girls had all the faults common to humanity, 
in other words, ordinary girls ; in the other, she alone, 
without any faults, and placed above the rest of 

" Hold on ! take some gravy," said he, stopping 
Levin's hand, who was pushing away the gravy. 

Levin took the gravy in all humility, but he did not 
give Oblonsky a chance to eat. 

" No, just wait, wait," said he ; " you understand 
this is for me a question of life and death. I have 
never spoken to any one else about it, and I cannot 
speak to any one else but you. I know we are very 
different from each other, have different tastes, views, 
everything ; but I know also that you love me, and 
that you understand me, and that 's the reason I am so 
fond of you. Now, for God's sake, be perfectly sincere 
with me." 

" I will tell you what I think," said Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch, smiHng. " But I will tell you more : my wife 
— a most extraordinary woman " — and Stepan Ar- 
kadyevitch sighed, as he remembered his relations with 
his wife — then after a moment's silence he proceeded 


— "she has a gift of second sight, and sees through 
people, but that is nothing ! she knows what is going to 
happen, especially when there is a question of marriage. 
Thus, she predicted that Brenteln would marry Sha- 
khovskaya ; no one would believe it, and yet it came to 
pass. Well, my wife is on your side." 

" What do you mean } " 

" I mean that she likes you ; she says that Kitty will 
be your wife." 

As he heard these words, Levin's face suddenly 
lighted up with a smile which was near to tears of 

" She said that ! " he cried. " I always said that your 
wife was charming. But enough, enough of this sort of 
talk," he added, and rose from the table. 

" Good ! but sit a little while longer." 

But Levin could not sit down. He strode two or 
three times up and down the little square room, wink- 
ing his eyes to hide the tears, and then he sat down 
again at the table. 

" Understand me," he said ; " this is not love. I have 
been in love, but this is not the same thing. This is 
more than a sentiment ; it is an inward power that con- 
trols me. You see, I went away because I had made 
up my mind that such happiness could not exist, that 
such good fortune could not be on earth. But after a 
struggle with myself, I find that I cannot live without 
this. This question must be decided...." 

" But why did you go away .-* " 

" Akh ! wait ! Akh ! so many things to think about ! 
so much to ask ! Listen, you cannot imagine what your 
words have done for me ! I am so happy that I have 
already grown detestable ! I am forgetting everything ; 
and yet this very day I heard that my brother Nikolai — 
you know — he is here, and I had entirely forgotten him. 
It seems to me that he, too, ought to be happy. But this 
is like a fit of madness. But one thing seems terrible to 

me You are married ; you ought to know this feeling. 

It is terrible that we who are already getting old .... with a 
pastbehindus....notof love but of wickedness. ...suddenly 


come into close relations with a pure and innocent 
being. This is disgusting, and so I cannot help feeling 
that I am unworthy." 

" Well ! you have not much wickedness to answer 

" Akh ! " said Levin; "and yet, ^ as I look zuith dis- 
gust 071 vty life, I tremble atid cjirse and mourn bitterly,' 

" But what can you do .'' the world is thus constituted," 
said Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

" There is only one consolation, and that is in the 
prayer that I have always loved : 'Pardon me not accord- 
ing to my deserts, but according to Thy loving-kindness' 
Thus only can she forgive me." 


Levin drained his glass, and they were silent. 

" I ought to tell you one thing, though. Do you know 
Vronsky } " asked Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

" No, I don't know him ; why do you ask .-* " 

" Bring us another bottle," said Oblonsky to the 
Tatar, who was refilling their glasses and was hover- 
ing about them, especially when he was not needed. 
" You must know that Vronsky is one of your rivals." 

" Who is this Vronsky .'^ " asked Levin, and his face, 
a moment since beaming with the youthful enthusiasm 
which Oblonsky so much admired, suddenly took on a 
disagreeable expression of anger. 

" Vronsky — he is one of Count Kirill Ivanovitch 
Vronsky's sons, and one of the finest examples of the 
gilded youth of Petersburg. I used to know him at 
Tver when I was on duty there ; he came there for re- 
cruiting service. He is immensely rich, handsome, with 
excellent connections, one of the emperor's aides, and, 
moreover, a capital good fellow. From what I have 
seen of him, he is more than a ' good fellow ' ; he is 
well educated and bright, he is a rising man." 

Levin scowled, and said nothing. 


" Well, then ! he put in an appearance soon after you 
left ; and, as I understand, he fell over ears in love with 
Kitty. You understand that her mother.... " 

" Excuse me, but I don't understand at all," inter- 
rupted Levin, scowling still more fiercely. And sud- 
denly he remembered his brother Nikolai', and how ugly 
it was in him to forget him, 

"Just wait, wait," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, laying 
his hand on Levin's arm with a smile. " I have told 
you all that I know ; but I repeat, that, in my humble 
opinion, the chances in this delicate affair are on your 

Levin leaned back in his chair ; his face was pale. 

" But I advise you to settle the matter as quickly as 
possible," suggested Oblonsky, filling up his glass. 

" No, thank you : I cannot drink any more," said 

Levin, pushing away the glass. " I shall be tipsy 

Well, how are you feeling?" he added, desiring to 
change the conversation. 

" One word more : in any case I advise you to settle 
the question quickly. I advise you to speak immedi- 
ately," said Stepan Arkadyevitch. " Go to-morrow 
morning, make your proposal in classic style, and God 
bless you." .... 

" Why have n't you ever come to hunt with me as 
you promised to do ."^ Come this spring," said Levin. 

He now repented with all his heart that he had en- 
tered upon this conversation with Stepan Arkadyevitch : 
his deepest feelings were wounded by what he had just 
learned of the pretensions of his rival, the young officer 
from Petersburg, as well as by the advice and insinua- 
tions of Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled. He perceived what 
was taking place in Levin's heart, 

"I will come some day," he said, "Yes, brother, 
woman's the spring that moves everything. My own 
trouble is bad, very bad. And all on account of women. 
Give me your advice," said he, taking a cigar, and still 
holding his glass in his hand. " Tell me frankly what 
you think." 


"But what about?" 

" Listen : suppose you were married, that you loved 
your wife, but had been drawn away by another 
woman .... " 

" Excuse me. I really can't imagine any such thing. 
As it looks to me, it would be as if in coming out from 
dinner, I should steal a loaf of bread from a bakery." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch's eyes sparkled more than usual. 
" Why not .'* Bread sometimes smells so good, that one 
cannot resist the temptation : — 

" Himmlisch I'sfs, wenn ich bezwungen 
Aleine irdische Begier : 
Aber dock wenns's m'c/it gelungen, 
HaW ich aiich recht hilbsch Plaisiry^ 

As he repeated these lines, Oblonsky smiled. 

Levin could not refrain from smiling also. 

" But a truce to pleasantries," continued Oblonsky. 
"Imagine a woman, a charming, modest, loving crea- 
ture, poor, and alone in the world, who had sacrificed 
everything for you. Now, imagine, after the thing is 
done, is it necessary to give her up } We '11 allow that 
it is necessary to break with her, so as not to disturb 
the peace of the family ; but ought we not to pity her, 
to make provision for her, to soften the blow .? " 

" Pardon me ; but you know that for me all women are 
divided into two classes, .... no, that is, .... there are women, 
and there are .... But I never yet have seen or expect 
to see beautiful fallen women, beautiful repentant Mag- 
dalens ; and such women as that painted French creature 
at the bar, with her false curls, fill me with disgust, and 
all fallen women are the same ! " 

" But the woman in the New Testament } " 

" Akh ! hold your peace. Never would Christ have 
said those words if he had known to what bad use they 
would be put. Out of the whole Gospel, only those 

1 It was heavenly when I gained 
What my heart desired on earth : 
Yet if not all were attained, 
Still I had my share of mirth. 


words are taken. However, I don't say what I think, 
but what I feel. You feel a disgust for spiders and 
I for these reptiles. You see you did not have to study 
spiders, and you know nothing about their natures. 
So it is with me." 

" It is well for you to say so ; it is a very convenient 
way to do as the character in Dickens did, and throw 
all embarrassing questions over his right shoulder with 
his left hand. But to deny a fact is not to answer it. 
Now, what is to be done ? tell me ! what is to be done .-' 
Your wife grows old and you are full of life. Before 
you are aware of it you realize that you do not love your 
wife, however much you may respect her. And then 
suddenly you fall in love with some one and you fall, 
you fall! " said Stepan Arkadyevitch, with a melancholy 

Levin laughed, 

" Yes, you fall ! " repeated Oblonsky. " Then what 
is to be done ? " 

" Don't steal fresh bread." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch burst out laughing. 

" O moralist ! but please appreciate the situation. 
Here are two women : one insists only on her rights, 
and her rights mean your love which you cannot give ; 
the other has sacrificed everything for you and demands 
nothing. What can one do ? How can one proceed .'' 
Here is a terrible tragedy! " 

"If you wish my judgment concerning this tragedy, 
I will tell you that I don't believe in this tragedy, and 
this is why. In my opinion, Love — the two Loves 
which Plato describes in his ' Symposium,' you remem- 
ber, serve as the touchstone for men. Some people 
understand only one of them ; others understand the 
other. Those who comprehend only the Platonic love 
have no right to speak of this tragedy now. In this 
sort of love there can be no tragedy. / tJiank yo?i 
humbly for the pleasure ; and therein consists the whole 
drama. But for Platonic love there can be no tragedy 
because it is bright and pure, and because.... " 

At this moment Levin remembered his own short- 


comings and the inward struggles which he had under- 
gone, and he unexpectedly added, " However, you may 
be right. It is quite possible.... I know nothing — abso- 
lutely nothing — about it." 

" Do you see," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, " you are 
a very perfect man ? Your great virtue is your only 
fault. You are a very perfect character and you desire 
that all the factors of life should also be perfect ; but this 
cannot be. Here you scorn the service of the state, 
because, according to your idea, every action should 
correspond to an exact end ; but this cannot be. You 
require also that the activity of every man should always 
have an object, that conjugal life and love be one and 
the same ; but this cannot be. All the variety, all the 
charm, all the beauty, of life consists in lights and shades." 

Levin sighed, and did not answer ; he was absorbed 
in his own thoughts and did not even listen. 

And suddenly both of them felt that, though they were 
good friends, though they had been dining together and 
drinking wine, yet each was thinking only of his own 
affairs and cared nothing for the affairs of the other. 
Oblonsky had more than once had this experience after 
dining with a friend, and he knew what had to be done 
when, instead of coming into closer sympathy, the dis- 
tance between seemed widened. 

" The account," he cried, and went into the next room, 
where he met an aide whom he knew, and with whom 
he began to talk about an actress and her lover. This 
conversation amused and rested Oblonsky after his con- 
versation with Levin, who always kept his mind on too 
great an intellectual and moral strain. 

When the Tatar brought the account, amounting to 
twenty-six rubles and odd kopeks, and something more 
for his fee, Levin, who at any other time, as a country- 
man, would have been shocked at the size of the bill, 
paid the fourteen rubles of his share without noticing, 
and went to his lodgings to dress for the reception at 
the Shcherbatskys', where his fate would be decided. 



The Princess Kitty Shcherbatskaya was eighteen years 
old. She was making her first appearance in society 
this winter, and her triumphs had been more brilliant 
than her elder sisters, more than even her mother, had 
expected. Not only were almost all the young men 
who danced at balls in Moscow in love with Kitty, 
but, moreover, there were two who, during this first 
winter, were serious aspirants to her hand, — Levin, 
and, soon after his departure, Count Vronsky. 

Levin's appearance at the beginning of the winter, 
his frequent calls and his unconcealed love for Kitty, 
were the first subjects that gave cause for serious con- 
versation between her father and mother in regard to 
her future and for disputes between the prince and 
princess. The prince was on Levin's side, and declared 
that he could not desire a better match for Kitty. But 
the princess, with the skill which women have for avoid- 
ing a question, insisted that Kitty was too young, that 
Levin did not seem to be serious in his attentions, and 
that she did not show great partiality for him ; but 
she did not express what was in the bottom of her 
heart, — that she was ambitious for a more brilliant 
marriage, that Levin did not appeal to her sympathies, 
and that she did not understand him. And when Levin 
took a sudden leave she was glad and said; with an air 
of triumph, to her husband : — 

" You see, I was right." 

When Vronsky appeared on the scene, she was still 
more glad, being confirmed in her opinion that Kitty 
ought to make, not merely a good, but a brilliant match. 

For the princess there was no comparison between 
Vronsky and Levin as suitors. The mother disliked 
Levin and his strange and harsh judgments, his awk- 
wardness in society, which she attributed to his pride and 
what she called his savage life in the country, occupied 
with his cattle and peasants. Nor did she like it at all 
that Levin, though he was in love with her daughter, and 


had been a frequent visitor at their house for six weeks, 
had appeared like a man who was hesitating, watching, 
and questioning whether, if he should offer himself, the 
honor which he conferred on them would not be too 
great, and that he did not seem to understand that when 
a man comes assiduously to a house where there is a 
marriageable daughter, it is proper for him to declare 
his intentions. And then he suddenly departed with- 
out any explanation ! 

"It is fortunate," the mother thought, "that he is so 
unattractive, and that Kitty has not fallen in love with 

Vronsky satisfied all her requirements : he was very 
rich, intelligent, of good birth, with a brilliant career 
at court or in the army before him, and, moreover, he 
was charming. Nothing better could be desired. Vron- 
sky was devoted to Kitty at the balls, danced with her, 
and called upon her parents ; there could be no doubt 
that his intentions were serious. But, notwithstanding 
this, the mother had passed this whole winter full of 
doubts and perplexities. 

The princess herself had been married thirty years 
before, through the match-making of an aunt. Her 
suitor, who was well known by reputation, came, saw 
the young lady, and was seen by the family ; the aunt 
who served as intermediary gave and received the re- 
port of the impression produced on both sides ; the 
impression was favorable. Then on a designated day 
the expected proposal was made on the parents, and 
granted. Everything had passed off very easily and 
simply. At least, so it seemed to the princess. But in 
the case of her own daughters, she learned by experi- 
ence how difficult and complicated this apparently 
simple matter of getting girls married really was. How 
many fears she had to go through ! How many things 
had to be thought over, how much money had to be 
lavished, how many collisions with her husband, when 
the time came for Darya and Natali to be married ! 
And now that the youngest was in the matrimonial 
market, she was obliged to suffer from the same anxi- 


eties, the same doubts, and even more bitter quarrels 
with her husband. 

The old prince, like all fathers, was excessively punc- 
tilious about everything concerning the honor and 
purity of his daughters, he was distressingly jealous re- 
garding them, especially Kitty, who was his favorite, 
and at every step he accused his wife of compromising 
his daughter. The princess had become accustomed to 
these scenes from the days of her elder daughters, but 
now she felt that her husband's strictness had more 
justification. She saw that in these later days many of 
the practices of society had undergone a change, so 
that the duties of mothers were becoming more and 
more difficult. She saw how Kitty's young girl friends 
formed a sort of clique, went to races, freely mingled 
with men, went out driving alone ; that many of them 
no longer made courtesies ; and, what was more serious, 
all of them were firmly convinced that the choice of 
husbands was their affair and not their parents'. 

" Marriages aren't made as they used to be," thought 
and said all these young ladies, and even some of the 
older people. 

" But how are marriages made nowadays .-' " This ques- 
tion the princess could not get any one to answer. 

The French custom, where the parents decide the 
fate of their children, was not accepted, was even bitterly 
criticized. The English custom, which allows the girls 
absolute liberty, was also not accepted, and was not pos- 
sible in Russian spciety. The Russian custom of em- 
ploying a match-maker was regarded as bad form ; 
every one ridiculed it, even the princess herself. But 
no one seemed to know what course to take in regard to 
courtship. Every one with whom the princess talked 
said the same thing. 

" For goodness' sake, it is time for us to renounce 
those exploded notions; it is the young folks, and not 
their parents, who get married, and, therefore, it is for 
young folks to make their arrangements in accordance 
with their own ideas." 

It was well enough for those without daughters to 


say this ; but the princess knew well that in this familiar 
intercourse her daughter might fall in love, and fall in 
love with some one who would not dream of marrying 
her, or would not make her a good husband. However 
earnestly they suggested to the princess that in our 
time young people ought to settle their own destinies, 
she found it impossible to agree with them any more 
than she could believe in the advisability of allowing the 
four-year-old children of our time to have loaded pistols 
as their favorite toys. And so the princess felt much 
more solicitude about Kitty than she had felt about 
either of her other daughters. 

She feared now that Vronsky would content himself 
with playing the gallant. She saw that Kitty was 
already in love with him, but she consoled herself with 
the thought that he was a man of honor and would not 
do so ; but, at the same time, she knew how easy it was, 
with the new freedom allowed in society, to turn a young 
girl's head, and how lightly men as a general thing 
regarded this. 

The week before Kitty had told her mother of a con- 
versation which she had held with Vronsky during a 
mazurka. This conversation had partially relieved the 
princess's mind, though it did not absolutely satisfy her. 
Vronsky told Kitty that he and his brother were both so 
used to letting their mother decide things for them, that 
they never undertook anything of importance without 
consulting her. 

" And now I am looking for my mother's arrival from 
Petersburg as a great piece of good fortune," he had said. 

Kitty reported these words without attaching any im- 
portance to them, but her mother understood them very 
differently. She knew that the old countess was ex- 
pected from day to day ; she knew that the old countess 
would be satisfied with her son's choice ; and it was 
strange to her that he had not offered himself, as if he 
feared to offend his mother. However, she herself was 
so anxious for this match, and above all for relief from 
her anxieties, that she gave a favorable interpretation to 
these words. Bitterly as she felt the unhappiness of her 


oldest daughter, Dolly, who was thinking of leaving her 
husband, agitation regarding the decision of her young- 
est daughter's fate completely absorbed her thoughts. 

Levin's arrival to-day gave her a new anxiety. She 
feared lest her daughter, who, as she thought, had at one 
time felt drawn toward Levin, might, out of excessive 
delicacy, refuse Vronsky, and she feared more than 
anything else that his arrival would complicate every- 
thing and postpone a long-desired consummation. 

" Has he been here long.''" asked the princess of her 
daughter, when they reached home after their meeting 
with Levin. 

"Since yesterday, inaman." 

" I have one thing that I want to say to you ...." the 
princess began, and, at the sight of her serious and agi- 
tated face, Kitty knew what was coming. 

" Mamma," said she, blushing, and turning quickly to 
her, " please, please don't speak about this. I know, I 
know all ! " 

She wished the same thing that her mother wished, 
but the motives of her mother's desires were repugnant 
to her. 

" I only wish to say that as you have given hope to 

" Mamma, galnbchik} don't speak. It 's so terrible 
to speak about this." 

" I will not," replied her mother, seeing the tears in 
her daughter's eyes ; " only one word, moya diisha ^ : 
you have promised to have no secrets from me. Have 
you any ? " 

" Never, mamma, not one ! " replied Kitty, looking 
her mother full in the face and blushing; "but I have 
nothing to tell now. I .... I .... even if I wanted to, I 
don't know what to say and how.... I don't know ...." 

" No, with those eyes she cannot speak a falsehood," 
said the mother to herself, smiling at her emotion and 
happiness. The princess smiled to think how momen- 
tous appeared to the poor girl what was passing in her 

^ Little dove. ^ My soul. 



After dinner, and during the first part of the even- 
ing, Kitty felt as a young man feels before a battle. 
Her heart beat violently, and she could not concentrate 
her thoughts. 

She felt that this evening, when they two should meet 
for the first time, would decide her fate. She kept see- 
ing them in her imagination, sometimes together, some- 
times separately. When she thought of the past, 
pleasure, almost tenderness, filled her heart at the 
remembrance of her relations with Levin. The recol- 
lections of her childhood and of his friendship with 
her departed brother imparted a certain poetic charm 
to her relations with him. His love for her, of which 
she was certain, was flattering and agreeable to her, 
and she found it easy to think about Levin. In her 
thoughts about Vronsky there was something that 
made her uneasy, though he was a man to the highest 
degree polished and self-possessed ; there seemed to be 
something false, not in him, — for he was very simple 
and good, — but in herself, while all was clear and 
simple in her relations with Levin. But while Vronsky 
seemed to offer her dazzling promises and a brilliant 
future, the future with Levin seemed enveloped in 

When she went up-stairs to dress for the evening and 
looked into the mirror, she noticed with delight that she was 
looking her loveliest, and that she was in full possession 
of all her powers, and what was most important on this 
occasion, that she felt at ease and entirely self-possessed. 

At half-past seven, as she was going into the drawing- 
room, the lackey announced, " Konstantin Dmitritch 
Levin." The princess was still in her room ; the prince 
had not yet come down. " It has come at last," thought 
Kitty, and all the blood rushed to her heart. As she 
glanced into a mirror, she was startled to see how pale 
she looked. 

She knew now, for a certainty, that he had come early, 


so as to find her alone and offer himself. And instantly 
the situation appeared to her for the first time in a new, 
strange light. Then only she realized that the question 
did not concern herself alone, nor who would make her 
happy, nor whom she loved, but that she should have to 
wound a man whom she liked, and to wound him cruelly 
.... why, why was it that such a charming man loved 
her .-' Why had he fallen in love with her .-' But it was 
too late to mend matters ; it was fated to be so. 

" Merciful Heaven ! is it possible that I myself must 
tell him," she thought, — "I must tell him that I don't 
love him } That is not true ! But what can I say .'' 
That I love another.? No, that is impossible. I will 
run away, I will run away ! " 

She had already reached the door, when she heard his 
step. " No, it is not honorable. What have I to fear .? 
I have done nothing wrong. Let come what will, I will 
tell the truth ! I shall not be ill at ease with him. Ah, 
here he is ! " she said to herself, as she saw his strong 
but timid countenance, with his brilliant eyes fixed upon 
her. She looked him full in the face, with an air which 
seemed to implore his protection, and extended her 

" I am rather early, too early, I am afraid," said he, 
casting a glance about the empty room ; and when he 
saw that his hope was fulfilled, and that nothing would 
prevent him from speaking, his face grew solemn. 

" Oh, no ! " said Kitty, sitting down near a table. 

" But it is exactly what I wanted, so that I might find 
you alone," he began, without sitting, and without look- 
ing at her, lest he should lose his courage. 

" Mamma will be here in a moment. She was very 
tired to-day. To-day .... " 

She spoke without knowing what her lips said, and 
did not take her imploring and gentle gaze from his 

Levin gazed at her ; she blushed, and stopped speak- 

" I told you to-day that I did not know how long I 
should stay .... that it depended on you .... " 


Kitty drooped her head lower and lower, not know- 
ing how she should reply to the words that he was going 
to speak. 

"That it depended upon you," he repeated. "I 
meant .... I meant .... I came for this, that .... be my wife," 
he murmured, not knowing what he had said ; but, feel- 
ing that he had got through the worst of the difficulty, 
he stopped and looked at her. 

She felt almost suffocated ; she did not raise her head. 
She felt a sort of ecstasy. Her heart was full of happi- 
ness. Never could she have believed that the declara- 
tion of his love would make such a deep impression 
upon her. But this impression lasted only a moment. 
She remembered Vronsky. She raised her sincere and 
liquid eyes to Levin, and, seeing his agitated face, said 
hastily : — 

" This cannot be ! .... Forgive me ! " 

How near to him, a moment since, she had been, and 
how necessary to his life ! and now how far away and 
strange she suddenly seemed to be ! 

" It could not have been otherwise," he said, without 
looking at her. 

He bowed and was about to leave the room. 


At this instant the princess entered. Apprehension 
was pictured on her face when she saw their agitated 
faces and that they had been alone. Levin bowed low, 
and did not speak. Kitty was silent, and did not raise 
her eyes. " Thank God, she has refused him ! " thought 
the mother ; and her face lighted up with the smile with 
which she always received her Thursday guests. She 
sat down, and began to ask Levin questions about his 
life in the country. He also sat down, hoping to escape 
unobserved when the guests began to arrive. 

Five minutes later, one of Kitty's friends, who had 
been married the winter before, was announced, — the 


Countess Nordstone. She was a dried-up, sallow, ner- 
vous, sickly woman, with brilliant black eyes. She was 
fond of Kitty, and her affection, like that of every mar- 
ried woman for a young girl, was expressed by a keen 
desire to have her married in accordance with her own 
ideal of conjugal happiness. She wanted to marry her 
to Vronsky. Levin, whom she had often met at the 
Shcherbatskys' the first of the winter, was always dis- 
tasteful to her, and her favorite occupation, after she 
had met him in society, was to make sport of him. 

"I am enchanted," she said, "when he looks down 
on me from his loftiness ; either he fails to honor me 
with his learned conversation because I am too silly 
for him, or else he treats me condescendingly. I like 
this ; condescending to me ! I am very glad that he 
cannot endure me." 

She was right, because the fact was that Levin could 
not endure her, and he despised her for being proud of 
what she regarded as a merit, — her nervous tempera- 
ment, her indifference and delicate scorn for all that 
seemed to her gross and material. 

The relationship between Levin and the Countess 
Nordstone was such as is often met with in society 
where two persons, friends in outward appearance, 
despise each other to such a degree that they cannot 
hold a serious conversation, or even clash with each 

The Countess Nordstone instantly addressed herself 
to Levin : — 

" Ah, Konstantin Dmitrievitch ! are you back again 
in our abominable Babylon ? " said she, giving him her 
little yellow hand, and recalling his owit words at the 
beginning of the winter when he said Moscow was a 
Babylon. "Is Babylon converted, or have you been 
corrupted ? " she added, with a mocking smile in Kitty's 

" I am greatly flattered, countess, that you remember 
my words so well," replied Levin, who, having had time 
to collect his thoughts, instantly entered into the face- 
tiously hostile tone peculiar to his relations with the 


Countess Nordstone. " It seems that they have made 
a very deep impression on you." 

" Akh ! how so ? But I always make notes. Well ! 
how is it, Kitty, have you been skating to-day.?".... 

And she began to talk with her young friend. 

Awkward as it was in him to take his departure now, 
Levin preferred to commit this breach of etiquette 
rather than remain through the evening, and to see 
Kitty, who occasionally looked at him, though she 
avoided his eyes. He attempted to get up; but the 
princess, noticing that he had nothing to say, addressed 
him directly : — 

" Do you intend to remain long in Moscow } You 
are justice of the peace in your district, are you not? 
and I suppose that will prevent you from making a 
long stay." 

"No, princess, I have resigned that office," he, said. 
" I have come to stay several days." 

" Something has happened to him," thought the 
Countess Nordstone, as she saw Levin's stern and seri- 
ous face, " because he does not launch out into his usual 
tirades ; but I '11 soon draw him out. Nothing amuses 
me more than to make him ridiculous before Kitty, and 
I '11 do it." 

" Konstantin Dmitritch," she said to him, "explain 
to me, please, what this means, for you know all about 
it : at our estate in Kaluga all the muzhiks and their 
wives have drunk up everything they had, and don't 
pay what they owe us. You are always praising the 
muzhiks ; what does this mean ? " 

At this moment another lady came in, and Levin arose. 

" Excuse me, countess, I know nothing at all about 
it, and I cannot answer your question," said he, look- 
ing at an officer who entered at the same time with the 

" That must be Vronsky," he thought, and to confirm 
his surmise he glanced at Kitty. She had already had 
time to perceive Vronsky, and she was looking at Levin. 
When he saw the young girl's involuntarily brightening 
eyes, Levin saw that she loved that man, he saw it as 

VOL. I. — s 


clearly as if she herself had confessed it to him. But 
what sort of a man was he ? 

Now — whether it was wise or foolish — Levin could 
not help remaining ; he must find out for himself what 
sort of a man it was that she loved. 

There are men who, on meeting a fortunate rival, are 
immediately disposed to deny that there is any good in 
him and see only evil in him ; others, on the contrary, 
endeavor to discover nothing but the merits that have 
won him his success, and with sore hearts to attribute 
to him nothing but good. Levin belonged to the latter 
class. It was not hard for him to discover what amiable 
and attractive qualities Vronsky possessed. They were 
apparent at a glance. He was dark, of medium stature, 
and well proportioned ; his face was handsome, calm, 
and friendly ; everything about his person, from his 
black, short-cut hair, and his freshly shaven chin, to his 
new, well-fitting uniform, was simple and perfectly ele- 
gant. Vronsky allowed the lady to pass before him, 
then he approached the princess, and finally came to 
Kitty. As he drew near her, his beautiful eyes shone 
with deeper tenderness, and with a smile expressive of 
joy mingled with triumph, — so it seemed to Levin, — 
he bowed respectfully and with dignity and offered her 
his small, wide hand. After greeting them all and speak- 
ing a few words, he sat down without having seen Levin, 
who never once took his eyes from him. 

" Allow me to make you acquainted," said the prin- 
cess, turning to Levin : " Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin, 
Count Alekseif Kirillovitch Vronsky." 

Vronsky arose, and, with a friendly look into Levin's 
eyes, shook hands with him. 

" It seems," said he, with his frank and pleasant 
smile, " that I was to have had the honor of dining with 
you this winter ; but you went off unexpectedly to the 

" Konstantin Dmitritch despises and shuns the city, 
and us, its denizens," said the Countess Nordstone. 

" It must be that my words impress you deeply, since 
you remember them so well," said Levin; and, perceiv- 



ing that he had already made this remark, he grew red 
in the face. 

Vronsky looked at Levin and the countess, and smiled. 

" So, then, you always live in the country ? " he asked. 
" I should think it would be tiresome in winter." 

" Not if one has enough to do ; besides, one does not 
get tired of himself," said Levin, sharply. 

"I like the country," said Vronsky, noticing Levin's 
tone and appearing not to notice it. 

" But, count, I hope you would not consent to live 
always in the country," said the Countess Nordstone. 

" I don't know ; I never made a long stay, but I once 
felt a strange sensation," he added. " Never have I so 
eagerly longed for the country, the real Russian country 
with its bast shoes and its muzhiks, as during the winter 
that I spent at Nice with my mother. Nice, you know, 
is melancholy anyway ; and Naples, Sorrento, are pleas- 
ant only for a short time. There it is that one remembers 
Russia most tenderly, and especially the country. They 
are almost as .... " 

He spoke, now addressing Kitty, now Levin, turning 
his calm and friendly eyes from one to the other, and he 
evidently said whatever came into his head. 

Noticing that the Countess Nordstone wanted to say 
something, he stopped, without finishing his phrase, and 
began to listen to her attentively. 

The conversation did not languish a single instant, so 
that the old princess, who always had in reserve two 
heavy guns, in case there needed to be a change in the 
conversation, — namely, classic and scientific education, 
and the general compulsory conscription, — had no need 
to bring them out, and the Countess Nordstone did not 
even have a chance to rally Levin. 

Levin wanted to join in the general conversation, but 
was unable. He kept saying to himself, " Now, I '11 
go ; " and still he waited as if he expected something. 

The conversation turned on table-tipping and spirits ; 
and the Countess Nordstone, who was a believer in 
spiritism, began to relate the marvels that she had 


" Akh, countess ! in the name of Heaven, take me to 
see them. I never yet saw anything extraordinary, 
anxious as I have always been," said Vronsky, smiling. 

" Good ; next Saturday," replied the countess. " But 
you, Konstantin Dmitritch, do you believe in it ,'' " she 
asked of Levin. 

" Why do you ask me ? You know perfectly well" what 
I shall say." 

" Because I wanted to hear your opinion." 

" My opinion is simply this," replied Levin : " that 
table-tipping proves that so-called cultivated society is 
scarcely more advanced than the muzhiks ; they believe 
in the evil eye, in casting lots, in sorceries, while we .... " 

"That means that you don't believe in it.'' " 

" I cannot believe in it, countess." 

" But if I myself have seen these things ? " 

" The peasant women also say that they have seen the 
Do mo VOL ^ 

"Then, you think that I do not tell the truth.?" 

And she broke into an unpleasant laugh. 

" But no, Masha. Konstantin Dmitritch simply says 
that he cannot believe in spiritism," said Kitty, blushing 
for Levin ; and Levin understood her, and, growing still 
more irritated, was about to reply; but Vronsky instantly 
came to the rescue, and with a gentle smile brought 
back the conversation, which threatened to go beyond 
the bounds of politeness. 

" Do not you admit at all the possibility of its being 
true.?" he asked. "Why not.? We willingly admit the 
existence of electricity, which we do not understand. 
Why should there not exist a new force, as yet unknown, 

" When electricity was discovered," interrupted Levin, 
eagerly, "only its phenomena had been seen, and it was 
not known what produced them, or whence they arose; 
and centuries passed before people dreamed of making 
application of it. Spiritualists, on the other hand, have 

^ The Domovol is the house-spirit, like the latin lar, who lives behind 
the stove, and when propitiated by cream and colored eggs is beneficent, 
but if offended may play disagreeable tricks. — Tr. 


begun by making tables write, and by summoning spirits 
to them, and it is only afterward they began to say it is 
an unknown force." 

Vronsky listened attentively, as he always listened, and 
was evidently interested in Levin's words. 

" Yes; but the spiritualists say, ' We do not yet know 
what this force is, but it is a force, and acts under certain 
conditions.' Let the scientists find out what it is. I 
don't see why it may not be a new force if it.... " 

"Because," interrupted Levin again, "every time you 
rub resin with wool, you produce a certain and invariable 
electrical phenomenon ; while spiritism brings no such 
invariable result, and so it cannot be a natural phe- 

Vronsky, evidently perceiving that the conversation 
was growing too serious for a reception, made no reply ; 
and, in order to make a diversion, smiled gayly, and ad- 
dressing the ladies said : — 

" Countess, let us make the experiment now ? " 

But Levin wanted to finish saying what was in his 
mind : — 

" I think," he continued, " that the attempts made by 
spiritual mediums to explain their miracles by a new 
force is most abortive. They claim that it is a super- 
natural force, and yet they want to submit it to a material 

All were waiting for him to come to an end, and he 
felt it. 

" And I think that you would be a capital medium," 
said the Countess Nordstone. " There is something so 
enthusiastic about you ! " 

Levin opened his mouth to speak, but he said nothing, 
and turned red. 

" Come, let us give the tables a trial," said Vronsky ; 
"with your permission, princess." And Vronsky rose, 
and looked for a small table. 

Kitty was standing by a table, and her eyes met 
Levin's. Her whole soul pitied him, because she felt 
that she was the cause of his pain. Her look said, 
" Forgive me, if you can, I am so happy." 


And his look replied, " I hate the whole world, — you 
and myself." And he took up his hat. 

But it was not his fate to go. The guests were just 
taking their places around the table, and he was on the 
point of starting, when the old prince entered, and, after 
greeting the ladies, went straight to Levin. 

" Ah! " he cried joyfully. " What a stranger ! I did 
not know that you were here. Very glad to see you ! " 

In speaking to Levin the prince sometimes used the 
familiar tiii, thou, and sometimes the formal vuiy you. 
He took him by the arm, and, while conversing with him, 
gave no notice to Vronsky, who stood waiting patiently 
for the prince to speak to him. 

Kitty felt that her father's friendliness must be hard 
for Levin after what had happened. She also noticed 
how coldly her father at last acknowledged Vronsky's 
bow, and how Vronsky looked at her father, with good- 
humored perplexity striving in vain to make out what 
this icy reception meant, and she blushed. 

" Prince, let us have Konstantin Dmitritch," said the 
Countess Nordstone. " We want to try an experiment." 

"What sort of an experiment.'^ table-tipping.? Well! 
excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, but, in my opinion, 
grace-hoops^ would be a better game," said the prince, 
looking at Vronsky, whom he took to be the originator 
of this sport. " At least there's some sense in grace- 

Vronsky, astonished, turned his steady eyes upon the 
old prince, and, slightly smiling, began to talk with the 
Countess Nordstone about the arrangements for a great 
ball to be given the following week. 

" I hope that you will be there," said he, turning to 

As soon as the old prince turned from him Levin 
made his escape; and the last impression which he bore 
away from this reception was Kitty's happy, smiling 
face, answering Vronsky's question in regard to the 

1 Kaletchki. 



After the guests had gone, Kitty told her mother of 
her conversation with Levin; and, in spite of all the 
pain that she had caused him, the thought that he had 
asked her to marry him flattered her. She had no 
doubt that she had acted properly, but it was long be- 
fore she could go to sleep. One memory constantly 
arose in her mind: it was Levin's face as, with con- 
tracted brow, he stood listening to her father, looking 
at her and Vronsky with his gloomy, melancholy, kind 
eyes. She felt so sorry for him that she could not keep 
back the tears. But, as she thought of him who had 
replaced Levin in her regards, she saw vividly his 
handsome, strong, and manly face, his aristocratic self- 
possession, his universal kindness to every one; she re- 
called his love for her, and how she loved him, and joy 
came back to her heart. She laid her head on the pil- 
low, and smiled with happiness. 

" It is too bad, too bad; but what can I do."* It is not 
my fault," she said to herself, although an inward voice 
whispered the contrary. She did not know whether she 
ought to reproach herself for having been attracted to 
Levin, or for having refused him; but her happiness 
was not alloyed with doubts. " Lord, have mercy upon 
me! Lord, have mercy upon me! Lord, have mercy 
upon me! " she repeated until she went to sleep. 

Meantime, down-stairs, in the prince's little library, 
there was going on one of those scenes which fre- 
quently occurred between the parents in regard to their 
favorite daughter. 

"What.'' This is what!" cried the prince, waving his 
arms and immediately wrapping around him his squirrel- 
skin khalat. "You have neither pride nor dignity; you 
are ruining your daughter with this low and ridiculous 
manner of husband-hunting." 

" But in the name of Heaven, prince, what have I 
done? " said the princess, almost ready to cry. 


She had come as usual to say good-night to her hus- 
band, feeling very happy and satisfied over her con- 
versation with her daughter ; and, though she had not 
ventured to breathe a word of Levin's proposal and 
Kitty's rejection of him, she allowed herself to hint to 
her husband that she thought the affair with Vronsky 
was settled, that it would be decided as soon as the 
countess should arrive. At these words the prince had 
fallen into a passion, and had addressed her with un- 
pleasant reproaches: — ■ 

"What have you done? This is what: In the first 
place you have decoyed a husband for her; and all 
Moscow will say so, and with justice. If you want to 
give receptions, give them, by all means, but invite 
every one, and not suitors of your own choice. Invite 
all these mashers," — thus the prince called the young 
men of Moscow, — "have somebody to play and let 'em 
dance; but not like to-night, inviting only suitors! It 
seems to me shameful, shameful, the way you've pushed ! 
You have turned the girl's head. Levin is a thousand 
times the better man. And as to this Petersburg dandy, 
he 's one of those turned out by machinery, they are all 
on one pattern, and all trash! My daughter has no 
need of going out of her way, even for a prince of the 

" But what have I done ? " 

"Why, this.... " cried the prince, angrily. 

" I know well enough that, if I listen to you," inter- 
rupted the princess, " we shall never see our daughter 
married; and, in that case, we might just as well go 
into the country." 

"We'd better go!" 

" Now wait ! Have I made any advances ? No, I 
have not. But a young man, and a very handsome 
young man, is in love with her; and she, it seems...." 

" Yes, so it seems to you. But suppose she should 
be in love with him, and he have as much intention 
of getting married as I myself .'' Okh ! Have n't I 
eyes to see .-• ' Akh, spiritism ! akh, Nice ! akh, the 
ball ! ' " .... Here the prince, attempting to imitate his 


wife, made a courtesy at every word. " We shall be 
very proud when we have made our Kationka unhappy, 
and when she really takes it into her head..,." 

" But what makes you think so .'' " 

" I don't think so, I know so ; and that 's why we 
have eyes, and you mothers have n't. I see a man 
who has serious intentions, — Levin ; and I see a fine 
bird, like this good-for-nothing, who is merely amusing 

" Well ! now you have taken it into your head .... " 

" You will remember what I have said, but too late, 
as you did with Dashenka." 

•' Very well, very well, we will not say anything more 
about it," said the princess, who was cut short by the 
remembrance of Dolly's unhappiness. 

" So much the better, and good-night." 

The husband and wife, as they separated, kissed 
each other good-night, making the sign of the cross, 
but with the consciousness that each remained un- 
changed in opinion. 

The princess had at first been firmly convinced that 
Kitty's fate was decided by the events of the evening, 
and that there could be no doubt of Vronsky's designs ; 
but her husband's words troubled her. On her return 
to her room, as she thought in terror of the unknown 
future, she did just as Kitty had done, and prayed from 
the bottom of her heart, " Lord, have mercy ! Lord, 
have mercy ! Lord, have mercy ! " 


Vronsky had never known anything of family life. 
His mother, in her youth, had been a very brilliant 
society woman, who, in her husband's lifetime and 
after his death, had engaged in many love-affairs that 
had made talk. Vronsky scarcely remembered his father, 
and he had been educated in the School of Pages. 

Graduating very young and with brilliancy as an 
officer, he immediately began to follow the course of 


wealthy militar}'^ men of Petersburg. Though he oc- 
casionally went into general society, all his love-affairs 
were with a different class. 

At Moscow, after the luxurious, dissipated life of 
Petersburg, he for the first time felt the charm of 
familiar intercourse with a lovely, innocent society 
girl, who was evidently in love with him. It never 
occurred to him that there might be anything wrong 
in his relations with Kitty. At balls he preferred to 
dance with her, he called on her, talked with her as 
people generally talk in society : all sorts of trifles, 
but trifles to which he involuntarily attributed a differ- 
ent meaning when spoken to her. Although he never 
said anything to her which he would not have said in 
the hearing of others, he was conscious that she kept 
growing more and more dependent on him ; and, the 
more he felt this consciousness, the pleasanter it was 
to him, and his feeling toward her grew warmer and 
warmer. He did not know that his behavior toward 
Kitty had a definite name, that this way of leading 
on young girls without any intention of marriage is 
one of the most dishonorable tricks practised among 
the members of the brilliant circles of society in which 
he moved. He simply imagined that he had discovered 
a new pleasure, and he enjoyed his discovery. 

Could he have heard the conversation between Kitty's 
parents that evening, could he have taken the family 
point of view and realized that Kitty would be made 
unhappy if he did not propose to her, he would have 
been amazed and would not have believed it. He 
would not have believed that what gave him and her 
such a great delight could be wrong, still less that it 
brought any obligation to marry. 

He had never considered the possibility of his getting 
married. Not only was family life distasteful to him, 
but, from his view as a bachelor, the family, and espe- 
cially the husband, belonged to a strange, hostile, and, 
worst of all, ridiculous world. But though Vronsky had 
not the slightest suspicion of the conversation of which 
he had been the subject, he left the Shcherbatskys' with 


the feeling that the mysterious bond that attached him 
to Kitty was closer than ever, so close, indeed, that he 
felt that he must do something. But what he ought 
to do or could do he could not imagine. 

" How charming ! " he thought, as he went to his 
rooms, feeling, as he always felt when he left the 
Shcherbatskys', a deep impression of purity and fresh- 
ness, arising partly from the fact that he had not 
smoked all the evening, and a new sensation of ten- 
derness caused by her love for him. " How charming 
that, without either of us saying anything, we under- 
stand each other so perfectly through this mute lan- 
guage of glances and tones, so that to-day more than 
ever before she told me that she loves me ! And how 
lovely, natural, and, above all, confidential, she was ! 
I feel that I myself am better, purer. I feel that I 
have a heart, and that there is something good in me. 
Those gentle, lovely eyes ! When she said.... Well! 
what did she say ? .... Nothing much, but it was pleas- 
ant for me, and pleasant for her." 

And he reflected how he could best finish up the 
evening. He passed in review the places where he 
might go : " The ' club,' a hand of bezique and some 
champagne with Ignatof .-' No, not there. The Chateau 
des Fleurs, to find Oblonsky, songs, and the cancan f 
No, it 's a bore. And this is just why I like the Shcher- 
batskys, — because I feel better for having been there. 
I '11 go home ! " 

He went to his room at Dusseaux's, ordered supper, 
and then, having undressed, he had scarcely touched his 
head to the pillow before he was sound asleep. 


The next morning, about eleven o'clock, Vronsky went 
to the station to meet his mother on the Petersburg train ; 
and the first person he saw on the grand staircase was 
Oblonsky, who was expecting his sister on the same 


" Ah ! your excellency," cried Oblonsky, " are you 
expecting some one ? " 

" My matushka," replied Vronsky, with the smile with 
which people always met Oblonsky. And, after shak- 
ing hands, they mounted the staircase side by side. 
" She was to come from Petersburg to-day." 

" I waited for you till two o'clock this morning. 
Where did you go after leaving the Shcherbatskys' .'' " 

"Home," replied Vronsky. "To tell the truth, after 
such a pleasant evening at the Shcherbatskys', I did not 
feel like going anywhere." 

" I know fiery horses by their brand, and young people 
who are in love by their eyes," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
in the same dramatic tone in which he had spoken to 
Levin the afternoon before. 

Vronsky smiled, as much as to say that he did not 
deny it ; but he hastened to change the conversation. 

" And whom have you to meet ? " he asked. 

" I .'' a very pretty woman," said Oblonsky. 

"Ah! indeed!" 

" Ifom soit qui inal y pense ! My sister Anna ! " 

" Akh ! Madame Karenina ! " exclaimed Vronsky. 

" Do you know her, then .-' " 

"It seems to me that I do. Or, no.... the truth is, I 
don't think I do," replied Vronsky, somewhat confused. 
The name Karenin dimly brought to his mind a tiresome 
and conceited person. 

" But Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch, my celebrated brother- 
in-law, you must know him ! Every one knows him." 

" That is, I know him by reputation, and by sight. I 
know that he is talented, learned, and rather adorable 
....but you know that he is no\.....not in my line" said 
Vronsky in English. 

" Yes ; he is a very remarkable man, somewhat con- 
servative, but a splendid man," replied Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch. " A splendid man." 

"Well! so much the better for him," said Vronsky, 
smiling. "Ah! here you are," he cried, seeing his 
mother's old lackey standing at the door. " Come this 
way," he added. 


Vronsky, besides experiencing the pleasure that every- 
body felt in seeing Stepan Arkadyevitch, had felt espe- 
cially drawn to him, because, in a certain way, it brought 
him closer to Kitty. 

" Well, now, what do you say to giving the diva a 
supper Sunday ? " said he, with a smile, taking him by 
the arm. 

" Certainly ; I will pay my share. Oh, tell me, did 
you meet my friend Levin last evening ? " asked Stepan 

" Yes, but he went away very early." 

" He is a glorious young fellow," said Oblonsky, " is n't 
he ? " 

"I don't know why it is," replied Vronsky, "but all 
the Muscovites, present company excepted," he added 
jestingly, " have something sharp about them. They 
all seem to be high-strung, fiery tempered, as if they all 
wanted to make you understand .... " 

"That is true enough; there is...." replied Stepan 
Arkadyevitch, smiling pleasantly. 

"Is the train on time ? " asked Vronsky of an em- 

" It will be here directly," replied the employee. 

The increasing bustle in the station, the coming and 
going of porters, the appearance of policemen and offi- 
cials, the arrival of expectant friends, all indicated the 
approach of the train. Through the frosty steam, work- 
men could be seen passing in their soft blouses and felt 
boots amid the network of rails. The whistle of the 
coming engine was heard, and the approach of some- 
thing heavy. 

" No," continued Stepan Arkadyevitch, who was anx- 
ious to inform Vronsky of Levin's intentions in regard 
to Kitty. " No, you are really unjust to my friend Levin. 
He is a very nervous man, and sometimes he can be dis- 
agreeable ; but, on the other hand, he can be very charm- 
ing. He is such an upright, genuine nature, true gold ! 
Last evening there were special reasons," continued 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, with a significant smile, and en- 
tirely forgetting his genuine sympathy, which the even- 


ing before he had felt for his old friend, and now 
experiencing the same sympathy for Vronsky. " Yes, 
there was a reason why he should have been either 
very happy or very unhappy." 

Vronsky stopped short, and asked point-blank : — 

" What was it ? Do you mean that he proposed yes- 
terday evening to your sister-in-law ? " 

" Possibly," replied Stepan Arkadyevitch. " Something 
like that seemed probable last evening. Yes, if he 
went off so early, and was in such bad spirits, then it 

is so He has been in love with her for so long, and 

I am very sorry for him." 

" Ah, indeed ! .... I thought that she might, however, 
have aspirations for a better match," said Vronsky, and, 
filling out his chest, he began to walk up and down again. 
Then he added : " However, I don't know him ; yes, 
this promises to be a painful situation. That is why the 
majority of men prefer to consort with their Claras. 
There, lack of success shows that you have n't money 
enough ; but here you stand on your own merits. But 
here is the train." 

In fact, the engine was now whistling some distance 
away. But in a few minutes the platform shook, and 
the locomotive, puffing out the steam condensed by the 
cold air, came rolling into the station, with the lever 
of the central wheel slowly and rhythmically rising and 
falling, and the engineer well muffled and covered with 
frost. Next the tender came the baggage-car, still more 
violently shaking the platform ; a dog in its cage was 
yelping piteously ; finally appeared the passenger-cars, 
which jolted together as the train came to a stop. 

The vigorous-looking conductor sprang down from the 
car and whistled ; and behind him came the more impa- 
tient of the travelers, — an officer of the Guard, straight 
and imperious, a nimble little merchant, gayly smiling, 
with his gripsack, and a muzhik, with his bundle over 
his shoulder. 

Vronsky, standing near Oblonsky, watched the cars 
and the passengers, and completely forgot his mother. 
What he had just heard about Kitty caused him emotion 


and joy; he involuntarily straightened himself; his eyes 
glistened ; he felt that he had won a victory. 

" The Countess Vronskaya is in that compartment," 
said the vigorous conductor, approaching him. These 
words awoke him from his reverie, and brought his 
thoughts back to his mother and their approaching 
meeting. In his soul he did not respect his mother, and, 
without ever having confessed as much to himself, he 
did not love her. But his education and the usages of 
the society in which he lived did not allow him to admit 
that there could be in his relations with her the 
slightest want of consideration. But the more he ex- 
aggerated the bare outside forms, the less he felt in his 
heart that he respected or loved her. 


Vronsky followed the conductor, and, as he was 
about to enter the railway-carriage, he stood aside to 
allow a lady to pass him. 

With the instant intuition of a man of the world, he 
saw, by a single glance at this lady's exterior, that she 
belonged to the very best society. Begging her pardon, 
he was about to enter the door, but involuntarily he 
turned to give another look at the lady, not because she 
was very beautiful, not because of that elegance and that 
unassuming grace which were expressed in her whole 
person, but because the expression of her lovely face, as 
she passed, seemed to him so gentle and sweet. 

Just as he looked back at her, she also turned her 
head. Her brilliant gray eyes, looking almost black 
under the long lashes, rested on his face with a friendly, 
attentive look, as if she recognized him ; and instantly 
she turned to seek some one in the throng. 

Quick as this glance was, Vronsky had time to per- 
ceive the dignified vivacity which played in her facc/i ^^. 
and fluttered between her shining eyes, and the scarcely 7' ir^ 
perceptible smile parting her rosy lips. There seemed ^**-f Hu, 
to be in her whole person such a superfluity of life ' 


that, in spite of her will, it expressed itself now in the 
lightning of her eyes, now in her smile. She demurely 
veiled the light in her eyes, but it shone against her will 
in her scarcely perceptible smile. 

Vronsky went into the carriage. His mother, a dried- 
up old lady with black eyes and little curls, screwed up her 
face as she looked at him with a slight smile on her thin 
lips. Getting up from her chair, and handing her bag 
to her maid, she extended her little thin hand to her son, 
and, pushing his head from her, kissed him on the brow. 

" You received my telegram ? You are well.'' Thank 
the Lord ! " 

" Did you have a comfortable journey .'' " said the son, 
sitting down near her, and yet involuntarily listening to 
a woman's voice just outside the door. He knew that 
it was the voice of the lady whom he had met. 

" However, I don't agree with you," said the lady's 

•" It is the Petersburg way of looking at it, madam." 

" Not at all, but simply a woman's," was her reply. 

"Well! allow me to kiss your hand." 

" Good-by, Ivan Petrovitch. Now look and see if my 
brother is here, and send him to me," said the lady, at 
the very door, and reentering the compartment. 

" Have you found your brother } " asked the Countess 
Vronskaya, addressing the lady. 

Vronsky now knew that it was Karenin's wife. 

"Your brother is here," he said, rising. "Excuse 
me ; I did not recognize you ; but our acquaintance was 
so short," he added with a bow, " that you naturally did 
not remember me either." 

" Oh, yes, I did ! " she said. " I should have known 
you because your matushka and I have been talking 
about you all the way." And at last she permitted the 
animation which had been striving to break forth to 
express itself in a smile. " But my brother has not 
come yet." 

" Go and call him, Alyosha," said the old countess, 

Vronsky went out on the platform and called : — 

"Oblonsky! here!" 


But Karenin's wife did not wait for her brother ; as 
soon as she saw him she ran Hghtly out of the carriage, 
went straight to him, and, with a gesture which struck 
Vronsky by its grace and energy, threw her left arm 
around his neck and kissed him affectionately. 

Vronsky could not keep his eyes from her face, and 
smiled, without knowing why. But, remembering that 
his mother was waiting for him, he went back into the 

" Very charming, is n't she ? " said the countess, re- 
ferring to Madame Karenina. " Her husband put her 
in my charge, and I was very glad. She and I talked 
together all the way. Well ! and you .-• They say 
you are desperately in love. So much the better, my 
dear, so much the better." 

" I don't know what you allude to, maman ," replied 
the son, coldly. "Come, fnavmuy let us go." 

At this moment Madame Karenina came back to take 
leave of the countess. 

" Well, countess ! you have found your son, and I my 
brother," she said gayly; "and I have exhausted my 
whole fund of stories. I should n't have had anything 
more to talk about." 

"Ah ! not so," said the countess, taking her hand. 
" I should not object to travel round the world with 
you. You are one of those agreeable women with whom 
either speech or silence is pleasant. As to your son, 
I beg of you, don't think about him : we must have 
separations in this world." 

. Madame Karenina stood motionless, holding herself 
very erect, and her eyes smiled. 

" Anna Arkadyevna has a little boy about eight years 
old," said the countess, in explanation to her son ; " she 
has never been separated from him before, and it troubles 
her to leave him." 

" Yes, we have talked about our children all the time, 
— the countess of her son, I of mine," said Madame 
Karenina, turning to Vronsky ; and again the smile 
lighted up her face, the caressing smile which beamed 
upon him. 


" That must have been very tiresome to you," said he, 
instantly catching on the rebound the ball of coquetry 
which she had tossed to him. But she evidently did 
not care to continue her conversation in the same tone, 
but turned to the old countess : — 

" Thank you very much. I don't see where the time 
has gone. Good-by, countess." 

" Farewell, my dear," replied the countess. " Let 
me kiss your pretty little face. I tell you frankly, as it 
is permitted an old lady, that I am in love with you." 

Hackneyed as this expression was, Madame Karenina 
evidently believed thoroughly in its sincerity, and was 
pleased with it. She blushed, bowed slightly, and bent 
her face down to the old countess's lips. Then, straight- 
ening herself up, she gave her hand to Vronsky with 
the smile that seemed to belong as much to her eyes as 
to her lips. He pressed her little hand, and, as if it 
were something unusual, was delighted with the energetic 
jfirmness with which she frankly and fearlessly shook his 

Madame Karenina went out with light and rapid 
step, carrying her rather plump person with remarkable 

" Very charming," said the old lady again. 

Her son was of the same opinion; and again his eyes 
followed her graceful figure till she was out of sight, and 
a smile rested on his face. Through the window he saw 
her join her brother, take his arm, and engage him in 
lively conversation, evidently about some subject with 
which Vronsky had no connection, and this seemed to 
him annoying. 

" Well ! are you enjoying perfectly good health, 
mamaft ? " he asked, turning to his mother. 

"Very well, indeed, splendid. Alexandre has been 
charming, and Marie has been very good. She is very 

And again she began to speak of wha.t was especially 
interesting to her heart, — the baptism of her grandson, 
for which she had come to Moscow, and the special 
favor shown her eldest son by the emperor. 


" And here is Lavronty," said Vronsky, looking out of 
the window. " Now let us go, if you are ready." 

The old steward who had come with the countess 
now appeared at the door to report that everything was 
ready, and she arose to go. 

"Come, there are only a few people about now," said 

The maid took the bag and the little dog ; the stew- 
ard and a porter carried the other luggage ; Vronsky 
offered his mother his arm, but, just as they stepped 
down from the carriage, a number of men with fright- 
ened faces ran hastily by them. The station-master 
followed in his curiously Qo\oxQdift(razhka or uniform-cap. 
Evidently something unusual had happened. The peo- 
ple who had left the train were coming back again. 

"What is it.?".... "What is it .?".... "Where .?" .... 
" He was thrown down ! " ...." He was crushed to death ! " 
were the exclamations heard among those hurrying by. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch with his sister on his arm had 
returned with the others, and were standing with fright- 
ened faces near the train to avoid the crush. 

The ladies went back into the carriage, and Vronsky 
with Stepan Arkadyevitch went with the crowd to learn 
the particulars of the accident. 

A train-hand, either from drunkenness, or because he 
was too closely muffled against the intense cold, had not 
heard the noise of a train that was backing out, and had 
been crushed. 

The ladies had already learned about the accident 
from the steward before Vronsky and Oblonsky came 
back. Both of them had seen the disfigured body. 
Oblonsky was deeply moved ; he frowned, and seemed 
ready to shed tears. 

" Akh, how horrible ! Akh, Anna, if you had only 
seen it ! Akh, how horrible ! " he repeated. 

Vronsky said nothing ; his handsome face was serious, 
but perfectly calm. 

" Akh, if you had only seen it, countess ! " continued 

Stepan Arkadyevitch, — "and his wife is there It 

was terrible to see her .... she threw herself on his body. 


They say that he was the only support of a large 
family. How terrible ! " 

" Could anything be done for her ? " said Madame 
Karenina, in an agitated whisper. 

Vronsky looked at her, and immediately left the car- 

" I will be right back, maman," said he, turning round 
at the door. 

When he came back, at the end of a few minutes, 
Stepan Arkadyevitch was talking with the countess 
about a new singer, and she was impatiently watching 
the door for her son. 

" Now let us go," said Vronsky, 

They all went out together, Vronsky walking ahead 
with his mother, Madame Karenina and her brother 
side by side. At the door the station-master overtook 
them, and said to Vronsky : — 

" You have given my assistant two hundred rubles. 
Will you kindly indicate the disposition that we shall 
make of them ? " 

" For his widow," said Vronsky, shrugging his shoul- 
der?. " I don't see why you should have asked me." 

" Did you give that.? " asked Oblonsky ; and, pressing 
his sister's arm, he said, " Very kind, very kind. Glo- 
rious fellow, is n't he ? My best wishes, countess." 

He and his sister delayed, looking for her maid. 
When they left the station, the Vronskys' carriage had 
already gone. People on all sides were talking about 
what had happened. 

•* What a horrible way of dying ! " said a gentleman, 
passing near them. " They say he was cut in two." 

-■ It seems to me, on the contrary," replied another, 
" that it was a very easy way ; death was instan- 

" Why were n't there any precautions taken .-' " asked 
a third. 

Madame Karenina sat down in the carriage ; and 
Stepan Arkadyevitch noticed, with astonishment, that 
her lips trembled, and that she could hardly keep back 
the tears. 


"What is the matter, Anna ? " he asked, when they 
had gone a little distance. 

" It is an evil omen," she answered. 

"What nonsense! " said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "You 
have come .... that is the main thing. You cannot itnAg- 
ine how much I hope from your visit." 

" Have you known Vronsky long ? " she asked. 

"Yes. You know we hope that he will marry 

"Really," said Anna, gentiy. "Well! now let us 
talk about yourself," she added, shaking her head as if 
she wanted to drive away something that troubled and 
pained her physically. " Let us speak about your 
affairs. I received your letter, and here I am." 

" Yes, all my hope is in you," said Stepan Arka- 

" Well, then ! tell me all." 

And Stepan Arkadyevitch began his story. 

When they reached the house he helped his sister 
from the carriage, sighed, shook hands with her, and 
went to the court-house. 


When Anna entered, Dolly was sitting in her little 
reception-room, with a plump light-haired lad, the image 
of his father, who was learning a lesson from a French 
reading-book. The boy was reading aloud, and at the 
same time twisting and trying to pull from his jacket 
a button which was hanging loose. His mother had 
many times reproved him, but the plump little hand 
kept returning to the button. At last she had to take 
the button off, and put it in her pocket. 

"Keep your hands still, Grisha," said she, and again 
took up the bed-quilt on which she had been long It 
work, and which always came handy at trying moments. 
She worked nervously, jerking her fingers and counting 
the stitches. Though she had sent word to her hus- 
band, the day before, that his sister's arrival made no 


difference to her, nevertheless, she was ready to receive 
her, and was waiting for her impatiently. 

Dolly was absorbed by her woes, — absolutely swal- 
lowed up by them. But she did not forget that her 
sister-in-law, Anna, was the wife of one of the impor- 
tant personages of Petersburg, — a Petersburg graiide 
dame. And, owing to this fact, she did not carry out 
what she had said to her husband ; in other words, she 
did not forget that her sister was coming. 

"After all, Anna is not to blame," she said to her- 
self. " I know nothing about her that is not good, and 
our relations have always been good and friendly." 

To be sure, as far as she could recall the impressions 
made on her by the Karenins, at Petersburg, their home 
did not seem to her entirely pleasant ; there was some- 
thing false in the whole manner of their family life. 

" But why should I not receive her } Provided, only, 
that she does not take it into her head to console me," 
thought Dolly. " I know what these Christian exhor- 
tations, consolations, and justifications mean; I have 
gone over them all a thousand times, and they amount to 

Dolly had spent these last days alone with her chil- 
dren. She did not care to speak to any one about her 
sorrow, and under the load of it she could not talk 
about indifferent matters. She knew that some way or 
other she should have to open her heart to Anna, and 
at one moment the thought that she could open her 
heart delighted her ; and then again she was angry 
because she must speak of her humiliations before his 
sister, and listen to her ready-made phrases of exhorta- 
tion and consolation. 

She had been expecting every moment to see her 
sister-in-law appear, and had been watching the clock ; 
but, as often happens in such cases, she became so ab- 
sorbed in her thoughts that she did not hear the door 
bell. Hearing light steps and the rustling of a gown, 
she looked up, and involuntarily her jaded face expressed, 
not pleasure, but surprise. She arose, and threw her 
arms round her sister-in-law. 


"Why ! have you come already ? " she cried, kissing her. 

" Dolly, how glad I am to see you ! " 

" And I am glad to see you," replied Dolly, with a 
faint smile, and trying to read, by the expression of 
Anna's face, how much she knew. " She knows all," 
was her thought, as she saw the look of compassion on 
her features. " Well ! let us go up-stairs ; I will show 
you to your room," she went on to say, trying to post- 
pone, as long as possible, the time for explanations. 

" Is this Grisha .-' Heavens ! how he has grown ! " 
said Anna, kissing him. Then, not taking her eyes 
from Dolly, she added, with a blush, " No, please let us 
not go yet." 

She took off her handkerchief and her hat, and when 
it caught in the locks of her dark curly hair she shook 
her head and released it. 

" How brilliantly happy and healthy you look," said 
Dolly, almost enviously. 

" I .-^ ".... exclaimed Anna. "Ah !.... Heavens ! Tania! 
is that you, the playmate of my little Serozha ? " said 
she, speaking to a little girl who came running in. 
She took her by the hand, and kissed her. " What a 
charming little girl ! Charming ! But you must show 
them all to me." 

She recalled not only the name, the year, and the 
month of each, but their characteristics and their little 
ailments, and Dolly could not help feeling touched. 

"Come! let us go and see them," said she; "but 
Vasya is having her nap now ; it 's too bad." 

After they had seen the children, they came back to 
the sitting-room alone for coffee. Anna drew the tray 
toward her, and then she pushed it away. 

" Dolly," said she, "he has told me." 

Dolly looked at Anna coldly. She now expected 
some expression of hypocritical sympathy, but Anna 
said nothing of the kind. 

" Dolly, my dear," she said, " I do not intend to 
speak to you in defense of him, nor to console you ; it 
is impossible. But, dushenka, dear heart, I am sorry, 
sorry for you with all my soul ! " 


Under her long lashes her brilliant eyes suddenly filled 
with tears. She drew closer, and with her energetic 
little hand seized the hand of her sister-in-law. Dolly 
did not repulse her, but her face still preserved its 
forlorn expression. 

" It is impossible to console me. After what has 
happened, all is over for me, all is lost." 

And she had hardly said these words ere her face 
suddenly softened a little. Anna lifted to her lips the 
thin, dry hand that she held, and kissed it. 

" But, Dolly, what is to be done ? what is to be done ? 
What is the best way to act in this frightful condition 
of things? We must think about it." 

" All is over! Nothing can be done ! " Dolly replied. 
"And, what is worse than all, you must understand it, 
is that I cannot leave him! the children! I am chained 
to him I and I cannot live with him ! It is torture to see 
him ! " 

" Dolly, galubchik, he has told me ; but I should like 
to hear your side of the story. Tell me all." 

Dolly looked at her with a questioning expression. 
Sympathy and the sincerest affection were depicted in 
Anna's face. 

" I should like to," she suddenly said. " But I shall 
tell you everything from the very beginning. You know 
how I was married. With the education that maman 
gave me, I was not only innocent, I was stupid. I did 
not know anything. I know they said husbands told 
their wives all about their past lives ; but Stiva" — 
she corrected herself, — " Stepan Arkadyevitch never 
told me anything. You would not believe it, but, up to 
the present time, I supposed that I was the only woman 
with whom he was acquainted. Thus I lived eight years. 
You see, I not only never suspected him of being un- 
faithful to me, but I believed such a thing to be impossi- 
ble. And with such ideas, imagine how I suffered when 
I suddenly learned all this horror — all this dastardliness. 
.... Understand me. To believe absolutely in his honor " .... 
continued Dolly, struggling to keep back her sobs, 
" and suddenly to find a letter .... a letter from him to 


his mistress, to the gdvertiess of ffiy children. No ; this 
is too cruel ! " She hastily took out her handkerchief, and 
hid her face in It. " I might have been able to admit a 
moment of temptation," she continued, after a moment's 
pause ; " but this hypocrisy, this continual attempt to de- 
ceive me .... and for whom f .... To continue to be my hus- 
band, and yet have her.... It is frightful; you cannot 

"Oh, yes! I comprehend; I comprehend, my dear 
Dolly," said Anna, squeezing her hand. 

"And do you imagine that he appreciates all the 
horror of my situation ? " continued Dolly. " Certainly 
not ; he is happy and contented." 

" Oh, no ! " interrupted Anna, warmly. " He is thor- 
oughly repentant; he is overwhelmed with remorse.... " 

" Is he capable of remorse.?" demanded Dolly, scru- 
tinizing her sister-in-law's face. 

" Yes ; I know him. I could not look at him without 
feeling sorry for him. We both of us know him. He 
is kind ; but he is proud, and now he is so humiliated ! 
What touched me most" — Anna knew well enough that 
this would touch Dolly also — "are the two things that 
pained him : In the first place, he was ashamed for the 
children ; and secondly, because, loving you .... yes, yes, 
loving you more than any one else in the world," — she 
added vehemently, to prevent Dolly from interrupting 
her, — " he has wounded you grievously, has almost 
killed you. * No, no, she will never forgive me I ' he 
keeps saying all the time." 

Dolly looked straight beyond her sister as she lis- 

" Yes, I understand that his position is terrible. The 
guilty suffers more than the innocent, — if he knows 
that he is the cause of all the unhappiness. But how 
can I forgive him ? How can I be his wife again after 
she has.... For me to live with him henceforth would 
be torment all the more because I still love what I used 
to love in him .... " 

And the sobs prevented her from speaking. 

But as if on purpose, each time, after she had become 


a little calmer, she began again to speak of what hurt 
her most cruelly. 

" She is young, you see, she is pretty," she went on 
to say. " Do you realize, Anna, for whom I have sacri- 
ficed my youth, my beauty ? For him and his children ! 
I have worn myself out in his service, I have given him 
the best that I had; and now, of course, some one 
younger and fresher than I am is more pleasing to him. 
They have, certainly, discussed me between them, — 
or, worse, have insulted me with their silence, do you 
understand .-' " 

And again her jealousy flamed up in her eyes. 

"And after this he will tell me.... What! could I 
believe it .■' No, never ! it is all over, all that gave me 

recompense for my sufferings, for my sorrows 

Would you believe it ? just now I was teaching Grisha. 
It used to be a pleasure to me; now it is a torment. 
Why should I take the trouble .'' Why have I children } 
It is terrible, because my whole soul is in revolt ; instead 
of love, tenderness, I am filled with nothing but hate, 
yes, hate ! I could kill him and .... " 

" Dushenka ! Dolly ! I understand you ; but don't 
torment yourself so ! You are too excited, too angry, to 
see things in their right light." 

Dolly grew calmer, and for a few moments neither 

" What is to be done, Anna .-" Consider and help me. 
I have thought of everything, but I cannot see any way 
out of it." 

Anna herself did not see any, but her heart responded 
to every word, to every expression in her sister-in-law's 

"I will tell you one thing," said she at last. "I am 
his sister ; I know his character, his peculiarity of for- 
getting everything," — she touched her forehead, — "this 
peculiarity of his which is so conducive to sudden temp- 
tation, but also to repentance. At the present moment, 
he does not understand how it was possible for him to 
have done what he did." 

" Not so ! He does understand and he did under- 


stand," interrupted Dolly. " But I .... you forget me ; 
.... does that make the pain less for me .-' " 

" Wait ! when he made his confession to me, I ac- 
knowledge that I did not appreciate the whole horror 
of your position. I saw only him and the fact that the 
family was broken up. I was sorry for him ; but now 
that I have been talking with you, I, as a woman, look 
on it in a different light. I see your suffering, and I 
cannot tell you how sorry I am. But, Dolly, dushenka, 
while I fully appreciate your misfortune, there is one 
thing which I do not know: I do not know.... I do not 
know to what degree you still love him. You alone can 
tell whether you love him enough to forgive him. If 
you do, then forgive him." 

" No," began Dolly ; but Anna interrupted her, kiss- 
ing her hand again. 

" I know the world better than you do," she said. 
" I know how such men as Stiva look on these things. 
You say that tJiey have discussed you between them. 
Don't you believe it. These men can be unfaithful to 
their marriage vows, but their homes and their wives 
remain no less sacred in their eyes. Between these 
women and their families, they draw a line of demar- 
cation which is never crossed. I cannot understand how 
it can be, but so it is." 

" Yes, but he has kissed her.... " 

" Wait, Dolly, dushenka ! I saw Stiva when he was 
in love with you. I remember the time when he used 
to come to me and talk about you with tears in his eyes. 
I know to what a poetic height he raised you, and I 
know that the longer he lived with you the more he 
admired you. We always have smiled at his habit of 
saying at every opportunity, ^Dolly is an extraordinary 
woman.' You have been, and you always will be, an 
object of adoration in his eyes, and this passion is not 
a defection of his heart .... " 

" But supposing this defection should be repeated .'' " 

" It is impossible, as I think .... " 

" Yes, but would you have forgiven him } " 

" I don't know ; I can't say Yes, I could," said 


Anna, after a moment's thought, apprehending the 
gravity of the situation and weighing it in her mental 
scales. " I could, I Could, I could ! Yes, I could for- 
give him, but I should not be the sarrte ; but I should 
forgive him, and I should forgive him in such a way 
as to show that the past Was forgotten, absolutely for- 
gotten." .... 

"Well ! of course," interrupted Dolly, impetuously, as 
if she was saying what she had said many times to her- 
self — " otherwise it would not be forgiveness. If you 
forgive, it must be absolutely, absolutely. — Well ! let 
me show you to your room," said she, rising, and throw- 
ing her arm around her sister-in-law. 

" My dear, how glad I am that you came. My heart 
is already lighter, much lighter." 


Anna spent the whole day at home, that is to say, 
at the Oblonskys', and refused to see any callers, al- 
though some of her friends, having learned of her 
arrival, came to see her. The whole morning was 
given to Dolly and the children. She sent a note to 
her brother that he must dine at home. 

" Come, God is merciful," she wrote. 

Oblonsky accordingly dined at home. The conver- 
sation was general, and his wife, when she spoke to 
him, called him tui (thou), which had not been the case 
before. The relations between husband and wife re- 
mained cool, but nothing more was said about a separa- 
tion, and Stepan Arkadyevitch saw the possibility of a 

Kitty came in soon after dinner. Her acquaintance 
with Anna Arkadyevna was very slight, and she was 
not without solicitude as to the welcome which she 
would receive from this great Petersburg lady, whose 
praise was in everybody's mouth. But she made a 
pleasing impression on Anna Arkadyevna ; this she 
immediately realized. Anna evidently admired her 


youth and beauty, and Kitty was not slow in realizing 
a sense of being, not only under her influence, but of 
being in love with her, and immediately fell in love 
with her, as young girls often fall in love with married 
women older than themselves. Anna was not like a 
society woman, or the mother of an eight-year-old son ; 
but, by her vivacity of movement, by the freshness and 
animation of her face, expressed in her smile and in her 
eyes, she would have been taken rather for a young 
girl of twenty, had it not been for a serious and some- 
times almost melancholy look, which struck and at- 
tracted Kitty. 

Kitty felt that she was perfectly natural and sincere, 
but that there was something about her that suggested 
a whole world of complicated and poetic interests far 
beyond her comprehension. 

After dinner, when Dolly had gone to her room, 
Anna went eagerly to her brother, who was smoking 
a cigar. 

" Stiva," said she, giving him a joyous wink, making 
the sign of the cross, and glancing toward the door, 
"go, and God help you." 

He understood her, and, throwing away his cigar, 
disappeared behind the door. 

As soon as he had gone, Anna sat down upon a divan, 
surrounded by the children. 

Either because they saw that their mamma loved this 
aunt, or because they themselves felt a special attraction 
toward her, the two eldest, and therefore the younger, 
as often happens with children, had taken possession 
of her even before dinner, and could not leave her 
alone. And now they were having something like a 
game, in which each tried to get next to her, to hold 
her little hand, to kiss her, to play with her rings, or 
even to cling to the flounces of her gown. 

" There ! there ! let us sit as we were before," said 
Anna, sitting down in her place. 

And Grisha, proud and dehghted, thrust his head 
under his aunt's arm, and nestled up close to her. 

"And when is the ball } " she asked of Kitty. 


" Next week ! it will be a lovely ball — one of those 
balls where one always has a good time." 

" Then there are places where one always has a good 
time ? " asked Anna, in a tone of gentle irony. 

" Strange, but it is so. We always enjoy ourselves 
at the Bobrishchefs' and at the Nikitins', but at the Mezh- 
kofs' it is always dull. Have n't you ever noticed that .-* " 

" No, dusha nioya, no ball could be amusing to me," 
said Anna; and again Kitty saw in her eyes that un- 
known world, which had not yet been revealed to her. 
" For me they are all more or less tiresome." 

" How could j^« find a ball tiresome } " 

" And why should / no^ find a ball tiresome ? " 

Kitty perceived that Anna foresaw what her answer 
would be : — 

" Because you are always the loveliest of all ! " 

Anna blushed easily ; she blushed now, and said : — 

" In the first place, that is not true ; and in the second, 
if it were, it would not make any difference." 

"Won't you go to this ball .? " asked Kitty. 

" I think that I would rather not go. Here ! take it," 
said she to Tanya, who was drawing off a loose ring 
from her delicate white finger. 

" I should be delighted if you would go ; I should so 
like to see you at a ball." 

" Well, if I have to go, I shall console myself with 

the thought that I am making you happy Grisha, 

don't pull my hair down ! it is disorderly enough now," 
said she, putting back the rebellious lock with which the 
lad was playing. 

" I can imagine you at a ball dressed in violet." 

" Why in violet ? " asked Anna, smihng. " Now, chil- 
dren, run away, run away. Don't you hear ? Miss 
Hull IS calling you to tea," said she, freeing herself 
from the children, and sending them out to. the dining- 

" I know why you want me to go to the ball. You 
expect something wonderful to happen at this ball, and 
you are anxious for us all to be there so as to share in 
your happiness." 


" How did you know ? You are right ! " 

" Oh, what a lovely age is yours! " continued Anna. 
" I remember well, and know this purple haze like that 
which you see hanging over the mountains in Switzer- 
land. This haze covers everything in that delicious time 
when childhood ends, and from out this immense circle, 
so joyous, so gay, grows a footpath ever narrower and 
narrower, and leads gayly and painfully into that laby- 
rinth, and yet it seems so bright and so beautiful 

Who has not passed through it .'' " 

Kitty listened and smiled. " How did she pass through 
it.? How I should like to know the whole romance of 
her life ! " thought Kitty, remembering the unpoetic 
appearance of her husband, Aleksei Aleksandrovitch. 

" I know a thing or two," continued Anna. " Stiva 
told m.e, and I congratulate you ; he pleased me very 
much. I met Vronsky at the station." 

" Akh ! was he there.'' " asked Kitty, blushing. "What 
did Stiva tell you } " 

" Stiva told me the whole story ; and I should be de- 
lighted ! I came from Petersburg with Vronsky's 
mother," she continued ; " and his mother never ceased 
to speak of him. He is her favorite. I know how 
partial mothers are, but.... " 

" What did his mother tell you >. " 

"Akh ! many things ; and I know that he is her favor- 
ite. But still it is evident he has a chivalrous nature. 
— Well, for example, she told me how he wanted to give 
up his whole fortune to his brother ; how he did some- 
thing still more wonderful when he was a boy — saved 
a woman from drowning. In a word, he is a hero ! " 
said Anna, smiling, and remembering the two hundred 
rubles which he had given at the station. 

But she did not tell about the two hundred rubles. 
Somehow it was not pleasant for her to remember that. 
She felt that there was something in it that concerned 
herself too closely, and ought not to have been. 

" The countess urged me to come ta see her," con- 
tinued Anna, " and I should be very happy to meet 
her again, and I will go to-morrow. — Thank the Lord, 


Stiva remains a long time with Dolly in the library," she 
added, changing the subject, and, as Kitty perceived, 
looking a little annoyed. 

" I '11 be the first.... " " No, I," cried the children, who 
had just finished their supper, and came running to their 
Aunt Anna. 

" All together," she said, laughing, and running to 
meet them. She seized them and piled them in a heap, 
struggling and screaming with delight. 


At tea-time Dolly came out of her room. Stepan 
Arkadyevitch was not with her ; he had left his wife's 
chamber by the rear door. 

" I am afraid you will be cold up-stairs," remarked 
Dolly, addressing Anna. " I should like to have you 
come down and be near me." 

" Akh ! please don't worry about me," replied Anna, 
trying to divine by Dolly's face if there had been a 

" Perhaps it would be too light for you here," said her 

" I assure you, I sleep anywhere and everywhere as 
sound as a woodchuck." 

" What is it .'' " asked Stepan Arkadyevitch, coming in 
from his library, and addressing his wife. 

By the tone of his voice, both Kitty and Anna knew 
that the reconciliation had taken place. 

" I wanted to install Anna down-stairs, but we should 
have to put up some curtains. No one knows how to do 
it, and so I must," said Dolly, in reply to her husband's 

" God knows if they have wholly made it up," thought 
Anna, as she noticed Dolly's cold and even tone. 

" Akh ! don't, Dolly, don't make difficulties ! Well ! if 
you like, I will fix everything." .... 

■*Yes," thought Anna, "they must have had a recon- 


"I know how you do everything," said Dolly; "you 
give Matve an order which it is impossible to carry out, 
and then you go away, and he gets everything into a 

And her customary mocking smile wrinkled the cor- 
ners of Dolly's lips as she said that. 

"Complete, complete reconciliation, complete," thought 
Anna. " Thank God ! " and, rejoicing that she had been 
the cause of it, she went to Dolly and kissed her. 

" Not by any means. Why have you such scorn for 
Matve and me ? " said Stepan Arkadyevitch to his wife, 
with an almost imperceptible smile. 

Throughout the evening Dolly, as usual, was lightly 
ironical toward her husband, and Stepan Arkadyevitch 
was happy and gay, but within bounds, and as if he 
wanted to make it evident that though he had obtained 
pardon he had not forgotten his offense. 

About half-past nine a particularly animated and 
pleasant confidential conversation, which was going on 
at the tea-table, was interrupted by an incident appar- 
ently of the slightest importance, but this simple inci- 
dent seemed to each member of the family to be very 

They were talking about one of their Petersburg 
acquaintances when Anna suddenly arose : — 

" I have her picture in my album," she said ; " and at 
the same time I will show you my little Serozha," she 
added, with a smile of maternal pride. 

It was usually about ten o'clock when she bade her 
son good-night. Often she herself put him to bed 
before she went out to parties, and now she felt a sen- 
sation of sadness to be so far from him. No matter 
what people were speaking about, her thoughts reverted 
always to her little curly-haired Serozha, and the desire 
seized her to go and look at his picture, and to talk 
about him. Using this first pretext, she, with her light, 
decided step, started to fetch her album. The stairs to 
her room started from the landing-place in the large 
staircase, which led from the heated hall. Just as she 
was leaving the drawing-room the front door-bell rang. 

VOL. I. — 7 


"Who can that be?" said Dolly. 

" It is too early to come after me, and too late for a 
call," remarked Kitty. 

" Doubtless somebody with papers for me," said 
Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

As Anna was passing the staircase she saw the ser- 
vant going up to announce a caller, but the caller stood 
in the light of the hall lamp, and was waiting. Anna 
glancing down saw that it was Vronsky, and a strange 
sensation of joy, mixed with terror, suddenly seized her 
heart. He was standing with his coat on, and was tak- 
ing something out of his pocket. At the moment Anna 
reached the center of the staircase, he lifted his eyes, 
and saw her, and his face assumed an expression of 
humility and confusion. She bowed her head slightly in 
salutation ; and as she went on her way she heard Stepan 
Arkadyevitch's loud voice calling him to come in, and then 
Vronsky's low, soft, and tranquil voice excusing himself. 

When Anna reached the room with the album, he had 
gone, and Stepan Arkadyevitch was telling how he came 
to see about a dinner which they were going to give the 
next day in honor of some celebrity who was in town. 

" And nothing would induce him to come in. What 
a queer fellow !" said Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

Kitty blushed. She thought that she alone understood 
what he had come for, and why he would not come in. 
" He must have been at our house," she thought, "and, 
not finding me, have supposed that I was here; but he 
did not come in because it was late and Anna here." 

They all exchanged glances, but nothing was said, 
and they began to examine Anna's album. 

There was nothing extraordinary or strange in a man 
calling at half-past nine o'clock in the evening to inquire 
of a friend about the details of a proposed dinner and 
not coming in ; yet to everybody it seemed strange, and 
it seemed more strange and unpleasant to Anna than to 
any one else. 



The ball was just beginning when Kitty and her 
mother mounted the grand staircase, brilliantly Hghted 
and adorned with flowers and with powdered lackeys in 
red kaftans. In the ball-rooms there was an incessant 
bustle of movement, which sounded like the humming of 
a beehive, and, as they stopped to give the last touches 
to their hair and gowns, before a mirror hung on the 
tree-decorated landing, they heard the scraping of violins 
as the orchestra was tuning up for the first waltz. 

A little old man, a civilian, who was smoothing his 
white locks at another mirror, and who exhaled a pene- 
trating odor of perfumes, brushed against them on the 
stairway and stood aside, evidently impressed by Kitty's 
youth and beauty. A beardless young man, such as the 
old Prince Shcherbatsky would have reckoned among the 
" mashers," wearing a very low-cut waistcoat and a white 
necktie which he adjusted as he walked, bowed to them, 
and after he had passed them turned back to ask Kitty 
for a quadrille. The first quadrille was already promised 
to Vronsky, and so she was obliged to content the young 
man with the second. An officer buttoning his gloves 
was standing near the door of the ball-room ; he cast a 
glance of admiration at the blooming Kitty, and caressed 
his mustache. 

Although Kitty had taken great pains and spent much 
labor on her toilet, her gown, and all the preparations 
for this ball, yet now she entered the ball-room, in 
her complicated robe of tulle with its rose-colored over- 
dress, as easily and naturally as if all these rosettes and 
laces, all the requirements of her toilet, had not caused 
her or her people a moment's attention, as if she had 
been born in this lace-trimmed ball-dress, and with a 
rose and two ribbons placed on the top of her grace- 
ful head. When the old princess, her mother, just be- 
fore they entered the ball-room, was about to readjust 
her broad sash-ribbon, Kitty gently declined. She felt 
that everything about her must surely be right and 


graceful, and that to readjust anything about her was 

Kitty was looking her prettiest. Her gown was not 
too tight anywhere ; her lace fichu did not slip down, 
her rosettes did not crush, and did not pull off; her 
rose-colored slippers with their high heels did not pinch 
her, but were agreeable to her feet. The thick braids 
of her fair hair kept perfectly in place on her graceful 
little head. All the three buttons on her long gloves, 
which enveloped, without changing, the pretty shape of 
her hands, fastened easily, and did not tear. The black 
velvet ribbon, attached to a medallion, was thrown 
daintily about her neck. This ribbon was charming; 
and at home, as she saw it in her mirror, adorning her 
neck, Kitty felt that this ribbon spoke. Everything 
else might be dubious, but this ribbon was charming. 
Kitty smiled, even there at the ball, as she saw it in the 
mirror. In her bare shoulders and arms Kitty felt a 
sensation of marble coolness, a sensation which she 
especially enjoyed. Her eyes shone and her rosy lips 
could not refrain from smiling with the consciousness 
of how fascinating she was. 

She had scarcely entered the ball-room and joined a 
group of tulle-, ribbon-, lace-, and flower-decorated ladies, 
who were waiting for partners, — Kitty never remained 
long in that category, — when she was invited to waltz 
with the best dancer, the principal cavalier in the whole 
hierarchy of the ball-room, the celebrated leader of the 
mazurka, the master of ceremonies, the handsome, ele- 
gant Yegorushka Korsunsky, a married man and a 
civilian. He had just left the Countess Bonina, with 
whom he had been taking the first turns of the waltz, 
and, while looking round over his domain, in other 
words, over the few couples who were venturing out on 
the floor, he perceived Kitty, made his way to her in 
that easy manner peculiar to leaders of the mazurka, 
bowed, and without even asking her permission put his 
arm around the young girl's slender waist. She looked 
for some one to whom to confide her fan ; and the mis- 
tress of the mansion, smiling on her, took charge of it. 


" How good of you to come early," said Korsunsky, 
as he put his arm around her waist. " I don't like the 
fashion of being late." 

Kitty placed her left hand on her partner's shoulder, 
and her little feet, shod in rose-colored bashmaks, glided 
swiftly, lightly, and rhythmically over the polished floor. 

" It is restful to dance with you," said he, as he fell 
into the slow measures of the waltz : " charming ! such 
lightness ! such precision ! " 

That was what he said to almost all his dancing 

She smiled at his flattery, and continued to study the 
ball-room across her partner's shoulder. She was not 
such a novice in society as to find all faces blending in 
one magic sensation ; she had not been so assiduous in 
her attendance at balls as to know every one present, 
and be tired of seeing them. But she was in that happy 
condition between these two extremes, she was exhilarated 
and at the same time she was sufficiently self-possessed 
to be able to look around and observe. 

She noticed a group that had gathered in the left-hand 
corner of the ball-room, composed of the very flower of 
society. Korsunsky's wife, Lidi, a beauty in an ex- 
tremely low-cut corsage, was there ; the mistress of the 
mansion was there ; there shone Krivin's bald head, 
always to be seen where the flower of society was 
gathered. Young men were looking at this group, and 
not venturing to join it. Then her eyes fell on Stiva, 
who was also there, and then she saw Anna's elegant 
figure dressed in black velvet. And //<? was there. 
Kitty had not seen him since the evening when she 
refused Levin. Kitty's keen eyes instantly recognized 
him across the room, and saw that he was looking at 

"Shall we have one more turn ? You are not fatigued ? " 
asked Korsunsky, slightly out of breath, 

" No, thank you." 

" Where shall I leave you ? " 

" I think Madame Karenina is here ; .... take me to 


"Anywhere that you please." 

And Korsunsky, still waltzing with Kitty but with a 
slower step, made his way toward the group on the left, 
saying as he went, " Pardon, mesdames ; pardon, pardon, 
mesdames ;'' and steering skilfully through the sea of 
laces, tulle, and ribbons, without catching a feather, placed 
her in a chair after a final turn, which gave a glimpse of 
her slender ankles in dainty blue stockings, while her 
train spread out like a fan and covered Krivin's knees. 

Korsunsky bowed, then straightened himself up, and 
offered Kitty his arm to conduct herto Anna Arkadyevna. 
Kitty, blushing a, little, fi^eil^ Krivin from the folds of 
her train, and, just a trifle- dizzy, looked around in search 
of Anna7 Anna was n©t dressed in violet, as Kitty had 
hoped, but in a low-cut black velvet gown, which showed 
her plump shoulders and bosom smooth as ivory, her 
beautiful round arms, and her delicate slender wrists. 
Her robe was adorned with Venetian guipure ; on her 
head, gracefully set on her^rk locks, was a little gar- 
land of heartsease ^ ; and a similar IJouquet was fastened 
in her black ribbon-belt in the midst of white lace. Her 
hair, which was all her own, was dressed very simply ; 
there was nothing remarkable about it except the abun- 
dance of little natural curls, which strayed in fascinating 
disorder about her neck and temples. She wore a string 
of pearls about her firm round throat. 

Kitty had seen Anna every day, and had fallen in 
love with her ; but now that she saw her dressed in 
black, instead of the violet which she had expected, she 
was conscious that she had never before appreciated 
her full beauty. She saw her in a new and unexpected 
light. Now she realized that violet would not have been 
becoming to her, and that her charm consisted entirely 
in her independence of toilet ; that her toilet was only 
an accessory, and her black gown with the magnificent 
laces was only an accessory, was only a frame for her, 
and nothing else was to be thought of but herself in all 
her simplicity, naturalness, elegance, and at the same 
time her gayety and animation. 

J Viola tricolor, called in Russian anyutini gldzki, or Anna's eyes. 


When Kitty joined her she was standing in her usual 
erect attitude, talking with the master of the house, her 
head slightly bent toward him. 

" No, I would not cast the first stone, though I don't 
understand about it," she was saying to him, slightly 
shrugging her shoulders ; and then, perceiving Kitty, 
she turned to her with an affectionate and reassuring 
smile. With a woman's quick intuition she saw all the 
beauty of the young girl's toilet, and gave her an appre- 
ciative nod, which Kitty understood. 

"You even dance into the ball-room," she said. 

" She is the most faithful of my aids," said Korsunsky, 
addressing Anna Arkadyevna, whom he had not as yet 
seen. " The princess helps to make any ball-room gay 
and delightful. Anna Arkadyevna, will you take a 
turn } " he asked, with a bow. 

" Ah ! you are acquainted ? " said the host. 

" Who is it we don't know ? My wife and I are like 
white wolves, — everybody knows us," replied Korsun- 
sky. " A little waltz, Anna Arkadyevna .'' " 

"I don't dance when I can help it," she replied. 

" But you can't help it to-night," said Korsunsky. At 
this moment Vronsky joined them. 

" Well ! if I can't help dancing, let us dance," said 
she, placing her hand on Korsunsky's shoulder, and not 
replying to Vronsky's salutation. 

" Why is she vexed with him .■' " thought Kitty, notic- 
ing that Anna purposely paid no attention to Vronsky's 
bow. Vronsky joined Kitty, reminded her that she was 
engaged to him for the first quadrille, and expressed 
regret that he had not seen her for so long. Kitty, 
while she was looking with admiration at Anna as she 
waltzed, listened to Vronsky. She expected that he 
woald invite her; but he did nothing of the sort, and 
she looked at him with astonishment. A flush came 
into his face, and he hastily suggested that they should 
waltz ; but he had scarcely put his arm around her 
slender waist and taken the first step, when suddenly 
the music stopped. Kitty looked into his face, which 
was close to her own, and for many a long day, even 


after years had passed, the loving look which she gave 
him and which he did not return tore her heart with 
cruel shame. 

** Pardon ! pardon ! A waltz! a waltz!" cried Kor- 
sunsky at the other end of the ball-room, and, seizing 
the first young lady at hand, he began once more to 


Vronsky took a few turns with Kitty, then she joined 
her mother ; but she had time for only a few words with 
the Countess Nordstone, ere Vronsky came back to get 
her for the first quadrille. During the quadrille nothing 
of importance was said : their conversation was first on 
Korsunsky and his wife, whom Vronsky described very 
amusingly as amiable children of forty years, then on 
some private theatricals ; and only once did his words 
give her a keen pang, — when he asked if Levin were 
there, and added that he liked him very much. 

But Kitty counted little on the quadrille : she waited 
for the mazurka with a violent beating of the heart. 
She had a feeling that during the mazurka all would 
surely be settled. The fact that Vronsky did not ask 
her during the quadrille did not disturb her. She felt 
sure that she should be selected as his partner for the 
mazurka as in all preceding balls, and she refused five 
invitations, saying that she was engaged. 

This whole ball, even to the last quadrille, seemed to 
Kitty like a magical dream, full of flowers, of joyous 
sounds, of movement ; she did not cease to dance until 
her strength began to fail, and then she begged to rest 
a moment. But in dancing the last quadrille with one 
of those tiresome men whom she found it impossible to 
refuse, she found herself in the same set with Vronsky 
and Anna. Kitty had not fallen in with Anna since the 
beginning of the ball, and now again she suddenly saw 
her in another new and unexpected light. She seemed 
laboring under an excitement such as Kitty herself had 
experienced — that of success. She saw that Anna 


was excited and intoxicated with the wine of admiration. 
Kitty knew the sensation, knew the symptoms and 
recognized them in Anna^ — she saw the feverish brill- 
iancy of her, and the smile of happiness and excitement 
involuntarily parting her lips, and the harmony, precis- 
ion, and grace of her movements. 

" Who has caused it ? " she asked herself, " All, or 
one > " 

She would not help her tormented partner in the 
conversation, the thread of which he had dropped and 
could not pick up again ; and though she submitted 
with apparent good grace to the loud orders of Kor- 
sunsky, shouting "Ladies' chain" and "All hands 
around," she watched her closely, and her heart op- 
pressed her more and more. 

" No, it is not the approval of the crowd that has so 
intoxicated her, but the admiration of the one. And 
that one.? — Can it be /lef" 

Every time Vronsky spoke to Anna, her eyes spar- 
kled with pleasure, and a smile of happiness parted her 
rosy lips. She seemed to make an effort not to exhibit 
any signs of this joy, but nevertheless happiness was 
painted on her face. 

" Can it be /le f " thought Kitty. 

She looked at him, and was horror-struck. The senti- 
ments that were reflected on Anna's face as in a mirror 
were also visible on his. Where were his coolness, his 
calm dignity, the repose which always marked his face .-' 
Now, as he addressed his partner, his head bent as 
if he were ready to worship her, and his look ex- 
pressed at once humility and passion, as if it said, ' J 
tvould not offejid you. I wonld save myself, and how 
can /.?' 

Such was the expression of his face, and she had 
never before seen it in him. 

They talked about their mutual acquaintances, their 
conversation was made up of trifles, and yet Kitty felt 
that every word they spoke decided her fate. Strange 
as it might seem, although they really remarked how 
ridiculous Ivan Ivanuitch was in his efforts to speak 

,iq6 anna KARENINA 

French, and how Miss Fletskaya might have found a 
better match, nevertheless these words had for them a 
peculiar meaning, and they understood it just as well as 
Kitty did. 

In Kitty's mind, the whole ball, the whole evening, 
everything, seemed enveloped in mist. Only the stern 
school of her education, serving her well, sustained her, 
and enabled her to do what was required of her, that is 
to say, to dance, to answer questions, to talk, even to 

But even before the mazurka began, while they were 
arranging the chairs and a few couples were already 
starting to go from the smaller rooms into the great 
ball-room, a sudden attack of despair and terror seized 
her. She had refused five invitations, and. now she had 
no partner ; and now there was no hope at all that she 
would be invited again, for the very reason that her 
social success would make it unlikely to occur to any 
one that she would be without a partner. She would 
have to tell her mother that she was not feeling well, 
and go home, but even this seemed impossible. She 
felt overwhelmed. 

She went into the farthest end of a small parlor, and 
threw herself into an arm-chair. The airy skirts of her 
robe enveloped her delicate figure as in a cloud. One 
bare arm, as yet a little thin, but pretty, fell without 
energy, and lay in the folds of her rose-colored skirt ; 
with the other she held her fan, and with quick, sharp 
motions tried to cool her heated face. But while she 
looked like a lovely butterfly caught amid grasses, and 
ready to spread its rainbow-tinted wings, a horrible 
despair oppressed her heart. 

" But perhaps I am mistaken : perhaps it is not so." 

And again she recalled what she had seen. 

"Kitty, what does this mean.?" said the Countess 
Nordstone, coming to her with noiseless steps. 

Kitty's lower lip quivered ; she hastily arose. 

" Kitty, are n't you dancing the mazurka ? " 

" No .... no," she replied, with trembling voice, almost 
in tears. 


"I heard him invite her for the mazurka," said the 
countess, knowing that Kitty would know whom she 
meant. "She said, ' What! ai^e n' t you going to dance 
ivith the Princess Shchei'batskaya?" 

" Akh ! it 's all one to me," said Kitty. 

No one besides herself realized her position. No one 
knew that she had refused a man whom perhaps she 
loved, — refused him because she preferred some one 

The Countess Nordstone went in search of Korsun- 
sky, who was her partner for the mazurka, and sent him 
to invite Kitty. 

Kitty danced in the first figure, and fortunately was 
not required to talk, because Korsunsky was obliged to 
be ubiquitous, making his arrangements in his little king- 
dom. Vronsky and Anna were sitting nearly opposite 
to her : she saw them sometimes near, sometimes at a 
distance, as their turn brought them into the figures ; 
and as she watched them, she felt more and more cer- 
tain that her unhappiness was complete. She saw that 
they felt themselves alone even in the midst of the 
crowded ball-room ; and on Vronsky's face, usually so 
impassive and calm, she remarked that mingled expies- 
sion of humility and fear, which strikes one in an intel- 
ligent dog, conscious of having done wrong. 

If Anna smiled, his smile replied ; if she became 
thoughtful, he looked serious. An almost supernatural 
power seemed to attract Kitty's gaze to Anna's face. 
She was charming in her simple black velvet ; charming 
were her round arms, clasped by bracelets ; charming 
her firm neck, encircled with pearls ; charming her dark, 
curly locks breaking from restraint ; charming the slow 
and graceful movements of her small feet and hands ; 
charming her lovely face, full of animation ; but in all 
this charm there was something terrible and cruel. 

Kitty admired her more than ever, and ever more and 
more her pain increased. She felt crushed, and her face 
told the story. When Vronsky passed her, in some fig- 
ure of the mazurka, he hardly knew her, so much had 
she changed. 


"Lovely ball," he said, so as to say something. 

"Yes," was her reply. 

Toward the middle of the mazurka, in going through 
a complicated figure recently •invented by Korsunsky, 
Anna went to the center of the circle, and called out 
two gentlemen and two ladies ; Kitty was one. As she 
approached Anna, she looked at her in dismay, Anna, 
half shutting her eyes, looked at her with a smile, and 
pressed her hand ; then noticing that Kitty's face, reply- 
ing to her smile, wore an expression of despair and 
amazement, she turned from her and began to talk to 
the other lady in animated tones. 

. "Yes, there is some terrible, almost infernal attrac- 
tion about her," said Kitty to herself. 

Anna did not wish to remain to supper, but the host 

"Do stay, Anna Arkadyevna," said Korsunsky, as 
she stood with her bare arm resting on the sleeve of his 
coat. "Such a cotillion I have in mind ! Un bijou !'' 

And the master of the house, looking on with a smile, 
encouraged his efforts to detain her, 

" No, I cannot stay," said Anna, also smiling ; but in 
spite of her smile the two men understood by the deter- 
mination in her voice that she would not stay. 

" No, for I have danced here in Moscow at this single 
ball more than all winter in Petersburg," said she, 
looking at Vronsky, who was standing near her; "one 
must rest before a journey." 

" And so you are really going back to-morrow .!• " he 

" Yes ; I think so," replied Anna, as if surprised at 
the boldness of his question. But as she said this to 
him, the brilliancy of her eyes and of her smile set his 
heart on fire. 

Anna Arkadyevna did not stay for supper, but took 
her departure. 



"Yes, there must be something repellent, even re- 
pulsive, about me," thought Levin, as he left the Shcher- 
batskys', and went on foot in search of his brother. " I 
am not popular with men. They say it is pride. No, 
I am not proud ; if I had been proud, I should not have 
put myself in my present situation." 

And he imagined himself Vronsky, happy, popular, 
calm, witty, who had apparently never put himself in 
such a terrible position as he was in on that evening. 

" Yes, she naturally chose him, and I have no right 
to complain about any one or any thing. I myself am 
to blame. What right had I to think that she would 
ever unite her life with mine ? Who am I ? and what 
am I? A man useful to no one — a good-for-nothing." 

Then the memory of his brother Nikolai' came back 
to him. 

" Was he not right in saying that everything in the 
world was miserable and wretched ? Have we been, 
and are we, just in our judgment of brother Nikolai? 
Of course, from the point of view of Prokofi, who saw 
him drunk and in ragged clothes, he is a miserable crea- 
ture ; but I judge him differently. I know his heart, 
and I know that we are alike. And I, instead of going 
to find him, have been out dining, and to this reception ! " 

Levin went to a street-lamp and read his brother's 
address, which was written on a slip of paper, and called 
an izvoshchik. All the long way he vividly recalled one 
by one the well-known incidents of his brother Nikolai's 
life. He remembered how at the university, and for a 
year after his graduation, he had lived like a monk not- 
withstanding the ridicule of his comrades, strictly de- 
voted to all forms of religion, services, fasts, turning 
his back on all pleasures, and especially women ; and 
then how he had suddenly turned around, and fallen 
into the company of people of the lowest lives, and 
entered upon a course of dissipation and debauchery. 
He remembered his conduct toward a lad whom he 


had taken from the country to bring up, and whom he 
whipped so severely in a fit of anger that he narrowly 
escaped being transported for mayhem. He remem- 
bered his conduct toward a swindler to whom he owed 
a gambling debt and in payment of it had given him his 
note, and whom he had caused to be arrested on the 
charge of cheating him ; this was, in fact, money that 
Sergef Ivanuitch had just paid. Then he remembered 
the night spent by Nikolai at the station-house on 
account of a spree. He remembered the scandalous 
lawsuit against his brother Sergef Ivanuitch, because 
Sergei had refused to pay his share of their mother's 
estate ; and finally he recalled his last adventure, when, 
after he had gone to take a position at the Western fron- 
tier, he was dismissed for assaulting a superior 

All this was detestable, but it did not seem nearly so 
odious to Levin as it would have been to those who did 
not know Nikolaf, did not know his history, did not 
know his heart. 

Levin remembered how at the time when Nikolai' was 
occupied with his devotions, his fastings, his priests, his 
ecclesiastical observances, when he was seeking to curb 
his passionate nature by religion, no one had aided him, 
but, on the contrary, every one, even himself, had made 
sport of him ; they had mocked him, nicknamed him 
Noah, the monk ! Then, when he had fallen, no one 
had helped him, but all had turned from him with hor- 
ror and disgust. Levin felt that his brother Nikolaif at 
the bottom of his heart, in spite of all the deformity of 
his life, was not so very much worse than those who 
despised him. He was not to blame for having been 
born with his unrestrainable character and his peculi- 
arities of intellect. He had always had good impulses. 

" I will tell him everything, and I will make him tell 
me everything, and show him that I love him and there- 
fore understand him," said Levin to himself, and about 
eleven o'clock in the evening he bade the driver take 
him to the hotel indicated on the address. 

"Upstairs, No. 12 and 13, "-said the Swiss, in reply to 
Levin's question. 


•' Is he at home ? " 


The door of No. 12 was half open, and from the room 
came the dense fumes of cheap, poor tobacco, and a 
voice unknown to Levin was heard speaking ; but Levin 
instantly knew his brother was there ; he recognized 
his cough. 

When he reached the door, the unknown voice was 
saying : — 

"All depends on whether the affair is conducted in a 
proper and rational manner." 

Konstantin Levin glanced through the doorway, and 
saw that the speaker was a young man, in a peasant's 
sleeveless coat, and with an enormous mop of hair on 
his head. On the divan was sitting a young woman, 
with pock-marked face, and dressed in a woolen gown 
without collar or cuffs. His brother was not to be seen, 
A pain shot through Konstantin's heart to think of the 
strange people with whom his brother associated. No 
one heard him ; and, while he was removing his galoshes, 
he listened to what the man in the sleeveless coat was 
saying. He was speaking of some enterprise. 

" Well ! the Devil take the privileged classes ! " said 
his brother's voice, after a fit of coughing. " Masha, 
see if you can't get us something to eat, and bring some 
wine if there 's any left ; if not, go for some." 

The woman arose, and as she came out from behind 
the screen she saw Konstantin. 

" A gentleman here, Nikolai" Dmitritch," she cried. 

"What is wanted?" said the voice of Nikolaf Levin, 

"It's I," replied Konstantin, appearing at the door. 

"Who's /.^" repeated Nikolai's voice, still more 

Then he was heard quickly rising and stumbling 
against something, and Konstantin saw before him at 
the door his brother's well-known figure, still remark- 
able by reason of his shyness and ill health — infirm, 
tall, thin, and bent, with great startled eyes. 

He was still thinner than when Konstantin had last 


seen him, three years before. He wore a short over- 
coat. His hands and his bony frame seemed to him 
more colossal than ever. His hair had grown thinner, 
but the same stiff mustaches hid his lips, the same eyes 
glared at his visitor uncannily and naively. 

" Ah, Kostia ! " he suddenly cried, recognizing his 
brother, and his eyes shone with joy. But the same 
instant he fixed his eyes on the younger man, and made 
a quick, convulsive motion of his head and neck, as if 
his cravat choked him, a gesture well known to Kon- 
stantin ; and an entirely different expression, wild, and 
bitter, and expressive of martyrdom, came into his 
sunken face. 

" I wrote both to you and to Sergei" Ivanuitch that I 
do not know you, nor wish to know you. What do you 
want ; what does either of you want .-' " 

He was not at all as Konstantin had imagined him. 
The hardest and vilest elements of his character, which 
had made any relations with him difficult, had faded 
from Konstantin Levin's memory whenever he thought 
about him ; and now, when he saw his face and the 
characteristic convulsive motions of his head, he remem- 
bered it all. 

" But I wanted nothing of you except to see you," he 
replied timidly. ** I only came to see you." 

His brother's diffidence apparently disarmed Nikolai. 
His lips relaxed. 

" Ah ! did you .-' " said he. " Well ! come in, sit down. 
Do you want some supper ? Masha, bring enough for 
three. No, hold on 1 Do you know who this is .'' " he 
asked his brother, pointing to the young man in the 
peasant's coat. "This gentleman is Mr. Kritsky, a 
friend of mine from Kief, a very remarkable man. It 
seems the police are after him, because he is not a 

And he looked, as his habit was, at all who were in 
the room. Then, seeing that the woman, who stood at 
the door, was about to leave, he shouted : — 

"Wait, I tell you." 

Then, in his extravagant, incoherent manner of 


speech, which Konstantin knew so well, he began to 
tell his brother the whole story of Kritsky's life ; how 
he had been driven from the university, because he had 
tried to found an aid society and Sunday-schools among 
the students ; how afterwards he had been appointed 
teacher in one of the public schools, only to be dis- 
missed ; and how finally he had been tried for something 
or other. 

"Were you at the University of Kief?" asked Kon- 
stantin of Kritsky, in order to break the awkward silence 
that followed. 

" Yes, I was at Kief," replied Kritsky, curtly, with a 

" And this woman," cried Nikolai' Levin, pointing to 
the girl, "is the companion of my life, Marya Niko- 
layevna. I took her from a house," — he said, stretch- 
ing out his neck, — " but I love her, and I esteem her ; 
and all who want to know me," he added, raising his 
voice and scowling, " must love her and esteem her. 
She is just the same as my wife, just the same. So 
now you know with whom you have to do. And if you 
think that you lower yourself, there 's the door ! " ^ And 
again his eyes looked at them all questioningly. 

"I do not understand how I should lower myself." 

" All right, Masha, bring us up enough for three, — 

some vodka and wine No, wait ; .... no matter, though ; 



"As you see," continued NikolaT Levin, frowning, and 
speaking with effort. It was evidently hard for him to 
make up his mind what to do or say. "But do you 
see .^" ....and he pointed to the corner of the room, 
where lay some iron bars attached to straps. " Do you 
see that } That is the beginning of a new work which 

^ He quotes the riming phrase : Tai vot Bog a vot forog (or, vot tebyt 
Bog, a vot tebye porog) which expanded may mean, "Stay if you like and 
God be with you, but yonder is the threshold ! " 
VOL. I. — 8 


we are undertaking. This work belongs to a productive 
labor association." .... 

Konstantin scarcely listened : he was looking at his 
brother's sick, consumptive face, and he grew more and 
more sorry for him, and he could not compel himself to 
listen to what his brother was saying about the labor 
association. He saw that the labor association was only 
an anchor of safety to keep him from absolute self- 
abasement. Nikolai' went on to say : — 

" You know that capital is crushing the laborer : with 
us the laboring classes, the muzhiks, bear the whole 
weight of toil ; and no matter how they exert them- 
selves, they can never get above their cattle-like condi- 
tion. All the profits created by their productive labor, 
by which they could better their lot and procure for them- 
selves leisure, and therefore instruction, all their super- 
fluous profits are swallowed up by the capitalists. And 
society is so constituted that, the harder they work, the 
more the proprietors and the merchants fatten at their 
expense, while they remain beasts of burden still. And 
this order of things must be changed," said he, in con- 
clusion, and looked questioningly at his brother. 

" Yes, of course," replied Konstantin, looking at the 
pink spots which burned in his brother's hollow cheeks. 

"And now we are organizing an artel of locksmiths 
where all will be in common, — work, profits, and even 
the tools." 

" Where will this artel be situated } " asked Kon- 

"In the village of Vozdremo, government of Kazan." 

" Yes ; but why in a village ? In the villages, it seems 
to me, there is plenty of work : why associated lock- 
smiths in a village .-• " 

"Because the muzhiks are serfs, just as much as they 
ever were, and you and Sergef Ivanuitch don't like it 
because we want to free them from this slavery," replied 
Nikolaif, vexed by his brother's question. 

While he spoke, Konstantin was looking about the 
melancholy, dirty room ; he sighed, and his sigh seemed 
to make Nikolai' still more angry. 


** I know the aristocratic prejudices of such men as 
you and Sergef Ivanuitch. I know that he is spending 
all the strength of his mind in defense of the evils that 
crush us." 

" No ! but why do you speak of Sergef Ivanuitch ? " 
asked Levin, smiling. 

" Sergei Ivanuitch } This is why ! " cried NikolaY, at 
the mention of Sergef Ivanuitch — " this is why ! .... 
yet what is the good .-* tell me this — what did you come 
here for ? You despise all this ; very good ! Go away, 
for God's sake," he cried, rising from his chair, — " go 
away ! go away ! " 

" I don't despise anything," said Konstantin, gently ; 
" I only refrain from discussing." 

At this moment Marya Nikolayevna came in. Niko- 
laY looked at her angrily, but she quickly stepped up to 
him and whispered a few words in his ear. 

"I am not well, I easily become irritable," he ex- 
plained, growing calmer, and breathing with difificulty, 
"and you just spoke to me about Sergei Ivanuitch and 
his article. It is so rubbishy, so idle, so full of error. 
How can a man, who knows nothing about justice, 
write about it } Have you read his article } " said he, 
turning to Kritsky, and then, going to the table, he 
brushed off the half-rolled cigarettes so as to clear away 
a little space. 

" I have not read it," replied Kritsky, gloomily, evi- 
dently not wishing to take part in the conversation. 

" Why .'' " cried Nikolai', irritably, still addressing 

" Because I don't consider it necessary to waste my 
time on it." 

" That is, excuse me — how do you know that it would 
be a waste of time ? For many people this article is 
inaccessible, because it is above them. But I find i'. 
different ; I sec the thoughts through and through, and 
know wherein it is weak." 

No one replied. Kritsky slowly arose, and took his hat 

"Won't you take some lunch .^ Well, good-by ! 
Come to-morrow with the locksmith." 


Kritsky had hardly left the room, when Nikolai smiled 
and winked. 

" He is to be pitied ; but I see .... " 

Just at that instant Kritsky, calling at the door, inter- 
rupted him. 

" What do you want ? " he asked, joining him in the 

Left alone with Marya Nikolayevna, Levin said to 
her : — 

"Have you been long with my brother.-'" 

"This is the second year. His health has become 
very feeble ; he drinks a great deal," she said. 

"What do you mean .-' " 

" He drinks vodka, and it is bad for him." 

" Does he drink too much ? " 

"Yes," said she, looking timidly toward the door 
where Nikolai Levin was just entering. 

" What were you talking about y he demanded, with 
a scowl, and looking from one to the other with angry 
eyes. "Tell me." 

" Oh ! nothing," replied Konstantin, in confusion. 

" You don't want to answer .-* all right ! don't. But 
you have no business to be talking with her ; she is a 
girl, you a gentleman," he shouted, craning out his neck. 
"I see that you have understood everything, and judged 
everything, and that you look with grief on the errors 
of my ways." 

He went on speaking, raising his voice. 

" Nikolaf Dmitritch ! Nikolai' Dmitritch ! " whispered 
Marya Nikolayevna, coming close to him. 

"Well! very good, very good Supper, then? ah! 

here it is," he said, seeing a servant entering with a 

" Here ! put it here ! " he said crossly ; then, taking 
the vodka, he poured out a glass, and drank it eagerly. 

" Will you have a drink ? " he asked his brother, im- 
mediately growing lively. 

" Well ! no more about Sergei Ivanuitch 1 I am very 
glad to see you. No matter what people say, we are no 
longer strangers. Come now I drink ! Tell me what 


you are doing," he said, greedily munching a piece of 
bread, and pouring out a second glass. " How are you 
living ? " 

" I live alone in the country, as I always have, and 
busy myself with farming," replied Konstantin, looking 
with terror at the eagerness with which his brother ate 
and drank, and trying to hide his impressions. 

" Why don't you get married .-' " 

" I have not come to that yet," replied Konstantin, 
turning red. 

"Why so.'* For me — it's all over! I have wasted 
my life ! This I have said, and always shall say, that, 
if they had given me my share of the estate when I 
needed it, my whole life v/ould have been different." 

Konstantin hastened to change the conversation. 

" Did you know that your Vanyuskka ^ is with me at 
Pokrovskoye as book-keeper } " he said. 

Nikola'f craned out his neck and wondered. 

" Yes, tell me what is doing at Pokrovskoye. Is the 
house just the same .'' and the birch trees and our study- 
room .-• Is Filipp, the gardener, still alive .'' How I re- 
member the summer-house and the divan! .... Just look 
here I don't let anything in the house be changed, but 
hurry up and get married and begin to live as you used 
to. Then I will come to visit you if your wife will be 

"Then come back with me now," said Konstantin. 
" How well we should get on together ! " 

" I would come if I knew I should not meet Sergei 

" You would not meet him ; I live absolutely indepen- 
dent of him." 

" Yes ; but, whatever you say, you must choose be- 
tween him and me," said Nikolai", looking timorously in 
his brother's eyes. 

This timidity touched Konstantin. 

" If you want to hear my whole confession as to this 
matter, I will tell you that I take sides neither with you 
nor with him in your quarrel. You are both in the 
1 Vanyushka is the diminutive of Ivan, as Jack is of John, 


wrong ; but in your case the wrong is external, while in 
his the wrong is inward." 

" Ha, ha ! Do you understand it ? do you understand 
it ? " cried Nikolai', with an expression of joy. 

"But if you would like to know, personally I value 
your friendship higher because...." 

"Why? why.?" 

Konstantin could not say that it was because Nikolai 
was wretched, and needed his friendship; but Nikolaf 
understood that that was the very thing he meant, and, 
frowning darkly, he betook himself to the vodka. 

" Enough, Nikolai" Dmitritch ! " cried Marya Nikola- 
yevna, laying her great pudgy hand pn the decanter. 

" Let me alone ! don't bother me, or I '11 strike you," 
he cried. 

Marya Nikolayevna smiled with her gentle and good- 
natured smile, which pacified Nikolai", and she took the 

"There ! Do you think that she does not understand 
things.''" said Nikola"i". "She understands this thing 
better than all of you. Is n't there something about her 
good and gentle .'' " 

" Have n't you ever been in Moscow before ? " said 
Konstantin, in order to say something to her. 

" There now, don't say via [you] to her. It frightens 
her. No one said vui to her except the justice of the 
peace, when they had her up because she wanted to 
escape from the house of ill-fame where she was. My 
God ! how senseless everything is in this world ! " he 
suddenly exclaimed. "These new institutions, these 
justices of the peace, the zemstro, what abominations!" 

And he began to relate his experiences with the new 

Konstantin listened to him ; and the criticisms on the 
absurdity of the new institutions, which he had himself 
often expressed, now that he heard them from his 
brother's lips, seemed disagreeable to him. 

"We shall^understand it all in the next world," he 
said jestingly. 

" In the next world .-* Och ! I don't like your next 


world ; I don't like it," he repeated, fixing his timid, 
haggard eyes on his brother's face. " And yet it would 
seem good to go from these abominations, these entan- 
glements, from this unnatural state of things, from my- 
self ; but I am afraid of death, horribly afraid of death ! " 
He shuddered. " There ! drink s jmething ! Would you 
like some champagne ? or would you rather go out some- 
where ? Let 's go and see the gipsies. You know I am 
very fond of gipsies and Russian songs." 

His speech had begun to grow thick, and he hurried 
from one subject to another. Konstantin, with Masha's 
aid, persuaded him to stay at home ; and they put him 
on his bed completely drunk. 

Masha promised to write Konstantin in case of need, 
and to persuade Nikolai Levin to come and live with his 


The next forenoon Levin left Moscow, and toward 
evening was at home. On the journey he talked with 
those near him in the train about politics, about the new 
railroads ; and, just as in Moscow, he was overcome by 
the chaos of conflicting opinions, self-dissatisfaction, and 
a sense of shame. But when he got out at his station, 
and perceived his one-eyed coachman, Ignat, with his 
kaftan collar turned up; when he saw, in the dim light 
that fell through the station windows, his covered sledge 
and his horses with their tied-up tails, and their harness 
with its rings and fringes ; when Ignat, as he was tuck- 
ing in the robes, told him all the news of the village, 
about the coming of the contractor, and how Pava the 
cow had calved, — then it seemed to him that the chaos 
resolved itself a little, and his shame and dissatisfaction 
passed away. This he felt at the very sight of Ignat 
and his horses ; but, as soon as he had put on his sheep- 
skin tulup, which he found in the sleigh, and took his 
seat in the sleigh comfortably wrapped up, and drove 
off thinking what arrangement he should have to make 


in the village, and at the same time examining the off 
horse, Donskaya, which used to be his saddle-horse, a 
jaded but mettlesome steed, he began to view his expe- 
riences in an absolutely different light. 

He felt himself again, and no longer wished to be a 
different person. He only wished to be better than he 
had ever been before. In the first place, he resolved 
from that day forth that he would never expect extraor- 
dinary joys, such as marriage had promised to bring to 
him, and therefore he would never again despise the 
present ; and, in the second place, he would never allow 
himself to be led away by low passion, the remem- 
brances of which so tortured him while he was deciding 
to make his proposal. And lastly, as he thought of his 
brother Nikolaf, he resolved that he would never again 
forget him, but that he would keep track of him and not 
let him out of sight, so that he might be in readiness to 
aid him whenever the evil moment arrived, and that 
seemed likely to be very soon. 

Then the conversation about communism, which he 
had so lightly treated with his brother, came back to 
him, and made him reflect. A reform of economic con- 
ditions seemed to him nonsense, but he always felt the 
unfair difference between his own superfluity and the 
poverty of the people, and in order that he might feel 
perfectly right, he now vowed that though hitherto he 
had worked hard, and lived economically, he would in 
the future work still harder, and permit himself even less 
luxury than ever. And all this seemed to him so easy 
to accomplish that, throughout the drive from the sta- 
tion, he was the subject of the pleasantest illusions. 
With a hearty feeling of hope for a new and better life, 
he reached home just as the clock was striking ten. 

From the windows of the room occupied by his old 
nurse, Agafya Mikhaflovna, who fulfilled the functions 
of housekeeper, the light fell on the snow-covered walk 
before his house. She was not yet asleep. Kuzma, 
wakened by her> hurried down, barefooted and sleepy, 
to open the door. Laska, the setter, almost knocking 
Kuzma down in her desire to get ahead of him, ran to 


meet her master, and jumped upon him, trying to place 
her fore paws on his breast. 

" You are back very soon, batyushka," said Agafya 

" I was bored, Agafya Mikharlovna ; 't is good to go 
visiting, but it 's better at home," said he. And he 
went into his library. 

The library slowly grew light as the candle that was 
brought burnt up. The familiar details little by little 
came into sight — the great antlers, the shelves lined 
with books, the mirror, the stove with a hole which ought 
long ago to have been repaired, the ancestral divan, 
the great table, and on the table an open book, a broken 
ash-tray, a note-book filled with his writing. 

As he saw all these things, for a moment the doubt 
arose in his mind if it would be possible to bring about 
this new life which he had dreamed of during his journey. 
All these signs of his past seemed to say to him, ' No, 
thou shalt not leave us ! thou shalt not become another; 
but thou shalt still be as thou hast always been, — with 
thy doubts, thy everlasting self-dissatisfaction, thy idle 
efforts at reform, thy failures, and thy perpetual striv- 
ing for a happiness which will never be thine.' 

But while these external objects spoke to him thus, 
a different voice whispered to his soul, bidding him cease 
to be a slave to his past, and declaring that a man has 
every possibility within him. And, listening to this 
voice, he went to one side of the room, where he found 
two forty-pound dumb-bells. And he began to practise 
his gymnastic exercises with them, endeavoring to bring 
himself into a condition of vigor. At the door there was 
a noise of steps. He hastily put down the dumb-bells. 

The intendant ^ came in and said that, thanks to 
God, everything was all right, but he confessed that 
the buckwheat in the new drying-room had got burnt. 
This provoked Levin. This new drying-room he had 
himself built, and partially invented. But the inten- 
dant had been entirely opposed to it, and now he an- 
nounced with ill-concealed triumph that the buckwheat 

^ Prikashchik, 


was burnt. Levin was sure that it was because he had 
neglected the precautions a hundred times suggested. 
He grew angry, and reprimanded the intendant. 

But there was one fortunate and important event : 
Pava, his best, his most beautiful cow, which he had 
bought at the cattle-show, had calved. 

** Kuzma, give me my tulup. And you," said he to 
the intendant, "get a lantern. I will go and see her." 

The stable for the cattle was immediately behind the 
house. Crossing the courtyard, where the snow was 
heaf^ed under the lilac bushes, he stepped up to the 
stable. As he opened the frosty door, he was met by 
the warm fumes of manure, and the cows, astonished at 
the unwonted light of the lantern, stirred on their fresh 
straw. The light fell on the broad black back of his 
piebald Holland cow. Berkut, the bull, with a ring in 
his nose, tried to get to his feet, but changed his mind, 
and only snorted as they passed by. 

The beautiful Pava, huge as a hippopotamus, was ly- 
ing near her calf, snuffing at it, and protecting it against 
those who would come too close. 

Levin entered the stall, examined Pava, and lifted the 
calf, spotted with red and white, on its long, awkward 
legs. Pava began to low with anxiety, but was re- 
assured when the calf was restored to her, and began 
to lick it with her rough tongue. The calf hid its nose 
under its mother's side, and frisked its tail. 

"Bring the light this way, Feodor, this way," said 
Levin, examining the calf. " Like its mother, but its 
color is like the sire's, very pretty ! long hair and 
prettily spotted. Vasili Feodorovitch, is n't it a beauty.'' " 
he said, turning to his intendant, forgetting, in his joy 
over the new-born calf, the grief caused by the burning 
of his wheat. 

" Why should it be homely ? But Semyon the con- 
tractor was here the day after you left. It will be 
necessary to come to terms with him, Konstantin 
Dmitritch," replied the intendant. " I have already 
spoken to you about the machine." 

This single phrase brought Levin back to all the de- 


tails of his enterprise, which was great and complicated ; 
and from the stable he went directly to the office, and 
after a long conversation with the intendant and Semyon 
the contractor, he went back to the house, and marched 
straight up into the drawing-room. 


Levin's house was old and large, but, though he lived 
there alone, he occupied and warmed the whole of it. 
He knew that this was ridiculous ; he knew that it was 
bad, and contrary to his new plans ; but this house was 
a world in itself to him. It was a world where his father 
and mother had lived and died. They had lived a life 
which, for Levin, seemed the ideal of all perfection, and 
which he dreamed of renewing with his own wife, with 
his own family. 

Levin scarcely remembered his mother. But this 
remembrance was sacred ; and his future wife, as he 
imagined her, was to be the counterpart of the ideally 
charming and adorable woman, his mother. For him, 
love for a woman could not exist outside of marriage ; 
but he imagined the family relationship first, and only 
afterwards the woman who would be the center of the 
family. His ideas about marriage were therefore es- 
sentially different from those held by the majority of 
his friends, for whom it was only one of innumerable 
social affairs ; for Levin it was the most important act 
of his life, whereon all his happiness depended, and now 
he must renounce it ! 

When he entered the little parlor where he always 
took tea, and threw himself into his arm-chair with a 
book, while Agafya Mikhailovna brought him his cup, 
and sat down near the window, saying as usual, ''Well, 
I'll sit down, batyushka," — then he felt, strangely 
enough, that he had not renounced his day-dreams, and 
that he could not live without them. Were it Kitty or 
another, still it would be. He read his book, had his 
mind on what he was reading, pausing occasionally to 


listen to Agafya Mikhallovna's unceasing prattle, but 
his imagination was all the time filled with those varied 
pictures of family happiness which hovered before him. 
He felt that in the depths of his soul some change, some 
modification, some crystallization, was taking place. 

He listened while Agafya Mikhailovna told how Pro- 
khor had forgotten God, and, instead of buying a horse 
with the money which Levin had given him, had taken 
it and gone on a spree, and beaten his wife almost to 
death ; and while he listened he read his book, and again 
caught the thread of his thoughts, awakened by his 
reading. It was a book by Tyndall, on heat. He re- 
membered his criticisms on Tyndall's self-satisfaction in 
the cleverness of his management of his experiments 
and on his lack of philosophical views, and suddenly a 
happy thought crossed his mind : — 

" In two years I shall have two Holland cows ; per- 
haps Pava herself will still be alive, and possibly a dozen 
of Berkut's daughters will have been added to the herd, 
just from these three ! Splendid ! " 

And again he picked up his book. 

" Well ! very good : electricity and heat are one and 
the same thing; but could one quantity take the place 
of the other in the equations used to settle this problem.? 
No. What then .-• The bond between all the forces of na- 
ture is felt, like instinct When Pavas daughter grows 

into a cow with red and white spots, what a herd I shall 
have with those three ! Admirable ! And my wife and I 
will go out with our guests to see the herd come in ; .... 
and my wife will say, ' Kostia and I have brought this 
calf up just like a child.' — * How can this interest you 
so } ' the guests will say, ' All that interests him 
interests me also.*.... But who will s/ie he?" and he 
began to think of what had happened in Moscow. — 
"Well! What is to be done about it .-•.... I am not to 
blame. But now everything will be different. It is 
foolishness to let one's past life dominate the present. 
One must struggle to live better — much better."..,. 

He raised his head, and sank into thought. Old 
Laska, who had not yet got over her delight at her 


master's return, had been barking up and down the 
courtyard. She came into the room, wagging her tail, 
and bringing the freshness of the open air, and thrust 
her head under his hand, and begged for a caress, whin- 
ing plaintively. 

" She almost talks," said Agafya Mikhailovna; "she 
is only a dog, but she knows just as well that her master 
has come home, and is sad." 

"Why sad?" 

"Da! don't I see it, batyushka? It's time I knew 
how to read my masters. Grew up with my masters 
since they were children! No matter, batyushka; your 
health is good and your conscience pure." 

Levin looked at her earnestly, in astonishment that 
she so divined his thoughts. 

"And shall I give you some more tea?" said she; 
and taking the cup, she went out. 

Laska continued to nestle her head in her master's 
hand. He caressed her, and then she curled herself up 
around his feet, like a ring, laying her head on one of 
her hind paws ; and, as a proof that all was arranged to 
suit her, she opened her mouth a little, let her tongue 
slip out between her aged teeth, and, with a gentle puff- 
ing of her lips, gave herself up to beatific repose. Levin 
followed all of her movements. 

" So will I ! " he said to himself; "so will I! no mat- 
ter! all will be well!" 


Early on the morning after the ball, Anna Arka- 
dyevna sent her husband a telegram, announcing that 
she was going to leave Moscow that day. 

" No, I must, I must go," she said to her sister-in-law, 
in explanation of her change of plan, and her tone signi- 
fied that she had just remembered something that de- 
manded her instant attention. " No, it would be much 
better if I could go tliis morning." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch did not dine at home, but he 


agreed to be back at seven o'clock to escort his sister to 
the train. 

Kitty did not put in an appearance, but sent word 
that she had a headache. Dolly and Anna dined alone 
with the children and the English governess. Either 
the children were fickle or they were very sensitive and 
felt that Anna was not at all as she had been on the 
day when they had taken so kindly to her, that she no 
longer cared for them, for they suddenly ceased playing 
with their aunt, seemed to lose their affection for her, 
and cared very little that she was going away. 

Anna spent the whole morning in making the prep- 
arations for her departure. She wrote a few notes to 
her Moscow acquaintances, settled her accounts, and 
packed. To Dolly especially it seemed that she was not 
in a happy frame of mind, but in that state of mental agi- 
tation which Dolly knew from experience arose, not with- 
out excellent reason, from dissatisfaction with herself. 

After dinner Anna went to her room to dress, and 
Dolly followed her. 

" How strange you are to-day ! " said Dolly. 

" I .'' Do you think so ? I am not strange, but I am 
cross. This is common with me. I should like to have 
a good cry. It is very silly, but it will pass away," said 
Anna, speaking quickly, and hiding her blushing face in 
a little bag where she was packing her toilet articles and 
her handkerchiefs. Her eyes shone with tears which she 
could hardly keep back. " I was so loath to come away 
from Petersburg, and now I don't want to go back! " 

"You came here and you did a lovely thing," said 
Dolly, attentively observing her. 

Anna looked at her with eyes wet with tears. 

"Don't say that, Dolly. I have done nothing, and 
could do nothing. I often ask myself why people say 
things to spoil me. What have I done .'' What could I 
do ? You found that your heart had enough love left to 
forgive." .... 

" Without you, God knows what would have been ! 
How fortunate you are, Anna!" said Dolly. "All is 
serene and pure in your soul." 


" Every one has a skeleton in his closet, as the Engb'sh 

" What skeleton have you, pray ? In you everything 
is so serene." 

" I have mine ! " cried Anna, suddenly ; and an unex- 
pected, crafty, mocking smile hovered over her lips in 
spite of her tears. 

" Well ! in your case the skeleton must be a droll one, 
and not grievous," replied Dolly, with a smile. 

" No ; it is grievous ! Do you know why I go to-day, 
and not to-morrow ">. This is a confession which weighs 
me down, but I wish to make it," said Anna, decidedly, 
sitting down in an arm-chair, and looking Dolly straight 
in the eyes. 

And to her astonishment she saw that Anna was 
blushing, even to her ears, even to the dark curls that 
played about the back of her neck. 

" Yes ! " Anna proceeded. " Do you know why Kitty 
did not come to dinner } She is jealous of me. I spoiled 
.... it was through me that the ball last night was a tor- 
ment and not a joy to her. But truly, truly, I was not 
to blame, —or not much to blame," said she, with a 
special accent on the word nemnozJiko — not much. 

" Oh, how exactly you said that like Stiva ! " remarked 
Dolly, laughing. 

Anna was vexed. 

" Oh, no ! Oh, no ! I am not like Stiva," said she, 
frowning. " I have told you this simply because I do 
not allow myself, for an instant, to doubt myself." 

But the very moment that she said these words, she 
perceived how untrue they were ; she not only doubted 
herself, but she felt such emotion at the thought of 
Vronsky that she took her departure sooner than she 
otherwise would, so that she might not meet him again. 

"Yes, Stiva told me that you danced the mazurka 
with him, and that he...." 

"You cannot imagine how ridiculously it turned out. 
I thought only to help along the match, and suddenly it 
went exactly opposite. Perhaps against my will, I ...." 

She blushed, and did not finish her sentence. 


" Oh ! these things are felt instantly," said Dolly, 

" I should be in despair if I felt that there was any- 
thing serious on his part," interrupted Anna; "but I 
am convinced that all this will be quickly forgotten, 
and that Kitty will not long be angry with me." 

" In the lirst place, Anna, to tell the truth, I should 
not be very sorry if this marriage fell through. It would 
be vastly better for it to stop right here if Vronsky can 
fall in love with you in a single day." 

" Oh heavens ! that would be so idiotic ! " said Anna, 
and again an intense blush of satisfaction overspread 
her face at hearing the thought that occupied her ex- 
pressed in words. " And that is why I go away, after 
making an enemy of Kitty, whom I loved so dearly. 
Akh ! how sweet she is ! But you will arrange that, 
Dolly.? Won't you.?" 

Dolly could hardly refrain from smiling. She loved 
Anna, but it was pleasant to her to discover that she 
also had her weaknesses. 

" An enemy .? That cannot be ! " 

" And I should have been so glad to have you all love 
me as I love you ; but now I love you all more than 
ever," said Anna, with tears in her eyes. "Akh! how 
absurd I am to-day ! " 

She passed her handkerchief over her eyes, and began 
to get ready. 

At the very moment of her departure came Stepan 
Arkadyevitch with rosy, happy face, and an odor of wine 
and cigars. 

Anna's tender-heartedness had communicated itself 
to Dolly, and, when she kissed her for the last time, she 
whispered : — 

" Think, Anna ! what you have done for me ! I shall 
never forget. And remember that I love you, and al- 
ways shall love you as my best friend ! " 

" I don't understand why," replied Anna, kissing her, 
and struggling with her tears. 

" You have understood me, and you do understand 
me. Farewell, my dearest ! " ^ 

* Proshchai, vioya pretest t 



" Well ! all is over, and thank the Lord ! " was Anna's 
first thought after she had said good-by to her brother, 
who had blocked up the entrance to the railway-carriage, 
even after the third bell had rung. She sat down on 
the divanchik next Annushka, her maid, and began to 
examine the feebly lighted compartment. "Thank the 
Lord ! to-morrow I shall see Serozha and Alekseif Alek- 
sandrovitch, and my good and commonplace life will 
begin again as of old." 

With the same mental preoccupation that had pos- 
sessed her all that day, Anna found a satisfaction in 
attending minutely to the arrangements for the journey. 
With her skilful little hands she opened her red bag, 
and took out a cushion, placed it on her knees, wrapped 
her feet warmly, and composed herself comfortably. 

A lady, who seemed to be an invalid, had already 
gone to sleep. Two other ladies entered into conversa. 
tion with Anna ; and a fat, elderly dame, well wrapped 
up, expressed her opinion on the temperature. Anna 
exchanged a few words with the ladies, but, not taking 
any interest in their conversation, asked Annushka for 
her traveling-lamp, placed it on the back of her seat, 
and took from her bag a paper-cutter and an English 
novel. At first she could not read ; the going and com- 
ing and the general bustle disturbed her ; when once 
the train had started, she could not help listening to 
the noises : the snow striking against the window, and 
sticking to the glass ; the conductor, as he passed with 
the snowflakes melting on his coat ; the remarks about 
the terrible storm, — all distracted her attention. 

Afterwards it became more monotonous : always the 
same jolting and jarring, the same snow on the window, 
the same sudden changes from warmth to cold, and back 
to warmth again, the same faces in the dim light, and 
the same voices. And Anna began to read, and to fol- 
low what she was reading. 

Annushka was already asleep, holding the little red 


bag on her knees with great, clumsy hands, clad in 
gloves, one of which was torn. 

Anna read, and understood what she read ; but it 
was not pleasant to her to read, in other words to enter 
into the lives of other people. She had too keen a 
desire to live herself. If she read how the heroine of 
her story took care of the sick, she would have liked 
to go with noiseless steps into the sick-room. If she 
read how a member of Parliament made a speech, she 
would have liked to make that speech. If she read how 
Lady Mary rode after the hounds, and made sport of 
her sister-in-law, and astonished every one by her au- 
dacity, she would have liked to do the same. But she 
could do nothing ; and with her little hands she clutched 
the paper-cutter, and forced herself to read calmly. 

The hero of her novel had reached the summit of his 
English ambition, — a baronetcy and an estate; and 
Anna felt a desire to go with him to this estate, when 
suddenly it seemed to her that he ought to feel a sense 
of shame, and that she ought to share it. But why should 
he feel ashamed } " Why should I feel ashamed } " she 
asked herself with astonishment and discontent. She 
closed the book, and, leaning back against the chair, 
held the paper-cutter tightly in both hands. 

There was nothing to be ashamed of : she reviewed 
all her memories of her visit to Moscow ; they were all 
pleasant and good. She remembered the ball, she 
remembered Vronsky and his humble and passionate 
face, she recalled all her relations with him ; there was 
nothing to be ashamed of. But at the same time in 
these reminiscences the sense of shame kept growing 
stronger and stronger ; and it seemed to her that in- 
ward voice, whenever she thought of Vronsky, seemed 
to say, "Warmly, very warmly, passionately.".... 

"Well! what is this.^" she asked herself resolutely, 
as she changed her position in the seat. "What does 
this mean .-' Am I afraid to face these memories ^ Well ! 
what is it."* Is there, can there be, any relationship 
between that boy-officer and me beyond what exists 
between all acquaintances.-'" 


She smiled disdainfully, and again took up her book ; 
but now she really could not any longer comprehend 
what she was reading. She rubbed her paper-cutter 
over the pane, and then pressed its cool, smooth surface 
to her cheek, and then she almost laughed out loud with 
the joy that unreasonably took possession of her. She 
felt her nerves grow more and more tense like the 
strings on some musical instrument screwed up to the 
last degree ; she felt her eyes open wider and wider, 
her fingers and her toes twitched nervously, something 
seemed to choke her, and all objects and sounds in the 
wavering semi-darkness surprised her by their exag- 
gerated proportions. She kept having moments of 
doubt as to whether they were going backwards or 
forwards, or if the train had come to a stop. Was it 
Annushka there, sitting next her, or was it a stranger ? 

" What is that on the hook .-' — my fur shuba or an 
animal ? And what am I doing here ? Am I myself, 
or some one else ."* " 

It was terrible to her to yield to these hallucinations ; 
but something kept attracting her to them and she could 
by her own will either yield to them or withdraw from 
them. In order to regain possession of herself, Anna 
arose, took off her plaid and laid aside her pelerine of 
thick cloth. For a moment she thought that she had con- 
quered herself, for when a tall, thin muzhik, dressed in 
a long nankeen overcoat, which lacked a button, came 
in, she recognized in him the stove-tender. She saw 
him look at the thermometer, and noticed how the wind 
and the snow came blowing in as he opened the door ; 
and then everything became confused again. 

The tall peasant began to draw fantastic figures on 
the wall ; the old lady seemed to stretch out her legs, 
and fill the whole carriage as with a black cloud ; then 
she thought she heard a terrible thumping and rapping, 
a noise like something tearing ; then a red and blinding 
fire flashed in her eyes, and then all vanished in dark- 
ness. Anna felt as if she was falling. But this was 
not at all alarming, but rather pleasant. 

The voice of a man all wrapped up, and covered with 


snow, shouted something in her ear. She started up, 
recovered her wits, and perceived that they were ap. 
proaching a station, and the man was the conductor. 
She bade Annushka give her the pelerine which she had 
laid aside and her handkerchief, and, having put them 
on, she went to the door. 
, " Do you wish to go out .-' " asked Annushka. 

" Yes ; I want to get a breath of fresh air. It is very 
hot here." 

And she opened the door. The snow-storm and the 
wind rushed in to meet her and disputed the door with 
her. And this seemed to her very jolly. The storm 
seemed to be waiting for her, it gayly whistled and was 
eager to carry her away ; but she clung to the cold rail- 
ing with one hand, and, holding her dress, she stepped 
out on the platform, and left the car. The wind was 
fierce on the steps, but on the platform, under the shel- 
ter of the station, it was calmer, and she found a genuine 
pleasure in filling her lungs with the frosty air. Stand' 
ing near the car she watched the platform and the stE' 
tion gleaming with lights. 


A FURIOUS snow-storm was raging, and whistlings 
among the wheels of the carriages, around the columns, 
and into the corners of the station. The carriages, the 
pillars, the people, everything visible, were covered on 
one side with snow, and it was increasing momently. 
Once in a while there would be a lull, but then again it 
blew with such gusts that it seemed impossible to make 
way against it. Meantime a few people were running 
hither and thither, talking gayly, opening and shutting 
the great doors of the station, and making the platform 
planks creak under their feet. The flitting shadow of a 
man passed rapidly by her feet, and she heard the blows 
of a hammer falling on the iron. 

" Send off the telegram," cried an angry voice on the 


other side of the track in the midst of the drifting 

"This way, please, No. 28," cried other voices, and 
several people covered with snow hurried by. Two 
gentlemen, with lighted cigarettes in their mouths, 
passed near Anna. She was just about to reenter the 
carriage, after getting one more breath of fresh air, and 
had already taken her hand from her muff, to lay hold 
of the railing, when the flickering light from the reflector 
was cut off by a man in a military coat, who came close 
to her. She looked up, and that instant recognized 
Vronsky's face. 

Raising his hand to his vizor he bowed low, and asked 
if she needed anything, if he might not be of service to 

She looked at him for a considerable time without 
replying, and although he was in the shadow, she saw, 
or thought she saw, the expression of his face and even 
of his eyes. It was a repetition of that respectful ad- 
miration which had so impressed her on the evening 
of the ball. More than once that day she had said to 
herself that Vronsky, for her, was only one of the 
hundred young men whom one meets in society, that 
she would never permit herself to give him a second 
thought ! but now, on the first instant of seeing him 
again, a sensation of pride and joy seized her. She 
had no need to ask why he was there. She knew, as 
truly as if he had told her, that he was there so as to be 
where she was. 

" I did not know that you were going to Petersburg. 
Why are you going .<• " said she, letting her hand fall 
from the railing. A joy which she could not restrain 
shone in her face. 

"Why am I going .-• " he repeated, looking straight 
into her eyes. "You know that I came simply for this, 
— to be where you are," he said. "I could not do 

And at this instant the wind, as if it had conquered 
every obstacle, blew the snow from the roofs of the 
carriages, and whirled away a piece of sheet-iron 


which it had torn off, and at the same time the deep 
whistle of the locomotive gave a melancholy, mournful 
cry. Never had the horror of a tempest appeared to 
her more beautiful than now. He had said what her 
heart longed to hear but what her better judgment con- 
demned. She made no reply, but he perceived by her 
face how she fought against herself. 

" Forgive me if what I said displeases you," he mur- 
mured humbly. 

He spoke respectfully, courteously, but in such a reso- 
lute, decided tone, that for some time she was unable to 

" What you said was wrong ; and I beg of you, if you 
are a gentleman, to forget it, as I shall forget it," said 
she at last. 

" I shall never forget, and I shall never be able to 
forget any of your words, any of your gestures .... " 

" Enough, enough ! " she cried, vainly endeavoring to 
give an expression of severity to her face, at which 
Vronsky was passionately gazing. And grasping the 
cold railing she mounted the steps, and quickly entered 
the vestibule of the carriage. But she stopped in the 
little vestibule, and tried to recall to her imagination 
what had taken place. But though she found it impos- 
sible to remember either her own words or his, she in- 
stinctively felt that this brief conversation had brought 
them frightfully close together, and she was at once 
alarmed and delighted. After she had stood there a 
few seconds, she went back into the carriage and sat 
down in her place. 

The nervous strain which had been tormenting her not 
only returned, but became more intense, until she began 
to fear every moment that something would snap her 
brain. She did not sleep all night ; but in this nervous 
tension, and in the fantasies which filled her imagina- 
tion, there was nothing disagreeable or painful ; on the 
contrary, it was joyous, burning excitement. 

Toward morning, Anna dozed as she sat in her arm- 
chair ; and when she awoke it was broad daylight, and 
the train was approaching Petersburg. Instantly the 


thought of her home, her husband, her son, and all the 
labors of the day and the coming days, filled her mind. 

The train had hardly reached the station at Peters- 
burg, when Anna stepped out on the platform ; and the 
first person that she saw was her husband waiting for 

" Oh, good heavens ! Why do his ears stand out so ! " / 
she thought, as she looked at his reserved and portly 
figure and especially at his stiff cartilaginous ears, which, 
as they propped up the rim of his round hat, struck her 
for the first time. When he saw her, he came to meet 
her at the carriage, compressing his lips into his habitual 
smile of irony, looking straight at her with his great, 
weary eyes. A disagreeable thought made her heart 
sink when she saw his stubborn, weary look ; she felt 
that she had expected to find him different. Especially 
was she astounded by the feeling of self-dissatisfaction 
which she experienced on meeting him. This feeling 
was associated with her home, akin to the state of hypoc- 
risy which she recognized in her relations with her hus- 
band. This feeling was not novel ; she had felt it before 
without heeding it, but now she realized it clearly and 

"There! you see, I'm a tender husband, tender as 
the first year of our marriage ; I was burning with desire 
to see you," said he, in his slow, deliberate voice, and 
with the light tone of raillery that he generally used in 
speaking to her, a tone of ridicule of any one who 
should really say such things. 

" Is Serozha well ? " she asked. 

" And is this all the reward," he said, "for my ardor? 
He is well, very well." .... 


Vronsky also had not even attempted to sleep all that 
night. He sat in his arm-chair, now gazing straight for- 
ward, now looking at those who came in and went out, 
and if before he had impressed strangers and irritated 


them by his imperturbable dignity, now he would have 
seemed to them far more haughty and self-contained 
He looked at men as if they were things. A nervous 
young man, employed in the district court, was sitting 
opposite him in the carriage, and cam-e to hate him on 
account of this aspect. The young man asked for a 
light, and spoke to him, and even touched him, in order 
to make him perceive that he was not a thing but a 
man ; yet Vronsky looked at him exactly as he looked 
at the carriage-lamp. And the young man made a 
grimace, feeling that he should lose command of him- 
self to be so scorned by a man. 

Vronsky saw nothing, saw no one. He felt as if he 
were a tsar, not because he believed that he had made 
an impression upon Anna, — he did not fully realize 
that, as yet, — but because the impression which she 
had made on him filled him with happiness and pride. 

What would be the outcome of all this he did not 
know, and did not even consider ; but he felt that all 
his hitherto dissipated and scattered powers were now 
concentrating and converging with frightful rapidity 
toward one beatific focus. And he was happy in 
this thought. He knew only that he had told her the 
truth when he said he was going where she was, that 
all the happiness of life, the sole significance of life, he 
found now in seeing and hearing her. And when he left 
his compartment at Bologovo to get a glass of seltzer, 
and he saw Anna, involuntarily his first word told her 
what he thought. And he was glad that he had spoken 
as he did ; glad that she knew all now, and was thinking 
about it. He did not sleep all night. Returning to his 
carriage he did not cease recalling all his memories of 
her, the words that she had spoken, and in his imagina- 
tion glowed the pictures of a possible future which over- 
whelmed his heart. 

When, on reaching Petersburg, he left the carriage, 
after his sleepless night he felt as fresh and vigorous as 
if he had just had a cold bath. He stood near his car- 
riage, waiting to see her pass. " Once more I shall see 
her," he said to himself, with a smile. "I shall see her 


graceful bearing, her face ; she will speak a word to me, 
will turn her head, will look at me, perhaps she will 
smile on me." 

But it was her husband whom first he saw, politely 
escorted through the crowd by the station-master. 

" Oh, yes ! the husband ! " 

And then Vronsky for the first time clearly realized 
that the husband was an important factor in Anna's life. 
He knew that she had a husband, but he had not realized 
his existence, and he now fully realized it only as he saw 
his head and shoulders, and his legs clothed in black 
trowsers, and especially when he saw this husband un- 
concernedly take her hand with an air of proprietorship. 

When he saw AlekseY Aleksandrovitch with his 
Petersburgish-fresh face, and his solid, self-confident 
figure, his round hat, and his slightly stooping shoul- 
ders, he began to believe in his existence, and he expe- 
rienced an unpleasant sensation such as a man tormented 
by thirst might experience, who should discover a foun- 
tain, but find that a dog, a sheep, or a pig has been 
drinking and fouling the water. 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch's stiff and heavy gait was 
exceedingly distasteful to Vronsky. He would not ac- 
knowledge that any one besides himself had the right 
to love Anna. But she was still the same and the sight 
of her had still the same effect on him, physically kind- 
ling him, stirring him, and filling his heart with joy. 
He ordered his German body-servant, who came hurry- 
ing up to him from the second-class carriage, to see to 
the baggage and to go home ; and he himself went to 
her. Thus he witnessed the first meeting between 
husband and wife, and with a lover's intuition, perceived 
the shade of constraint with which Anna spoke to her 

" No, she does not love him, and she cannot love 
him," was his mental judgment. 

Even as he came up to Anna Arkadyevna from behind, 
he noticed with joy that she felt him near her and 
looked round, and having recognized him, she went on 
talking with her husband. 


"Did yon pass a good night?" he inquired, bowing 
to her and her husband and allowing Aleksei" Aleksan- 
drovitch the opportunity to accept the honor of the salu- 
tation and recognize him or not recognize him as it might 
seem good to him. 

" Thank you, very good," she replied. 

Her face expressed weariness, lacked that spark of 
animation which was generally hovering now in her 
eyes, now in her smile ; but, for a single instant, at the 
sight of Vronsky, something flashed into her eyes, and, 
notwithstanding the fact that the fire instantly died 
away, he was overjoyed even at this. She raised her 
eyes to her husband, to see whether he knew Vronsky. 
AlekseY Aleksandrovitch looked at him with displeasure, 
vaguely remembering who he was. Vronsky's calm 
self-assurance struck upon Aleksef Aleksandrovitch's 
cool superciliousness as a scythe strikes a rock. 

" Count Vronsky," said Anna. 

" Ah ! We have met before, it seems to me," said 
Aleksef Aleksandrovitch with indifference, extending 
his hand. " Went with the mother, and came home 
with the son," said he, speaking with precision, as if 
his words were worth a ruble apiece. " I presume you 
are returning from a furlough .-" " And without waiting 
for an answer, he turned to his wife, in his ironical tone, 
" Did they shed many tears in Moscow on your leaving 
them .-• " 

By thus addressing his wife he intended to give 
Vronsky to understand that he desired to be left alone, 
and again bowing to him he touched his hat ; but Vron- 
sky had one more word to say to Anna. 

" I hope to have the honor of calling on you," said 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, with weary eyes, looked at 

"Very happy," he said coldly; "we receive on Mon- 

Then, leaving Vronsky entirely, he said to his wife, 
still in a jesting tone : — 

" And how fortunate that I happened to have a spare 


half-hour to come to meet you, and show you my affec- 

"You emphasize your affection too much for me to 
appreciate it," she replied, in the same spirit of raillery, 
involuntarily listening to Vronsky's steps behind them. 
" But what is that to me .-' " she asked herself in thought. 
Then she began to ask her husband how Serozha had 
got along during her absence. 

" Oh ! excellently. Mariette says that he has been 
very good, and ....I am sorry to mortify you .... he did 
not seem to miss you — not so much as your husband 
did. But again, merci, my dear, that you came a day 
earlier, . Our dear Samovar will be delighted." 

He called the celebrated Countess Lidya Ivanovna 
by the nickname of the Satnovar, because, like a tea- 
urn, she was always and everywhere bubbling and boil- 
ing. " She has kept asking after you ; and do you 
know, if I make bold to advise you, you would do well 
to go to see her to-day. You see, her heart is always 
sore about something. At present, besides her usual 
cares, she is greatly concerned about the reconciliation 
of the Oblonskys." 

The Countess Lidya Ivanovna was a friend of Anna's 
husband, and the center of a certain clique in Peters- 
burg society, to which Anna on her husband's account, 
rather than for any other reason, belonged. 

" Yes ! But did n't I write her > " 

" She must have all the details. Go to her, my love, 
if you are not too tired. Well ! Kondratu will call 
your carriage, and I am going to a committee-meeting. 
I shall not have to dine alone to-day," continued Aleksei 
Aleksandrovitch, not in jest this time, "You cannot 
imagine how used I am to.,., " 

And with a peculiar smile, giving her a long pressure 
of the hand, he conducted her to the carriage. 



The first person to meet Anna when she reached 
home was her son. He darted down-stairs, in spite of 
his governess's reproof, and with wild deUght cried, 
" Mamma ! mamma ! " Rushing up to her he threw 
his arms round her neck. 

" I told you it was mamma ! " he shouted to the gov- 
erness. " I knew it was ! " 

But the son, no less than the husband, awakened in 
Anna a feeling like disillusion. She imagined him bet- 
ter than he was in reality. She was obliged to descend 
to the reality in order to look on him as he was. But in 
fact, he was lovely, with his fair curls, his blue eyes, and 
his pretty plump legs in their neatly fitting stockings. 
She felt an almost physical satisfaction in feeling him 
near her, and in his caresses, and a moral calm in looking 
into his tender, confiding, loving eyes, and in hearing 
his innocent questions. She unpacked the gifts sent 
him by Dolly's children, and told him how there was 
a little girl in Moscow, named Tanya, and how this 
Tanya knew how to read, and was teaching the other 
children to read. 

" Am I not as good as she } " asked Serozha. 

" Eor me, you are worth all the rest of the world." 

" I know it," said Serozha, smiling. 

Anna had not finished drinking her coffee, when the 
Countess Lidya Ivanovna was announced. The Coun- 
tess Lidya Ivanovna was a tall, stout woman, with an 
unhealthy, sallow complexion, and handsome, dreamy 
black eyes. Anna liked her, but to-day, as if for the 
first time, she saw her with all her faults. 

" Well ! my dear, did you carry the olive-branch .'' " 
demanded the Countess Lidya Ivanovna, as she entered 
the room. 

"Yes, it is all made up," replied Anna; "but it was 
not so bad as we thought. As a general thing, my 
sister-in-law is too peremptory." 

But the Countess Lidya, who was interested in every- 


thing that did not specially concern herself, had the habit 
of sometimes not heeding what did interest her. She 
interrupted Anna : — 

"Well! This world is full of woes and tribulations, 
and I am all worn out to-day." 

" What is it ? " asked Anna, striving to repress a 

" I am beginning to weary of the ineffectual attempts 
to get at the truth, and sometimes I am utterly discour- 
aged. The work of the Little Sisters " — this was a phil- 
anthropic and religiously patriotic institution — " used 
to get along splendidly, but there is nothing to be done 
with these men," added the Countess Lidya Ivanovna, 
with an air of ironical resignation to fate. " They got 
hold of the idea, they mutilated it, and then they judge 
it so meanly, so wretchedly. Two or three men, your 
husband among them, understand all the significance of 
this work ; but the others only discredit it. Yesterday 
I had a letter from Pravdin .... " 

Pravdin was a famous Panslavist, who lived abroad, 
and the Countess Lidya Ivanovna related what he had 
said in his letter. 

Then she went on to describe the troubles and snares 
that blocked the work of uniting the churches, and 
finally departed in haste, because it was the day for her 
to be present at the meeting of some society or other, 
and at the sitting of the Slavonic Committee. 

"All this is just as it has been, but why did I never 
notice it before ? " said Anna to herself. " Was she very 
irritable to-day .-• But at any rate, it is ridiculous : her 
aims are charitable, she is a Christian, and yet she is 
angry with every one, and every one is her enemy ; and 
yet all h6r enemies are working for Christianity and 

After the departure of the Countess Lidya Ivanovna, 
came a friend, the wife of a director, who told her all 
the news of the city. At three o'clock she went out, 
promising to be back in time for dinner. Alekseif Alek- 
sandrovitch was at the meeting of the ministry. The 
hour before dinner, which Anna spent alone, she em- 


ployed sitting with her son, — who had his dinner by 
himself, — in arranging her things, and in reading and 
answering the letters and notes heaped up on her writ- 

The sensation of causeless shame, and the agitation 
from which she had suffered so strangely during her 
journey, now completely disappeared. Under the con- 
ditions of her ordinary every-day life, she felt calm, and 
free from reproach, and she was filled with wonder as 
she recalled her condition of the night before. 

" What was it ? Nothing. Vronsky said a foolish 
thing ; it is easy to put an end to such nonsense, and I 
answered him exactly right. To speak of it to my hus- 
band is unnecessary and impossible. To speak about 
it would seem to attach importance to what has none." 

And she recalled how, when a young subordinate of 
her husband's in Petersburg had almost made her a 
declaration and she had told him about it, Aleksef Alek- 
sandrovitch answered that as she went into society, she, 
like all society women, might expect such experiences, 
but that he had perfect confidence in her tact, and never 
would permit himself to humiliate her or him by jealousy. 
" Why tell, then ? Besides, thank God, there is nothing 
to tell." 


Aleksei Aleksandrovitch returned from the min- 
istry about four o'clock ; but, as often happened, he 
found no time to speak to Anna. He went directly to 
his private room to give audience to some petitioners 
who were waiting for him, and to sign some papers 
brought him by his chief secretary. 

The Karenins always had at least three visitors to 
dine with them ; and that day there came an old lady, 
a cousin of Aleksef Aleksandrovitch's, a department di- 
rector with his wife, and a young man recommended to 
AlekseY Aleksandrovitch for employment. Anna came 
to the drawing-room to receive them at five o'clock pre- 


cisely. The great bronze clock, of the time of Peter the 
Great, had not yet finished its fifth stroke, when Aleksel 
Aleksandrovitch, in white cravat, and with two decora- 
tions on his dress-coat, left his dressing-room ; he had 
an engagement immediately after dinner. Every mo- 
ment of Alekse'i" Aleksandrovitch's life was counted and 
occupied ; and in order to accomplish what he had to do 
every day, he was forced to use the strictest punctuality. 
"Without haste, and without rest," was his motto. He 
entered the dining-room, bowed to his guests, and, giv- 
ing his wife a smile, hastily sat down. 

"Yes, my solitude is over! You can't believe how 
irksome," — he laid a special stress on the word nelovko, 
irksome, — " it is to dine alone ! " 

During the dinner he talked with his wife about mat- 
ters in Moscow, and, with his mocking smile, inquired 
especially about Stepan Arkadyevitch ; but the conver- 
sation dwelt for the most part on common subjects, 
about official and social matters in Petersburg. After 
dinner he spent a half-hour with his guests, and then, 
giving his wife another smile, and pressing her hand, he 
left the room and went to the council. 

Anna did not go out that evening either to the Prin- 
cess Betsy Tverskaya's, who, having heard of her arri- 
val, had sent her an invitation ; or to the theater, where 
she just now had a box. She did not go out principally 
because the gown on which she had counted was not 
finished. After the departure of her guests, Anna took 
a general survey of her wardrobe, and was very angry. 
She was extremely clever in dressing at small expense, 
and just before she went to Moscow she had given 
three gowns to her dressmaker to make over. These 
gowns required to be made over in such a way that no 
one would recognize them, and they should have been 
ready three days before. Two of the gowns proved 
to be absolutely unfinished, and one was not made over 
in a way which Anna liked. The dressmaker sought 
to explain what she had done, declaring that her way 
was best ; and Anna reprimanded her so severely that 
afterwards she felt ashamed of herself. To calm her 


agitation, she went to the nursery, and spent the whole 
evening with her son, put him to bed herself, made the 
sign of the cross over him, and tucked the quilt about 
him. She was glad that she had not gone out, and 
that she had spent such a happy evening. It was so 
quiet and restful, and now she saw clearly that all that 
had seemed so important during her railway journey 
was only one of the ordinary insignificant events of 
social life, — that she had nothing of which to be 
ashamed, either in her own eyes, or in the eyes of 
others. She sat down in front of the fireplace with her 
English novel, and waited for her husband. At half- 
past ten exactly his ring was heard at the door, and he 
.came into the room. 

" Here you are, at last," she said, giving him her 
hand. He kissed her hand, and sat down near her. 

" Your journey, I see, was on the whole very success- 
ful," said he. 

"Yes, very," she replied; and she began to relate all 
the details from the beginning — her journey with the 
Countess Vronskaya, her arrival, the accident at the 
station, the pity which she had felt, first for her brother, 
and afterwards for Dolly. 

" I do not see how it is possible to pardon such a 
man, even though he is your brother," said Aleksel 
Aleksandrovitch, severely. 

Anna smiled. She appreciated that he said this to 
show that not even kinship could bend him from the 
strictness of his honest judgment. She knew this trait 
in her husband's character, and liked it. 

" I am glad that all ended so satisfactorily, and that 
you have come home again," he continued, " Well ! 
what do they say there about the new measures that 
I introduced in the council .■• " 

Anna had heard nothing said about this new measure, 
and she was confused because she had so easily forgotten 
something which to him was so important. 

" Here, on the contrary, it has made a great sensa- 
tion," said he, with a self-satisfied smile. 

She saw that Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch wanted to tell 


her something very flattering to himself about this 
affair, and, by means of questions, she led him up to 
the story. And he, with the same self-satisfied smile, 
began to tell her of the congratulations which he had 
received on account of this measure, which had been 

" I was very, very glad. This proves that at last 
reasonable and serious views about this question are 
beginning to be formed among us." 

After he had taken his second glass of tea, with cream 
and bread, Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch arose to go to his 

" But you did not go out ; was it very tiresome for 
you }" he said. 

" Oh, no ! " she replied, rising with her husband, and 
going with him through the hall to the library. 

" What are you reading now ? " she asked. d 

"Just now I am reading the Due de Lille — Po/sie 
des enfers'' he replied, "a very remarkable book." 

Anna smiled, as one smiles at the weaknesses of those 
we love, and, passing her arm through her husband's, 
accompanied him to the library door. She knew that 
his habit of reading in the evening had become inex- 
orable, and that, notwithstanding his absorbing duties, 
which took so much of his time at the council, he felt 
it his duty to follow all that seemed remarkable in the 
sphere of literature. She also knew that while he felt 
a special interest in works on political economy, philoso- 
phy, and religion, art was quite foreign to his nature ; 
and notwithstanding this, or better, for that very reason, 
Aleksei Aleksandrovitch allowed nothing that was at- 
tracting attention in that field to escape his notice, but 
considered it his duty to read everything. She knew 
that in the province of political economy, philosophy, 
religion, Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch had doubts, and tried 
to solve them ; but in questions of art or poetry, par- 
ticularly in music, the comprehension of which was 
utterly beyond him, he had the most precise and defi- 
nite opinions. He loved to talk of Shakespeare, Raphael, 
and Beethoven ; of the importance of the new school 


of music and poetry, — all of whom were classed by 
him according to the most rigorous logic. 

"Well! God be with you," she said, as they reached 
the door of the library. Near her husband's arm-chair 
were standing, as usual, the shade-lamp already lighted, 
and a carafe with water. " And I am going to write to 

Again he pressed her hand, and kissed it. 

"Taken all in all, he is a good man ; upright, excel- 
lent, remarkable in his sphere," said Anna to herself, 
on her way to her room, as if she was defending him 
from some one who accused him of not being lov- 

" But why do his ears stick out so ? Or does he cut 
his hair too short .■* " 

It was just midnight, and Anna was still sitting at 
her writing-table finishing a letter to Dolly, when meas- 
ured steps in slippers were heard ; and Aleksef Alek- 
sandrovitch, who had washed his face and brushed his 
hair, came in with his book under his arm. 

" Late, late," said he, with his usual smile, and passed 
on to his sleeping-room. 

" And what right had he to look at him so .'' " thought 
Anna, recalling Vronsky's expression when he saw Alek- 
seif Aleksandrovitch. Having undressed, she went to 
her room ; but in her face there was none of that ani- 
mation that shone in her eyes and in her smile at Mos- 
cow. On the contrary, the fire had either died away, 
or was somewhere far away and out of sight. 


On leaving Petersburg, Vronsky had installed his 
beloved friend and comrade, Petritsky, in his ample 
quarters on the Morskaya. 

Petritsky was a young lieutenant, not particularly dis- 
tinguished, and not only not rich, but over ears in debt. 
Every evening he came home tipsy, and he spent much 
of his time at the police courts, in search of strange 


or amusing or scandalous stories ; but in spite of all 
he was a favorite with his comrades and his chiefs. 

About eleven o'clock in the morning, when Vronsky 
reached his rooms after his journey, he saw at the en- 
trance an izvoshchik's carriage, which he knew very 
well. From the door, when he rang, he heard men's 
laughter and the lisping of a woman's voice, and Petrit- 
sky shouting : — 

" If it 's any of those villains, don't let 'em in." 

Vronsky, not allowing his denshchik to announce his 
presence, quietly entered the anteroom. The Baroness 
Shilton, a friend of Petritsky's, shining in a lilac satin 
robe, and with her little pink face, was making coffee 
before a round table, and, like a canary-bird, was filling 
the room with her Parisian slang. Petritsky in his 
overcoat, and Captain Kamerovsky in full uniform, ap- 
parently just from duty, were sitting near her. 

" Bravo, Vronsky ! " cried Petritsky, leaping up and 
overturning the chair. " The master himself. Baron- 
ess, coffee for him from the new coffee-pot ! We did 
not expect you. I hope that you are pleased with the 
new ornament in your library," he said, pointing to the 
baroness. " You are acquainted, are n't you .-* " 

" I should think so ! " said Vronsky, smiling gayly, 
and squeezing the baroness's dainty little hand. " We 're 
old friends." 

" Are you back from a journey .-* " asked the baroness. 
" Then I 'm off. Akh ! I am going this minute if I am 
in the way." 

"You are at home wherever you are, baroness," said 
Vronsky. " How are you, Kamerovsky?" coolly shak- 
ing hands with the captain. 

" There now ! you would never think of saying such 
lovely things as that," said the baroness to Petritsky. 

" No } Why not .-' After dinner I could say better 
things ! " 

" Yes, after dinner there 's no more merit in them. 
Well ! I will make your coffee while you go and wash 
your hands and brush off the dust," said the baroness, 
again sitting down, and industriously turning the screw 


of the new coffee-pot. " Pierre, bring some more coffee," 
said she to Petritsky, whom she called Pierre, after his 
family name, making no concealment of her intimacy 
with him. " I will add it." 

" You will spoil it." 

" No ! I won't spoil it. Well ! and your wife ? " said 
the baroness, suddenly interrupting Vronsky's remarks 
to his companions. " We have been marrying you off. 
Did you bring your wife .? " 

" No, baroness. I was born a Bohemian, and I shall 
die a Bohemian." 

" So much the better, so much the better ; give us 
your hand ! " 

And the baroness, without letting him go, began to 
talk with him, developing her various plans of life, and 
asking his advice with many jests. 

" He will never be willing to let me have a divorce. 
Well! what am I to do .'* [//<? was her husband.] I now 
mean to institute a lawsuit. What should you think of 
it } .... Kamerovsky, just watch the coffee ! It 's boiling 

over You see how well I understand business ! I 

mean to begin a lawsuit to get control of my fortune. 
Do you understand this nonsense .-' Under the pretext 
that I have been unfaithful," said she, in a scornful tone, 
" he means to get possession of my estate." 

Vronsky listened with amusement to this gay prattle 
of the pretty woman, approved of what she said, gave 
her half-jesting advice, and assumed the tone he usually 
affected with women of her character. In his Peters- 
burg world, humanity was divided into two absolutely 
distinct categories, — the one of a low order, trivial, 
stupid, and above all ridiculous people, who declared 
that one husband ought to live with one wedded wife, 
that girls should be virtuous, women chaste, men brave, 
temperate, and upright, occupied in bringing up their 
children decently, in earning their bread, and paying 
their debts, and other such absurdities. People of this 
kind were old-fashioned and ridiculous. 

But there was another and vastly superior class, to 
which he and his friends belonged, and in this the chief 


requirement was that its members should be elegant, 
generous, bold, gay, unblushingly given over to every 
passion, and scornful of all the rest. 

Only for the first moment was Vronsky bewildered 
under the impressions which he had brought back from 
Moscow, of an entirely different world. But soon, and 
as naturally as one puts on old slippers, he got into the 
spirit of his former gay and jovial life. 

The coffee was never served; it boiled over, spattered 
them all, and wet a costly table-cloth and the baroness's 
dress ; but it served the end that was desired, for it 
gave rise to many jests and merry peals of laughter. 

" Well, now, good-by, for you will never get dressed, 
and I shall have on my conscience the worst crime that 
a decent man can commit, —that of not taking a bath. 
.... So you advise me to put the knife to his throat .-' " 

" By all means, and in such a way that your little 
hand will come near his lips. He will kiss your little 
hand, and all will end to everybody's satisfaction," said 

"This evening at the Theatre Fran^ais," and she took 
her departure with her rustling train. 

Kamerovsky likewise arose, but Vronsky, without 
waiting for him to go, shook hands with him, and went 
to his dressing-room. While he was taking his bath, 
Petritsky sketched for him in a few lines his situation, 
and how it had changed during Vronsky's absence, — 
no money at all ; his father declaring that he would not 
give him any more, or pay a single debt. One tailor 
determined to have him arrested, and a second no less 
determined. His colonel insisted that, if these scandals 
continued, he should leave the regiment. The baroness 
was as annoying to him as a bitter radish, principally 
because she was always wanting to squander money ; 
" but she is a daisy, a charmer," he assured Vronsky, 
" in the strict Oriental style, —your servant Rebecca 
kind, you know." He had been having a quarrel with 
Berkoshef, and he wanted to send him his seconds, but 
he imagined nothing v/ould come of it. As for the rest, 
everything was getting along particularly jolly. 


And then, without leaving Vronsky time to realize 
the minutiae of his situation, Petritsky began to retail 
the news of the day. As he listened to Petritsky's well- 
known gossip, in the familiar environment of his quar- 
ters where he had lived for three years, Vronsky ex- 
perienced the pleasant sensation of his return to his 
gay and idle Petersburg life. 

" It cannot be ! " he cried, as he turned the faucet of 
his wash-stand and let the water stream over his red, 
healthy neck; "it cannot be!" he cried, referring to 
the report that Laura had taken up with Mileef and 
thrown Fertinghof over. "And is he as stupid and 
as conceited as ever ?.... Well, and how about Buzulu- 
kof ? " 

"Akh! Buzulukof! here's a good story, fascinating!" 
said Petritsky. "You know his passion, — balls; and 
he never misses one at court. At the last one he went 
in a new helmet. Have you seen the new helmets ? 
Very handsome, .... light. Well, he was standing.... 
No ; but listen." 

" Yes, I am listening," replied Vronsky, rubbing his 
face with a towel. 

"The grand duchess was just going by on the arm 
of some foreign ambassador or other, and unfortunately 
for him their conversation turned on the new helmets. 
The grand duchess wanted to point out one of the new 
helmets, and, seeing our galubchik standing there," — 
here Petritsky showed how he stood in his helmet, — 
"she begged him to show her his helmet. He did not 
budge. What does it mean ? The fellows wink at him, 
make signs, scowl at him. ' Give it to her.' .... He does 
not stir. He is like a dead man. You can imagine the 
scene!.... Now.... as he.... then they attempt to take it 

off He won't let it go ! .... At last he himself takes it 

off, and hands it to the grand duchess. 

" ' Here, this is the new kind,' said the grand duch- 
ess. But, as she turned it over, — you can imagine it 
— out came, bukh ! pears, bonbons, ....t^o pounds of 
bonbons ! .... He had been to market, galubchik ! " 

Vronsky burst out laughing ; and long afterwards, 


even when speaking of other things, the memory of 
the unfortunate helmet caused him to break out into 
a good-natured laugh which showed his handsome, regu- 
lar teeth. 

Having learned all the news, Vronsky donned his uni- 
form with the aid of his valet, and went out to report 
himself. After he had reported, he determined to go 
to his brother's, to Betsy's, and to make a few calls, so 
as to secure an entry into the society where he should 
be likely to see Madame Karenina ; and in accordance 
with the usual custom at Petersburg, he left his rooms, 
expecting to return only when it was very late at night. 



TOWARD the end of the winter the Shcherbatskys 
held a consultation of physicians in order to find out 
what was the state of Kitty's health, and what measures 
were to be taken to restore her strength ; she was ill, 
and the approach of spring only increased her ailment. 
The family doctor had ordered cod-liver oil, then iron, 
and last of all, nitrate of silver ; but as none of these 
remedies did any good, and as he advised them to take 
her abroad, it was then resolved to consult a celebrated 

This celebrated doctor, still a young man, and very 
neat in his appearance, insisted on a careful investiga- 
tion of the trouble. He with especial satisfaction, as it 
seemed, insisted that maidenly modesty is only a relic 
of barbarism, and that nothing is more natural than that 
a young man should make examination of a girl in un- 
dress. He found this natural because he did it every 
day, and he was conscious of no impropriety in it, as 
far as he could see ; and, therefore, any sense of shame 
on the part of the girl he considered not only a relic of 
barbarism, but also an insult to himself. 

It was necessary to submit, since, notwithstanding the 
fact that all the other doctors were taught in the same 
school and studied the same books, and notwithstanding 
the fact that certain persons declared that this celebrated 
doctor was a bad doctor, yet in the princess's house and 
in her circle of friends it was admitted somehow that 
this celebrated doctor was the only one known who had 
the special knowledge, and was the only one who could 
save Kitty's life. After a careful examination and a 
prolonged thumping on the lungs of the poor sick girl, 



trembling with mortification, the celebrated physician 
carefully washed his hands, and returned to the draw- 
ing-room, and gave his report to the prince. 

The prince, with a little cough, hstened to what he 
had to say, and frowned. He was a man of experience 
and brains, was in good health, and he had no faith in 
medicine. He was all the more angry at this comedy, 
because possibly he alone understood what ailed his 

*'A regular humbug,"^ thought the old prince, as he 
listened to the doctor's loquacity concerning the symp- 
toms of his daughter's illness, mentally applying to the 
celebrated doctor a term from the vocabulary of hunting. 

The doctor, on his part, with difficulty disguised his 
disdain, with difficulty stooped to the low level of his 
intelligence, for this old gentleman. It seemed to him 
scarcely necessary to speak to the old man, since, in his 
eyes, the head of the house was the princess. He was 
ready to pour out before her all the floods of his elo- 
quence. At this mbment she came in with the family 
doctor. The prince left the room, so as not to show 
too clearly how ridiculous this whole comedy seemed 
to him. The princess was troubled, and did not know 
what course to take. She felt a little guilty in regard 
to Kitty. 

" Well ! Doctor, decide on our fate," said the prin- 
cess ; "tell me all." 

She wanted to say, " Is there any hope ? " but her 
lips trembled, and she could not put this question to 
him. " Well, doctor ? " 

'* In a moment, princess, I shall be at your service, 
after I have conferred with my colleague. I shall then 
have the honor of giving you my opinion." 

" Do you wish to be alone .'' " 

•'Just as you please." 

The princess sighed, and left the room. 

When the doctors were left alone, the family physi- 
cian began timidly to express his opinion about her 

1 Pustobrekh, empty barker, signifying one who has had no luck, but 
comes home with large storiea. • — -Tk. 


condition, and gave his reasons for thinking that it was 
the beginning of tubercular disease, but .... 

The celebrated physician listened, and in the midst of 
his diagnosis took out his great gold watch. 

"Yes," said he, "but...." 

The family physician stopped respectfully. 

"You know that we can hardly decide when tubercu- 
lar disease first begins. In the present case, apparently 
there is as yet no decided lesion. We can only surmise. 
And the symptoms are : indigestion, nervousness, and 
others. The question, therefore, stands thus : What is 
to be done, granting that a tubercular development is to 
be feared, in order to superinduce improved alimenta- 
tion .? " 

" But you know well, in such cases there are always 
some moral or spiritual causes," said the family doctor, 
with a cunning smile. 

"Of course," replied the celebrated doctor, looking 
at his watch again. " Excuse me, but do you know 
whether the bridge over the Ya'usa is finished yet, 
or whether one has to go around .-' Oh, it is finished, 
is it .'' Well ! Then I have twenty minutes left. — 
We were just saying that the question remains thus : 
to improve the digestion, and strengthen the nerves ; 
the one is connected with the other, and it is necessary 
to act on both halves of the circle." 

" But the journey abroad .-* " 

" I am opposed to these journeys abroad. I beg you 
to follow my reasoning. If tubercular development has 
already set in, which we are not yet in a condition to 
prove, then a journey abroad would do no good. The 
main thing is to discover a means of promoting good 

And the celebrated doctor began to develop his plan 
for a cure by means of Soden water, the principal merits 
of which were, in his eyes, their absolutely inoffensive 

The family doctor listened with attention and re. 

" But I should urge in favor of a journey abroad the 


change of her habits and dissociation from the con 
ditions that serve to recall unhappy thoughts. And 
finally, her mother wants her to go." 

" Ah, well, in that case let them go, provided always 
that those German charlatans do not aggravate her 
disease They must follow.... Yes ! let them travel." 

And again he looked at his watch. 

" It is time for me to go ; " and he started for the 

The celebrated doctor explained to the princess that 
he wished to see the invalid once more — a sense of 
propriety dictated this. 

"What! have another examination .'' " cried the prin- 
cess, with horror. 

" Oh, no ! only a few minor points, princess." 

"Then come in, I beg of you." 

And the mother ushered the doctor into the drawing- 
room where Kitty was. Emaciated and flushed, with a 
peculiar gleam in her eyes, the result of the mortifica- 
tion she had borne, Kitty was standing in the middle of 
the room. When the doctor came in her eyes filled 
with tears, and she turned crimson. Her whole illness 
and the medical treatment seemed to her such stupid, 
even ridiculous nonsense. The medical treatment of her 
case seemed to her as absurd as to gather up the frag- 
ments of a broken vase. Her heart was broken, and 
could it be healed by pills and powders .'' But it was 
impossible to wound her mother's feelings, the more be- 
cause her mother felt that she had been to blame. 

" Will you sit down, princess ? " said the celebrated 

With a smile he sat down in front of her, felt her 
pulse, and with a smile began a series of wearisome 
questions. At first she replied to them, then suddenly 
arose impatiently. 

" Excuse me, doctor ; but, indeed, this all leads to 
nothing. This is the third time that you have asked 
me the same question." 

The celebrated doctor took no offense, 

"It is her nervous irritability," he remarked to the 


princess when Kitty had gone from the room. " How- 
ever, I had finished." .... 

And the celebrated doctor explained the young prin- 
cess's condition to her mother, treating her as a woman 
of remarkable intelligence, and concluded with direc- 
tions how to drink those waters which were valueless. 

On the question, " Is it best to take her abroad ? " the 
doctor pondered deeply, as if he were deciding a diffi- 
cult problem. The decision was at last expressed : ' Go, 
but put no faith in charlatans, and consult him in every= 

After the doctor's departure, everybody felt as if 
something jolly had happened. The mother, in much 
better spirits, rejoined her daughter, and Kitty declared 
that she was better already. Often, almost all the time, 
of late, she felt obliged to pretend. 

" Truly, I am well, viaman, but if you desire it, let us 
go," said she ; and in her endeavor to show that she 
was interested in the journey, she began to speak of 
their preparations. 


Shortly after the doctor went, Dolly came. She 
knew that the consultation was to take place that day ; 
and though she was as yet scarcely able to go out, hav- 
ing had a little daughter toward the end of the winter, 
and although she had many trials and cares of her own, 
she left her nursing baby and one of the little girls who 
was ailing, and came to learn what Kitty's fate should be. 

"Well ! how is it "i " she said, as she came into the 
drawing-room with her hat on. " You are all happy ! 
Then all is well?" 

They endeavored to tell her what the doctor had 
said ; but it seemed that, although the doctor had 
spoken very fluently and lengthily, no one was able to 
tell what he had said. The only interesting point was 
the decision in regard to the journey abroad. 

Dolly sighed involuntarily. Her sister, -her best 


', was going away ; and life for her was not joy- 
ous. Her relations with Stepan Arkadyevitch since 
the reconciliation had become humiliating ; the union 
brought about by Anna had not been of long duration, 
and the family concord had broken down in the same 
place. There was nothing definite, but Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch was scarcely ever at home, there was scarcely 
ever any money in the house, and suspicions of his 
unfaithfulness constantly tormented Dolly, but she kept 
driving them away in terror of the unhappiness which 
jealousy caused her. The first explosion of jealousy, 
having been lived down, could not indeed be experi- 
enced again ; and even the discovery of his unfaithful- 
ness could not have such an effect on her as it had the 
first time. Such a discovery now would only break up the 
family, and she preferred to shut her eyes to his decep- 
tion, despising him, and above all herself, because of this 
weakness. Moreover, the cares of a numerous family 
constantly annoyed her ; first the nursing of her baby 
was unsatisfactory, then the nurse went off, and now one 
of the children was ill. 

"And how are the children .-* " asked the princess. 

'Akh , maman ! we have so many tribulations. Lili 
is ill in bed, and I am afraid it is the scarlatina. I 
came out now to see how you were, for there'll be no 
getting out for me after this, if it is scarlatina — which 
God forbid ! " 

The old prince also, after the doctor's departure, came 
out from his library, presented his cheek to Dolly, ex- 
changed a few words with her, and then turned to his 
wife : — 

" What decision have you come to } Shall you go ? 
Well ! and what are you going to do with me \ " 

" I think, Aleksandr, that you had better stay at 

" Just as you please." 

" Maman, why does n't papa come with us ? " said 
Kitty, " It would be gayer for him and for us." 

The old prince got up and smoothed Kitty's hair with 
his hand ; she raised her head, and with an effort smiled 


as she looked at him ; it always seemed to her that he 
understood her better than any one else in the family, 
though he did not say much. She was the youngest, 
and therefore her father's favorite daughter, and it 
seemed to her that his love made him clairvoyant. 
When she saw his kind blue eyes steadily fixed on her, 
it seemed to her that he read her very soul, and saw all 
the evil that was working there. She blushed, and bent 
toward him, expecting a kiss ; but he only pulled her 
hair, saying: — 

" These stupid cJdgnons ! one never gets down to 
the real daughter, but you caress the hair of departed 
females. Well ! Dolinka," turning to his eldest daugh- 
ter, " what is that trump of yours doing } " 

" Nothing, papa," said Dolly, perceiving that her 
father referred to her husband ; " he is always away 
from home, and I scarcely ever see him," she could not 
refrain from adding, with an ironical smile. 

" Has he not gone yet to the country to sell his 
wood ?" 

" No ; he is always putting it off." 

" Truly," said the old prince, " is he taking after me ? 
— I hear you," he said in reply to his wife, and sitting 
down. "And as for you, Katya," he said, addressing his 
youngest daughter, " do you know what you ought to 
do ? Sometime, some fine morning, wake up and say, 
' There ! I am perfectly well and happy, papa, and we 
must go for our early morning walk in the cold,' ha ? " 

What her father said seemed very simple, but at his 
words Kitty felt confused and disconcerted like a con- 
victed criminal. "Yes, he knows all, he understands 
all, and these words mean that I ought to overcome my 
humiliation, however great it has been." 

She could not summon up the courage to reply. She 
began to say something, but suddenly burst into tears, 
and ran from the room. 

"Just like 'your tricks!" said the princess to her 
husband, angrily. " You always .... " and she began one 
of her tirades. 

The prince listened for some time to her reproaches, 


and made no reply, but his face kept growing darker 
and darker. 

"She is so sensitive, poor little thing, so sensitive! 
and you don't understand how she suffers at the slight- 
est allusion to the cause of her suffering. Akh ! how 
mistaken we are in people ! " said the princess. 

And by the change in the inflection of her voice, 
Dolly and the prince perceived that she had reference 
to Vronsky. 

" I don't understand why there are not any laws to 
punish such vile, such ignoble men." 

"Akh! do hear her," said the prince with a frown, 
getting up from his chair and evidently anxious to make 
his escape, but halting on the threshold : — 

" There are laws, matushka ; and if you force me to 
this, I will tell you who is to blame in all this trouble. 
You, you alone ! There are laws against such young 
fops, and there always will be ; and if things had not 
been as they ought never to have been, old man that I 
am, I should have put that dandy on the fence. Yes, 
and now to cure her, you bring in these quacks." 

The prince would have had still more to say, but as 
soon as the princess heard his tone she immediately 
became humble and repentant, as always happened when 
important questions came up. 

" Alexandre ! Alexandre ! " she murmured, going up 
to him, and weeping. 

The prince held his peace when he saw her tears. 
He went to meet her : — 

"Well, let it go, let it go. I know that it is hard for 
you also. What is to be done .■* There is no great 

harm. God is merciful Thank you!" said he, not 

knowing what he said, and replying to the princess's 
damp kiss which he felt on his hand. Then the prince 
left the room. 

As soon as Kitty, weeping, had left the room, Dolly, 
with her maternal domestic instinct, perceived that this 
was an affair which required a woman's management, 
and she was preparing to follow her. She took her hat 
and morally tucking up her sleeves, prepared to act 


But when her mother began to attack her father, she 
tried to restrain her, as far as her filial respect allowed. 
When the prince's outburst occurred, she said nothing ; 
she was ashamed for her mother and she felt a deep 
affection because of the instant return of his good- 
nature ; but when he went out, she determined to do 
the chief thing that was necessary — to go to Kitty 
and calm her. 

" I have long wanted to tell you, tnaman; did you 
know that when Levin was here the last time, he in- 
tended to offer himself to Kitty .? He told Stiva." 

"What is that .-' I do not understand .... " 

" Then perhaps Kitty refused him ? .... Did n't she tell 

" No, she did not say anything to me about either of 
them ; she is too proud. But I know that all this comes 
from.... " 

" Yes ; but think, if she refused Levin. I know 
that she would not have done so if it had not been for 
the other one.... and then he deceived her so abom- 

It was terrible to the princess to think how blame- 
worthy she had been toward her daughter, and she grew 

"Akh! I don't know anything about it. Nowadays 
every girl wants to live as she pleases, and not to say 
anything to her mother, and so it comes that .... " 

*^ Maman^ I am going to see her." 

" Go ! I will not prevent you," said her mother. 


As she entered Kitty's pretty little rosy boudoir, with 
figurines in vieiix saxe, a room as youthful, as rosy, as 
gay as Kitty herself had been two months before, 
Dolly remembered with what pleasure and interest the 
two had decorated it the year before ; how happy and 
gay they were then ! She felt a chill at her heart as 
she saw her sister sitting on a low chair near the door, 


her motionless eyes fixed on a corner of the carpet. 
Kitty glanced up at her sister, but the cold and rather 
stern expression of her face underwent no change. 

" I am going now, and I may be confined at home, 
and it will be impossible for you to see me," said Darya 
Aleksandrovna, sitting down near her sister; "I wanted 
to have a little talk with you." 

" What about ? " asked Kitty, quickly raising her head 
in alarm. 

" What else than about your sorrow ? " 

" I have no sorrow." 

"That'll do, Kitty. "Do you really imagine that I 
don't know .-' I know everything ; and believe me, this 
is such a trifle .... All of us have been through this." 

Kitty said nothing, and her face resumed its severe 

" He is not worth the trouble that you have given 
yourself because of him," continued Darya Aleksan- 
drovna, coming right to the point. 

"Yes ! because he jilted me! " murmured Kitty, with 
trembling voice. "Don't speak of it, please don't 
speak of it ! " 

"But who said that to you.^ No one said such a 
thing ! I am sure that he was in love with you, — that 
he is still in love with you ; but .... " 

"Ah! nothing exasperates me so as compassion," 
cried Kitty, in a sudden rage. She turned around in 
her chair, flushed scarlet, and moved her belt-buckle 
back and forth from one hand to the other, clutching 
it in her fingers. 

Dolly well knew this habit of her sister when she was 
provoked. She knew that she was capable of forgetting 
herself, and saying harsh and cruel things in moments 
of. petulance, and she tried to calm her; but it was too 

" What, what do you wish me to understand } what is 
it ? " cried Kitty, talking fast : — "that I was in love with 
a man who did not care for me, and that I am dying 
of love for him .-' And it is my sister who says this to 
me! — my sister who thinks that .... that .... that .... she 

VOL. I. — II 


is showing me her sympathy! .... I hate such sympathy 
and such hypocrisy ! " 

"Kitty, you are unjust." 

" Why do you torment me .-' " 

" Why, on the contrary .... I saw that you were sad ...." 

Kitty in her anger did not heed her. 

" I have nothing to break my heart over, and need no 
consolation. I am too proud ever to love a man who 
does not love me." 

" Well ! I do not say .... I say only one thing .... Tell 
me the truth," added Darya Aleksandrovna, taking her 
hand. "Tell me, did Levin speak to you } ".... 

At the name of Levin, Kitty lost all control of her- 
self ; she sprang up from her chair, threw the buckle on 
the floor, and with quick, indignant gestures cried : — 

" Why do you speak to me of Levin ? I don't see 
why you need to torment me. I have already said, and 
I repeat it, that I am proud, and never, never would I do 
what you have done, — go back to a man who had been 
false to me, who had made love to another woman. I 
do not understand this ; you can, but I cannot ! " 

As she said these words, she looked at her sister, and 
seeing that Dolly bent her head sadly without answering, 
she sat down near the door again, and hid her face in 
her handkerchief instead of leaving the room as she had 
intended to do. 

The silence lasted several minutes. Dolly was think- 
ing of herself. Her humiliation, of which she was always 
conscious, appeared to her more cruel than ever, thus 
recalled by her sister. She did not expect such bitter- 
ness from her sister, and it made her angry. But sud- 
denly she heard the rustling of a dress, a broken sob, 
and some one's arms were thrown around her neck. 
Kitty was on her knees before her. 

" Dolinka, I am so unhappy ! " she murmured in ex- 
culpation ; and her pretty face, wet with tears, was hid 
in Dolly's skirt. 

Those tears were evidently the indispensable lubricant 
without which the machinery of mutual communion 
between the two sisters could not work. At all events, 


after a good cry, they spoke no more on the subject 
which interested them both, but even while they were 
talking about irrelevant topics they understood each 
other. Kitty knew that the cruel words that she had 
uttered in her anger, about the husband's unfaithfulness 
— the unfaithfulness of Dolly's husband — and her hu- 
miliation, struck deep into her poor sister's heart, but 
that she forgave her. Dolly, on her side, knew all that 
she wanted to know, she was convinced that her suspi- 
cions were correct, that the pain Kitty felt, the irremedia- 
ble pain, lay in the fact that Levin had offered himself to 
her, and that she had refused him, and that Vronsky had 
played her false, and that she was ready to love Levin 
and to hate Vronsky. Kitty said not a word about this; 
she spoke only of the general state of her soul. 

" I have no sorrow," she said, regaining her calmness 
a little ; " but you cannot imagine how wretched, disgust- 
ing, and vulgar everything seems to me — above all my- 
self. You cannot imagine what evil thoughts come 
into my mind." 

"Yes, but what evil thoughts can you have?" asked 
Dolly, with a smile. 

"The most abominable, the most repulsive. I can- 
not describe them to you. It is not melancholy, and it 
is not ennui. It is much worse. It is as if all the good 
that was in me had disappeared, and only the evil was 
left. Now how can that be, I tell you .-• " she asked, 
looking in perplexity into her sister's eyes. " Papa 

began to say something to me a few minutes ago It 

seems to me he thinks that all I need is a husband. 
Mamma takes me to the ball. It seems to me that she 
takes me there for the sole purpose of getting rid of me, 
of getting me married as soon as possible. I know that 
it is not true, and yet I cannot drive away these ideas. 
So-called marriageable young men are unendurable to 
me. It always seems to me that they are taking my 
measure. A short time ago, to go anywhere in a ball 
gown was a simple delight to me ; I admired myself, I 
enjoyed it ; now it is a bore to me, and I feel ill at ease. 
Now, what do you think.-*.... The doctor.... well .... " 


Kitty stopped ; she wanted to say further that, since 
she had felt this great change in herself, Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch had become unendurably distasteful to her, 
that she could not see him without the most repulsive 
and unbecoming conjectures arising in her mind. 

" Indeed, everything takes the most repulsive, dis- 
gusting aspect in my sight," she continued. "It is a 
disease, — perhaps it will pass away." 

" But don't for a moment think,..." 

" I cannot help it. I do not feel at ease except with 
you and the children." 

"What a pity that you can't come home with me 
now ! " 

" Well, I will go. I have had scarlatina. I will per- 
suade maman." 

Kitty insisted so eagerly, that she was allowed to go 
to her sister's, and throughout the course of the disease, 
— which proved to be the scarlatina, — she looked after 
the children. The two sisters successfully nursed all 
the six children ; but Kitty's health did not improve, 
and at Lent the Shcherbatskys went abroad. 


The highest Petersburg society is remarkably united. 
Every one knows every one else, and every one exchanges 
visits. But in this great circle there are subdivisions. 
Anna Arkadyevna Karenina had friends and close re- 
lations with three different circles. One was the official 
circle, to which her husband belonged, composed of his 
colleagues and subordinates, bound together, or even 
further subdivided, by the most varied, and often the 
most capricious, social relations. It was now difficult 
for Anna to call back the sentiment of almost religious 
respect which at first she felt for all these personages. 
Now she knew them all, as one knows people in a pro- 
vincial city. She knew what habits and weaknesses 
were characteristic of each, and what feet the shoe 
pinched. She knew what were their relations among 


themselves, and to the official center. She knew how 
this one agreed with that and on what grounds, and how 
another disagreed with still another, and wherefore. 
But this administrative clique, to which her husband 
belonged, could never interest her, in spite of the Coun- 
tess Lidya Ivanovna's suggestions, and she avoided it. 

The second circle in which Anna moved was that 
which had helped AlekseY Aleksandrovitch in his career. 
The center of this circle was the Countess Lidya Iva- 
novna ; it was composed of aged, ugly, charitable, and 
devout women, and intelligent, learned, and ambitious 
men. One of the clever men who belonged to this cir- 
cle had called it the "conscience of Petersburg society." 
Karenin was very much devoted to this circle ; and 
Anna, who had the faculty of getting along with all peo- 
ple, had, during the early days of her life in Petersburg, 
made friends in its number. After her return from 
Moscow, this set of people seemed to her insupportable ; 
it seemed as if she herself, as well as all the rest of 
them, were hypocritical, and she felt depressed and ill 
at ease in this society. She saw the Countess Lidya as 
infrequently as she possibly could. 

Finally, the third circle in which Anna had connec- 
tions was Society, properly speaking, the fashionable 
society of balls, dinner-parties, brilliant toilets — the 
society which with one hand lays fast hold of "the court 
lest it descend to the level of the demi-monde, which the 
members of this circle affect to despise, and yet whose 
tastes are not only similar, but the same. The bond 
that united her to this society was the Princess Betsy 
Tverskaya, the wife of one of her cousins, who enjoyed 
an income of a hundred and twenty thousand rubles, 
and who had taken a great fancy to Anna as soon as 
she came to Petersburg, flattered her, introduced her 
among her friends, and made ridicule of the Countess 
Lidya's friends. 

" When I am old and ugly, I will do the same," said 
Betsy ; " but a young and pretty woman like yourself 
has as yet no place in such an asylum." 

Anna at first had avoided as far as possible the society 


to which the Princess Betsy Tverskaya belonged, as it 
called for expenses beyond her means, and in her heart 
she preferred the first-mentioned coterie ; but after her 
visit to Moscow all this was changed. She neglected her 
worthy old friends, and cared to go only into grand soci- 
ety. There she met Vronsky, and experienced tumultu- 
ous pleasure in these meetings. They met with especial 
frequency at the house of Betsy, who was a Vronskaya 
before her marriage, and was an own cousin of the count. 
Vronsky went everywhere that he was likely to meet 
Anna, and, if possible, spoke to her of his love. She 
gave him no encouragement ; but every time she met 
him, there flamed up in her soul the same sense of ani- 
mation which had seized her the moment that they met, 
for the first time, on the train at Moscow ; she herself 
was conscious that at the sight of him this joy shone in 
her eyes, in her smile, but she had not the power to 
hide it. 

Anna at first sincerely believed that she was angry 
because he persisted in following her ; but one evening, 
not long after her return from Moscow, when she was 
present at a house where she expected to meet him, 
and he failed to come, she perceived clearly, by the 
pang that went through her heart, that she was deceiv- 
ing herself, that this insistence of his not only was not 
disagreeable to her but that it formed the ruling passion 
of her life, 

A famous diva was singing for the second time, and 
all the high society of Petersburg was at the theater. 
Vronsky, from his seat in the first row saw his cousin 
there, and without waiting for the entr'acte, left to visit 
her box. 

" Why did n't you come to dinner } " she asked ; and 
then with a smile she added, so as to be heard only by 
him, " I admire this clairvoyance of lovers ; s/te was not 
there. But come to my house after the opera." 

Vronsky looked at her questioningly. She nodded. 
He thanked her with a smile and sat down by her side. 

"But how I miss your pleasantries; what have be- 


come of them ? " continued the Princess Betsy, who fol- 
lowed with keen pleasure the progress of this passion. 
" You are in the toils, my dear ! " 

" That is all that I ask for," he replied, with his calm, 
good-natured smile, " to be in the toils. If I complain, 
it is not because I am too little in the toils if the truth 
must be told. I am beginning to lose hope." 

" What hope could you have ? " asked Betsy, taking 
the part of her friend. " Let us have a clear under- 
standing." But the fire in her eyes told with sufficient 
clearness that she understood as well as he did what his 
hope meant. 

** None," replied Vronsky, laughing, and showing his 
regular white teeth. " Excuse me," he added, taking 
the opera-glasses from his cousin's hand, in order to 
direct it across her bare shoulder at one of the opposite 
boxes. " I fear I am becoming ridiculous." 

He knew very well that in Betsy's eyes, and in those 
of her world, he ran no risk of being ridiculous ; he 
knew very well that in the eyes of such people the role 
of an unsuccessful lover of a young girl or an unmarried 
woman might be ridiculous ; but not so the role of a 
man who pursues a married woman and at any price 
makes it his aim to lead her into committing adultery. 
This role is something beautiful and majestic and can 
never be ridiculous, and therefore Vronsky, as he handed 
back the opera-glasses, looked at his cousin with a smile 
of pride and joy lurking under his mustache. 

" And why did n't you come to dinner .'' " she asked 
again, unable to refrain from admiration of him. 

"I must tell you; I was busy ....and what about.-* I 
will give you one guess out of a hundred — out of a thou- 
sand .... you would never hit it. I have been reconciling 
a husband with his wife's persecutor. Yes, fact ! " 

" What ! and you reconciled them .-* " 

" Pretty nearly." 

" You must tell me all about it," said Betsy, rising. 
"Come during the next entr'acte^ 

" Impossible ; I am going to the French Theater." 

" From Nilsson ? " said Betsy, with horror, though 


she could not have distinguished Niisson from the poor- 
est chorus-singer. 

" But what can I do ? I have made an appointment 
in order to finish my act of peacemaking." 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be 
saved," said Betsy, remembering that she had heard 
somewhere some such quotation. "Well, then, sit down 
and tell me all about it." 

And she resumed her seat. 


*' It 's a little improper, but so amusing, that I wanted 
awfully to tell you about it," said Vronsky, looking at 
her with sparkling eyes. " However, I will not mention 
any names." 

" But I can guess ? so much the better ! " 
•'Listen, then. Two gay young men were dining...." 
"Officers of your regiment, of course ...." 
" I did not say that they were officers, but simply 
young men, who had dined well ...." 
"Translated, tipsy ! " 

" Possibly. They went to dine with a comrade, in 
most excellent spirits. They saw a pretty young woman 
passing them in a hired carriage ; she turns around, and, 
as it seems to them, nods to them and laughs. Of course 
they follow her. They gallop like mad. To their 
amazement their beauty stops at the entrance of the 
very house where they are going ; she mounts to the 
upper floor, and they see nothing but a pair of rosy lips 
under a short veil, and a pair of pretty little feet." 

"You describe the scene with so much feeling that 
you make me believe that you were in the party." 

"Why do you accuse me so soon.-" Well! the two 
young men climb up to their comrade's room, where 
there is to be a farewell dinner, and there they drink, 
perhaps, more than is good for them, as is usually the 
case at farewell dinners. And at dinner they ask who 
lives on the top story of that house. No one knows any- 


thing about it ; only their friend's valet, to their ques- 
tions, ' Do any mamselles live on the top floor ? ' replies 
that there are a good many. After dinner the two 
young men go into their friend's library and write a 
letter to the unknown. They write a passionate letter, 
a declaration ; they themselves carry up the letter, in 
order to explain whatever in the letter might not be 
perfectly understood." 

" But why do you tell me such horrible things } 
Well } " 

" They ring. A girl comes to the door ; they give 
her the letter, telling her they are so desperately in love 
that they are ready to die, there at the door. The girl 
is in doubt and parleys with them. Suddenly a gentle- 
man appears, red as a lobster and with side-whiskers like 
sausages, declares that there is no one there except his 
wife, and unceremoniously puts them out of the door." 

" How did you know that his side-whiskers were like 
sausages .-* " 

" But now listen. I have just made peace between 

" Well ! what came of it .? " 

" This is the most interesting part of the affair. The 
happy couple prove to be a titular counselor and his 
wife. The titular counselor brings a complaint, and I 
am obliged to serve as peacemaker. What a peace- 
maker ! .... I assure you Talleyrand compared to me 
was nobody." 

" What were your difficulties .'' " 

" Here now ! Listen ! .... We make excuses as in duty 
bound, as : * We are desperately sorry,' we said ; ' we beg 
you to pardon us for this unfortunate misunderstanding.' 
The titular counselor with the sausage-whiskers seemed 
to be thawing ; but he felt it necessary to express his 
feelings, and as soon as he began to express his feelings 
he began to get wrathy, and to say harsh things, and 
again I was obliged to bring all my diplomatic talents 
into requisition : * I agree that their conduct was repre- 
hensible, but please take into consideration that there 
was a misunderstanding ; they were young, and had just 


come from a good dinner. You understand ! Now they 
are sorry from the bottom of their hearts, and beg you 
to forgive them their fault.' The titular counselor soft- 
ened still more : ' I agree with you, count, and I am 
ready to pardon them ; but you perceive that my wife, 
my wife, a virtuous woman, has been exposed to insult, 
to persecution, to the impudence of good-for-nothing 
young scound.... ' And the impudent, good-for-noth- 
ing young fellows being present, I had to exert myself 
to calm them down ; again I put my diplomacy to work, 
and every time I seem on the point of success my titular 
counselor gets wrathy again, and his face gets red, and 
his sausages begin to wag up and down, and I find my- 
self drowned in the waves of diplomatic subtleties." 

•' Akh ! we must tell you all about this," said Betsy to 
a lady who at this moment came into her box. " It has 
amused me much ! " 

" Well, good luck go with you," she added, giving 
Vronsky one of her fingers, as she held her fan ; and 
then, shrugging her shoulders so as to keep the waist 
of her gown from coming up, so that she might be as 
naked as possible when she should go to the front of 
the box, and sit down in the full blaze of gas and in the 
eyes of all. 

Vronsky went to the French Theater, where he really 
had to meet his regimental commander, who never failed 
to be present at a single representation. He wished to 
speak with him in regard to his business as peacemaker 
which had occupied and amused him for three days. 
Petritsky, whom he liked, was involved in this affair, and 
the other one was a charming, a glorious fellow, young 
Prince Kerdrof, who had lately joined their regiment. 
But the principal point was that the affair concerned 
the interests of his regiment. 

Both the young men belonged to Vronsky's company. 
Venden, the titular counselor, had come to the regi- 
mental commander with a complaint that the oflficers 
had insulted his wife. His young wife — Venden said he 
had been married only half a year — had been to church 
with her mother, and, feeling indisposed, owing to her 


ncate condition, so that she could not stand any longer, 
had engaged the first decent izvoshchik at hand. The 
officers had chased her; she was frightened and, feeling 
still more ill, had run up the stairs. Venden himself, 
who had just returned from his office, heard the 
sound of a bell and voices. He came out, and, seeing 
drunken officers with a letter, he had put them out. He 
demanded that they should be severely punished. 

" No, it 's all very well to talk," said the regimental 
commander to Vronsky, whom he had asked to join 
him, " but Petritsky is becoming unbearable. Not a 
week passes by without some scandal. This chinovnik 
will not stop here, he will go farther." 

Vronsky saw all the unpleasantness of this affair, and 
he felt that a duel should be avoided, and that every- 
thing should be done to make the titular counselor re- 
lent and smooth over the scandal. The regimental 
commander had summoned him because he knew he 
was a shrewd and gentlemanly man, and zealous for the 
interests of the regiment. They had talked the matter 
over and decided that Vronsky, accompanied by Petrit- 
sky and Kerdrof, should go to make their excuses to 
the titular counselor. The regimental commander and 
Vronsky both realized that Vronsky's name and his 
fliigel-adjutant's monogram ought to have a great effect 
in soothing the titular counselor. In reality these two 
influences proved partially efficacious, but the results 
of the reconciliation remained in doubt, as Vronsky 

When he reached the French Theater, Vronsky took 
the regimental commander into the lobby, and told him 
of his success, or rather lack of success. After reflec- 
tion the regimental commander decided to leave the 
matter in abeyance ; but afterward he began to ques- 
tion Vronsky regarding the details of the interview, and 
he could not help laughing as he heard Vronsky tell how 
the titular counselor kept suddenly flaming out in wrath 
as he recalled the particulars of the affair, and how 
Vronsky, veering round at the last mention of reconcili- 
ation, had withdrawn, pushing Petritsky before him, and 


his repeated attempts to bring him into a suitable frame 
of mind. 

"It is a wretched piece of business, but comical 
enough. Kerdrof cannot fight with this gentleman. 
Was he so horribly angry ? " he asked, laughing. " And 
how do you like Claire this evening.? — charming !" 
said he, referring to a new French actress. " One can't 
see her too often ; she is always new. Only the French 
can do that ! " 


The Princess Betsy left the theater without waiting 
for the end of the last act. She had scarcely had more 
than time enough, after reaching home, to go into her 
dressing-room, and scatter a little rice-powder over her 
long, pale face, rearrange her toilet, and order tea to be 
served in the large drawing-room, when the carriages 
began one after another to arrive at her enormous house 
on the Bolshaya Morskaya. The guests came up to the 
wide entrance, and a portly Swiss who during the morn- 
ing read the newspaper for the edification of passers-by, 
as he sat behind the glass door, now kept noiselessly 
opening this great door and admitting the visitors. 
They came in by one door almost at the same instant 
that by another came the mistress of the mansion, with 
renewed color, and hair rearranged. The walls of the 
great drawing-room were hung with somber draperies, 
and on the floor were thick rugs. On the table, which 
was covered with a cloth of dazzling whiteness, shining in 
the light of numberless candles, stood a silver samovar 
and a tea-service of transparent porcelain. 

The princess took her place behind the samovar and 
drew off her gloves. With the help of attentive servants, 
the guests brought up chairs and took their places, 
dividing into two camps, the one around the princess, 
the other at the opposite end of the drawing-room 
around the wife of a foreign ambassador, a handsome 
lady, dressed in black velvet, and with black, well- 


defined eyebrows. The conversation, as usual at the 
beginning of a reception, was desultory, being inter- 
rupted by the arrival of newcomers, offers of tea, and 
the exchange of salutations, and seemed to be endeavor- 
ing to find a common subject of interest. 

" She is remarkably handsome for an actress ; you 
can see that she has studied Kaulbach," said a diploma- 
tist in the group around the ambassador's wife. " Did 
you notice how she fell .-' " .... 

"Akh ! please let us not speak of Nilsson. Nothing 
new can be said about her," said a great fat lady, with 
light complexion, without either eyebrows or cJiigiion, 
and dressed in an old silk gown. This was the Princess 
Miagkaya, famous for her simplicity and frightful man- 
ners, and surnamed the Enfant terrible. Princess Miag- 
kaya was seated between the two groups, listening to 
what was said on both sides of her, and taking impartial 
interest in both. "This very day, three people have 
made that same remark about Kaulbach. It must be 
fashionable. I don't see why that phrase should be so 

The conversation was cut short by this remark, and 
a new theme had to be started. 

"Tell us something amusing, but don't let it be 
naughty," said the ambassador's wife, who was a mis- 
tress of the art of conversation called, by the English, 
small talk. She was addressing the diplomatist, who 
was at a loss what topic to start. 

" They say this is very hard, that only naughty things 
are amusing," replied the diplomatist, with a smile. 
" However, I will do my best. Give me a theme. 
Everything depends upon the theme. When you get 
that for a background, you can easily fill it in with em- 
broidery. I often think that the celebrated talkers of 
the past would be exceedingly embarrassed if they were 
alive now ; everything intellectual is considered so 

"That was said long ago," remarked the ambassa- 
dor's wife, interrupting him with a smile. 

The conversation began amiably, and for the very 


reason that it was too amiable, it languished again. It 
was necessary to have recourse to an unfailing, never 
changing subject — gossip. 

"Don't you think that there is something Louis XV. 
about Tushkievitch ? " asked he, indicating a handsome, 
light-haired young man, who was standing near the 

" Oh, yes ! he 's quite in the style of the drawing- 
room, and that is why he is here so often." 

This subject sustained the conversation, since it 
consisted wholly of hints regarding something which 
could not be treated openly in that drawing-room, in 
other words, Tushkievitch's relations with the Princess 

Around the samovar, the conversation hesitated for 
some time upon three inevitable subjects, — the news 
of the day, the theater, and a lawsuit which was to be 
tried the next day. At last the same subject arose that 
was occupying the other group — gossip. 

"Have you heard that Maltishcheva — that is, the 
mother, not the daughter — has had a costume in dia- 
ble rose?" 

" Is it possible ? No ! That is delicious." 

" I am astonished that with her sense, — for she is 
certainly not stupid, — she does not perceive how ridic- 
ulous she is." 

Every one found something in which to criticize and 
tear to pieces the unfortunate Madame Maltishcheva ; 
and the conversation grew lively, brilliant, and gay, 
like a flaming pyre. 

The Princess Betsy's husband, a tall, good-natured 
man, a passionate collector of engravings, hearing that 
his wife had guests, came into the drawing-room before 
going to his club, and desired to show himself in her 
circle. Noiselessly, on the thick carpet, he approached 
the Princess Miagkaya. 

" How did you like Nilsson ? " he asked. 

" Akh ! Do you steal in upon a body that way > 
How you startled me ! " she cried. " Don't speak to 
me about the opera, I beg of you ; you don't know any 


thing about music. I prefer to descend to your level 
and talk with you about your engravings and majolicas. 
Well ! What treasures have you discovered lately .'' " 

" If you would like, I will show them to you ; but you 
are no judge of them." 

" Show them to me all the same. I am getting my 
education among these — bankers, as you call them. 
They have lovely engravings. They like to show 

"Have you been at the Schiitzburgs' .''" asked the 
mistress of the house, from her place by the samovar. 

"Certainly, ma chkre. They invited my husband and 
me to dinner, and they told me that the sauce at this 
dinner cost a thousand rubles," replied the Princess 
Miagkaya, in a loud voice, conscious that all were lis- 
tening to her; "and it was a very poor sauce, too, — 
something green. I had to return the compliment, 
and I got them up a sauce that cost eighty-five kopeks,^ 
and all were satisfied. I can't make thousand-ruble 
sauces ! " 

" She is unique," said the hostess. 

"Astonishing," said another. 

The Princess Miagkaya never failed of making her 
speeches effective, and the secret of their effectiveness 
lay in the fact that, although she did not always select 
suitable occasions, as was the case at the present time, 
yet she spoke simply and sensibly. In the society 
where she moved, what she said gave the effect of the 
most subtle wit. She could not comprehend why it 
had such an effect, but she recognized the fact, and 
took advantage of it. 

While the Princess Miagkaya was speaking, all lis- 
tened to her, and the conversation around the ambas- 
sador's wife stopped ; so the hostess, wishing to make 
the conversation more united, turned to the ambassa- 
dor's wife and said : — 

" Are you sure that you will not have some tea ? 
Then please join us." 

" No ; we are very well where we are, in this corner,' 

* One ruble, or one hundred kopeks, is worth eighty cents. 


replied the ambassador's wife, with a smile, resuming the 
thread of a conversation which interested her very deeply. 

They were criticizing Karenin and his wife. 

" Anna is very much changed since her return from 
Moscow. There is something strange about her," said 
one of her friends. 

"The change is due to the fact that she brought 
back in her train the shadow of Aleksei Vronsky," said 
the ambassador's wife. 

" What is that ? There 's a story in Grimm — a man 
without a shadow — a man deprived of his shadow. It 
was a punishment for something or other. I cannot see 
where the punishment lies, but it must be disagreeable 
for a woman to be without her shadow." 

" Yes, but the women who have shadows generally 
come to some bad end," said Anna's friend. 

" Hold your tongues ! " ^ cried the Princess Miagkaya, 
as she heard these words. "Madame Karenina is a 
charming woman ; I don't like her husband, but I like her." 

"Why don't you like her husband.-"' asked the am- 
bassador's wife. " He is such a remarkable man. My 
husband says there are few statesmen in Europe equal 
to him." 

" My husband says the same thing, but I don't be- 
lieve it," replied the Princess Miagkaya. " If our hus- 
bands had not had this idea, we should have seen Alekseif 
Aleksandrovitch as he really is ; and, in my opinion, he 

is a blockhead, I only say this in a whisper Is it 

not true how everything comes out clearly.'* Formerly 
when I was told that he was clever I used to try to dis- 
cover it, and I came to the conclusion that I was stupid 
because I could not see wherein he was clever ; but as 
soon as I said to myself, — under my breath, — he is 
stupid, all was explained. Is n't that so ? " 

" How severe you are to-night ! " 

" Not at all, I have no other alternative. One of us 
two is stupid. Now you know that one can never say 
such a thing of oneself." 

1 Tipun vam na yazuik ! A slang expression, meaning literally, 
" May your tongue have the pip 1 " 


" No one is satisfied with his circumstances, and every 
one is satisfied with his brain," said a diplomat, quoting 
a French couplet. 

" There, that is the very thing," exclaimed the Prin- 
cess Miagkay a turning to him, "but I make an exception 
of Anna. She is so lovely and good. Is it her fault 
if all men fall in love with her and follow her like 
shadows .-' " 

"Well! I do not allow myself to judge her," said 
Anna's friend, justifying herself. 

"Because no one follows us like a shadow, it does 
not prove that we have the right to judge." 

Having thus appropriately disposed of Anna's friend, 
the Princess Miagkaya arose, and with the ambassador's 
wife drew up to the table, and joined in the general 
conversation about some trifle.^ 

" Whom have you been gossiping about ? " asked 

" About the Karenins. The princess has been pictur- 
ing Alekser Aleksandrovitch," replied the ambassador's 
wife, sitting down near the table, with a smile. 

"Shame that we could not have heard it," said Betsy, 
looking toward the door. "Ah ! here you are at last," 
said she, turning to Vronsky, who at that moment 
came in. 

Vronsky knew, and met every day, all the people 
whom he found collected in his cousin's drawing-room ; 
therefore he came in with the calmness of a man who 
rejoins friends from whom he has only just parted. 

" Where have I come from .-' " said he, in reply to a 
question from the ambassador's wife. " What can I do .-* 
I must confess, — from Les Bouffes. 'Tis for the hun- 
dredth time, and always with a new pleasure. It is 
charming. It is humiliating, I know, but I get sleepy at 
the opera ; but at Les Boiiffes I sit it out up to the very 
last minute and enjoy it. To-night .... " 

He mentioned a French actress, and was going to tell 
some story about her, but the ambassador's wife stopped 
him with an expression of mock terror. 

^ Literally, " about the king of Prussia." 
VOL.1. — 12 


" Please don't speak to us of that fright ! " 

"Well ! I will not, and the more willingly because you 

all know these frights." 

" And you would all go there if it were as fashionable 

as the opera," added the Princess Miagkaya. 


Steps were heard near the door, and the Princess 
Betsy, knowing that it was Madame Karenina, looked 
at Vronsky. He was looking toward the door, and his face 
had a strange, new expression. Joyfully, expectantly, 
and almost timidly he gazed at Anna as she entered, 
and he rose slowly. Anna came into the drawing-room, 
as always holding herself very erect and looking neither 
to right nor to left. She crossed the short distance be- 
tween her and the hostess, with that rapid, light, but 
decided step which distinguished her from all the other 
women of this circle. She went directly up to Betsy, 
and shook hands with a smile, and with the same smile 
she looked at Vronsky, He bowed low and offered her 
a chair. 

She responded only by bending her head a little, and 
blushed, and frowned. But instantly she was nodding 
to her acquaintances and shaking hands ; then she 
turned to Betsy : — 

" I have been at the Countess Lidya's ; I wanted to 
get away earlier, but I was detained. Sir John was 
there. He is very interesting." 

" Oh, that missionary ? " 

"Yes; he related many very curious things about 
life in India." 

The conversation, which Anna's entrance had inter- 
rupted, again wavered, like the flame of a lamp in a 

i "Sir John! yes, Sir John! I have seen him. He 
speaks well. The Vlasieva is actually in love with 
him ! " 


* Is it true that the youngest Vlasieva is going to 
marry Topof ? " 

"Yes ; people say that it is fully decided." 

" I am astonished at her parents. They say that it is 
a love-match." 

" A love-match .■* What antediluvian ideas you have ! 
Who speaks of love in our days .'' " said the ambassador's 

"What is to be done about it ? That foolish old cus- 
tom has not entirely gone out of date," said Vronsky. 

" So much the worse for those who adhere to it ; the 
only happy marriages that I know about are those of 

"Yes ; but how often it happens that these marriages 
of reason break like ropes of sand, precisely because of 
this love which you affect to scorn ! " said Vronsky. 

" But what we call a marriage of reason is where both 
parties take an equal risk. It is like scarlatina, through 
which we all must pass." 

" In that case it would be wise to find an artificial 
means of inoculation for love, as for small-pox." 

" When I was young I fell in love with a sacristan ; I 
should like to know what good that did me ! " said the 
Princess Miagkaya. 

" No ; but, jesting aside, I believe that to know what 
love really is, one must have been deceived once, and 
then been set right," said the Princess Betsy. 

" Even after marriage ? " asked the ambassador's wife, 

" It is never too late to mend," said the diplomatist, 
quoting the English proverb. 

"But really," interrupted Betsy, "you must be de- 
ceived, so as afterwards to get into the right path. 
What do you think about this.''" said she, addressing 
Anna, who was listening silently to the conversation 
with a scarcely perceptible smile on her firm lips. 

" I think," said Anna, playing with her glove, which 
she had removed, "I think.... if there are as many 
opinions as there are heads, then there are as many 
ways of loving as there are hearts." 


Vronsky looked at her, and with a violent beating of 
the heart waited for her answer ; after she had spoken 
those words he drew a deep breath, as if he had escaped 
some danger. 

She turned suddenly to Vronsky. 

" I have just had a letter from Moscow. They write 
me that Kitty Shcherbatskaya is very ill." 

" Really," said Vronsky, with a frown. 

Anna looked at him with a severe expression. 

" Does n't that interest you } " 

" It certainly does. I am very sorry. Exactly what 
did they write you, if I may be permitted to inquire } " 

Anna arose and went to Betsy. 

" Will you give me a cup of tea ? " she said, standing 
behind her chair. While Betsy was pouring the tea, 
Vronsky went to Anna. 

" What did they write you } " 

" I often think that men do not know what nobility 
means, though they are all the time talking about it," 
said Anna, not answering his question. 

** I have been wanting to tell you for a long time," 
she added, and taking a few steps she sat down at a 
corner table laden with albums. 

" I don't quite know what your words mean," he said, 
offering her a cup of tea. 

She glanced at the divan near her, and he instantly 
sat down on it. 

"Yes, I have been wanting ,Jo tell you," she con- 
tinued, without looking at him. "You have acted 
badly, — very badly." 

"Don't I know that I have? But whose fault was 

"Why do you say that to me?" said she, with a 
severe look. 

"You know why," he replied boldly and joyously, 
meeting her gaze, and without dropping his eyes. 

She, not he, felt confused. 

"This simply proves that you have no heart," said 
she. But her eyes told the story, that she knew that 
he had a heart, and that therefore she feared him. 


"What you were talking about just now was error, 
not love." 

" Remember that I have forbidden you to speak that 
word, that hateful word," said Anna, trembling; and 
instantly she felt that by the use of that one word 
"forbidden," she recognized a certain jurisdiction over 
him, and thus encouraged him to speak of love. " For 
a long time I have been wanting to say this to you," 
she continued, looking steadily into his eyes, and all 
aflame with the color that burned in her face. " I have 
come to-night on purpose, knowing that I should find 
you here ; I have come to tell you this must come to an 
end. I have never had to blush before any one before, 
and you somehow cause me to feel guilty in my own 

He looked at her, and was struck with the new spiri- 
tual beauty of her face. 

" What do you want me to do .■* " said he, simply and 

" I want you to go to Moscow, and beg Kitty's 

" You do not want that," said he. 

He saw that she was compelling herself to say one 
thing, while she really desired something else. 

" If you love me, as you say you do," she murmured, 
" then do what will give me peace ! " 

Vronsky's face lighted up. 

" Don't you know that you are my life ? But I don't 
know what peace means, and I can't give it to you. 
Myself, my love, I can give — ^yes, I cannot think of you 
and of myself separately. For me, you and I are one. 
I see no hope of peace for you or for me in the future. 
I see the possibility of despair, of misfortune, — unless I 
see the possibility of happiness, and what happiness ! ..., 
Is it really impossible ? " he murmured, with his lips only, 
but she heard him. 

She directed all the forces of her mind to say what 
she ought ; but, instead of that, she looked at him with 
love in her eyes, and said nothing. 

" Ah ! " he thought, with rapture, "at the very moment 


when I was in despair, when it seemed I should never 
succeed, it has come ! She loves me ! She confesses it." 

" Then do this for me, and never speak to me in this 
way again ; let us be good friends," said her words : her 
eyes told a totally different story. 

" We can never be mere friends ; you yourself know 
it. Shall we be the most miserable, or the happiest, of 
human beings ? It is for you to decide." 

She began to speak, but he interrupted her. 

"You see I ask only one thing, the right of hoping 
and suffering, as I do now ; if it is impossible, order me 
to disappear, and I will disappear ; you shall not see me 
if my presence is painful to you." 

" I do not wish to drive you away." 

"Then change nothing; let things go as they are," 
said he, with trembling voice. " Here is your husband ! " 

Indeed, Alekse'f Aleksandrovitch at that instant was 
entering the drawing-room, with his calm face and awk- 
ward gait. 

Glancing at his wife and Vronsky, he went first to the 
hostess, and then he sat down with a cup of tea, and in 
his slow and well-modulated voice, in his habitual tone 
of persiflage, which seemed always to deride some one 
or something, he said, as he glanced around at the 
assembly : — 

" Your Rarabouillet is complete, — the Graces and 
the Muses ! " 

But the Princess Betsy could not endure this " sneer- 
ing" tone of his, as she called it, — and, like a clever 
hostess, quickly brought him round to a serious discus- 
sion of the forced conscription. Aleksef Aleksandro- 
vitch immediately entered into it, and began gravely to 
defend the new ukase against Betsy's attacks. 

Vronsky and Anna still sat near their little table. 

" That is getting rather pronounced," said a lady, in a 
whisper, indicating with her eyes Karenin, Anna, and 

" What did I tell you > " said Anna's friend. 

Not only these ladies, but nearly all who were in the 
drawing-room, even the Princess Miagkaya and Betsy 


herself, glanced more than once at them sitting apart 
from the general company, as if it disturbed them. 
Only Aleksef Aleksandrovitch never once looked in 
their direction, and was not diverted from the interest- 
ing conversation on which he had started. 

Betsy, perceiving the disagreeable impression that all 
felt, substituted some one else in her place to listen to 
Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, and crossed over to Anna. 

" I always admire your husband's clear and explicit lan- 
guage," she said. "The most transcendental thoughts 
seem within my reach when he speaks." 

" Oh, yes ! " said Anna, with a radiant smile of joy, 
and not understanding a word that Betsy had said. 
Then she went over to the large table, and joined in 
the general conversation. 

After he had stayed half an hour Aleksef Aleksandro- 
vitch spoke to his wife and proposed to her that they 
should go home together ; but she answered, without 
booking at him, that she wished to remain to supper. 
Alekser Aleksandrovitch took leave of the company and 

Madame Karenina's coachman, a portly old Tatar, 
in his lacquered leather coat, was having some difficulty 
in restraining his left-hand gray, which was excited with 
the cold. A lackey stood holding open the carriage 
door. The Swiss was standing ready to open the outer 
door ; Anna, Arkadyevna was listening with ecstasy to 
what Vronsky whispered, while she was freeing, with 
nervous fingers, the lace of her sleeve, which had caught 
on the hook of her fur cloak. 

" You have said nothing, let us admit, and I make no 
claim," Vronsky was saying, as he accompanied her 
down, " but you know that it is not friendship that I 
ask fbr ; for me, the only possible happiness of my life 
is contained in that word that you do not like .... 

" Love ...." she repeated slowly, as if she had spoken 
to herself; then suddenly, as she disentangled her lace, 
she said, " I do not like this word, because it means too 


much, far more than you can imagine," and she looked 
hirh full in the face. " Da svidanya i " ^ 

She reached him her hand, and, with a quick elastic 
step, passed the Swiss, and disappeared in her carriage. 

Her look, her pressure of his hand, filled Vronsky 
with passion. He kissed the palm on the place which 
she had touched, and went home with the happy convic- 
tion that that evening had brought him nearer to the 
goal of which he dreamed, than all the two months past. 


AlekseV Aleksandrovitch found nothing unusual 
or improper in the fact that his wife and Vronsky had 
been sitting by themselves and having a rather lively 
talk together ; he noticed that to others in the drawing- 
room it seemed unusual and improper, and therefore it 
seemed to him also improper. He decided that he 
ought to speak about it to his wife. 

When he reached home, Aleksei Aleksandrovitch, ac- 
cording to his usual custom, went to his library, threw 
himself into his arm-chair, and opened his book at the 
place marked by a paper-cutter, in an article on Papistry, 
and read till the clock struck one, as he usually did. 
From time to time he passed his hand across his high 
forehead, and shook his head, as if to drive away an im- 
portunate thought. At his usual hour he arose and he 
prepared to go to bed. Anna Arkadyevna had not yet 
returned. With his book under his arm, he went up- 
stairs ; but that evening, instead of pursuing his usual 
train of reflections and thinking over his governmental 
duties, his mind was occupied with his wife and the dis- 
agreeable impression which her behavior had caused him. 
Contrary to his habit, instead of going to bed he walked 
up and down the rooms with his arms behind his Back. 
He could not go to bed because he felt that first it was 
incumbent on him to ponder anew over the exigency 
that had arisen. 

1 Da svidanya, like au revoir or aufviieder'sehen, has no equivalent in 


When Aleksef Aleksandrovitch made up his mind 
that he must have a talk with his wife, it seemed 
to him very simple and natural ; but now, as he re- 
flected, it occurred to him that the matter was com- 
plicated and perplexing. 

Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch was not jealous. Jealousy 
in his opinion was insulting to a wife, and a husband 
should trust in her. But he did not ask himself why 
one should trust her, that is to say, why a man should 
expect a young wife always to love him. 

But he had not felt any lack of confidence simply 
because he trusted her, and said to himself that it was 
the proper thing to do. But now, although it was his 
conviction that jealousy is a disgusting state of mind, 
and that it was his duty to trust his wife and that his 
faith was still intact, yet he felt that he was placed in 
an illogical and ridiculous position, and he knew not 
what he ought to do. 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch was now standing face to 
face with life, with the possibility that his wife was in 
love with some one else besides him, and this seemed 
to him very senseless and incomprehensible, because 
it was life itself. All his life he had lived and labored 
in a round of official duties concerned with the reflec- 
tions of life. And whenever he came in contact with 
life itself he was revolted by it. Now he experienced 
a sensation such as a man feels, who, passing calmly 
over a bridge above a precipice, suddenly discovers that 
the arch is broken, and that the abyss yawns beneath his 

This abyss was actual life ; the bridge — the artifi- 
cial life which he had been living. The idea that his 
wife could love another man occurred to him for the 
first time, and filled him with terror. 

Without undressing, he kept walking back and forth 
with regular steps : over the echoing parquetry floor of the 
dining-room lighted with a single burner ; over the carpet 
of the dark drawing-room, where the light fell on his 
recently painted full-length portrait, over the divan ; and 
then through his wife's boudoir, where two candles were 


burning, lighting up the portraits of parents and friends, 
and the pretty trinkets upon her writing-table, so long 
familiar to him. When he reached the door of her bed- 
room he turned and went back. 

At the end of each turn in his pacing back and forth, 
and especially on the hard-wood floor of his brightly 
lighted dining-room, he would stop and say to himself: — 

" Yes, this must certainly be cut short ; it must be 
decided ; I must tell her my way of looking at it ! " 

And then he would turn back again. 

"But what can I say.? what decision can I make.'" 
he would ask himself by the time he reached the draw- 
ing-room, and find no answer. 

•' But, after all," he would say, as he turned in the 
library, "what has been done .-• Nothing. She had a 
long talk with him. What of that } But whom does 
not a society woman talk with.? To be jealous is de^ 
grading both her and me," he would say to himself as 
he reached her boudoir. But this reasoning, which had 
hitherto had such weight, had now lost its cogency. 

From the door of her sleeping-room he returned again 
to the hall, but, as he crossed fhe dark drawing-room, 
he thought he heard a voice saying to him, " It is not 
so ! the fact that the others noticed this signifies that 
there must be something in it." — And by the time he 
reached the dining-room again he was saying, " Yes, the 
thing must be decided, and broken short off." And 
once more in the drawing-room, just before he turned 
about, he would ask himself : — 

" How can I decide ? How can I tell her.?" 

And then he would ask himself, "What had hap- 
pened.?" and reply, "Nothing," and remember that 
jealousy is a feeling degrading to a woman ; but again 
in the drawing-room he would feel persuaded that some- 
thing had happened. 

His thoughts, like his steps, followed the same circle, 
and he struck no new idea. He recognized this, rubbed 
his forehead, and sat down in her boudoir. 

There, as he looked at her table, with its malachite 
writing-tablet, and a letter unfinished, his thoughts took 


another direction ; he began to think of her, and how 
she would feel. His imagination vividly showed him 
her personal life, her thoughts, and her desires ; and the 
idea that she might, that she must, have her individual 
life apart from his, seemed to him so terrible, that he 
hastened to put it out of his mind. 

This was the abyss which it was so dreadful for him 
to gaze into. To penetrate by thought and feeling into 
the soul of another was a psychical effort strange to 
Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch. He considered it a pernicious 
and dangerous mental habit. 

"And what is most terrible," he said to himself, "is 
that this senseless uncertainty comes on me just as I 
am about to bring my work to completion," — he re- 
ferred to a scheme which he was at that time managing, 
— " and when I need perfect freedom from agitation 
and all my mental powers. What is to be done .-* I am 
not one of those men who can endure agitation and 
annoyance and have the strength of mind to face them." 

" I must reflect ; I must take some stand and get rid 
of this annoyance," he added aloud. "I do not admit 
that I have any right to probe into her feelings, or to 
scrutinize what is going on in her heart ; that belongs 
to her conscience, and comes into the domain of relig- 
ion," he said to himself, feeling some consolation that 
he had found a domain of law applicable to the circum- 
stances that had arisen. 

" So," he continued, " the questions relating to her 
feelings and the like are questions of conscience, in 
which I have no concern. My duty lies clearly before 
me. As head of my family, I am bound to guide her, 
and therefore, to a certain degree, I am responsible. I 
must point out the danger which I see ; I must watch 
over her, and even use my powers. I must speak to her." 

And Aleksef Aleksandrovitch formulated in his mind 
everything that he should say to his wife. While he 
was thinking it over he regretted the necessity of wast- 
ing his time and his intellectual powers in family matters. 
But, in spite of him, his plan assumed, in his thought, 
the clear, precise, and logical form of a report : — 


" I must make her understand as follows : First, The 
meaning and importance of public opinion and deco- 
rum ; Secondly, The religious significance of marriage ; 
Thirdly, if necessary. The unhappiness which it might 
cause her son ; Fourthly, The unhappiness which might 
befall herself." 

And Aleksef Aleksandrovitch twisted his fingers to- 
gether, palms down, and made the joints crack. 

This gesture, of joining his hands and stretching his 
finger-joints, — a bad habit, — calmed him, and conduced 
to the precision of which he now stood in such need. 

A carriage was heard driving up to the house. Alek- 
sef Aleksandrovitch stopped in the middle of the hall. 
He heard his wife's step on the stairway. Aleksel 
Aleksandrovitch had his sermon all ready ; but still he 
stood there, squeezing his crossed fingers and trying to 
make the joints crack. One joint cracked. 

Even as he heard her light steps on the stairs he was 
conscious of her presence, and, though he was satisfied 
with his sermon, he dreaded the explanation that was 


Anna entered with bent head, playing with the tas- 
sels of her bashluik or Turkish hood. Her face shone 
with a bright glow, but this bright glow did not betoken 
joy ; it reminded one of the terrible glow of a confla- 
gration against a midnight sky. When she saw her 
husband, she raised her head and smiled, as if she had 
awakened from a dream. 

" You are not abed yet } what a miracle ! " she said, 
taking off her bashluik ; and, without pausing, she went 
into her dressing-room, crying, " It is late, Aleksei 
Aleksandrovitch," as she got to the door. 

"Anna, I must have a talk with you." 

"With me.''" she said, in astonishment, coming out 
into the hall, and looking at him. "What is it "i What 
about 1 " she asked, and sat down. " Well, let us talk, 


then, if it is so necessary ; but I would much rather go 
to sleep." 

Anna said what came to her tongue, and was aston- 
ished to hear herself, astonished at her own facility at 
telling a lie. How perfectly natural her words sounded, 
and how probable that she wanted to go to sleep ; she 
felt herself clad in an impenetrable armor of falsehood. 
She felt that some invisible power assisted her and sus- 
tained her. 

"Anna, I must give you a warning." 

" A warning ? " she exclaimed ; " why .? " 

She looked at him so innocently, so'gayly, that any 
one who did not know her as her husband did would 
have noticed nothing unnatural either in the tone of her 
voice or in the meaning of what she said. But for him, 
who knew her, who knew that when he was five minutes 
later than usual she always remarked on it, and asked 
the reason, for him who knew that her first impulse was 
always to tell him of her pleasures and her sorrows, for 
him now to see the fact that Anna took special pains 
not to observe his agitation, that she took special pains 
not to say a word about herself, all this was very sig- 
nificant. He saw that the depths of her soul, hitherto 
always opened to his gaze, were now shut away from him. 
Moreover, by her tone he perceived that she was not 
confused by this ; but as it were she said openly and with- 
out dissimulation, " Yes, I am a sealed book, and so it 
must be, and will be from henceforth." 

He felt as a man would who should come home and 
find his house barricaded against him. 

" Perhaps the key will yet be found," thought Aleksel 

" I want to warn you," said he, in a gentle voice, 
" lest by your imprudence and your thoughtlessness 
you give people cause to talk about you. Your rather 
too lively conversation this evening with Count Vronsky " 
— he pronounced this name slowly and distinctly — 
"attracted attention." 

He finished speaking, and looked at Anna's laughing 
eyes, now terrible to him because they were so impene- 


trable, and he saw all the idleness and uselessness of 
his words. 

" You are always like this," she said, as if she had 
not understood him, and intentionally had understood 
only the last part of what he said. " Sometimes you 
don't like it because I am bored, and sometimes you 
don't like it because I have a good time. I was not 
bored this evening; does that disturb you.-*" 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch trembled ; again he stretched 
his fingers till the knuckles cracked. 

"Akh! I beg of you, don't crack your fingers, I 
detest it so," said she. 

"Anna, is this you.''" said Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, 
trying to control himself, and stopping the movement 
of his hands. 

" Yes ! but what is it ? " she asked, with a sincere 
and almost comic astonishment. " What do you want 
of me } " 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch was silent, and passed his 
hand across his brow and over his eyes. He felt that, 
instead of having done as he intended, that is, instead 
of having warned his wife of her errors in the sight 
of the world, he was agitated at what concerned her 
conscience, and was perhaps striking some imaginary 

" This is what I wanted to say," he continued, 
coldly and calmly, " and I beg you to listen to me until 
I have done. As you know, I regard jealousy as an 
insulting and degrading sentiment, and I never allow 
myself to be led away by it ; but there are certain laws 
of propriety which one cannot cross with impunity. 
This evening, judging by the impression which you 
made, — I am not the only one that noticed it, all did, 
— you did not conduct yourself at all in a proper 

" Decidedly I do not understand at all," said Anna, 
shrugging her shoulders. " He does not really care," 
she thought; "all that he fears is the opinion of the 
world." — " You are not well, Aleksel Aleksandrovitch," 
she added, rising, and starting to go to her room. 


But he stepped in front of her as if to prevent her from 
going. Never had Anna seen his face so displeased 
and ugly ; she remained standing, tipping her head to 
one side, while with quick fingers she began to pull out 
the hair-pins. 

" Well ! I will hear what you have to say," she said, 
in a calm, bantering tone ; " I shall even listen with 
interest, because I should like to know what it is all 

She herself was astonished at the assurance and calm 
naturalness with which she spoke, as well as at her 
choice of words. 

" I have no right to examine your feelings. I think 
it is useless and even dangerous," AlekseY Aleksandro- 
vitch began. " If we probe too deeply into our hearts, 
we run the risk of touching on what we ought not to 
perceive. Your feelings concern your conscience. But 
in presence of yourself, of me, and of God, I am in 
duty bound to remind you of your obligations. Our lives 
are united, not by men, but by God. Only by crime 
can this bond be broken, and such a crime brings its 
own punishment." 

" I don't understand at all. Oh, heavens, how sleepy 
I am ! " said Anna, swiftly running her hand over her 
hair, and taking out the last pin. 

" Anna ! in the name of Heaven, don't speak so," 
said he, gently. " Maybe I am mistaken ; but believe 
me, what I say to you is as much for your advantage as 
for mine ; I am your husband, and I love you." 

Anna's face for an instant grew troubled, and the 
mocking fire disappeared from her eyes ; but the word 
" love " irritated her. " Love ! " she thought ; " does he 
know what it means .-' If he had never heard that there 
was such a thing as love, he would never have used that 

*' Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, truly, I don't know what 
you mean," she said. "They say you find...." 

" Allow me to finish. I love you, but I am not speak- 
ing for myself ; those who are chiefly interested are our 
son and yourself. It is quite possible, I repeat, that my 



words may seem idle and ill-judged ; possibly they are 
the result of mistake on my part. In that case, I beg 
you to forgive me ; but if you yourself feel that there 
is the least foundation for my remarks, then I earnestly 
urge you to reflect, and, if your heart inclines you, to. 
confide in me.".... 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, without noticing the fact, 
had spoken a very different discourse from the one that 
he had prepared. 

" I have nothing to say." And she added in a 
sprightly tone, scarcely hiding a smile, " Truly, it is time 
to go to bed." 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch sighed, and, without speak- 
ing further, went to their chamber. 

When she reached the room, he was already in bed. 
His lips were sternly set, and he did not look at her. 
Anna got into bed, every moment expecting that he 
would speak to her again ; she both feared it and desired 
it, but he said nothing. 

She waited long without moving, and then forgot all 
about him. She was thinking of some one else ; she saw 
him and was conscious of her heart throbbing with emo- 
tion and with guilty joy. Suddenly she heard a slow 
and regular sound of snoring. Aleksei Aleksandrovitch 
at first seemed to be startled himself, and stopped ; but 
at the end of a second the snoring began again with 
monotonous regularity. 

" Too late ! too late ! " she whispered, with a smile. 
She lay for a long time thus, motionless, with open 
eyes, the shining of which it seemed to her she herself 
could see in the darkness. 


From this time began a new life for Alekse'f Aleksan- 
drovitch and his wife. Nothing unusual happened. 
Anna continued to go into society, and was especially 
often at the Princess Betsy's ; and everywhere she met 
Vronsky. Alekseif Aleksandrovitch saw it, but was 


powerless to prevent it. Whenever he tried to bring 
about an explanation, she raised up against him an 
impenetrable wall of humorous perplexity. 

Outwardly, everything was the same, but their rela- 
tions had completely changed. Aleksei Aleksandro- 
vitch, a remarkably strong man in matters requiring 
statesmanship, here found himself powerless. Like an 
ox, submissively lowering its head, he waited the blow 
of the ax which he felt was lifted against him. When- 
ever he began to think about it, he felt that once more 
he must try by gentleness, tenderness, reason, to save 
Anna, and bring her back to him. Every day he made 
up his mind to speak ; but as soon as he made the 
attempt, that evil spirit of falsehood which possessed 
her seemed to lay hold of him also, and he spoke not at 
all in the tone in which he meant to speak. Involun- 
tarily, what he. said was spoken in his tone of raillery, 
which seemed to cast ridicule on those who would speak 
as he did. And this tone was not at all suitable for the 
expression of the thoughts that he wished to express. 


What had been for nearly a whole year the sole de- 
sire of Vronsky's life, changing all his former desires — 
what Anna had looked upon as an impossible, a terrible, 
and, therefore, the more a fascinating, dream of bliss, was 
at last realized. Pale, with quivering lower jaw, he 
stood over her, begging her to be calm, himself not 
knowing how or why. 

"Anna! Anna!" he said, with trembling voice. 
"Anna! for God's sake!".... 

But the more intensely he spoke the lower she hung 
her once proud, joyous, but now humiliated head, and 
she crouched all down, and dropped from the divan, 
where she had been sitting, to the floor at his feet. 
She would have fallen on the carpet had he not held her. 

"My God! forgive me!" she sobbed, pressing his 
VOL. I. — 13 


hands to her breast. She felt that she was such a sinnef 
and criminal that nothing remained for her except to 
crouch down and beg for forgiveness ; now there was 
nothing else for her in life but him, so that to him alone 
she turned her prayer for forgiveness. As she looked 
at him she felt her humiliation physically, and she could 
say no more. 

But he felt exactly as a murderer must feel when he 
sees the lifeless body of his victim. This lifeless body 
was their love — the first epoch of their love. There 
was something horrible and repulsive in the recollection 
of the terrible price that they had paid for this shame. 
The shame in the presence of their spiritual nakedness 
oppressed her and took hold of him. But in spite of all 
the horror felt by the murderer in presence of the body 
of his victim, he must cut it in pieces, must bury it, must 
take advantage of his crime. 

And, as with fury and passion the murderer throws 
himself on the dead body and drags it and cuts it, so he 
covered her face and shoulders with kisses. She held 
his hand and did not stir. 

" Yes, these kisses were what had been bought with 
this shame ! Yes, and this hand, which will always be 
mine, is the hand of my accomplice." 

She raised his hand and kissed it. He fell on his 
knees, and tried to look into her face ; but she hid it 
and said nothing. At last, as if trying to control her- 
self, she made an effort to rise, and pushed him away. 
Her face was still as beautiful as ever ; even so much 
the more was it pitiful. 

"All is ended," said she; "I have nothing but thee, 
remember that." 

" I cannot help remembering it, since it is my life. A 
moment before this happiness .... " 

"What happiness.?" she cried, with contempt and 
horror. And horror involuntarily seized him also, 
" For God's sake, not a word, not a word more." 

She quickly got up and moved away from him, and 
with a strange expression of hopeless despair, such as he 
had never seen before, on her face, she stood aloof from 


him. She felt that at that moment she could not ex- 
press in words the sense of shame, rapture, and horror 
at this entrance into a new life, and she did not wish to 
speak about it or vulgarize the feeling with definite words. 

But even afterward, on the next day, on the third 
day, not only did she fail to find words in which to 
express the complication of these feelings, but she 
could not even find thoughts by which to formulate to 
herself all that was in her soul. 

She said to herself: — 

" No, I cannot now think about this ; by and by, when 
I am calmer." 

But this calmness never came. Every time when the 
questions arose: "What had she done.? and what would 
become of her.? and what ought she to do.?" she was 
filled with horror, and she compelled herself not to think 
about them. 

"By and by, by and by," she repeated, "when I am 

On the other hand, during sleep, when she had no 
control of her thoughts, her situation appeared in its 
ugly nakedness. One dream almost every night haunted 
her. She dreamed that she was the wife both of Vron- 
sky and of Alekseif Aleksandrovitch, and that both lav- 
ished their caresses on her, Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
kissed her hands, and said, weeping, " How happy we are 
now ! " Aleksei" Vronsky, also, was there, and he was 
her husband. She was amazed that she had ever be- 
lieved such a thing impossible ; and she laughed as she 
explained to them that this was far simpler, that both 
would henceforth be satisfied and happy. But this 
dream weighed on her like a nightmare, and she always 
awoke in fright. 


Even in the first weeks after Levin returned from 
Moscow, every time that with flushed cheeks and a 
trembling in his limbs he remembered the shame of hi^ 
rejection, he would say to himself: — 


"I blushed and trembled like this, and I felt that all 
was lost, when I got one in physics, and had to go into 
the second class ; and I thought myself irretrievably 
ruined when I bungled in my sister's affairs, which were 
confided to me. And now ? Now the years have gone 
by, and I look back and wonder how it could disturb 
my mind. It will be just the same with my disap- 
pointment this time. Time will pass, and I shall grow 

But three months passed away and the callousness 
did not come, and it was as painful for him to remember 
it as on the first day. He could not reconcile himself 
to the fact that, after dreaming so long of family life, 
after being, as he thought, so well prepared for it, not 
only was he not married, but found himself farther than 
ever from marriage. He felt painfully, as all those 
around him felt, that it is not good for a man of his age 
to live alone. He remembered that before his departure 
for Moscow he had once said to his cowherd, Nikolai, a 
simple-hearted muzhik with whom he liked to talk : — 

" Do you know, Nikolai, I am thinking of getting 
married ? " whereupon Nikolai had instantly replied, as 
if there could not be the slightest doubt about it : — 

"This ought to have been long ago, Konstantin 

And now marriage was farther off than ever. The 
place was taken ; and when, exercising his imagination, 
he put into that place some young girl of his acquain- 
tance, he felt that it was perfectly impossible. Moreover, 
the recollection of how Kitty refused him and of the 
part which he played still tormented him with morti- 
fication. It was idle to say that he was not to blame in 
this ; this recollection, taken together with other mortify- 
ing experiences of the same sort, made him quiver and 
grow red in the face. He had on his conscience, as 
every man has, the remembrance of evil deeds for which 
he should have repented ; but the remembrance of these 
evil deeds did not trouble him nearly so much as the 
feeling of his humiliation, slight as it really was. It was 
a wound that refused to heal. He could not keep out 


of his mind his rejection, and the miserable position in 
which he must have been placed in the eyes of others. 

Time and labor, however, brought their balm ; the 
painful impressions little by little began to fade in pres- 
ence of the events of the country life, important in 
reality, in spite of their apparent insignificance. Each 
week his thoughts turned to Kitty v/ith less frequency. 
He even began to await with impatience the news that 
she was married, or was going to be married, hoping that 
this event would bring healing in the same way as the 
pulling of a tooth may. 

Meantime spring came, beautiful, friendly, without 
treachery or false promises, — a spring such as fills 
plants and animals, no less than men, with joy. This 
splendid season gave Levin new zeal, and confirmed his 
resolution to tear himself from the past so as to reorgan- 
ize his solitary life on conditions of permanence and 
independence. Although many of the plans that he 
had formed on his return to the country had not been 
put into effect, yet the most essential one — that his life 
should be kept pure -7- had been realized. He expe- 
rienced none of that sense of shame which ordinarily 
tormented him after a fall ; and he could look fearlessly 
into men's eyes. 

In February he had received a letter from Marya 
Nikolayevna, who informed him that his brother's health 
was failing, and that he would not use any rcmedi'js. 
In consequence of this letter he had immediately gone 
to* Moscow, where he persuaded Nikolai to consult a 
physician, and then to go abroad for the baths. He 
succeeded so well in persuading his brother and in lend- 
ing him money for the journey, without exasperating 
him, that he felt quite satisfied with himself. 

Besides his farm-labors, which especially occupied his 
attention that spring, and his ordinary reading, Levin 
was deeply engaged in writing a work on rural economy, 
which he had begun during the winter. His theory was 
that in farming the laborer's temperament is a factor as 
important as climate or the soil, and that consequently 
ail the deductions of agronomic science are drawn, not 


from the premises of soil and climate alone, but from 
the soil, the climate, and the certain unchangeable 
character of the laborer. 

Thus, notwithstanding his loneliness or in conse- 
quence of his loneliness, his life, therefore, was very busy 
and full ; only occasionally he felt the need of some one 
besides Agafya Mikhallovna with whom to communi- 
cate the ideas that came into his head. However, he 
brought himself to discuss with her about physics, the 
theories of rural economy, and, above all, philosophy. 
Philosophy was Agafya Mikhailovna's favorite subject. 

The spring opened late. During the last weeks of 
Lent the weather was clear but cold. During the day 
the snow melted in the sun, but at night the mercury 
w^ent down to seven degrees ; the crust on the snow was 
so thick that carts could go anywhere across the fields. 

It snowed on Easter Sunday. Then suddenly, on the 
following day, a warm wind blew, the clouds drifted 
over, and for three days and three nights a warm and 
heavy rain fell ceaselessly. On Thursday the wind went 
down, and then over the earth was spread a thick gray 
fog, as if to conceal the mysteries that were accomplish- 
ing in nature ; under this fog, the fields were covered 
with water, the ice was melting and disappearing, the 
brooks ran more swiftly, foaming and muddy. Toward 
evening the Krasnaya Gorka, or Red Hill, began to show 
through the fog, the clouds scattered like snipe, and 
spring in reality was there in all her brilliancy. 

The next morning the sun rose bright and quickly 
melted away the thin sheet of ice that still covered 
the ponds, and the warm atmosphere grew moist with 
the vapors rising from the earth ; the old grass and the 
young blades peeping from the sod, with its tiny needles, 
the buds on the snow-ball trees, the currant bushes, and 
the sticky sappy birch trees, grew green, swelled, and 
on their branches, powdered with golden bloom, swarms 
of honey-bees buzzed in the sun. Invisible larks trilled 
their songs over the velvet of the green and the prairies 
freed from snow ; the lapwings lamented for their hoi- 
lows and marshes, submerged by the stormy waters; 


the wild swans and geese flew high in the air, with their 
calls of spring. The cattle, with rough hair and spots 
worn bare, lowed as they went out to pasture ; the 
bandy-legged lambs gamboled around the bleating ewes^ 
soon to lose their wool ; swift-footed children ran bare- 
foot over the wet paths, where their footprints were left 
like fossils ; the peasant-women gossiped gayly around 
the edge of the pond, where they were bleaching their 
linen ; and in the yards resounded the axes of the mu- 
zhiks, repairing their plows and their wagons. 
Spring had really come. 


Levin put on his heavy boots, and, for the first time, 
his sleeveless cloth coat instead of his fur shuba, and 
went out to look over his estate, tramping through the 
brooklets which dazzled his eyes as they glanced in the sun, 
and stepping, now on a cake of ice, and now in sticky mud. 

Spring is the epoch of plans and projects. Levin, as 
he went out into his court, no more definitely knew what 
he would first take in hand in his beloved farming than 
the tree in early spring knows how and why his young 
sprouts and branches grow out from their enveloping 
buds ; but he felt that he was going to originate the 
most charming projects and the most sensible plans. 

He went first to see his cattle. The cows had been 
let out into the yard, and with their smooth new coats 
of hair glistening as they warmed themselves in the 
sun, they were lowing as if to beg permission to go out 
to pasture. Levin knew them all, even to the minutest 
particulars. He contemplated them with satisfaction, 
and gave orders to take them to pasture, and to let the 
calves out into the yard. The cow-boy gayly started to 
drive them out into the field. The milkmaids, gather- 
ing up their petticoats, and splashing through the mud 
with bare feet, white as yet, and free from tan, chased 
the bellowing calves, silly with the rapture of spring, and 
with switches kept them from escaping froni the yard. 


Admiring the young cattle which the year had 
brought, for they were uncommonly beautiful, — the 
oldest already as large as a peasants' cow, and Pava's 
daughter, three months old, as big as a yearling, — ■ 
Levin ordered the trough to be brought out for them, 
and their hay to be given them behind gratings.^ He 
found, however, that these gratings, which had been 
made in the autumn, but were not used during the 
winter, were out of repair. He sent for the carpenter, 
who was supposed to be busy repairing the threshing- 
machine ; but it seemed that the carpenter was not 
there. He was repairing the harrows, which should 
have been repaired during Lent. This made Levin 
very indignant. He was indignant at this everlasting 
repetition of such slovenliness, against which he had so 
many years struggled with all his might. The gratings, 
as he soon learned, not having been in use during the 
winter, had been carried to the stable, where, as they 
were of light construction, and meant only for calves, 
they had been broken. 

Moreover, it appeared that nothing had been done to 
the harrows and other agricultural implements, which 
should have been inspected and put in order during the 
winter months, and for this purpose especially he had 
hired three carpenters. The harrows were needed im- 
mediately for work in the fields. Levin summoned the 
overseer,^ then he himself went in search of him. 
The overseer, as radiant as everything else was that 
day, came from the threshing-floor dressed in a lined 
lambskin coat.^ He was twisting a straw between his 

" Why is n't the carpenter at work on the threshing- 
machine .? " 

" Oh, yes ; that is what I meant to tell you last even- 
ing : the harrows had to be repaired ! We 've got to 

" Yes ; but what have you been doing this winter ? " 

"Yes; but why do you hire such a carpenter ?" 

1 Reshotki, a sort of portable palisade. 

2 Prikashchik. ^ Tulupchik. 


** Where are the gratings for the calves ? " 

" I ordered them to be put in place. You can't do 
anything with such people," replied the overseer, wav- 
ing his hands. 

" Not such people, but such an overseer ! " said Levin, 
getting still more angry. *' Well, what do I keep you 
for ? " he shouted ; but, recollecting that shouts did not 
do any good, he stopped in the middle of his remark 
and only sighed. " Well, can you get the seed in yet .-* " 
he asked, after a silence. 

" Back of Turkino we might to-morrow, or the day 

" And the clover ? " 

" I sent Vasili and Mishka to sow it, but I don't know 
whether they succeeded ; it 's muddy." 

" On how many acres .'' " 

" Sixteen acres." ^ 

" Why not the whole ? " cried Levin. 

He was still more indignant because they had sowed 
only sixteen acres instead of fifty-four: he knew by his 
own experience, as well as by theory, the need of sowing 
the clover-seed as early as possible, almost in the snow, 
and Levin never could get this done. 

"Not enough people. What can you do with these 
men .-' The three hired men did not come ; and then 
Semyon .... " 

"Well, you would better have taken them away from 
the straw." 

" Yes ; I did that very thing." 

" Where are all the people ?" 

" There are five at the compote [he meant to say com- 
post] ; four are moving the oats, so that they should not 
spoil, Konstantin Dmitritch." 

Levin knew very well that these words, " So that they 
should not spoil,'' meant that his English oats saved for 
seed were already ruined. Again they had not done 
what he had ordered. 

" Yes ! But did I not tell you during Lent to put in 
the ventilating-chimneys .'' " he cried. 

^ Six desyatins ; a desyatina is 2.7 acres. 


" Don't you be troubled ; we will do all in good 

Levin angrily waved his hand, and went to examine 
his oats in the granary; then he went to the stables. 
The grain was not yet spoiled, but the workmen were 
stirring it up with shovels when they might have let it 
down from one story to the other. After he had 
straightened this matter and sent two hands to sow 
the clover, Levin calmed down in regard to his over- 
seer. It was such a lovely day that one could not keep 

" Ignat," he cried to his coachman, who, with upturned 
sleeves, was washing the carriage near the pump, " sad- 
dle me a horse," 

"Which one.?" 

" Well, Kolpik." 

" I will do so." 

While he was saddling the horse, Levin again called 
the overseer, who was busying himself in his vicinity, 
hoping to be restored to favor, and began to speak with 
him about the work that he wanted done during the 
spring, and about his plans for carrying on the estate. 

He wanted the compost spread as soon as possible, 
so as to have this work done before the first mowing ; 
then he wanted the farthest field plowed, so that it 
might be left fallow. All the fields — not half of them 
— should be attended to with the laborers. 

The overseer listened attentively, doing his best evi- 
dently to approve of his master's plans. But never- 
theless his face wore that vexatiously hopeless and 
melancholy expression which Levin knew so well. 
This expression seemed to say, "This is all very well 
and good, but as God shall give." 

Nothing exasperated Levin so much as this tone, but 
it was common to all the overseers that had ever been 
in his service. They all received his projects with the 
same dejected air ; and so he now refrained from getting 
angry, but he was exasperated and felt himself still more 
stimulated for the struggle against this, as it were ele- 
mental, force which he could not help calling " As God 


shall give,'' and which constantly opposed him every- 

" If we have time, Konstantin Dmitritch," said the 

" Why shall we not have time t " 

" We absolutely ought to hire fifteen more workmen, 
but they can't be had. Some came to-day who asked 
seventy rubles for the summer." 

Levin did not speak. Again the opposing force ! 
He knew that, however he might exert himself, he never 
could hire more than forty, thirty-seven, or thirty-eight, 
laborers at a reasonable price ; he had succeeded in get- 
ting forty, never more ; but nevertheless he could not 
give up vanquished. 

" Send to Suri, to Chefirovka ; if they don't come, we 
must go for them." 

" I 'm going to go," said Vasili Feodorovitch, gloomily. 
"But then the horses are very feeble." 

"Buy some more; but then I know," he added, with 
a laugh, "that you will do as little and as badly as you 
can. However, I warn you that I will not let you do as 
you please this year. I shall take the reins in my own 

" Yes ! but even as it is you get too little sleep, it 
seems to me. We are very happy to be under our mas- 
ter's eyes.... " 

" Now, have the clover put in on the Berezof Bottom, 
and I shall come myself to inspect it," said he, 
mounting his little horse," Kolpik, which the coachman 
brought up. 

" Don't go across the brooks, Konstantin Dmitritch," 
cried the coachman. 

" Well, then, by the woods." 

And on his little, lively, easy-going ambler, which 
whinnied as it came to the pools, and which pulled on 
the bridle, having been too long in the stable. Levin rode 
out of the muddy courtyard, and across the open fields. 

Happy as Levin had felt in his cow-yard and cattle- 
pen, he felt still happier out in the field. Rhythmically 
swaying on his easy-going, gentle pony, drinking in the 


warm air, freshened by the snow as he rode through the 
forest where the snow still lay here and there rapidly 
melting in the tracks, he took keen delight in every 
one of his trees, with greening moss and swelling buds. 
As he came out from the forest, before him lay a vast 
stretch of fields ; they seemed like an immense carpet of 
velvet where there was not a bare spot or a marsh, only 
here and there in the hollows marked with patches of 
melting snow. The sight of a peasant's mare and colt 
treading down his fields did not anger him, but he 
ordered a passing muzhik to drive them out. With the 
same gentleness he received the sarcastic and impudent 
answer of the muzhik Ipat, whom he met and asked, 
" Ipat, shall we put in the seed before very long ? " 
And Ipat replied, " We must plow first, Konstantin 

The farther he went, the more his good-humor in- 
creased, and each of his plans for improving his estate 
seemed to surpass the other : to protect the fields on 
the south by lines of trees so as to prevent the snow 
from staying too long ; to divide his arable fields into 
nine parts, six of which should be well dressed, and the 
other three sown down to grass ; to build a cow-yard in 
the farthest corner of one field, and have a pond dug ; 
to have portable inclosures for the cattle, so as to util- 
ize the manure; and thus to cultivate three hundred 
desyatins of wheat, a hundred desyatins of potatoes, and 
one hundred and fifty of clover, without exhausting the 

Full of these reflections, he picked his way carefully 
along so as not to tread down his fields, till at last he 
reached the place where the laborers were sowing the 
clover. The cart, loaded with seed, instead of being left 
on the edge of the field, had been driven into the 
plowed land, and his winter wheat was crushed by 
the wheels and trampled down by the horse. The two 
laborers were sitting by the edge of the field, evidently 
smoking a mutual pipe. The earth in the cart, mixed 
together with the seed, had not been worked over, but 
was full of har4 or frozen lumps. 


When he saw the master, the laborer Vasili started 
toward the cart, and Mishka began to sow. This was 
all wrong, but Levin rarely got angry with his laborers. 
When Vasili came up to him, Levin ordered him to lead 
the horse to the side of the field. 

" It won't do any harm, sir ; it will spring up 

" Please not discuss it," replied Levin, " but do what 
I say." 

" I will obey," said Vasili, taking the horse by the 
head. "What splendid seed, Konstantin Dmitritch," 
he added, to regain favor. " Best kind ! But it is 
frightful going ! You drag 2i pud on each, foot." 

" But why was n't the earth sifted ? " asked Levin. 

" Oh ! it '11 come out all right," replied Vasili, taking 
up some seed, and crushing the lump in his palm. 

It was not Vasili's fault that they were scattering the 
unsifted soil ; but it was vexatious, nevertheless. Hav- 
ing more than once to his advantage made use of a 
well-known means of wreaking his vexation, which 
always seemed to him foolish. Levin now determined to 
try it and see if he could recover his good temper. He 
noticed how Mishka strode along dragging huge clods 
of clay which stuck to each of his feet ; so, dismounting, 
he took the seed-cod from Vasili and began to scatter 
the seed. 

" Where did you stop ? " 

Vasili touched the spot with his foot, and Levin went 
on as best he could, scattering the earth with the seed. 
But it was as hard as wading through a marsh, and after 
he had gone a row he stopped all in a sweat, and returned 
the seed-cod. 

"Well, barin, if that row doesn't come out well next 
summer, don't blame me for it ! " said Vasili. 

"Indeed I won't," replied Levin, gayly, already feel- 
ing the efficacy of the means he had employed. 

" But just look at the summer we 're gomg to have ! 
'T will be magnificent ! If you '11 notice, that 's where I 
sowed last spring. How well I planted it I Why, Kon- 
stantin Dmitritch, I work as if I were working for my 


own father ! Well, I don't like to do slack work. What 
is good for the master is good for us. And look yon- 
der at that field," continued Vasili, pointing to the field, 
"it delights my heart." 

"It is a fine spring, Vasili." 

" Yes ! it is such a spring as our old men can't re- 
member. I was at home, and our elder has already 
sowed an acre ^ of wheat ; as he says he can hardly tell 
it from rye." 

" But how long have you been sowing wheat ? " 

"Why, you yourself taught us how to sow it year be- 
fore last. You spared me two measures. It gave eight 
bushels and w.e sowed an acre with it." 

" Well ! look here, see that you break up the earth 
well!" said Levin, as he started for his ambler, "look 
after Mishka ; and if the seed comes up well, you shall 
have fifty kopeks a desyatin." 

" We thank you humbly : we should be content even 
without that." 

Levin mounted his horse, and rode off to visit his 
last year's clover-field, and then to the field which was 
already plowed ready for the summer wheat. 

The crop of clover in the stubble-field was miraculous. 
It had all survived, and was covering with a mantle of 
green all the ground where the preceding fall the roots 
of the wheat had been left. 

The horse sank up to the fetlock, and each foot made 
a sucking noise as he pulled it out of the half-thawed 
soil. It was entirely impossible to cross the plowed 
land. Only where there was ice would it hold, but in 
the thawed furrows the horse's leg sank above the fet- 
lock. The plowed field was excellent. In two days 
the harrowing and sowing could be done. Everything 
was beautiful, everything was gay ! 

Levin rode back by way of the brooks, hoping to find 
the water lower; in fact, he found that he could get 

* Tri ostninnika ; in the government of Tula an osminnik iS an eighth of 
a desyatin. One chetvert (about eight bushels) plants three of these eighths, 
or an acre. Levin promises an equivalent of about forty cents for 2.7 


across ; and, as he waded through, he scared up a couple 
of wild ducks. 

"There ought to be snipe, also," he thought; and a 
forest guard whom he met on his way to the house 
confirmed his supposition. 

He immediately spurred up his horse, so as to get 
back in time for dinner, and to prepare his gun for 
the evening. 


Just as Levin reached home, in the best humor in 
the world, he heard the jingling of bells at the side 

"There, now! some one from the railroad station," 
was his first thought ; "it 's time for the Moscow train. 
— Who can have come.-' brother Nikolai'.'' Did he not 
say that instead of going abroad he might perhaps 
come to see me ? " 

For a moment it occurred to him disagreeably that 
his brother Nikolai's presence might spoil his pleasant 
plans for the spring ; but, disgusted at the selfishness 
of this thought, his mind, so to speak, instantly received 
his brother with open arms, and he began to hope, with 
affectionate joy, that it was really he. 

He hurried his horse, and as he came out from behind 
the acacia, he saw a hired troika from the railway station 
and a traveler dressed in a shuba. 

It was not his brother. 

" Akh ! if only it is some agreeable man to talk with," 
he thought. 

" Ah ! " he cried, lifting up both arms as he recog- 
nized Stepan Arkadyevitch, " here is the most delecta- 
ble of guests ! Akh ! how glad I am to see you ! — 
I shall certainly learn from him if she is married or 
when she's going to be," he added to himself. 

This splendid spring morning he felt that the memory 
of Kitty was not at all painful. 

" You scarcely expected me, I suppose," said Stepan 


Arkadyevitch, leaping out of the sledge, with spots ot 
mud on the bridge of his nose, on his cheeks, and on 
his forehead, but radiant with health and pleasure. " I 
am come, first, to see you," he cried, throwing his arms 
around Levin and kissing him ; " secondly, to shoot a few 
birds ; and thirdly, to sell the forest at Yergushovo." 

" Perfect, is n't it ? What do you think of this spring? 
But how could you have got here in a sledge ? " 

" Traveling is far worse with a telyega, Konstantin 
Dmitritch," replied the postilion, who was an acquain- 

" Well ! Indeed, I am delighted to see you again," 
said Levin, with a genuine smile of boyish joy. 

He conducted his guest to the room kept in readi- 
ness for visitors, and had Stepan Arkadyevitch's things 
brought up, — a gripsack, a gun in its case, and a box 
of cigars, and then, leaving him to wash and dress him- 
self, he went down to his office to speak about the clover 
and the plowing. 

Agafya Mikhaiiovna, who had very much at heart the 
honor of the mansion, met him in the vestibule with 
questions about dinner, 

"Do just as you please," replied Levin, as he went 
out ; "only make haste about it," said he, and went to 
the overseer. 

When he returned, Stepan Arkadyevitch, who had 
washed, and combed his hair, was just coming out of 
his room with a radiant smile, and together they went 

" Well, I am very happy to have got out to your 
house at last. I shall now learn the mystery of your 
existence here. Truly, I envy you. What a house ! 
How convenient everything is ! how bright and delight- 
ful ! " said Stepan Arkadyevitch, forgetting that bright 
days and the springtime were not always there. "And 
your old nurse, — what a charming old soul ! All that 's 
lacking is a pretty little chambermaid with an apron on, 
— but that does not suit your severe and monastic style ; 
but this is very good." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch had much interesting news to 


tell : especially interesting to Levin was the tidings that 
his brother Sergye'i Ivanovitch expected to come into 
the country this summer ; but not one word did Stepan 
Arkadyevitch say about Kitty or any of the Shcherbat- 
skys, he simply transmitted his wife's greeting. Levin 
was grateful to him for this delicacy. As usual, he 
had stored up during his hours of solitude a throng of 
ideas and impressions which he could not share with 
any of his domestics, and now he poured into Oblon- 
sky's ears his poetical spring joys, his failures and plans 
and farming projects, his thoughts and his observations 
on the books which he had read, and above all the idea 
of his treatise, the scheme of which consisted — though 
he himself had not noticed it — of a critique on all for- 
mer works on farming. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch, amiable, and always ready to 
grasp a point, showed unusual cordiality ; and Levin 
even thought that he noticed a certain flattering con- 
sideration and an undertone of tenderness in his treat- 
ment of him. 

The efforts of Agafya Mikhailovna and the cook to 
get up an especially good dinner resulted in the two 
friends, who were half starved, betaking themselves to 
the zakuska, or lunch-table, and devouring bread and 
butter, cold chicken and salted mushrooms, and finally 
in Levin calling for the soup without the little pasties 
which the cook had made in the hope of surprising the 

But Stepan Arkadyevitch, though he was used to dif- 
ferent kinds of dinners, found everything excellent, the 
travnik, or herb-beer, the bread, the butter, and especially 
the cold chicken, the mushrooms, the sJicJii, or cabbage- 
soup, the fowl with white sauce, and the white Krimean 
wine, — everything was admirable, wonderful ! 

"Perfect ! perfect ! " he cried, as he Jit a big cigarette 
after the roast. " I feel as if I had escaped the shocks 
and noise of a ship, and had landed on a peaceful shore. 
And so you say that the element represented by the 
working-man ought to be studied above all others, and 
be taken as a guide in the choice of economy expe- 

VOL. 1. — 14 


dients. You see I am a profanus in these questions, 
but it seems to me that this theory and its applications 
would have an influence on the working-man...." 

"Yes; but hold on. I am not speaking of political 
economy, but of rural economy considered as a science. 
You must study the premises, the phenomena, just the 
same as in the natural sciences ; and the working-man, 
from the economical and ethnographical point of view ...." 

But here Agafya Mikhailovna entered with the des- 
sert of preserves. 

" Well, now ! accept my compliments, Agafya Mi- 
khaVlovna," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, kissing the ends 
of his hairy fingers. " What nice baked chicken ! 
What delicious beer ! — Well, Kostia, is n't it time to 
go .■• " he added. 

Levin looked out of the window toward the sun, 
which was sinking behind the tree-tops, still bare and 

" It is time. Kuzma, have the horses hitched up," 
he cried, as he went down-stairs. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch followed him, and carefully re- 
moved the canvas covering from the lacquered case, and, 
having opened it, proceeded to take out his costly gun, 
which was of the newest pattern. 

Kuzma, already scenting a generous fee, gave him 
assiduous attention, and helped him put on his stock- 
ings and his hunting-boots ; and Stepan Arkadyevitch 
accepted his aid complacently. 

"If the merchant Rabinin comes while we are gone, 
Kostia, — I told him to be here to-day, — do me the favor 
to have him kept till we get back." .... 

" Are you going to sell your wood to Rabinin .'' " 

"Yes. Why, do you know him .'' " 

"Oh! certainly I know him. I have done business 
with him, 'positively and finally.' " 

Stepan Arkadyevitch burst into a laugh. " Posi- 
tively and finally " were the favorite words of the mer- 

"Yes; he is very droll in his speech! — She knows 
where her master is going," he added, patting Laska, 


who was jumping and barking around Levin, licking 
now his hand, now his boots and gun. 

A dolgusha, or hunting-wagon, was waiting at the 
steps as they came out. 

" I had the horses put in, although we have but a 
little distance to go," said Levin ; " but would you rather 

"No, I prefer to ride," replied Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
as he mounted the wagon. He sat down, tucking round 
his legs a striped plaid, and lighted a cigar. "How 
can you get along without smoking, Kostia .-' A cigar is not only a pleasure, it is the very crown and 
sign of delight. This is life indeed. How delightful ! 
I should like to live like this ! " 

" What 's to prevent .-' " asked Levin, with a smile. 

"Yes; but you are a fortunate man, for you have 
everything that you like. You like horses, you have 
them ; dogs, you have them ; hunting, here it is ; an 
estate, here it is ! " 

"Perhaps it is because I enjoy what I have, and 
don't covet what I have not," replied Levin, with Kitty 
in his mind. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch understood, and looked at him 
without speaking. 

Levin was grateful to Oblonsky because he avoided 
speaking about the Shcherbatskys, with his usual tact 
perceiving that Levin dreaded to speak about them ; 
but now he felt anxious to find out how matters stood, 
but he did not dare to inquire. 

" Well, how go your affairs } " asked Levin, realizing 
how selfish it was in him to think only of himself. 

Oblonsky's eyes glistened with gayety. 

"You will not admit that one can want hot rolls when 
he has his monthly rations ; in your eyes it is a crime : 
but for me, I cannot admit the possibility of living with- 
out love," he replied, construing Levin's question in his 
own fashion. " What 's to be done about it .-' I am so 
constituted. And it is a fact, it does so little. harm to 
any one else, and gives one so much pleasure...." 

"What! there is a new one, is there?" asked Levin. 


" There is, brother ! You know the type of the 
women in Ossian ?.... these women that you see in 
dreams ? .... But they really exist, and are terrible. 
Woman, you see, is an inexhaustible theme ; you can 
never cease studying her, — she always presents some 
new phase." 

" So much the better not to study her, then." 

" Not at all. Some mathematician has said that hap- 
piness consisted in searching for truth and never find- 
ing it." 

Levin listened, and said no more ; and, notwithstanding 
all the efforts which he made, he could not in the least 
enter into his friend's soul, and understand his feelings 
and the charm of studying such women. 


The place where the birds collected was not far 
away, by a small stream, flowing through an aspen 
grove. Levin got out and took Oblonsky to a nook in 
a mossy, somewhat marshy meadow, where the snow 
had already melted. He himself went to the opposite 
side, near a double birch, rested his gun on the fork of 
a dead branch, took off his kaftan, clasped a belt about 
his waist, and insured the free motion of his arms. 

Old gray Laska, following him step by step, sat down 
cautiously in front of him, and pricked up her ears. 
The sun was setting behind the great forest, and against 
the bright sky the young birches and aspens stood out 
distinctly, with their bending branches and their swell- 
ing buds. 

In the forest, where the snow still lay, the low rip- 
pling sound of waters could be heard running in their 
narrow channels ; little birds were chirping, and flying 
from tree to tree. In the intervals of perfect silence 
one could hear the rustling of the last year's leaves, 
moved by the thawing earth or the pushing herbs. 

" Why, one really can hear and see the grass grow ! " 
said Levin to himself, as he saw a moist and slate-col- 


ored aspen leaf raised by the blade of a young herb start- 
ing from the sod. 

He stood, listening and looking, now at the damp 
moss-covered ground, now at the watchful Laska, now 
at the bare tree-tops of the forest, which swept like a sea to 
the foot of the hill, and now at the darkening sky, where 
floated Httle white bits of cloud. A hawk flew aloft, 
slowly flapping his broad wings above the distant forest ; 
another took the same direction and disappeared. In 
the thicket the birds were chirping louder and more 
gayly than ever. Not far away, an owl lifted his voice, 
and Laska pricked up her ears again, took two or three 
cautious steps, and bent her head to listen. On the 
other side of the stream a cuckoo sang. Twice it uttered 
its customary cry, and then its voice grew hoarse, it 
flew away, and was heard no more. 

" Why, the cuckoo has come ! " said Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch, coming out from behind his thicket. 

" Yes, I hear," said Levin, disgusted that the silence 
of the forest was broken, by the sound even of his own 
voice. "You won't have to wait long now." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch returned to his place behind his 
thicket, and Levin saw only the flash of a match and 
the red glow of his cigarette and a light bluish smoke. 

Tchik ! tchik ! Stepan Arkadyevitch cocked his gun. 

" What was that making that noise } " he asked of 
his companion, attracting his attention to a protracted 
humming as if a colt was neighing with a very slender 

" Don't you know what that is .<* That is the buck 
rabbit. Don't speak any more. Listen, there is a 
bird ! " cried Levin, cocking his gun. 

A slender distant whistle was heard, with that rhyth- 
mic regularity which the huntsman knows so well ; then 
a moment or two later it was repeated nearer, and sud- 
denly changed into a hoarse little cry. 

Levin turned his eyes to the right, to the left, and 
finally saw, just above his head, against the fading blue 
of the sky, above the gently waving aspens, a bird fly- 
ing. It flew straight toward him ; its cry, like the noise 


made by tearing stiff cloth, rang in his ears ; then he 
distinguished the long bill and the long neck of the 
bird, but hardly had he caught sight of it when a red 
flash shone out from behind Oblonsky's bush. The 
bird darted off like an arrow and rose into the air again ; 
but again the light flashed and a report was heard, and 
the bird, vainly striving to rise, flapped its wings for a 
second, and fell heavily to the wet earth. 

" Did I miss ? " asked Stepan Arkadyevitch, who 
could see nothing through the smoke. 

" Here she is," cried Levin, pointing to Laska, who, 
with one ear erect, and waving the tip end of her hairy 
tail, slowly, as if to lengthen out the pleasure, came back 
with the bird in her mouth, seeming almost to smile as 
she laid the game down at her master's feet. 

" Well now, I am glad you succeeded," said Levin, 
though he felt a slight sensation of envy, because he 
himself had not killed this snipe. 

"The right barrel missed, curse it ! " replied Stepan 
Arkadyevitch, reloading his gun. '* S/t /....Here's an- 

In fact, the whistles came thicker and thicker, rapid 
and sharp. Two snipe flew over the hunters, playing, 
chasing each other, and only whistling, not clucking. 
Four shots rang out ; and the snipe, making a sudden 
turn like swallows, disappeared from sight. 

The sport was excellent. Stepan Arkadyevitch killed 
two others, and Levin also two, one of which was lost. 
It grew darker and darker. Venus, with silvery light, 
shone out low in the west from behind the birches ; 
and high in the east, Arcturus gleamed, with his somber, 
reddish fire. Above his head. Levin found and lost the 
stars of the Great Bear. The snipe had now ceased to 
fly, but Levin resolved to wait until Venus, which was 
visible above the birch trees, should stand clear above 
the lower branches, and till all the stars of the Great 
Bear should be entirely visible. The star had passed 
beyond the birch trees, and the wain of the Bear with 


its pole was shining out clear in the dark blue sky, and 
he was still waiting. 

" Is n't it getting late ? " asked Stepan Arkadyevitch. 

All was calm in the forest ; not a bird moved. 

" Let us wait a little longer," replied Levin. 

"Just as you please." 

At this moment they were not fifteen paces apart. 

" Stiva," cried Levin, suddenly, "you have not told 
me whether your sister-in-law is married yet, or whether 
she is to be married soon." 

He felt so calm, his mind was so thoroughly made 
up, that nothing, he thought, could move him. But 
what Stepan Arkadyevitch answered was wholly un- 

" She is not married, and she is not thinking of 
marriage. She is very ill, and the doctors have sent 
her abroad. They even fear for her life." 

"What did you say .^ " cried Levin. "Very ill? 
What is the matter .-' How did she.... " 

While they were talking thus, Laska, with ears erect, 
was gazing at the sky above her head, and looking at 
them reproachfully. 

"This is not the time to talk," thought Laska. "Ah ! 
Here comes one — there he goes; they will miss him." 

At the same instant a sharp whistle pierced the ears 
of the two huntsmen, and both, leveling their guns, 
shot at once ; the two reports, the two flashes, were 
simultaneous. The snipe, flying high, folded his wings, 
drew up his delicate legs, and fell into the thicket. 

"Excellent! both together!" cried Levin, running 
with Laska in search of the game. " Oh, yes ! What 
was it that hurt me so just now.? Ah, yes ! Kitty is 
ill," he remembered. " What is to be done about it .-• 
It is too bad. — Ah ! she has found it ! Good dog," said 
he, taking the bird, still warm, from Laska's mouth, and 
putting it into his overflowing game-bag. 

" Come on, Stiva I " he cried. 



On their way home, Levin questioned his friend about 
Kitty's illness and the plans of the Shcherbatskys. 
Though it caused some conscientious scruples, what he 
heard was pleasant news to him. It was pleasant because 
it left him with some grounds for hope, and it was still 
more pleasant to think that she who had caused him so 
much suffering, was suffering herself. But when Stepan 
Arkadyevitch began to speak of the reason of Kitty's 
illness, and pronounced the name of Vronsky, he inter- 
rupted him. 

" I have no right to know these family matters, since 
I am not concerned." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled imperceptibly as he 
noticed the sudden and characteristic change in Levin, 
who, in an instant, had passed from gayety to sadness. 

" Have you succeeded in your transaction with Rabinin 
about the wood ? " he asked. 

"Yes, I have made the bargain. He gives me an 
excellent price, — thirty-eight thousand rubles, eight in 
advance, and the rest in six years. I had been long 
about it ; no one offered me any more." 

"That means you are selling your wood for a song," 
said Levin, frowning. 

"Why so.?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, with a good- 
humored smile, knowing that now Levin would totally 
disapprove of everything. 

" Because your wood is worth at least five hundred 
rubles a desyatin." 

"Oh ! You rural economists ! " replied Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch, banteringly. "What a tone of scorn to us, 
your city brother ! .... And yet, when it comes to busi- 
ness matters, we come out of it better than you do. 
Believe me, I have made a careful calculation. The 
wood is sold under very favorable conditions ; and I 
fear only one thing, and that is lest the merchant will 
back out of it ! You see, it is wretched wood," he went 
on, accenting the word wretched, so as to convince 


Levin of the unfairness of his criticism, "and nothing 
but fire-wood. There will not be much more than thirty 
cords to the acre,^ and he pays me at the rate of two 
hundred rubles." 

Levin smiled scornfully. 

'• I know these city people," he thought, " who, com- 
ing twice in ten years into the country, and learning 
two or three country words, which they use appropri- 
ately or inappropriately, are firmly persuaded that they 
know it all. ' Wretched ! only thirty cords ! ' he speaks 
words without knowing what he is talking about." 

" I do not pretend to teach you what you write in 
your office," said he, "and, if I needed, I would even 
ask your advice. But you are so sure that you under- 
stand this whole document about the wood. It is hard. 
Have you counted the trees .-* " 

" What } Count my trees .? " asked Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch, with a laugh, and still trying to get his friend out 
of his ill-humor. " Count the sands, the rays of the 
planets — though a lofty genius might .... " 

"Well, now! I tell you the lofty genius of Rabinin 
may ! Never does a merchant purchase without count- 
ing, — unless, indeed, the wood is given away for noth- 
ing as you have done. I know your forest, I go hunting 
there every year ; and your forest is worth five hundred 
rubles a desyatin cash down ; and he has given you only 
two hundred, and on a long term. That means you make 
him a present of thirty thousand." 

" Well, enough of imaginary receipts," said Stepan 
Arkadyevitch, plaintively. " Why did n't some one offer 
me this price } " 

" Because the merchants connive together. I have 
had to do with all of them ; I know them. They are 
not merchants, but speculators. None of them is satis- 
fied with a profit less than ten or fifteen percent. They 
wait till they can buy for twenty kopeks what is worth a 

"Well, enough ; you are out of sorts." 

' Thirty sazhens to the desyatin. A desyatin is 2.7 acre. A cubic 
tazhen is 2.68 cords. 


" Not at all," said Levin, sadly, as they were approach 
ing the house. 

A small cart, tightly bound with iron and leather, drawn 
by a fat horse, tightly harnessed with wide straps, was 
standing at the entrance ; in the cart sat a red-faced 
overseer tightly belted, who served Rabinin as a coach- 
man. Rabinin himself was already in the house, and 
met the two friends in the vestibule. Rabinin was a 
man of middle age, tall and thin, wearing a mustache, 
but his prominent chin was well shaven. His eyes were 
protuberant and muddy. He was clad in a dark blue 
coat with buttons set low behind, and he wore high 
boots, wrinkled around the ankles and smooth over the 
calves, and over his boots huge galoshes. Wiping his 
face with his handkerchief, and wrapping his over- 
coat closely around him, though without that it fitted 
him well enough, he came out with a smile, to meet 
the gentlemen as they entered. He gave one hand 
to Stepan Arkadyevitch as if he wanted to grasp some- 

"Ah! Here you are," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
shaking hands. "Very good." 

" I should not have ventured to disobey your excel- 
lency's orders, though the roads are very bad. Posi- 
tively, I came all the way on foot, but I got here on time. 
A greeting to you, Konstantin Dmitritch," said he, 
turning to Levin, intending to seize his hand also ; 
but Levin, frowning, affected not to notice the motion, 
and began to take out the snipe. 

"You have been enjoying a hunt .^ What kind of a 
bird is that ? " asked Rabinin, looking at the snipe dis- 
dainfully. "I suppose it has a peculiar flavor." And 
he shook his head disapprovingly, as if he felt doubtful 
whether the game were worth the candle. 

"Would you like to go into the library.^" said Levin, 
darkly scowling, addressing Stepan Arkadyevitch in 
French. " Go to the library, and discuss your business 

"Just as you please," replied the merchant, in a tone 
of disdainful superiority, apparently wishing it to be 


understood that others might find difficulties in trans- 
acting business, but that he never could. 

As he entered the library, Rabinin glanced about as 
if his eyes were in search of the holy image ; but when 
he caught sight of it, he did not cross himself. He 
glanced at the bookcases and the shelves lined with 
books, and with the same air of doubt that the snipe had 
caused, he smiled scornfully and shook his head disap- 
provingly, as if this kind of game also were not worth 
the candle. 

" Well, did you bring the money ? " asked Stepan 
Arkadyevitch. " Sit down." 

" The money will come all in good time, but I came 
to see you and have a talk." 

" What have we to talk about ? However, sit 

" May as well sit down," said Rabinin, taking a chair, 
and leaning back in it in the most uncomfortable atti- 
tude. "You must give in a trifle, prince; it would be 
sinful not to do it. As to the money, it is all ready, 
absolutely and finally even to the last kopek ; as far as 
the money goes, there will be no delay." 

Levin, who had been putting his gun away in the 
armory, and was just leaving the room, stopped as he 
heard the last words. 

" You bought the wood for a song," said he. " He 
came to visit me too late ; I would have got a good price 
for it." 

Rabinin arose and smilingly contemplated Levin from 
head to foot, but said nothing. 

" Konstantin Levin is very sharp," said he, at length, 
turning to Stepan Arkadyevitch. " One never succeeds 
in arranging a bargain finally with him. I have bought 
wheat, and paid good prices." 

" Why should I give you my property for a song ? I 
did not find it in the ground, nor did I steal it." 

" Excuse me ; at the present day it is absolutely im- 
possible to be a thief, everything is done, in the present 
day, honestly and openly. Who could steal, then .-' We 
have spoken honestly and honorably. The wood is too 


dear ; I shall not make the two ends meet. I beg him 
to yield a little." 

" But is your bargain made, or is it not ? If it is 
made, there is no need of haggling; if it is not," said 
Levin, " I am going to buy the wood." 

The smile suddenly disappeared from Rabinin's lips. 
A rapacious and cruel expression, like that of a bird of 
prey, came in its place. With his bony fingers he tore 
open his overcoat, bringing into sight his shirt, his waist- 
coat with its copper buttons, and his watch-chain ; and 
from his breast-pocket he pulled out a huge, well-worn 

" Excuse me, the wood is mine," he exclaimed, making a 
rapid sign of the cross, and he extended his hand. " Take 
your money, the wood is mine. This is how Rabinin 
ends his transactions. He does not reckon his kopeks," 
said he, knitting his brows and waving his wallet eagerly. 

" If I were in your place, I should not be in haste," 
said Levin. 

" Mercy on me ! " said Oblonsky, astonished, " I hav^e 
given my word." 

Levin dashed out of the room, slamming the door. 
Rabinin glanced at the door and shook his head. 

" Merely the effect of youth ; definitely, pure child- 
ishness. Believe me, I buy this, so to speak, for the 
sake of glory, so that they may say, * It 's Rabinin, and 
not some one else, who has bought Oblonsky's forest.' 
And God knows how I shall come out of it ! Have faith 
in God ! Please sign." .... 

An hour later the merchant, carefully wrapping his 
khalat around him and buttoning up his overcoat, took 
his seat in his cart and drove home, with the agreement 
in his pocket. 

" Oh ! these gentlemen ! " he said to his overseer, 
"always the same story." 

" So it is," replied the prikashchik, giving up the reins, 
so as to arrange the leather boot. " And your little pur- 
chase, Mikhail Ignatyitch?" 

"Well! well!" 



Stepan Arkadyevitch went up-stairs, his pockets 
bulging out with " promises to pay," due in three months, 
which the merchant had given him. The sale of the 
forest was concluded ; he had money in his pocket ; 
sport had been good ; and Stepan Arkadyevitch was in 
the happiest frame of mind, and therefore was especially 
eager to dispel the sadness which had taken possession 
of Levin. He wanted a good ending for the day that 
since dinner had shown such promise. 

In point of fact, Levin was not in good spirits, and 
in spite of his desire to seem amiable and thoughtful 
toward his beloved guest, he could not control himself. 
The intoxication which he felt in learning that Kitty 
was not married had begun little by little to affect him. 

Kitty not married, and ill — ill from love for a man 
who had jilted her. It was almost like a personal in- 
sult. Vronsky had slighted her, and she had slighted 
him. Levin, consequently, had gained the right to de- 
spise him. He was therefore his enemy. Levin did 
not reason this all out. He had a vague sense that 
there was something in this humiliating to him, and he 
was angry now because it had upset his plans, and so 
everything which came up annoyed him. The stupid 
sale of the forest, which had taken place under his roof, 
and the way Oblonsky had been cheated, exasperated him. 

" Well, is it finished ? " he asked, as he met Stepan 
Arkadyevitch up-stairs. " Would you like some sup- 
per .? " 

"Yes, I won't refuse. What an appetite I feel in 
the country ! It 's wonderful ! Why did n't you offer a 
bite to Rabinin .? " 

"Ah! the devil take him!" 

" Why ! how you treated him ! " exclaimed Oblonsky. 
"You didn't even offer him your hand! Why didn't 
you offer him your hand .-' " 

" Because I don't shake hands with my lackey, and 
my lackey is worth a hundred of him." 


" What a retrograde you are ! And how about the 
fusion of classes ? " said Oblonsky. 

" Let those who like it, enjoy it ! It is disgusting 
to me." 

" You, I see, are a retrograde." 

" To tell the truth, I never asked myself what I am. 
I am Konstantin Levin — nothing more." 

"And Konstantin Levin in a very bad humor," said 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, smiling. 

" Yes, I am in bad humor, and do you know why .■* 
Because .... excuse me .... because of your stupid barg.... " 

Stepan Arkadyevitch frowned good-naturedly, like a 
man who is unreasonably scolded and blamed. 

"There! that'll do!" he said. "After any one has 
sold anything, they come saying, *You might have sold 
this at a higher price ; ' but no one thinks of offering 

this fine price before the sale No; I see you have 

a grudge against this unfortunate Rabinin." 

" Maybe I have. And do you know why ? You will 
call me retrograde or some worse name, but it is so 
vexatious and disgusting to me to see what is going 
on everywhere — the nobility which I belong to, and 
in spite of your fusion of classes, am very glad to be- 
long to, always getting poorer and poorer And this 

growing poverty is not in consequence of luxurious 
living. That would be nothing. To live like lords is 
proper for the nobles ; the nobles only can do this. 
Now the muzhiks are buying up our lands ; that does not 
trouble me ; the proprietor does nothing, the muzhik 
is industrious, and supplants the lazy man. So it ought 
to be. And I am very glad for the muzhik. But what 
vexes me, and stirs my soul, is to see the proprietor 
robbed by.... I don't know how to express it.... by his 
own innocence. Here is a Polish leaseholder, who has 
bought, at half price, a superb estate of a lady who 
lives at Nice. Yonder is a merchant who has hired a 
farm for a ruble an acre, and it is worth ten rubles an 
acre. And this very day, without the slightest reason, 
you have given this rascal a present of thirty thousand." 

" But what can I do ? Count my trees one by one ? " 


" Certainly ; if you have not counted them, Rabinin 
did, and his children will have the means whereby to 
live and get an education, whereas yours, perhaps, will 

" Well, forgive me, but there is something pitiful in 
such minute calculations. We have our ways of doing 
things, and they have theirs ; and let them get the 
profits. There now ! Moreover, it is done, and that 's 
the end of it And here is my favorite omelette com- 
ing in ; and then Agafya Mikhailovna will certainly give 
us a glass of her marvelous herb-beer." .... 

Stepan Arkadyevitch sat down at the table and be- 
gan to joke with Agafya Mikhailovna, assuring her that 
he had not eaten such a dinner and such a supper for 
an age. 

" You can give fine speeches, at least," said Agafya 
Mikhailovna. " But Konstantin Dmitritch, whatever 
was set before him, if only a crust of bread, would eat 
it and go away." 

Levin, in spite of his efforts to control himself, was 
melancholy and gloomy. He wanted to ask Stepan 
Arkadyevitch one question, but he could not make up 
his mind, nor could he find either the opportunity in 
which to ask it, or a suitable form in which to couch it. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch had gone down to his room, 
and, after another bath, had put on a ruffled night-shirt 
and gone to bed. Levin still dallied in his room, talking 
about various trifles, but not having the courage to ask 
what he had at heart. 

"How wonderfully well this is made!" said he, tak- 
ing from its wrapper a piece of perfumed soap, which 
Agafya Mikhailovna had prepared for the guest, but 
which Oblonsky had not used. "Just look; isn't it 
truly a work of art ?" 

" Yes ; all sorts of improvements nowadays," said 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, with a beatific yawn. "The 
theaters, for example, and — a — a — a" — yawning again 
— "these amusing a-a-a .... and electric lights every- 
where a-a-a-a-a.... " 

" Yes, the electric lights," repeated Levin. " And 


that Vronsky, where is he now ? " he suddenly asked, 
putting down the soap. 

"Vronsky?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, ceasing to 
yawn, " He is at Petersburg. He went away shortly 
after you did, and has not been in Moscow since. And 
do you know, Kostia," he continued, leaning his elbow 
on a little take placed near the head of the bed, and 
resting his handsome ruddy face on his hand, while two 
oily, good-natured, and sleepy eyes shone out like twin 
stars, " I am going to tell you the truth. You yourself 
were to blame. You were afraid of a rival. And I will 
remind you of what I said : I don't know which of you 
had the best chances. Why didn't you go ahead,? I 
told you then that...." 

He yawned again, with his jaws only, trying not to 
open his mouth. 

"Does he, or does n't he, know that I offered myself .-• " 
thought Levin, looking at him. " Yes ! there is some- 
thing subtle, something diplomatic, in his face ; " and, 
feeling that he was flushing, he said nothing, but looked 
straight into Oblonsky's eyes. 

" If on her part there was any feeling for him, it was 
merely a slight drawing," continued Oblonsky. " You 
know, that absolutely high breeding of his and the 
chances of position in the world had an effect on her 
mother, but not on her." 

Levin frowned. The humiliation of his rejection, 
with which he was suffering as from a recent wound, 
smarted in his heart. Fortunately, he was at home ; 
and the very walls of the home sustain one. 

** Wait ! wait ! " he interrupted ; " you said, ' high 
breeding ' ! ^ But let me ask you, what means this high 
breeding of Vronsky, or any one else — a high breeding 
that could look down on me. You consider Vronsky an 
aristocrat. I don't, A man whose father sprang from 
nothing, by means of intrigue, whose mother has had 
liaisons with God knows whom .... Oh, no, excuse me ! 
Aristocrats, in my opinion, are men like myself, who 
can show in the past three or four generations of excel- 

^ Aristokratism. 


lent families, belonging to the most cultivated classes, 
— talents and intellect are another matter, — who never 
abased themselves before anybody, and vi'erc never de- 
pendent on others, — like my father and grandfather. 
And I know many such. It seems small business to 
you that I count my trees, while you give thirty thou- 
sand rubles to Rabinin : but you receive a salary, and 
other things ; and I receive nothing of the sort, and 
therefore I appreciate what my father left me, and what 

my labor gives me We are the aristocrats, and not 

those who live only by means of what the powers of 
this world dole out to them, and who can be bought for 
a copper." 

" There ! whom are you so angry with ? I agree with 
you," replied Stepan Arkadyevitch, sincerely and gayly, 
though he knew that when Levin hurled his sarcasms 
at those who could be bought for a copper, he meant 
him. But Levin's animation really pleased him. 
" Whom are you angry with .-' Though much of what 
you say about Vronsky is not true, still I won't speak 
about that. I will tell you frankly that if I were in 
your place, I would start for Moscow, and .... " 

" No ! I don't know whether you know or not, — 
but it 's over for me. I will tell you. I proposed and 
was rejected ; so that now the memory of Katerina 
Aleksandrovna is painful and humiliating." 

" Why so ? What nonsense ! " 

" But let us not speak of it. Forgive me if I have 
been rude to you," said Levin. Now that he had made 
a clean breast of it, he began once more to feel as he 
had felt in the morning. " You will not be angry with 
me, Stiva .•* I beg of you, don't be angry with me," 
said he, and with a smile he took his hand. 

" Of course not. I will not think anything more 
about it. I am very glad, though, that we have spoken 
frankly to each other. And, do you know, sport will 
be capital to-morrow. We can try it again, can't we .■' 
In that case I would not even sleep, but go straight 
from the grove to the station." 

" Capital ! " 

VOL. I. — 15 



Although Vronsky's inner life was wholly absorbed 
by his passion, his outward life unchangeably and inevi- 
tably ran along on the former ordinary rails of his social 
and regimental ties and interests. His regiment filled 
an important part in his life, in the first place because 
he loved his regiment, and, still more, because he was 
extremely popular in it. In his regiment he was not 
only admired, but he was also respected. They were 
proud of him, proud that a man enormously rich, with 
a fine education and with qualities, with a path open 
before him to every kind of success and ambition and 
glorification, scorned all that, and placed the interests of 
his regiment and his comrades above all the interests of 
life. Vronksy recognized the feeling which he inspired, 
and, besides the fact that he loved that life, he felt called 
on, in a certain degree, to sustain his character. 

Of course he spoke to no one of his passion. Never 
did an imprudent word escape him, even when he joined 
his comrades in the liveliest of drinking-bouts, — how- 
ever, he was never so intoxicated as to lose control over 
himself, — and he kept his mouth shut in the presence 
of those gossiping meddlers who made the least allusion 
to the affairs of his heart. Nevertheless, his passion 
was a matter of notoriety throughout the city ; all had 
more or less well-founded suspicions of his relationship 
to Madame Karenin, and most of the young men envied 
him on account of the very thing that was the greatest 
drawback to his love, — Karenin's high station, which 
made the matter more conspicuous. 

The majority of young women, jealous of Anna, 
whom they were weary of hearing always called the just, 
were not sorry to have their predictions verified, and 
were waiting only for the sanction of public opinion, to 
overwhelm her with the whole weight of their scorn ; 
they had already prepared for use the mud which should 
be thrown at her when the time should come. Most 
people of experience, and those of high rank, were dis- 


pleased at the prospect of a disgraceful scandal in 

Vronsky's mother, when she heard of the liaison, at 
first was glad ; because, in her opinion, nothing gave 
the last finish to a brilliant young man compared to an 
intrigue in high life ; and because she was not sorry to 
find that this Madame Karenin, who had pleased her so 
much and who seemed so entirely devoted to her boy, 
was, after all, only like any other handsome and elegant 
woman. But later she learned that her son had refused 
an important promotion, for no other reason than that 
he might stay with his regiment and keep on visiting 
Madame Karenin, and she learned that, on account of 
this, persons very high in authority were dissatisfied 
with him, and she changed her opinion in regard to it. 

There was another reason why she did not now ap- 
prove of it : from all she could learn of this liaison, it 
was not the brilliant and fashionable flirtation, such as 
she approved, but a desperate tragedy, after the style of 
Werther, according to report, and she was afraid lest 
her son should be drawn into some folly. Since his un- 
expected departure from Moscow she had not seen him, 
but she sent word to him, through his elder brother, that 
she desired him to come to her. His elder brother was 
even more dissatisfied, not because he felt anxious to 
know whether this love-affair was to be deep or epheme- 
ral, passionate or Platonic, innocent or guilty, — he 
himself, though a married man and the father of a 
family, had a ballet dancer for a mistress, and therefore 
had no right to be severe, — but because he knew that 
this love-affair was displeasing in quarters where it was 
better to be on good terms ; and therefore he blamed 
his brother's conduct. 

Vronsky, besides his society relations and his military 
duties, had yet another absorbing passion, — horses. 
The officers' handicap races were to take place this 
summer. He became a subscriber, and bought a pure- 
blood English trotter; and in spite of his love-affair, he 
was passionately though discreetly interested in the 
results of the races 


These two passions did not interfere with each other. 
On the contrary, he needed something independent of 
his love-affair, some occupation and interest in which 
he could find refreshment and recreation after the over- 
violent emotions which stirred him. 


On the day of the Krasno-Sielo races, Vronsky came 
earlier than usual to eat a beefsteak in the officers' com- 
mon dining-hall. He was not at all constrained to limit 
himself, since his weight satisfied the i6o pounds ^ re- 
quired ; but he did not want to get fat, and so he 
refrained from sweet and farinaceous foods. He sat 
down with his coat unbuttoned over his white waistcoat, 
and with both elbows resting on the table; while he was 
waiting for his beefsteak he kept his eyes on the pages 
of a French novel which lay on the plate. He looked 
at his book only so as not to talk with the officers as 
they went and came, but he was thinking. 

He was thinking how Anna had promised to meet 
him after the races. But he had not seen her for three 
days ; and he was wondering if she would be able to 
keep her appointment, as her husband had just returned 
to Petersburg from a journey abroad, and* he was won- 
dering how he could find out. They had met for the 
last time at his cousin Betsy's datcha, or country-house. 
For he went to the Karenins' datcha as little as possi- 
ble, and now he wanted to go there, and he was asking 
himself, " How can it be managed } " 

" Of course, I will say that I am charged by Betsy to 
find whether she expects to attend the races, — yes, 
certainly, I will go," he said, raising his head from his 
book. And his face shone with the joy caused by his 
imagination of the forthcoming interview. 

" Send word that I wish my carriage and troika har- 
nessed and brought round," said he to the waiter who 

^ Four and a half pud : a /Wis 36. 1 1 pounds avoirdupois. 


was bringing his beefsteak on a hot silver platter. 
Moving the platter toward him, he began his meal. 

In the adjoining billiard-room the clicking of balls 
was heard, and two voices talking and laughing. Two 
officers appeared in the door : one of them was a young 
man with delicate, refined features, who had just gradu- 
ated from the Corps of Pages and joined the regiment ; 
the other was old and fat, with little, moist eyes, and 
wore a bracelet on his wrist. 

Vronsky glanced at them and frowned, and went on 
eating and reading at the same time, as if he had not 
seen them. 

" Getting ready for work, are you ? " asked the fat 
ofificer, sitting down near him. 

"You see I am," replied Vronsky, wiping his lips, 
and frowning again, without looking up. 

"But aren't you afraid of getting fat.-*" continued 
the elderly officer, pulling up a chair for his junior. 

" What ! " cried Vronsky, making a grimace to express 
his disgust and aversion, and showing his splendid teeth. 

" Are n't you afraid of getting fat .'' " 

"Waiter, sherry!" cried Vronsky, without replying, 
and he changed his book to the other side of his plate, 
and continued to read. 

The fat officer took the wine-list, and passed it over 
to the young officer. 

" You select what we '11 have to drink," said he, giv- 
ing him the list and looking at him. 

" Rhine wine, if you please," replied the young officer, 
looking timidly at Vronsky out of the corner of his eye 
and trying to twist his imaginary mustache. 

When he saw that Vronsky did not turn, the young 
officer got up and said, " Let us go into the billiard- 

The fat officer humbly arose, and the two went out of 
the door. 

At the same time a tall, stately cavalry captain, named 
Yashvin, came in. He condescendingly and disdain- 
fully nodded to the two officers, and went toward 


"Ah ! here he is," he cried, laying his heavy hand on 
Vronsky's shoulder. Vronsky turned round angrily, 
but in an instant a pleasant, friendly expression came 
into his face. 

" Well, Alyosha ! " said the cavalry captain, in his big 
baritone. " Have something more to eat, and drink 
one more glass with me." 

" No ; I don't want anything more to eat." 

"Those are inseparables," said Yashvin, looking 
derisively at the two officers as they disappeared. 
Then he sat down, doubling up under the chair, which 
was too short for him, his long legs dressed in tight 
uniform trousers. " Why were n't you at the Krasmen- 
sky theater last evening ? Numerova was not bad at 
all. Where were you .-* " 

"I stayed too late at the TverskoYs'," said Vronsky. 

" Ah ! " exclaimed Yashvin. 

Yashvin, a gambler, a debauchee, was Vronsky's best 
friend in the regiment. It could not be said of him 
that he lacked principles. He had principles, but they 
were immoral ones. Vronsky liked him, both for his 
exceptional physical vigor, which allowed him to drink 
like a hogshead and not feel it, and to do absolutely 
without sleep if it were necessary, and also for his great 
social ability, which he employed in his relations to his 
superiors, and his comrades, attracting to himself their 
love and respect ; and also in gambling, at which he 
risked tens of thousands, and always, no matter how 
much he had been drinking, played so cleverly and 
daringly that he was regarded as the leading gambler 
at the English Club. 

Vronsky felt friendship and consideration for him, 
because he felt that Yashvin liked him, not for his for- 
tune or his social position, but chiefly on his own account. 
Moreover, Yashvin was the only man to whom Vronsky 
would have been willing to speak of his love. He felt 
that, in spite of his affected scorn for all kinds of senti- 
ment, he alone could appreciate the serious passion 
which now absorbed his whole life. Besides, he was 
persuaded that he found absolutely no pleasure in 


tittle-tattle and scandal, but considered this feeling as 
essential, in other words, that he knew and believed 
that love was no joke, no mere pastime, but something 
serious and important. Thus, taken all in all, his pres- 
ence was always agreeable to him. 

Vronsky had not yet spoken to him about his love, 
but he knew that Yashvin knew it — looked on it in its 
true light ; and it was a pleasure to read this in his eyes. 

" Ah, yes ! " said the cavalry captain, when he heard 
the name of the Tverskois ; and, flashing his brilliant 
black eyes at him, he seized his left mustache and began 
to cram it into his mouth, for this was a bad habit of 

" And what did you do last evening .? Did you gain .■* " 
asked Vronsky. 

" Eight thousand rubles, but three thousand possibly 
are no good — I may not get them." 

" Well ! Then you may lose on me," said Vronsky, 
laughing ; Yashvin had laid a large wager on him. 

"But I shall not lose. Makhotin is the only one to 
be afraid of." 

And the conversation went off in regard to the races, 
which was the only subject of which Vronsky could now 

" Come on, I have done," said Vronsky, getting up 
and going to the door. Yashvin also arose, and stretched 
his huge legs and long back. 

" I can't dine so early, but I will take something to 
drink. I will follow you immediately. Here, wine!" 
he cried, in his heavy voice, which was the wonder of 
the regiment ; it made the windows rattle.' " No, no 
matter! " he cried again ; "if you are going home, I '11 
join you." 

And he went off with Vronsky 



Vronsky was lodging in a neat and spacious Finnish 
izba, divided in two by a partition. Petritsky was his 
chum, not only in Petersburg, but here also in camp. 
He was asleep when Vronsky and Yashvin entered. 

"Get up! you've slept long enough," said Yashvin, 
going behind the partition, and shaking the sleeper's 
shoulder, as he lay with his nose buried in the pillow. 

Petritsky suddenly got up on his knees, and looked 
all about him. 

"Your brother has been here," said he to Vronsky. 
" He woke me up, the devil take him ! and he said that 
he would come again." 

Then he threw himself back on the pillow again, and 
pulled up the bedclothes. 

"Stop! Yashvin," he cried angrily, as his comrade 
twitched off his quilt. Then he turned over, opened his 
eyes, and said, " You would do much better to tell me 
what I ought to drink to take this bad taste out of my 

"Vodka is better than anything," said Yashvin. 
"Tereshchenko ! Bring the barin some vodka and 
cucumbers," he cried, delighting in the thunder of his 
voict^. • " ■ 

" You advise vodka ? ha ! " exclaimed Petritsky, scowl- 
ing, and rubbing his eyes. "Will you take some, too.? 
If you '11 join, all right ! Vronsky, will you have a 
drink .■• " said Petritsky, getting up and wrapping a 
striped quilt around him under his arms. He came to 
the door of the partition, raised his arms in the air, and 
began to sing in French, "'There was a king in Thu- 
u-le.' — Vronsky, will you have a drink.?" 

" Go away," replied the latter, who was putting on 
an overcoat brought him by his valet. 

" Where are you going .? " asked Yashvin, seeing a 
carriage drawn by three horses. "Here's the troika." 

"To the stables, then to Briansky's to see about 
some horses," replied Vronsky. 


Vronsky had, indeed, promised to bring some money 
to Briansky, who lived about ten versts from Peterhof ; 
and he was in a hurry to get there as soon as possible 
so as to pay for the horses, but his friends immediately 
understood that he was also going somewhere else. 

Petritsky, who kept on singing, winked, and pursed 
his lips as if he would say, " We know who this Brian- 
sky means." 

" See here, don't be late," said Yashvin ; and, chang- 
ing the subject, "And my roan, does she suit you?" 
he asked, looking out of the window, and referring to 
the middle horse of the team which he had .sold. 

Just as Vronsky left the room, Petritsky called out 
to him, " Hold on ! your brother left a note and a letter. 
Hold on ! where did I put them .-' " 

Vronsky waited impatiently. 

" Well, where are they ? " 

" Where are they indeed ? That 's the question," 
declaimed Petritsky, solemnly, putting his forefinger 
above his nose. 

" Speak quick ! no nonsense ! " said Vronsky, smiling. 

" I have not had any fire in the fireplace ; where can 
I have put them .-* " 

"Come now, that's enough talk! where 's the letter?" 

" I swear I have forgotten ; or did I dream about it ? 
Wait, wait ! don't get angry. If you had drunk four 
bottles, as I did yesterday, you would n't even know 
where you went to bed. Hold on, I '11 think in a min- 

Petritsky went behind his screen again, and got into 

" Hold on ! I was lying here. He stood there. Da- 
da-da-da I .... Here it is ! " 

And he pulled the letter out from under the mattress, 
where he had put it. 

Vronsky took the letter and his brother's note. It 
was exactly as he expected. His mother reproached 
him because he had not been to see her, and his brother 
said he had something to speak to him about. " What 
concern is it of theirs ? " he muttered ; and, crumpling 


up the notes, he thrust them between his coat-buttons, 
intending to read them more carefully on the way. 

Just as he left the izba, he met two officers, one of 
whom belonged to a different regiment. Vronsky's 
quarters were always the headquarters of all the offi- 

"Whither away.?" 

"Must — to Peterhof." 

" Has your horse come from Tsarskoye .-' " 

" Yes, but I have not seen her yet." 

"They say Makhotin's 'Gladiator' is lame." 

" Rubbislj ! But how can you trot in such mud ? " 
said the other. 

" Here are my saviors," cried Petritsky, as he saw 
the newcomers. The denshchik was standing before 
him with vodka and salted cucumbers on a platter. 
"Yashvin, here, ordered me to drink, so as to clear my 

" Well, you were too much for us last night," said 
one of the officers. "You did not let us sleep all night." 

"I must tell you how we ended it," began Petritsky. 
" Volkof climbed up on the roof, and told us that he 
was blue. I sung out, 'Give us some music, — a fu- 
neral march.' And he went to sleep on the roof to the 
music of the funeral march." 

" Drink, drink your vodka by all means, and then 
take seltzer and a lot of lemon," said Yashvin, encour- 
aging Petritsky as a mother encourages her child to 
swallow some medicine. "It is only a little bottle." 

" Now, this is sense. Hold on, Vronsky, and have a 
drink with us ! " 

" No. Good-by, gentlemen. I am not drinking to- 

. "Vronsky," cried some one, after he had gone into 
the vestibule. 


"You'd better cut off your hair; it's getting very 
long, especially on the bald spot." 

Vronsky, in fact, was beginning to get a little bald. 
He laughed gayly, showing his splendid teeth, and, pull- 


ing his cap over the bald spot, he went out and got 
into his carriage. 

"To the stables," he said. 

He started to take his letters for a second reading, 
but on second thought deferred them so that he might 
think of nothing else but his horse. 

"I'll wait." 


A TEMPORARY Stable, — a balagan, or hut, — made out 
of planks, had been built near the race-course ; and here 
Vronsky's horse should have been brought the evening 
before. He had not as yet seen her. During the last 
few days he himself had not been out to drive, but he had 
intrusted her to the trainer; and Vronsky did not know 
in what condition he should find her. He was just get- 
ting out of his carriage when his konyukh, or groom, a 
young fellow, saw him from a distance, and immediately 
called the trainer. This was an Englishman with with- 
ered face and tufted chin, and dressed in short jacket 
and top-boots. He came out toward Vronsky in the 
mincing step peculiar to jockeys, and with elbows stick- 
ing out. 

"Well, how is Frou Frou } " said Vronsky, in English. 

*' A// right, sir" said the Englishman, in a voice that 
came out of the bottom of his throat. " Better not go 
in, sir," he added, taking off his hat. " I have put a 
muzzle on her, and that excites her. Better not go in, 
it excites a horse." 

" No, I am going in, I want to see her." 

" Come on, then," replied the Englishman, testily ; 
and, without ever opening his mouth, and with his dandi- 
fied step, he led the way. 

They went into a small yard in front of the stable. 
An active and alert stable-boy in a clean jacket, with 
whip in hand, met them as they entered, and followed 
them. Five horses were in the stable, each in its own 
stall. Vronsky knew that his most redoubtable rival, — 


Makhotin's Gladiator, a chestnut horse five vershoks 
high, — was there, and he was more curious to see Gladia- 
tor than to see his own racer ; but he knew that, accord- 
ing to the etiquette of the races, he could not have him 
brought out, or even ask questions about him. As he 
passed along the corridor the groom opened the door of 
the second stall at the left, and Vronsky saw a powerful 
chestnut with white feet. He knew it was Gladiator ; 
but with the delicacy of a man who turns away from an 
open letter which is not addressed to him, he instantly 
turned away and walked toward Frou Frou's stall. 
tii«5«That horse belongs to Ma,... k.... mak, .... I never 
can pronounce his name," said the Englishman, over 
his shoulder, and pointing to Gladiator's stall with a 
huge finger, the nail of which was black with dirt. 

" Makhotin's ? Yes ; he is my only dangerous rival." 

" If you would mount him, I would bet on you," said 
the Englishman. 

" Frou Frou has more nerve, this one stronger," 
said Vronsky, smiling at the jockey's praise. 

" In hurdle-races, all depends on the mount, and on 

Pluck — that is, audacity and coolness — Vronsky 
knew that he had in abundance ; and, what was far 
more important, he was firmly convinced that no one 
could have more of this pluck than he had. 

" You are sure that a good sweating was not neces- 
sary } " 

" Not at all," replied the Englishman. " Please not 
speak so loud, the horse is restive," he added, jerking 
his head toward the closed stall in front of which they 
were standing. They could hear the horse stamping on 
the straw. 

He opened the door, and Vronsky entered a box-stall 
feebly lighted by a little window. A dark bay horse, 
muzzled, was nervously prancing up and down on the 
fresh straw. As he gazed into the semi-obscurity of 
the stall, Vronsky in spite of himself took in at one gen- 
eral observation all the points of his favorite horse. 
Frou Frou was a horse of medium size, and not faultless 


in form. Her bones were slender, although her brisket 
showed powerfully ; her breast was narrow, the crupper 
was rather tapering ; and the legs, particularly the hind 
legs, considerably bowed. The muscles of the legs were 
not big ; but, on the other hand, where the saddle rested 
the horse was extraordinarily wide, and this was particu- 
larly striking by reason of the firmness and the small- 
ness of her belly. The bones of the legs below the 
knee seemed not thicker than a finger, seen from the 
front ; they were extraordinarily large when seen side- 
wise. The whole steed, with the exception of the ribs, 
seemed squeezed in and lengthened out. But she had 
one merit that outweighed all her faults : she was a 
thoroughbred, had good blood, — whifh tells, as the 
English say. Her muscles, standing out under a net- 
work of veins, covered with a skin as smooth and soft 
as satin, seemed as solid as bone ; her slender head, with 
prominent eyes, bright and animated, widened out at 
the septum into projecting nostrils with membrane 
which seemed suffused with blood. In her whole form 
and especially in her head there was an expression of 
something energetic and decided, and at the same time 
good-tempered. It was one of those creatures which 
do not speak for the single reason that the mechanical 
construction of their mouths does not permit of it. 

Vronsky, at any rate, was convinced that she under- 
stood all of his thoughts while he was looking at her. 
As soon as he went to her she began to take long 
breaths, and, turning her prominent eyes so that the 
whites became suffused with blood, she gazed from the 
opposite side at the visitors, trying to shake off her 
muzzle, and dancing on her feet with elastic motion. 

" You see how excited she is," said the English- 

" Whoa, my loveliest, whoa ! " said Vronsky, approach- 
ing to soothe her ; but the nearer he came the more ner- 
vous she grew, and only when he had caressed her head 
did she become tranquil. He could feel her muscles 
strain and tremble under her delicate, smooth skin. 
Vronsky smoothed her powerful neck, and put into 


place a tuft of her mane that she had tossed on the 
other side ; and then he put his face close to her nos- 
trils, which swelled and dilated like the wings of a bat. 
She drew in the air, and loudly expelled it from her 
quivering nostrils, pricked up her sharp ears, and 
stretched out her long black lips to seize his sleeve ; 
but, when she found herself prevented by her muzzle, 
she shook it, and began to caper again on her slender 

"Quiet, my beauty, quiet," said Vronsky, calming 
her ; and he left the stable with the reassuring convic- 
tion that his horse was in perfect condition. 

But the nervousness of the steed had taken posses- 
sion of Vronsky ; he felt the blood rush to his heart, 
and, like the horse, he wanted violent action ; he felt 
like prancing and biting. It was a sensation at once 
strange and joyful. 

"Well, I count on you," said he to the Englishman. 
" Be on the grounds at half-past six." 

" All shall be ready. But where are you going, my 
lord.!*" asked the Englishman, using the title of "my 
lord," which he almost never permitted himself to use. 

Astonished at this, Vronsky raised his head, and 
looked at him as he well understood how to do, not 
into the Englishman's eyes, but at his forehead. He 
instantly saw that the Englishman had spoken to him, 
not as to his master, but as to a jockey ; and he replied : — 

" I have got to see Briansky, and I shall be at home 
in an hour." 

" How many times have I been asked that question 
to-day ! " he said to himself ; and he grew red, which 
was a rare occurrence with him. The Englishman 
looked at him closely. And, as if he also knew where 
Vronsky was going, he said : — 

"The main thing is to keep calm before the race. 
Don't get out of sorts ; don't get bothered." 

''All right," replied Vronsky, with a smile ; and, jump- 
ing into his carriage, he ordered the coachman to drive 
to Peterhof. 

He had gone but a short distance before the clouds, 


which since morning had been threatening rain, grew 
thicker, and a heavy shower fell. 

"Too bad!" thought Vronsky, raising the hood of 
his carriage. " It has been muddy ; now it will be a 

Now that he was sitting alone in his covered calash, 
he took out his mother's letter and his brother's note, 
and read them over. 

Yes, it was always the old story ; both his mother 
and his brother found it necessary to meddle with his 
love-affairs. This interference aroused his anger, — a 
feeling which he rarely experienced. 

" How does this concern them .-' Why does every 
one feel called on to meddle with me, and why do they 
bother me .-* Because they see that there is something 
about this that they can't understand. If it were an 
ordinary vulgar society intrigue, they would leave me 
in peace ; but they imagine that it is something else, 
that it is not mere trifling, that this woman is dearer 
to me than life ; that is incredible and vexatious to 
them. Whatever be our fate, we ourselves have made 
it, and we shall not regret it," he said to himself, in- 
cluding Anna in the word "we." "But no, they want 
to teach us how to live. They have no idea of what 
happiness is. They don't know that, were it not for 
this love, there would be for us neither joy nor grief in 
this world ; life itself would not exist." 

In reality, what exasperated him most against every 
one was the fact that his conscience told him that they 
— all of them — were right. He felt that his love for 
Anna was not a superficial impulse, destined, like so 
many social attachments, to disappear, and leave no trace 
beyond sweet or painful memories. He felt keenly all 
the torture of her situation and his, and how difficult 
it was in the prominent position which they held in the 
eyes of society to hide their love, to lie, to deceive, 
to dissemble, and constantly to think about others, when 
the passion uniting them was so violent that they both 
forgot about everything else except their love. 

He vividly pictured to himself all the constantly re- 


curring circumstances when it was essential to employ 
falsehood and deceit, which were so contrary to his 
nature. He recalled with especial vividness the feel- 
ing of shame which he had often surprised in Anna, 
when she also was driven to tell a lie. 

Since this affair with her, he sometimes experienced 
a strange sensation. This was a feeling of disgust and 
repulsion for some one, he could not tell for whom he 
felt it — for Alekseif Aleksandrovitch or himself, or for 
all society. As far as possible he banished this strange 

" Yes, heretofore she has been unhappy, but proud 
and calm ; now she cannot be proud and content any 
longer, though she may not betray the fact. Yes, this 
must end," he would conclude in his own mind. 

And for the first time the thought of cutting short 
this life of dissimulation appeared to him clear and tan- 
gible ; the sooner, the better. 

" She and I must leave everything, and together we 
must go and hide ourselves somewhere with our love," 
he said to himself. 


The shower was of short duration ; and when Vronsky 
reached Peterhof, his shaft-horse at full trot, and the 
other two galloping along in the mud, the sun was 
already out again, and the wet roofs of the villas and 
the old lindens in the gardens on both sides of the prin- 
cipal avenue were dazzlingly shining. The water was 
running from the roofs, and the raindrops were drip- 
ping from the tree-tops. He no longer thought of the 
harm that the shower might do the race-course, but he 
was full of joy as he remembered that, thanks to the 
rain, she would be alone ; for he knew that Alekseif 
Aleksandrovitch, who had just got back from a visit to 
the baths, would not have driven out from Petersburg. 

Hoping to find her alone, Vronsky stopped his horses, 
as he always did, at some little distance from the house, 


.n order to attract as little attention as possible, and, not 
driving across the little bridge, got out and went to the 
house on foot. He did not go to the front entrance, 
but went through the court. 

" Has the barin come.''" he asked of a gardener. 

"Not yet; but the baruinya is at home. Go to the 
front door ; there are servants there ; if you ring, they 
will open the door." 

" No ; I will go in through the garden." 

Having satisfied himself that she was alone, and wish- 
ing to surprise her, as he had not promised that he was 
coming that day, and on account of the races she would 
not be looking for him, he walked cautiously along the 
sandy paths, bordered with flowers, lifting up his saber 
so that it should make no noise. In this way he reached 
the terrace which led down to the garden. Vronsky had 
by this time forgotten all the thoughts which had op- 
pressed him on the way about the difficulties of his situ- 
ation ; he thought only of the pleasure of shortly seeing 
her, not in imagination only, but alive, in person, as she 
was in reality. 

He was mounting- the steep steps as gently as possi- 
ble, when he suddenly remembered what he was always 
forgetting, and what constituted the most painful fea- 
ture of his relations with her, — her son, with his inquisi- 
tive and, as it seemed to him, repulsive face. 

This child was the principal obstacle in the way of 
their interviews. When he was present neither Vron- 
sky nor Anna allowed themselves to speak of anything 
which the whole world might not hear, nor, what was 
more, did they even hint at anything which the child 
himself could not comprehend. There was no need of an 
agreement on that score, it was instinctive with them. 
Both of them considered it degrading to themselves to de- 
ceive the little lad ; before him they talked as if they were 
mere acquaintances. But in spite of this circumspection 
Vronsky often noticed the lad's scrutinizing and rather 
suspicious eyes fixed on him, and a strange timidity and 
variability in his behavior toward him. Sometimes he 
seemed affectionate, and then again cold and shy. The 

VOL. I. — 16 


child seemed instinctively to feel that between this man 
and his mother there was some strange bond of union, 
which was beyond his comprehension. 

In fact, the boy felt that he could not understand this 
relationship, and he tried in vain to account to himself 
for the feeling which he ought to have for this man. 
He saw, with that quick intuition peculiar to childhood, 
that his father, his governess, and his nurse — all of 
them — not only did not like Vronsky, but looked with the 
utmost disfavor on him, although they never spoke about 
him, while his mother treated him as her best friend. 

" What does this mean .-* Who is he .■' Must I love 
him ? and is it my fault, and am I a naughty or stupid 
child, if I don't understand it at all ? " thought the little 
fellow. Hence came his timidity, his questioning and 
distrustful manner, and this changeableness, which were 
so unpleasant to Vronsky, The presence of this child 
always caused in Vronsky that strange feeling of unrea- 
sonable repulsion which for some time had pursued him. 

The presence of the child aroused in Vronsky and 
Anna a feeling like that experienced by a mariner who 
sees by the compass that the course in which he is 
swiftly moving is widely different from what it should 
be, but that to stop this course is not in his power ; that 
every instant carries him farther and farther in the wrong 
direction, and the recognition of the movement that 
carries him from the right course is the recognition of 
the ruin that impends. 

This child with his innocent views of life was the 
compass which pointed out to them the degree of their 
deviation from what they knew but wished not to know. 

This day Serozha was not at home and Anna was en- 
tirely alone, and sitting on the terrace waiting for the 
return of her son, who had gone out to walk and got 
caught in the rain. She had sent a man and a maid to 
find him, and was sitting there till he should return. 
Dressed in a white gown with wide embroidery, she 
was sitting at one corner of the terrace, concealed "by 
plants and flowers, and she did not hear Vronsky's step. 
With her dark curly head bent, she was pressing her 


heated brow against a cool watering-pot, standing on 
the balustrade, and with both her beautiful hands laden 
with rings, which he knew so well, she was holding the 
watering-pot. The beauty of her figure, her head, her 
neck, her hands, always caused in Vronsky a new feeling 
of surprise. He stopped and looked at her in ecstasy. 
But as soon as he proceeded to take another step and 
come nearer to her, she felt his approach, pushed away 
the watering-pot, and turned to him her glowing face. 

" What is the matter ? Are you ill ? " said he, in 
French, as he approached her. He felt a desire to run 
to her, but, remembering that there might be witnesses, 
he looked toward the balcony door and turned red, as 
he always turned red when he felt that he ought to be 
ashamed of himself and dread to be seen. 

"No; I am well," said Anna, rising, and warmly 
pressing the hand that he offered her. " I did not ex- 
pect .... you." 

" Bozhe mof ! how cold your hands are ! " 

" You startled me," said she. " I was alone, waiting 
for Serozha. He went out for a walk ; they will come 
back this way." 

But though she tried to be calm, her lips trembled. 

" Forgive me for coming, but I could not let the day 
go by without seeing you," he continued, in French, as 
he always spoke, thus avoiding the impossible vtn, you, 
and the dangerous tid, thou, of the Russian. 

" What have I to forgive ? I am so glad ! " 

" But you are ill, or sad .-* " said he, bending over her 
and still holding her hand. " What were you thinking 
about ? " 

" Always about one thing," she replied, with a smile. 

She told the truth. If at any moment she had been 
asked what she was thinking about, she could have 
made the infallible reply, that she was thinking about 
one thing : her happiness and her unhappiness. Just 
as he had surprised her, she was thinking about this : 
she was thinking how it was that for some, for Betsy, 
for example, — for she knew about her love-affair with 
Tushkievitch, though it was a secret from society in 



general, — all this was such a trifle, while for her it was 
so painful. To-day this thought, for various reasons, 
had been particularly tormenting her. 

She asked him about the races. He answered her, 
and, seeing that she was in a very excited state, in order 
to divert her mind, told her, in the tone most natural, 
about the preparation that had been made. 

" Shall I, or shall I not, tell him ? " she thought, as 
she looked at his calm, affectionate eyes. " He seems 
so happy, he is so interested in these races, that he will 
not comprehend, probably, the importance of what I 
must tell him." 

" But you have not told me of what you were think- 
ing when I came," said he, suddenly, interrupting the 
course of his narration. " Tell me, I beg of you ! " 

She did not reply ; but she lifted her head a little, 
and looked at him questioningly f rom her beautiful eyes, 
shaded by her long lashes ; her fingers, playing with a 
fallen leaf, trembled. 

He saw this, and his face immediately showed the 
expression of humble adoration, of absolute devotion, 
which had so won her, 

" I see that something has happened. Can I be easy 
for an instant when I know that you feel a grief that I 
do not share .-* In the name of Heaven, speak ! " he in- 
sisted, in a caressing tone. 

"I shall never forgive him if he does not appreciate 
the importance of what I have to tell him ; better be 
silent than put him to the proof," she thought, continu- 
ing to look at him in the same way, and conscious that 
her hand, holding the leaf, trembled more and more 

" In the name of Heaven ! " said he, taking her hand 

" Shall I tell you ? " 

"Yes, yes, yes .... " 

"J^e suis enceinte ! " she said, in a low and deliberate 

The leaf that she held in her fingers trembled still 
more, but she did not take her eyes from his face, for 


she wished to see how he would receive what she 

He grew pale, tried to speak, then stopped short, 
dropped her hand, and hung his head. 

"Yes, he understands the significance of this," she 
said to herself, and gratefully pressed his hand. 

But she was mistaken in thinking that he appreciated 
the significance of what she had told him, as she, a 
woman, did. On learning this, he felt that he was 
attacked with tenfold force by that strange feeling of 
repulsion and horror which he had already experienced. 
But at the same time, he realized that the crisis which 
he had expected was now at hand, that it was impossible 
longer to keep the secret from the husband ; and it was 
important to extricate themselves as soon as possible 
from the unnatural situation in which they were placed. 
Moreover, her anguish communicated itself to him 
physically. He looked at her with humbly submissive 
eyes, kissed her hand, arose, and began to walk up and 
down the terrace without speaking. 

At last he approached her, and said in a tone of 
decision : — 

"Well," said he, "neither you nor I have looked on 
our relations as a pastime, and now our fate is decided ; 
at last we must put an end to the false situation in 
which we live," — and he looked around him. 

" Put an end ? How put an end, Aleksel ? " she asked 

She was calm now, and her face beamed with a tender 

"You must leave your husband and unite your life 
with mine." 

"But aren't they already united.-'" she asked, in 
an almost inaudible voice. 

" Yes, but not completely, not absolutely ! " 

"But how, Aleksei'.'' tell me how," said she, with 
a melancholy irony at the hopelessness of her situation. 
" How is there any escape from such a position ? Am 
I not the wife of my husband } " 

" From any situation, however difficult, there is always 


some way of escape ; here we must simply decide. — 
Anything is better than the Hfe you are leading. How 
well I see how you are tormenting yourself about your 
husband, your son, society, all ! " 

"Akh ! only not my husband," said she, with a simple 
smile. " I don't know him, I don't think about him ! 
He is not." 

"You speak insincerely! I know you ; you torment 
yourself on his account also." 

"Not even he knows ...." said she, and suddenly a 
bright crimson spread over her face ; it colored her 
cheeks, brow, her neck, and tears of shame came into 
her eyes. 

*' Let us not speak more of him." 


Vronsky had many times tried, though not so de- 
cidedly as now, to bring clearly before her mind their 
position; and always he had met the same superficial 
and frivolous way of looking at it, as she now treated 
his demand. Apparently, there was something in this 
which she was unwilling or unable to fathom; appar- 
ently, as soon as she began to speak about it, she, the 
real Anna, disappeared, to give place to a strange and 
incomprehensible woman, whom he did not love, but 
feared, and who was repulsive to him. To-day he was 
bound to have an absolute explanation. 

"Whether he knows or not," he said, in a calm but 
authoritative voice, " whether he knows or not, it does 
not concern us. We cannot.... we cannot now continue 
as we are." 

"What, in your opinion, must we do about it.?" she 
demanded, in the same bantering tone of irony. Though 
she had been so keenly apprehensive that he would not 
receive her confidence with due appreciation, she was 
now vexed that he deduced from it the absolute neces- 
sity of energetic action. 

"Tell him all, and leave him." 


"Very good ! let us suppose I do it," said she. "Do 
you know what the result would be ? I will tell you ; " 
and a wicked fire flashed from her eyes, which were 
just now so gentle. "'Oh! you love another, and 
your course with him has been criviijial,' " said she, 
imitating her husband, and accenting the word criminal 
in exactly his manner. " ' I warned you of the con- 
sequences which would follow from the point of view 
of religion, of society, and of the family. You did not 
listen to me ; now I cannot allow my name to be dis- 
honored, and my ' " — she was going to say my son, but 
stopped, for she could not jest about him — " 'my name 
dishonored,' and so on in the same style," she added. 
" In a word, he will tell me with his official manner 
and with precision and clearness that he cannot set me 
free, but that he will take measures to avoid a scandal. 
And he will do exactly as he says. That is what will 
take place ; for he is not a man, he is a machine, and, 
when he is stirred up, an ugly machine," said she, call- 
ing to mind the most trifling details in her husband's 
face and manner of speaking, and charging to him as a 
crime all the ill that she could find in him, and not 
pardoning him at all on account of the terrible sin of 
which she had been guilty before him. 

"But, Anna," said Vronsky, in a persuasive, tender 
voice, trying to calm her, "you must tell him every- 
thing, and act accordingly as he proceeds." 

"What! elope.?" 

" Why not elope } I see no possibility of living as 
we are any longer ; it is not on my account, but I see 
you will suffer." 

" What ! elope, and become your mistress } " said she, 

" Anna ! " he cried, deeply wounded. 

" Yes, your mistress, and lose everything ! " .... 

Again she was going to say mj sou, but she could 
not pronounce the word. 

Vronsky could not understand how she, with her 
strong, loyal nature, could accept the false position in 
which she was placed, and not endeavor to escape from 


it. But he could not doubt that the principal cause 
of this was represented by that word son, which she 
could not pronounce. 

When she thought of her son and his future relations 
to a mother who had deserted his father, the horror of 
what she had done appeared so great, that, like a real 
woman, she was not able to reason, but only endeavored 
to reassure herself by fallacious arguments, and persuade 
herself that all would go on as before ; above all things, 
she must shut her eyes, and forget this terrible ques- 
tion, what would become of her son. 

" I beg of you, I entreat you," she said suddenly, 
speaking in a very different tone, a tone of tenderness 
and sincerity, and seizing his hand, "don't ever speak 
to me of that again." 

"But, Anna...." 

" Never, never ! Leave it to me. I know all the 
depth, all the horror, of my situation, but it is not so 
easy as you imagine to decide. Let me decide, and 
listen to me. Never speak to me again of that. Will 
you promise me "i .... never, never } promise ! " .... 

" I promise all ; but I cannot be calm, especially 
after what you have told me. I cannot be calm when 
you cannot be calm." .... 

"I.?" she repeated. "Yes, I suffer torments some- 
times, but that will pass if you will not say anything 
more about it. When you speak with me about this, 
then, and then only, it tortures me." 

" I don't understand .... " 

" I know," she interrupted, " how your honest nature 
abhors lying ; I am sorry for you ; and very often I 
think that you have sacrificed your life for me ! " 

"That is exactly what I say about you. I was just 
this moment thinking how you could sacrifice yourself 
for me ! I cannot forgive myself for having made you 

"I unhappy.?" said she, coming up close to him, 
and looking at him with a smile of enthusiastic love. 
" I .!* I am like a man dying of hunger, to whom food 
has been given. Maybe he is cold, and his raiment is 


rags, and he is ashamed, but he is not unhappy. I un- 
happy ? No ; here comes my joy." .... 

She had heard the voice of her Httle boy coming 
near, and giving a hurried glance around her, swiftly 
arose. Her face glowed with the fire which Vronsky 
knew so well, and with a hasty motion putting out her 
lovely hands, covered with rings, she took Vronsky's 
face between them, looked at him a long moment, 
reached her face up to his, with her smiling lips parted, 
kissed his mouth and both eyes, and pushed him away. 
She started to go, but he kept her back a moment. 

" When ? " he whispered, looking at her with ecstasy. 

" To-day at one o'clock," she replied in a low voice, 
and with a deep sigh she ran, in her light, graceful 
gait, to meet her son. 

Serozha had been caught by the rain in the park, 
and had taken refuge with his nurse in a pavilion. 

"Well, good-by — da svidanya !'' said she to Vron- 
sky. " I must get ready for the races. Betsy has 
promised to come and get me." 

Vronsky looked at his watch, and hurried away. 


When Vronsky looked at his watch on the Karenins' 
terrace, he was so stirred and preoccupied, that, though 
he saw the figures on the face, he did not know what 
time it was. He hurried along the driveway, and, pick- 
ing his way carefully through the mud, he reached his 
carriage. He had been so absorbed by his conversation 
with Anna that he did not notice the hour, or ask if he 
still had time to go to Briansky's. As it often happens, 
he had only the external faculty of memory, and it re- 
called to him only that he had decided to do something. 
He found his coachman dozing on his box under the 
already slanting shade of the linden ; he noticed the 
swarms of midgets buzzing around his sweaty horses ; 
then, waking the coachman, he jumped into his carriage, 
and ordered him to drive to Briansky's ; only after he 


had gone six or seven versts did he remember that he 
had looked at his watch and reahzed that it was half- 
past five, and that he was late. 

On that day there were *to be several races : first the 
draught-horses, then the officers' two-verst dash, then a 
second of four, and last that in which he was to take 
part. He could be in time for his race, but, if he went 
to Briansky's, he ran the risk of getting to the grounds 
after the court had arrived. That was not in good 
form. But he had promised Briansky to be there, there- 
fore he kept on, commanding the coachman not to spare 
the trofka. He reached Briansky's, spent five minutes 
with him, and was off again at full speed. The rapid 
motion calmed him. All the difficulties that confronted 
him in his relations with Anna, all the uncertainty that 
remained after their conversation, vanished from his 
mind ; he thought with delight and excitement of the 
race, and how he might after all get there in time, and 
then again he vividly imagined the brilliant society 
which would gather to-day at the course. 

And he got more and more into the atmosphere of 
the races as he overtook people coming in their car- 
riages from various villas, and even from Petersburg, on 
their way to the hippodrome. 

When he reached his quarters, no one was at home ; 
all had gone to the races, except his valet, who was wait- 
ing for him at the entrance. While he was changing 
his clothes, his valet told him that the second race had 
already begun^ that a number of gentlemen had been to 
inquire for him. 

Vronsky dressed without haste, — for he never was 
hurried and he never lost his self-command, — and di- 
rected the coachman to take him to the stables. P>om 
there he saw a sea of carriages of all sorts, of pedes- 
trians, soldiers, and of spectators, surrounding the hip- 
podrome, and the seats boiling with people. 

Evidently the second course had been run, for just 
as he reached the stables he heard the sound of a bell. 
As he reached the stable, he noticed Makhotin's white- 
footed chestnut Gladiator, covered with a blue and 


orange caparison, and with huge ear-protectors trimmed 
with blue. They were leading him out to the hippo- 

" Where is Cord ? " he asked of the groom. 

" In the stable ; he is putting on the saddle." 

Frou Frou was all saddled in her open box-stall. They 
started to lead her out. 

" I am not late, am I .-' " 

'' All right, all right,'' said the Englishman. "Don't 
get excited." 

Vronsky once more gave a quick glance at the excel- 
lent, favorable shape of his horse, as she stood trem- 
bling in every limb ; and, finding it hard to tear himself 
away from such a beautiful sight, he left her at the 
stable. He approached the benches at a most favorable 
moment for doing this without attracting observation. 
The two-verst dash was just at an end, and all eyes were 
fixed on a cavalry-guardsman who was in the lead, and a 
hussar just at his heels, whipping their horses furiously, 
and approaching the goal. From the center and both 
ends all crowded in toward the goal, and a group of 
officers and guardsmen were hailing with shouts the 
triumph of their fellow-officer and friend. 

Vronsky, without being noticed, joined the throng 
just as the bell announced the end of the race ; the 
victor, a tall cavalry -guardsman, covered with mud, 
dropped the reins, slipped off from the saddle, and stood 
by his roan stallion, which was black with sweat, and 
heavily breathing. 

The stallion, with a violent effort thrusting out his 
legs, had stopped the swift course of his big body ; and 
the officer, like a man awakening from a deep sleep, was 
looking about him, trying hard to smile. A throng of 
friends and strangers pressed about him. 

Vronsky, with intention, avoided the elegant people 
who were circulating about, engaged in gay and ani- 
mated conversation in front of the seats. He had al- 
ready caught sight of Anna, Betsy, and his brother's 
wife, but he did not join them, so that he might not be 
disconcerted ; but he kept meeting acquaintances who 


stopped him, and told him various items about the last 
race, or asked him why he was late. 

While they were distributing the prizes at the pavilion, 
and every one had gone in this direction, Vronsky was 
joined by fiis elder brother. Aleksandr Vronsky was a 
colonel and wore epaulets, and, like AlekseY, was a 
man of medium stature, and rather thick-set ; but he 
was handsomer and ruddier. His nose was red, and 
his frank, open face was flushed with wine. 

" Did you get my note ? " he asked of his brother. 
"You are never to be found." 

Aleksandr Vronsky, in spite of his life of dissipation 
and his love for drink, which was notorious, was a thor- 
oughly courtly man. Knowing that many eyes might 
be fixed on them, he preserved, while he talked on a 
very painful subject, a smiling face, as if he were jesting 
with his brother about some trifling matter. 

"I got it," said he, "but I really don't understand 
why you interfere." 

" I interfere because I noticed you were not to be 
found this morning, and because you were seen at 
Peterhof Monday." 

"There are matters which cannot be judged except 
by those who are directly interested, and the matter in 
which you concern yourself is such." .... 

"Yes ; but when one is not in the service, he...," 

" I beg you to mind your own business, and that is all." 

Aleksef Vronsky's frowning face grew pale, and his 
rather prominent lower jaw shook. This happened 
rarely with him. He was a man of kindly heart, and 
rarely got angry ; but when he grew angry, and when 
his chin trembled, he became dangerous. Aleksandr 
Vronsky knew it, and with a gay laugh replied : — 

" I only wanted to give you matushka's letter. An- 
swer it, and don't get angry before the race. Bonne 
chance,'' he added, with a smile, and left him. 

The next moment another friendly greeting surprised 

" Won't you recognize your friends .'* How are you, 
mon cher?" said Stepan Arkady evitch, with his rosy 


face and carefully combed and pomaded whiskers ; in 
the midst of the brilliant society of Petersburg, he was 
no less brilliant than at Moscow. " I came down yes- 
terday, and am very glad to be present at your triumph. 
When can we meet .■* " 

" Come to the mess, after the race is over," said 
Vronsky ; and with an apology for leaving him, he 
squeezed the sleeve of his paletot, and went to the 
middle of the hippodrome, where they were bringing the 
horses for the handicap-race. 

The grooms were leading back the sweaty horses, 
wearied by the race which they had run ; and one by 
one the fresh horses entered for the next course appeared 
on the ground. They were, for the most part, English 
horses, in hoods, and well caparisoned, and looked like 
enormous strange birds. At the right-hand side they 
were leading in the lean beauty, Frou Frou, which came 
out, stepping high as if on springs, with her elastic and 
slender pasterns. And not far from her they were 
removing the trappings from the lop-eared Gladiator. 
The stallion's solid, superb, and perfectly symmetrical 
form, with his splendid crupper and his extraordinarily 
short pasterns placed directly over the hoofs, attracted 
Vronsky's admiration. He was just going up to Frou 
Frou when another acquaintance stopped him again. 

" Ah ! there is Karenin," said the friend with whom 
he was talking ; " he is hunting for his wife. She is in 
the very center of the pavilion. Have you seen her.?" 

" No, I have not," replied Vronsky ; and, without 
turning his head in the direction where his acquain- 
tance told him that Madame Karenin was, he went to 
his horse. 

He had scarcely time to make some adjustment of 
the saddle, when those who were to compete in the 
hurdle-race were called to receive their numbers and 
directions. With serious, stern, and some with pale 
faces, seventeen men in all approached the stand and 
received their numbers. Vronsky's number was seven. 

" Mount ! " was the cry. 

Vronsky, feeling that he, with his companions, was 


the focus toward which all eyes were turned, went up 
to his horse with the slow and deliberate motions which 
were usual to him when he was under the strain of 

Cord, in honor of the races, had put on his gala-day 
costume : he wore a black coat, buttoned to the chin, 
and a stiffly starched shirt-collar, which made a support 
for his cheeks; he had on Hessian boots and a round 
black cap. He was, as always, calm and full of impor- 
tance, as he stood by the mare's head, holding both 
reins in his hand. Frou Frou was still shivering as if 
she had an attack of fever ; her fiery eyes gazed askance 
at Vronsky as he approached. He passed his finger 
under the girth of the saddle. The mare looked at him 
still more askance, showed her teeth, and pricked up 
her ears. The Englishman puckered up his lips with a 
grin at the idea that there could be any doubt as to his 
skill in putting on a saddle. " Mount, and you won't 
be so nervous," said he. 

Vronsky cast a final glance on his rivals ; he knew 
that he should not see them again until the race was 
over. Two of them had already gone to the starting- 
point. Galtsin, a friend of his, and one of his dangerous 
rivals, was turning around and around his bay stallion, 
which was trying to keep him from mounting. A little 
Leib-hussar in tight cavalry trousers was off on a gal- 
lop, bent double over his horse, like a cat on the crupper, 
in imitation of the English fashion. Prince Kuzovlef, 
white as a sheet, was mounted on a thoroughbred mare 
from the Grabovsky stud ; an Englishman held it by 
the bridle. Vronsky and all his comrades knew Kuzo- 
vlef's terrible self-conceit, and his peculiarity of "weak 
nerves." They knew that he was timid at everything, 
especially timid of riding horseback ; but now, notwith- 
standing the fact that all this was horrible to him, 
because he knew that people broke their necks, and 
that at every hurdle stood a surgeon, an ambulance with 
its cross and sister of charity, still he had made up his 
mind to ride. 

They exchanged glances, and Vronsky gave him an 


encouraging and approving nod. One only he now 
failed to see : his most redoubtable rival, Makhotin, on 
Gladiator, was not there. 

"Don't be in haste," said Cord to Vronsky, "and 
remember one thing : when you come to a hurdle, don't 
pull back or spur on your horse ; let her take it her own 

"Very good," replied Vronsky, taking the reins. 

" If possible, take the lead, but don't be discouraged 
even to the last if you are behind." 

The horse did not have time to stir before Vronsky, 
with supple and powerful movement, put his foot on the 
notched steel stirrup, and gracefully, firmly, took his 
seat in the squeaking leather saddle. Having put his 
right foot in the stirrup, with his customary care he then 
arranged the double reins between his fingers, and 
Cord let go the animal's head. Frou Frou, as if not 
knowing which foot to put down first, stretched out her 
neck, and pulled on the reins, and she started off as if 
on springs, balancing her rider on her supple back. 
Cord, quickening his pace, followed them. The mare, 
excited, jumped to right and left, trying to take her 
master off his guard, and pulled at the reins, and Vron- 
sky vainly endeavored to calm her with his voice and 
with his hand. 

They were approaching the diked bank of the river, 
where the starting-post was placed. Some of the riders 
had gone on ahead, others were riding behind, when 
Vronsky suddenly heard on the muddy track the gallop 
of a horse ; and Makhotin dashed by on his white-footed, 
lop-eared Gladiator. Makhotin smiled, showing his long 
teeth, but Vronsky looked at him angrily. He did not 
like Makhotin any too well, and now he regarded him 
as his most dangerous rival ; and he was exasperated at 
the way he galloped up behind him, exciting his mare. ' 

Frou Frou kicked up her heels and started off at a 
gallop, made two bounds, and then, angry at the re- 
straint of the curb, changed her gait into a trot which 
shook up her rider. Cord was also disgusted, and ran 
almost as fast as Vronsky. 



The number of the officers who were to take part 
was seventeen. The race-course was a great ellipse of 
four versts, extending before the judges' stand, and nine 
obstacles were placed upon it : the "river" ; a great bar- 
rier two arshins — four feet, eight inches — high, in front 
of the pavilion ; a dry ditch ; a ditch filled with water ; 
a steep ascent ; an Irish banketka, which is the most 
difficult of all, composed of an embankment set with 
dry branches, behind which is concealed a ditch, oblig- 
ing the horseman to leap two obstacles at once, at the 
risk of his life ; then three more ditches, two filled with 
water and one dry ; and finally the goal opposite the 
pavilion again. The track did not begin in the circle 
itself, but about a hundred saahcns, or seven hundred 
feet, to one side ; and in this space was the first obstacle, 
the diked "river," about three arshins, or seven feet, 
wide, which the racers were free to leap or to ford. 

Three times the riders got into line, but each time 
some horse or other started before the signal, and the 
men had to be called back. Colonel Sestrin, the starter, 
was beginning to get impatient ; but at last, for the 
fourth time, the signal was given, '^ Pashol ! — Go ! " and 
the riders put spurs to their horses. 

All eyes, all lorgnettes, were directed toward the 
variegated group of racers as they started off. 

" There they go ! " " There they come ! " was the 
cry on all sides after the silence of expectation. 

And in order to follow them, the spectators rushed, 
singly or in groups, toward the places where they could 
get a better view. At the first moment the collected 
group of horsemen scattered a little, and it could be 
seen how they, in twos and threes, and singly, one after 
the other, approached the "river." To the spectators it 
seemed as if they were all moving together, but to the 
racers themselves there were seconds of separation 
which had great value. 

Frou Frou, excited and too nervous at first, lost the 


first moment, and several of the horses were ahead of 
her; but Vronsky, not having yet reached the "river," 
and trying with all his might to calm her as she pulled 
on the bridle, soon easily outstripped three, and now 
had as competitors only Makhotin's chestnut Gladiator, 
which was easily and smoothly running a whole length 
ahead, and still more to the fore the pretty Diana, car- 
rying Prince Kuzovlef, not knowing whether he was 
dead or alive. 

During these first few seconds Vronsky had control 
neither of himself nor of his horse. Up to the first ob- 
stacle, the " river," he could not control the movements 
of his horse. 

Gladiator and Diana reached it at almost one and the 
same moment. Both at once rose above the reka, or 
"river," and flew across to the other side. Frou Frou 
lightly leaped behind them, as if she had wings. The 
instant that Vronsky perceived that he was in the air, 
he caught a gUmpse of Kuzovlef almost under the feet 
of his horse, wrestling with Diana on the other side 
of the "river." Kuzovlef had loosened the reins after 
Diana jumped, and the horse had stumbled, throwing 
him over her head. These details Vronsky learned 
afterwards, but at this time he only saw that Frou Frou 
might land on Diana's head or legs. But Frou Frou, 
like a falling cat, making a desperate effort with back 
and legs as she leaped, landed beyond the fallen racer. 

" O you dear ! " thought Vronsky. 

After the reka he got full control of his horse, and 
even held her back a little, meaning to leap the great 
hurdle behind Makhotin, and to do his best to outstrip 
him when they reached the long stretch of about two 
hundred sashcns, or fourteen hundred feet, which was 
free of obstacles. 

This great hurdle was built exactly in front of the 
imperial pavilion ; the emperor, the court, and an im- 
mense throng were watching them, watching him and 
Makhotin on the horse a length ahead of him, as they 
approached the choi't, or devil, as the barrier was called. 
Vronsky felt all these eyes fixed on him from every side; 
VOL. I. — 17 


but he saw only his horse's ears and neck, the ground 
flying under him, and Gladiator's flanks, and white feet 
beating the ground in cadence, and always maintaining 
the same distance between them. Gladiator flew at the 
hurdle, gave a whisk of his well-cropped tail, and, with- 
out having touched the hurdle, vanished from Vronsky's 

" Bravo ! " cried a voice. 

At the same instant the planks of the hurdle flashed 
before his eyes. Without the least change in her motion, 
the horse rose under him. The planks creaked and just 
behind him there was the sound of a thump. Frou Frou, 
excited by the sight of Gladiator, had leaped too soon, 
and had struck the hurdle with one of her hind feet, but 
her gait was unchanged ; and Vronsky, his face splashed 
with mud, saw that he was still at the same distance 
from Gladiator, he saw once more Gladiator's crupper, 
his short tail, and his swiftly moving white feet. 

At the very instant that Vronsky decided that he 
ought now to get ahead of Makhotin, Frou Frou herself 
comprehending his thought, and needing no stimulus, 
sensibly increased her speed, and gained on Makhotin 
by trying to take the inside track next the rope. But 
Makhotin did not yield this advantage. Vronsky was 
wondering if they could not pass on the outside, when 
Frou Frou, as if divining his thought, changed of her 
own accord and took this direction. Her shoulder, 
darkened with sweat, came up even with Gladiator's 
flank, and for several seconds they flew almost side by 
side ; but Vronsky, before the obstacle to which they 
were now coming, in order not to take the outside of 
the great circle, began to ply his reins, and, just on the 
declivity, he managed to get the lead. As he drew by 
Makhotin he saw his mud-stained face ; it even seemed 
to him that he smiled. Vronsky had passed Makhotin, 
but he was conscious that he was just behind, he was 
still there, within a step ; and Vronsky could hear the 
regular rhythm of Gladiator's feet, and his hurried, but 
far from winded, breathing. 

The next two obstacles, the ditch and the hurdle, were 


easily passed, but Gladiator's gallop and puffing came 
nearer, Vronsky gave Frou Frou the spur, and perceived 
with a thrill of joy that she easily accelerated her speed ; 
the sound of Gladiator's hoofs was heard once more in 
the same relative distance behind. 

He now had the lead, as he had desired, and as Cord 
had recommended, and he felt sure of success. His 
emotion, his joy, his affection for Frou Frou, were all 
growing more pronounced. He wanted to look back, 
but he did not dare to turn around, and he strove to calm 
himself, and not to push his horse too far, so that she 
might keep a reserve equal to that which he felt Gladi- 
ator still maintained. 

One obstacle, the most serious, now remained ; if he 
cleared that before the others, then he would be first in. 
He was now approaching the Irish banketka. He and 
Frou Frou at the same instant caught sight of the ob- 
stacle from afar, and both, horse and man felt a moment 
of hesitation. Vronsky noticed the hesitation in his 
horse's ears, and he was just lifting his whip ; but in- 
stantly he was conscious that his fears were ungrounded, 
the horse knew what she had to do. She got her start, 
and, exactly as he had foreseen, spurning the ground, she 
gave herself up to the force of inertia which carried her 
far beyond the ditch ; then fell again into the measure 
of her pace without effort and without change. 

" Bravo, Vronsky ! " 

He heard the acclamations of the throng. He knew 
it was his friends and his regiment, who were standing 
near this obstacle; and he could not fail to distinguish 
Yashvin's voice, though he did not see him. 

" O my beauty ! " said he to himself, thinking of Frou 
Frou, and yet listening to what was going on behind 
him. " He has cleared it," he said, as he heard Gladia- 
tor's hoof-beats behind him. 

The last ditch, full of water, five feet ^ wide, now was 
left. Vronsky scarcely heeded it ; but, anxious to come 
in far ahead of the others, he began to saw on the reins, 
lifting her head and letting it fall again in time with the 

^ Two arshins, four feet, eight inches. Three arshins make a sazhen. 


rhythm of her gait. He felt that the horse was begin- 
ning to draw on her last reserves ; not only were her 
neck and her sides wet, but the sweat stood in drops 
on her throat, her head, and her ears ; her breath was 
short and gasping. Still, he was sure that she had 
force enough to cover the fourteen hundred feet that 
lay between him and the goal. Only because he felt 
himself nearer the ground, and by the extraordinary 
smoothness of her motion, did Vronsky realize how 
much she had increased her speed. The ditch was 
cleared, how, he did not know. 

She cleared the ditch scarcely heeding it ; she cleared 
it Hke a bird. But at this moment Vronsky felt, to his 
horror, that, instead of taking the swing of his horse, he 
had made, through some inexplicable reason, a wretch- 
edly and unpardonably wrong motion in falling back 
into the saddle. His position suddenly changed, and 
he felt that something horrible had happened. He 
could not give himself any clear idea of it ; but there 
flashed by him a chestnut steed with white feet, and 
Makhotin by a swift leap passed him. 

One of Vronsky's feet touched the ground, and his 
horse stumbled. He had scarcely time to clear himself 
when the horse fell on her side, panting painfully, and 
making vain efforts with her delicate foam-covered neck 
to rise again. But she lay on the ground, and strug- 
gled like a wounded bird ; the awkward movement 
that he had made in the saddle had broken her back. 
But he did not learn this till afterwards. Now he 
saw only one thing, that Makhotin was far ahead, and 
that he was tottering there alone, standing on the 
muddy immovable ground, and before him, heavily pant- 
ing, lay Frou Frou, who stretched her head toward 
him, and looked at him with her beautiful eyes. Still 
not realizing what had happened, Vronsky pulled on the 
reins. The poor animal struggled like a fish, splitting 
the flaps of the saddle, and tried to get up on her fore 
legs ; but, unable to move her hind quarters, she fell 
back on the ground all of a tremble, Vronsky, his face 
pale and distorted with passion, and with trembling 


lower jaw, kicked her in the belly and again pulled at 
the reins. But she did not move, but gazed at her 
master with one of her speaking looks, and buried her 
nose in the sand. 

" Aaah ! what have I done .•' " cried Vronsky, taking 
her head in his hands. " Aaah ! what have I done .-* " 
And the lost race ! and his humiliating, unpardonable 
blunder! and the poor ruined horse! "Aaah! what 
have I done ? " 

The people's doctor and his assistant, the officers of 
his regiment, ran to his aid ; but to his great mortifica- 
tion he found that he was safe and sound. The horse's 
back was broken and she had to be killed, 

Vronsky could not answer the questions which were 
put to him, could not speak a word to any one ; he turned 
away and, without picking up his cap, left the hippo- 
drome, not knowing whither he was going. He was in 
despair. For the first time in his life he was the victim 
of a misfortune for which there was no remedy, and for 
which he felt that he himself was the only one to blame. 

Yashvin, with his cap, overtook him and brought him 
back to his quarters, and in half an hour Vronsky was calm 
and self-possessed again ; but this race was for a long 
time the most bitter and cruel remembrance of his life. 


The external relations of Aleksel Aleksandrovitch 
and his wife were the same as they had been. The 
only difference was that he was more absorbed in his 
work than he had been. Early in the spring he went 
abroad, as was his custom each year, to recuperate at 
the water-cure after the fatigues of the winter. He re- 
turned in July, as he usually did, and resumed his duties 
with new energy. His wife had taken up her summer 
quarters as usual in a datc/ta, or summer villa, not far 
from Petersburg ; he remained in the city. 

Since their conversation after the reception at the 
Princess Tverskaya's, he had said nothing more about 


his jealousies or suspicions ; and the tone of raillery 
habitual with AlekseY Aleksandrovitch was to the high- 
est degree useful to him in his present relations with 
his wife. He was somewhat cooler in his treatment of 
her, although he seemed to have felt only a slight ill- 
will toward her after that night's conversation which 
she had refused to listen to. In his relations to her 
there was a shade of spite, but nothing more. He 
seemed to say, " You have not been willing to have an 
understanding with me ; so much the worse for you. 
Now you must make the first advances, and I, in my 
turn, will not listen to you." 

" So much the worse for you," said he in his thought, 
like a man who should try in vain to put out a fire and 
should be angry at his vain efforts, and should say, " I 
have done my best for you ; burn then ! " 

This man, so keen and shrewd in matters of public 
concern, could not see the absurdity of such behavior to 
his wife. He did not understand it because it was too 
terrible to understand his actual position. He preferred 
to bury the affection which he felt for his wife and child 
deep in his heart, as in a box locked and sealed. He, 
a watchful father, had begun toward the end of that 
winter to be singularly cold toward the child, speaking 
to him in the same bantering tone that he used toward 
his wife. When he addressed him he would say, " Ah, 
young man ! " 

Alekseif Aleksandrovitch thought and declared that 
he had never had so many important affairs as this year ; 
but he did not confess that he had himself under- 
taken them in order to keep from opening his secret 
coffer which contained his sentiments toward his wife 
and his family, and his thoughts concerning them, — 
thoughts which grew more and more terrible to him 
the longer he kept them out of sight. 

If any one had assumed the right to ask him what he 
thought about his wife's conduct, this calm and pacific 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch would have made no reply, but 
would have been very indignant with the man who 
should dare to ask him such a question. And so his 


face always looked stern and haughty whenever any one 
asked how his wife was. Aleksef Aleksandrovitch did 
not wish to think about his wife's conduct and feelings, 
and therefore he did not think about them. 

The Karenins' summer datcha was at Peterhof ; and the 
Countess Lidya Ivanovna generally spent her summers 
in the same neighborhood, keeping up friendly relations 
with Anna. This year the countess had not cared to go to 
Peterhof, nor had she once called on Anna Arkadyevna ; 
and as she was talking with Karenin one day, she made 
some allusion to the impropriety of Anna's intimacy 
with Betsy and Vronsky. Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
stopped her harshly, and declared that for him his wife 
was above suspicion, and from that day he avoided the 
countess. He did not wish to see and he did not see 
that many people in society were beginning to give 
his wife the cold shoulder ; he did not wish to com- 
prehend and he did not comprehend why his wife es- 
pecially insisted on going to Tsarskoye, where Betsy 
lived and from which it was not far to Vronsky's 

He did not allow himself to think about this, and he 
did not think ; but at the same time, without any proof 
to support him, without actually acknowledging it to 
himself, in the depths of his soul he felt that he was a 
deceived husband ; he had no doubt about it, and he 
suffered deeply. 

How many times in the course of his eight years of 
happy married life, as he had seen other men's wives 
playing them false and other husbands deceived, had he 
not asked himself, "How did it come to this.-* Why 
don't they free themselves at any cost from such an 
absurd situation .-* " But now, when the evil had fallen 
on his own head, he not only did not dream of extricat- 
ing himself from his own trouble, but he would not 
even admit it, would not admit it for the very reason 
that it was too horrible and too unnatural. 

Since his return from abroad, Alekseif Aleksandrovitch 
had gone twice to his wife's datcha, — once to dine 
with her, the other time to pass the evening with some 


guests, but not once had he spent the night, as had 
been his custom in previous years. 

The day of the races was extremely engrossing for 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch ; but when in the morning he 
made out the program of the day, he decided to go to 
his wife's datcha after an early dinner, and thence to 
the hippodrome, where he expected to find the court, 
and where it was proper that he should be seen. He 
went to see his wife because he had resolved, for the 
sake of propriety also, to visit his wife every week. 
Moreover, it was the fifteenth of the month, and it was 
his custom at this time to place in her hands the money 
for the household expenses. 

With his ordinary power over his thoughts he gave 
this much consideration to his wife's affairs, but beyond 
this point he would not permit them to pass. 

His morning had been extremely full of business. 
The evening before he had received a pamphlet, written 
by a famous traveler, who had recently returned from 
China and was now in Petersburg ; a note from the 
Countess Lidya, accompanying it, begged him to receive 
this traveler, who seemed likely to be, on many ac- 
counts, a useful and interesting man. Aleksel Alek- 
sandrovitch had not been able to get through the 
pamphlet in the evening, and he finished it after break- 
fast. Then came petitions, reports, visits, nominations, 
removals, the distribution of rewards, pensions, salaries, 
correspondence, all that " workaday labor," as Aleksef 
Aleksandrovitch called it, which consumes so much 

Then came his private business, a visit from his phy- 
sician and a call from his steward. The steward did not 
stay very long. He only brought the money which 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch needed, and a brief report on 
the condition of his affairs, which this year were not 
very satisfactory, since it happened that in consequence 
of various outlays there had been a heavy drain upon 
him and there was a deficit. 

But the doctor, who was a famous physician of 
Petersburg, and had come into very friendly relations 


with AlekseY Aleksandrovitch, took considerable time. 
Aleksei Aleksandrovitch had not expected him that day 
and was astonished at his visit, and still more so at the 
scrupulous care with which he plied him with questions, 
and sounded his lungs and punched and thumped his 
liver ; Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch was not aware that his 
friend, the Countess Lidya, troubled by his abnormal 
condition, had begged the doctor to visit him and give 
him a thorough examination. 

" Do it for my sake," said the Countess Lidya Iva- 

" I will do it for the sake of Russia, countess," replied 
the doctor. 

" Admirable man ! " cried the countess. 

The doctor was very much disturbed at Aleksei 
Aleksandrovitch's state. His liver was congested, his 
digestion was bad ; the waters had done him no good. 
He ordered more physical exercise, as little mental 
strain as possible, and, above all, freedom from vexation 
of spirit ; in other words, he ordered Aleksei' Aleksan- 
drovitch to do what was as impossible for him as not to 

The doctor departed, leaving Alekse'f Aleksandrovitch 
with the disagreeable impression that something was 
very wrong with him, and that there was no help for it. 

On the way out, the doctor met on Karenin's steps 
his old acquaintance Sliudin, who was Alekse'f Alek- 
sandrovitch's chief secretary. They had been in t'he 
university together ; but, though they rarely met, they 
were still excellent friends, and therefore to no one else 
than Sliudin would the doctor have expressed his opinion 
concerning the sick man so frankly. 

" How glad I am that you have been to see him ! " 
said Sliudin. " He is not well, and it seems to me ..... 
Well, what is it ? " 

" I will tell you," said the doctor, nodding to his 
coachman to drive up to the door. "This is what I 
say;" and, taking with his white hand the fingers of 
his dogskin glove, he stretched it out ; " try to break 
a tough cord which is not stretched and it 's hard work ; 


but keep it stretched out to its utmost tension, and 
put the weight of your finger on it, it breaks. Now, 
with his too sedentary life, and his too conscientious 
labor, he is strained to the utmost limit ; and besides, 
there is a violent pressure in another direction," con- 
cluded the doctor, raising his eyebrows significantly. 
" Shall you be at the races ? " he added, as he got into 
his carriage. 

" Yes, yes, certainly ; it takes a good deal of time," 
he said in reply to something that Sliudin said, and 
which he did not catch. 

Immediately after the departure of the doctor, who 
had taken so much time, the celebrated traveler ap- 
peared ; and Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, aided by the 
pamphlet which he had just read, and by some pre- 
vious information which he had on the subject, aston- 
ished his visitor by the extent of his knowledge and 
the breadth of his views. 

At the same time the marshal ^ of nobility of his 
government was announced, who had come to Peters- 
burg and wanted to talk with him. After his departure 
he was obliged to settle the routine business with his 
chief secretary, and finally to go out and make a serious 
and necessary call on an important personage. 

Alekself Aleksandrovitch had only time to get back 
to his five o'clock dinner with Sliudin, whom he in- 
vited to join him on his visit to the country and to the 

Without exactly accounting for it, Aleksef Aleksan- 
drovitch always endeavored lately to have a third per- 
son present when he had an interview with his wife. 


Anna was in her room standing before a mirror and 
fastening a final bow to her dress, with Annushka's aid, 
when the noise of wheels on the gravel driveway was 

^ Gubernsky Predvodityel. 


" It is too early for Betsy," she thought ; and, looking 
out of the window, she saw a carriage and in the car- 
riage AlekseY Aleksandrovitch's black hat and well- 
known ears. 

"How provoking! Can he have come for the night ?" 
she thought ; and all the consequences of his visit 
seemed to her so terrible, so horrible, that without 
taking time for a moment of reflection, she went down- 
stairs, radiant with gayety, to receive her husband; and, 
feeling in her the presence of the spirit of falsehood and 
deception which now ruled her, she gave herself up to it 
and spoke with her husband, not knowing what she said. 

" Ah ! how good of you ! " said she, extending her 
hand to Karenin, while she smiled on Sliudin as a 
household friend. 

" You 've come for the night, I hope .-' " were her first 
words, inspired by the demon of untruth ; "and now we 
will go to the races together. But how sorry I am that 
I engaged to go with Betsy. She is coming for me." 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch frowned slightly at the name 
of Betsy. 

"Oh! I will not separate the inseparables," said he, 
in his light jesting tone. "I will walk with Mikhad 
Vasilyevitch. The doctor advised me to take exercise ; 
I will join the pedestrians, and imagine I am still at 
the Spa." 

"There is no hurry," said Anna. "Will you have 
some tea ? " 

She rang. 

" Serve the tea, and tell Serozha that Aleksei" Alek- 
sandrovitch has come. — Well ! how is your health } — 
Mikhail Vasilyevitch, you have not been out to see us 
before ; look ! how pleasant it is on the balcony ! " said 
she, looking now at her husband, now at her guest. 

She spoke very simply and naturally, but too fast and 
too fluently. She herself felt that it was so, especially 
when she caught Mikhail Vasilyevitch looking at her with 
curiosity and perceived that he was studying her. 

Mikhail Vasilyevitch got up and went out on the 
terrace, and she sat down beside her husband. 


"You do not look at all well," said she. 

" Oh, yes ! The doctor came this morning, and wasted 
an hour of my time. I am convinced that some one of 
my friends sent him. . My health is so precious ...." 

'♦ No, what did he say ? " 

And she questioned him about his health and his 
labors, advising him to take rest, and to come out into 
the country, where she was. 

It was all said with gayety and animation, and with 
brilliant light in her eyes, but Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
attached no special importance to her manner ; he heard 
only her words, and took them in their literal significa- 
tion. And he replied simply, though jestingly. The 
conversation had no special weight, yet Anna never after- 
ward could remember the whole short scene without the 
keen agony of shame. 

Serozha came in, accompanied by his governess. If 
Alekself Aleksandrovitch had allowed himself to notice, 
he would have been struck by the timid manner in 
which the lad looked at his parents, — at his father 
first, and then at his mother. But he was unwilling to 
see anything, and he saw nothing. 

"Ah, young man! He has grown. Indeed, he is 
getting to be a great fellow ! Good-morning, young 

And he stretched out his hand to the puzzled child. 
Serozha had always been a little afraid of his father ; 
but now, since Aleksef Aleksandrovitch had begun to 
call him "young man," and since he had begun to rack 
his brains to discover whether Vronsky were a friend or 
an enemy, he was becoming more timid than ever. He 
turned to his mother, as if for protection ; he felt at 
ease only when with her. Meantime AlekseK Aleksan- 
drovitch laid his hand on the boy's shoulder, and asked 
his governess about him ; but the child was so painfully 
shy of him that Anna saw he was going to cry. 

Anna, who had flushed at the moment her son came 
in, now noticing that it was awkward for him, quickly 
jumped up, raised Aleksef Aleksandrovitch's hand to 
let the boy go, kissed the little fellow, and took hira 


out on the terrace. Then she came back to her husband 

" It is getting late," she said, consulting her watch. 
" Why does n't Betsy come ? " .... 

"Oh, yes," said Aleksel Aleksandrovitch, and as he 
got up he joined his fingers and made them crack. " I 
came also to bring you some money, for nightingales 
don't live on songs," said he. " You need it, I sup- 
pose .-' " 

" No, I don't need it .... yes .... I do," said she, not look- 
ing at him and blushing to the roots of her hair. " Well, 
I suppose you will come back after the races ? " 

"Oh, yes!" replied Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch. "But 
here is the glory of Peterhof, the Princess Tverskaya," 
he added, looking out of the window at a magnificent 
carriage with a short body set very high and with horses 
harnessed in the English fashion, drawing up to the 
entrance; "what elegance! splendid I well, let us go 
too ! " 

The Princess Tverskaya did not leave her carriage; 
her lackey, in top-boots and pelerinka, or short cloak, 
and wearing a tall hat, leaped to the steps. 

" I am going, good-by," said Anna, and after she had 
kissed her son, she went to Aleksei Aleksandrovitch 
and gave him her hand. " It was very kind of you to 

AlekseY Aleksandrovitch kissed her hand. 

" Well then, da svidanya I You will come back to 
tea .'' Excellent ! " she said, as she went down the steps, 
seeming radiant and happy. 

But hardly had she passed from his sight before she 
felt on her hand the place where his lips had kissed it, 
and she shivered with repugnance. 



When Alekseif Aleksandrovitch reached the race- 
course, Anna was already in her place beside Betsy, in 
the grand pavilion, where all the highest society was 
gathered in a brilliant throng. She saw her husband 
from a distance. Two men, her husband and her lover, 
were for her the two centers of life, and without the help 
of her external senses she felt their presence. Even 
when her husband was at a distance she was conscious 
of his presence, and she involuntarily followed him in 
that billowing throng in the midst of which he was 
coming along. She saw him approach the pavilion, now 
replying with condescension to ingratiating salutations, 
then cordially or carelessly exchanging greetings with his 
equals ; then again assiduously watching to catch the 
glances of the great ones of the earth, and taking off 
his large, round hat, which came down to the top of his 
ears. Anna knew all these mannerisms of salutation, 
and they were all equally distasteful to her. 

" Nothing but ambition ; craze for success ; it is all 
that his heart contains," she thought ; " but his lofty 
views, his love for civilization, his religion, they are 
only means whereby to win success." 

From the glances that Karenin cast on the pavilion, 
he was looking straight at his wife, but could not see 
her in the sea of muslin, ribbons, feathers, flowers, and 
sunshades — Anna knew he was looking for her, but 
she pretended not to see him. 

" Aleksef Aleksandrovitch," cried the Princess Betsy, 
** don't you see your wife ? here she is ! " 

He looked up with his icy smile. 

" Everything is so brilliant here, that it blinds the 
eyes," he replied, as he came up the pavilion. 

He smiled at Anna, as it is a husband's duty to do 
when he has only just left his wife, greeted Betsy and 
his other acquaintances, conducting himself in due form, 
in other words, jesting with the ladies, and exchanging 
compliments with the men. 


A general-adjutant, well known for his wit and culture, 
and highly esteemed by AlekseY Aleksandrovitch, was 
standing below near the pavilion. Aleksel Aleksan- 
drovitch joined him, and engaged in conversation. It 
was the interval between two of the races ; the general- 
adjutant condemned racing. Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch 
replied and defended them. 

Anna heard his shrill, monotonous voice, and lost not 
a single word ; and every word that he spoke seemed to 
her hypocritical and rang unpleasantly in her ear. 

When the four-verst handicap-race began, she leaned 
forward, not letting Vronsky out of her sight for an 
instant. She saw him approach his horse, then mount 
it ; and at the same time she heard her husband's odious, 
incessant voice. She was tormented with fear for Vron- 
sky ; but she was tormented still more by the sound of 
her husband's sharp voice, every intonation of which 
she knew ; it seemed to her that he would never cease 

" I am a wicked woman, a lost woman," she thought ; 
" but I hate falsehood, I cannot endure lies ; but to 
him " — meaning her husband — *' lies are his daily food ! 
He knows all, he sees everything ; how much feeling 
has he, if he can go on speaking with such calmness .-' 
I should have some respect for him if he killed me, if 
he killed Vronsky. But no ! what he prefers above 
everything is falsehood and conventionality," said Anna 
to herself, not exactly knowing what she wanted of her 
husband, whatever she might want him to see. She 
did not understand that the very volubility of Alekse'f 
Aleksandrovitch, which irritated her so, was only the 
expression of his interior agitation and anxiety. 

As a child, hurt when jumping, puts its muscles into 
motion to assuage the pain, so Aleksei Aleksandrovitch 
absolutely required some intellectual movement, so as to 
become oblivious to the thoughts about his wife that 
arose in his mind at the sight of Anna and at the sight 
of Vronsky, whose name he heard on all sides. And 
as it is natural for a child to jump, so for him was it 
natural to talk tersely and well. 


" Danger," he was saying, " is an indispensable con 
clition in these military and cavalry races. If England 
can show in her history the most glorious deeds of arms 
performed by her cavalry, she owes it solely to the his- 
toric development of vigor in her people and her horses. 
Sport, in my opinion, has a deep significance ; and, as 
usual, we take it only in its superficial aspect." 

" Not superficial," said the Princess Tverskaya ; " they 
say that one of the officers has broken two ribs." 

Alekself Aleksandrovitch smiled with his smile which 
only uncovered his teeth and was perfectly expression- 

" Let us admit, princess," said he, "that in this case it 
is not superficial, but serious.^ But that is not the 
point ; " and he turned again to the general, and resumed 
his dignified discourse : — 

" You must not forget that those who take part are 
military men who have chosen this career, and you must 
agree that every vocation has its reverse side of the 
medal. This belongs to the calling of war. Such 
brutal sport as boxing-matches and Spanish bull-fights 
are indications of barbarism, but specialized sport is a 
sign of development." 

" No, I won't come another time," the Princess 
Betsy was saying ; " it is too exciting for me ; don't 
you think so, Anna } " 

" It is exciting, but it is fascinating," said another 
lady ; " if I had been a Roman, I should never have 
missed a single gladiatorial show." 

Anna did not speak, but, with her opera-glass, was 
gazing intently at a single spot. 

At this moment a tall general came across the 
pavilion. Aleksel Aleksandrovitch, breaking off his 
discourse abruptly, arose with dignity, and made a 
low bow. 

" Are n't you racing .-' " asked the general, jestingly. 

" My race is a far more difficult one," replied Aleksel 
Aleksandrovitch, respectfully ; and though this answer 
was not remarkable for its sense, the military man 

1 Vnutrenneye, internal. 


seemed to think that he had received a witty repartee 
from a witty man, and appreciated la pointe de la 

"There are two sides to the question," AlekseY Alek- 
sandrovitch said, resuming, — "that of the participants, 
and that of the spectators ; and I confess that a love 
for such spectacles is a genuine sign of inferiority in 
those that look on, but .... " 

"Princess, a wager," cried the voice of Stepan Ar- 
kadyevitch from below, addressing Betsy. "Which 
side will you take .'* " 

" Anna and I bet on Prince Kuzovlef," replied Betsy. 

" I am for Vronsky. A pair of gloves." 


"How jolly! isn't it?" 

Alekseif Aleksandrovitch stopped speaking while this 
conversation was going on around him, and then he 
began anew : — 

" I confess, unmanly games .... " 

But at this instant the signal of departure was heard, 
and all conversation ceased. Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
also ceased speaking ; and every one stood up so as 
to look at the "river." But Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
was not interested in the race, and so, instead of 
watching the riders, looked around the assembly with 
weary eyes. His gaze fell on his wife. 

Her face was pale and stern. She evidently saw 
nothing and no one — except one person. Her hands 
convulsively clutched her fan ; she held her breath. 
Karenin looked at her, then hastily turned away, gaz- 
ing at the faces of other women. 

" There is another lady very much moved, and still 
another just the same ; it is very natural," said Aleksel 
Aleksandrovitch to himself. He did not wish to look 
at her ; but his gaze was irresistibly drawn to her face. 
He once more gazed into her face, trying not to read 
in it what was so plainly pictured on it, and against 
his will he read, with feelings of horror, all that he 
had tried to ignore. 

When Kuzovlef fell at the " river," the excitement 

VOL. I. — 18 


was general ; but Alekseif Aleksandrovitch saw clearly 
by Anna's pale, triumphant face that he that fell was 
not the one on whom her gaze was riveted. 

When, after Makhotin and Vronsky crossed the great 
hurdle, another officer was thrown head first, and was 
picked up for dead, a shudder of horror ran through 
the assembly ; but Aleksef Aleksandrovitch perceived 
that Anna did not even notice it, and scarcely knew 
what the people around her were talking about. 

But he kept studying her face, with deeper and 
deeper attention. Anna, all absorbed as she was in 
the spectacle of Vronsky's course, was conscious that 
her husband's cold eyes were on her. She turned 
around for an instant and looked at him questioningly. 
Then with a slight frown she turned away. 

" Akh ! it is all the same to me," she seemed to say, 
as she turned her glass to the race. She did not look 
at him again. 

The race was disastrous ; out of the seventeen riders, 
more than half were thrown and hurt. Toward the end 
the excitement became intense, the more because the 
emperor was displeased. 


All were loudly expressing their dissatisfaction, and 
the phrase was going the rounds, " Now only the lions 
are left in the arena ; " and when Vronsky fell, horror 
was felt by all, and Anna groaned in dismay. In this 
there was nothing extraordinary. But, from thence on, 
a change which was positively improper had come over 
her face, and she entirely lost her presence of mind. 
She tried to escape, like a bird caught in a snare. 
Thus she struggled to arise, and to get away ; and 
then she cried to Betsy: — 

" Come, let us go, let us go ! " 

But Betsy did not hear her. She was leaning over, 
engaged in lively conversation with a general who had 
just entered the pavilion. 


AlekseT Aleksandrovitch hastened to his wife, and 
courteously offered her his arm. 

" Come, if it is your wish to go," said he, in French ; 
but Anna was listening eagerly to what the general 
said, and paid no attention to her husband. 

** He has broken his leg, they say ; but this is not 
at all likely," said the general. 

Anna did not look at her husband ; but, taking her 
glass, she gazed at the place where Vronsky had 
fallen. It was so distant, and the crowd was so dense, 
that she could not make anything out of it. She 
dropped her binocle, and started to go ; but at that 
instant an officer came galloping up to make some 
report to the emperor. Anna leaned forward, and 

" Stiva ! Stiva ! " she cried to her brother. 

He did not hear her. 

She again made an effort to leave the pavilion. 

" I again offer you my arm, if you wish to go," re- 
peated Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, touching her hand. 

Anna drew back from him with aversion, and replied 
without looking at him : — 

** No, no ; leave me ; I am going to stay." 

She now saw an officer riding at full speed across the 
race-course from the place of the accident to the pavilion. 
Betsy beckoned to him with her handkerchief ; the offi- 
cer brought the news that the rider was uninjured but 
the horse had broken her back. 

When she heard this, Anna quickly sat down, and hid 
her face behind her fan. Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
noticed, not only that she was weeping, but that she 
could not keep back the tears or even control the sobs 
that heaved her bosom. He stepped in front of her to 
shield her from the public gaze and give her a chance 
to regain her self-command. 

" For the third time I offer you my arm," said he, 
turning to her at the end of a few moments. 

Anna looked at him, not knowing what to say. The 
Princess Betsy came to her aid. 

" No, Aleksei Aleksandrovitch. I brought Anna, and 


I will be responsible for bringing her home," said Betsy, 

" Excuse me, princess," he replied, politely smiling, 
and looking her full in the face ; " but I see that she is 
not well, and I wish her to go with me." 

Anna looked round in terror, and, rising hastily, took 
her husband's arm. 

"I will send to inquire for him, and let you know," 
whispered Betsy. 

As Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch left the pavilion with his 
wife, he spoke in his ordinary manner to all whom he 
met, and Anna was forced to listen and to reply as 
usual ; but she was not herself, and as in a dream she 
passed along on her husband's arm. 

" Is he killed, or not ? Can it be true .-* Will he 
come .'' Shall I see him to-day .-* " she asked herself. 

In silence she got into AlekseY Aleksandrovitch's 
carriage, and she sat in silence as they left the throng 
of vehicles. In spite of all he had seen, Alekseif Alek- 
sandrovitch did not allow himself to think of his wife's 
present attitude. He saw only the external signs. He 
saw that her deportment had been improper, and he felt 
obliged to speak to her about it. But it was very diffi- 
cult not to say more, — to say only that. He opened 
his mouth to tell her how improperly she had behaved ; 
but, in spite of himself, he said something absolutely 

"How strange that we all like to see these cruel 
spectacles! I notice...." 

" What ? I did not understand you," said Anna, 

He was wounded, and instantly began to say what 
was on his mind. . 

" I am obliged to tell you ...." he began. 

"Now," thought Anna, "comes the explanation ;" and 
a terrible feeling came over her. 

" I am obliged to tell you that your conduct to-day 
has been extremely improper," said he, in French. 

"Wherein has my conduct been improper .!*" she 
demanded angrily, raising her head quickly, and look- 


ing him straight in the eyes, no longer hiding her feel- 
ings under a mask of gayety, but putting on a bold 
front, under which, with difficulty, she hid her fears. 

" Be careful," said he, pointing to the open window 
behind the coachman's back. 

He leaned forward and raised the pane. 

"What impropriety did you remark?" she asked 

" The despair which you took no pains to conceal 
when one of the riders was thrown." 

He awaited her answer ; but she said nothing, and 
looked straight ahead. 

** I have already requested you so to behave when in 
society that evil tongues cannot find anything to say 
against you. There was a time when I spoke of your 
inner feelings ; I now say nothing about them. Now I 
speak only of outward appearances. You have behaved 
improperly, and I would ask you not to let this happen 

She did not hear half of his words ; she felt over- 
whelmed with fear ; and she thought only of Vronsky, 
and whether he was killed. Was it he who was meant 
when they said the rider was safe but the horse had 
broken her back .-' 

When Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch ceased speaking, she 
looked at him with an ironical smile, and answered not 
a word, because she had not noticed what he said. At 
first he had spoken boldly ; but as he saw clearly what 
he was speaking about, the terror which possessed her 
seized him also. He noticed that smile of hers, and it 
led him into a strange mistake. 

" She is amused at my suspicions ! She is going to 
tell me now what she once before said, that there is no 
foundation for them, that this is absurd." 

Now when the discovery of the whole thing hung 
over him, he desired nothing so much as that she should 
answer derisively as she had done before, that his sus- 
picions were ridiculous and had no foundation. What 
he now knew was so terrible to him that he was ready 
to believe anything that she might say. But the ex' 


pression of her gloomy and frightened face now allowed 
him no further chance of falsehood. 

"Possibly I am mistaken," said he; "in that case, I 
beg you to forgive me." 

"No, you are not mistaken," she replied, with meas- 
ured words, casting a look of despair on her husband's 
icy face. " You are not mistaken ; I was in despair, 
and I could not help being. I hear you, but I am think- 
ing only of him. I love him, I am his mistress. I can- 
not endure you, I fear you, I hate you!.... Do with me 
what you please ! " 

And, throwing herself into a corner of the carriage, 
she covered her face with her hands, and burst into tears. 

AlekseY Aleksandrovitch did not move, or change the 
direction of his eyes ; but his whole face suddenly as- 
sumed the solemn rigidity of a corpse, and this expres- 
sion remained unchanged throughout the drive to the 
datcha. As they reached the house, he turned his head 
to her still with the same expression. 

" So ! but I insist on the preservation of appearances 
until" — and here his voice trembled — "I decide on 
the measures which I shall take to save my honor and 
communicate them to you." 

He stepped out of the carriage, and assisted Anna 
out. Then, in presence of the domestics, he shook 
hands with her, reentered the carriage, and drove back 
to Petersburg. 

He had just gone, when a lackey from Betsy brought 
a note to Anna : — 

" I sent to Alekser Vronsky to learn how he was. 
He writes me that he is safe and sound, but in despair." 

"Then he will come," she thought. "How well I 
did to tell him all ! " 

She looked at her watch ; scarcely three hours had 
passed since she saw him, but the memory of their 
interview made her heart hot within her. 

"Bozhe molf! how light it is! It is terrible! but I 

love to see his face, and I love this fantastic light 

My husband ! oh ! yes ! ....well! thank God it is all over 
with him 1 " 



As in all places where human beings congregate, so 
in the little German village where the Shcherbatskys 
went to take the waters, there is formed a sort of social 
crystallization which puts every one in his exact and un- 
changeable place. Just as a drop of water exposed to 
the cold always and invariably takes a certain crystalline 
form, so each new individual coming to the Spa immedi- 
ately finds himself fixed in the place peculiar to him. 

" Fiirst Schtscherbatzsky sammt Gemahlin und Toch- 
ter," — Prince Shcherbatsky, wife, and daughter, — both 
by the apartments that they occupied, and by their name 
and the acquaintances that they found, immediately 
crystallized into the exact place that was predestined to 
receive them. 

This year a genuine German Furstin, or princess, was 
at the Spa, and in consequence the crystallization of 
society took place even more energetically than usual. 
The Russian princess felt called on to present her 
daughter to the German princess, and the ceremony 
took place two days after their arrival. Kitty, dressed 
in a very simple toilet, that is to say, a very elegant 
summer costume imported from Paris, made a low and 
graceful courtesy. The Furstin said : — 

" I hope that the roses will soon bloom again in this 
pretty little face." 

And immediately the Shcherbatsky family found them- 
selves in the fixed and definite walk in life from which 
it was impossible to descend. They made the acquain- 
tance of the family of an English Lady, of a German 
Grdfin, and her son who had been wounded in the late 
war, of a scientific man from Sweden, and of a M. Canut 
and his sister. 

But, for the most part, the Shcherbatskys spontane- 
ously formed social relations among the people from 
Moscow, among them Marya Yevgenyevna Rtishchevaya 
and her daughter, whom Kitty did not like because she 
likewise was ill on account of a love-affair, and a Mos 


cow colonel whom she had seen in society since child- 
hood, and known by his uniform and his epaulets, and 
who now, with his little eyes, and his bare neck and 
flowery cravats, seemed to Kitty supremely ridiculous, 
and the more unendurable because she could not get rid 
of him. When they were all established, it became very 
tiresome to Kitty, the more as her father had gone to 
Carlsbad, and she and her mother were left alone. She 
could not interest herself in her old acquaintances, be- 
cause she knew that she should not find anything novel 
in them ; and so her principal arnusement was in study- 
ing the people whom she had never seen before. It was 
in accordance with Kitty's nature to see the best side 
of people, especially of strangers ; and now, in making 
her surmises about the persons whom she saw, — who 
they were and what they were like and what relation- 
ship they bore to one another, — she amused herself in 
imagining the most wonderful and beautiful characters, 
and found justification for her observations. 

Of all these people, there was one in whom she took 
a most lively interest : this was a young Russian girl 
who had come to the baths with a sick Russian lady 
named Madame Stahl. Madame Stahl belonged to the 
high nobility ; but she was so ill that she could not 
walk, and only occasionally, on very fine days, appeared 
at the baths in a wheeled-chair. But it was rather from 
pride than illness, as the princess judged, that she 
failed to make any acquaintances among the Russians. 
The girl was her nurse ; and, as Kitty remarked, she 
frequently went to those who were seriously ill, — and 
there were many at the baths, — and with the most 
natural, unaffected zeal, took care of them. 

This young Russian girl, Kitty discovered to her sur- 
prise, was no relation to Madame Stahl, nor even a hired 
companion. Madame Stahl called her simply Varenka, 
but her friends called her " Mademoiselle Varenka." 
Kitty not only found it extremely interesting to study 
the relations between this young girl and Madame 
Stahl, and other persons whom she did not know, but, 
as often happens, she also felt an unaccountable sym- 


pathy drawing her toward Mademoiselle Varenka ; and, 
when their eyes met, she imagined that it pleased her also. 

This Mademoiselle Varenka was not only no longer in 
her first youth, but she seemed like a creature without 
any youth ; her age might be guessed as either nineteen 
or thirty. If one analyzed her features, she was rather 
good-looking in spite of the sickly pallor of her face. 
If her head had not been rather large, and her figure 
too slight, she would have been considered handsome ; 
but she was not one to please men ; she made one think 
of a beautiful flower, which, though still preserving its 
petals, was faded and without perfume. There was one 
other reason why she could not be attractive to men, 
and that was the fact that she lacked exactly what Kitty 
had in excess — the repressed fire of life and a con- 
sciousness of her fascination. 

Varenka seemed always absorbed in some important 
work ; and therefore it seemed she could not take any 
interest in anything irrelevant. It was this very con- 
trast to herself that especially attracted Kitty to her. 
Kitty felt that in her and in her mode of life she might 
find what she was seeking with so much trouble, — an 
interest in life, the dignity of life outside of the social 
relationships of young women to young men, which 
now seemed to Kitty like an ignominious exposure of 
merchandise waiting for a purchaser. The more she 
studied her unknown friend, the more convinced she 
became that this girl was the most perfect creature 
which she could imagine and the more she longed to 
become acquainted with her. 

The two girls passed each other many times every 
day ; and every time they met Kitty's eyes seemed 
always to ask : " Who are you ? What are you ? Are 
you not, in truth, the charming person that I imagine 
you to be ? But for Heaven's sake," the look seemed 
to add, "don't think that I would permit myself to 
demand your acquaintance ! I simply admire you, and 
love you." 

" I also love you, and you are very, very charming ; 
and I would love you still better, if I had time," replied 


the unknown maiden's look ; and indeed Kitty saw that 
she was always busy. Either she was taking the chil- 
dren of a Russian family home from the baths, or carry- 
ing a plaid for an invalid and wrapping her up in it, 
or she was trying to divert some irritable sick man, or 
selecting and buying confections for some other sick 

One morning, soon after the arrival of the Shcher- 
batskys, two new persons appeared who immediately 
became the object of rather unfriendly criticism. The 
one was a very tall, stooping man, with enormous hands, 
black eyes, at once innocent and terrifying, and wearing 
an old, ill-fitting, short coat. The other was a pock- 
marked woman, with a kindly face, and dressed very 
badly and inartistically. 

Kitty instantly recognized that they were Russians ; 
and in her imagination set to work constructing a 
beautiful and touching romance about them. But the 
princess, learning by the kurliste, or list of arrivals, 
that this was Nikolai Levin and Marya Nikolayevna, 
explained to her what a bad man this Levin was, and 
all her illusions about these two persons vanished. 

The fact that he was Konstantin Levin's brother, 
even more than her mother's words, suddenly made 
these two people particularly repulsive to Kitty. This 
Levin, with his habit of twitching his head, aroused in 
her an unsurmountable feeling of repulsion. It seemed 
to her that in his great, wild eyes, as they persistently 
followed her, was expressed a sentiment of hatred and 
irony, and she tried to avoid meeting hint 


It was a stormy day ; the rain fell all the morning, 
and the invalids with umbrellas thronged the gallery. 

Kitty and her mother, accompanied by the Muscovite 
colonel playing the elegant in his European overcoat, 
bought ready-made in Frankfort, were walking on one 
side of the gallery, in order to avoid Nikolaif Levin, who 


was on the other. Varenka, in her dark dress and a 
black hat with the brim turned down, was walking up 
and down the whole length of the gallery with a little 
blind French woman ; each time that she and Kitty 
met, they exchanged friendly glances. 

" Mamma, may I speak with her .-' " asked Kitty, as 
she happened to be following her unknown friend and 
noticed that she was approaching the spring, where they 
might meet. 

" Yes, if you wish it so much. I will inquire about 
her, and make her acquaintance first," said her mother. 
" But what do you find especially interesting in her } 
She is only a lady's companion. If you like, I can 
speak to Madame Stahl. I knew her belle-sceur,'' added 
the princess, proudly raising her head. 

Kitty knew that her mother was vexed because 
Madame Stahl seemed to avoid making her acquain- 
tance, and she did not press the point. 

" How wonderfully charming she is! " said she, as she 
saw Varenka give the blind French lady a glass. " See 
how lovely and gentle everything is that she does." 

" You amuse me with your engouements," replied the 
princess. " No, we had better go back," she added, as 
she saw Levin approaching with Marya and a German 
doctor, with whom he was speaking in a loud and angry 

As they turned to go back, suddenly they heard, not loud 
voices, but a cry. Levin had stopped, and was shriek- 
ing. The doctor was also angry. A crowd was gather- 
ing around them. The princess and Kitty hurried away, 
but the colonel joined the throng to find out what the 
trouble was. After a few moments the colonel came 
back to them. 

" What was it .-* " asked the princess. 

" It is a shame and a disgrace," replied the colonel. 
"There 's only one thing you need to fear, and that is to 
meet with Russians abroad. This tall gentleman was 
quarreling with his doctor, heaped indignities upon him 
for not attending to him as he wished, and finally he 
threatened him with his cane. It is simply disgraceful." 


*' Akh ! how unpleasant ! " said the princess. " Well, 
how did it end ? " 

" Fortunately that .... that girl with a hat like a toad- 
stool interfered. A Russian, it seems," said the colonel. 

" Mademoiselle Varenka .'' " joyously exclaimed Kitty. 

" Yes, yes ! She went quicker than any one else, and 
took the gentleman by the arm, and led him off." 

"There, mamma!" said Kitty, "and you wonder at 
my enthusiasm for Varenka ! " 

The next morning Kitty, watching her unknown 
friend, noticed that Mademoiselle Varenka had the 
same relations with Levin and Marya as with her other 
proteges: she joined them and talked with them, and 
acted as interpreter to the woman, who did not know 
any language besides her own. 

Kitty again begged her mother even more urgently 
to let her become acquainted with Varenka ; and though 
it was unpleasant to the princess to seem to be making 
advances to the haughty and exclusive Madame Stahl, 
she made some inquiries about Varenka, and learning 
enough to satisfy herself that there was no possible 
harm, though very little that was advantageous, in the 
proposed acquaintance, she went first to Varenka and 
introduced herself. 

Choosing a time when Kitty was at the spring, and 
Varenka was opposite the baker's, the princess went up 
to her. 

"Allow me to introduce myself," said she, with her 
dignified smile. " My daughter has taken a great fancy 
to you. But perhaps you do not know me. I...." 

" It is more than reciprocal, princess," replied Varenka, 

"What a good thing you did yesterday toward our 
wretched fellow-countryman," said the princess. 

Varenka blushed. 

" I do not remember," she replied. " I don't think I 
did anything." 

" Yes, indeed ! you saved this Levin from an unpleasant 

" Ah, yes ! sa compagne called me, and I tried to calm 


him ; he is very sick, and dissatisfied with his doctor. 
I am quite used to this kind of invalids." 

" Oh, yes. I have heard that you live at Mentone 
with your aunt, Madame Stahl. I used to know her 

" No, Madame Stahl is not my aunt. I call her 
maman, but I am no relation to her. I was brought up 
by her," replied Varenka, again blushing. 

All this was said with perfect simplicity ; and the 
expression of her pleasing face was so frank and sin- 
cere, that the princess began to understand why Kitty 
was so charmed by this Varenka. 

" Well, what is this Levin going to do ? " she asked. 

"He is going away." 

At this moment, Kitty, radiant with pleasure because 
her mother had made the acquaintance of her unknown 
friend, came in from the spring. 

" See here ! Kitty, your ardent desire to know Made- 

" Varenka," said the girl, smiling. " Every one calls 
me so." 

Kitty was flushed with delight, and without speaking 
long pressed her new friend's hand, which gave no an- 
swering pressure, but lay passive in hers. Her hand 
gave no answering pressure, but Mademoiselle Varenka's 
face shone with a quiet, joyous, though melancholy smile, 
which showed her large but handsome teeth. 

" I have been longing to know you," she said. 

" But you are so busy...," 

•' Oh ! on the contrary, I have n't anything to do," 
replied Varenka; but at the same instant she had to 
leave her new acquaintances because two little Russian 
girls, the daughters of an invalid, ran to her. 

"Varenka, mamma is calling," they cried. 

And Varenka followed them. 



The particulars which the princess learned about 
Varenka's past life, and her relations with Madame 
Stahl, and about Madame Stahl herself, were as fol- 
lows : — 

Madame Stahl had always been a sickly and excitable 
woman, who was said by some to have tormented the 
life out of her husband, and by others to have been tor- 
mented by his unnatural behavior. After she was 
divorced from her husband, she gave birth to her first 
child, which did not live ; and Madame Stahl's parents, 
knowing her sensitiveness, and fearing that the shock 
would kill her, substituted for the dead child the 
daughter of a court cook, born on the same night, and 
in the same house at Petersburg. This was Varenka. 
Madame Stahl afterwards learned that the child was 
not her own, but continued to take charge of her, the 
more willingly as the true parents shortly after died. 

For more than ten years Madame Stahl lived abroad, 
in the South, never leaving her bed. Some said that 
she was a woman who had made a public show of her 
piety and good works ; others said that she was at heart 
the most highly moral of women, and that she lived only 
for the good of her neighbor, that she was really what 
she pretended to be. 

No one knew whether she was Catholic, Protestant, 
or orthodox ; one thing alone was certain, — that she had 
friendly relations with the high dignitaries of all the 
churches and of all communions. 

Varenka always lived with Madame Stahl abroad ; 
and all who knew Madame Stahl knew Mademoiselle 
Varenka also, and loved her. When she had learned 
all the particulars, the princess found nothing objection- 
able in her daughter's acquaintance with Varenka ; the 
more because Varenka had the most cultivated manners 
and a fine education ; she spoke French and English 
admirably, and chief of all she brought from Ma- 
dame Stahl her regrets that, owing to her illness, she 


was deprived of the pleasure of making the princess's 

After she had once made Varenka's acquaintance, 
Kitty became more and more attached to her friend, 
and each day discovered some new charm in her. The 
princess, having discovered that Varenka sang well, in- 
vited her to come and give them an evening of music. 

" Kitty plays, and we have a piano ; not a very good in- 
strument, to be sure, but you would give us a great pleas- 
ure," said the princess, with her hypocritical smile which 
was displeasing to Kitty, especially as she knew that 
Varenka did not want to sing. But Varenka came, that 
same evening, and brought her music. The princess 
had invited Marya Yevgenyevna and her daughter, and 
the colonel. 

Varenka seemed perfectly indifferent to the presence 
of these people, who were strangers to her, and she went 
to the piano without being urged. She could not ac- 
company herself, but in singing she read the notes per- 
fectly. Kitty, who played very well, accompanied her. 

"You have a remarkable talent," said the princess, 
after the first song, which Varenka sang beautifully. 

Marya Yevgenyevna and her daughter added their 
compliments and their thanks. 

" See," said the colonel, looking out of the window, 
"what an audience you have attracted." 

In fact, a large number of people had gathered in 
front of the house. 

" I am very glad to have given you pleasure," said 
Varenka, without affectation. 

Kitty looked at her friend proudly ; she admired her 
art and her voice and her face, and, more than all, she 
was enthusiastic over the way in which Varenka made 
it evident that she took little account of her singing, 
and was perfectly indifferent to compliments. She 
simply seemed to say, " Shall I sing some more, or is 
that enough ? " 

" If I were in her place, how proud I should be ! How 
happy I should be to see that crowd under the window ! 
But she seems perfectly unconscious of it. All that 


she seemed to want was not to refuse, but to please 
maman. What is there about her ? What is it that 
gives her this power of indifference, this calmness and 
independence ? How I should like to learn this of her! " 
thought Kitty, as she looked into her peaceful face. 

The princess asked Varenka to sing again ; and she 
sang this time as well as the first, with the same care 
and the same perfection, standing erect near the piano, 
and beating time with her thin brown hand. 

The next piece in her music-roll was an Italian aria. 
Kitty played the introduction, and looked at Varenka. 

" Let us not do that one," said she, blushing. 

Kitty, in alarm and wonder, fixed her eyes on Varenka's 

"Well! another one," she said, hastily turning the 
pages, and somehow feeling an intuition that the Italian 
song brought back to her friend some painful association. 

" No," replied Varenka, putting her hand on the notes 
and smiling, "let us sing this." And she sang it as 
calmly and coolly as the one before. 

After the singing was over, they all thanked her 
again, and went out into the dining-room to drink tea. 
Kitty and Varenka went down into the little garden 
next the house. 

"You had some association with that song, did you 
not.?" asked Kitty. "You need not tell me about it," 
she hastened to add ; "simply say, ' Yes, I have.' " 

" Why should I not tell you about it } Yes, there is 
an association," said Varenka, calmly, and not waiting 
for Kitty to say anything, "and it is a painful one, I 
once loved a man, and used to sing that piece to him." 

Kitty with wide-open eyes looked at Varenka meekly,, 
but did not speak. 

"I loved him, and he loved me also; but his mother 
was unwilling, and he married some one else. He does 
not live very far from us now, and I sometimes see him. 
You did n't think that I also had my romance, did you ? " 

And her face lighted up with a rare beauty, and a 
fire such as Kitty imagined might have been habitual 
in other days. 


" Why should n't I have thought so ? If I were a 
man I could never have loved any one else after know- 
ing you," said Kitty. " What I cannot conceive is, that 
he was able to forget you, and make you unhappy for 
the sake of obeying his mother. He could n't have had 
any heart." 

" Oh, no, he was an excellent man ; and I am not un- 
happy ; on the contrary, I am very happy Well, shall 

we sing anymore this evening?" she added, starting 
to go toward the house. 

" How good you are ! how good you are ! " cried 
Kitty, and stopping her, she kissed her, " If I could 
only be a bit like you ! " 

" Why should you resemble any one else besides your- 
self .'* You are a good girl as you are," said Varenka, 
with her sweet and melancholy smile. 

"No, I am not good at all. Now, tell me.... Stay, 
stay ; let us sit down a little while," said Kitty, draw- 
ing her down to a settee near by. " Tell me how it can 
be other than a pain to think of a man who has scorned 
your love, who has jilted you...." 

*' But no, he did not scorn it at all ; I am sure that he 
loved me. But he was a dutiful son, and...." 

" Yes, but suppose it had not been for his mother's 
sake, but simply of his own free will," said Kitty, feeling 
that she was betraying her secret, and her face, glowing 
red with mortification, convicted her. 

" Then he would not have behaved honorably, and I 
should not mourn for him," replied Varenka, perceiving 
that the supposition concerned, not herself, but Kitty. 

"But the insult ! " cried Kitty. "One cannot forget 
the insult. It is impossible," said she, remembering her 
own look when the music stopped at the last ball. 

" Whose insult ? You did n't act badly.?" 

" Worse than badly, — shamefully ! " 

Varenka shook her head, and laid her hand on Kitty's. 

" Well, but why shamefully .-* " she asked. " You 
surely did not tell a man who showed indifference to 
you that you loved him ? " ri 

" Certainly not ; I never uttered a word. But he 

VOL. I. — 19 


knew it. There are looks, there are ways .... no, no! 
not if I lived a hundred years should I ever forget it." 

" Now, what is it ? I don't understand you. The 
question is solely this : do you love him now or not .<' " 
said Varenka, who liked to call things by their right 

" I hate him. I cannot forgive myself." 

"But what for.?" 

"The shame, the insult." 

" Akh ! if every one were as sensitive as you ! There 
is never a young girl who does not sometimes feel the 
same way. It is all such a trifling thing ! " 

"But what, then, is important.?" asked Kitty, look- 
ing at Varenka with astonishment and curiosity. 

" Oh ! many things are important," replied Varenka, 
with a smile. 

" Yes ; but what ? " 

" Oh ! there are many things more important," re- 
plied Varenka, not knowing what to say ; but at that 
moment the voice of the princess was heard from the 
window : — 

" Kitty, it is getting cool ; put on your shawl, or 
come in." 

"It is time to go," said Varenka, getting up. "I 
must go and see Madame Berthe ; she asked me to 

Kitty held her by the hand, and her eyes, full of 
passionate, almost supplicating, curiosity, asked her: — 

" What is it that is so important that can give such 
calm } You know ; tell me." 

But Varenka did not understand the meaning of 
Kitty's look. She remembered only that she had still 
to go to see Madame Berthe, and to get home at mid- 
night for tea with manian. She went back to the 
room, picked up her music, and, having said good-night 
to all, started to go. 

" Allow me ; I will escort you," said the colonel. 

"Certainly," said the princess. "How could you go 
home alone at night } I was going to send Parasha 
with you." 


Kitty saw that Varenka could hardly keep from smil- 
ing at the idea that she needed any one to go home 
with her. 

" No ; I always go home alone, and nothing ever 
happens to me," said she, taking her hat, and after 
kissing Kitty again, though she did not tell her " the 
one important thing," she hurried away with firm steps, 
her music-roll under her arm, and disappeared in the 
semi-darkness of the summer night, carrying with her 
her secret of " what is important " and what gave her 
her enviable calmness and dignity. 


Kitty also made Madame Stahl's acquaintance, and 
her relations with this lady and her friendship with 
Varenka had rrot only a powerful influence on her, but 
also soothed her grief. 

She found this consolation in the fact that, through 
this friendship, there opened before her an entirely new 
world, which had nothing in common with her past, — 
a beautiful, supernal world, from the lofty heights of 
which she could look down calmly on her past. She 
discovered that this world, which was entirely apart 
from the instinctive life which she had hitherto led, 
was the spiritual life. This life was reached by re- 
ligion, — a religion which had nothing in common with 
the religion to which Kitty had been accustomed since 
infancy, a religion which consisted of going to morn- 
ing and evening service, and to the House of Widows,^ 
where she met her acquaintances, or of learning by 
heart Slavonic texts with the parish priest. This was 
a lofty, mystic religion, united with the purest thoughts 
and feelings, and believed in not because one was com- 
manded to do so, but through love. 

Kitty learned all this, but not by words. Madame 
Stahl talked to her as to a dear child whom she loved 
as the type of her own youth, and only once did she 

^ Vdovui Dom 



make any allusion to the consolation brought by faith 
and love for human sorrows, and to the compassion 
of Christ, who looked on no sorrows as insignificant ; 
and she immediately changed the subject. 

But in all this lady's motions, in her words, in her 
heavenly looks, as Kitty called them, and, above all, 
in the story of her life, which she knew through Va- 
renka, Kitty discovered "the important thing" which 
till now had been but a sealed book to her. 

But, lofty as Madame Stahl's character was, touch- 
ing as was her history, high-minded and affectionate 
her discourse, Kitty could not help noticing certain 
peculiarities, which troubled her. One day, for ex- 
ample, when her relatives were mentioned, Madame 
Stahl smiled disdainfully ; it was contrary to Christian 
charity. Another time Kitty noticed, when she met 
a Roman Catholic dignitary calling on her, that Madame 
Stahl kept her face carefully shaded by the curtain, and 
smiled peculiarly. Insignificant as these two incidents 
were, they gave her some pain, and caused her to doubt 
Madame Stahl's sincerity. 

Varenka, on the other hand, alone in the world, with- 
out family connections, without friends, hoping for 
naught, harboring no ill-will after her bitter disap- 
pointment, seemed to her absolute perfection. Through 
Varenka she learned how to forget herself, and to love 
her neighbor, if she wanted to be happy, calm, and 
good. And Kitty did wish this. And, when once 
she learned what was the important thing, Kitty was 
no longer willing simply to admire, but gave herself 
up with her whole heart to the new life which opened 
before her. After the stories which Varenka told her 
of Madame Stahl and others whom she named, Kitty 
drew up a plan for her coming life. She decided that, 
following the example of Aline, Madame Stahl's niece, 
whom Varenka often told her about, she would visit 
the unhappy, no matter where she might be living, 
and that she would aid them to the best of her ability ; 
that she would distribute the Gospel, read the New 
Testament to the sick, to the dying, to criminals : the 


thought of reading the New Testament to criminals, 
as this Aline 'had done, especially appealed to Kitty. 
But she indulged in these dreams secretly, without 
telling them to her mother or even to her friend. 

However, while she was waiting to be able to carry 
out her schemes on a wider scale, it was easy for Kitty 
to put her new principles in practice at the waters, 
even then and there at the Spa, where the sick and 
unhappy are easily found, and she did as Varenka did. 

The princess swiftly noticed that Kitty had fallen 
under the powerful influence of her engoiiement with 
Madame Stahl (as she called it), and particularly with 
Varenka. She saw that Kitty imitated Varenka, not 
only in her deeds of charity, but even in her gait, in her 
speech, in her ways of shutting her eyes. Later she 
discovered that her daughter was passing through a sort 
of crisis of the soul quite independent of the influence 
of her friends. 

The princess saw that Kitty was reading the Gospels 
evenings in a French Testament loaned her by Madame 
Stahl, — a thing which she had never done before. 
She also noticed that she avoided her society friends, 
and gave her time to the sick under Varenka's care, and 
particularly to the poor family of a sick painter named 

Kitty seemed proud to fill, in this household, the 
functions of a sister of charity. All this was very 
good ; and the princess had no fault to find with it, and 
opposed it all the less from the fact that Petrof's wife 
was a woman of good family, and that one day the 
Filvstin, noticing Kitty's charitable activity, had praised 
her, and called her the " ministering angel." All would 
have been very good if it had not been carried to ex- 
cess. But the princess saw that her daughter was going 
to extremes, so she spoke to her about it. 

"// ne faut rien outrer — One must never go to ex- 
tremes," she said to her. 

But her daughter made no reply ; she only questioned 
from the bottom of her heart whether one could ever 
talk about going to extremes in the matter of religion. 


How could there be any possibility of extremes in follow- 
ing teachings which bid you offer your left cheek when 
the right has been struck, and to give your shirt when 
your cloak is taken from you ? But the princess was 
displeased with this tendency to exaggeration, and she 
was still more displeased to feel that Kitty was unwill- 
ing to open her heart to her. In point of fact, Kitty 
kept secret from her mother her new views and feelings. 
She kept them secret, not because she lacked affection 
or respect for her mother, but simply because she was 
her mother. It would have been easier to confess them 
to a stranger than to her mother. 

" It is a long time since Anna Pavlovna has been to 
see us," said the princess one day, speaking of Madame 
Petrof. " I invited her to come, but she seems of- 

"No, I don't think so, maman," reiplied Kitty, with a 
guilty look. 

" You have not been with her lately, have you .'' " 

•' We planned a walk on the mountain for to-morrow," 
said Kitty. 

"I see no objection," replied the princess, noticing 
her daughter's confusion, and trying to fathom the 

That same day Varenka came to dinner and an- 
nounced that Anna Pavlovna had given up the proposed 
expedition. The princess noticed that Kitty again 

" Kitty, has there been anything unpleasant between 
you and the Petrofs } " she asked, as soon as they were 
alone. " Why have they ceased to send their children, 
or to come themselves .■* " 

Kitty replied that nothing had happened, and that she 
really did not understand why Anna Pavlovna seemed 
to be angry with her ; and she told the truth. She did 
not know the reasons for the change in Madame Petrof, 
but she suspected them, and thus also she suspected a 
thing which she dared not to confess, even to herself, 
still less to her mother. This was one of those things 
which you know, but which are impossible to speak even 


to yourself, so humiliating and painful would it be if 
you are mistaken. 

Again and again she passed in review all the mem- 
ories of her relations with this family. She remembered 
the innocent joy which shone on Anna Pavlovna's 
honest, round face when they first met ; she remembered 
their secret discussions to find means to distract the 
invalid, and keep him from the forbidden work, and to 
get him out of doors ; the attachment of the youngest 
child, who called her Moya Kiti, and would not go to 
bed without her. How beautiful everything was at that 
time ! Then she remembered Petrof's thin face, his 
long neck, stretching out from his brown coat ; his thin, 
curly hair ; his blue eyes, with their questioning look, 
which she had feared at first ; his painful efforts to seem 
lively and energetic when she was near ; she recalled 
the effort that she had to make at first to overcome the 
repugnance which he, as well as all consumptives, caused 
her to feel ; and the trouble which she had in finding 
something to talk with him about. 

She remembered the sick man's humble and timid looks 
when he saw her, and the strange feeling of compassion 
and awkwardness which came over her at first, followed 
by the pleasant consciousness of her charitable deeds. 
How lovely it all had been ! but it lasted only for a 
brief moment. Now and for several days there had 
been a sudden change. Anna Pavlovna received Kitty 
with pretended friendliness, and did not cease to watch 
her and her husband. 

Could it be that the invalid's pathetic joy at the sight 
of her was the cause of Anna- Pavlovna's coolness .-' 

"Yes," she said to herself, "there was something 
unnatural and quite different from her ordinary sweet 
temper when she said to me, day before yesterday, 
sharply, 'There! he will not do anything without you; 
he would not even take his coffee, though he was awfully 

" Yes ! perhaps it was not agreeable to her when I 
gave him his plaid. It was such a simple little thing to 
do ; but he seemed so strange, and thanked me so warmly, 


that I felt ill at ease. And then that portrait of me 
which he painted so well ; but, above all, his gentle and 
melancholy look. Yes, yes, it must be so," Kitty re- 
peated with horror. " No, it cannot be, it must not be ! 
He is to be pitied so ! " she added, in her secret heart. 
This suspicion poisoned the pleasure of her new life. 


Just before their season at the Spa was over. Prince 
Shcherbatsky rejoined them. He had been to Carlsbad, 
to Baden, and to Kissingen, with Russian friends, — " to 
get a breath of Russian air," as he expressed it. 

The prince and princess had conflicting ideas in re- 
gard to living abroad. The princess thought that every- 
thing was lovely ; and, notwithstanding her assured posi- 
tion in Russian society, while she was abroad she put 
on the airs of a European lady which she was not, for 
she was in every way a genuine Russian baruinya. The 
prince, on the other hand, considered everything abroad 
detestable, and the European life unendurable ; and he 
even exaggerated his Russian characteristics, and tried 
to be less of a European than he really was. 

He came back emaciated and with drooping sacks 
under his eyes, but in the happiest spirits ; and his 
happy frame of mind was still further enhanced when 
he found that Kitty was on the road to health. 

The accounts that he heard of Kitty's intimacy with 
Madame Stahl and Varenka, and the princess's de- 
scription of the moral transformation through which his 
daughter was passing, rather vexed the prince, awaking 
in him that feeling of jealousy which he always had in 
regard to everything that might draw Kitty away from 
under his influence. He was afraid that she might 
ascend to regions unattainable to him. But these dis- 
agreeable presentiments were swallowed up in the sea 
of gayety and good humor which he always carried with 
him, and which his sojourn at Carlsbad had increased. 

The day after his arrival, the prince, in his long pale- 


tot, and with his Russian wrinkles and his puffy cheeks 
standing out above his stiffly starched collar, went in 
the very best of spirits with Kitty to the spring. 

The morning was beautiful. The neat, gay houses, 
with their little gardens, the sight of the German ser- 
vants, with their red faces and red arms, happily work- 
ing, the brilliant sun, — everything filled the heart with 
pleasure. But as they came nearer to the spring they 
met more and more invalids, whose lamentable appear- 
ance contrasted painfully with the trim and beneficent 
German surroundings. 

For Kitty the bright sunlight, the vivid green of the 
trees, the sounds of the music, all formed a natural 
framework for these well-known faces, whose changes 
for better or worse she had been watching. But for 
the prince there was something cruel in the contrast 
between this bright June morning, the orchestra play- 
ing the latest waltz, and especially the sight of these 
healthy-looking servants, and the miserable invalids, 
from all the corners of Europe, dragging themselves 
painfully along. 

In spite of the return of his youth which the prince 
experienced, and the pride that he felt in having his 
favorite daughter on his arm, he confessed to a sense 
of shame and awkwardness in walking along with his 
firm step and his vigorous limbs, 

'* Introduce me, introduce me to your new friends," 
said he to his daughter, pressing her arm with his elbow. 
" I am beginning to like your abominable Soden for the 
good which it has done you. Only it is melancholy for 
you. — Who is this ? " 

Kitty told the names of the acquaintances and 
strangers that they met on their way. At the very 
entrance of the garden they met Madame Berthe and 
her companion, and the prince was pleased to see the 
expression of joy on the old Frenchwoman's face at 
the sound of Kitty's voice. With true French exagger- 
ation she immediately overwhelmed the prince with 
compliments, congratulating him on having such a 
charming daughter, whose merits she praised to the 


skies, declaring to her face that she was a treasure, a 
pearl, a ministering angel. 

"Well! she must be angel number two," said the 
prince, gallantly, "for she calls Mademoiselle Varenka 
angel number one." 

" Oh ! Mademoiselle Varenka is truly an angel. 
Allez" said Madame Berthe, vivaciously. 

They met Varenka herself in the gallery. She 
hastened up to them, carrying an elegant red bag. 

" Here is papa," said Kitty. 

Varenka made the prince a simple and natural saluta- 
tion, almost like a courtesy, and without any false 
modesty immediately entered into conversation with 
him as she conversed with every one, without restraint 
or affectation. 

"Of course I know you, — know you very well al- 
ready," said the prince, with a pleasant expression that 
made Kitty see that her friend pleased her father. 
" Where were you going so fast ? " 

" Maman is here," she replied, turning to Kitty. 
"She did not sleep all night, and the doctor advised her 
to take the air. I have brought her work," 

" So that is angel number one } " said the prince, 
when Varenka had gone. 

Kitty saw that he had intended to rally her about her 
friend, but had refrained because her friend had pleased 
him. "Well, let us go and see them all," said he, — 
" all your friends, even Madame Stahl, if she will deign 
to remember me." 

"But did you ever know her, papa.-*" asked Kitty, 
with fear, as she saw an ironical flash in her father's 
eyes as he mentioned Madame Stahl. 

" I knew her husband, and I knew her a little, before 
she joined the Pietists." 

" What are Pietists, papa 1 " asked Kitty, troubled 
because such a nickname was given to what in Madame 
Stahl she valued so highly. 

" I myself do not know much about them. I only 
know_ this, that she thanks God for everything, even 
for her tribulations, and, above all, she thanks God 


because her husband is dead. Now, that is comical, 
because they did not live happily together. But who is 
that .'' What a melancholy face ! " he added, seeing an 
invalid sitting in a shop in cinnamon-colored paletot, 
with white pantaloons making strange folds around his 
emaciated legs. This gentleman had raised his straw 
hat, and bared his sparse curly hair and high sickly 
forehead, on which showed the red line made by the 

"That is Petrof, a painter," replied Kitty, with a 
blush ; " and there is his wife," she added, indicating 
Anna Pavlovna, who, at their approach, had evidently 
made the excuse of running after one of their children 
playing in the street. 

" Poor fellow ! and what a pleasant face he has ! " 
said the prince. "But why did you not go to him .-^ He 
seemed anxious to speak to you." 

"Well, let us go back to him," said Kitty, resolutely 
turning about. " PJow do you feel to-day ? " she asked 
of Petrof. 

Petrof arose, leaning on his cane, and looked timidly 
at the prince. 

"This is my daughter," said the prince; "allow me 
to make your acquaintance." 

The painter bowed and smiled, showing teeth of 
strangely dazzling whiteness. 

"We expected you yesterday, princess," said he to 

He staggered as he spoke ; and to conceal the fact 
that it was involuntary, he repeated the motion. 

" I expected to come, but Varenka told me that Anna 
Pavlovna sent word that you were not going." 

" That we were n't going } " said Petrof, troubled, and 
beginning to cough. Then, looking toward his wife, he 
called hoarsely, " Annetta ! Annetta ! " while the great 
veins on his thin white neck stood out like cords. 

Anna Pavlovna drew near. 

" How did you send word to the princess that we 
were not going ? " he demanded angrily, in a whisper. 

" Good-morning, princess," said Anna Pavlovna, with 



a constrained smile, totally different from her former 
effusiveness. "Very glad to make your acquaintance," 
she added, addressing the prince. " You have been 
long expected, prince." 

" How could you have sent word to the princess that 
we were not going ? " again demanded the painter, in his 
hoarse whisper, and still more irritated because he could 
not express himself as he wished. 

" Oh, good heavens ! I thought that we were not 
going," said his wife, testily. 

" How."*.... when .? " .... 

He coughed, and made a gesture of despair with his 

The prince raised his hat, and went away with his 

" Oh ! okh !" he said, with a deep sigh. " Oh, these 
poor creatures ! " 

"Yes, papa," said Kitty; "and you must know that 
they have three children, and no servant, and almost no 
means. He receives a pittance from the Academy," 
she continued eagerly, so as to conceal the emotion 
caused by the strange change in Anna Pavlovna, in 
her behavior to her. "Ah, there is Madame Stahl ! " 
said Kitty, directing his attention to a wheeled-chair, in 
which was lying a human form, wrapped in gray and 
blue, propped up by pillows, and shaded by an umbrella. 
It was Madame Stahl. A solemn and sturdy German 
laborer was pushing her chair. Beside her walked a light- 
complexioned Swedish count, whom Kitty knew by sight. 
Several people had stopped near the wheeled-chair, and 
were gazing at this lady as if she were some curiosity. 

The prince approached her, and Kitty instantly noticed 
in her father's eyes that ironical gleam which had 
troubled her before. He went up to Madame Stahl, 
and addressed her in that excellent French which so 
few Russians nowadays are able to speak, and was ex- 
tremely polite and friendly. 

"I do not know whether you still recollect me, but 
it is my duty to bring myself to your remembrance, in 
order that I may thank you for your kindness to my 


daughter," said he, taking off his hat, and holding it 
in his hand. 

"Prince Aleksandr Shcherbatsky ! " said Madame 
Stahl, looking at him with her heavenly eyes, in which 
Kitty detected a shade of dissatisfaction. " I am very 
glad to see you ; I love your daughter so ! " 

" Your health is not always good .'' " 

" Oh ! I am pretty well used to it now," replied 
Madame Stahl ; and she presented the prince to the 
Swedish count. 

" You have changed very little," said the prince to 
her, "during the ten or twelve years since I had the 
honor of seeing you." 

" Yes. God gives the cross, and gives also the power 
to carry it. I often ask myself why my life is so pro- 
longed Not like that," she said crossly, to Varenka, 

who had not succeeded in putting her plaid over her 
shoulders to her satisfaction. 

" For doing good, without doubt," said the prince, 
with laughing eyes. 

"It is not for us to judge," replied Madame Stahl, 
observing the gleam of irony in the prince's face. 

" I pray you send me that book, dear count. I will 
thank you a thousand times," said she, turning to the 
young Swede. 

"Ah!" cried the prince, who had just caught sight 
of the Muscovite colonel standing near ; and, bowing to 
Madame Stahl, he went away with his daughter and the 
Muscovite colonel, who had joined him. 

" This is our aristocracy, prince ! " said the colonel, 
with sarcastic intent, for he also was piqued because 
Madame Stahl refused to be friendly. 

" Always the same," replied the prince. 

" Did you know her before her illness, prince, — that 
is, before she became an invalid ? " 

" Yes ; she became an invalid after I knew her." 

" They say that she has not walked for ten years. " .... 

" She does not walk because one leg is shorter than 
the other. She is very badly put together. ".... 

" Papa, it is impossible," cried Kitty. 



" Evil tongues say so, my dear ; and your friend 
Varenka ought to see her as she is. Oh, these invalid 
ladies ! " 

" Oh, no, papa ! I assure you, Varenka adores her," 
cried Kitty, eagerly; "and besides, she does so much 
good ! Ask any one you please. Every one knows her 
and Aline Stahl." 

" Maybe," replied her father, pressing her arm gently ; 
" but it would be better when people do such things 
that no one should know about it." 

Kitty was silent, not because she had nothing to say, 
but she was unwilling to reveal her inmost thoughts 
even to her father. 

There was one strange thing, however : decided though 
she was not to unbosom herself to her father, not to 
let him penetrate into the sanctuary of her reflections, 
she nevertheless was conscious that her ideal of holiness, 
as seen in Madame Stahl, which she had for a whole 
month carried in her soul, had irrevocably disappeared, 
as a face seen in a garment thrown down by chance 
disappears when one really sees how the garment is 
lying. She retained only the image of a lame woman 
who, because she was deformed, stayed in bed, and who 
tormented the paftient Varenka because she did not 
arrange her plaid to suit her. And it became impossi- 
ble for her imagination to bring back to her the remem- 
brance of the former Madame Stahl. 


The prince's gayety and good humor were contagious ; 
his household and acquaintances, and even their Ger- 
man landlord, felt it. 

When he came in with Kitty, from the springs, the 
prince invited the colonel, Marya Yevgenyevna and her 
daughter, and Varenka, to luncheon, and had the table 
and chairs brought out under the chestnut trees in the 
garden, and there the guests were served. The landlord 
and his domestics were filled with zeal under the influ- 


ence of his good spirits. They knew his generosity ; 
and before half an hour was over a sick Hamburg doc- 
tor, who had rooms on the upper floor, was looking down 
with envy on the happy group of hearty Russians sitting 
under the chestnut trees. 

Under the flickering 'shade of the sun-flecked leaves sat 
the princess, in a bonnet trimmed with lilac ribbons, pre- 
siding over the table spread with a white cloth, whereon 
were placed the coffee-service, the bread, butter, cheese, 
and cold game ; she was distributing cups and tarts. 
At the other end of the table sat the prince, eating 
with good appetite, and talking with great animation. 
He had spread out in front of him his purchases, — 
carved boxes, jackstraws, paper-cutters of all kinds, 
which he had brought back from all the places where 
he had been ; and he was distributing them around to 
all, including Lieschen the maid, and the landlord, with 
whom he joked in his comically bad German, assuring 
him that it was not the waters that had cured Kitty, 
but his excellent cuisine, and particularly his prune soup. 

The princess laughed at her husband for his Russian 
peculiarities ; but never, since she had been at the Spa, 
had she been so gay and lively. The colonel, as always, 
was amused at the prince's jests ; but he agreed with 
the princess on the European question, which he im- 
agined that he understood thoroughly. The good 
Marya Yevgenyevna laughed at every good thing that 
the prince said ; and even Varenka, to Kitty's great 
astonishment, laughed till she was tired, with unde- 
monstrative but infectious hilarity awakened by the 
prince's jests. This was something Kitty had never 
known to happen before. 

All this delighted Kitty, but she could not free her- 
self from mental agitation ; she could not resolve the 
problem which her father had unintentionally given her 
by his jesting, humorous attitude toward her friends 
and the life which offered her so many attractions. 
Moreover, she could not help puzzling herself with the 
reasons for the change in her relations with the Pe- 
trofs, which had struck her that day so plainly and dis- 


agreeably. All the rest were gay, but Kitty could not 
be gay, and this still more annoyed her. She experi- 
enced a feeling analogous to that which she had known 
in her childhood, when, as a punishment for some offense, 
she was shut up in her room and heard the gay merri- 
ment of her sisters. 

" Now, why did you purchase this heap of things .■' " 
asked the princess, smiling and offering her husband a 
cup of coffee. 

"You go out for a walk, well! and you come to a 
shop, and they address you, and say, ^ ErlaiicJit, Excel- 
lenz, Diirchlaiicht!' Well, when they say Diirchlaucht} 
I cannot resist any longer, and my ten thalers vanish." 

" It was merely because you were bored," said the 

" Certainly I was bored ! It was ennui which one 
does not know how to escape from." 

" But how can you be bored .'' There are so many 
interesting things to see in Germany now," said Marya 

" Yes ! I know all which is interesting just at the 
present time : I know soup with prunes, I know pea- 
pudding, I know everything." 

" Just as you please, prince, but their institutions are 
interesting," said the colonel. 

" Yes ! but what is there interesting about them .-" 
They are as contented as copper kopeks. They have 
whipped the world ! Now, why should I find anything 
to content me here } I never conquered anybody ; but 
I have to take off my boots myself, and, what is worse, 
put them out myself in the corridor. In the morning 
I get up, and have to dress myself, and go down to the 
dining-room and drink execrable tea. 'T is n't like that 
at home. There you can get up when you please ; if 
you are out of sorts, you can grumble ; you have all the 
time you need for remembering things, and you can do 
whatever you please without hurrying." 

"But time is money; you forget that," said the 

^ Durcklauchty highness. 


"That depends. There are whole months which you 
would sell for fifty kopeks, and half-hours which you 
would not take any amount of money for. Is n't that 
so, Katenka .<* But why are you so solemn .'' " 

" I am not, papa." 

"Where are you going? Stay a little longer," said 
the prince to Varenka. 

" But I must go home," said Varenka, rising, and 
laughing gayly again. After she had excused herself, 
she took leave of her friends, and went into the house 
to get her hat. 

Kitty followed her. Even Varenka seemed to her 
friend changed. She was not less good, but she was 
different from what she had imagined her to be. 

"Akh! it is a long time since I have laughed so 
much," said Varenka, as she was getting her parasol 
and her satchel, " How charming your papa is ! " 

Kitty did not answer. 

" When shall I see you again .? " asked Varenka, 

^' Mamaii wanted to go to the Petrofs'. Are you 
going to be there } " asked Kitty, trying to sound 

" I am going to be there," she replied. " They are 
expecting to leave, and I promised to help them pack," 

"Well, then I will go with you," 

" No ; why should you .■' "• 

" Why not ? why not ? why not ? " asked Kitty, open- 
ing her eyes very wide, and holding Varenka by her 
sunshade. "Wait a moment, and tell me why not," 

" ' Why not ? ' Because your papa has come, and 
because they are vexed at you." 

" No ; tell me honestly why you don't like to have 
me go to the Petrofs', You don't like it ; why is 

"I didn't say so," replied Varenka, calmly. 

" I beg you to tell me." 

" Must I tell you all ? " 

"All, all," replied Kitty. 

" Well ! There is really nothing very serious ; only 
Mikhail Alekseyevitch — that was Petrofs name — a 
VOL, I. — 20 


short time ago wanted to leave even before this, and now 
he does not want to go at all," replied Varenka, smiling. 

"Well, well!" cried Kitty, looking at Varenka with 
a gloomy expression. 

" Now for some reason Anna Pavlovna imagines that 
he does not want to go because you are here. Of 
course this was unfortunate ; but you have been the 
unwitting cause of a family quarrel, and you know how 
irritable these invalids are." 

Kitty grew still more melancholy, and kept silent ; 
and Varenka went on speaking, trying to smooth it 
over, and put things in a better light, though she fore- 
saw that the result would be either tears or reproaches, 
she knew not which. 

"So it is better for you not to go there ....and you 
will not be angry.... " 

" But it was my fault, it was my fault," said Kitty, 
speaking rapidly, and snatching Varenka's parasol away 
from her, and not looking at her. 

Varenka was amused at her friend's childish anger, 
but she was afraid of offending her. 

" How is it your fault ? I don't understand ! " 

" My fault because it was all pretense, it was all 
hypocrisy, and because it did not come from the heart. 
What business had I to meddle in the affairs of a stran- 
ger.^ And so I have been the cause of a quarrel, and 
I have been doing what no one asked me to do, simply 
because it was all hypocrisy, hypocrisy," said she. 

" But why do you call it hypocrisy.'" asked Varenka, 

" Akh ! How stupid, how wretched ! It was none of 

my business Hypocrisy ! " mechanically opening and 

shutting the sunshade. 

" But it was your idea } " 

" So as to seem better to others, to myself, to God, — 
to deceive every one. No, I will not fall so low again. 
I may be wicked, but at least I will not be a liar and 
deceiver ! " 

" But who is a liar ? " asked Varenka, in a reproachful 
tone. " You speak as if .... " 


But Kitty was thoroughly angry, and did not let her 

" I am not speaking of you, not of you at all. You 
are perfection. Yes, yes ; I know that you are all per- 
fection. How can I help it.-*,... I am wicked; this 
would not have occurred, if I had not been wicked. So 
let me be what I am, but I will not be deceitful. What 
have I to do with Anna Pavlovna ? Let them live as 
they want to, and I will do the same. I can't be some- 
body else Besides, everything is different.... " 

" What is 'different * .-' " asked Varenka, in perplexity, 

" Everything ! I can only live by my heart, but you 
live by your principles. I like you all ; but you have 
had in view only to save me, to convert me." 

"You are not fair," said Varenka. 

" I am not speaking for other people. I only speak 
for myself." 

" Kitty ! " cried her mother's voice, " come here and 
show papa your corals." 

Kitty, with a haughty face and not making it up with 
her friend, took the box with the corals from the table 
and carried it to her mother. 

"What is the matter.? why are you so flushed?" 
asked her father and mother with one voice. 

" Nothing ; I am coming right back ; " and she hur- 
ried back to the house. 

"She is still there," she thought; "what shall I tell 
her ? Bozhe mof ! what have I done ? what have I said.? 
Why did I hurt her feelings ? What have I done ? what 
shall I say to her .-' " she asked herself, as she hesitated 
at the door. 

Varenka, with her hat on and her parasol in her hand, 
was sitting by the table, examining the spring, which 
Kitty had broken. She raised her head. 

"Varenka, forgive me," whispered Kitty, coming up 
to her. " Forgive me, I don't know what I said. I .... " 

" Truly, I did not mean to cause you pain," said 
Varenka, smiling. 

Peace was made. 

But her father's coming had changed for Kitty the 


whole world in which she lived. She did not give up 
what she had learned, but she confessed that she had 
been under an illusion by believing that she was what 
she had dreamed of being. She awoke as it were from 
a dream. She felt all the difficulty of staying without 
hypocrisy and boastfulness on the heights to which she 
had tried to raise herself ; moreover, she felt still more 
vividly all the weight of that world of misfortunes, of 
illnesses, of those who surrounded her, and she was tor- 
mented by the efforts which she had made to interest 
herself in them ; and she began to long to breathe the 
purer, healthier atmosphere of Russia at Yergushovo, 
where Dolly and the children had gone, as she learned 
from a letter that had just come. 

But her love for Varenka had not diminished. When 
she went away, she begged her to come and visit them 
in Russia. 

" I will come when you are married," said she. 

"I shall never marry." 
' '"Well, then I shall never come." 

"Well, in that case, I shall get married only for 
your sake. Don't forget your promise," said Kitty. 

The doctor's prophecies were realized. Kitty came 
home to Russia perfectly well ; possibly she was not 
as gay and careless as before, but her calmness was 
restored. The pains of the past were only a memory. 


Levin and Kitty, 

Original Drawing by E. Boyd Smith, 






a rest after his intellectual labors ; and, instead of 
going abroad as usual, he came, toward the end of May, 
to visit his brother in the country. In his opinion, coun- 
try life was best of all, and he came now to his brother's 
to enjoy it. Konstantin Levin was very glad to welcome 
him, the more because this sumrper he did not expect 
his brother Nikolai'. But in spite of his love and respect 
for Sergyef Ivanovitch, Konstantin was not at his ease 
with him in the country. He was not at his ease, he 
was even annoyed to see how his brother regarded the 
country. For Konstantin Levin the country was the 
place for life, — for pleasures, sorrows, labor. For Ser- 
gyei Ivanovitch the country, on the one side, offered 
rest from labor, on the other, a profitable antidote against 
corruption, and he took it gladly, convinced of its utility. 
For Konstantin Levin the country was beautiful because 
it offered field for works of incontestable utility. For 
Sergyef Ivanovitch the country was especially delightful 
because there was nothing he could do, or needed to do 
there, at all. 

Moreover, Sergyeif Ivanovitch's behavior toward the 
people somewhat piqued Konstantin. Sergyeif Ivano- 
vitch said that he loved and knew the people ; and he 
often chatted with the muzhiks as he was fully able to 
do, without pretense and without affectation, and dis- 
covered, in his interviews with them, traits of character 
honorable to the people, so that he felt convinced that 

VOL. II. — I i 


he knew them thoroughly. Such relations with the 
people displeased Konstantin Levin. For him the peas- 
antry was only the chief factor in associated labor ; and 
though he respected the muzhik, and, as he himself said, 
drew in with the milk of the woman who nursed him a 
genuine love for them, still he, as a factor associated 
with them in the general labors, while sometimes ad- 
miring their strength, their good nature, their sense of 
justice, very often when in the general work of the 
estate other qualities were needed, flew into a passion 
with the peasantry for their carelessness, slovenliness, 
drunkenness, untruthfulness. If he had been asked 
whether he liked the people, he would really have not 
known what reply to make. He liked and he did not 
like the people as the majority of men did. Of course 
as a good man he liked men more than he disliked 
them ; and so it was with the peasantry. But to like or 
not to like the peasantry, as something out of the com- 
mon, was an impossibility to him, because he not only 
lived with the peasantry, because not only were his in- 
terests bound up with those of the peasantry, but also 
he looked on himself as a part of the people, saw no 
qualities or faults in the people that he did not himself 
possess, and could not take his stand contrary to the 
people. Moreover, although he had long lived in the 
closest relationship with his muzhiks as their landlord, 
their mediator, and, what was more, their adviser, — for 
the muzhiks had faith in him, and came to him from 
forty versts around to ask his advice, — he passed no 
definite judgment on them ; and to the question, did 
he know the people, he would have found it as hard 
to find an answer as to the question, did he like the 

But to say that he knew the peasantry would have 
meant in his opinion the same as to say that he knew 
men. He was constantly admiring and studying all 
kinds of men, and among them, men from among the 
peasantry whom he considered to be fine and interest- 
ing specimens of humanity, and he was all the time 
discovering in them new characteristics, and chang- 


ing and revising his preconceived theories regarding 

Sergyef Ivanovitch was the opposite. Just exactly as 
he liked and enjoyed the country life for its contrariety 
to that which he did not like, so he liked the peasantry 
for their contrariety to that class of men which he did 
not like, and in exactly the same way he knew the 
people as beings opposed to men in general. His 
methodical mind clearly differentiated the definite forms 
of life among the peasantry, deducing it partly from 
the life of the peasantry itself, but principally from 
its contrarieties. He never changed his opinions in 
regard to the people and his sympathetic relationship 
to them. 

In the discussions which arose between the brothers 
in consequence of their divergence of views, Sergyelf 
Ivanovitch always won the victory because he had defi- 
nite opinions concerning the people, their character, 
peculiarities, and tastes ; while Konstantin Levin, cease- 
lessly modifying his, was easily convicted of contradict- 
ing himself. 

Sergyelf Ivanovitch looked on his brother as a splen- 
did fellow, whose heart was bicn placi, as he expressed 
it in French, but whose mind, though quick and active, 
was open to the impressions of the moment, and, there- 
fore, full of contradictions. With the condescension of 
an elder brother, he sometimes explained to him the real 
meaning of things ; but he could not take genuine pleas- 
ure in discussing with him, because his opponent was so 
easy to vanquish. 

Konstantin Levin looked on his brother as a man of 
vast intelligence and learning, endowed with extraordi- 
nary faculties, most advantageous to the community at 
large ; but as he advanced in life, and learned to know 
him better, he sometimes asked himself, in the secret 
chambers of his heart, if this devotion to the general 
interests, which he felt that he himself entirely lacked, 
was really a good quality, or rather a lack of something 
— not a lack of good-natured, upright, benevolent wishes 
and tastes, but the lack of the motive power of life, 


which is called " heart," of that impulse which con- 
strains a man to choose one out of all multitudes of 
paths which life offers to men, and to desire this alone. 
The better he knew his brother, the more he remarked 
that Sergyer Ivanovitch and many other workers for the 
common good were not drawn by their affections to this 
work, but that they used their reason to justify them- 
selves in the interest they took in it. 

Levin was still further confirmed in this hypothesis 
by the observation that his brother did not really take 
much more to heart the questions concerning the com- 
mon good and the immortality of the soul than those 
connected with a game of chess or the ingenious con- 
struction of a new machine. 

Again Levin felt, also, constraint with his brother 
from the fact that while he was in the country, and es- 
pecially in the summer-time, he was all the time busy 
with his work on the estate. The days seemed to him 
too short for him to accomplish all that he wanted to 
do, while his brother was taking his ease. But, though 
Sergyef Ivanovitch was enjoying his vacation, in other 
words, was jiot working at his writing, he was so used to 
intellectual activity, that he enjoyed expressing in beau- 
tiful, concise form the thoughts that occurred to him, 
and he liked to have some one listen to him. His most 
habitual and most natural auditor was his brother, and 
therefore, notwithstanding the friendly simplicity of 
their relations, Konstantin felt awkward to be alone with 
him. Sergyei' Ivanovitch liked to lie on the grass, in the 
sun, stretched out at full length, and to talk lazily. 

"You would n't believe," he would say to his brother, 
"how I enjoy this tufted idleness. I have not an idea 
in my head ; it is empty as a shell." 

But Konstantin Levin quickly wearied of sitting down 
and hearing him talk — especially because he knew that 
in his absence they were spreading the manure on the 
unplowed field, and would be up to God knows what 
mischief, unless he should be on hand to superintend this 
work ; he knew that they would not screw up the cutters 
in his plows, but would be taking them off and then 


say that plows were foolish devices, and that Andreyef s 
sokha ^ did the work, and the like. 

" Don't you ever get weary going about so in this 
heat?" asked Sergyei' Ivanovitch. 

" No. Only I must run over to the office for a min- 
ute," said Levin ; and he hurried across the field. 


Early in June, Agafya Mikhadovna, the old nurse 
and ckonomka, or housekeeper, in going down cellar with 
a pot of salted mushrooms, slipped and fell, and dislo- 
cated her wrist. 

The district doctor, a loquacious young medical stu- 
dent who had just taken his degree, came, and, after 
examining the arm, declared that it was not out of joint. 
During dinner, proud of finding himself in the society 
of the distinguished Sergyei Ivanovitch Koznuishef, he 
began to relate all the petty gossip of the district in 
order to display his enlightened views of things ; and he 
expressed his regrets at the bad condition of provincial 

Sergyei Ivanovitch listened attentively, asking various 
questions ; and animated by the presence of a new hearer, 
he made keen and shrewd observations, which were re- 
ceived by the young doctor with respectful appreciation, 
and his spirits rose high, which, as his brother knew, 
was liable to be the case with him after a lively and brill- 
iant conversation. 

After the doctor's departure he expressed his desire 
to go to the river and fish. He was fond of fishing, 
and seemed to take pride in showing that he could 
amuse himself with such a stupid occupation. Kon- 
stantin had to go to certain fields and meadows, and 
offered to take his brother in his cabriolet as far as the 

^ The picture by Repin represents Count Tolstoi plowing with the primi- 
tive sokha. Levin's peasantry call the plow (^plug) vuidumka pustaya, 
" empty invention." 


It was the time of the year, the very top of the sum< 
mer, when the prospects of harvest may be estimated, 
when the labors of the next year's planting begin to be 
thought of, and the mowing-time has come ; when the rye 
is already eared and sea-green in color, but still not fully 
formed ; when the ears of corn swing lightly in the breeze ; 
when the green oats, with scattered clumps of yellow 
grass, peep irregularly from the late-sown fields; when 
the early buckwheat already is up and hides the soil; 
when the fallow fields, beaten a^ hard as stone by the 
cattle and with paths deserted, on which the sokha, or 
primitive plow, has no effect, are half broken up ; when 
the odor of the dry manure, heaped in little hillocks over 
the fields, mingles at twilight with the perfume of the 
" honey-grass," ^ and on the bottom lands, waiting for 
the scythe, stand the protected meadows like a bound- 
less sea with the darkening clumps of sorrel that has 
done blooming. 

It was the time when there is a brief breathing-spell 
before the harvest, that great event which the muzhik 
with eagerness expects each year. The crops promised 
to be superb ; and there was a succession of bright, clear 
summer days, followed by short, dewy nights. 

The two brothers had to go through the woodland to 
reach the fields. SergyeT Ivanovitch was all the time 
admiring the beauty of the forest with its dense canopy 
of leaves, and he pointed out to his brother, as they rode 
along, now an old linden almost in flower, dark on its 
shady side and variegated with yellow stipules ; now at 
the emerald-shining young shoots of that same year; 
but Konstantin did not himself like to speak or to hear 
about the beauties of nature. Words, he thought, spoiled 
the beauty of the thing that Ije saw. He assented to 
what his brother said, but allowed his mind to concern 
itself with other things. After they left the wood, his 
whole attention was absorbed by a fallow field on a 
hillock, where in some places the grass was growing 
yellow, where in others whole squares of it had been 
cut, and in others raked up into haycocks, and where in 

1 IJokus mollis, soft-grass. 


still other places the men were plowing. The carts 
were thronging up toward the field. Levin counted 
them, and was satisfied with the work which was going 

His thoughts were diverted, by the sight of. the 
meadows, to the question of haymaking. He always 
experienced something which went to his very heart at 
the hay-harvesting. When they reached the meadow 
Levin stopped his horse. The morning dew was still 
damp on the thick grass, and Sergyei Ivanovitch begged 
his brother, in order that he might not wet his feet, to 
drive him in his cabriolet as far as a clump of laburnums 
near which perch were to be caught. Though Levin 
disliked to trample down his grass, he drove over through 
the field. The tall grass clung round the wheels and 
the horse's legs, and scattered its seed on the damp 
spokes and naves. 

Sergyei sat down under the laburnums, and cast his 
line, but Levin drove the horse aside, fastened him, and 
then went off through the vast green sea of the meadow 
unstirred by a breath of wind. The silky grass with 
its ripe seeds was almost waist-high in the places that 
had been overflowed. 

As Konstantin Levin crossed the meadow diagonally, 
he met on the road an old man with one of his eyes 
swollen, and carrying a swarming-basket full of bees. 

" Well .-* Have you caught them, Fomitch } " he asked. 

" Caught them indeed, Konstantin Mitritch ! If only 
I could keep my own ! This is the second time this 
swarm has gone off, .... but, thanks to the boys ! they 
galloped after 'em ! .... They *re plowing your fields. 
They unhitched the horse and dashed off after 'em!" .... 

" Well, what do you say, Fomitch, should we begin 
mowing or wait .-' " 

" Just as you say ! According to our notions we should 
wait till St. Peter's Day.^ But you always mow earlier. 
Well, just as God will have it — the grass is in fine con- 
dition. There '11 be plenty of room for the cattle." 

"And what do you think of the weather.?" 
1 The feast of St. Peter and St. Paul is June 29 (O.S.), or July II. 


" Well, all is in- the hand of God. Maybe the weathei 
will hold." 

Levin returned to his brother. 

Though he had caught nothing, Sergyeif Ivanovitch 
was .undisturbed, and seemed in the best of spirits. 
Levin saw that he was stimulated by his talk with the 
doctor, and that he was eager to go on talking. Levin, 
on the contrary, was anxious to get back to the house 
as soon as possible to give some orders about hiring 
mowers for the next day, and to decide the question 
about the haymaking which occupied all his thoughts. 
"Well," said he, " shall we go ? " 

" What is your hurry ,'' Do let us sit down. But how 
drenched you are ! .... No, I have had no luck, but I have 
enjoyed it all the same. All outdoor sports are beautiful 
because you have to do with nature. Now just notice 
how charming that steely water is ! " he exclaimed. 

"These meadow banks," he went on to say, "always 
remind me of an enigma, do you know.? — 'The grass 
says to the river, " We have strayed far enough, we have 
strayed far enough," ' " 

" I don't know that riddle," interrupted Konstantin, 
in a melancholy tone. 


" Do you know, I was thinking about you," said 
Sergyeif Ivanovitch. " It is not well at all, what is 
going on in your district, if that doctor tells the truth ; 
he is not a stupid fellow. And I have told you all 
along, and I say to-day, you are wrong in not going to 
the assembly-meetings and in generally holding aloof 
from the affairs of the commune. If men of standing 
don't take an interest in affairs, God knows how things 
will turn out. The taxes we pay will be spent in salaries, 
and not for schools, or hospitals, or midwives, or pharma- 
cies, or anything." 

" But I have tried it," replied Levin, faintly and 


unwillingly. " I can't do anything. What is to be 
done about it ? " 

" Now, why can't you do anything ? I confess I don't 
understand it. I cannot admit that it is indifference or 
lack of intelligence ; is n't it simply laziness ? " 

" It is not that, or the first or the second. I have 
tried it, and I see that I cannot do anything," said 

•He was not paying great heed to what his brother 
said, but was looking intently across the fields on the 
other side of the river. He saw something black, but 
he could not make out whether it was only a horse, or 
his overseer on horseback. 

"Why can't you do anything.-* You have made an 
experiment, and it does not turn out to your satisfaction, 
and you give up. Why not have a little pride about 
you ? " 

" Pride ? " said Levin, touched to the quick by his 
brother's reproach. *' I don't see what that has to do 
with it. If at the university they had told me that 
others understood the integral calculus, but I did not, 
that would have touched my pride ; but here one must 
be convinced in advance that one needs special apti- 
tude for these things, and first of all that these things 
are very important." 

" What ! do you mean to say that they are not impor- 
tant .'' " asked Sergyef Ivanovitch, in his turn touched to 
the quick because his brother seemed to attach so little 
importance to what so deeply interested him, and more 
than all because he apparently gave him such poor 

" What you wish does not seem to me important, and 
I cannot feel interested in it," replied Levin, who now 
saw that the black speck was the overseer, and that the 
overseer was probably taking some muzhiks from their 
work. They had canted over their plows. " Can they 
have finished plowing .-'" he asked himself. 

" Now, listen ! nevertheless," said his brother, his 
handsome intellectual face growing a shade darker. 
" There are limits to everything. It is very fine to be an 


original and outspoken man, and to hate falsehood, — 
all that I know ; but the fact is, what you say has no 
sense at all, or has a very bad sense. How can you 
think it unimportant that this people, which you love, 
as you assert.... " 

" I never asserted any such thing," said Konstantin 
Levin to himself. 

" That this people should perish without aid .-* Coarse 
peasant women act as midwives, and the people remain 
in ignorance, and are at the mercy of every letter-writer. 
But the means is given into your hands to remedy all 
this ; and you don't assist them, because, in your eyes, 
it is not important." 

And Sergyei' Ivanovitch offered him the following di- 
lemma : — 

" Either you are not developed sufficiently to see all 
that you might do, or you do not care to give up your 
own comfort, or your vanity, I don't know which, in 
order to do this." 

Konstantin Levin felt that he must make a defense, 
or be convicted of indifference for the public weal, and 
this was vexatious and offensive to him. 

" Ah ! but there is still another thing," he said reso- 
lutely. " I do not see how it is possible .... " 

" What ! impossible to give medical aid if the funds 
were watched more closely ? " 

" Impossible it seems to me In the four thousand 

square versts of our district, with our floods, snow-storms, 
and busy seasons, I don't see the possibility of giving pub- 
lic medical aid. Besides, I don't much believe in medi- 
cine, anyway." .... 

" Well now, what nonsense ! you are unjust I could 

name you a thousand cases .... well, but how about 
schools .'' " 

" Why schools ? " 

" What do you say ? Can you doubt the advantages 
of education ? If it is good for you, then it is good for 
every one !" 

Konstantin Levin felt that he was morally pushed to 
the wall ; and so he grew irritated, and involuntarily 


revealed the chief reason for his indifference to the 
communal affairs. 

" Maybe all this is a good thing," said he ; "but why 
should I put myself out to have medical dispensaries 
located which I shall never make use of, or schools 
where I shall never send my children, and where the 
peasants won't want to send their children, and where I 
am not sure that it is wise to send them, anyway ? " 

Sergyei' Ivanovitch for a moment was disconcerted by 
this unexpected way of looking at the matter ; but he 
immediately developed a new plan of attack. He was 
silent, pulled in one af his lines and wound it up ; then 
with a smile he turned to his brother : — 

'• Now, excuse me In the first place, the dispensary 

has proved necessary. Here, we ourselves have just 
sent for the communal doctor for Agafya Mikhailovna." 

"Well, I still think her wrist was out of joint." 

"That remains to be proved In the next place, the 

muzhik who can read is a better workman, and more 
useful to you." 

" Oh, no ! " replied Konstantin Levin, resolutely. 
" Ask any one you please, they will tell you that the 
educated muzhik is far worse as a laborer. He will not 
repair the roads ; and, when they build bridges, he will 
only steal the planks." 

" Now, that is not the point," said Sergyef, frowning 
because he did not like contradictions, and especially 
those that leaped from one subject to another, and kept 
bringing up new arguments without any apparent con- 
nection, so that it was impossible to know what to say 
in reply. " That is not the point. Excuse me. Do 
you admit that education is a benefit to the peasantry.-'" 

"I do," said Levin, at haphazard, and instantly he 
saw that he had not said what he thought. He realized 
that, by making this admission, it would be easy to 
convict him of speaking nonsense. How it would be 
brought up against him he did not know ; but he knew 
that he would surely be shown his logical inconsequence, 
and he awaited the demonstration. It came much sooner 
than he expected. 


"If you admit its value," said Sergyef Ivanovitch, 
"then, as an honest man, you cannot refuse to delight 
in this work and sympathize with it, and give it your 

" But I still do not admit that this activity is good," 
said Konstantin Levin, his face flushing, 

" What ? But you just said ...." 

" That is, I don't say that it is bad, but that it is not 

" But you can't know this, since you have not made 
any effort to try it." 

" Well, let us admit that the education of the people 
is advantageous," said Levin, although he did not in 
the least admit it. " Let us admit that it is so ; still I 
don't see why I should bother myself with it." 

" Why not ? " 

" Well, if we are going to discuss the question, then 
explain it to me from your philosophical point of view." 

" I don't see what philosophy has to do here," retorted 
Sergyef Ivanovitch, in a tone which seemed to cast some 
doubt on his brother's right to discuss philosophy; and 
this nettled Levin. 

" This is why," said he, warmly. " I think that the 
motive power in all our actions is forever personal hap- 
piness. Now, I see nothing in our provincial institu- 
tions that contributes to my well-being as a nobleman. 
The roads are not better, and cannot be made so. My 
horses carry me, even on bad roads. The doctor and 
the dispensary are no use to me. The justice of the 
peace does me no good ; I never went to him, and never 
shall go to him. The schools seem to me not only use- 
less, but, as I have said, are even harmful ; and these 
communal institutions oblige me to pay eighteen kopeks 
a desyatin, to go to town, to sleep with bugs, and to 
hear all sorts of vulgar and obscene talk, but my 
personal interests are not helped." 

"Excuse me," said Sergyei Ivanovitch, with a smile. 
" Our personal interests did not compel us to work for 
the emancipation of the serfs, and yet we worked for it." 

" No," replied Konstantin, with still more animation ; 


"the emancipation of the serfs was quite another affair. 
It was for personal interest. We wanted to shake off 
this yoke that hung on the necks of all of us decent 
people. But to be a member of the council ; to discuss 
how much the night workman should be paid, and how 
to lay sewer-pipes in streets where one does not live ; to 
be a juryman, and sit in judgment on a muzhik who has 
stolen a ham ; to listen for six hours to all sorts of rub- 
bish which the defendant and the prosecutor may utter, 
and, as presiding officer, to ask my old friend, the half- 
idiotic Aloshka, ' Do you plead guilty, Mr. Accused, of 
having stolen this ham ?' " .... 

And Konstantin, carried away by his subject, enacted 
the scene between the president and the half-idiotic Al- 
oshka. It seemed to him that this was in the line of 
the argument. 

But Sergyei Ivanovitch shrugged his shoulders. 

" Nu ! what do you mean by this ? " 

" I only mean that I will always defend with all my 
powers those rights which touch me, — my interests ; 
that when the policemen came to search us students, and 
read our letters, I was ready to defend these rights with 
all my might, to defend my rights to instruction, to lib- 
erty. I am interested in the military obligation which 
concerns the fate of my children, of my brothers, and of 
myself. I am willing to discuss this because it touches 
me ; but to deliberate on the employment of forty thou- 
sand rubles of communal money, or to judge the crack- 
brained Aloshka, I won't do it, and I can't." 

Konstantin Levin discoursed as if the fountains of his 
speech were unloosed. Sergyei Ivanovitch smiled. 

" Supposing to-morrow you. were arrested ; would you 
prefer to be tried by the old ' criminal court ' ? " 1 

" But I am not going to be arrested. I am not going 
to cut any one's throat, and this is no use to me. Now, 
see here ! " he continued, again jumping to a matter en- 
tirely foreign to their subject, " our provincial institu- 
tions, and all that, remind me of the little twigs which 
on Trinity day we stick into the ground, to imitate a 

^ Ugolovnaya Palata, 


forest. The forest has grown of itself in Europe ; but 
I cannot on my soul have any faith in our birch sprouts, 
or water them." 

Sergyei Ivanovitch only shrugged his shoulders again, 
as a sign of astonishment that birch twigs should be 
mingled in their discussion, although he understood per- 
fectly what his brother meant. 

" Excuse me," said he. "That is no way to reason." 

But Konstantin Levin was eager to explain his self- 
confessed lack of interest in matters of public concern, 
and he went on to say : — 

" I think that there can be no durable activity if it is 
not founded in individual interest : this is a general, a 
philosophical truth," said he, laying special emphasis on 
the word " philosophical," as if he wished to show that he 
also had the right, as well as any one else, to speak of 

Again Sergyei Ivanovitch smiled. ** He also," thought 
he, " has his own special philosophy for the benefit of 
his inclinations." 

"Well, have done with philosophy," he said. "Its 
chief problem has been in all times to grasp the indis- 
pensable bond which exists between the individual inter- 
est and the public interest. This is not to the point, 
however. But I can make your comparison fit the case. 
The little birch twigs have not been merely stuck in, 
but have been sowed, planted, and it is necessary to 
watch them carefully. The only nations which can 
have a future, the only nations which deserve the name 
of historic, are those which feel the importance and 
the value of their institutions, and prize them." 

And Sergyef Ivanovitch transferred the question over 
into the domain of the historico-philosophical, which 
Konstantin was by no means able to appreciate, and 
showed him all the erroneousness of his views. 

" As to your distaste for affairs, excuse me if I refer 
it to our Russian indolence and gentility ; ^ and I trust 
that this temporary error of yours will pass away." 

Konstantin was silent. He felt himself routed on 

^ Barsivo, Russian rank. The stem appears in the word barin, master. 


every side, but he felt also that his brother had not 
understood what he wished to say. He did not know 
exactly whether it was because he did not know how to 
express himself clearly, or because his brother did not wish 
to understand him, or whether he could not understand 
him. He did not try to fathom this question ; but, with- 
out replying to his brother, he became absorbed in en- 
tirely different thoughts, connected with his own work. 
Sergyeif Ivanovitch reeled in his last line, he unhitched 
the horse, and they drove away. 


The thought that was absorbing Levin at the time of 
his discussion with his brother was this : the year be- 
fore, having come one day to the hay-field. Levin had 
fallen into a passion with his overseer. He had em- 
ployed his favorite means of calming himself — had 
taken the scythe from a muzhik and begun to mow. 

He enjoyed the work so much that he had tried it 
again and again. He had mowed the whole of the 
lawn in front of his house, and this year early in the 
spring he had formulated a plan of spending whole 
days mowing with the muzhiks. 

Since his brother's arrival he had been in doubt: 
Should he mow or not ? He had scruples about leaving 
his brother alone for whole days at a time, and he was 
afraid that his brother would make sport of him on ac- 
count of this. But as they crossed the meadow, and he 
recalled the impression that the mowing had made on 
him, he had almost made up his mind that he would 
mow. Now after his vexatious discussion with his 
brother, he again remembered his project. 

" I must have some physical exercise, or my charac- 
ter will absolutely spoil," he thought, and made up his 
mind to mow, no matter what his brother or his servants 
should say. 

That very evening Konstantin Levin went to the office, 
gave some directions about the work to be done, and 


sent to the village to hire some mowers for the morrow, 
so as to attack his field at Kalinovo, which was the 
largest and best. 

" And here, please send my scythe over to Sef, and 
have him put it in order and bring it back to-morrow ; 
perhaps I will come and mow too," said he, trying to 
hide his confusion. 

The overseer smiled, and said : — 

" I will obey you — sluskayu-s." 

Later, at the tea-table. Levin said to his brother : — 

" It seems like settled weather. To-morrow I am 
going to begin mowing." 

" I like this work very much," said Sergyei Ivanovitch. 

" I like it extremely," said Levin. " Last year I 
myself mowed with the muzhiks, and to-morrow I am 
going to spend all day at it." 

Sergyei Ivanovitch raised his head, and gazed with 
astonishment at his brother. 

" What did you say } Like the muzhiks, all day 
long .? " 

" Certainly ; it is very enjoyable," said Levin. 

•' It is excellent as physical exercise, but can you stand 
such work 1 " asked Sergyei Ivanovitch, without mean- 
ing to say anything ironical. 

" I have tried it. At first it is hard work, but after- 
wards you get used to it. I think I shall not leave 
off." .... 

" Really ! but tell me, how do the muzhiks look at it .>' 
Naturally they make sport because the barin is queer, 
don't they ? " 

" No, I don't think so ; but this is such pleasant and 
at the same time hard work, that they don't think about 

" But how do you and they do about dinner } You 
could hardly have a bottle of Lafitte and a roast turkey 
sent you out there." 

" No ; I come home while the workmen have their 

The next morning Konstantin Levin got up earlier 
than usual ; but his duties about the house detained 


him, and when he came to the mowing-field he found 
the men had already mowed the first time across. 

From the top of the slope the part of the meadow 
still in the shade, and already mowed, spread out before 
him, with its long windrows and the little black heaps 
of kaftans thrown down by the men when they went by 
the first time. 

As he drew nearer he saw also the band of muzhiks, 
some in their kaftans, some in their shirt-sleeves, mov- 
ing in a long line, and swinging their scythes in unison. 
He counted forty-two men of them. They were advanc- 
ing slowly over the uneven bottom-land of the meadow, 
where there was an old dike. Many of them Levin 
knew. There was the old round-shouldered Yermil, in 
a very clean white shirt, wielding the scythe ; there was 
the young small Vaska, who used to be Levin's coach- 
man ; there was Sef, also, a little, thin old peasant,^ who 
had taught him how to mow. He was cutting a wide 
swath without stooping, and handling his scythe as if 
he were playing with it. 

Levin dismounted from his horse, tied her near the 
road, and went across to Sef, who immediately got a 
second scythe from a clump of bushes and handed it to 

" All ready, barin ; 't is like a razor, -— cuts of itself," 
said Sef, with a smile, taking off his cap and handing 
him the scythe. 

Levin took it and began to try it. The mowers, hav- 
ing finished their line, were returning one after the other 
on their track, covered with sweat, but gay and lively. 
They laughed timidly, and saluted the barin. All of 
them looked at him, but no one ventured to speak until 
at last a tall old man, with a wrinkled, beardless face, 
and dressed in a sheepskin jacket, thus addressed 
him : — 

" Look here, barin, if you put your hand to the rope, 
you must not let go," said he ; and Levin heard the 
sound of stifled laughter among the mowers. 

^ MuzJiichok, diminutive of muzhik, as muzhik is diminutive of muzh, a 

VOL. II. — 2 


" I will try not to be left behind," he said, as he took 
his place behind Sef, and waited for the signal to 

" 'Tention ! " cried the old man. 

Sef opened the way, and Levin followed in his track. 
The grass was short and tough ; and Levin, who had 
not mowed in a long time, and was confused by the 
watchful eyes of the men, at first made very bad work 
of it, though he swung the scythe energetically. Voices 
were heard behind him : — 

"He does not hold his scythe right: the sned is too 
high. See how he stoops like," said one. 

" Bears his hand on too much," said another. 

" No inatter, it goes pretty well," said the head 

" Look, he goes at a great rate ! Cuts a wide swath ! 
.... He '11 get played out. The master is trying it for 
himself as hard as he can, but look at his row ! For 
such work my brother was beaten once." 

The grass became less tough ; and Levin, listening 
and making no reply, trying to mow as well as he could, 
followed Sef. Thus they went a hundred steps. Sef 
kept on without any intermission, and without showing 
the least fatigue ; but Levin began by this time to feel 
terribly and feared that he could not keep it up, he was 
so tired. 

He was just thinking that he was using his last 
strength and had determined to ask Sef to rest ; but 
at this time the muzhik of his own accord halted, 
bent over, and, taking a handful of grass, began to 
wipe his scythe, and to whet it. Levin straightened 
himself up, and with a sigh of relief looked about him. 
Just behind was a peasant, and he also was evidently 
tired, because instantly without catching up to Levin he 
also stopped and began to whet his scythe. Sef whetted 
his own scythe and Levin's, and they started again. 

At the second attempt it was just the same. Sef ad- 
vanced a step at every swing of the scythe, without 
stopping and without sign of weariness. Levin followed 
him, striving not to fall behind; but each moment it 


came harder and harder. But, as before, just as he 
believed himself at the end of his forces, Sef stopped 
and whetted his scythe. 

Thus they went over the first swath. And this long 
stretch seemed especially hard for Levin. When the 
swath was finished and Sef, throwing the scythe over 
his shoulder, slowly walked back in the tracks made by 
his heels as he had mowed, and Levin also retraced his 
steps in the same way, although the sweat stood on his 
face and dropped from his nose, and all his back was as 
wet as if he had been plunged in water ; still he felt 
very comfortable. He was especially glad that he knew 
now that he could keep up with the rest. 

His pleasure was marred only by the fact that his 
swath was not good. 

" I will work less with my arms and more with my 
whole body," he said to himself, carefully comparing 
Sef's smooth straight swath with his own rough and 
irregular line. 

The first time, as Levin observed, Sef went very 
rapidly, apparently wishing to test his barin's endur- 
ance, and the swath seemed endless. But the succeed- 
ing swaths grew easier and easier. Still Levin had to 
exert all his energies .not to fall behind the muzhiks. 
He had no other thought, no other desire, than to reach 
the other end of the meadow as soon as the others did, 
and to do his work as perfectly as possible. He heard 
nothing but the swish of the scythes, saw nothing but 
Sef's straight back, plodding on in front of him, and the 
semicircle described in the grass which fell over, slowly 
carrying with it the delicate heads of flowers, and then 
far in front of him the end of the row, where he would 
be able to get breath. 

Not at first realizing what it was or whence it came, 
suddenly in the midst of his labors he felt a pleasant 
sensation of coolness on his shoulders. He looked up 
at the sky while Sef was plying the whetstone, and he 
saw an inky black cloud. A heavy shower had come 
up and the raindrops were falling fast. Some of the 
muzhiks were putting on their kaftans; others, like 


Levin himself, were glad to feel the rain on their hot, 
sweaty shoulders. 

The work went on and on. Some of the swaths were 
long, others were shorter ; here the grass was good, 
there it was poor. Levin absolutely lost all idea of time 
and knew not whether it was early or late. In his work 
a change now began to be visible, and this afforded him 
vast satisfaction. While he was engaged in this labor 
there were moments during which he forgot what he 
was doing and it seemed easy to him, and during these 
moments his swath came out almost as even and per- 
fect as that done by Sef. But as soon as he became 
conscious of what he was doing and strove to do better, 
he immediately began to feel all the difficulty of the 
work and his swath became poor. 

After they had gone over the field one more time, he 
started to turn back again ; but Sef halted, and, going 
to the old man, whispered something to him. Then the 
two studied the sun. 

" What are they talking about ? and why don't they 
keep on .-* " thought Levin, without considering that the 
muzhiks had been mowing for more than four hours, and 
it was time for them to have their morning meal. 

" Breakfast, barin," said the old man. 

"Time, is it.? Well, breakfast, then." 

Levin gave his scythe to Sef, and together with the 
muzhiks, who were going to their kaftans for their bread, 
he crossed the wide stretch of field, where the mown 
grass lay lightly moistened by the shower, and went to 
his horse. Then only he perceived that he had made a 
false prediction about the weather, and that the rain had 
wet his hay. 

"The hay will be spoiled," he said. 

" No harm done, barin ; mow in the rain, rake in the 
sun," said the old man. 

Levin unhitched his horse and went home to take 

SergyeY Ivanovitch had just got up ; before he was 
dressed and down in the dining-room, Konstantin was 
back to the field again. 



After breakfast, Levin took his place in the line not 
where he had been before, but between the quizzical old 
man, who asked him to be his neighbor, and a young 
muzhik who had been married only since autumn and 
was now mowing for the first time. 

The old man, standing very erect, mowed straight 
on, with long, regular strides ; and the swinging of the 
scythe seemed no more like labor than the swinging 
of his arms when walking. His well-whetted scythe 
cut, as it were, of its own energy through the succulent 

Behind Levin came the young Mishka. His pleasant, 
youthful face, under a wreath of green grass which bound 
his hair, worked with the energy that employed the rest 
of his body. But when any one looked at him, he would 
smile. He would rather die than confess that he found 
the labor hard. 

Levin went between the two. 

The labor seemed lighter to him during the heat of 
the day. The sweat in which he was bathed refreshed 
him ; and the sun, burning his back, his head, and his 
arms bared to the elbow, gave him force and tenacity 
for his work. More and more frequently the moments 
of oblivion, of unconsciousness of what he was doing, 
came back to him ; the scythe went of itself. Those 
were happy moments. Then, still more gladsome were 
the moments when, coming to the river where the wind- 
rows ended, the old man, wiping his scythe with the 
moist, thick grass, rinsed the steel in the river, then, 
dipping up a ladleful of the cool water, gave it to 

" This is my kvas ! It 's good, is n't it .!" " he exclaimed, 

And, indeed, it seemed to Levin that he had never 
tasted any liquor more refreshing than this lukewarm 
water, in which grass floated, and tasting of the rusty 
tin cup. Then came the glorious slow promenade, 


when, with scythe on the arm, there was time to wipe 
the heated brow, fill the lungs full, and glance round at 
the long line of haymakers, and the busy work that had 
been accomplished in field and forest. 

The longer Levin mowed, the more frequently he 
felt the moments of oblivion, when his hands did not 
wield the scythe, but the scythe seemed to have a self- 
conscious body, full of life, and carrying on, as it were 
by enchantment, a regular and systematic work. These 
were indeed joyful moments. 

It was hard only when he was obliged to interrupt 
this unconscious activity to think about something, when 
he had to remove a clod or a clump of wild sorrel. The 
old man did this easily. When he came to a clod, he 
changed his motion and now with his heel, now with 
the end of the scythe, pushed it aside with repeated 
taps. And while doing this he noticed everything and 
examined everything that was to be seen. Now he 
picked a strawberry, and ate it himself or gave it to 
Levin ; now snipped off a twig with the end of the 
scythe ; now he discovered a nest of quail from which 
the mother was scurrying away, or impaled a snake as 
if with a spear, and, having shown it to Levin, flung it 
out of the way. 

But for Levin and the young fellow behind him these 
changes of motion were difficult. When once they got 
into the swing of work, they could not easily change 
their movements and at the same time observe what 
was before them. 

Levin did not realize how the time was flying. If he 
had been asked how long he had been mowing, he 
would have answered, " Half an hour ; " and here it 
was almost dinner-time. 

After they finished one row, the old man drew his 
attention to some little girls and boys, half concealed 
by the tall grass, who were coming from all sides, 
through the tall grass and down the roads, bringing to 
the haymakers their parcels of bread and rag-stoppered 
jugs of kvas, which seemed too heavy for their little 


"See! here come the midgets,"^ said he, pointing to 
them ; and, shading his eyes, he looked at the sun. 

Twice more they went across the field, and then the 
old man stopped. 

" Well, barin, dinner," said he, in a decided tone. 

Then the mowers, walking along the riverside, went 
back through the windrows to their kaftans, where the 
children were waiting with the dinners. The muzhiks 
gathered together ; some clustered around the carts, 
others sat in the shade of a laburnum bush, where the 
mown grass was heaped up. 

Levin sat down near them ; he had no wish to leave 

All constraint in the presence of the barin had disap- 
peared. The muzhiks prepared to take their dinner. 
Some washed themselves, the children went in swim- 
ming in the river, others found places to nap in, or 
undid their bags of bread and uncorked their jugs of 

The old man crumbed his bread into his cup, mashed 
it with the shank of his spoon, poured water on from 
his tin basin, and, cutting off still more bread, he salted 
the whole plentifully ; and, turning to the east, he said 
his prayer. 

" Here now, barin, try my bread-crumbs ! "^ said he, 
kneeling down before his cup. 

Levin found the soaked bread so palatable that he 
decided not to go home to dinner. He dined with the 
old man, and talked with him about his domestic affairs, 
in which he took a lively interest, and in his turn told 
the old man about such of his plans and projects as 
would interest him. 

He felt far nearer to him than to his brother, and he 
could not help smiling at the affection which he felt for 
this simple-hearted man. 

When the old man got up from his dinner, offered 

1 Kozyavki, ladybugs. 

2 Tiurka, diminutive of tiura, a bread-crumb soaked in kvas^ or beer. 
The starik used water instead of kvas. Kvas is a drink made of fermented 
rye meal or bread with malt. 


another prayer, and arranged a pillow of fresh-mown 
grass; and composed himself for a nap, Levin did the 
same ; and, in spite of the stubborn, sticky flies and 
insects tickling his heated face and body, he immedi- 
ately went off to sleep, and did not wake until the 
sun came out on the other side of the laburnum bush 
and began to shine in his face. The starik had been 
long awake, and was sitting up cutting the children's 

Levin looked around him, and did not know where he 
was. Everything seemed so changed. The vast level 
of the mown meadow with its windrows of already 
fragrant hay was lighted and glorified in a new fashion 
by the oblique rays of the afternoon sun. The trimmed 
bushes down by the river, and the river itself, before in- 
visible but now shining like steel with its windings ; 
and the busy peasantry ; and the high wall of grass, 
where the meadow was not yet mowed ; and the young 
vultures flying high above the bare field, — all this was 
absolutely new to him. 

Levin calculated how much had been mowed, and 
how much could still be done that day. The work 
accomplished by the forty-two men was considerable. 
The whole great meadow, which in the time of serfdom 
used to take thirty scythes two days, was now almost 
mowed ; only a few corners with short rows were left. 
But Levin wanted to do as much as possible that day, 
and he was vexed at the sun which was sinking too 
early. He felt no fatigue; he only wanted to do more 
rapid work, and get as much done as was possible. 

" Do you think we shall get Mashkin Verkh ^ mowed 
to-day.!" " he asked of the old man. 

" If God allows; the sun is getting low. Will there 
be little sips of vodka for the boys? " 

At the time of the mid-afternoon luncheon, when the 
men rested again, and the smokers were lighting their 
pipes, the elder announced to the "boys " : — 

" Mow Mashkin Verkh — extra vodka ! " 

" All right ! Come on, Sef ! Let 's tackle it lively, 

1 Mashka's Hillside. 


We '11 eat after dark. Come on ! " cried several voices ; 
and, even while still munching their bread, they got to 
work again. 

" Well, boys, keep up good hearts ! " said Sef, setting 
off almost on the run. 

"Come, come!" cried the old man, hastening after 
him and easily outstripping him. " I am first. Look 

Old and young mowed as if they were racing ; and 
yet, with all their haste, they did not spoil their work, 
but the windrows lay in neat and regular swaths. 

The triangle was finished in five minutes. The last 
mowers had just finished their line, when the first, throw- 
ing their kaftans over their shoulders, started down the 
road to the Mashkin Verkh. 

The sun was just hovering over the tree-tops, when, 
with rattling cans, they came to the little wooded ravine 
of Mashkin Verkh. 

The grass here was as high as a man's waist, tender, 
succulent, thick, and variegated with the flower called 

After a short parley, to decide whether to take it 
across, or lengthwise, an experienced mower, Prokhor 
Yermilin, a huge, black-bearded muzhik, went over it 
first. He took it lengthwise, and came back in his 
track; and then all followed him, going along the hill 
above the hollow, and skirting the wood. The sun was 
setting. The light was going behind the forest. The 
dew was already falling. Only the mowers on the 
ridge were in the sun ; but down in the hollow, where 
the mist was beginning to rise, and behind the slope, 
they went in fresh, dewy shade. 

The work went on. The grass, cut off with a juicy 
sound, and falling evenly, lay in high windrows. The 
mowers came close together from all sides as the rows 
converged, rattling their drinking-cups, sometimes hit- 
ting their scythes together, working with joyful shouts, 
rallying one another. 

Levin still kept his place between the short young 
man and the elder. The elder, with his sheepskin 


jacket loosened, was as gay, jocose, free in his move> 
ments as ever. 

They kept finding birch-mushrooms in the woods, 
lurking in the juicy grass and cut off by the scythes. 
But the elder bent down whenever he saw one, and^ 
picking it, put it in his breast. 

" Still another little present for my old woman," he 
would say. 

Easy as it was to mow the tender and soft grass, it 
was hard to climb and descend the steep sides of the 
ravine. But the elder did not let this appear. Always 
lightly swinging his scythe, he climbed with short, firm 
steps, and his feet shod in huge lapti, or bast shoes, 
though he trembled with his whole body, and his drawers 
were slipping down below his shirt, he let nothing escape 
him, not an herb or a mushroom ; and he never ceased 
to joke with Levin and the muzhiks. 

Levin went behind him, and more than once felt that 
he would surely drop, trying to climb, scythe in hand, 
this steep hillside, where even unencumbered it would 
be hard to go. But he persevered all the same, and did 
what was required. He felt as if some interior force 
sustained him. 


The men had mowed the Mashkin Verkh, they had 
finished the last rows, and had taken their kaftans, and 
were gayly going home. Levin mounted his horse and 
regretfully took leave of his companions. On the hill- 
top he turned round to take a last look ; but the even- 
ing's mist, rising from the bottoms, hid them from 
sight; but he could hear their loud, happy voices and 
laughter and the sound of their clinging scythes. 

SergyeY Ivanovitch had long finished dinner, and, 
sitting in his room, was taking iced lemonade, and read- 
ing the papers and reviews which had just come from 
the post, when Levin, with his disordered hair matted 
down on his brow with perspiration, and with his back 


and chest black and wet, came into the room and joined 
him, full of lively talk. 

"Well! we mowed the whole meadow. Akh ! How 
good, how delightful ! And how has the day passed 
with you ? " he asked, completely forgetting the un- 
pleasant conversation of the evening before. 

"Ye saints! How you look!" exclaimed Sergyei 
Tvanovitch, staring at first not over-pleasantly at his 
brother. "There, shut the door, shut the door!" he 
cried. " You 've certainly let in more than a dozen ! " 

Sergyei" Ivanovitch could not endure flies ; and he 
never opened his bedroom windows except at night, and 
he made it a point to keep his doors always shut. 

"Indeed, not a one! If I have, I '11 catch him!.... 
If you knew what fun I 've had ! And how has it gone 
with you .'' " 

" First-rate. But you don't mean to say that you 
have been mowing all day ? You must be hungry as a 
wolf. Kuzma has your dinner all ready for you." 

" No ; I am not hungry. I ate yonder. But I 'm 
going to polish myself up." 

" All right, I '11 join you later," said SergyeT Ivano- 
vitch, shaking his head and gazing at his brother. "Be 
quick about it," he added, with a smile, arranging his 
papers and getting ready to follow ; he also suddenly 
felt enlivened, and was unwilling to be away from his 
brother. "Well, but where were you during the 
shower .-* " 

" What shower ? Only a drop or two fell. I '11 soon 
be back. And did the day go pleasantly with you .'' 
Well, that 's capital ! " 

And Levin went to dress. 

About five minutes afterwards the brothers met in the 
dining-room. Although Levin imagined that he was not 
hungry, and he sat down only so as not to hurt Kuzma's 
feelings, yet when he once began eating, he found it ex- 
cellent. Sergyei Ivanovitch looked at him with a smile. 

" Oh, yes, there 's a letter for you," he said. " Kuzma, 
go and get it. Be careful and see that you shut the 


The letter was from Oblonsky. Levin read it aloud. 
It was dated from Petersburg : — 

I have just heard from Dolly ; she is at Yergushovo ; every- 
thing is going wrong with her. Please go and see her, and 
give her your advice, — you who know everything. She will be 
so glad to see you ! She is all alone, wretched. The mother- 
in-law is still abroad with the family. 

" This is admirable ! Certainly I will go to see her," 
said Levin. " Let us go together. She is a glorious 
woman ; don't you think so ? " 

" And they live near you .-• " 

" About thirty versts, possibly forty. But there 's a 
good road. We can cover it quickly." 

" I shall be delighted," said SergyeY Ivanovitch, 
smiling. The sight of his brother immediately filled 
him with happiness. " Well there ! what an appetite you 
have ! " he added, looking at his tanned, sunburned, 
glowing face and neck, as he bent over his plate. 

" Excellent ! You can't imagine how useful this 
regime is against whims ! I am going to enrich medi- 
cine with a new term, arbeitskur — labor-cure." 

" Well , you don't seem to need it much, it seems to 

" Yes ; it is a sovereign specific against nervous 

" It must be looked into. I was coming to see you 
mow, but the heat was so insupportable that I did not 
go farther than the wood. I rested awhile, and then I 
went to the village. I met your nurse there, and 
sounded her as to what the muzhiks thought about you. 
As I understand it, they don't approve of you. She 
said, ' Not gentlemen's work.' I think that, as a gen- 
eral thing, the peasantry form very definite ideas aboul; 
what is becoming for the gentry to do, and they don't 
like to have them go outside of certain fixed limits." 

" Maybe ; but you see I have never enjoyed anything 
more in all my life, and I do not do anybody any harm, 
do I .'' " asked Levin. " And suppose it does n't please 
them, what is to be done } Whose business is it .'' " 


" Well, I see you are well satisfied with your day," 
replied Sergyef Ivanovitch. 

" Very well satisfied. We mowed the whole meadow, 
and I made such friends with an old man — the elder. 
You can't imagine how he pleased me." 

" Well, you are satisfied with your day ! So am I 
with mine. In the first place, I solved two chess prob- 
lems, and one was a beauty — it opened with a pawn. 
I '11 show it to you. And then — I thought of our last 
evening's discussion." 

" What .-* Our last evening's discussion ? " said Levin, 
half closing his eyes, and drawing a long breath with a 
sensation of comfort after his dinner, and really unable 
to recollect the subject of their discussion. 

" I come to the conclusion that you are partly in the 
right. The discrepancy in our views lies in the fact 
that you assume personal interest as the motive power 
of our actions, while I claim that every man who has 
reached a certain stage of intellectual development must 
have for his motive the public interest. But you are 
probably right in saying that materially interested activity 
would be more to be desired. Your nature is, as the 
French say, prhnesautiere} You want strong, energetic 
activity, or nothing." 

Levin listened to his brother, but he did not under- 
stand him at all, and did not try to understand. His 
only fear was that his brother would ask him some 
question, by which it would become evident that he was 
not listening. 

" How is this, my dear boy } " asked Sergyef Ivano- 
vitch, touching him on the shoulder. 

"Yes, of course. But, then, I don't set much store 
on my own opinions," replied Levin, smiling like a 
guilty child. His thought was, " What was our discus- 
sion about .'' Of course ; I am right, and he is right, and 
all is charming. But I must go the office and give my 
orders." He arose, stretching himself and smiling. 

SergyeY Ivanovitch also smiled. 

" If you want to go out, let 's go together," he said, 

1 Off-hand. 


not wanting to be away from his brother, from whom 
emanated such a spirit of freshness and good cheer. 
" If you must go the office, I '11 go with you." 

" O ye saints ! " exclaimed Levin, so loud that Ser- 
geyif Ivanovitch was startled. 

"What's the matter.?" 

" Agafya Mikhai'lovna's hand," said Levin, striking 
his forehead. " I had forgotten all about her." 

" She is much better." 

" Well, I must go to her, all the same. I '11 be back 
before you get on your hat." 

And he started down-stairs on the run, his heels 
clattering on the steps. 


At the time Stepan Arkadyevitch was off to Peters- 
burg to fulfil the most natural of obligations, without 
which the service could not exist, unquestioned by all 
functionaries, however unimportant for non-function- 
aries — that of reporting to the ministry, and while 
fulfilling this obligation, being well supplied with 
money, was enjoying himself at the races and his 
friends' datchas, Dolly, with the children, was on her 
way to the country, in order to reduce the expenses as 
much as possible. She was going to their country- 
place at Yergushovo, an estate which had been a part 
of her dowry. It was where the wood had been sold 
in the spring, and was situated about fifty versts from 
Levin's Pokrovsky. 

The large old mansion at Yergushovo had long been 
demolished, and the prince had contented himself with 
enlarging and repairing one of the wings. Twenty 
years before, when Dolly was a little girl, this wing 
was spacious and comfortable, though, in the manner 
of all wings, it stood sidewise as regarded the avenue 
and the south. But now this wing was old and out of 
repair. When Stepan Arkadyevitch went down in the 
spring to sell the wood, Dolly asked him to look over 


the house and have done to it whatever was necessary 
Stepan Arkadyevitch, like all guilty husbands, being 
deeply concerned for his wife's comfort, inspected the 
house and made arrangements to have everything done 
that, in his opinion, was necessary. In his opinion it 
was necessary to have the furniture covered with cre- 
tonne, to hang curtains, to clear up the garden, to plant 
flowers, and to build a bridge across the pond ; but he 
had overlooked many more essential matters, the lack 
of which afterwards caused Darya Aleksandrovna great 

Although Stepan strove to be a solicitous husband 
and father, he never could realize that he had a wife 
and children. His tastes remained those of a bachelor, 
and to them he conformed. When he got back to Mos- 
cow he proudly assured his wife that everything was 
in prime order, that the house would be perfection, and 
he advised her strongly to go there immediately. To 
Stepan Arkadyevitch his wife's departure to the country 
was delightful in many ways : it would be healthy for 
the children, expenses would be lessened, and he would 
be freer. 

Darya Aleksandrovna, on her part, felt that a sum- 
mer in the country was indispensable for the children, 
and especially for the youngest little girl, who gained 
very slowly after the scarlatina. Moreover, she would 
be freed from petty humiliations, from little duns of the 
butcher, the fish-dealer, and the baker, which troubled 

And above all the departure was very pleasant to her 
for the especial reason that the happy thought had oc- 
curred to her to invite her sister Kitty, who was coming 
home from abroad about the middle of the summer and 
had been advised to take some cold baths. ' Kitty wrote 
her from the Spa that nothing would delight her so 
much as to spend the rest of the summer with her at 
Yergushovo, that place that was so full of happy child- 
hood memories for both of them. 

The first part of the time country life was very hard 
for Dolly. She had lived there when she was a child, 


and it had left the impression that it was a refuge from 
all the trials of the city, and if it was not very elegant, 
— and Dolly was willing to put up with that, — at least, 
it would be comfortable and inexpensive, and the chil- 
dren would be happy. But now, when she came there 
as mistress of the house, she found that things were not 
at all as she had expected. 

* On the morning after their arrival, it began to rain 
in torrents, and by night the water was leaking in the 
corridor and the nursery, so that the little beds had to 
be brought down into the parlor. It was impossible to 
find a cook. Among the nine cows in the barn, accord- 
ing to the dairywoman's report, some were going to 
calve, some had their first calf, still others were too old, 
and the rest had trouble with their udders, consequently 
they could not have butter, or even milk for the chil- 
dren. Not an egg was to be had. It was impossible 
to find a hen. They had for roasting or broiling only 
tough old purple roosters. No women were to be found 
to do the washing — all were at work on the potatoes. 

They could not go driving, because one of the horses 
was restive and pulled at the pole. There was no 
chance for bathing, because the bank of the river had 
been trodden into a quagmire by the cattle, and was 
visible from the road. They could not even go out 
walking, because the cattle had got into the garden, 
through the tumble-down fences, and there was a terri- 
ble bull which bellowed, and therefore, of course, tossed 
people with his horns. In the house, there was no 
clothes-press. The closet doors either would not shut, 
or flew open when any one passed. In the kitchen, 
there were no pots or kettles. In the laundry, there 
were no tubs, or even any scrubbing-boards for the 

At first, therefore, finding herself plunged into what 
seemed to her such terrible straits, instead of the rest 
and peace which she expected, Darya Aleksandrovna 
was in despair. Though she exerted all her energies, 
she felt the helplessness of her situation, and could not 
keep back her tears. 


The steward, who had been formerly a vakhmistr, or 
quartermaster in the army, and on account of his good 
looks and fine presence had been promoted by Stepan 
Arkadyevitch from his place as Swiss, showed no sym- 
pathy with Darya Aleksandrovna's tribulations, but sim- 
ply said in his respectful way : — 

" Nothing can be done, such a beastly peasantry ! " 
and would not raise his hand to help. 

The situation seemed hopeless ; but in the Oblonsky 
household, as in all well-regulated homes, there was one 
humble but still important and useful member, Matriona 
Filimonovna. She calmed the baruinya, telling her that 
" all would come out right," — that was her phrase, and 
Matvei" had borrowed it from her, — and she went to 
work without fuss and without bother. 

She had made the acquaintance of the overseer's 
wife, and on the very day of their arrival went to take 
tea with her and the overseer under the acacias, and 
discussed with them the state of affairs. A club was 
quickly organized by Matriona Filimonovna under the 
acacia ; and then through this club, which was com- 
posed of the overseer's wife, the starosta, or village elder, 
and the bookkeeper, the difficulties, one by one, disap- 
peared, and within a week everything, as Matriona said. 
" came out all right." The roof was patched up ; a 
cook was found in a friend of the starosta's ; chickens 
were bought ; the cows began to give milk ; the garden- 
fence was repaired; the carpenter made a mangle, and 
drove in hooks, and put latches on the closets, so that 
they would not keep flying open ; the ironing-board, cov- 
ered with a piece of soldiers' cloth, was stretched from 
the dresser across the back of a chair, and the smell of 
the ironing came up from below. 

" There now," exclaimed Matriona Filimonovna, point- 
ing to the ironing-board, "there is no need of worrying." 

They even built a board bath-house. Lili began to 
bathe, and Darya Aleksandrovna's hope of a comfortable, 
if not a peaceful, country life became almost realized. 
Peaceful life was impossible to Dar3^a Aleksandrovna 
with six children. If one had an ill turn, another was 

VOL. II. — 3 


sure to follow suit, and something would happen to a 
third, and the fourth would show signs of a bad dispo- 
sition, and so it went on. Rarely, rarely came even 
short periods of rest. But these very anxieties and 
troubles were the only chances of happiness that Darya 
Aleksandrovna had. If it had not been for this, she 
would have been alone with her thoughts about a hus- 
band who no longer loved her. But however cruel were 
the anxieties caused by the fear of illness, by the ill- 
nesses themselves, and by the grief a mother feels at 
the sight of evil tendencies in her children, these same 
children repaid her for her sorrows by their pleasures 
and enjoyments. Her joys were so small that they 
were almost invisible, like gold in sand ; and in trying 
hours she saw only the sorrows, only the sand ; but 
there were also happy moments, when she saw only the 
joys, only the gold. 

Now, in the quiet of the country, she became more 
and more conscious of her joys. Often, as she looked 
on them, she made unheard-of efforts to persuade her- 
self that she was mistaken, that she had a mother's 
partiality; but she could not help saying to herself that 
she had beautiful children, all six, all of them charming 
in their own ways, — such children as are rare to find. 
And she rejoiced in them, and was proud of them. 


Toward the beginning of June, when everything 
was more or less satisfactorily arranged, she received 
her husband's reply to her complaints about her do- 
mestic tribulations. He wrote, asking pardon because 
he had not remembered everything, and promised to 
come just as soon as he could. This had not yet 
come to pass ; and at the end of June Darya Alek- 
sandrovna was still living alone in the country. 

It was midsummer, Sunday, -the feast of St. Peter, and 
Darya Aleksandrovna took all her children to the holy 
communion. In her intimate philosophical discussions 


with her sister, her mother, or her friends, she often sur- 
prised them by the breadth of her views on reHgious 
subjects. A strange religious metempsychosis had 
taken place in her, and she had come out into a faith 
which had very little in common with ecclesiastical 
dogmas. But in her family, — not merely for the sake 
of example, but in answer to the requirements of her 
own soul, — she conformed strictly to all the obligations 
of the church, and now she was blaming herself because 
her children had not been to communion since the be- 
ginning of the year ; and, with the full approbation and 
sympathy of Matriona Filimonovna, she resolved to ac- 
complish this duty. 

For several days beforehand she had been occupied 
in arranging what the children should wear : and now 
their dresses were arranged, all clean and in order ; 
flutings and flounces were added, new buttons were put 
on, and ribbons were gathered in knots. Only Tania's 
frock, which had been intrusted to the English gover- 
ness to alter, caused Dolly great vexation. The English 
governess, in making the changes, put the seams in the 
wrong place, cut the sleeves too short, and spoiled the 
whole garment. It fitted so badly about the shoulders 
that it was painful to look at her. But it occurred to 
Matriona Filimonovna to piece out the waist and to 
make a cape. The damage was repaired, but they 
almost had a quarrel with the English governess. 

By morning all was in readiness ; a'nd about ten 
o'clock — the hour they had asked the father to give 
them for the communion — the children, in their best 
clothes and radiant with joy, were gathered on the steps 
before the calash waiting for their mother. 

Thanks to Matriona Filimonovna's watchful care, the 
overseer's BuroY had been harnessed to the calash in 
place of the restive Voron, and Darya Aleksandrovna, 
who had taken considerable pains with her toilet, ap- 
peared in a white muslin gown, and took her seat in the 

Darya Aleksandrovna had arranged her hair and 
dressed herself with care and with emotion. In former 


times she had liked to dress well so as to render herself 
handsome and attractive ; but as she became older, she 
lost her taste for adornment ; she saw how her beauty- 
had faded. But now she once more found satisfaction 
and a certain emotion in being attractively arrayed. 
She did not now dress for her own sake, or to enhance 
her beauty, but so that, as mother of these lovely chil- 
dren, she might not spoil the general impression. And 
as she cast a iinal glance at the mirror, she was satisfied 
with herself. She was beautiful, — not beautiful in the 
same way as at one time she liked to be at a ball, but 
beautiful for the purpose which she had now in mind. 

There was no one at church except the muzhiks 
and the household servants ; but Darya Aleksandrovna 
noticed, or thought she noticed, the attention that she 
and her children attracted as they went along. The 
children were handsome in their nicely trimmed dresses, 
and still more charming in their behavior. Alosha, to 
be sure, was not absolutely satisfactory ; he kept turn- 
ing round, and trying to look at the tails of his little 
coat, but nevertheless he was wonderfully pretty. 
Tania behaved like a grown-up lady, and looked after 
the younger ones. But Lili, the smallest, was fascinat- 
ing in her nafve wonder at everything that she saw ; 
and it was hard not to smile when, after she had re- 
ceived the communion, she cried out in English, 
^^ Please f some more!" 

After they got home, the children felt the conscious- 
ness that something solemn had taken place, and were 
very quiet. 

All went well in the house, till at lunch Grisha began 
to whistle, and, what was worse than all, refused to 
obey the English governess ; and he was sent away 
without any tart. Darya Aleksandrovna would not 
have allowed any punishment on such a day if she had 
been there ; but she was obliged to uphold the gover- 
ness, and confirm her in depriving Grisha of the tart. 
This was a cloud on the general happiness. 

Grisha began to cry, saying that Nikolinka also had 
whistled but they did not punish him, and that he was 


not crying about the tart, — that was no account, — but 
because they had not been fair to him. This was very 
disagreeable ; and Darya Aleksandrovna, after a con- 
sultation with the English governess, decided to pardon 
Grisha, and went to get him. But then, as she went 
through the hall, she saw a scene which brought such 
joy to her heart, that the tears came to her eyes, and 
she herself forgave the culprit. 

The little fellow was sitting in the drawing-room by 
the bay-window ; near him stood Tania with a plate. 
Under the pretext of wanting some dessert for her dolls, 
she had asked the English governess to let her take her 
portion of the pie to the nursery ; but, instead of this, 
she had taken it to her brother. Grisha, still sobbing 
over the unfairness of his punishment, was eating the 
pie, and saying to his sister in the midst of his tears, 
" Take some too .... we will eat to .... together." 

Tania was full of sympathy for her brother, and had 
the sentiment of having performed a generous action, 
and the tears stood in her eyes, but she accepted the 
portion and was eating it. 

When they saw their mother, they were scared, but 
they felt assured, by the expression of her face, that 
they were doing right ; they both laughed, and, with 
their mouths still full of pie, they began to wipe their 
laughing lips with their hands, and their shining faces 
were stained with tears and jam. 

"Ye saints! my new white gown! Tania! Grisha!" 
exclaimed the mother, endeavoring to save her gown, 
but at the same time smiling at them with a happy, 
beatific smile. 

Afterwards the new frocks were taken off, and the 
girls put on their old blouses and the boys their old 
jackets; and the line'ika, or two-seated drozhky, was 
brought out, and again, to the overseer's annoyance, 
Buroi was at the pole, so that they might go out after 
mushrooms, and to have a bath. It is needless to say 
that enthusiastic shouts and squeals arose in the nurs- 
ery, and did not cease until they actually got started for 
their excursion. 


They soon filled a basket with mushrooms ; even Lili 
found some of the birch agarics. Always before Miss 
Hull had found them and pointed them out to her ; but 
now she herself found a huge birch shliupik, and there 
was a universal cry of enthusiasm : — 

" Lili has found a mushroom ! " 

Afterwards they came to the river, left the horses 
under the birch trees, and went to the bath-house. The 
coachman, Terenti, leaving the animals to switch away 
the flies with their tails, stretched himself out on the 
grass in the shade of the birches, and smoked his pipe, 
and listened to the shouts and laughter of the children 
in the bath-house. 

Though it was rather embarrassing to look after all 
these children, and to keep them from mischief ; though 
it was hard to remember, and not mix up all these 
stockings, shoes, and trousers for so many different 
legs, and to untie, unbutton, and then fasten again, so 
many tapes and buttons, — still Darya Aleksandrovna 
always took a lively interest in the bathing, looking on 
it as advantageous for the children, and never feeling 
happier than when engaged in this occupation. To fit 
the stockings on those plump little legs ; to take the 
younger ones by the hand, and dip their naked little 
bodies into the water; to hear their cries, now joyful, 
now terrified ; to see these breathless faces of those 
splashing cherubimchiks of hers, with their scared or 
sparkling eyes wide open with excitement, — all this 
was a perfect delight to her. 

When half of the children were dressed, some peas- 
ant women, in Sunday attire, on their way to get herbs, 
came along, and stopped timidly at the bath-house. 
Matriona Filimonovna called to one of them, in order 
to give her a sheet and a shirt to dry that had f^len 
into the water ; and Darya Aleksandrovna talked with 
the women. At first they laughed behind their hands, 
not understanding her questions; but little by little 
their courage returned and they began to chatter, and 
they quite won Darya Aleksandrovna's heart by their 
sincere admiration of the children. 


" hit tui ! ain't she lovely, now ? White as sugar ! " 
said one, pointing to Tania, and nodding her head. 
"But thin...." 

" Yes ; because she has been ill." 

" Vish tui,'' said still another, pointing to the youngest 

" It seems you don't take him into the water, do 
you .? " 

" No," said Darya Aleksandrovna, proudly. " He is 
only three months old." 

" You don't say so ! " ^ 

"And have you any children.'' " 

" I 've had four ; two are alive, a boy and a girl. I 
weaned the youngest before Lent." 

" How old is she .'' " 

" Well, she is going into her second year." 

" Why do you nurse her so long t " 

" It 's our way : three springs." .... 

And then the woman asked Darya Aleksandrovna 
about the birth of her baby : did she have a hard time ? 
where was her husband .<* would he come often ? 

Darya Aleksandrovna was reluctant to part with the 
peasant women, §0 delightful did she find the conversa- 
tion with them, so perfectly identical were their interests 
and hers. And it was more pleasant to her than any- 
thing else to see how evidently all these women were 
filled with admiration because she had so many and such 
lovely children. The women made Darya Aleksandrovna 
laugh, and offended Miss Hull for the very reason that 
she was the cause of their unaccountable laughter. One 
of the young women gazed with all her eyes at the Eng- 
lish governess, who was dressing last ; and, when she 
put on the third petticoat, she could not restrain her- 
self any longer, but burst out laughing : — 

" /s/t tui ! she put on one, and then she put on another, 
and she has n't got them all on yet ! " and they all broke 
into loud laughter. 



Darya Aleksandrovna, with a kerchief on her head, 
and surrounded by all her flock of bathers with wet hair, 
was just drawing near the house when the coachman called 
out, "Here comes somebarin, — Pokrovsky, it looks like." 

Darya Aleksandrovna looked out, and, to her great 
joy, saw that it was indeed Levin's well-known form in 
gray hat and gray overcoat. She was always glad to 
see him, but now she was particularly delighted, because 
he saw'her in all her glory. No one could appreciate 
her splendor better than Levin. 

When he caught sight of her, it seemed to him that he 
saw one of his visions of family life. 

"You are like a brooding hen, Darya Aleksandrovna." 

" Oh, how glad I am ! " said she, offering him her hand. 

" Glad ! But you did not let me know. My brother 
is staying with me ; I had a little note from Stiva, tell- 
ing me you were here." 

" From Stiva .'' " repeated Dolly, astonished. 

"Yes. He wrote me that you had come into the 
country, and thought that you would ajlow me to be of 
some use to you," said Levin ; and, even while speaking, 
he became confused, and breaking off suddenly, walked 
in silence by the lineika, pulling off and biting linden 
twigs as he went. It had occurred to him that Darya 
Aleksandrovna would doubtless find it painful to have 
a neighbor offer her the assistance which her husband 
should have given. In fact, Darya Aleksandrovna was 
displeased at the way in which Stepan Arkadyevitch 
had thrust his domestic difficulties upon a stranger. She 
immediately perceived that Levin felt this, and she felt 
grateful to him for his tact and delicacy. 

"Of course, I understood," said Levin, "that this 
only meant that you would be glad to see me ; and I 
was glad. Of course, I imagine that you, a city house- 
keeper, find it uncivilized here ; and, if I can be of the 
least use to you, I am wholly at your service." 

" Oh, no ! " said Dolly. " At first it was rather hard, 


but now everything has been beautifully arranged. 1 
owe it all to my old nurse," she added, indicating 
Matriona Filimonovna, who, perceiving that they were 
speaking of her, gave Levin a pleasant, friendly smile. 
She knew him, and knew that he would make a splen- 
did husband for the young lady, and she wished that it 
might be so. 

" Will you get in ? We will squeeze up a little," said 

" No, I will walk. — Children, which of you will run 
with me to get ahead of the horses .'' " 

The children were very slightly acquainted with Levin, 
and did not remember where they had seen him ; but 
they had none of that strange feeling of timidity and 
aversion which children are so often blamed for show- 
ing toward grown-up persons who are not sincere. Pre- 
tense in any person may deceive the shrewdest and most 
experienced of men, but a child of very limited intelli- 
gence detects it and is repelled by it, though it be most 
carefully hidden. 

Whatever faults Levin had, he could not be accused 
of lack of sincerity , and consequently the children 
showed him the same good-will that they had seen on 
their mother's face. The two eldest instantly accepted 
his invitation, and ran with him as they would have 
gone with their nurse, or Miss Hull, or their mother. 
Lili also wanted to go with him, and her mother in- 
trusted her to him ; so he set her on his shoulder and 
began to run with her. 

" Don't be frightened, don't be frightened, Darya 
Aleksandrovna," he said, laughing gayly. " I won't 
hurt her or let her fall." 

And when she saw his strong, agile, and, at the same 
time, prudent and careful movements, the mother felt 
reassured, and smiled as she watched him, with pleasure 
and approval. 

There in the country, with the children and with 
Darya Aleksandrovna, whom he liked, Levin entered 
into that boylike, happy frame of mind which was not 
unusual with him, and which Darya Aleksandrovna 


especially admired in him. He played with the children, 
and taught them gymnastic exercises ; he jested with 
Miss Hull in his broken English; and he told Darya 
Aleksandrovna of his undertakings in the country. 

After dinner, Darya Aleksandrovna, sitting alone with 
him on the balcony, began to speak of Kitty. 

" Did you know ? Kitty is coming here to spend the 
summer with me ! " 

"Indeed!" replied Levin, confused; and instantly, in 
order to change the subject, he added : — 

" Then I shall send you two cows, shall I .-* And if 
you insist on paying, and have no scruples, then you 
may give me five rubles a month." 

" No, thank you. We shall get along." 

" Well, then I am going to look at your cows ; and, 
with your permission, I will give directions about feed- 
ing them. Everything depends on that." 

And Levin, in order to turn the conversation, ex- 
plained to Darya Aleksandrovna the whole theory of 
the proper management of cows, which was based on 
the idea that a cow is only a machine for the conversion 
of fodder into milk, and so on. 

He talked on this subject, and yet he was passion- 
ately anxious to hear the news about Kitty, but he was 
also afraid to hear it. It was terrible to him to think that 
his peace of mind, so painfully won, might be destroyed. 

"Yes; but, in order to do all this, there must be some 
one to superintend it ; and who is there ? " asked Darya 
Aleksandrovna, not quite convinced. 

Now that she carried on her domestic affairs so satis- 
factorily, through Matriona Filimonovna, she had no 
desire to make any changes ; moreover, she had no 
faith in Levin's knowledge about rustic management. 
His reasonings about a cow being merely a machine to 
produce milk were suspicious. It seemed to her that 
such theories would throw housekeeping into discord ; it 
even seemed to her that it was all far simpler, that it 
was sufficient, to do as Matriona Filimonovna did, — to 
give Pestrukha and Byelopakha^ more fodder and drink, 

^ Dapple and White-foot. 


and to prevent the cook from carrying dish-water from 
the kitchen to the cow, — that was clear. But the 
theories about meal and grass for fodder were not clear, 
but dubious ; but the principal point was, that she 
wanted to talk about Kitty. 


" Kitty writes me that she is longing for solitude 
and repose," began Dolly, after a moment's silence. 

" Is her health better.-* " asked Levin, with emotion. 

" Thank the Lord, she is entirely well ! I never be- 
lieved that she had any lung trouble." 

" Oh ! I am very glad," said Levin ; and Dolly 
thought that, as he said it, and then looked at her in 
silence, his face had a pathetic, helpless expression. 

" Tell me, Konstantin Dmitritch," said Darya Alek- 
sandrovna with a friendly, and at the same time a rather 
mischievous, smile, "why are you angry with Kitty?" 

" I .-* I am not angry with her," said Levin. 

" Yes, you are. Why did n't you come to see any of 
us the last time you were in Moscow ? " 

" Darya Aleksandrovna," he exclaimed, blushing to 
the roots of his hair, " I am astonished that, with your 
kindness of heart, you can think of such a thing ! How 
can you not pity me when you know .... " 

" What do I know .? " 

" You know that I offered myself, and was rejected." 
And as he said this, all the tenderness that he had felt 
for Kitty a moment before changed in his heart into a 
sense of anger at the memory of this injury. 

" How could you suppose that I knew ? " 

" Because everybody knows it." 

" That is where you are mistaken. I suspected it, 
but I knew nothing positive." 

" Ah, well, and so you know now ! " 

" All that I know is that there was something which 
keenly tortured her, and that she has besought me 
never to mention it. If she has not told me, then she 


has not told any one. Now, what have you against 
her ? Tell me ! " 

" I have told you all that there was." 

" When was it ? " 

"When I was at your house the last time." 

" But do you know .'* I will tell you," said Darya 
Aleksandrovna. " I am sorry for Kitty, awfully sorry. 
You suffer only in your pride .... " 

"Perhaps so," said Levin, "but...." 

She interrupted him. 

" But she, poor little girl, I am awfully sorry for her. 
Now I understand all ! " 

"Well, Darya Aleksandrovna, excuse me," said he, 
rising. ^' Prashchaite — good-by, Darya Aleksandrovna, 
da svidanya ! " 

" No ! wait ! " she cried, holding him by the sleeve ; 
" wait ! sit down ! " 

" I beg of you, I beg of you, let us not speak of this 
any more," said Levin, sitting down again, while a ray 
of that hope which he believed forever vanished flashed 
into his heart. 

" If I did not like you," said Dolly, and the tears 
came into her eyes, "if I did not know you as I do .... " 

The hope which he thought was dead awoke more 
and more, filled Levin's heart, and took masterful pos- 
session of it. 

"Yes, I understand all now," said Dolly: "you can- 
not understand this, you men, who are free in your 
choice ; it is perfectly clear whom you love ; but a young 
girl, with that feminine, maidenly reserve which is im- 
posed on her, and seeing you men only at a distance, is 
constrained to wait, and she is, and must be, so agitated 
that she will not know what answer to give." 

" Yes, if her heart does not speak.... " 

" No ; her heart speaks, but think for a moment : 
you men decide on some girl, you visit her home, 
you watch, observe, and you make up your minds 
whether you are in love or not, and then, when you 
have come to the conclusion that you love her, you offer 
yourselves.... " 


" Well, now ! we don't always do that." 

" All the same, you don't propose until your love 
is fully ripe, or when you have made up your mind 
between two possible choices. But the young girl 
cannot make a choice. They pretend that she can 
choose, but she cannot ; she can only answer * yes ' or 

" Well ! the choice was between me and Vronsky," 
thought Levin ; and the resuscitated dead love in his 
soul seemed to die a second time, giving his heart an 
additional pang. 

" Darya Aleksandrovna," said he, " thus one chooses 
a gown or any trifling merchandise, but not love. Be- 
sides, the choice has been made, and so much the 
better .... and it cannot be done again." 

"Oh! pride, pride! " said Dolly, as if she would ex- 
press her scorn for the degradation of his sentiments 
compared with those which only women are able to 
comprehend. " When you offered yourself to Kitty, 
she was in just that situation where she could not give 
an answer. She was in doubt ; the choice was you or 
Vronsky. She saw him every day ; you she had not 
seen for a long time. If she had been older, it would 
have been different ; if I, for example, had been in her 
place, I should not have hesitated. He was always 
distasteful to me, and so that is the end of it." 

Levin remembered Kitty's reply : " JVo, tJiis cannot 

" Darya Aleksandrovna," said he, dryly, " I am touched 
by your confidence in me, but I think you are mistaken. 
But whether I am right or wrong, this pride which you 
so despise makes it impossible for me ever to think about 
Katerina Aleksandrovna ; you understand ? utterly im- 

" I will say only one thing more. You must know 
that I am speaking to you of my sister, whom I love 
as my own children. I don't say that she loves you, 
but I only wish to say that her reply at that moment 
amounted to nothing at all." 

" I don't know," said Levin, leaping suddenly to his 


feet. " If you only realized the pain that you cause me ! 
It is just the same as if you had lost a child, and they 
came to you and said, ' He would have been like this, 
like this, and he might have lived, and you would 

have had so much joy in him But he is dead, dead, 

dead.' " .... 

" How absurd you are ! " said Darya Aleksandrovna, 
with a melancholy smile at the sight of Levin's emotion. 
" Well ! I understand it all better and better," she con- 
tinued pensively. "Then you won't come to see us 
when Kitty is here .'' " 

" No, I will not. Of course I will not avoid Katerina 
Aleksandrovna ; but, when it is possible, I shall en- 
deavor to spare her the affliction of my presence." 

" You are very, very absurd," said Darya Aleksan- 
drovna, looking at him affectionately. "Well, then, let 
it be as if we had not said a word about it. — What do 
you want, Tania.'' " said she in French to her little girl, 
who came running in. 

"Where is my little shovel, mamma .-"" 

" I speak French to you, and you must answer in 

The child tried to speak, but could not recall the 
French word for lopatka, shovel. Her mother whis- 
pered it to her, and then told her, still in French, where 
she should go to find it. This made Levin feel un- 

Everything now seemed changed in Darya Aleksan- 
drovna's household; even the children were not nearly 
so attractive as before. 

" And why does she speak French with the children ? " 
he thought. " How false and unnatural ! Even the 
children feel it. Teach them French, and spoil their 
sincerity," he said to himself, not knowing that Darya 
Aleksandrovna had twenty times asked the same ques- 
tion, and yet, in spite of the harm that it did their 
simplicity, had come to the conclusion that this was the 
right way to teach them. 

" But why are you in a hurry } Sit a little while 


Levin stayed to tea ; but all his gayety was gone, and 
he felt uncomfortable. 

After tea he went out into the anteroom to give 
orders about harnessing the horses ; and when he came 
in he found Darya Aleksandrovna in great disturbance, 
with flushed face, and tears in her eyes. During his 
short absence an occurrence had ruthlessly destroyed 
all the pleasure and pride that she took in her children. 
Grisha and Tania had quarreled about a ball. Darya 
Aleksandrovna, hearing their cries, ran to them, and 
found them in a frightful state. Tania was pulling her 
brother's hair ; and he, with face distorted with rage, 
was pounding his sister with all his might. When 
Darya Aleksandrovna saw it, something seemed to 
snap in her heart. A black cloud, as it were, came 
down on her life. She saw that these children of hers, 
of whom she was so proud, were not only ordinary and 
ill-trained, but were even bad, and inclined to the most 
evil and tempestuous passions. 

This thought troubled her so that she could not speak 
or think, or even explain her sorrow to Levin. 

Levin saw that she was unhappy, and he did his best 
to comfort her, saying that this was not so very terrible, 
after all, and that all children quarreled ; but in his 
heart he said, " No, I will not bother myself to speak 
French with my children. I shall not have such chil- 
dren. There is no need of spoiling them, and making 
them unnatural ; and they will be charming. No ! my 
children shall not be like these." 

He took his leave, and rode away ; and she did not 
try to keep him longer. 


Toward the end of July, Levin received a visit from 
the starosta of his sister's estate, situated about twenty 
versts from Pokrovskoye. He brought the report about 
the progress of affairs, and about the haymaking. 


The chief income from his sister's estate came from 
the meadows inundated in the spring. In former years 
the muzhiks rented these hayfields at the rate of twenty 
rubles a desyatin.^ But when Levin undertook the 
management of this estate, and examined the hay- 
crops, he came to the conclusion that the rent was too 
low, and he raised it to the rate of twenty-five rubles 
a desyatin. The muzhiks refused to pay this, and, as 
Levin suspected, drove away other lessees. Then Levin 
himself went there, and arranged to have the meadows 
mowed partly by day laborers, partly on shares. His 
muzhiks were greatly discontented with this new plan, 
and did their best to thwart it ; but it was attended with 
success, and even the very first year the yield from the 
meadows was nearly doubled. The opposition of the 
peasantry continued through the second and third sum- 
mers, and the haymaking was conducted on the same 

But this year they had mowed the meadows on thirds, 
and now the starosta had come to announce that the 
work was done, and that he, fearing it was going to 
rain, had summoned the bookkeeper and made the divis- 
ion in his presence, and turned over the eighteen hay- 
ricks which were the proprietor's share. 

By the unsatisfactory answer to his question, how 
much hay had been secured from the largest meadow, 
by the starosta's haste in making the division without 
orders, by the man's whole manner, Levin was induced 
to think there was something crooked in the division of 
the hay, and he concluded that it would be wise to go 
and look into it. 

Levin reached the estate just at dinner-time; and, 
leaving his horse at the house of his old friend, the 
husband of his brother's former nurse, he went to find 
the old man at the apiary, hoping to obtain from him 
some light on the question of the hay-crop. 

The loquacious, beautiful-looking old man, whose 
name was Parmenuitch, was delighted to see Levin, 
showed him all about his husbandry, and told him all 

^ About six dollars an acre. 


the particulars about his bees, and how they swarmed 
this year; but when Levin asked him about the hay, he 
gave vague and unsatisfactory answers. This still more 
confirmed Levin in his suspicions. 

He went to the meadows, and, on examination of the 
hayricks, found that they could not contain fifty loads 
each, as the muzhiks said. So in order to give the peas- 
ants a lesson he had one of the carts which they had 
used as a measure to be brought, and ordered all the 
hay from one of the ricks to be carried into the shed. 

The hayrick was found to contain only thirty-two 
loads. Notwithstanding the starosta's protestations 
that the hay was measured right, and that it must 
have got pressed down in the cart ; notwithstanding 
the fact that he called God to witness that it was all 
done in the most godly manner, — Levin insisted on it 
that, as the division had been made without his orders, 
he would not accept the hayricks as equivalent to fifty 
loads each. 

After long parleys, it was decided that the muzhiks 
should take eleven of these hayricks for their share, 
but that the master's should be measured over again. 
The colloquy and the division of the hayricks lasted 
until the mid-afternoon luncheon hour. When the last 
of the hay had been divided. Levin, confiding the care 
of the work to the bookkeeper, sat down on one of the 
hayricks which was marked by a laburnum stake, and 
enjoyed the spectacle of the meadows alive with the 
busy peasantry. 

Before him, at the bend of the river beyond the marsh, 
he saw the peasant women in a variegated line, and 
heard their ringing voices as they gossiped together, 
while raking into long brown ramparts the hay scattered 
over the bright green aftermath. Behind the women 
came the men with pitchforks turning the windrows 
into wide, high-swelling hayricks. 

Toward the left across the meadow, already cleared 
of the hay, came the creaking telyegas, or peasant carts, 
and one by one, as the hayricks were lifted on the point 
of monstrous forks, disappeared, and their places were 

VOL. II. — 4 


taken by the horse-wagons filled to overflowing with 
the fragrant hay which almost hid the rumps of the 

" Splendid hay-weather ! It '11 soon be all in," said 
Parmenuitch, as he sat down near Levin. "Tea, not 
hay ! It scatters like seed for the ducks when they 
pitch it up." Then, pointing to a hayrick which the 
men were demoHshing, the old man went on : " Since 
dinner, pitched up a good half of it. — Is that the last .'* " 
he shouted to a young fellow who, standing on the pole 
of a cart, and shaking the ends of his hempen reins, was 
driving by. 

" The last, batyushka," shouted back the young fellow, 
pulling in his horse. Then he looked down with a smile 
on a happy-looking, rosy-faced woman who was sitting 
on the hay in the telyega, and whipped up his steed 

" Who is that ? your son ? " asked Levin. 

" My youngest," said the elder, with an expression 
of pride. 

" What a fine fellow ! " 

"Not bad." 

" Married yet ? " 

** Yes, three years come next Filippovok." * 

" So .'' And are there children ? " 

" How ? children .-* For a whole year I have n't heard 
anything about it ! and it's a shame," said the old man, 
"Well, this is hay! Just tea!" he repeated, wishing to 
change the subject. 

Levin looked with interest at Vanka Parmenof and 
his wife. They were loading on a hayrick near by. 
Ivan Parmenof was standing on the wagon, arranging, 
storing, and pressing down the fragrant hay which the 
handsome goodwife handed up to him in great loads, 
first in armfuls, then with the fork. The young woman 
worked gayly, industriously, and skilfully. P'irst she 
armnged it with her fork; then, with elastic and agile 
motions, she exerted all her strength upon it ; and, stoop- 
ing over, she lifted up the great armful, and standing 

^ St, Philip's Day, November 14, 


straight, with full bosom under the white chemise 
gathered with a red girdle, she piled it high upon the 

Ivan, working as rapidly as he could, so as to relieve 
her of every moment of extra work, stretched out his 
arms wide, and caught up the load which she extended, 
and trampled it down into the wagon. Then, raking up 
what was left, the woman shook off the hay that had got 
into her neck, and, tying a red handkerchief around her 
broad white brow, she crept under the cart to fasten 
down the load. Vanka showed her how the ropes 
should be tied, and at some remark that she made burst 
into a roar of laughter. In the expression on the faces 
of both of them could be seen strong young love recently 


The load was complete, and Ivan, jumping down, 
took his gentle fat horse by the bridle, and joined the 
file of telyegas going to the village. The young woman 
threw her rake on top of the load, and, swinging her 
arms, joined the other women, who had collected in a 
group to sing. These women, with rakes on their 
shoulders and dressed in bright colors, suddenly burst 
forth into song with loud happy voices as they followed 
the carts. One wild untrained voice would sing a verse 
of the Pyesna, or folk-song, and when she had reached 
the refrain, fifty other young, fresh, and powerful voices 
would take it up simultaneously and repeat it to the 

The peasant women, singing their folk-song, came 
toward Levin ; and it seemed to him that a cloud, 
freighted with the thunder of gayety, was moving down 
upon him. The thunder-cloud drew nearer, it took 
possession of him, — and the haycock on which he 
was reclining and the other haycocks and the carts 
and the whole meadow and the far-off field moved 
and swayed to the rhythm of this wild song, with its 
accompaniment of whistles and shrill cries and clapping 


of hands. This wholesome gayety filled him with envy; 
he would have liked to take part in this expression of 
joyous life; but nothing of the sort could he do, and he 
was obliged to lie still and look and listen. When the 
throng with their song had passed out of sight and 
hearing, an oppressive feeling of melancholy came over 
him at the thought of his loneliness, of his physical 
indolence, of the hostility which existed between him 
and this alien world. 

Some of these very muzhiks, even those who had 
quarreled with him about the hay, or those whom he 
had injured, or those who had intended to cheat him, 
saluted him gayly as they passed, and evidently did not 
and could not bear him any malice, or feel any remorse, 
or even remembrance that they had tried to defraud 
him. All was swallowed up and forgotten in this sea 
of joyous, universal labor. God gave the day, God gave 
the strength ; and the day and the strength consecrated 
the labor, and yielded their own reward. For whom 
was the work.-' What would be the fruits of the work ? 
These were secondary, unimportant considerations. 

Levin had often looked with interest at this life, had 
often experienced a feeling of envy of the people that 
lived this life; but to-day, for the first time, especially 
under the impression of what he had seen in the bear- 
ing of Ivan Parmenof toward his young wife, he had 
clearly realized that it depended on himself whether he 
would exchange the burdensome, idle, artificial, selfish 
existence which he led, for the laborious, simple, pure, 
and delightful life of the peasantry. 

The elder who had been sitting with him had already 
gone home; the people were scattered; the neighbor- 
ing villagers had already . reached their houses, but 
those who lived at a distance were preparing to spend 
the night in the meadow, and were getting ready for 

Levin, without being noticed by the people, still re- 
clined on the haycock, looking, listening, and thinking. 
The peasantry gathered in the meadow scarcely slept 
throughout the short summer night. At first gay gos- 


sip and laughter were heard while they were eating; 
then followed songs and jests again. 

No trace of all the long, laborious day was left upon 
them, except of its happiness. Just before the dawn 
there was silence everywhere. Nothing could be heard 
but the nocturnal sounds of the frogs ceaselessly croak- 
ing in the marsh, and the horses whinnying as they 
waited in the mist that rose before the dawn. Coming 
to himself. Levin got up from the haycock, and, looking 
at the stars, saw that the night had gone. 

"Well! what am I going to do ? How am I going to 
do this ? " he asked himself, trying to give a shape to 
the thoughts and feelings that had occupied him during 
this short night. All that he had thought and felt had 
taken three separate directions. First, it seemed to him 
that he must renounce his former mode of life, which 
was useful neither to himself nor to any one else. This 
renunciation seemed to him very attractive and was easy 
and simple. 

The second direction that his thoughts and feelings 
took referred especially to the new life which he longed 
to lead. He clearly realized the simplicity, purity, and 
regularity of this new life, and he was convinced that 
he should find in it that satisfaction, that calmness and 
mental freedom, which he now felt the lack of so pain- 
fully. The third line of thought brought him to the 
question how he should effect the transition from the 
old life to the new, and in this regard nothing clear 
presented itself to his mind. 

" I must have a wife. I must engage in work, and 
have the absolute necessity of work. Shall I abandon Po- 
krovskoye ? buy land .■' join the commune ? marry a peas- 
ant woman .-* How can I do all this .'' " he again asked 
himself, and no answer came. " However," he went 
on, in his self-communings, " I have not slept all night, 
and my ideas are not very clear. I shall reduce them 
to order by and by. One thing is certain; this night 
has settled my fate. All my former dreams of family 
existence were rubbish, but this — all this is vastl)/ 
simpler and better." .... 


" How lovely ! " he thought, as he gazed at the delicate 
white curly clouds, colored like mother-of-pearl, which 
floated in the sky above him. " How charming every, 
thing has been this lovely night ! And when did that 
shell have time to form.-* I have been looking this long 
time at the sky, and nothing was to be seen — only two 
white streaks. Yes ! thus, without my knowing it, my 
views about life have been changed." 

He left the meadow, and walked along the highway 
that led to the village. A cool breeze began to blow, 
and it became gray and melancholy. The somber mo- 
ment was at hand which generally precedes the dawn, 
the perfect triumph of light over the darkness. 

Shivering with the chill, Levin walked fast, looking 
at the ground. 

" What is that .-* Who is coming .-• " he asked himself, 
hearing the sound of bells. He raised his head. About 
forty paces from him he saw, coming toward him on 
the highway, on the grassy edge where he himself was 
walking, a traveling carriage, drawn by four horses. 
The pole-horses, to avoid the ruts, pressed close against 
the pole ; but the skilful postilion, seated on one side of 
the box, kept the pole directly over the rut, so that the 
wheels kept only on the smooth surface of the road. 

Levin was so interested in this that, without thinking 
who might be coming, he only glanced heedlessly at the 

In one corner of the carriage an elderly lady was 
asleep ; and by the window sat a young girl, evidently 
only just awake, holding with both hands the ribbons 
of her white bonnet. Serene and thoughtful, filled with 
a lofty, complex life which Levin could not understand, 
she was gazing beyond him at the glow of the morning 

At the very instant that this vision flashed by him he 
caught a glimpse of her frank eyes. She recognized 
him, and a gleam of joy, mingled with wonder, lighted 
up her face. 

He could not be mistaken. Only she in all the world 
had such eyes. In all the world there was but one 


being who could concentrate for him all the light and 
meaning of life. It was she ; it was Kitty. He judged 
that she was on her way from the railway station to 

And all the thoughts that had occupied Levin through 
his sleepless night, all the resolutions that he had made, 
vanished in a twinkling. Horror seized him as he re- 
membered his dream of marrying a krestyanka — a 
peasant wife ! In that carriage which flashed by him 
on the other side of the road, and disappeared, was the 
only possible answer to his life's enigma which had 
tormented and puzzled him so long. 

She was now out of sight ; the rumble of the wheels 
had ceased, and scarcely could he hear the bells. The 
barking of the dogs told him that the carriage was 
passing through the village. And now there remained 
only the empty fields, the distant village, and himself, 
an alien and a stranger to everything, walking solitary 
on the deserted highway. 

He looked at the sky, hoping to find there still the 
sea-shell cloud which he had admired, and which per- 
sonified for him the movement of his thoughts and 
feelings during the night. But in the sky there was 
nothing that resembled the shell. There, at immeasur- 
able heights, that mysterious change had already taken 
place. There was no trace of the shell, but in its place 
there extended over a good half of the heavens a carpet 
of cirrus clouds sweeping on and sweeping on. The 
sky was growing blue and luminous, and with the same 
tenderness and also with the same unsatisfactoriness it 
answered his questioning look. 

" No," he said to himself, " however good this simple 
and laborious life may be, I cannot bring myself to it 
I love her.'' 



No one except AlekseY Aleksandrovitch's most in- 
timate friends suspected that this apparently cold and 
sober-minded man had one weakness absolutely con- 
tradictory to the general consistency of his character. 
He could not look with indifference at a child or a 
woman who was weeping. The sight of tears caused 
him to lose his self-control, and destroyed for him his 
reasoning faculties. The manager of his chancelry and 
his secretary understood this, and warned women who 
came to present petitions not to allow their feelings 
to overcome them unless they wanted to injure their 

"He will fly into a passion, and will not listen to 
you," they said. And it was a fact that the trouble 
which the sight of weeping caused Aleksel Aleksandro- 
vitch was expressed by hasty irritation. " I cannot, I 
cannot do anything for you. Please leave me," he 
would exclaim, as a general thing, in such cases. 

When, on their way back from the races, Anna con- 
fessed her relations with Vronsky, and, immediately 
afterwards covering her face with her hands, burst into 
tears, Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, in spite of his anger 
against his wife, was conscious at the same time of that 
deep, soul-felt emotion welling up which the sight of 
tears always caused him. Knowing this, and knowing 
that any expression of it would be incompatible with 
the situation, he endeavored to restrain any sign of 
agitation, and therefore he neither moved nor looked 
at her; hence arose that strange appearance of death- 
like rigidity in his face which so impressed Anna. 

When they reached home, he helped her from the car- 
riage ; and, having made a great effort, he left her with 
ordinary politeness, saying only those words which would 
not oblige him to follow any course. He simply said 
that on the morrow he would let her know his decision. 

His wife's words, confirming his worst suspicions, 
caused a keen pain in his heart ; and this pain was 


made still keener by the strange sensation of physical 
pity for her, caused by the sight of her tears. Yet, as 
he sat alone in his carriage, Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch, to 
his surprise and pleasure, was conscious of an absolute 
freedom, not only from that sense of pity, but also from 
the doubts and the pangs of jealousy which had of late 
been tormenting him. 

He experienced the feelings of a man who has been 
suffering for a long time from the toothache. After 
one terrible moment of agony, and the sensation of 
something enormous — greater than the head itself — 
which is wrenched out of the jaw, the patient, hardly 
able to believe in his good fortune, suddenly discovers 
that the pain that has been poisoning his life so long 
has ceased, and that he can live and think and interest 
himself in something besides his aching tooth. 

This feeling Aleksef Aleksandrovitch now experi- 
enced. The pain had been strange and terrible. But 
now it was over. He felt that he could live again, and 
think of something besides his wife. 

"Without honor, without heart, without religion, an 
abandoned woman ! I have always known this and I 
have always seen it, though out of pity for her I tried 
to shut my eyes to it," he said to himself. 

And it really seemed to him that he had always seen 
this. He recalled many details of their past lives ; and 
things which had once seemed innocent in his eyes, now 
clearly came up as proofs that she had always been 

" I made a mistake when I joined my life to hers ; but 
my mistake was not my fault, and therefore I ought not 
to be unhappy. I am not the guilty one," said he, 
" but she is. But I have nothing more to do with her. 
She does not exist for me.".... 

All that would befall her as well as his son, toward 
whom also his feelings underwent a similar change, now 
ceased to occupy him. The only thing that did occupy 
him now was the question how to make his escape from 
this wretched crisis in a manner at once wise, correct, 
and honorable for himself, and having cleared himself 


from the mud with which she had spattered him by her 
fall, how he would henceforth pursue his own path of 
honorable, active, and useful life. 

" Must I make myself wretched because a wretched 
woman has committed a crime ? All I want is to find 
the best way out from this situation to which she has 
brought me. And I will find it," he added, getting 
more and more indignant. " I am not the first, nor the 

And not speaking of the historical examples, begin- 
ning with La Belle Helene of Menelaus, which had 
recently been brought to all their memories by Offen- 
bach's opera, Alekseif Aleksandrovitch went over in his 
mind a whole series of contemporary episodes, where 
husbands of the highest position had been obliged to 
mourn the faithlessness of their wives. 

" Daryalof, Poltavsky, Prince Karibanof, Count Pa- 
skudin, Dramm, .... yes, even Dramm, honorable, indus- 
trious man as he is, .... Semenof, Chagin, Sigonin. 
Admit that they cast unjust ridicule on these men ; as 
for me, I never saw anything except their misfortune, 
and I always pitied them," said Alekseif Aleksandro- 
vitch to himself, although this was not so, and he had 
never sympathized with misfortune of this sort, and had 
only plumed himself the more as he had heard of wives 
deceiving their husbands. 

" This is a misfortune which is likely to strike any 
one, and now it has struck me. The only thing is to 
know how to find the best way of settling the difficulty." 

And he began to recall the different ways in which 
these men, finding themselves in such a position as he 
was, had behaved. 

" Daryalof fought a duel .... " 

Dueling had often been a subject of consideration 
to Alekset Aleksandrovitch when he was a young man, 
and for the reason that physically he was a timid man 
and he knew it. He could not think without a shudder 
of having a pistol leveled at him, and never in his life 
had he practised with firearms. This instinctive horror 
had in early life caused him often to think about duel* 


ing and to imagine himself obliged to expose his life to 
this danger. 

Afterward, when he had attained success and a high 
social position, he had got out of the way of such 
thoughts; but his habit of mind now reasserted itself, 
and his timidity, owing to his cowardice, was so great 
that Alekseif Aleksandrovitch long deliberated about 
the matter, turning it over on all sides, and questioning 
the expediency of a duel, although he knew perfectly 
well that in any case he would never fight. 

" Undoubtedly the state of our society is still so sav- 
age," he said, — "though it is not so in England, — 
that very many .... " 

And in these many, to whom such a solution was sat- 
isfactory, there were some for whose opinions Alekseif 
Aleksandrovitch had the very highest regard. " Look- 
ing at the duel from its good side, to what result does it 
lead .'' Let us suppose that I send a challenge ! " 

And Aleksef Aleksandrovitch went on to draw a 
vivid picture of the night that he would spend after the 
challenge ; and he imagined the pistol aimed at him, 
and shuddered, and realized that he could never do 
such a thing, 

" Let us suppose that I challenge him to a duel ; let us 
suppose that I learn how to shoot," he forced himself 
to think, " that I am standing, that I pull the trigger," 
he said to himself, shutting his eyes, " and it happens 
that I kill him ; " and he shook his head, to drive away 
these absurd notions. 

" What sense would there be in causing a man's death, 
in order to settle my relations to a sinful woman and her 
son } Even then I should have to decide what I ought 
to do with her. But suppose — and this is vastly more 
likely to happen — that I am the one killed or wounded. 
I, an innocent man, the victim, killed or wounded .? Still 
more absurd ! But, moreover, would not the challenge 
to a duel on my part be a dishonorable action, certain as 
I am beforehand that my friends would never allow me 
to fight a duel .-' would never permit the life of a gov- 
ernment official, who is so indispensable to Russia, to 


be exposed to danger ? What would happen ? This 
would happen, that I, knowing in advance that the 
matter would never result in any danger, should seem 
to people to be anxious to win notoriety by a challenge. 
It would be dishonorable, it would be false, it would be 
an act of deception to others and to myself. A duel is 
not to be thought of, and no one expects it of me. My 
sole aim should be to preserve my reputation, and not 
to suffer any unnecessary interruption of my activity." 

The service of the State, always important in the eyes 
of Alekseit Aleksandrovitch, now appeared to him of 
extraordinary importance. 

Having decided against the duel, Aleksei Aleksandro- 
vitch began to discuss the question of divorce — a second 
expedient which had been employed by several of the 
men whom he had in mind. Calling to mind all the 
well-known examples of divorce — and there had been 
many in the very highest circles of society, as he well 
knew — he could not name a single case where the aim 
of the divorce had been such as he proposed. The 
husband in each case had sold or given up the faithless 
wife ; and the guilty party, who had no right to a second 
marriage, had entered into relations, imagined to be 
sanctioned, with a new husband. 

Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch saw that, in his case at least, 
legal divorce, whereby the faithless wife would be re- 
pudiated, was impossible. He saw that the complicated 
conditions of his life precluded the possibility of those 
coarse proofs which the law demanded for the establish- 
ment of a wife's guilt; he saw that the distinguished 
refinement of his life precluded the public use of such 
proofs, even if they existed, and that the public use of 
these proofs would cause him to fall lower in public 
opinion than the guilty wife. 

Divorce could only end in a scandalous lawsuit, which 
would be a godsend to his enemies and to lovers of 
gossip, and would degrade him from his high position 
in society. His principal object, the determination of 
his position with the least possible confusion, would not 
be attained by a divorce. 


Divorce, moreover, broke off all intercourse between 
wife and husband, and united her to her paramour. 
Now in AlckseY Aleksandrovitch's heart, in spite of the 
scornful indifference which he affected to feel toward 
his wife, there still remained one very keen sentiment, 
and that was his unwillingness for her, unhindered, to 
unite her lot with Vronsky, so that her fault would turn 
out to her advantage. 

This possible contingency was so painful to Aleksel 
Aleksandrovitch that, merely at the thought of it, he 
bellowed with mental pain ; and he got up from his 
seat, changed his place in the carriage, and for a long 
time, darkly scowling, wrapped his woolly plaid around 
his thin and chilly legs. 

" Besides formal divorce," he said to himself, as, 
growing a little calmer, he continued his deliberations, 
" it would be possible to act as Karibanof, Paskudin, 
and that gentle Dramm have done ; that is to say, I 
could separate from my wife." But this measure had 
almost the same disadvantages as the other : it was 
practically to throw his wife into Vronsky's arms. 

"No; it is impossible — impossible," he said aloud, 
again trying to wrap himself up in his plaid. " I cannot 
be unhappy, but neither she nor he ought to be happy." 

The feeling of jealousy which had tormented him 
while he was still ignorant had passed away when by 
his wife's words the aching tooth had been pulled ; but 
this feeling was replaced by a different one, — the desire 
not only that she should not triumph, but that she should 
receive the reward for her sin. He did not express it, 
but in the depths of his soul he desired that she should 
be punished for the way in which she had destroyed his 
peace and honor. 

After once more passing in review the conditions of 
the duel, the divorce, and the separation, and once more 
rejecting them, Aleksei Aleksandrovitch came to the 
conclusion that there was only one way to escape from 
his trouble, and that was to keep his wife under his pro- 
tection, shielding his misfortune from the eyes of the 
world, employing all possible means to break off the 


illicit relationship, and, above all — though he did not 
avow it to himself — punishing his wife's fault. 

" I must let her know that, in the cruel situation into 
which she has brought our family, I have come to the 
conclusion that the status quo is the only way that seems 
advisable for both sides, and that I will agree to pre- 
serve it under the strenuous condition that she on her 
part fulfil my will, and break off all relations with her 

For the bolstering of this resolution when once he 
had finally adopted it, Alekself Aleksandrovitch brought 
up one convincing argument : " Only by acting in this 
manner do I conform absolutely with the law of reli- 
gion," said he to himself ; " only by this reasoning do 
I refuse to send away the adulterous woman ; and I 
give her the chance of amending her ways, and likewise, 

— painful as it will be to me, — I consecrate a part of 
my powers to her regeneration and salvation." 

Though Aleksef Aleksandrovitch knew that he could 
have no moral influence over his wife, and that the 
attempts which he should make to reform his wife would 
have no other outcome than falsehood ; although during 
the trying moments that he had been living, he had not 
for an instant thought of finding his guidance in religion, 

— yet now, when he felt that his determination was in 
accordance with religion, this religious sanction of his 
resolution gave him full comfort and a certain share of 
satisfaction. He was consoled with the thought that in 
such a trying period of his life no one would have the 
right to say that he had not acted in conformity to the 
religion whose banner he bore aloft in the midst of cool- 
ness and indifference. 

As he went over in his mind the remotest contingen- 
cies, Alekseif Aleksandrovitch even saw no reason why 
his relations with his wife should not remain pretty 
much as they had always been. Of course, it would be 
impossible for him to feel great confidence in her ; but 
he saw no reason why he should ruin his whole life, and 
suffer personally, because she was a bad and faithless 


"Yes, time will pass," he said to himself, "time which 
solves all problems ; and our relations will be brought 
into the old order, so that I shall not feel the disorder 
that has broken up the current of my life. She must 
be unhappy, but I am not to blame, and so I do not see 
why I must be unhappy too." 


Alekse'i Aleksandrovitch during his drive back to 
Petersburg not only fully decided on the line of conduct 
which he should adopt, but even composed in his head 
a letter to be sent to his wife. When he reached his 
Switzer's room, he glanced at the official papers and 
letters which had been brought from the ministry, and 
ordered them to be brought into the library. 

" Shut the door, and let no one in," said he in reply to 
a question of the Swiss, emphasizing the last words — 
nye prinimaf — let no one in — with some satisfaction, 
which was an evident sign that he was in a better state 
of mind. 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch walked up and down the 
library once or twice, and then, coming to his huge 
writing-table, on which his lackey, before going out, 
had placed six lighted candles, he cracked his fingers 
and sat down, and began to examine his writing-mate- 
rials. Then, leaning his elbow on the table, he bent his 
head to one side, and after a moment of reflection he 
began to write without the slightest hesitancy. He 
wrote in French without addressing her by name, em- 
ploying the pronoun vous, which has less coldness than 
the corresponding Russian word, vtii, has. He wrote : — 

At our recent interview, I expressed the intention of com- 
municating to you my resolution concerning the subject of our 
conversation. Having carefully taken everything into considera- 
tion, I am writing now with the view of fulfilling my promise. 
This is my decision : whatever your conduct may have been, 
I do not acknowledge that I have the right to break the bonds 
which a Power Supreme has consecrated. The family cannot 


be broken up through a caprice, an arbitrary act, even through 
the crime of one of the parties ; and our Hves must remain 
unchanged. This must be so for my sake, for your sake, for the 
sake of our son. I am fully persuaded that you have been re- 
pentant, that you still feel repentant for the deed that obliges 
me to write you ; that you will cooperate with me in destroy- 
ing root and branch the cause of our estrangement and in 
forgetting the past. 

In case this be not so, you yourself must understand what 
awaits you and your son. In regard to all this I hope to have 
a more specific conversation at a personal interview. As the 
summer season is nearly over, I beg of you to come back to 
Petersburg as soon as possible — certainly not later than Tues- 
day. All the necessary measures for your return hither will be 
taken. I beg you to take notice that I attach a very particu- 
lar importance to your attention to my request. 

A. Karenin. 

P.S. I inclose in this letter money, which you may need 
at this particular time. 

He reread his letter, and was satisfied vi'ith it — espe- 
cially with the fact that he had thought of sending the 
money. There was not an angry word, not a reproach, 
neither was there any condescension in it. The essen- 
tial thing was the golden bridge for their reconciliation. 
He folded his letter, smoothed it with a huge paper- 
cutter of massive ivory, inclosed it in an envelop to- 
gether with the money, and rang the bell, feeling that 
sense of satisfaction which the use of his well-ordered, 
perfect epistolary arrangements always gave him. 

" Give this letter to the courier for delivery to Anna 
Arkady evna at the datcha to-morrow," said he, and arose. 

" I will obey your excellency.^ Will you have tea 
here in the library .'' " 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch ordered tea brought to him 
in the library ; and then, still playing with the paper- 
cutter, he went toward his arm-chair, near which were a 
shaded lamp and a French work on cuneiform inscrip- 
tions which he had begun. 

^ VasAe prevaskhodityelstvo. 


Above the chair, in an oval gilt frame, hung a por- 
trait of Anna, the excellent work of a distinguished 
painter. Aleksei Aleksandrovitch looked at it. The 
eyes, as inscrutable as they had been on the evening of 
their attempted explanation, looked down at him ironi- 
cally and insolently. Everything about this remarkable 
portrait seemed to AlekseT Aleksandrovitch insupport- 
ably insolent and provoking, from the black lace on her 
head and her dark hair, to the white, beautiful hand 
and the ring-finger covered with jeweled rings. 

After gazing at this portrait for a moment, Aleksei 
Aleksandrovitch shuddered, his lips trembled, and with 
a " brr" he turned away. Hastily sitting down in his 
arm-chair, he opened his book. He tried to read, but he 
could not regain the keen interest which he had felt be- 
fore in the cuneiform inscriptions. His eyes looked at 
the book, but his thoughts were elsewhere. He was 
thinking, not of his wife, but of a complication which 
had recently arisen in important matters connected with 
his official activity, and which at present formed the 
chief interest of his service. He felt that he was more 
deeply than ever plunged into this complicated affair, 
and that he could without self-conceit claim that the 
idea which had originated in his brain was bound to 
disentangle the whole difficulty, to confirm him in his 
official career, put down his enemies, and thus enable 
him to do a signal service to the State. As soon as his 
servant had brought his tea, and left the room, AlekseK 
Aleksandrovitch got up and went to his writing-table. 
Pushing to the center of it a portfolio which contained 
papers relating to this affair, he seized a pencil from 
the stand, and, with a faintly sarcastic smile of self-sat- 
isfaction, buried himself in the perusal of the documents 
relative to the complicated business under considera- 

The complication was as follows: The distinguish- 
ing trait of Alekser Aleksandrovitch as a government 
official, — the one characteristic trait peculiar to him 
alone, though it must mark every progressive chinov- 
nik, — the trait which had contributed to his success 

VOL. II. — 5 


no less than his eager ambition, his moderation, his 
uprightness, and his self-confidence, was his detesta- 
tion of "red tape," and his sincere desire to avoid, 
as far as he could, unnecessary writing, and to go 
straight on in accomplishing needful business with all 
expedition and economy. It happened that, in the 
famous Commission of the 14th of June, a project was 
mooted for the irrigation of the fields in the government 
of Zarai, which formed a part of Aleksei" Aleksandro- 
vitch's jurisdiction ; and this project offered a striking 
example of the few results obtained by official corre- 
spondence and expenditure. 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch knew that it was a worthy 
object. The matter of the irrigation of the fields in the 
government of Zaraif had come to him by inheritance 
from his predecessor in the ministry, and, in fact, had al- 
ready cost much money and brought no results. When 
Aleksei Aleksandrovitch entered the ministry, he had 
perceived this, and had wanted immediately to put his 
hand to this work ; but at first he did not feel himself 
strong enough and perceived that it touched too many 
interests and was imprudent, and afterward, having 
become involved in other matters, he entirely forgot 
about it. 

The fertilization of the ZaraY fields, like all things, 
went in its own way by force of inertia. Many people 
got their living through it, and one family in particu- 
lar, a very agreeable and musical family — all of the 
daughters of which played on stringed instruments. 
Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch knew this family, and had 
been nuptial godfather ^ when one of the elder daugh- 
ters was married. 

The opposition to this affair, raised by his enemies in 
another branch of the ministry, was unjust, in the opin- 
ion of Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, because in every min- 
istry there are similar cases which by a well-known rule 
of official etiquette no one ever bothers himself about. 
But now, since they had thrown down the gauntlet, he 

1 Posazhonnui otyets, — a man who takes the father's place in the Rus- 
sian wedding ceremuny. 


had boldly accepted the challenge and asked for the 
appointment of a special commission for examining and 
verifying the labors of the commissioners on the fertili- 
zation of the Zarai' fields ; and this did not prevent him 
from also keeping these gentlemen busy in other ways. 
He had also demanded a special commission for in- 
vestigating the status and organization of the foreign 

This last question had likewise been raised by the 
Commission of June 14, and was energetically supported 
by Aleksei Aleksandrovitch, on the ground that no de- 
lay should be allowed in relieving the deplorable situa- 
tion of these alien tribes. 

In committee this matter gave rise to the most lively 
discussions among the ministries. The ministry hostile 
to Aleksef Aleksandrovitch proved that the position of 
the foreign populations was perfectly flourishing; that 
to meddle with them would be to injure their well-being; 
and that, if any fault could be found in regard to the 
matter, it was due to the neglect of Aleksei Aleksandro- 
vitch and his ministry, in not carrying out the measures 
prescribed by law. 

Now Aleksef Aleksandrovitch had made up his mind 
to demand : first, the appointment of a new committee, 
whose duty should be to study on the spot the condi- 
tion of the foreign populations ; secondly, in case their 
condition should be found such as the official data in 
the hands of the committee represented, that a new 
scientific commission should be sent to study into the 
causes of this sad state of things, with the aim of set- 
tling it from the (a) political, (d) administrative, (c) 
economical, (d) ethnographical, (e) physical, and (/') 
religious point of view ; thirdly, that the hostile min- 
istry should be required to furnish the particulars in 
regard to the measures taken during the last ten years 
to relieve the wretched situation in which these tribes 
were placed ; and fourthly and finally, that this minis- 
try should explain the fact that they had acted in 
absolute contradiction to the fundamental and organic 
law, Volume T, page 18, with reference to Article 36, 


as was proved by an act of the committee under num- 
bers 17,015 and 18,308 of the 17th of December, 1863, 
and the 19th of June, 1864. 

A flush of animation covered Aleksei Aleksandro- 
vitch's face as he rapidly wrote down for his own use 
a digest of these thoughts. After he had covered a 
sheet of paper, he rang a bell, and sent a messenger 
to the director of the chancelry, asking for a few data 
which were missing. Then he got up, and began to 
walk up and down the room, looking again at the 
portrait with a frown and a scornful smile. Then he 
resumed his book about the cuneiform inscriptions, and 
found that his interest of the evening before had come 
back to him. He went to bed about eleven o'clock ; 
and as he lay, still awake, he passed in review the affair 
with his wife, and it no longer appeared to him in the 
same gloomy aspect. 


Though Anna had obstinately and angrily contra- 
dicted Vronsky when he told her that her position was 
impossible, yet in the bottom of her heart she felt that 
it was false and dishonorable, and she longed with all 
her soul to escape from it. When, in a moment of agi- 
tation, she avowed all to her husband as they were re- 
turning from the races, notwithstanding the pain which 
it cost her, she felt glad. After Aleksei" Aleksandro- 
vitch left her, she kept repeating to herself that she 
was glad, that now all was explained, and that hence- 
forth there would be at least no more need of falsehood 
and deception. It seemed to her indubitable that now 
her position would be henceforth determined. It might 
be bad, but it would be definite, and there would be an 
end to lying and equivocation. The pain which her 
words had cost her husband and herself would have 
its compensation, she thought, in the fact that now all 
would be definite. 

That very evening Vronsky came to see her, but she 


did not tell him what had taken place between her hus- 
band and herself, although it was needful to tell him, in 
order that the affair might be definitely settled. 

The next morning, when she awoke, her first memory 
was of the words that she had spoken to her husband ; 
and they seemed to her so odious, that she could not im- 
agine now how she could have brought herself to say 
such strange brutal words, and she could not conceive 
what the result of them would be. But the words were 
irrevocable, and Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch had departed 
without replying. 

" I have seen Vronsky since, and I did not tell him. 
Even at the moment he went away, I wanted to hold 
him back and to tell him ; but I postponed it because I 
felt how strange it was that I did not tell him at the 
first moment. Why did I have the desire, and yet not 
speak .-* " 

And, in reply to this question, the hot flush of shame 
kindled in her face. She realized that it was shame that 
kept her from speaking. Her position, which the even- 
ing before had seemed to her so clear, suddenly pre- 
sented itself as very far from clear, as inextricable. She 
began to fear the dishonor about which she had not 
thought before. When she considered what her hus- 
band might do to her, the most terrible ideas came to 
her mind. It occurred to her that at any instant the 
steward ^ might appear to drive her out of house and 
home, and that her shame might be proclaimed to all 
the world. She asked herself where she could go if 
they drove her from home, and she found no answer. 

When she thought of Vronsky, she imagined that he 
did not love her, and that he was already beginning to 
tire of her, and that she could not impose herself on 
him, and she felt angry with him. It seemed to her 
that the words which she spoke to her husband, and 
which she incessantly repeated to herself, were spoken 
so that everybody could hear them, and had heard them. 
She could not bring herself to look in the faces of those 
with whom she lived. She could not bring herself to 

^ Upravlyayushchy. 


ring for her maid, and still less to go down and meet 
her son and his governess. 

The maid came, and stood long at the door, listening ; 
finally she decided to go to her without a summons. Anna 
looked at her questioningly, and in her terror she blushed. 
The maid apologized for coming, saying that she thought 
she heard the bell. She brought a gown and a note. 
The note was from Betsy. Betsy reminded her that 
Liza Merkalova and the Baroness Stolz with their 
adorers, Kaluzhsky and the old man Stremof , were com- 
ing to her house that morning for a game of croquet. 
" Come and look on, please, as a study of manners. I 
shall expect you," was the conclusion of the note. 

Anna read the letter, and sighed profoundly. 

" Nothing, nothing, I need nothing," said she to An- 
nushka, who was arranging the brushes and toilet articles 
on her dressing-table. " Go away. I will dress myself 
immediately, and come down. I need nothing." 

Annushka went out ; yet Anna did not begin to dress, 
but sat in the same attitude, with bent head and folded 
hands ; and occasionally she would shiver, and begin to 
make some gesture, to say something, and then fall back 
into Hstlessness again. She kept saying, '■'■ Bozhe moi ! 
Bozhe moi' /"^ hut the words had no meaning in her 
mind. The thought of seeking a refuge from her situa- 
tion in religion, although she never doubted the faith in 
which she had been trained, seemed to her as strange as 
to go and ask help of Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch him- 
self. She knew beforehand that the refuge offered by 
religion was possible only by the absolute renunciation 
of all that constituted for her the meaning of life. She 
suffered, and was frightened besides, by a sensation that 
was new to her experience hitherto, and which seemed 
to her to take possession of her inmost soul. She seemed 
to feel double, just as sometimes eyes, when weary, see 
double. She knew not what she feared, what she de- 
sired. She knew not whether she feared and desired 
what had passed or what was to come, and what she 
desired she did not know. 

1 Literally, « My God." 


" Oh ! what am I doing ? " she cried, suddenly feel- 
ing a pain in both temples ; and she discovered that 
she had taken her hair in her two hands, and was pull- 
ing it. She got up, and began to walk the floor. 

'• The coffee is served, and Mavizel and Serozha are 
waiting," said Annushka, coming in again, and finding 
her mistress in the same condition as before. 

" Serozha .'' what is Serozha doing," suddenly asked 
Anna, remembering, for the first time that morning, the 
existence of her son, 

" He has been naughty, I think," said Annushka, 
with a smile. 

" How naughty .-' " 

"You had some peaches in the corner cupboard; he 
took one, and ate it on the sly, it seems." 

The thought of her son suddenly called Anna from 
the impassive state in which she had been sunk. She 
remembered the partly sincere, though somewhat ex- 
aggerated, role of devoted mother, which she had taken 
on herself for a number of years, and she felt with joy 
that in this relationship she had a standpoint indepen- 
dent of her relation to her husband and Vronsky. 
This standpoint was — her son. In whatever situation 
she might be placed, she could not give him up. Her 
husband might drive her from him, and put her to 
shame ; Vronsky might turn his back on ' her, and 
resume his former independent life, — and here again 
she thought of him with a feeling of anger and reproach, 
— but she could not leave her son. She had an aim 
in life ; and she must act, act so as to safeguard this 
relation toward her son, so that they could not take 
him from her. She must act as speedily as possible 
before they took him from her. She must take her 
son and go off. That was the one thing which she 
now had to do. She must calm herself, and get away 
from this tormenting situation. The very thought of 
an action having reference to her son, and of going 
away with him anywhere, anywhere, already gave her 

She dressed in haste, went down-stairs, and with firm 


steps entered the drawing-room, where, as usual, she 
found lunch ready, and Serozha and the governess wait- 
ing for her. Serozha, all in white, was standing near 
a table under the mirror, with the expression of con- 
centrated attention which she knew so well, and in 
which he resembled his father. Bending over, he was 
busy with some flowers which he had brought in. 

The governess had a very stern expression. Serozha, 
as soon as he saw his mother, uttered a sharp cry, 
which was a frequent custom of his, — " Ah, mamma ! " 
Then he stopped, undecided whether to throw down 
the flowers and run to his mother, and let the flowers 
go, or to finish his bouquet and take it to her. 

The governess bowed, and began a long and circum- 
stantial account of the naughtiness that Serozha had 
committed ; but Anna did not hear her. She was 
thinking whether she should take her with them. 

" No, I will not," she decided; "I will go alone with 
my son." 

"Yes, that was very naughty," said Anna; and, tak- 
ing the boy by the shoulder, she looked with a gentle, 
not angry, face at the confused but happy boy, and 
kissed him. " Leave him with me," said she to the 
wondering governess ; and, not letting go his arm, she 
sat down at the table where the coffee was waiting. 

" Mamnia .... I .... I .... did n't ...." stammered Serozha, 
trying to judge by his mother's expression what fate was 
in store for him for having pilfered the peach. 

"Serozha," she said, as soon as the governess had 
left the room, " that was naughty. You will not do it 
again, will you .-'.... Do you love me .-* " 

She felt that the tears were standing in her eyes. 
" Why can I not love him ? " she asked herself, study- 
ing the boy's frightened and yet happy face. " And 
can he join with his father to punish me ? Will he not 
have pity on me .-• " 

The tears began to course down her face ; and, in 
order to hide them, she rose up quickly, and hastened, 
almost ran, to the terrace. 

Clear, cool weather had succeeded the stormy rains 


of the last few days. In spite of the warm sun which 
shone on the thick foliage of the trees, it was cool in 
the shade. 

She shivered both from the coolness and from the 
sentiment of fear which in the cool air seized her with 
new force. 

"Go, go and find Mariette," said she to Serozha, who 
had followed her ; and then she began to walk up and 
down on the straw carpet which covered the terrace. 
" Will they not forgive me .'* " she asked herself. "Will 
they not understand that all this could not possibly have 
been otherwise .-* " 

As she stopped and looked at the top of the aspens 
waving in the wind, with their freshly washed leaves 
glittering brightly in the cool sunbeams, it seemed to 
her that they would not forgive her, that all, that every- 
thing, would be as pitiless toward her as that sky and 
that foliage. And again she felt that mysterious sense 
in her inmost soul that she was in a dual state. 

" I must not, must not think," she said to herself. 
" I must have courage. Where shall .1 go } When ? 
Whom shall I take .-' Yes ! to Moscow by the evening 
train, with Annushka and Serozha and only the most 
necessary things. But first I must write to them both." 

She hurried back into the house to her boudoir, sat 
down at the table, and wrote her husband : — 

After what has passed, I cannot longer remain in your house. 
I am going away, and I shall take my son. I do not know the 
laws, and so I do not know with which of his parents the child 
should remain ; but I take him with me, because I cannot live 
without him. Be magnanimous ; let me have him. 

Up to this point she wrote rapidly and naturally ; 
but this appeal to a magnanimity which she had never 
seen in him, and the need of ending her letter with 
something affecting, brought her to a halt. 

" I cannot speak of my fault and my repentance, 
because .... " Again she stopped, unable to find the 
right words to express her thoughts. " No," she said, 
" nothing more is necessary ; " and, tearing up this 


letter, she began another, from which she left out any 
appeal to his generosity, and sealed it. 

She had to write a second letter, to Vronsky. 

" I have confessed to my husband," she began ; and 
she sat long wrapped in thought, without being able to 
write more. That was so coarse, so unfeminine ! " And 
then, what can I write to him.-'" she asked herself. 
Again the crimson of shame mantled her face as she 
remembered how calm he was, and she felt so vexed 
with him that she tore the sheet of paper with its one 
phrase into little bits. " I cannot write," she said to 
herself ; and, closing her desk, she went up-stairs, told 
the governess and the domestics that she was going to 
Moscow that evening, and instantly began to make her 


In all the rooms of the villa, the men-servants, the 
gardeners, the lackeys, were hurrying about laden with 
various things. Cupboards and commodes were cleared 
of their contents. Twice they had gone to the shop for 
packing-cord ; on the floor lay piles of newspapers. 
Two trunks, traveling-bags, and a bundle of plaids 
had been carried into the anteroom. A carriage and 
two cabs were waiting at the front door. Anna, who in 
the haste of packing had somewhat forgotten her in- 
ward anguish, was standing by her table in her boudoir 
and packing her bag, when Annushka called her atten- 
tion to the rumble of a carriage approaching the house. 

Anna looked out of the window, and saw on the 
steps Aleksef Aleksandrovitch's messenger-boy ringing 
the front-door bell. 

" Go and see what it is," said she, and then sat down 
in her chair and, folding her hands on her knees, 
waited with calm resignation. A lackey brought her 
a fat packet directed in Aleksef Aleksandrovitch's 

"The messenger was ordered to wait an answer," 
said he. 


"Very well," she replied; and as soon as he left the 
room she opened the packet with trembling fingers. A 
roll of fresh, new bank-notes, in a wrapper, fell out first. 
She unfolded the letter and began to read it at the end. 
" All the necessary measures for your return hither 

will be taken I attach a very particular importance 

to your attention to my request," she read. 

She ran it through hastily backwards, a second time, 
read it all through, and then she read it again from 
beginning to end. When she had finished it, she felt 
chilled, and had the consciousness that some terrible 
and unexpected misfortune was crushing her. 

That very morning she had regretted her confession 
to her husband, and desired nothing so much as that she 
had not spoken those words. And this letter treated 
her words as if they had not been spoken, gave her 
what she desired. And yet it seemed to her more 
cruel than anything that she could have imagined. 

" Right, he is right ! " she murmured. " Of course 
he is always right ; he is a Christian, he is magnani- 
mous ! Yes, the low, vile man ! No one understands, 
no one knows him but me ; and I cannot explain it. 
People say, ' He is a religious, moral, honorable, intel- 
lectual man.' But they have not seen what I have 
seen ; they do not know how for eight years he has 
crushed my life, crushed everything that was vital in 
me ; how he has never once thought of me as a living 
woman who needed love. They don't know how at 
every step he has insulted me, and yet remained self- 
satisfied. Have I not striven, striven with all my 
powers, to find a justification of my life .-' Have I not 
done my best to love him, to love his son when I could 
not love my husband .-" But the time came when I 
found I could no longer deceive myself, that I am a 
living being, that I am not to blame, that God has 
made me so, that I must love and live. And now what ? 
He might kill me, he might kill /nm, and I could endure 
it, I could forgive it. But no, he.... 

" Why should I not have foreseen what he would do ? 
He does exactly in accordance with his despicable char- 


acter ; he stands on his rights. But I, poor unfortunate, 
am sunk lower and more irreclaimably than ever toward 
ruin. ' Yo?i may stinnise tvJiat awaits you and your son,' " 
she repeated to herself, remembering a sentence in his 
letter. " It is a threat that he means to rob me of my 
son, and doubtless their wretched laws allow it. But, 
do I not see why he said that ? He has no belief in my 
love for my son ; or else he is deriding, — as he always 
does, in his sarcastic manner, — is deriding this feeling 
of mine, for he knows that I will not abandon my son — 
I cannot abandon him; that without my son, life would 
be unsupportable, even with him whom I love ; and that 
to abandon my son, and leave him, I should fall like the 
worst of women. This he knows, and knows that I 
should never have the power to do so. 

" * Our lives must remain tinchanged,' " she continued, 
remembering another sentence in the letter. "This 
life was a torture before ; but of late it has grown worse 
than ever. What will it be now .-' And he knows all 
this, — knows that I cannot repent because I breathe, 
because I love; he knows that nothing except falsehood 
and deceit can result from this : but he must needs pro- 
long my torture. I know him, and I know that he 
swims in perjury like a fish in water. But no; I will 
not give him this pleasure. I will break this network of 
lies in which he wants to enwrap me. Come what may, 
anything is better than lies and deception. 

" But how .'' Bozhe mof ! Bozhe moif ! Was there 
ever woman so unhappy as I ? .... 

" No, I will break it ! I will break it ! " she cried, 
springing to her feet and striving to keep back the tears. 
And she went to her writing-table to begin another 
letter to him. But in the lowest depths of her soul she 
felt that she had not the power to break the network of 
circumstances, — that she had not the power to escape 
from the situation in which she was placed, false and 
dishonorable though it was. 

She sat down at the table ; but, instead of writing, 
she folded her arms on the table, and bowed her head 
on them, and began to weep like a child, with heaving 


breast and convulsive sobs. She wept because her 
visions about an explanation, about a settlement of her 
position, had vanished forever. She knew that now all 
things would go on as before, and even worse than be- 
fore. She felt that her position in society, which she 
had slighted, and even that morning counted as dross, 
was dear to her ; that she should never have the 
strength to abandon it for the shameful position of a 
woman who has deserted her husband and son and 
joined her lover ; she felt that in spite of all her efforts 
she should never be stronger than herself. She never 
would know what freedom to love meant, but would be 
always a guilty woman, constantly under the threat of 
detection, deceiving her husband for the disgraceful so- 
ciety of an independent stranger, with whose life she 
could never join hers. She knew that this would be so, 
and yet at the same time it was so terrible that she could 
not acknowledge, even to herself, how it would end. 
And she wept, unrestrainedly as a child who has been 
punished sobs. 

The steps of a lackey approaching brought her to 
herself; and, hiding from him her face, she pretended 
to be writing. 

" The courier would like his answer," said the 

" His answer ? Oh, yes ! " said Anna. " Let him 
wait. I will ring." 

"What can I write.'"' she asked herself "How 
decide by myself alone ? What do I know ? What do 
I want ? Whom do I love ? " 

Again it seemed to her that in her soul she felt the 
dual nature. She was alarmed at this feeling, and 
seized on the first pretext for activity that presented 
itself so that she might be freed from thoughts about 

" I must see AlekseY " (thus in thought she called 
Vronsky) ; " he alone can tell me what I must do. I 
will go to Betsy's. Perhaps I shall find him there." 

She completely forgot that on the evening before, 
when she told him that she was not going to the Prin- 


cess Tverskaya's, he said that in that case he should 
not go there either. 

She went to the table again, and wrote her husband: — 

I have received your letter. 


She rang, and gave it to the lackey. 

" We are not going," said she to Annushka, who was 
just coming in. 

" Not going at all ? " 

"No; but don't unpack before to-morrow, and have 
the carriage wait. I am going to the princess's." 

" What gown shall you wear ? " 


The croquet party to which the Princess Tverskaya 
invited Anna was to consist of two ladies and their 
adorers. These two ladies were the leading represen- 
tatives of a new and exclusive Petersburg clique, called, 
in imitation of an imitation, /es sept mei'veilles dii monde, 
the seven wonders of the world. Both of them be- 
longed to the highest society, but to a circle absolutely 
hostile to that in which Anna moved. Moreover, old 
Stremof, one of the influential men of the city, and 
Liza Merkalof's lover, was in the service of Aleksei 
Alcksandrovitch's enemies. From all these considera- 
tions Anna did not care to go to Betsy's, and her refusal 
called forth the hints in the Princess Tverskaya's note ; 
but now she decided to go, hoping to find Vronsky 

She reached the Princess Tverskaya's before the other 

Just as she arrived Vronsky's lackey, with his well- 
combed side-whiskers, like a kammer-junker, was at 
the door. Raising his cap, he stepped aside to let her 
pass. Anna recognized him and only then remembered 
that Vronsky had told her that he was not coming. 
Undoubtedly he had sent him with his excuses. 


As she was taking off her wraps in the anteroom 
she heard the lackey, who rolled his R's like a kam>ner- 
jtinker, say, " From the count to the princess," at the 
same time he delivered his note. 

She wanted to ask him where his barin was. She 
wanted to go back and write him a note, asking him to 
come to her, or to go and find him herself. But she 
could not follow out any of these plans, for the bell 
had already announced her presence, and one of the 
princess's lackeys was waiting at the door to usher her 
into the rooms beyond. 

" The princess is in the garden. Word has been sent 
to her. Would you not like to step out into the gar- 
den ? " said a second lackey in the second room. 

Her position of uncertainty, of darkness, was just the 
same as at home. It was even worse, because she 
could not make any decision, she could not see Vronsky, 
and she was obliged to remain in the midst of a com- 
pany of strangers diametrically opposed to her present 
mood. But she wore a toilet which she knew was very 
becoming. She was not alone, she was surrounded by that 
solemn atmosphere of indolence so familiar; and on the 
whole it was better to be there than at home. She was 
not obliged to think what she would do. Things would 
arrange themselves. 

Betsy came to meet her in a white toilet absolutely 
stunning in its elegance ; and Anna greeted her, as 
usual, with a smile. The Princess Tverskaya was ac- 
companied by Tushkievitch and a young relative who, 
to the great delight of the provincial family to which 
she belonged, was spending the summer with the famous 

Apparently there was something unnatural in Anna's 
appearance, for Betsy immediately remarked it. 

" I did not sleep well," replied Anna, looking furtively 
at the lackey, who was coming, as she supposed, to 
bring Vronsky's note to the princess. 

" How glad I am that you came ! " said Betsy. " I 
am just up, and I should like to have a cup of tea before 
the others come. And you," she said, addressing Tush- 


kievitch, " had better go with Maska and try the kroket- 
gro-und, which has just been cHpped. You and I will 
have time to have a little confidential talk while taking our 
tea. We '11 have a cozy chat, won't we ? " she added in 
English, addressing Anna with a smile, and taking her 
hand, in which she held a sunshade. 

" All the more willingly because I cannot stay long. 
I must call on old Vrede ; I have been promising for 
a hundred years to come and see her," said Anna, to 
whom the lie, though contrary to her nature, seemed 
not only simple and easy, but even pleasurable. Why 
she said a thing which she forgot the second after, she 
herself could not have told ; she said it at haphazard, 
so that, in case Vronsky were not coming, she might 
have a way of escape, and try to find him elsewhere ; 
and why she happened to select the name of old 
Freilina Vrede rather than any other of her acquain- 
tances was likewise inexplicable. But, as events proved, 
out of all the possible schemes for meeting Vronsky, 
she could not have chosen a better. 

" No, I shall not let you go," replied Betsy, scruti- 
nizing Anna's face. " Indeed, if I were not so fond of 
you, I should be tempted to be vexed with you ; any- 
body would think that you were afraid of my company 
compromising you. — Tea in the little parlor, if you 
please," said she to the lackey, blinking her eyes as 
was habitual with her ; and, taking the letter from 
him, she began to read it. 

"Aleksei" disappoints us,"^ said she in French. "He 
writes that he cannot come," she added, in a tone as 
simple and unaffected as if it had never entered her 
mind that Vronsky was of any more interest to Anna 
than as a possible partner in a game of croquet. Anna 
knew that Betsy knew all ; but, as she heard Betsy 
speak of Vronsky now, she almost brought herself to 
believe for a moment that she knew nothing. 

" Ah ! " she said indifferently, as if it was a detail 
which did not interest her. " How," she continued, 
still smiling, "could your society compromise any one.-*" 

* Alexis nous fait faux bond. 


This manner of playing with words, this hiding a 
secret, had a great charm for Anna, as it has for all 
women. And it was not the necessity of secrecy, or 
the reason for secrecy, but the process itself, that gave 
the pleasure. 

"I cannot be more Catholic than the Pope," she said. 
" Stremof and Liza Merkalof, they are the cream of the 
cream of society. They are received everywhere. But 
/" — she laid special stress on the/ — "/have never 
been severe and intolerant. I simply have not had 

" No. But perhaps you prefer not to meet Stremof ? 
Let him break lances with Aleksei Aleksandrovitch in 
committee-meetings ; that does not concern us. But in 
society he is as lovely a man as I know, and a passion- 
ate lover of croquet. But you shall see him. And you 
must see how admirably he conducts himself in his 
ridiculous position as Liza's aged lover. He is very 
charming. Don't you know Safo Stoltz } She is the 
latest, absolutely the latest style." 

While Betsy was saying all this, Anna perceived, by 
her joyous, intelligent eyes, that she saw her embarrass- 
ment and was trying to put her at her ease. They had 
gone into the little boudoir. 

" By the way, I must write a word to AlekseY." 

And Betsy sat down at her writing-table, hastily 
penned a few lines, and inclosed them in an envelop. 
" I wrote him to come to dinner. One of the ladies 
who is going to be here has no gentleman. See if I 
am imperative enough. Excuse me if I leave you a 
moment. Please seal it and direct it," said she at the 
door, " I have some arrangements to make." 

Without a moment's hesitation, Anna took Betsy's 
seat at the table, and, without reading her note, added 
these words : — 

I must see you without fail. Come to the Vrede's Garden. 
I will be there at six o'clock. 

She sealed the letter ; and Betsy, coming a moment 
later, despatched it at once. 


The two ladies took their tea at a Httle table in the 
cool boudoir, and had indeed a cozy chat as the princess 
had promised, until the arrival of her guests. They 
expressed their judgments on them, beginning with 
Liza Merkalof. 

" She is very charming, and she has always been 
congenial to me," said Anna. 

" You ought to like her. She adores you. Yesterday 
evening, after the races, she came to see me, and was 
in despair not to find you. She says that you are a 
genuine heroine of a romance, and that if she were 
a man, she would commit a thousand follies for your 
sake. Stremof told her she did that, even as she was." 

" But please tell me one thing I never could under- 
stand," said Anna, after a moment of silence, and in a 
tone which clearly showed that she did not ask an idle 
question but that what she wanted explained was more 
important to her than would appear. " Please tell me, 
what are the relations between her and Prince Kaluzh- 
sky, the man they call Mishka .-' I have rarely seen 
them together. What are their relations .-' " 

A smile came into Betsy's eyes, and she looked keenly 
at Anna. 

"It's a new kind," she replied. "All these ladies 
have adopted it. They 've thrown their caps behind the 
mill. But there are ways and ways of throwing them." 

" Yes, but what are her relations with Kaluzhsky } " 

Betsy, to Anna's surprise, broke into a gale of irresisti- 
ble laughter, which was an unusual thing with her. 

" But you are trespassing on the Princess Miagkaya's 
province ; it is the question of an enfant terrible,'' said 
Betsy, trying in vain to restrain her gayety, but again 
breaking out into that contagious laughter which is the 
peculiarity of people who rarely laugh. " But you must 
ask them," she at length managed to say, with the tears 
running down her cheeks. 

" Well ! you laugh," said Anna, in spite of herself 
joining in her friend's amusement; "but I never could 
understand it at all, and I don't understand what part 
the husband plays." 


" The husband ? Liza Merkalof's husband carries 
her plaid for her, and is always at her beck and call. 
But the real meaning of the affair no one cares to know. 
You know that in good society people don't speak and 
don't even think of certain details of the toilet; well, it 
is the same here." 

" Are you going to Rolandaki's fite ? " asked Anna, 
to change the conversation. 

" I don't think so," replied Betsy ; and, not looking at 
her companion, she carefully poured the fragrant tea 
into little transparent cups. Then, having handed one 
to Anna, she rolled a cigarette, and, putting it into a 
silver holder, she began to smoke. 

"You see, I am in a fortunate position," she began 
seriously, holding her cup in her hand. " I understand 
you, and I understand Liza. Liza is one of these nai've, 
childlike natures, who cannot distinguish between ill and 
good, — at least, she was so when she was young, and 
now she knows that this simplicity is becoming to her. 
Now perhaps she purposely fails to understand the dis- 
tinction," said Betsy, with a sly smile. " But all the 
same, it becomes her. You see, it is quite possible to 
look on things from a tragic standpoint, and to get tor- 
ment out of them; and it is possible to look on it sim- 
ply, and even gayly. Possibly you are inclined to look 
on things too tragically." 

" How I should like to know others as well as I know 
myself! " said Anna, with a serious and pensive look. 
"Am I worse than others, or better.? Worse, I think." 

"You are an enfant terrible, an enfant tertible^" was 
Betsy's comment. " But here they are ! " 


Steps were heard, and a man's voice, then a woman's 
voice and laughter, and immediately after the expected 
guests came in : Safo Stoltz, and a young man called 
Vaska, whose face shone with exuberant health. It was 
evident that rich blood-making beef, burgundy, and truffles 


had accomplished their work. Vaska bowed to the two 
ladies and glanced at them, but only for a second. He 
followed Safo into the drawing-room, and he followed 
her through the drawing-room, as if he had been tied to 
her, and he kept his brilliant eyes fastened on her as if 
he wished to devour her. Safo Stoltz was a blond with 
black eyes. She wore shoes with enormously high heels, 
and she came in with slow, vigorous steps, and shook 
hands with the ladies energetically, like a man. 

Anna had never before met with this new celebrity, 
and was struck, not only by her beauty, but by the ex- 
travagance of her toilet and the boldness of her man- 
ners. On her head was a veritable scaffolding of false 
and natural hair of a lovely golden hue, and of a height 
corresponding to the mighty proportions of her protu- 
berant and very visible bosom. Her dress was so tightly 
pulled back, that at every movement it outlined the 
shape of her knees and thighs ; and involuntarily the 
question arose : Where, under this enormous, tottering 
mountain, did her neat little body, so exposed above, 
and so tightly laced below, really end .'' 

Betsy made haste to introduce her to Anna. 

" Can you imagine it ? We almost ran over two 
soldiers," she instantly began to relate, winking, smiling, 
and kicking back her train, which she in turn threw too 
far over to the other side. " I was coming with Vaska 
.... oh, yes ! You are not acquainted." And she intro- 
duced the young man by his family name, laughing 
heartily at her mistake in calling him Vaska before 
strangers. Vaska bowed a second time to Anna, but 
said nothing to her. He turned to Safo. 

"The wager is lost. We came first," said he, smiling. 
"You must pay." 

Safo laughed still more gayly. 

" Not now, though," said she. 

" All right ; I '11 take it by and by." 

" Very well, very well ! Oh, by the way ! " she sud- 
denly cried out to the hostess. " I .... forgot ....stupid 
that I was ! I bring you a guest ; here he is." 

The young guest whom Safo presented, after having 


forgotten him, was a guest of such importance that, not- 
withstanding his youth, all the ladies rose to receive him. 

This was Safo's new adorer; and, just as Vaska did, 
he followed her every step. 

Immediately after came Prince Kaluzhsky and Liza 
Merkalof with Stremof. Liza was a rather thin brunette, 
with an Oriental, indolent type of countenance, and with 
ravishing, and as everybody said, inscrutable eyes. The 
style of her dark dress was absolutely in keeping with 
her beauty. Anna noticed it, and approved. Liza 
was as quiet and unpretentious as Safo was loud and 

But Liza, for Anna's taste, was vastly more attractive. 
Betsy, in speaking of her to Anna, had ridiculed her 
affectation of the manner of an innocent child ; but 
when Anna saw her, she " felt that this was not fair. 
Liza was really an innocent, gentle, and irresponsible 
woman, a little spoiled. To be sure, her morals were 
the same as Safo's. She also had in her train, as if 
sewed to her, two adorers, one young, the other old, 
who devoured her with their eyes. But there was some- 
thing about her better than her surroundings; she was 
like a diamond of the purest water surrounded by glass. 
The brilliancy shone out of her lovely, enigmatical eyes. 
The wearied and yet passionate look of her eyes, sur- 
rounded by dark circles, struck one by its absolute sin- 
cerity. Any one looking into their depths would think 
that he knew her completely ; and to know her was to 
love her. At the sight of Anna, her whole face sud- 
denly lighted up with a happy smile. 

" Oh ! How glad I am to see you ! " she said, as she 
went up to her. " Yesterday afternoon at the races I 
wanted to get to you, but you had just gone. I was so 
anxious to see you yesterday especially ! Too bad, 
was n't it .-' " S3,id she, gazing at Anna with a look which 
seemed to disclose her whole soul. 

" Yes ! I never would have believed that anything 
could be so exciting," replied Anna, with some color. 

The company now began to get ready to go to the 


" I am not going," said Liza, sitting down near Anna 
" You are n't going, are you ? What pleasure can any 
one find in croquet?" 

" But I am very fond of it," said Anna. 

" There ! how is it that you don't get ennuy^e ? To 
look at you is a joy. You live, but I vegetate." 

" How vegetate .-' Why ! they say you have the gay- 
est society in Petersburg," said Anna. 

" Perhaps those who are not of our circle are still 
more ennuyee. But we, it seems to me, are not happy, 
but are bored, terribly bored." 

Safo lighted a cigarette, and went to the lawn with 
the two young men. Betsy and Stremof stayed at 
the tea-table. 

" How bored } " asked Betsy. " Safo says she had a 
delightful evening with you yesterday." 

"Oh ! how unendurable it was ! " said Liza. "They 
all came to my house with me after the races, and it 
was all so utterly monotonous. It is forever one and the 
same thing. They sat on the divans the whole evening. 
How could that be delightful.? No; but what do you 
do to keep from being bored .-*" she asked again of 
Anna. " It is enough to look at you ! You are evi- 
dently a woman who can be happy or unhappy, but 
never emiuy/e. Now explain what you do." 

" I don't do anything," said Anna, confused by such 
a stream of questions. 

"That is the best way," said Stremof, joining the 

Stremof was a man fifty years old, rather gray, but 
well preserved, very ugly, but with a face full of char- 
acter and intelligence. Liza Merkalof was his wife's 
niece, and he spent with her all his leisure time. Though 
he was an employee in the service of Alekser Aleksandro- 
vitch's political enemies, he endeavored, now that he met 
Anna in society, to act the man of the world, and be 
exceedingly amiable to his enemy's wife. 

"The very best way is to do nothing," he continued, 
with his wise smile. " I have been telling you this long 
time," turning to Liza Merkalof, "that, if you don't want 


to be bored, you must not think that it is possible to be 
bored ; just as one must not be afraid of not sleeping if 
he is troubled with insomnia. This is just what Anna 
Arkadyevna told you." 

" I should be very glad if I had said so," said Anna, 
"because it is not only clever, it is true." 

" But will you tell me why it is not hard to go to 
sleep, and not hard to be free from ennui V 

"To sleep, you must work; and to be happy, you 
must also work." 

" But how can I work when my labor is useful to no 
one ? But to make believe, — I neither can nor will." 

"You are incorrigible," sajd he, not looking at her, 
but turning to Anna again. He rarely met her, and 
could not well speak to her except in the way of small 
talk ; but he understood how to say light things grace- 
fully, and he asked her when she was going back to 
Petersburg, and whether she liked the Countess Lidya 
Ivanovna. And he asked these questions in a man- 
ner which showed his desire to be her friend, and to 
express his consideration and respect. 

Tushkievitch came in just then and explained that 
the whole company was waiting for the croquet players. 

" No, don't go, I beg of you," said Liza, when she 
found that Anna was not intending to stay. Stremof 
added his persuasions. 

"It is too great a contrast," said he, "between our 
society and old Vrede's ; and then, you will be for her 
only an object for slander, while here you will only 
awaken very different sentiments, quite the opposite 
of slander and ill-feeling." 

Anna remained for a moment in uncertainty. This 
witty man's flattering words, the childlike and naive 
sympathy shown her by Liza Merkalof, and all this 
agreeable social atmosphere, so opposed to what she 
expected elsewhere, caused her a moment of hesitation. 
Could she not postpone the terrible moment of expla- 
nation } But remembering what she had to expect 
alone at home if she should not come to some decision, 
remembering the pain that she had felt when she 


pulled her hair with both hands, not knowing what 
she did, so great was her mental anguish, she took 
leave, and went. 


Vronsky, in spite of his worldly life and his apparent 
frivolity, was a man who detested confusion. Once, 
when still a lad in the School of Pages, he found him- 
self short of money, and met with a humiliating refusal 
when he tried to borrow. He vowed that henceforth 
he would not expose himself to such a humiliation again, 
and he kept his word. In order to keep his affairs in 
order, he made, more or less often, according to circum- 
stances, but at least five times a year, an examination of 
his affairs. He called this "straightening his affairs," 
or, in French, faire sa lessive. 

The morning after the races Vronsky woke late, and 
without stopping to shave, or take his bath, put on his 
kitel, or soldier's linen frock, and, placing his money and 
bills and paper on the table, proceeded to the work of 
settling his accounts. Petritsky, knowing that his com- 
rade was likely to be irritable when engaged in such 
occupation, quietly got up, and slipped out without dis- 
turbing him. 

Every man acquainted, even to the minutest details, 
with all the complications of his surroundings, involun- 
tarily supposes that the complications and tribulations of 
his life are a personal and private grievance peculiar to 
himself, and never thinks that others are subjected to 
the same complications of their personal troubles he him- 
self is. Thus it seemed to Vronsky. And not without 
inward pride, and not without reason, he felt that, until 
the present time, he had done well in avoiding the 
embarrassments to which every one else would have suc- 
cumbed. But he felt that now it was necessary for him 
to examine into his affairs, so as not to be embarrassed. 

First, because it was the easiest to settle, Vronsky 
investigated his pecuniary status. He wrote in his 


fluent, delicate hand a schedule of all his debts, and 
adding them up found that the total amounted to seven- 
teen thousand rubles, and some odd hundreds, which he 
let go for the sake of clearness. Counting up his ready- 
money and his bank-book, he had only eighteen hun- 
dred rubles, with no hope of more until the new year. 
Looking over the schedule of his debts, Vronsky classi- 
fied them, putting them into three categories: first, the 
urgent debts, or, in other words, those that required ready 
money, so that, in case of requisition, there might not be 
a moment of delay. These amounted to four thousand 
rubles, — fifteen hundred for his horse, and twenty-five 
hundred as a guaranty for his young comrade, Venevsky, 
who had, in Vronsky's company, lost this amount in play- 
ing with a sharper. Vronsky, at the time, had wanted 
to hand over the money, since he had it with him ; 
but Venevsky and Yashvin insisted on paying it, rather 
than Vronsky, who had not been playing. This was all 
very well ; but Vronsky knew that in this disgraceful 
affair, in which his only participation was going as 
Venevsky's guaranty, it was necessary to have these 
twenty-five hundred rubles ready to throw at the rascal's 
head, and not to have any words with him. Thus, he 
had to reckon the category of urgent debts as four 
thousand rubles. 

In the second category were eight thousand rubles 
of debts, and these were less imperative. These were 
what he owed on his stable account, for oats and hay, 
to his English trainer, and other incidentals. At a 
pinch, two thousand would suffice to leave him perfectly 
easy in mind. The remaining debts were to his tailor, 
and other furnishers; and they could wait. In conclu- 
sion, he found that he needed, for immediate use, six 
thousand rubles, and he had only eighteen hundred. 

For a man with an income of a hundred thousand 
rubles, — as people supposed Vronsky to have, — it would 
seem as if such debts as these could not be very em- 
barrassing ; but the fact was that he had not an income 
of a hundred thousand rubles. The large paternal 
estate, producing two hundred thousand rubles a year, 



had been divided between the two brothers. But when 
the elder brother, laden with debts, married the Princess 
Varia Tchirkof, the daughter of a Dekabrist,^ who 
brought him no fortune, Aleksei yielded him his share 
of the inheritance, reserving only an income of twenty- 
five thousand rubles. He told his brother that this 
would be sufficient for him until he married, which he 
thought would never happen. His brother, who was in 
command of one of the most expensive regiments in the 
service and only just married, could not refuse this gift. 

His mother, who possessed an independent fortune, 
kept twenty-five thousand rubles for herself and gave 
her younger son a yearly allowance of twenty thousand 
rubles ; and Aleksef spent the whole of it. Recently 
the countess, angry with him on account of his depar- 
ture from Moscow and his disgraceful liaison, had ceased 
to remit to him any money. So that Vronsky, who was 
accustomed to living on a forty-five thousand ruble foot- 
ing, and having this year only twenty-five thousand, 
found himself in some extremity. He could not apply 
to his mother to help him out of his difficulty, for her 
letter which he had received the day before angered 
him by the insinuations which it contained : she was 
ready, it said, to help him along in society, or to advance 
him in his career, but not in this present life which was 
scandalizing all the best people. 

His mother's attempt to bribe him wounded him in 
the tenderest spot in his heart, and he felt more coldly 
towards her than ever. 

He could not retract his magnanimous promise given 
to his brother ; although he felt now, in view of his 
rather uncertain relationship with Madame Karenin, 
that his magnanimous promise had been given too has- 
tily, and that, even though he were not married, the 
hundred thousand rubles might stand him in good stead. 
But it was impossible to retract. The impossibility of 
taking back what he had given was made clear to him, 
especially when he remembered his brother's wife, when 

^The Dekabrists were the revolutionists of December, 1825, who were 
banished at the time of the accession of the Emperor Nicholas. 


he remembered how this gentle, excellent Varia had 
always made him understand that she should not forget 
his generosity, and never cease to appreciate it. It 
would be as impossible as to strike a woman, to steal, 
or to lie. 

There was only one possible and practicable thing, 
and Vronsky adopted it without a moment's hesitation : 
to borrow ten thousand rubles of a usurer, — there 
was no difficulty about this, — to reduce his expenses as 
much as he could, and to sell his race-horses. Having 
decided to do this, he immediately wrote a letter to Ro- 
landaki, who had many times offered to buy his stud. 
Then he sent for his English trainer and the usurer, and 
devoted the money which he had on hand to various 
accounts. Having finished this business, he wrote a 
cold and sharp reply to his mother ; and then, taking 
from his portfolio Anna's last three letters, he re-read 
them, burned them, and, remembering his last conversa- 
tion with her, fell into deep meditation. 


Vronsky's life had been especially happy, because he 
had a special code of rules, which infallibly determined 
all he ought to do and ought not to do. 

This code embraced a very small circle of duties, but 
the rules allowed no manner of question, and as Vronsky 
never had occasion to go outside of this circle, he had 
never been obliged to hesitate about what he had to do. 
These rules prescribed unfailingly that it was necessary 
to pay gambling debts, but not his tailor's bills ; that it 
was not permissible to tell lies, except to women ; that 
it was not right to deceive any one except a husband ; 
that insults could be committed, but never pardoned. 

All these precepts might be wrong and illogical, but 
they were indubitable ; and, in fulfilling them, Vronsky 
felt that he was calm, and had the right to hold his head 
high. Only very recently, however, and during the 
progress of his intimacy with Anna, Vronsky began to 



perceive that his code did not fully determine all condi- 
tions, and the future promised to present difficulties and 
doubts through the labyrinth of which he could not find 
the guiding thread. 

Hitherto his relations with Anna and her husband 
had been, on his part, simple and clear ; they were in 
harmony with the code that guided him. 

She was a perfect lady, and she had given him her 
love ; he loved her, and therefore she had a right to his 
respect, even more than if she had been his legal wife. 
He would have cut off his hand sooner than permit him- 
self a word or an allusion that might wound her, or that 
would seem to fail in that respect on which, as a woman, 
she ought to count. 

His relations with society were also clear. All might 
know or suspect his relations with her, but no one 
should dare to speak of it. At the first hint, he was 
prepared to cause the speaker to hold his peace, and to 
respect the non-existent honor of the woman whom he 

Still more clear were his relations to the husband : 
from the first moment when Anna gave him her love 
he considered his right and his only imprescriptible. 
The husband was merely a superfluous and meddlesome 
person. Without doubt, he was in a pitiable position ; 
but what could be done about it ? The only right that 
was left him was to demand satisfaction with arms in 
their hands, and for this Vronsky was wholly willing. 

In the last few days, however, new complications had 
arisen in their relationship, and Vronsky was alarmed 
at his uncertainty. Only the evening before, Anna had 
confessed that she was pregnant ; and he felt that this 
news and what she expected from him demanded some- 
thing that was not defined by the code of rules by which 
he ruled his life. Indeed, he was taken unawares, and 
at the first moment, when she told him her situation, 
his heart bade him take her from her husband. H^ 
said this, but now on reflection he saw clearly that it 
would be better not to do so ; but at the same time he 
was alarmed and perplexed. 


" If I urge her to leave her husband, it would mean 
— unite her life with mine. Am I ready for that ? How 
can I elope with her when I have no money ? Let us 

admit that I could manage that But how can I take 

her away while I am connected with the service ? If I 
should decide upon this, I should have to get money, 
and throw up my commission." 

And he fell into thought. The question of resigning, 
or not, brought him face to face with another interest of 
his life known only to himself, though it formed the 
principal spur to his action. 

Ambition had been the dream of his childhood and 
youth, a dream which he did not confess even to himself, 
but which was nevertheless a passion so strong that now 
it fought with his love. His first advances in society, 
and in his military career, had been brilliant, but two 
years before he had made a serious blunder. Wishing 
to show his independence, and to cause a sensation, he 
refused a promotion offered him, with the hope that his 
refusal would put a still higher value upon him. But it 
seemed that he was too confident, and since then he had 
been neglected. Finding himself reduced nolens volens 
to the position of an independent man, he accepted it, 
behaving with perfect propriety and wisdom, as if he 
had nothing to complain of, and counted himself 
slighted by no one, but asked only to be left in peace 
to amuse himself as he pleased. 

In reality, as the year went on, and even before he 
went to Moscow, this pleasure had begun to pall on him. 
He felt that this independent position of a man capable 
of doing anything, but caring to do nothing, was begin- 
ning to grow tame, that many people were beginning to 
think that he was incapable of doing anything, instead 
of being a good, honorable young fellow. 

His relations with Madame Karenin, by making such 
a sensation and attracting attention to him, for a 
time calmed the gnawings of the worm of ambition; 
but lately this worm had begun to gnaw with renewed 
energy. Serpukhovskoi — the friend of his childhood, 
belonging to his own circle, a chum of his in the School 


of Pages, who had graduated with him, who had been 
his rival in the class-room and in gymnasium, in his 
pranks and in his dreams of ambition — had just returned 
from Central Asia, where he had been promoted two 
tchins and won honors rarely given to such a young 

He had only just come to Petersburg, and people were 
talking about him as a new rising star of the first magni- 

Just Vronsky's age, and his intimate friend, he was a 
general, and was expecting an appointment which would 
give him great influence in the affairs of the country ; 
while Vronsky, though he was independent and brilliant, 
and loved by a lovely woman, was only a rotniistr, or 
cavalry captain, whom they allowed to remain as inde- 
pendent as he pleased. 

" Of course," he said to himself, " I am not envious 
of Serpukhovskoif and could not be ; but his promotion 
proves that a man like me needs only to bide his time 
in order to make a rapid rise in his profession. Three 
years ago he was in the same position as I am now. If 
I left the service, I should burn my ships. If I stay in 
the service, I lose nothing ; she herself told me that she 
did not want to change her position. And I, who am 
sure of her love, cannot be envious of Serpukhovskol." 

And, slowly twisting his mustache, he arose from the 
table, and began to walk up and down the room. His 
eyes shone with extraordinary brilliancy ; and he was 
conscious of that calm, even, and joyous state of mind 
which he always felt after he had cleared up any situa- 
tion. All was now clear and orderly as ever. He shaved, 
took a cold-water bath, dressed, and prepared to go out. 


>; T 

- •■"il WAS coming for you," said Petritsky, entering the 
room. " Your cleaning up took a long time to-day, 
didn't it ? Are you through } " 

"All through," said Vronsky, smiling only with his 


eyes, and continuing to twist the ends of his mustache 
deliberately, as if, after this work of regulation were 
accomplished, any rash and quick, motion might de- 
stroy it. 

" You always come out of this operation as from a 
bath," said Petritsky, "I come from Gritska's," — so 
they called their regimental commander, — "they are 
waiting for you." 

Vronsky looked at his comrade without replying; his 
thoughts were elsewhere. 

" Ah ! then that music is at his house .-' " he remarked, 
hearing the well-known sounds of waltzes and polkas, 
played by a military band. " What is the celebration .-' " 

"Serpukhovskoi has come." 

" Ah ] " said Vronsky, " I did not know it." 

The smile in his eyes was brighter than ever. 

Having once decided for himself that he was happy 
in his love, he had elected to sacrifice his ambition to 
his love. Having at least taken on himself to play this 
part, he could feel neither envy at Serpukhovskoi, nor 
vexation because he, returning to the regiment, had not 
come first to see him. Serpukhovskoi was a good friend 
of his, and Vronsky was glad for him. 

" Ah ! I am very glad." 

The regimental commander, Demin, lived in a large 
seignorial mansion. All the company had assembled on 
the lower front balcony. What first struck Vronsky's 
eyes as he reached the door were the singers of the 
regiment, in summer uniform, grouped around a keg of 
xTodka, and the healthy, jovial face of the regimental 
commander as he stood surrounded by his officers. He 
had come out on the front step of the balcony, and was 
screaming louder than the band, which was playing one 
of Offenbach's quadrilles. He was giving some orders 
and gesticulating to a group of soldiers on one side. 
A group of soldiers, the vakhniistr, or sergeant, and a 
few non-commissioned officers, reached the balcony at 
the same instant with Vronsky. The regimental com- 
mander, who had been to the table, returned with a glass 


of champagne to the front steps, and proposed the 
toast, — 

" To the health of our old comrade, the brave general, 
Prince Serpukhovskot. Hurrah ! " 

Behind the regimental commander came Serpukhov- 
skoY, smiling, with a glass in his hand. 

" You are always young, Bondarenko," said he to the 
sergeant, a ruddy-cheeked soldier, who stood directly in 
front of him. 

Vronsky had not seen Serpukhovskoi for three years. 
He had grown older, and wore whiskers, but he was the 
same well-built man, striking not so much for his good 
looks as for the nobility and gentleness of his face and 
his whole bearing. The only change that Vronsky 
noted in him was the slight but constant radiance 
which can generally be seen in the faces of people who 
have succeeded and made everybody else believe in 
their success. Vronsky had seen it in other people, 
and now he detected it in SerpukhovskoL 

As he descended the steps he caught sight of Vronsky, 
and a smile of joy irradiated his face. He nodded to 
him, lifting his wine-cup as a greeting, and at the same 
time to signify that first he must drink with the sergeant, 
who, standing perfectly straight, had puckered his lips 
for the kiss. 

" Well, here he is ! " cried the regimental commander ; 
" but Yashvin was telling me that you were in one of 
your bad humors." 

Serpukhovskoif, having kissed the young sergeant's 
moist, fresh lips, wiped his mouth with his handker- 
chief, and came to Vronsky. 

" Well, how glad I am ! " he said, shaking hands, and 
drawing him on one side. 

" Bring him along," cried the regimental commander 
to Yashvin, pointing to Vronsky, and descending to join 
the soldiers. 

" Why were n't you at the races yesterday .-* I ex- 
pected to see you," said Vronsky to Serpukhovskoif, 
studying his face. 

" I did come, but too late. Excuse me," he said ; 


and, turning to his aide, " Please have this distributed 
with my thanks; only have it get to the men." 

And he hurriedly took out of his pocket-book three 
hundred-ruble notes, and the color came into his face. 

" Vronsky, will you have something to eat or drink .-' " 
asked Yashvin. "Hey! bring something to the count 
here. There, now, drink this." 

The feasting at the regimental commander's lasted a 
long time. They drank a great deal. They toasted 
Serpukhovskoi, and carried him on their shoulders. 
They cheered also the regimental commander. Then 
the regimental commander and Petritsky danced a Rus- 
sian dance, while the regimental singers made the music ; 
and when he was tired, he sat down on a bench in the 
court, and tried to prove to Yashvin Russia's superiority 
over Prussia, especially in cavalry charges ; and the gay- 
ety calmed down for a moment. Serpukhovskoi went 
into the house to wash his hands, and found Vronsky in 
the toilet-room. Vronsky was splashing the water. He 
had taken off his kitel, and was sousing his head and 
his handsome neck under the tap of the basin, and rub- 
bing them with his hands. When he had finished his 
ablutions, he sat down by Serpukhovskoif. They sat 
together, on a divanchik, and a conversation very inter- 
esting to both parties arose between them. 

"ii have- learned all about you through my wife," 
said Serpukhovskoi'. " I am glad that you see her so 
of Jen." 

*ISne is a friend of Varia's, and they are the only 
women in Petersburg that I care to see," said Vronsky, 
with a smile. He smiled because he foresaw on what 
subject the conversation would turn, and it was pleasing 
to him. 

" The only ones .■* " repeated Serpukhovskoif, also smil- 

" Yes ; and I, too, know all about you, but not 
through your wife only," said Vronsky, cutting the 
allusion short by the suddenly stern expression of his 
face ; " and I am very glad at your success, but not the 
least surprised. I expected even more." 

VOL, 11. — 7 


SerpukhovskoY smiled again. This flattering opinion 
of him pleased him, and he saw no reason to hide it. 

"I, on the contrary, I confess frankly, expected less. 
But I am glad, very glad. I am ambitious ; it is my 
weakness, and I confess it." 

" Perhaps you would n't confess it if you were n't suc- 
cessful," suggested Vronsky. 

" I don't think so," replied SerpukhovskoV, smiling 
again. " I will not say that life would not be worth 
living without it, but it would be tiresome. Of course 
I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that I have some 
of the qualifications necessary to the sphere of activity 
which I have chosen, and that in my hands power of 
any sort soever would be better placed than in the 
hands of many whom I know," said Serpukhovskol, 
with the radiant expression of success; "and there- 
fore, the nearer I am to this, the more contented I 

" Perhaps this is true for you, but not for everybody. 
I used to think so, and yet I live, and no longer find 
that ambition is the only aim of existence." 

" Here we have it ! Here we have it ! " cried Serpu- 
khovskoT, laughing. " I began by saying that I heard 
about you, about your refusal .... of course I approved 
of you. There is a way for everything ; and I think 
that your action itself was well, but you did' noj: do it 
in the right way." "J ; ' • ;, . i 

"What is done, is done; and you know I never'^o 
back on what I have done. Besides, I am very-'Well 

" Very well — for a time. But you will not be con- 
tented so forever. I do not refer to your brother. He 
is a very good fellow — just like this host of ours. 
Hark! hear that.?" he added, hearing the shouts and 
hurrahs. "He may be happy, but this will not satisfy 

" I don't say that I am satisfied." 

" Well, this is not the only thing. Such men as you 
are necessary ! " 

" To whom ? " 


" To whom ? to society ; to Russia. Russia needs 
men, she needs a party ; otherwise all is going, and will 
go, to the dogs." 

" What do you mean ? — Bertenef s party against the 
Russian communists ? " 

" No," said SerpukhovskoT, with a grimace of vexa- 
tion that he should be accused of any such nonsense. 
" Tout ^a est une blague! — All that is fudge! This al' 
ways has been, and always will be. There aren't any 
communists. But intriguing people must needs invent 
some malignant dangerous party. It 's an old joke. 
No, a powerful party is needed, of independent men, 
like you and me." 

" But why," — Vronsky named several influential men, 
— " but why are n't they among the independents } " 

" Simply because they had not, through birth, an in^ 
dependent position, or a name, and have not lived near 
the sun, as we have. They can be bought by money 
or flattery. And to maintain themselves, they must 
fix on a certain course, and follow it, though they do 
not attach any importance to it, and even though it 
may be bad. They have only one object in view — 
the means of securing a home at the expense of the 
crown and certain salaries. Cela nest pas plus fin que 
qa} when you look at their cards. Maybe I am worse 
or more foolish than they, though I don't see why I 
should be. But I have, and you have, the one inesti- 
mable advantage, that it is harder to buy us. And such 
men are more than ever necessary now." 

Vronsky listened attentively, not only because of the 
meaning of his words, but because of their connection 
with the case of Serpukhovskoi himself, who was about 
to engage in the struggle with power, and was entering 
into that official world, with its sympathies and antip- 
athies, while he was occupied only with the interests 
of his squadron. Vronsky perceived how strong Ser- 
pukhovskoT might be, with his unfailing aptitude for 
invention, his quickness of comprehension, his intellect, 
and fluent speech, so rarely met with in the circle in 

1 That is all that it amounts to. 


which he lived. And, though his conscience reproached 
him, he felt a twinge of envy. 

" All that I need for this is the one essential thing," 
said he, — " the desire for power. I had it, but it is 

" Excuse me ; I don't believe you," said Serpukhov- 
skof, smiling. 

" No, it is true, true — now — to be frank with you," 
persisted Vronsky. 

" Yes, true now, — that is another affair ; this now 
will not last forever." 

" Maybe." 

"You say maybe ; and I tell you certainly not," con- 
tinued Serpukhovskoif, as if he divined his thought 
" And this is why I wanted to see you. You acted as 
you felt was necessary. I understand that ; but it is 
not necessary for you to stick to it.^ All I ask of you 
is carte blanche for the future. I am not your patron .... 
and yet why should I not take you under my protection .'' 
Have you not often done as much for me ? I hope that 
our friendship stands above that. There ! " said he, 
smiling at him tenderly, like a woman. " Give me carte 
blanche. Come out of your regiment, and I will help 
you along so that it won't be known." 

" But understand that I want nothing," said Vronsky, 
"except that all should be as it has been." 

Serpukhovskoif arose, and stood facing him. 

" You say that all must be as it has been. I under- 
stand what you mean ; but listen to me. We are of the 
same age ; maybe you have known more women than 
I." His smile and his gesture told Vronsky to have no 
fear that he would not touch gently and delicately on 
the tender spot. " But I am married ; and, believe me, 
as some one or other wrote, he who knows only his wife, 
and loves her, understands all women better than if he 
had known a thousand." 

"We 're coming directly," cried Vronsky to an officer 
who looked into the room and said he was sent by the 
regimental commander. 

^ Per sever irovat. 


Vronsky now felt curious to hear and to know what 
Serpukhovskoi' would say to him. 

" And this is my idea : Women are the principal 
stumbling-block in the way of a man's activity. It is 
hard to love a woman, and to do anything else. There 
is only one way to love with comfort, and without 
hindrance ; and that is, to marry. And how can I ex- 
plain to you what I mean," continued Serpukhovskoi', 
who was fond of metaphors, — "wait, wait !.... yes ! 
how can you carry a burden and do anything with your 
hands until the burden is tied on your back ? And so 
it is with marriage. And I found this out when I mar- 
ried. My hands suddenly became free. But to carry 
this fm'dcau without marriage, your hands will be so full 
that you can't do anything. Look at Mazankof, Krupof. 
They ruined their careers through women." 

" But what women ! " said Vronsky, remembering the 
Frenchwoman and the actress for whom these two men 
had formed attachments. 

"The higher the woman is in the social scale, the 
greater the difficulty. It is just the same as — not to 
carry your fardeaii in your hands, but to tear it from 
some other man." 

" You have never loved," murmured Vronsky, looking 
straight ahead, and thinking of Anna. 

" Perhaps ; but you think of what I have told you. 
And one thing more : women are all more material than 
men. We make something immense out of love, but 
they are all terre-d-terre — of the earth, earthy." 

" Will be there immediately ! " he said, addressing the 
lackey who was coming into the room. But the lackey 
was not a messenger for him, as he supposed. The 
lackey brought Vronsky a note. 

" A man brought this from the Princess Tverskaya." 

Vronsky hastily read the note, and grew red in the face. 

" I have a headache. I am going home," said he to 

"Well, then, proshchai ! farewell; will you give me 
carte blanclic ? " 

" We will talk about it by and by, I will call on you 
in Petersburg." 



It was already six o'clock; and in order not to miss 
his appointment, or to go with his own horses, which 
everybody knew, Vronsky engaged Yashvin's hired car- 
riage, and told the izvoshchik to drive with all speed. 
It was a spacious old carriage, with room for four. He 
sat in one corner, stretched his legs out on the empty 
seat, and began to think. 

The confused consciousness of the order in which he 
had regulated his affairs ; the confused recollection of 
the friendship and flattery of SerpukhovskoY, who 
assured him that he was an indispensable man ; and 
most of all, the expectation of the coming interview, — 
conspired to give him a keen sense of the joy of living. 
This impression was so powerful that he could not keep 
from smiling. He stretched his legs, threw one knee 
over the other, felt for the contusion that his fall had 
given him the evening before, and drew several long 
breaths with full lungs. 

" Good, very good," said he to himself. Oftentimes 
before he had felt a pleasure in the possession of his 
body, but never had he so loved it, or loved himself, as 
now. It was even pleasurable to feel the slight sore- 
ness in his leg, pleasurable was the mouse-like sensation 
of motion on his breast when he breathed. 

This same bright, fresh, August day, which so im- 
pressed Anna with its hopelessness, stimulated, vitalized 
him, and cooled his face and neck, which still burned 
from the reaction after his bath. The odor of brillian- 
tine from his mustaches seemed pleasant to him in this 
fresh atmosphere. Everything that he saw from the 
carriage-window seemed to him in this cool, pure air, in 
this pale light of the dying day, fresh, joyous, and health- 
ful, like himself. And the housetops shining in the rays 
of the setting sun, the outlines of the fences and the 
edifices along the way, and the shapes of occasional 
pedestrians and carriages hurrying hither and thither, 
and the motionless green of the trees, and the lawns, 


and the fields with their straight-cut rows of potato- 
hills, and the oblique shadows cast by the houses and 
the trees, and even by the potato-hills, — all was as 
beautiful as an exquisite landscape just from the mas- 
ter's hand, and freshly varnished. 

" Make haste, make haste ! " he shouted, pushing up 
through the window a three-ruble note to the driver, 
who turned round and looked down at him. 

The izvoshchik's hand arranged something about the 
lantern, then the crack of the knout was heard, and the 
carriage whirled rapidly over the even pavement. 

" I need nothing, nothing, but this pleasure," he 
thought, as his eyes rested on the knob of the bell, 
fastened between the windows, and he imagined Anna 
as she seemed when last he saw her. " The farther I 
go, the more I love her. — Ah ! here is the garden of 
the Vrede datcha. Where shall I find her,'' How.? 
Why did she make this appointment ? and why did she 
write on Betsy's note .-* " 

This struck him for the first time, but he had no time 
to think about it. He stopped the driver before they 
reached the driveway, and, getting out of the carriage, 
he went up the walk which led to the house. There was 
no one on the avenue; but looking toward the right he 
saw her. Her face was covered with a veil ; but with a 
joyful glance, he recognized her immediately, by her 
graceful motion as she walked, by the slope of her 
shoulders, and the pose of her head, and he felt as if an 
electric shock had passed through him. With new 
strength he felt the joy of life and of action, even from 
the movements of his limbs to the involuntary motion of 
respiration, and something made his lips twitch. 

When he came near her, she eagerly seized his hand. 

"You are not angry because I asked you to come .-' I 
absolutely needed to see you," she said ; and the serious 
and stern closing of the lips, which he saw under the 
veil, quickly put an end to his jubilant spirits. 

" I angry .'' but how did you come .'' when ? " 

" No matter about that," said she, taking Vronsky's 
arm. "Come ; I must have a talk with you." 


He perceived that something had happened, and that 
their interview would not be joyful. While with her, he 
could not control his will. Though he did not know 
what her agitation portended, yet he felt that it had 
taken possession of him also. 

" What is it ? What is the matter .-• " he asked, press- 
ing her arm, and trying to read her thoughts by her 

She went a few steps in silence, so as to get her 
breath ; then she suddenly halted. 

" I did not tell you last evening," she began, breath- 
ing fast and painfully, " that, on the way home with 
AlekseY Aleksandrovitch, I confessed to him everything 
....I said that I could not be his wife .... that .... and I 
told him all." 

He listened, involuntarily leaning toward her, as if he 
wished to lighten for her the difficulty of this confi- 
dence ; but as soon as she finished speaking, he sud- 
denly drew himself up, and his face assumed a haughty 
and stern expression. 

" Yes ! yes ! that was better, a thousand times better, 
I understand how hard it must have been," he said. 

But she did not heed his words, she read his thoughts 
by the expression of his face. She could not know that 
the expression of his face arose from the first thought 
that came into his mind — the thought that a duel could 
not now be avoided. Never had a thought of a duel 
entered her head, and therefore she interpreted the 
momentary expression of sternness in a quite different 

Since the arrival of her husband's letter, she felt in 
the bottom of her heart that all would remain as before ; 
that she should not have the strength to sacrifice her 
position in the world, to abandon her son and join her 
lover. The morning spent with the Princess Tverskaya 
confirmed her in this. But this interview with Vronsky 
seemed to her to be of vital importance. She hoped that 
it might change their relations and save her. If, on 
hearing this news, he had said decidedly, passionately, 
without a moment's hesitation, " Leave all, and come 


with me," she would even have abandoned her son, and 
gone with him. But what she told him did not produce 
on him at all the impression which she had expected; 
he seemed, if anything, vexed and angry. 

" It was not hard for me at all. It came of its own 
accord," she said, with a touch of irritation ; " and here" 
— she drew her husband's letter from her glove. 

" I understand, I understand," interrupted Vronsky, 
taking the letter, but not reading it, and trying to calm 
Anna. "The one thing I wanted, the one thing I 
prayed for put an end to this situation, so that I 
could devote my whole life to your happiness." 

" Why do you say that to me .'' " she asked. " Can I 
doubt it.? If I doubted...." 

" Who are those coming } " asked Vronsky, abruptly, 
seeing two ladies coming in their direction. " Perhaps 
they know us." And he hastily drew Anna with him 
down a side alley. 

" Akh ! it is all the same to me," she said. 

Her lips trembled, and it seemed to Vronsky that her 
eyes looked at him from under her veil with strange 

" As I said, in all this affair, I cannot doubt you. 
But here is what he wrote me. Read it." 

And again she halted. Again, as when he first 
learned of Anna's rupture with her husband, Vronsky, 
beginning to read this letter, involuntarily abandoned 
himself to the impression awakened in him by the 
thought of his relations to the deceived husband. 
Now that he had the letter in his hand, he imagined 
the challenge, which he would receive that day or the 
next, and the duel itself, at the moment when, with the 
same cool and haughty expression which now set his 
face, he woul5 stand in front of his adversary, and, 
having discharged his weapon in the air, would wait 
the outraged husband's shot. And at this very instant 
SerpukhovskoY's words and what he himself had felt 
that day flashed through his mind, " Better not tie 
yourself down ; " and she knew that he could not ex- 
press his thought before her. 


After he read the note, he raised his eyes to her, and 
there was indecision in his look. She instantly per- 
ceived that he had thought this matter over before. 
She knew that whatever he said to her, he would not 
say all that he thought. And she realized that her last 
hope had vanished. This was not what she had desired. 

"You see what sort of a man he is," said she, with 
faltering voice. " He .... " 

" Excuse me, but I am glad of this," said Vronsky, in- 
terrupting. " For God's sake, let me speak," he quickly 
added, beseeching her with his look to give him time to 
explain his words. " I am glad, because this cannot, 
and never could go on as he imagines." 

"Why can't it.'"' demanded Anna, holding back her 
tears, and evidently attaching no importance to what 
he said. She felt that her fate was already settled. 

Vronsky meant that after the duel, which he felt was 
inevitable, this situation must be changed ; but he said 
something quite different. 

" It cannot go on so. I hope that now you will leave 
him, I hope" — he stumbled and grew red — "that 
you will allow me to take charge of our lives, and regu- 
late them. To-morrow ,... " he began to say. 

She did not allow him to finish. 

"And my son!" she cried. "Do you see what he 
writes ? I must leave him ; but I cannot and I will 
not do that." 

" But, for God's sake, which is better, — to leave your 
son, or to continue this humiliating situation ? " 

" For whom is it a humiliating situation } " 

" For all of us, and especially for you," 

"You say humiliating! .... Don't say that. Forme 
that word has no meaning," said she, with trembhng 
voice. She could not bear now to have' him tell her a 
falsehood. Her love for him was trembling in the bal- 
ance, and she wished to love him. "You must know 
that for me, on that day when I first loved you, every- 
thing was transformed. For me there was one thing, 
and only one thing, — your love. If it is mine, then I 
feel myself so high, so firm, that nothing can be humili- 


ating to me. I am proud of my position, because .... 
proud that .... proud .... " She did not say why she was 
proud. Tears of shame and despair choked her utter- 
ance. She stopped, and began to sob. 

He also felt that something rose in his throat. For 
the first time in his life he felt ready to cry. He could 
not have said what affected him so. He was sorry for 
her, and he felt that he could not help her ; and, more 
than all, he knew that he was the cause of her unhap- 
piness, that he had done something abominable. 

" Then a divorce is impossible ?" he asked gently. 

She shook her head without replying. " Then, could 
you not take your son, and leave him .'' " 

" Yes ; but all this depends on him. Now I must go 
to him," she said dryly. Her presentiment that all 
would be as before was verified. 

" I shall be in Petersburg Tuesday, and everything 
will be decided." 

" Yes," she repeated. " But we shall not speak any 
more about that." 

Anna's carriage, which she sent away with the order 
to come back for her at the railing of the Vrede Garden, 
was approaching. Anna took leave of Vronsky, and 
went home. 


The Commission of the 2d of June usually held its 
sittings on Monday. 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch entered the committee-room, 
bowed to the members and the president as usual, and 
took his place, laying his hand on the papers made ready 
for him. Among the number were the data which he 
needed, and the outline of the proposition that he in- 
tended to make. These notes, however, were not neces- 
sary. His grasp of the subject was complete, and he 
did not need to refresh his memory as to what he was 
going to say. He knew that when the time came, and 
he should see his adversary vainly endeavoring to put 


on an expression of indifference, his speech would come 
of itself in better shape than he could now determine. 
He felt that the meaning of his speech was so great that 
every word would have its importance. Meantime, as 
he listened to the reading of the report, he had a most 
innocent and inoffensive expression. No one, seeing 
his white hands, with their swollen veins, his delicate, 
long fingers doubling up the two ends of the sheet of 
white paper lying before him, and his expression of 
weariness, as he sat with head on one side, would have 
believed it possible that, in a few moments, from his 
lips would proceed a speech which would raise a terrible 
tempest, cause the members of the Commission to outdo 
one another in screaming, and oblige the president to 
call them to order. 

When the report was finished, Alekseif Aleksandro- 
vitch, in his weak, shrill voice, said that he had a few 
observations to make in regard to the situation of the 
foreign tribes. Attention was concentrated on him. 
Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch cleared his throat, and, not 
looking at his adversary, but, as he always did at the 
beginning of his speeches, addressing the person who 
sat nearest in front of him, who happened to be a little, 
meek old man, without the slightest importance in the 
Commission, began to deliver his views. 

When he reached the matter of the fundamental and 
organic law, his adversary leaped to his feet, and began 
to reply. Stremof, who was also a member of the Com- 
mission, and also touched to the quick, arose to defend 
himself ; and the session proved to be excessively stormy. 
But Alekseif Aleksandrovitch triumphed, and his propo- 
sition was accepted. The three new commissions were 
appointed, and the next day in a certain Petersburg cir- 
cle this session formed the staple topic of conversation. 
Alekseif Aleksandrovitch's success far outstripped his 

The next morning, which was Tuesday, Alekseif Alek- 
sandrovitch, on awaking, recalled with pleasure his vic- 
tory of the day before ; and he could not repress a smile, 
although he wanted to appear indifferent, when the di- 


rector of the chancelry, wishing to flatter him, told him 
of the rumors which had reached his ears in regard to 
the proceedings of the Commission. 

Occupied as he was with the director of the chancelry, 
Aleksei Aleksandrovitch absolutely forgot that the day 
was Tuesday, the day set by him for Anna Arkadyevna's 
return ; and he was surprised and disagreeably impressed 
when a domestic came to announce that she had 

Anna reached Petersburg early in the morning. A 
carriage had been sent for her in response to her tele- 
gram, and so Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch might have known 
of her coming. But when she came, he did not go to 
receive her. She was told that he had not yet gone out, 
but was busy with the director of the chancelry. She 
bade the servant announce her arrival, and then went to 
her boudoir, and began to unpack her things, expecting 
that he would come to her. But an hour passed, and he 
did not appear. She went to the dining-room, under 
the pretext of giving some orders, and spoke unusually 
loud, thinking that he would join her there. But still 
he did not come, though she heard him come to the door 
of his library, accompanying the director of the chan- 
celry. She knew that it was his habit about this time 
to go to his office ; and she wanted to see him before 
that, so that their plan of action might be decided. 

She passed through the " hall," and, finally making up 
her mind, went to him. She stepped into the library. 
Dressed in his uniform, apparently ready to take his 
departure, he was sitting at a little table, leaning his 
elbows on it, and wrapped in melancholy thought. She 
saw him before he noticed her, and she knew that he 
was thinking of her. 

When he caught sight of her, he started to get up, 
hesitated, and then, for the first time since Anna had 
known him, he blushed. Then, quickly rising, he ad- 
vanced toward her, not looking at her eyes, but at her 
forehead and hair. He came to her, took her by the 
hand, and invited her to sit down. 

" I am very glad that you have come," he stammered, 


sitting down near her, and evidently desiring to talk with 
her. Several times he began to speak, but hesitated. 

Although she was prepared for this interview, and had 
made up her mind to defend herself, and accuse him, she 
did not know what to say to him, and she felt sorry for 
him. And so the silence lasted some little time. 

" Is Serozha well ? " at length he asked ; and, without 
waiting for an answer, he added, " I shall not dine at 
home to-day; I have to leave immediately." 

" I intended to start for Moscow," said Anna. 

" No ; you did very, very well to come home," he 
replied, and again was silent. 

Seeing that it was beyond his strength to begin the 
conversation, she herself began : — 

*' Aleksel Aleksandrovitch," said she, looking at him, 
and not dropping her eyes under his gaze, which was 
still concentrated on her head-dress, " I am a guilty 
woman ; I am a wicked woman ; but I am what I have 
been, — what I told you I was, — • and I have come to 
tell you that I cannot change." 

" I did not ask you about this," he replied instantly, 
with sudden resolution, and, with an expression of hate, 
looking straight into her eyes. " I presuppose that," 
Under the influence of anger, he apparently regained 
control of all his faculties. " But as I told you then, 
and wrote you," — he spoke in a sharp, shrill voice, — 
" I now repeat, that I am not obliged to know this. I 
ignore it. Not all women are so good as you are, to 
hasten to give their husbands such ^oxy pleasant news." 
He laid a special stress on the word priyattioye, " pleas- 
ant." " I will ignore it for the present, as long as the 
wdrld does not know, — as long as my name is not dis- 
honored. I, therefore, only warn you that our relations 
must remain as they always have been, and that only in 
case of your compro^nising yourself, shall I be forced to 
take measures to protect my honor." 

" But our relations cannot remain as they have been," 
she said with timid accents, looking at him in terror. 

As she once more saw his undemonstrative gestures, 
heard his mocking voice with its. sharp, childish tones, 


all the pity that she had begun to feel for him was driven 
away by the aversion that he inspired, and she had only 
a feeling of fear, which arose from the fact that she did 
not see any light in regard to their relations. 

" I cannot be your wife, when I .... " she began. 

He laughed with a cold and wicked laugh. 

" It must needs be that the manner of life which you 
have chosen is reflected in your ideas. I have too much 
esteem or contempt.... or rather I esteem your past, and 
despise your present.... too much for me to accept the 
interpretation which you put on my words." 

Anna sighed, and bowed her head. 

" Besides, I do not understand how you, having so 
much independence," he continued, growing excited, 
" and telling your husband up and down of your in- 
fidelity, and not finding anything blameworthy in it, as 
it seems, how you can find anything blameworthy either 
in the fulfilment of a wife's duties to her husband." 

" Alekseif Aleksandrovitch ! What do you require of 
me .? " 

" I require that I may never meet this man here, and 
that you comport yourself so that neither the world nor 
our seri'ants can accuse you .... that you do not see him. 
It seems to me that this is little. And in doing this, 
you will enjoy the rights of an honorable wife, though 
you do not fulfil the obligations. This is all that I have 
to say to you. Now it is time for me to go. I shall not 
dine at home." 

He got up, and went to the door. Anna also arose. 
He silently bowed, and allowed her to pass. 


The night spent by Levin on the hayrick was not 
without its lesson. His way of farming became repug- 
nant to him, and entirely lost its interest. Notwith- 
standing the excellent crops, never, or at least it seemed 
to him that never, had there been such failure, and such 
unfriendly relations between him and the muzhiks, as 


this year ; and now the reasons for this failure, and this 
animosity, were perfectly clear to him. The pleasure 
which he found in work itself, the resulting acquaintance 
with the muzhiks, the envy which seized him when he 
saw them and their lives, the desire to lead such a life 
himself, which on that night had been not visionary but 
real, now that he had thought over all the details neces- 
sary to carry out his desire, — all this taken together had 
so changed his views in regard to the management of his 
estate, that he could not take the same interest in it as 
before, and he could not help seeing how these un- 
pleasant relations with the laborers met him at every 
new undertaking. 

The herd of improved cows, like Pava ; all the fertil- 
ized lands plowed with European plows ; nine equal 
fields set round with young trees ; the ninety desyatins, 
covered with dressing well plowed in ; the deep drills 
and other improvements, — all was excellent as far as 
it concerned only himself or himself and the people who 
were in sympathy with him. 

But now he clearly saw — and his work, his treatise 
on rural economy, in which the principal element was 
found to be the laborer, helped him to this conclusion 

— that his present way of carrying on his estate was 
only a cruel and wicked struggle between him and the 
laborers, in which on one side, on his side, was a con- 
stant effort to change everything to what he thought a 
better model, while on the other side was the natural 
order of things. 

In this struggle, he saw that on his side there were 
effort and lofty purpose, and on the other no effort or 
purpose, and that the result was that the estate went 
from bad to worse ; beautiful tools were destroyed, 
beautiful cattle and lands ruined. The principal ob- 
jection was the energy absolutely wasted in this mat- 
ter ; but he could not help thinking now, when his 
thought was laid bare, that the aim of his energies 
was itself unworthy. In reality, where lay this quar- 
rel .'' He insisted on having every penny of his own, 

— and he could not help insisting on it, because he was 


obliged to use his energies to the utmost, otherwise he 
would not have wherewithal to pay his laborers, — and 
they insisted on working lazily and comfortably, in other 
words, as they had always done. 

It was for his interests that every laborer should do 
his very best ; above all, should strive not to break the 
winnowing-machines, the horse-rakes, the threshing- 
machines, so that he might accomplish what he was 

But the laborer wanted to do his work as easily 
as possible, with long breathing-spaces, with plenty 
of time for resting, and — what was more — without 
being bothered to think. 

This year Levin had this experience at every step. 
He sent men to mow the clover-fields, selecting the 
poorer portions to be done first, where the intermix- 
ture of grass and wormwood made the crop unfit for 
seed ; and they mowed his best fields, — those reserved 
for seed, — justifying themselves by saying that they 
had done what the overseer ordered, and trying to con- 
sole him with the assurance that it would make splen- 
did fodder. But he knew that they did this because 
these fields were the easiest ones to mow. 

He sent out the hay-making machine, but the muzhiks 
broke it on the first few rows because the driver, sitting 
on the box-seat, disliked having the arms of the machine 
waving over his head ; and they tried to console him 
by saying : — 

" Oh, it 's all right ; the women will do the work 
easy enough." 

The new plows were condemned as good for nothing, 
because the muzhik did not think to raise the blade 
on turning a corner, but wrenched it round through 
the soil, thus tearing up the land and straining the 
horses. And here again they urged Levin to have 
patience with them. 

The horses strayed into the wheat, for the reason 
that no one would act regularly as night watchman, 
the muzhiks, in spite of strict orders to the contrary, 
insisting on taking the duty in turns ; and Vanka, who 


had been at work all day, fell asleep during his watch. 
When accused, he acknowledged his fault and only 
said : " Do what you please with me." 

Three of the best calves were poisoned. They were 
allowed to get into the clover aftermath without giving 
them water ; the result was that they were blown out 
and died. But the muzhiks would not believe that it 
was the clover that did the harm; and they tried to 
console Levin by informing him that one of his neigh- 
bors had lost one hundred and twelve head within three 
days in the same way. 

All these mishaps took place, not because any one 
wished ill either to Levin or to his estate ; on the con- 
trary, he knew that the muzhiks loved him, and called him 
" a simple-minded gentleman," — prostoi barin, — which 
was the highest praise. But these mishaps happened 
simply because the muzhiks liked to work merrily and 
carelessly ; and his interests were not only strange and 
incomprehensible to them, but even fatally clashed with 
what they thought their own true interests. 

For a long time Levin had felt that there was some- 
thing unsatisfactory in his methods. He saw that his 
canoe was leaking, but he could not find the leaks ; 
and he did not search for them, perhaps on purpose 
to deceive himself. Nothing would be left him if he 
should allow his illusions to perish. But now he could 
no longer deceive himself. Not only had his system 
of management become uninteresting, but had begun 
actually to disgust him, and he felt he could no longer 
continue it. 

Besides all this, Kitty Shcherbatsky was within thirty 
versts of hira, and he wanted to see her, and could 
not. .Miij.r: :■' 

Darya Alek^androvna Oblonskaya, when he called on 
her, invited him to come: — to come with the express 
purpose of renewing his offer to her sister, who, as she 
pretended to think, now cared for him. Levin himself, 
after he caught the ghmpse of Kitty Shcherbatsky, felt 
that he had not ceased to love her ; but he could not 
go to the Oblonskys', because he knew that she was 


there. The fact that he had offered himself, and she 
had refused him, put an unsurmountable barrier between 

" I cannot ask her to be my wife simply because she 
cannot be the wife of the man she wanted," he said to 

The thought of this made him cold and hostile toward 

" I have not the strength to go and talk with her with- 
out a sense of reproach, to look at her without angry 
feelings ; and she would feel even more incensed against 
me, and justly so. And besides, how can I go there 
now, after what Dar)'^a Aleksandrovna told me ? How 
can I help showing that I know what she told me ? 
That I go with magnanimity, — to pardon her, to be 
reconciled to her ! I, in her presence, play the ro/e of a 
pardoning and honor-conferring lover to her! — Why 
did Darya Aleksandrovna tell me that ? If I had met 
her accidentally, then perhaps everything might have 
been arranged of itself ; but now it is impossible, impos- 

Darya Aleksandrovna sent him a note, asking the 
loan of a side-saddle for Kitty. "They tell me you 
have a saddle," she wrote : " I hope that you will bring 
it yourself." 

This was too much for him. How could a sensible 
woman of any delicacy so lower her sister ? He wrote 
ten notes, and tore them all up, and then sent the saddle 
without any reply. To write that he would come was 
impossible, because he could not come : to write that he 
could not come because he was busy, or was going away 
somewhere, w-as still worse. So he sent the saddle with- 
out any reply ; and, with the consciousness that he was 
doing something disgraceful, on the next day, leaving 
the now disagreeable charge of the estate to the overseer, 
he set off to a distant district where there were magnificent 
snipe-marshes to see his friend Sviazhsky, who had 
lately invited him to fulfil an old project of making him 
a visit. The snipe-marshes in the district of Surof had 
long been an attraction to Levin, but on account of his 


farm-work he had kept postponing his visit there. Now 
he was glad to escape from the neighborhood of the 
Shcherbatskys, and especially from his estate, and to go 
on a hunting-expedition, which for all his tribulations was 
a sovereign remedy. 


In the district of Surof there were neither railways 
nor post-roads ; and Levin took his own horses, and 
went in a tarantas or traveling-carriage. 

When he was halfway, he stopped to get a meal at 
the house of a rich muzhik. The host, who was a bald, 
robust old man, with a great red beard, growing gray on 
the cheeks, opened the gate, crowding up against the 
post to let the troika enter. Pointing the coachman to 
a place under the shed in his large, neat, and orderly 
new courtyard, with charred sokJias or wooden-plows, 
the old man invited Levin to enter the room. A neatly 
clad young girl, with galoshes on her bare feet, stooping 
down, was washing up the floor in the new entry. When 
she saw Levin's dog, she was startled, and screamed, 
but immediately laughed at her own terror when she 
found that the dog would not bite. With her bare arm 
she pointed Levin to the living-room, then stooping 
down again, she hid her handsome face, and continued 
her scrubbing. 

" Will you have the samovar .-• " she asked. 

" Yes, please." 

The living-room was large, with a Dutch stove and 
a partition. Under the sacred images stood a table 
ornamented with colored designs, a bench, and two 
chairs. Near the doorway was a cupboard with dishes. 
The window-shutters were closed ; there were few flies ; 
and it was so neat that Levin took care that Laska, who 
had been flying over the road, and was covered with 
splashes of mud, should not soil the floor, and bade her 
lie down in the corner near the door. After glancing 
into the living-room. Levin went to the back of the house. 


A good-looking girl in galoshes, swinging her empty 
pails on the yoke, ran to get him water from the 

" Lively there," gayly shouted the old man to her ; and 
then he turned to Levin. " So, sir, you are going to see 
Nikolai Ivanovitch Sviazhsky.^* He often stops with 
us," he began to say in his garrulous style, as he leaned 
on the balustrade of the steps. But just as he was in 
the midst of telling about his acquaintance with Sviazh- 
sky, again the gate creaked on its hin^s, and the work- 
men came in from the fields with their harrows and 
wooden-plows. The horses attached to them were fat and 
in good condition. The laborers evidently belonged to 
the family : two were young fellows, and wore colored 
cotton shirts, and caps. The other two were hired men, 
and wore shabby shirts : one was an old man, the other 

The old peasant, starting down from the porch, went 
to the horses and began to unharness them. 

" Where have you been plowing .'' " 

" In the potato-fields. We 've finished with one 

You, Fyodot, don't bring the gelding, but leave him 
at the trough; we'll harness another." 

" Say, batyushka, shall I tell 'em to take out the plow- 
shares, or to bring 'em? " asked a big-framed, healthy- 
looking lad, evidently the old peasant's son. 

" Put 'em in the drags," replied the old man, coiling 
up the reins and throwing them on the ground. " Put 
things in order ; then we '11 have dinner." 

The handsome girl in galoshes came back to the house 
with her brimming pails swinging from her shoulders. 
Other women appeared from different quarters, — some 
young and comely, others old and ugly, with children 
and without children. 

The samovar began to sing on the stove. The work- 
men and the men of the household, having taken out 
their horses, came in to dinner. Levin, sending for his 
provisions from the tarantas, begged the old peasant 
to take tea with him. 

"Well, I have already drunk my tea," said the old 


peasant, evidently flattered by the invitation. " How- 
ever, for company's sake...." 

At tea Levin learned the whole history of the old 
man's domestic economy. Ten years before, he had 
rented of a lady one hundred and twenty desyatins, and 
the year before had bought them ; and he had rented 
three hundred more of a neighboring landowner. A 
small portion of this land, and that the poorest, he 
sublet ; but forty desyatins he himself worked, with the 
help of his sons ftnd two hired men. The old peasant 
complained that all was going bad ; but Levin saw that 
he complained only for form's sake, and that his affairs 
were flourishing. If they had been bad he would not 
have bought land for five hundred rubles, or married 
off his three sons and his nephew, or built twice after 
his izba was burned, and each time better. Notwith- 
standing the old peasant's complaints, it was evident 
that he felt pride in his prosperity, pride in his sons, 
in his nephew, his daughters, his horses, his cows, and 
especially in the fact that he owned all this domain. 

From his conversation with the old man. Levin learned 
that he believed in modern improvements. He planted 
many potatoes ; and his potatoes, which Levin saw in 
the storehouse, he had already dug and brought in, 
while on Levin's estate they had only begun to dig 
them. He used the " ploog " on the potato-fields, as he 
called the plow which he got from the proprietor. He 
sowed wheat. The little detail that the old peasant 
sowed rye, and fed his horses with it, especially struck 
Levin. How many times Levin, seeing this beautiful 
fodder going to waste on his own estate, had wished 
to harvest it ; but he found it impossible to accomplish 
it. The muzhik used it, and could not find sufficient 
praise for it. 

" How do the women do it ? " 

** Oh I they pile it up on one side, and then the cart 
comes for it." 

" But with us proprietors everything goes wrong with 
the hired men," said Levin, filUng his teacup and offer- 
ing it to him. 


"Thank you," replied the old man, taking the cup, 
but refusing the sugar, pointing to the lumps which 
lay in front of him. 

" How can you get along with hired men ? " said he. 
" It is ruinous. Here 's Sviazhsky, for example. We 
know what splendid land.... but they don't get decent 
crops, all from lack of care." 

" Yes ; but how do you do with your workmen .-' " 

" It 's all among ourselves. We watch everything. 
Lazybones, off they go ! We work with our own 

" Batyushka, Finogen wants you to give him the tar- 
water," said the woman in galoshes, looking in through 
the door. 

" So it is, sir," said the old man, rising ; and, having 
crossed himself many times before the ikons or sacred 
pictures, he once more thanked Levin, and left the 

When Levin went into the dark izba to give orders 
to his coachman, he found all the " men-folks " sitting 
down to dinner. The peasant women were on their 
feet helping. The healthy-looking young son, with his 
mouth full of kas/ia-gruel, got off some joke, and all 
broke into loud guffaws ; and more hilariously than 
the others laughed the woman in galoshes, who was 
pouring s/ic/ii, or cabbage soup, into a cup. 

It well might be that the jolly face of the woman 
in the galoshes cooperated powerfully with the whole 
impression of orderliness which this peasant home pro- 
duced on Levin ; but the impression was so strong that 
Levin could never get rid of it ; and all the way from 
the old man's to Sviazhsky's, again and again he 
thought of what he had seen at the farm-house as 
something deserving special attention. 



SviAZHSKY was predvodityel or marshal of the nobilit)) 
in his district. He was five years older than Levin, and 
had been married some time. His sister-in-law was an 
inmate of his family, and to Levin she was a very attrac- 
tive young lady ; and Levin knew that Sviazhsky and 
his wife would be very glad for him to marry her. He 
knew this infallibly, as marriageable young men usually 
know such things, and he knew also that though he 
dreamed of marriage, and was sure that this fascinat- 
ing young lady would make a charming wife, he would 
sooner have been able to fly to heaven than to marry 
her, even if he had not been in love with Kitty Shcher- 
batsky. And this knowledge poisoned his pleasure in 
his prospective visit. 

On receiving Sviazhsky's letter, with its invitation to 
go hunting, Levin had immediately thought about this ; 
but in spite of it, decided that such views in regard to 
him on the part of Sviazhsky were entirely gratuitous, 
and he decided to accept the invitation. Moreover he 
had in the depths of his soul a strong curiosity to see 
this girl once more, and experiment on the effect that 
she would produce on him. 

Sviazhsky's domestic life was in the highest degree 
pleasant, and Sviazhsky himself was the very best type 
of the proprietor devoted to the affairs of the province, 
and this fact always interested Levin. 

He was one of those men that always excited Levin's 
amazement, whose opinions, very logical, although never 
self -formed, take one direction, while their lives, perfectly 
defined and confident in their course, take another, abso- 
lutely independent of each other and almost always in op- 
position. Sviazhsky was a thorough-going liberal. He 
despised the nobility, charged the majority of the nobles 
with secretly, and from motives of cowardice, opposing 
emancipation ; and he regarded Russia as a rotten coun- 
try like Turkey, and its government so wretched that he 
did not permit himself seriously to criticize its acts ; and 


yet he had accepted public office, and attended faithfully 
to his duties. He never even went out without donning 
his official cap, with its red border and cockade. He 
declared that human existence was endurable only 
abroad, where he was going to Hve at the first oppor- 
tunity ; but at the same time he carried on in Russia a 
very complicated estate ^ in the most perfect style, and 
was interested in all that was going on in Russia, and 
was fully up with the times. The Russian muzhik, in 
his eyes, stood between man and monkey ; but, when 
the elections came, he gave his hand to the peasants by 
preference, and listened to them with the utmost atten- 
tion. He believed neither in God nor in the devil ; but 
he showed great concern in the questions concerning 
ameliorating the condition of the clergy, and the dimi- 
nution of the revenues, and moreover he labored with 
especial zeal to have his village church kept in repair. 

In regard to the complete emancipation of woman and 
especially her right to work, he sided with the most ex- 
treme supporters of this doctrine, but he lived with his 
wife in such perfect harmony that though they had no 
children every one admired them, and he took entire 
direction of the family affairs, so that his wife did noth- 
ing, and could do nothing, except in cooperation with 
him, in order to pass the time as agreeably as possible. 

If Levin had not been naturally disposed to see the 
best side of people the analysis of Sviazhsky's character 
would have caused him no trouble or question; he would 
have said to himself : " Fool or Good-for-nothing," and 
that would have been the end of it. But he could not 
say fool — dnrak — because Sviazhsky was undoubtedly 
not only very clever, but also a very cultivated and an ex- 
traordinarily simple-hearted man, entirely free from con- 
ceit ; there was no subject which he did not know ; but 
he displayed his knowledge only when it was needed. 
Still less could he say that he was a good-for-nothing, be- 

^ Khozyaistvo includes household economy, the outside interests, farm- 
ing, mills, — everything connected with an estate. The master of an 
estate is called khozyatn, the mistress khozyaika, — terms often used foi 
host and hostess. ' 


cause Sviazhsky was unquestionably an honorable, excel- 
lent, sensible man, who was always doing his work 
cheerfully and alertly, and had apparently never inten- 
tionally done anything wrong or could do anything 

Levin tried to comprehend and could not understand 
him and always looked at him and his life as a living 

He and Levin had been friends and therefore Levin 
allowed himself to study Sviazhsky, and tried to trace 
his view of life to the very source. But this was always 
an idle task. Every time Levin made the effort to pene- 
trate a little farther into the hidden chambers of Svia- 
zhsky's mind he discovered that the man was somewhat 
confused ; a sort of terror showed itself in his eyes, as 
if he feared that Levin was going to entrap him ; and he 
would give him a good-natured and jolly rebuff. 

Now, after his disenchantment on the subject of 
farm management. Levin was especially glad to be at 
Sviazhsky's. To say nothing of the fact that he was 
always pleasantly impressed by the sight of these doves 
so contented with themselves and all they possessed, 
and their comfortable nest, he had a great longing, now 
that he was so dissatisfied with his own life, to discover 
the secret of his having such clear, decided, and cheer- 
ful views of life. Moreover, Levin knew that he should 
meet at Sviazhsky's the proprietors of the neighborhood, 
and he was especially desirous to talk with them, to 
hear about their experiences in farm management, about 
their crops, their ways of hiring service, and the like, 
which, as Levin knew well, it was the fashion to regard 
as very trifling topics of conversation, but which seemed 
to him more important than anything else. 

" Perhaps these things were not important during the 
days of serfdom or in England. In both those cases 
conditions are definitely fixed ; but with us at the pres- 
ent time when everything has been overturned and the 
new order is only just begun, the question how to regu- 
late these conditions is the only important one in Rus- 
sia." Such was Levin's conviction. 


The hunting which Sviazhsky gave him was poorer 
than Levin had expected : the marshes were dry, and the 
woodcock scarce. Levin walked all day, and bagged 
only three birds ; but in compensation he brought back 
with him as always from hunting a ravenous appetite, 
capital spirits, and that intellectual excitement which 
violent physical exercise always gave him. Even while 
he was out hunting, while, as it would seem, his thoughts 
were not busy about anything, he kept remembering the 
old man and his family, and the impression remained 
with him that there was some peculiar tie between him- 
self and that family. 

In the evening, at the tea-table in the company of 
two proprietors, who had come on some business with 
the marshal, the interesting conversation that he had 
looked forward to soon began. At the tea-table Levin 
sat next the hostess and had to keep up a conversa- 
tion with her and her sister who sat opposite him. His 
hostess was a moon-faced lady of medium stature and 
light complexion, all radiant with smiles and dimples. 
Levin endeavored, through her, to unravel the enigma 
which her husband's character offered him ; but he 
could not get full control of his thoughts, because oppo- 
site him sat the pretty sister-in-law in a gown worn, 
as it seemed to him, for his especial benefit, with a 
square corsage cut rather low in front, and giving a 
glimpse of a very white bosom. This decollete gown, in 
spite of the fact that the bosom was very white or per- 
haps from the very reason that it was very white, stopped 
the free flow of his thought. He could not help imagin- 
ing, though of course erroneously, that this display was 
made for his benefit, and yet he felt that he had no 
right to look at it, and he tried not to look at it ; but he 
was conscious of being to blame for her wearing such 
a gown. It seemed to Levin that he was deceiving some 
one, that he ought to make some kind of an explanation, 
but that it was an utter impossibility to do it, and so he 
kept blushing and felt ill at ease, and his constraint com- 
municated itself to the pretty young lady. But the hostess 
seemed not to notice it, and kept up a lively conversation. 


" You say that my husband does not take an interest 
in Russian affairs ? " she asked. " On the contrary, he 
was happy when he was abroad, but not so happy as he 
is here. Here he feels that he is in his sphere. He 
has so much to do, and he has the faculty of interesting 
himself in everything. Oh ! you have not been to see 
our school, have you .-' " 

" Yes, I have, — that little house covered with ivy.-*" 

" Yes ; that is Nastia's work," said she, glancing at 
her sister. 

" Do you yourself teach ? " asked Levin, trying to 
look at Nastia's face, but feeling that, in spite of him- 
self, he would see the low corsage. 

" Yes, I teach, and intend to keep on teaching ; but we 
have an excellent schoolmistress. And we have gym- 

" No, thank you, I will not take any more tea," said 
Levin. He felt that he was committing a solecism; but 
he could not keep up the conversation, and he rose in 
confusion. "I am very much interested in what they 
are saying," he added, and went to the other end of 
the table, where the host was talking with the two 
landed proprietors. Sviazhsky was sitting with his side 
toward the table, twirling his cup around with one hand, 
and with the other stroking his long beard, lifting it up 
to his nose and dropping it again as if he were smell- 
ing of it. His bright black eyes were fixed with keen 
amusement on one of the proprietors, a man with a 
white mustache, who was complaining bitterly about 
the peasantry. Levin saw that Sviazhsky had an an- 
swer ready for the worthy gentleman's comical com- 
plaints, and could reduce his arguments to powder if 
his official position did not compel him to respect the 

The proprietor with the white mustache was evidently 
a narrow-minded country gentleman, an inveterate op- 
ponent of the emancipation, and an old-style farmer. 
Levin could see the signs of it in his old-fashioned, 
shiny coat, in his keen, angry eyes, in his well-balanced 
Russian speech, in his authoritative, slow, and studied 


manner, and his imperious gestures with his large, 
handsome, sunburnt hands, on one of which for sole 
ornament was an old-fashioned wedding-ring. 


" If it only were n't a pity to abandon what has been 
done, — cost so much labor, — it would be better to give 
up, sell out, go abroad, and hear * La Belle H^l^ne,' like 
Nikolai' Ivanovitch," the old proprietor was saying, while 
his intelligent face lighted up with a pleasant smile. 

" There now ! but still you don't sell out," said Niko- 
lai Ivanovitch Sviazhsky ; " so you must be well off, on 
the whole." 

" I am well off in one way, because I have a home of 
my own, with board and lodging. Besides, one always 
hopes that the peasantry will improve. But would you 
believe it, — this drunkenness, this laziness ! Everything 
goes to destruction. No horses, no cows. They starve 
to death. But try to help them, — take them for farm- 
hands : they manage to ruin you ; yes, even before a 
justice of the peace ! " ^ 

" But you, too, can complain to the justice of the 
peace," said Sviazhsky. 

" What ! I complain ? Not for the world ! All such 
talk shows that complaints are idle. Here, at the mill, 
they took their handsel, and went off. What did the 
justice of the peace do ? Acquitted them. Your only 
chance is to go to the communal court, — to the starshina. 
The starshina will have the man thrashed for you. He 
settles things in the old-fashioned way. If it were not 
for him you had better sell out, fly to the ends of the 
world ! " 

^ In the Russian w/r, or commune, the starshina, or elder, is the chief 
elected every three years. Before the emancipation of the serfs, in l86i, 
each commune had its volostndi sud, or district court, the decisions of 
which were often very ridiculous. Among the reforms instituted by the 
Emperor Alexander II. was the so-called mirovoismiya, justice or arbiter 
of the peace, — more properly, judge of the peace, — an innovation which 
at first caused much opposition among the peasantry. See Wallace's " Rus- 
sia " and Leroy Beaulieu's " L'Empire dcs Tsars." — Ed. 


The proprietor was evidently trying to tease Sviazhsky; 
but Sviazhsky tiot only did not lose his temper, but was 
much amused. 

" Well, we carry on our estates without these meas- 
ures," said he, smiling. " I and Levin and he." 

He pointed to the other proprietor. 

" Yes ; but ask Mikhail Petrovitch how his affairs are 
getting along. Is that a rational way ? " ^ demanded the 
proprietor, especially accenting the word " rational." 

" My way is very simple," said Mikhafl Petrovitch, 
" thank the Lord ! My whole business lies in seeing 
that the money is ready for the autumn taxes. The 
muzhiks come, and say, ' Batyushka, help us, father.' 
Well, all these muzhiks are neighbors ; I pity 'em. 
Well, I advance 'em the first third. Only I say, ' Re- 
member, children, I help you ; and you must help me 
when I need you, — sowing the oats, getting in the hay, 
harvesting,' Now, I get along with them as with my 
own family. To be sure, there are some among them 
who have n't any conscience." 

Levin, who knew of old about these patriarchal tra- 
ditions, exchanged glances with Sviazhsky ; and, inter- 
rupting Mikhail Petrovitch, he said, " How would you 
advise .'' " addressing the old proprietor with the gray 
mustache. " How do you think one's estate ought to be 
managed .-' " 

" Well, manage it just as Mikhafl Petrovitch does, — 
either give half the land to the muzhiks, or go shares 
with them. That is possible ; but, all the same, the 
wealth of the country is growing less and less. Places 
on my lands which in the time of serfage, under good 
management, produced ninefold, now produce only three- 
fold. Emancipation has ruined Russia," 

Sviazhsky looked at Levin with smiling eyes, and 
even made a. scarcely noticeable gesture to express his 
disdain, but Levin did not find the old proprietor's words 
ridiculous ; he understood them better than he under- 
stood Sviazhsky. Much that the old man said in his 
complaint, that Russia was ruined by the emancipation, 

' Ratsionalnoye khozydistvo. 


seemed to him true ; for him it was novel and unanswer- 
able. The proprietor evidently expressed his honest 
thought, — a thought which arose, not from any desire 
to show an idle wit, but from the conditions of his life, 
which had been spent in the country, where he could 
see the question practically from every side. 

" The fact is, please to acknowledge," continued the 
old proprietor, who evidently wished to show that he 
was not an enemy of civilization, " all progress is accom- 
plished by force alone. Take the reforms of Peter, of 
Catherine, of Alexander ; take European history itself ; 
still more so for progress in agriculture. The potato, 
for instance, — to introduce potatoes into Russia required 
force. We have not always plowed with iron plows ; 
perhaps they have been introduced into our domains, 
but it required force. Now, until recently, when we 
had control over our serfs, we proprietors could conduct 
our affairs with all sorts of improvements: drying-rooms 
and winnowing-machines and dung-carts — all sorts of 
tools — we could introduce, because we had the power ; 
and the muzhiks at first would oppose, and then would 
imitate us. But now, by the abrogation of serfage, they 
have taken away our authority ; and so our estates,^ 
now that everything is reduced to the same level, must 
necessarily sink back to the condition of primitive bar- 
barism. This is my view of it." 

"Yes, but why? If that were rational, then you 
could keep on with your improvements by aid of hired 
labor," said Sviazhsky. 

" We have no power. How could I ? allow me to 

" This — this is the working-force, the chief element 
in the problem before us," thought Levin. 

" With hired men." 

" Hired men will not work well, or work with good 
tools. Our laborers know how to do only one thing, — 
to drink like pigs, and, when they are drunk, to ruin 
everything you intrust them with. They water your 
horses to death, destroy your best harnesses, take the 

* Khozyatstvo. 


tires off your wheels and sell them to get drink, and 
stick bolts into your vvinnowing-machines so as to render 
them useless. Everything that is not done in their 
way is nauseous to them. And thus the affairs of our 
estates go from bad to worse. The lands are neglected, 
and go to weeds, or else are abandoned to the muzhiks. 
Instead of producing millions of tchetverts ^ of wheat, 
you can raise only a few hundred thousand. The pub- 
lic wealth is diminishing. If they were going to free 
the serfs, they should have done it gradually." .... 

And he developed his own scheme of emancipation 
whereby all these difficulties would have been avoided. 

This plan did not interest Levin, but when the gen- 
tleman had finished he returned to his first proposition, 
with the hope of inducing Sviazhsky to tell what he 
seriously thought about it. He said, addressing Svia- 
zhsky : — 

" It is very true that the level of our agriculture -is 
growing lower and lower, and that in our present rela- 
tions with the peasantry, it is impossible to carry on our 
estates rationally," he said. 

" I am not of that opinion," said Sviazhsky, seriously. 
" I only see that we are not up to the point of manag- 
ing our estates, and that on the contrary, since serfage 
was abolished, agriculture has decayed ; I argue that 
in those days it was very wretched, and very low. We 
never had any machines, or good oxen or decent super- 
vision. We did not even know how to make up our 
accounts. Ask a proprietor : he could not tell you what 
a thing cost, or what it would bring him." 

" Italian book-keeping ! " said the old proprietor ironi- 
cally. " Reckon all you please, and get things mixed as 
much as you please, there will be no profit in it." 

"Why get things mixed up.'* Your miserable flail, 
your Russian topchachek, will break all to pieces ; my 
steam-thresher will not break to pieces. Then your 
wretched nags ; how are they .-" A puny breed that 
you can pull by the tails, comes to nothing ; but our Per- 
cherons are vigorous horses, they are worth something. 

1 A tchetvert is 5. 775 English bushels. 


And so with everything. Our agriculture always 
needed to be helped forward." 

" Yes ! but it would need some power, NikolaY Iva- 
nuitch. Very well for you ; but when one has one son at 
the university, and several others at school, as I have, 
he can't afford to buy Percherons." 

" There are banks on purpose." 

" To have my last goods and chattels sold under the 
hammer. No, thank you ! " 

"I don't agree that it is necessary or possible to lift 
the level of agriculture much higher," said Levin. " I 
am much interested in this question ; and I have the 
means, but I cannot do anything. And as for banks, I 
don't know whom they profit. Up to the present time, 
whatever I have spent on my estate, has resulted only 
in loss. Cattle — loss; machines — loss." 

" That is true," said the old proprietor with the gray 
mustache, laughing with hearty satisfaction. 

" And I am not the only man," continued Levin. " I 
call to mind all those who have made experiments in the 
'rational manner.' All, with few exceptions, have come 
out of it with losses. Will you admit that your farming 
is profitable.'' " he asked, and at that instant he detected 
in Sviazhsky's face that transient expression of embar- 
rassment which he noticed when he wanted to penetrate 
farther into the inner chambers of Sviazhsky's mind. 

However, the question was not entirely fair play on 
Levin's part. His hostess had told him at tea that they 
had just had a German expert up from Moscow, who, 
for five hundred rubles' fee, agreed to put the book- 
keeping of the estate in order ; and he found that there 
had been a net loss of more than three thousand rubles. 
She could not remember exactly how much, but the 
German accountant had calculated it to within forty 

The old proprietor smiled when he heard Levin's 
question about the profits of Sviazhsky's management. 
It was evident that he knew about the state of his 
neighbors' finances. 

" Maybe it is unprofitable," replied Sviazhsky. " This 

VOL. II. — 9 


only proves that either I am a poor manager, or I sink 
my capital to increase the revenue." 

" Oh ! revenue ! " cried Levin, with horror. " Maybe 
there is such a thing as revenue in Europe, where the 
land is better for the labor spent on it ; but with us, the 
more labor spent on it, the worse it is — that is because 
it exhausts it — so there is no revenue." 

" How, no revenue ? It is a law." 

" Then we are no exceptions to the law. The word 
renfa, revenue, has no clearness for us, and explains 
nothing, but rather confuses. No ; tell me how the 
doctrine of revenue can be .... 

** Won't you have some curds ? — Masha, send us some 
curds or some raspberries," said Sviazhsky to his wife. 
'* Raspberries have lasted unusually late this year." 

And, with his usual jovial disposition of soul, Svia- 
zhsky got up and went out, evidently assuming that the 
discussion was ended, while for Levin it seemed that it 
had only just begun. 

Levin was now left with the old proprietor, and con- 
tinued to talk with him, endeavoring to prove to him 
that all the trouble arose from the fact that we did not 
try to understand our laborers' habits and peculiarities. 
But 'the old proprietor, like all people accustomed to 
think alone and for himself, found it difficult to enter 
into the thought of another, and clung firmly to his own 
opinions. He declared that the Russian muzhik was a 
pig, and loved swinishness, and that it needed force or 
else a stick to drive him out of his swinishness ; but we 
are such liberals that we have suddenly swapped off the 
thousand-year-old stick for these lawyers and jails, where 
the good-for-nothing, stinking muzhik gets fed on good 
soup, and has his pure air by the cubic foot. 

'•Why," asked Levin, wishing to get back to the 
question, " do you think that it is impossible to reach 
an equilibrium which will utilize the forces of the laborer, 
and render them productive .-' " 

" That will never come about with the Russian peo- 
ple ; there is no force," replied the proprietor. 

'' Why could not new conditions be found ? " asked 


Sviazhsky, who had been eating his curds, and smoking 
a cigarette, and now approached the two disputants. 
" All the needful forms are ready for use, and well 
learned. That relic of barbarism, the primitive com- 
mune where each member is responsible for all, is fall- 
ing to pieces of its own weight ; the right of holding 
serfs has been abolished ; now there remains only free 
labor, and its forms are at hand, — the day-laborer, the 
journeyman, the ordinary farmer, — and you can't get 
rid of this." 

" But Europe is discontented with these forms." 

"Yes, and perhaps discontent will find new ones, and 
will progress probably." 

"This is all I say about that," said Levin. "Why 
should we not seek for them on our side ? " 

" Because it would be much the same as our pretend- 
ing to invent new methods of constructing railways. 
Our methods are all ready; all we have to do is to 
apply them." 

" But if they do not suit us ? if they are hurtful ? " 
Levin insisted. 

And again he saw the frightened look in Sviazhsky's 

" Well ! this : we throw up our caps, we follow wher- 
ever Europe leads ! All this I know ; but tell me, are 
you acquainted with all that is going on in Europe 
about the organization of labor ? " 

" No ; I know very little." 

" This question is now occupying the best minds in 
Europe. Schulze-Delitzsch ^ and his school .... then all 
this prodigious literature on the labor question .... the 
tendencies of Lassalle, the most radical of all of them .... 
the Miilhausen organization .... this all is a fact, you 
surely must know." 

^ Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch, who founded the first People's Bank, and 
in the German Parliament labored for constitutional reform, was born in 
Prussian Saxony, August 29, 1808, died at Potsdam, April 29, 1883. At 
the time of his death the United Bank Organization of which he was man- 
ager had thirty-five hundred branches, with fifty million dollars' capital, 
and about a hundred millions of deposits. He was an opponent of Las- 
salle's socialism. — Ed. 


" I have an idea of it, but it 's very vague." 

" No, you only say so ; you know all this as well as I 
do. I don't set up to be a professor of social science, 
but these things interest me ; and I assure you, if they 
interest you, you should go into them." 

"But where do they lead you ? " .... 

" Beg pardon." .... 

The two proprietors got up ; and Sviazhsky, again 
arresting Levin in his disagreeable habit of looking into 
the inner chambers of his mind, went out to bid his 
guests good-by. 


Levin spent the evening with the ladies, and found it 
unendurably stupid. His mind was stirred, as never 
before, at the thought that the dissatisfaction he felt in 
the administration of his estate was not peculiar to him- 
self, but was a general condition into which affairs in 
Russia had evolved, and that an organization of labor, 
whereby the work would be carried on in such a manner 
as he saw at the muzhik's on the highway, was not an 
illusion, but a problem to be solved. And it seemed to 
him that he could settle this problem, and that he must 
attempt to do it. 

Levin bade the ladies good-night, promising to go 
with them the following morning for a ride to visit some 
interesting spots in the Crown woods. Before going to 
bed he went to the library, to get some of the books on 
the labor question which Sviazhsky had recommended. 

Sviazhsky's library was an enormous room, lined with 
book-shelves, and having two tables, one a massive 
writing-table, standing in the center of the room, and 
the other a round one, laden with recent numbers of 
journals and reviews, in different languages, arranged 
about a lamp. Near the writing-table was a cabinet, 
sto'ika, containing drawers inscribed with gilt lettering 
for the reception of various documents. 


Sviazhsky got the volumes, and sat down in a rocking- 

" What is that you are looking at ? " he asked of 
Levin, who was standing by the round table, and turn- 
ing the leaves of a review. 

Levin held up the review. 

" Oh, yes ! that is a very interesting article indeed. 
It argues," he continued with gay animation, "that the 
principal culprit in the partition of Poland was not 
Frederic after all. It appears .... " and he gave with 
the clearness characteristic of him a digest of these 
new and important discoveries. Although Levin was 
now more interested in the question of farm manage- 
ment than in anything, he asked himself, as he listened 
to his friend : — 

" What is he in reality .-' and why, why does the par- 
tition of Poland interest him .-' " 

When Sviazhsky had. finished, Levin could not help 
saying : — 

" Well, and what of it ? " 

But he had nothing to say. It was interesting simply 
from the fact that it "argued." 

But Sviazhsky did not explain, and did not think it 
necessary to explain, why it was interesting to him. 

" Well, but the irascible old proprietor interested me 
very much," said Levin, sighing. " He 's sensible, and 
a good deal of what he says is true." 

" Ah ! don't speak of it ! he is a confirmed slave' 
holder at heart, like the rest of them," 

" With you at their head " .... 

" Yes, only I am trying to lead them in the other 
direction," replied Sviazhsky, laughing. 

" His argument struck me very forcibly," said Levin. 
" He is right when he says that our affairs, that is, the 
' rational management,' ^ cannot succeed ; that the only 
kind that can succeed is the money-lending system like 
that of the other proprietor, or, in other words, the one 
that is simplest Who is to blame for this ? " 

" We ourselves, of course. But then it is not true 

^ Ratsionalnoe khozyatstvo. 


that it does not succeed. It succeeds with Vasiltchi* 

"The mill.... " 

" But still I don't know what surprises you about it. 
The peasantry stand on such a low plane of develop- 
ment, both materially and morally, that it is evident 
they '11 oppose everything that is strange to them. In 
Europe the ' rational management ' succeeds because 
the people are civilized. In the first place, we must 
civilize our peasantry, — that 's the point." 

" But how will you civilize them .-' " 

" To civilize the people, three things are necessary, — 
schools, schools, and schools." 

" But you yourself say that the peasantry stand on a 
low plane of material development. What good will 
schools do in that respect .'' " 

" Do you know, you remind me of a story of the 
advice given to a sick man : ' You had better try a 
purgative.' He tried it ; he grew worse. ' Apply leeches.' 
He applied them; he grew worse. 'Well, then, pray 
to God.' He tried it ; he grew worse. So it is with 
you. I say political economy ; you say you 're worse 
for it. I suggest socialism ; worse still. Education ; 
still worse." 

" Yes. But how can schools help } " 

" They will create other needs." 

" But this is just the very thing I could never under- 
stand," replied Levin, vehemently. " In what way will 
schools help the peasantry to better their material con- 
dition .'' You say that schools — education — will create 
new needs. So much the worse, because they will not 
have the ability to satisfy them ; and I could never see 
how a knowledge of addition and subtraction and the 
catechism could help them to better themselves materi- 
ally. Day before yesterday I met a peasant woman 
with a baby at the breast, and I asked her where she 
was going. She said she had been 'to the babka's;^ 
the child had a crying fit, and I took him to be cured.' 

^ Babka, a peasant grandmother, a popular name for the midwife. It 
is the diminutive of baba, a peasant woman, especially a muzhik's wife. 


I asked, ' How did the babka cure the crying fit ? ' ' She 
set him on the hen-roost, and muttered something.' " 

" Well there ! " cried Sviazhsky, laughing heartily. 
"You yourself confess it. In order to teach them that 
they can't cure children by setting them on hen-roosts, 
you must .... " 

" Ah no ! " interrupted Levin, with some vexation. 
" Your remedy of schools for the people I only com- 
pared to the babka's method of curing. The peasantry 
are poor and uncivilized ; this we see as plainly as the 
woman saw her child's distress because he was crying. 
But that schools can raise them from their wretched- 
ness is as inconceivable as the hen-roost cure for sick 
children. You must first remedy the cause of the 

" Well ! In this at least you agree with Spencer, 
whom you do not like. He says that civilization can 
result from increased happiness and comfort in life, 
from frequent ablutions, but not by learning to read 
and cipher." .... 

" There now ! I am very glad, or rather very sorry, 
if I am in accord with Spencer. But this I have felt 
for a long time : schools cannot help ; the only help can 
come from some economical organization, whereby the 
peasantry will be richer, will have more leisure. Then 
schools also will come." 

" Nevertheless, schools are obligatory now all over 

" But how would you harmonize this with Spencer's 
ideas } " asked Levin. 

But into Sviazhsky's eyes again came the troubled ex- 
pression ; and he said with a smile : — 

" No, this story of the crying fit was capital ! Is it 
possible that you heard it yourself } " 

Levin saw that there was no connection between this 
man's life and his thoughts. Evidently it was perfectly 
indifferent to him where his conclusions led him. Only 
the process of reasoning was what appealed to him ; 
and it was disagreeable to him When this process of 
reasoning led him into some stupid, blind alley. This 


was what he did not like, and he avoided it by leading 
the conversation to some bright and agreeable topic. 

All the impressions of this day, including those which 
arose from his visit to the old muzhik, and which seemed 
somehow to give a new basis to his thoughts, troubled 
Levin profoundly. This genial Sviazhsky who kept his 
thoughts for general use and evidently had entirely 
different principles for the conduct of his life, keeping 
them hidden from Levin, while at the same time he and 
the majority of men — the throng whose name is legion 
— seemed to be ruled by the general consensus of 
opinions by means of ideas strange to him ; the testy 
old proprietor, perfectly right in his judicious views of 
life, but wrong in despising one entire class in Russia, 
and that perhaps the best ; his own discontent with his 
activity, and the confused hope of setting things right 
at last, — all this excited and disturbed him. 

Levin retired to his room, and lay down on his 
springy mattress, which unexpectedly exposed his arms 
and legs every time he moved ; but it was long before he 
could get to sleep. His conversation with Sviazhsky, 
though many good things were said, did not interest 
him ; but the old proprietor's arguments haunted him. 
He involuntarily remembered every word that he said, 
and his imagination supplied the answer. 

" Yes, I ought to have replied to him, ' You say that 
our management is not succeeding because the muzhik 
despises all improvements, and that force must be ap- 
plied to them. But if our estates were not retrograding, 
even where these improvements are not found, you 
would be right ; but advance is made only where the 
laborer works in conformity with his own customs, as at 
the old man's by the roadside. Our general dissatisfac- 
tion with our management proves that either we or the 
laborers are at fault. We have long been losing, both 
by our own methods and by European methods, by 
neglecting the qualities of the laboring force. Let us 
be willing to acknowledge that the laboring force is not 
ideal as a force, but is the Russian muzhik with his in- 
stincts, and we shall then be able to manage our estates 


in conformity with this.' I should have said to him . 
'Imagine that you were carrying on an estate like that 
of my old man by the roadside, that you had found a 
way of interesting your laborers in the success of their 
work, and had found that by means of improvements 
such as they would acknowledge to be improvements, 
you had succeeded in doubling or trebling your returns 
without exhausting the soil ; then suppose you make a 
division and give a half to your working force. The 
residue which you would have would be larger, and that 
which would come to the working force would be larger.' 
But to do this, there must be a coming down from any- 
thing like ideal management and the laborers must be 
interested in the success of the management. How can 
it be done ? This is a question of details, but there is 
no doubt that it is possible." 

This idea kept Levin in a state of agitation. Half 
the night he did not sleep, thinking of the details con- 
nected with carrying out his new plans and schemes. 
He had not intended to leave so soon, but now he 
decided to go home on the morrow. Moreover, the 
memory of the young lady with the open dress came 
over him with a strange sense of shame and disgust. 
But the main thing that decided him was his desire to 
lay before his muzhiks his new project before the autumn 
harvests, so that they might reap under the new condi 
tions. He decided to reform his whole method of ad 


The carrying out of Levin's plan offered many diffi- 
culties ; but he persevered, and finally succeeded in 
persuading himself without self-deception that the en- 
terprise was worth the labor even though he should not 
succeed in doing all that he wanted to do. One of the 
principal obstacles which met him was the fact that his 
estate was already in running order, and that it was im- 
possible to come to a sudden stop and begin anew, but 
that he had to remodel his machine while it was going. 


When he reached home in the evening, he summoned 
his overseer, and explained to him his plans. The over- 
seer received with undisguised satisfaction all the details 
of this scheme as far as they showed that all that had 
been done hitherto was absurd and unproductive. The 
overseer declared that he had long ago told him so, but 
that no one would Hsten to him. But when it came to 
Levin's proposition to share the profits of the estate 
with the laborers, on the basis of an association, the 
overseer put on an expression of the deepest melan- 
choly, and immediately began to speak of the necessity 
of bringing in the last sheaves of wheat, and commenc- 
ing the second plowing ; and Levin felt that now was 
not a propitious time. 

On conversing with the muzhiks about his project of 
dividing with them the products of the earth, he found 
that here his chief difficulty lay in the fact that they 
were too much occupied with their daily tasks to com- 
prehend the advantages and disadvantages of his enter- 

A simple-minded muzhik, Ivan the herdsman, seemed 
to comprehend and to approve Levin's proposal to share 
with him in the profits of the cattle ; but whenever Levin 
went on to speak of the advantages that would result, 
Ivan's face grew troubled, and, without waiting to hear 
Levin out, he would hurry off to attend to some work 
that could not be postponed, — either to pitch the hay 
from the pens, or to draw water, or to clear away the 

Another obstacle consisted in the inveterate distrust 
of the peasants, who would not believe that a proprietor 
could have any other aim than to get all he could out 
of them. They were firmly convinced, in spite of all 
he could say, that his real purpose was hidden. They, 
on their side, in expressing their opinions had much 
to say ; but they carefully guarded against telling what 
their actual object was. 

Levin came to the conclusion that the irate proprietor 
was right in saying that the peasants demanded, as the 
first and indispensable condition for any arrangement, 


that they should never be bound to any of the new agri- 
cultural methods, or to use the improved tools. They 
agreed that the new-fashioned plow worked better, that 
the weed-extirpator was more successful ; but they in- 
vented a thousand reasons why they should not use 
them ; and, although he had made up his mind that 
there must be a coming down from anything like ideal 
management, he felt deep regret to give up improve- 
ments the advantages of which were so evident. But 
in spite of all these difficulties, he persevered ; and by 
autumn the new arrangement was in working order, or 
at least seemed to be. 

At first Levin intended to give up his whole domain ^ 
just as it was to the muzhiks — the laborers — and over- 
seer on the new conditions of association. But very 
soon he found that this was impracticable ; and he 
made up his mind to divide the management of the 
estate. The cattle, the garden, the kitchen-garden, 
the hay-fields, and some lands fenced off into several 
lots were to be reckoned as special and separate divis- 

Ivan, the simple-minded herdsman, who seemed to 
Levin better fitted than any one else, formed an artel, 
or association, composed of members of his family, and 
took charge of the cattle-yard. A distant field, which 
for eight years had been lying fallow, was taken by the 
shrewd carpenter Feodor Rezunof, who joined with him 
seven families of muzhiks ; and the muzhik Shuraef en- 
tered into the same arrangements for superintending the 
gardens. All the rest was left as it had been ; but these 
three divisions constituted the beginning of the new ar- 
rangement, and they kept Levin very busy. 

It was true that matters were not carried on in the 
cattle-yard any better than before, and that Ivan was 
obstinate in his opposition to giving the cows a warm 
shelter, and to butter made of sweet cream, asserting 
that cows kept in a cold place required less feed, and 
that butter made of sour cream was made quicker ; and 
he demanded his wages as before, and he was not at 

^ Kkozyaistvo, 


all interested in the fact that the money that he re- 
ceived was not his wages but his share of the profits 
of the association. 

It was true that Rezunof and his associates did not 
give the field a second plowing, as they had been ad- 
vised to do, and excused themselves on the ground that 
they had no time. It was true that the muzhiks of this 
company, although they had agreed to take this work 
under the new conditions, called this land, not common 
land, but shared land, and the muzhiks and Rezunof 
himself said to Levin : " If you would take money for 
the land it would be less bother to you and that would 
let us out." 

Moreover, these muzhiks kept putting off under vari- 
ous pretexts the building of the cattle-yard and barn, and 
did not get it done till winter, though they had agreed 
to build it immediately. 

It was true that Shuraef tried to exchange for a trifle 
with the muzhiks the products of the gardens which he 
had undertaken to manage. He evidently had a wrong 
notion and a purposely wrong notion of the conditions 
under which he had taken the land. 

It was true that often in talking with the muzhiks 
and explaining to them all the advantages of the under- 
taking. Levin was conscious that all they heard was the 
sound of his voice, that they were firmly convinced that 
they were too shrewd to let him deceive them. He 
was especially conscious of this when talking with the 
cleverest of the muzhiks, Rezunof. He noticed in the 
man's eye a gleam which betrayed evident scorn for 
Levin and a firm conviction that if any one was to be 
cheated it was not he — Rezunof. 

But, in spite of all these drawbacks, Levin felt that 
he was making progress, and that if he rigorously kept 
his accounts and persevered he should be able to show 
his associates at the end of the year that the new order 
of things could bring excellent results. 

All this -business, together with his work in connec- 
tion with the rest of his estate, which still remained in 
his own hands, and together with his work in the library 


on his new book, so filled his time during the summer 
that he scarcely ever went out, even to hunt. 

Toward the end of August he learned through the 
man that brought back the saddle that the Oblonskys 
had returned to Moscow. By not having replied to 
Darya Aleksandrovna's letter, by his rudeness which he 
could not remember without a flush of shame, he felt 
that he had burnt his ships and he never again could 
go to them. In exactly the same way he owed apolo- 
gies to Sviazhsky for having left his house without bid- 
ding him good-by. Neither would he again dare to 
go to Sviazhsky's. But now all this was a matter of 
indifference to him. He was more interested and ab- 
sorbed in his new scheme of managing his estate than 
in anything that he had ever attempted. 

He finished the books which Sviazhsky had lent him, 
and others on political economy and socialism, which 
he had sent for. In the books on political economy, 
in Mill, for example, which he studied first with eager- 
ness, hoping every minute to find a solution of the ques- 
tions which occupied him, he found laws deduced from 
the position of European husbandry ; but he could not 
see how these laws could be profitably applied to Rus- 
sian conditions. He found a similar lack in the books 
of the socialist writers. Either they were beautiful but 
impracticable fancies, such as he dreamed when he was 
a student, or modifications of that situation of things 
applicable to Europe, but offering no solution for the 
agrarian question in Russia. 

Political economy said that the laws by which the 
wealth of Europe was developed and would develop 
were universal and fixed ; socialistic teachings said that 
progress according to these laws would lead to destruc- 
tion ; but neither school gave him any answer or as 
much as a hint on the means of leading him and all the 
Russian muzhiks and agriculturists, with their millions 
of hands and of desyatins, to more successful methods 
of reaching prosperity. 

As he was already involved in this enterprise, he con- 
scientiously read through everything that bore on the 


subject and decided in the autumn to go abroad and 
study the matter on the spot, so that he might not 
have with this question the experience that had so often 
met him with various questions in the past. How 
many times in a discussion he had just begun to under- 
stand his opponent's thought and to expound his own, 
when suddenly the question would be asked : " But 
Kaufmann, Jones, Du Bois, Mitchell ? You have not 
read them ? Read them, they have worked out this 

He saw clearly now that Kaufmann and Mitchell 
could not tell him anything. He knew what he wanted. 
He saw that Russia possessed an admirable soil and 
admirable workmen, and that in certain cases, as with 
the muzhik by the roadside, the land and the laborers 
could produce abundantly, but that in the majority of 
cases when capital was spent upon them in the Eu- 
ropean manner, they produced little, and that this re- 
sulted entirely from the fact that the laborers like to 
work, and work well only in their own way, and that 
this contrast was not the result of chance, but was per- 
manent and based on the very nature of the people. 
He thought that the Russian people, which was des- 
tined to colonize and cultivate immense unoccupied 
spaces, would consciously, until all these lands were 
occupied, hold to these methods as necessary to them, 
and that these methods were not so bad as they were 
generally considered. And he wanted to demonstrate 
this theoretically in his book, and practically on his 


Toward the end of September the lumber was 
brought for the construction of a barn on the artel 
land, and the butter was sold, and showed a profit. 
The new administration, on the whole, worked admi- 
rably in practice, or at least it seemed so to Levin. 

But in order to explain the whole subject into a clear 


Jight theoretically, and to finish his treatise, which Levin 
imagined was likely not only to revolutionize political 
economy, but even to annihilate this science, and to 
make the beginnings of a new one, treating of the 
relations of the peasantry to the soil, he felt that it was 
necessary to go abroad, and to learn, from observation 
on the spot, all that was going on in that direction, and 
to find conclusive proofs that all that was done there 
was not the right thing. 

He was only waiting for the delivery of the wheat to 
get his money, and make the journey. But the autumn 
rains set in, and portions of the wheat and potatoes 
were not as yet garnered. All work was at a stand- 
still, and it was impossible to deliver the wheat. The 
roads were impracticable, tAVO mills were washed away 
by the freshet, and the weather kept growing worse and 

But on the morning of October 12 the sun came out; 
and Levin, hoping for a change in the weather, began 
resolutely to prepare for his journey. He sent the 
overseer to the merchant to negotiate for the sale of 
the wheat, and he himself went out for a tour of inspec- 
tion of the estate, in order to make the last remaining 
arrangements for his journey. 

Having accomplished all that he wished, he returned 
at nightfall, wet from the rivulets that trickled from his 
waterproof down his neck and inside his high boots, 
but in a happy and animated frame of mind. Toward 
evening the storm increased ; the hail pelted so vio- 
lently the drenched horse, that she shook her ears and 
her head, and went sidewise ; but Levin, protected by 
his bashluik, felt comfortable enough, and he cheer- 
fully gazed around him, — now at the muddy streams 
running down the wheel-tracks ; now at the raindrops 
trickling down every bare twig ; now at the white spots 
where the hail had not yet melted on the planks of the 
bridge ; now at the dry but still pulpy leaf, clinging 
with its stout stem to the denuded elm. In spite of 
the gloomy aspect of nature, he felt in particularly 
good spirits. His talks with the peasants in a distant 


village convinced him that they were beginning to get 
used to his new arrangements ; and an old dvornik, 
at whose house he stopped to dry himself, evidently 
approved of his plan, and wanted to join the association 
for the purchase of cattle. 

" What is required is to go straight to my goal, and 
I shall succeed," thought Levin ; " but the labor and 
the pains have an object. I am not working for my- 
self alone, but the question concerns the good of all. 
The whole way of managing our estates, the condition of 
all the people, must be absolutely changed. Instead 
of poverty, universal well-being, contentment ; instead 
of enmity, agreement and union of interests ; in a word, 
a bloodless revolution, but a mighty revolution^ begin- 
ning in the little circuit of our district, then reaching the 
province, Russia, the whole world ! The conception is 
so just that it cannot help being fruitful. Yes, indeed, 
this goal is worth working for. And there is abso- 
lutely no significance in the fact that I, Kostia Levin, 
my own self, a man who went to a ball in a black neck- 
tie, and was rejected by a Shcherbatsky, am a stupid 
and a good-for-nothing ; that is neither here nor there. 
I believe that Franklin felt that he was just such 
a good-for-nothing, and had just as little faith in him- 
self, when he took everything into account. And, prob- 
ably, he had his Agafya Mikhadovna also, to whom he 
confided his secrets." 

With such thoughts. Levin reached home in the dark. 
The overseer, who had been to the merchant, came and 
handed him a part of the money from the wheat. The 
agreement with the dvornik was drawn up ; and then 
the overseer told how he had seen wheat still standing 
in the field by the road, while his one hundred and sixty 
stacks, not yet brought in, were nothing in comparison 
to what others had. 

After supper Levin sat down in his chair, as usual, 
with a book ; and as he read he began to think of his 
projected journey, especially in connection with his 
book. That evening the whole significance of his un- 
dertaking presented itself to him with remarkable clear- 


ness, and his ideas fell naturally into flowing periods, 
which expressed the essence of his thought. 

" I must write this down," he said to himself, " It 
must go into a short introduction, though before I 
thought that was unnecessary." 

He got up to go to his writing-table ; and Laska, who 
had been lying at his feet, also got up, and, stretching 
herself, looked at him, as if asking where he was going. 
But he had no time for writing ; for the various super- 
intendents came for their orders, and he had to go to 
meet them in the anteroom. 

After giving them their orders, or rather, having 
made arrangements for their morrow's work, and hav- 
ing received all the muzhiks who came to consult with 
him. Levin went back to his library, and sat down to 
his work. Laska lay under the table ; Agafya Mikhaif- 
lovna, with her knitting, took her usual place. 

After writing some time. Levin suddenly arose, and 
began to walk up and down the room. The memory 
of Kitty and her refusal, and the recent glimpse of her, 
came before his imagination with extraordinary vividness. 

"Now, there's no need of your getting blue," said 
Agafya Mikhailovna. " Now why do you stay at home ? 
You had better go to the warm springs if your mind is 
made up." 

" I am going day after to-morrow, Agafya Mikhalf- 
lovna ; but I had to finish up my business." 

" Your business, indeed ! Have n't you given these 
muzhiks enough already .-' And they say, ' Our barin 
is trying to buy some favor from the Tsar ; ' and strange 
it is : why do you bother yourself so about the muzhiks .■• " 

" I am not bothering myself about them ; I am doing 
it for my own good." 

Agafya Mikhailovna knew all the details of Levin's 
plans, for he had explained them to her, and he had 
often had discussions with her and had not agreed with 
her comments ; but now she entirely misapprehended 
what he said to her. 

" For your own soul it is certainly important ; to think 
of that is above everything," said she, with a sigh. 
VOL. II. — 10 


" Here is Parfen Denisuitch : although he could not 
read, yet may God give us all to die as he did ! " said 
she, referring to a household servant who had recently 
died. "They confessed him and gave him extreme 

" I did not mean that," said he ; "I mean that I am 
working for my own profit. It will be more profitable 
to me if the muzhiks will work better." 

" There ! you will only have your labor for your pains. 
The lazy will be lazy and always do things over his left 
shoulder. Where he has a conscience, he '11 work ; if 
not, nothing will be done." 

"Well, well! But don't you yourself say that Ivan 
is beginning to look out for the cows better .'' " 

" I say this one thing," replied Agafya Mikhail ovna, 
evidently not at random but with a keen logical connec- 
tion of thought : " You must get married, that 's what." 

Agafya MikhaVlovna's observation about the very 
matter that preoccupied him angered him and insulted 
him. He frowned, and, without replying, sat down to 
his work again, repeating to himself all that he had 
thought about the importance of his work. Occasion- 
ally amid the silence he noticed the clicking of Agafya 
MikhaTlovna's needles; and, remembering what he did 
not wish to remember, he would frown. 

At nine o'clock the sound of bells was heard, and the 
heavy rumbling of a carriage on the muddy road. 

" There ! here 's some visitors coming to see you : 
you won't be bored any more," said Agafya Mikhai'- 
lovna, rising, and going to the door. But Levin stepped 
ahead of her. His work did not progress now, and he 
was glad to see any guest. 


Before Levin got halfway down-stairs he heard in 
the vestibule the sound of a familiar cough ; but the 
sound was covered by the noise of his own footsteps, 
and he hoped that he was mistaken. Then he saw the 


tall bony figure which he knew so well. But even now, 
when there seemed to be no possibility of deception, he 
still hoped that he was mistaken, and that this tall man 
who was divesting himself of his shuba, and coughing, 
was not his brother Nikolai'. 

Levin loved his brother, but it was always extremely 
disagreeable to live with him. Now especially, when 
Levin was under the influence of the thoughts and 
suggestions awakened by Agafya MikhaYlovna, and 
was in a dull and melancholy humor, the presence of 
his brother was indeed an affliction. Instead of a gay, 
healthy visitor, — some stranger, who, he hoped, would 
drive away his perplexities, — he was obliged to receive 
his brother, who knew him through and through, who 
could read his most secret thoughts, and who would 
oblige him to share them with him. And this he did 
not like to do. 

Angry with himself for his unworthy sentiments, 
Levin ran down into the vestibule ; and, as soon as he 
saw his brother close at hand, the feeling of personal 
discomfort instantly disappeared, and was succeeded by 
a feeling of pity. Terrible as his brother Nikolaif had 
been when he saw him before by reason of his emacia- 
tion and illness, he was now still more emaciated, still 
more feeble. He was like a skeleton covered with skin. 

He was standing in the vestibule stretching out his 
long, thin neck and unwinding a scarf from it ; and he 
smiled with a strange melancholy smile. When Levin 
saw his brother's humble and pitiful smile, he felt a 
choking sensation. 

"Well! I have come to you," said Nikolai', in a thick 
voice, and not for a second taking his eyes from his 
brother's face, " I have been wanting to come for a long 
time ; yes, I have, but I have been so ill. Now I am 
very much better," he added, rubbing his beard with his 
great bony hand. 

" Yes, yes," replied Levin ; and it was still more ter- 
rible to him when, as he touched his brother's shriveled 
cheeks with his lips, he felt his fever flush, and saw the 
gleam of his great, strangely brilliant eyes. 


Some time before this, Konstantin Levin had written 
his brother that, having disposed of the small portion 
of their common inheritance, consisting of personal 
property, a sum of two thousand rubles was due as his 

Nikolaf said that he had come to get this money, and 
especially to see the old nest ; to put his foot on the 
natal soil, so as to get renewed strength, like the heroes 
of ancient times. Notwithstanding his tall stooping 
form, notwithstanding his frightful emaciation, his move- 
ments were, as they had always been, quick and impetu- 
ous. Levin took him to his room. 

Nikolaif changed his dress, and took great pains with 
his toilet, which in former times he neglected. He 
brushed his thin shaven hair, and went up-stairs smiling. 

He was in the gayest and happiest humor, just as 
Konstantin had seen him when he was a child. He 
even spoke of Sergyei' Ivanovitch without bitterness. 
When he saw Agafya Mikhailovna, he jested with her, 
and questioned her about the old servants. The news 
of the death of Parfen Denisuitch made a deep impres- 
sion on him. A look of fear crossed his face, but he 
instantly recovered himself. 

" He was very old, was he not ? " he asked, and 
quickly changed the conversation. " Yes, I am going 
to stay a month or two with you, and then go back to 
Moscow. You see, Miagkof has promised me a place, 
and I shall enter the service. Now I have turned over 
a new leaf entirely," he added. " You see, I have sent 
away that woman." 

" Marya Nikolayevna ? How ? What for ? " 

" Ah ! she was a wretched woman ! She caused a 
heap of tribulations." 

But he did not tell what the tribulations were. He 
could not confess that he had sent Marya Nikolayevna 
away because she made his tea too weak, still less be- 
cause she insisted on treating him as an invalid. 

" Then, besides, I wanted to begin an entirely new 
kind of life. Of course, I, like everybody else, have 
committed follies ; but the present, — I mean the last 


one, — I don't regret it, provided only I get better ; and 
better, thank the Lord ! I feel already." 

Levin listened, and tried, but tried in vain, to find 
something to say. Apparently Nikolai' had somewhat 
the same feeling ; he began to ask him about his affairs ; 
and Konstantin was glad to speak about himself because 
he could speak without any pretense. He frankly re- 
lated his plans and his experiments. 

Nikolaf listened, but did not show the least interest. 

These two men were so related to each other, and 
there was such a bond between them, that the slightest 
motion, the sound of their voices, spoke more clearly 
than all the words that they could say to each other. 

At this moment both were thinking the same thought, 
— Nikolai's illness and approaching death — dwarfiog 
everything else into insignificance. Neither of them 
dared make the least allusion to it, and therefore all that 
either of them said failed to express what really occu- 
pied their minds — and was therefore false. Never 
before had Levin been so glad for an evening to end, 
for bedtime to come. Never, even when obliged to pay 
casual or official visits, had he felt so false and unnatu- 
ral as that evening. And the consciousness of this un- 
naturalness, and his regret, made him more unnatural 
still. His heart was breaking to see his beloved dying 
brother ; but he was obliged to dissemble, and to talk 
about various things as if his brother was going to 

As at this time the house was damp and only his own 
room was warm, Levin offered to share it, with a parti- 
rion between them, with his brother. 

Nikolai' went to bed, and slept the uneasy sleep of an 
invalid, turning restlessly from side to side, and con- 
stantly coughing. Sometimes when he could not raise 
the phlegm, he would cry out, " Akh ! Bozhe mo'f ! " 
Sometimes, when the dampness choked him, he would 
grow angry, and cry out, " Ah, the devil ! " 

Levin could not sleep as he listened to him. His 
thoughts were varied, but they always returned to one 
theme, — death. 


Death, the inevitable end of all, for the first time 
appeared to him with irresistible force. And death was 
here, with this beloved brother, who groaned in his 
sleep, and called now upon God, now upon the devil. 
It was with him also : this he felt. If not to-day, then 
to-morrow ; if not to-morrow, then in thirty years ; was 
it not all the same ? And what this inevitable death 
was, — not only did he not know, not only had he never 
before thought about it, but he had not wished, had not 
dared, to think about it. 

" Here I am working, wanting to accomplish some- 
thing, but I forgot that all must come to an end, — 

He was lying in bed in the darkness, curled up, 
holding his knees, scarcely able to breathe, so great was 
the tension of his mind. The more he thought, the 
more clearly he saw that from his conception of life he 
had omitted nothing except this one Httle factor, death, 
which would come and end all, and that there was no 
help against it — not the least. Yes, this is terrible, 
but so it is ! 

" Yes, but I am still alive. Now, what can be done 
about it .'* what can be done ? " he asked in despair. 
He lighted a candle, and softly arose, and went to the 
mirror, and began to look at his face and his hair. 
Yes ! on the temples a few gray hairs were to be 
seen. He opened his mouth. His back teeth showed 
signs of decay. He doubled up his muscular arms. 
" Yes, there 's much strength. But this poor Niko- 
lenka, who is breathing so painfully with the little that 
is left of his lungs, also had at one time a healthy body." 
And suddenly he remembered how when they were 
children, and were put to bed, they would wait until 
Feodor Bogdanuitch got out of the door, and then begin 
a pillow fight, and laugh, laugh so unrestrainedly, that 
not even the fear of Feodor Bogdanuitch could quench 
this exuberant and intoxicating sense of the gayety of 
life. " But now there he lies in bed with his poor 
hollow chest — and I — ignorant why, and what will 
become of me." .... 


" Kah ! kah ! ah ! what the devil are you doing ? 
Why don't you go to sleep ? " demanded his brother's 

" I don't know ; insomnia, I guess." 

*' But I have been sleeping beautifully. I have not 
had any sweat at all. Just feel — no sweat." 

Levin felt of him, then he got into bed again, put out 
the candle, but it was long before he went to sleep. 
Still in his mind arose this new question, how to live 
so as to be ready for the inevitable death .-" 

" There ! he is dying ! Yes ! he will die in the 
spring. How can I aid him .'' What can I say to him ? 
What do I know about it.'' I had even forgotten that 
there was such a thing." 

Levin had long before made the observation that 
often people who surprise you by an abrupt transition 
grow unendurable by reason of their gentleness and 
excessive humility, unreasonableness, and peremptory 
ways. He foresaw that this would be the case with 
his brother ; and, in fact, Nikolai's sweet temper was 
not of long duration. On the very next morning he 
awoke in an extremely irritable temper, and immediately 
began to pick a quarrel with his brother by touching 
him on the most tender points. 

Levin felt himself to blame, but he could not be 
frank. He felt that if they had not both dissimulated 
their thoughts, but had spoken from their very hearts, 
they would have looked into each other's eyes, and he 
would have said only this : *' You are going to die, you 
are going to die ; " and Nikolai' would have answered 
only this : " I know that I am dying, and I am afraid, 
afraid, afraid." 

And they would have said nothing more if they had 
spoken honestly from their hearts. But as this sincerity 
was not possible, Konstantin tried to do what all his 
life long he had never succeeded in doing, though he 
had observed that many persons could do it and that 
without doing it life was almost impossible, — he tried 
to talk about something that was not in his mind, and 
he felt that his brother divined his insincerity, and was 


therefore irritated and angry, and found fault with all 
that he said. 

On the third day NikolaT began to discuss the ques- 
tion of his brother's reforms, and to criticize them, and 
in a spirit of contrariety to confound his scheme with 

" You have only taken your idea from some one else ; 
and you distort it, and want to apply it to what is not 
suited to receive it." 

" Yes, but I tell you that the two have nothing in 
common. I have no thought of copying communism, 
which denies the right of property, of capital, of inheri- 
tance ; but I do not disregard these stim7ili." It went 
against Levin's grain to use these terms, but since he 
had begun his treatise he found himself, in spite of him, 
compelled to use non- Russian words. " All I want is 
to regulate labor." 

" In other words, you borrow a foreign idea ; you 
take away from it all that gives it force, and you pre- 
tend to make it pass as new," said Nikolaf, angrily 
craning his neck in his cravat. 

"Yes, but my idea has not the slightest resem- 
blance*.... " 

" This idea," interrupted NikolaY, smiling ironically, 
and with an angry light in his eyes, — " communism, — 
has at least one attractive feature, — and you might 
call it a geometrical one — it has clearness and logical 
certainty. Maybe it is Utopia. But let us agree that 
it can make a tabula rasa of the past, so that there 
shall be no property of family, but only freedom of 
labor. But you don't accept this .... " 

" But why do you confound them ? I never was a 

" But I have been ; and I believe that if communism 
is premature, it is, at least, reasonable ; and it is as sure 
to succeed as Christianity was in the early centuries." 

" And I believe that labor must be regarded from the 
scientific standpoint ; in other words, it must be studied. 
Its constitution must be known and ...." 

" Now, that is absolutely idle. This force goes of it- 


self, and takes different forms, according to the degrees 
of its development. Everywhere this order has been 
followed, — slaves, then metayers, free labor, and, here 
in Russia, we have the farm, the arend or leasehold, our 
system of apprenticeship. What more do you want .-^ " 

Levin took fire at these last words, the more because 
he feared in his secret soul that his brother was right in 
blaming him for wanting to discover a balance between 
communism and the existing forms, — a thing which was 
scarcely possible. 

" I am trying to find a form of labor which will be 
profitable for all, — for me and the laborer," he replied 

" That is not what you wish to do ; it is simply this : 
you have, all your Hfe long, sought to be original ; and 
you want to prove that you are not exploiting the muzhik, 
but are working for a principle." 

"Well, since you think so let's end it," replied Kon- 
stantin, feeling the muscles of his right cheek twitch in- 

" You never had, and you never will have, any convic- 
tions, and you only wanted to flatter your conceit." 

"That is very well to say .... but let's end the mat- 

" Certainly I will. It was time long ago. You go to 
the devil ! and I am very sorry that I came." 

Levin tried in vain to calm him. Nikolaf would not 
listen to a word, and persisted in saying that they had 
better separate ; and Konstantin saw that it was not pos- 
sible to live with him. 

Nikolai had already made his preparations to depart, 
when Konstantin came to him, and begged him, in a way 
that was not entirely natural, for forgiveness, if he had 
offended him. 

" Ah, now ! here 's magnanimity," said Nikolaif, smil- 
ing. " If you are very anxious to be in the right, then 
let us agree that this is sensible. You are right, but I 
am going all the same." 

At the last moment, however, as Nikolai kissed his 
brother, a strange look of seriousness came on him. 


" Kostia," he said, " don't harbor any animosity against 
me." And his voice trembled. 

These were the only words which were spoken sin- 
cerely. Levin understood that they meant : " You see 
and know that I am miserable, and we may not meet 

Levin understood this, and the tears came into his 
eyes. Once more he kissed his brother, but he could 
not find anything to say. 

On the third day after his brother's departure. Levin 
went abroad. At the railway station he met Shcher- 
batsky, Kitty's cousin, and astonished him greatly by 
his melancholy. 

"What is the matter .•*" asked Shcherbatsky. 

"Well, nothing, except that there is little happiness 
in this world." 

" Little happiness ? Just come with me to Paris in- 
stead of going to some place like Mulhouse. I '11 show 
you how gay it is." 

" No, I am done for. I am ready to die." 

** What a joke ! " said Shcherbatsky, laughing. " I 
am just learning how to begin." 

" I felt the same a little while ago, but now I know 
that my life will be short." 

Levin said what he honestly felt at this time. All 
that he saw before him was death or its approach. But 
still he was just as much interested as ever in his proj- 
ects of reform. It was necessary to keep his life occu-. 
pied till death should come. Darkness seemed to cover 
everything ; but by reason of this darkness he felt that 
the only guiding thread through its labyrinth was to oc- 
cupy himself with his labors of reform, and he clung 
:o them with all the force of his character. 



KAREN IN and his wife continued to live in the 
same house, and to meet every day, and yet they 
remained entire strangers to each other. AlekseY Alek- 
sandrovitch made a point every day to be seen with his 
wife so that the servants might not have the right to 
gossip, but he avoided dining at home. Vronsky was 
never seen there ; Anna met him outside, and her hus- 
band knew it. 

All three suffered from a situation which would haVe 
been intolerable for a single day had not each believed 
it to be transitory. Aleksel Aleksandrovitch expected 
to see this passion, like everything else in the world, 
come to an end and thus his name would not be dis- 
honored. Anna, the cause of all the trouble, and the 
one on whom the consequences weighed the most cruelly, 
accepted her position simply and solely because she ex- 
pected — nay, was firmly convinced — that the matter 
would soon be explained and settled. She had not the 
least idea how it would come about, but she was certain 
that it would now come about very speedily. 

Vronsky in spite of himself, submitting to her views, 
was also awaiting something to happen independent of 
himself, which should resolve all their difficulty. 

Toward the middle of the winter Vronsky had to 
spend a very tiresome week. He was delegated to show 
a foreign prince about Petersburg. Vronsky himself 
was a representative Russian. Not only was he irre- 
proachable in his bearing but he was accustomed to the 
society of such exalted personages ; therefore he was 
given the charge of the prince. But this responsibility 
was very distasteful to him. The prince did not want to 



let anything pass concerning which he might be asked 
on his return, "Did you see that in Russia?" And 
moreover he wanted to enjoy as far as possible all the 
pleasures peculiar to the covmtry. Vronsky was obliged 
to be his guide in the one and in the other. In the morn- 
ing they went out to see the sights ; in the evening they 
took part in the national amusements. 

This prince enjoyed exceptionally good health, even 
for a prince ; and, owing to his gymnastic exercises and 
the scrupulous care he took of himself, notwithstanding 
the excesses to which he let his love for pleasure carry 
him, he remained as fresh as a great, green, shiny 
Dutch cucumber. 

He had been a great traveler, and had found that 
one of the great advantages of easy modern communi- 
cation consisted in the fact that it brought national 
amusements into easy reach. In Spain he had given 
serenades, and fallen in love with a Spanish girl who 
played the mandolin; in Switzerland he had killed a 
chamois ; in England leaped ditches in a red shooting- 
jacket, and shot two hundred pheasants on a wager; in 
Turkey he had penetrated a harem ; in India he had 
ridden the elephant ; and now he wanted to taste the 
special pleasures that Russia afforded. 

Vronsky, as master of ceremonies, arranged, with no 
little difficulty, a program of amusements truly Russian 
in character. There were races and blinui, or carnival 
cakes, and bear-hunts and troika parties and gipsies, 
and feasts set forth with Russian dishes, and the prince 
with extraordinary aptitude entered into the spirit of 
these Russian sports, broke his waiter of glasses with 
the rest, took a gipsy girl on his knee, and apparently 
asked himself if the whole Russian spirit consisted only 
in this, without going further. 

In reality, the prince took more delight in French 
actresses, ballet-dancers, and white-seal champagne, than 
in all the other pleasures which the Russians could offer 

Vronsky was accustomed to princes, but either be- 
cause he had changed of late, or else because he had 


too close a view of this particular prince, this week 
seemed terribly burdensome to him. During the whole 
week, without cessation, he experienced a feeling like 
that of a man placed in charge of a dangerous lunatic, 
who dreaded his patient, and, at the same timej from 
very force of proximity, feared for his own reason. 
Vronsky was constantly under the necessity of keeping 
up the strictest barriers of official reserve in order not to 
feel insulted. The prince's behavior toward the very per- 
sons who, to Vronsky's amazement, were ready to crawl 
out of their skin to give him experiences of Russian 
amusements, was scornful. His criticism on the Russian 
women whom he wanted to study more than once made 
Vronsky grow red with indignation. What irritated 
Vronsky most violently about this prince was that he 
could not help seeing himself in him. And what he 
saw in this mirror was not flattering to his vanity. What 
he saw there was a very stupid, and a very self-confi- 
dent, and very healthy, and very fastidious man, and 
that was all. He was a getitlemati} and Vronsky could 
not deny the fact. He was smooth and frank with his 
superiors, free and easy with his equals, coolly kind 
toward his inferiors. Vronsky himself was exactly the 
same, and was proud of it ; but in his relations to the 
prince he was the inferior, and this scornfully good- 
natured treatment of himself nettled him. 

" Stupid ox ! Is it possible that I am like him } " he 

However this may have been, at the end of the week, 
when he took leave of the prince, who was on his way 
to Moscow, he was delighted to be delivered from this 
inconvenient situation and this disagreeable mirror. 
They went directly to the station from a bear-hunt, 
which had occupied all the night with brilliant exhibi- 
tions of Russian daring. 

* Buil dzheniPmen, 



On his return home, Vronsky found a note from 
Anna. She wrote : — 

I am ill and unhappy ; I cannot go out, and I cannot live 
longer without seeing you. Come this evening. Aleksei Alek- 
sandrovitch will be at the council from seven o'clock till ten. 

This invitation, given in spite of her husband's formal 
prohibition, seemed strange to him ; but he finally de- 
cided to go to Anna's. 

Since the beginning of the winter, Vronsky had been 
promoted as colonel ; he had left the regiment and was 
living alone. After having finished his breakfast, he 
stretched himself out on the divan, and in five minutes 
the recollection of the wild scenes of the preceding days 
became curiously mingled in his mind with Anna and a 
peasant whipper-in, who had performed an important 
part in the bear-hunt; finally he fell asleep. He awoke; 
night had come. Shivering with apprehension, he has- 
tily lighted a candle. " What has happened to me .-' 
What terrible dream have I had ? " he asked himself. 
" Yes, yes, the peasant, a dirty little man, with a dis- 
heveled beard, bent something or other up double, and 
pronounced some strange words in French. I did n't 
dream anything else ; why am I so terrified ? " 

But, in recalHng the peasant and his incomprehensi- 
ble French words, a sense of something horrible sent 
a cold shiver down his back. 

"What notisense ! " he thought as he looked at his 
watch. It was already half-past eight ; he called his 
man, dlressed quickly, went out, and, entirely forgetting 
his dream, thought only of being late. 

As he approached the Karenins' house, he again 
looked at his watch, and saw that it lacked ten minutes 
of nine. A high, narrow carriage, drawn by two gray 
horses, stood in front of the door ; he recognized Anna's 

"She was coming to my house," he said to himself; 


" and it would be better. It is disagreeable for me to go 
into this hovise, but it makes no difference to me, I can- 
not conceal myself;" and, with the manner of a man 
accustomed from childhood to act above board, he left 
his sleigh, and mounted the steps. The door opened, 
and the Swiss, carrying a plaid, motioned to the carriage 
to draw near. Vronsky, who was not accustomed to 
observe details, was struck by the look of astonishment 
which the Swiss gave him. At the door Vronsky came 
near running into AlekseV Aleksandrovitch. A gaslight 
placed at the entrance of the vestibule threw full light 
on his pale, worn face. He wore a black hat, and a 
white cravat showing under a fur collar. Karenin's 
gloomy, dull eyes fixed themselves on Vronsky, who 
bowed. Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch, drawing his lips to- 
gether, raised his hand to his hat, and passed. Vronsky 
saw him get into his carriage without turning round, 
take his plaid and opera-glass, which the Swiss servant 
handed through the door, and disappear. 

Vronsky went into the anteroom. His brows were 
contracted, and his eyes flashed with anger and out- 
raged pride. 

" What a situation ! " thought Vronsky. " If he would 
fight to defend his honor, I should know what to do to 
express my sentiments ; but this weakness or cowar- 
dice.... He places me in the position of a deceiver, 
which I never was and never will be." 

Since the explanation that he had had with Anna in 
the Vrede garden, Vronsky's idea had greatly changed. 
Involuntarily overcome by Anna's weakness, — for she 
had given herself to him without reserve and expected 
from him only the decision as to her future fate, — 
Vronsky had long ceased to think that this liaison 
might end as he had supposed it would. His ambitious 
plans had again been relegated to the background, 
and he, feeling that he had definitely left that circle 
of activity where everything was determined, gave him- 
self up entirely to his feeling, and this feehng drew 
him more and more vigorously toward her. 

Even in the reception-room, he heard her footsteps 


drawing near. He knew that she was waiting for him 
and had just entered the drawing-room near by, to watch 
for him. 

" No," she cried, seeing him enter, " things cannot 
go on in this way ! " And at the sound of her own 
voice, her eyes filled with tears. " If this is going on this 
way, it would be far better if it had ended long ago ! " 

" What is the matter, my friend .-' " 

" The matter ! I have been waiting in torture for 

two hours ; but no, I do not want to quarrel with you 

Of course you could not come. No, I will not scold 
you any more." 

She put her two hands on his shoulders, and looked 
at him long, with her eyes deep and tender, although 
searching. She studied his face for all the time that 
she had not seen him. As always happened every time 
they met, she tried to compare her imaginary present- 
ment of him — it was incomparably better because it 
was impossible in reality — with him as he really was. 


" Did you meet him ? " she asked, when they were 
seated under the lamp by the drawing-room table. 
" That is your punishment for coming so late." 

" Yes ; how did it happen .-' Should he not have 
been at the council ? " 

"He went there, but he came back again, and now 
he has gone off somewhere again. But that is no mat- 
ter ; let us talk no more about it ; where have you 
been ? All this time with the prince ? " 

She knew the most minute details of his life. 

He wanted to reply that as he had no rest the night 
before, he allowed himself to oversleep ; but the sight 
of her happy, excited face, made this acknowledgment 
difficult, and he excused himself on the plea of hav- 
ing been obliged to go and present his report about the 
prince's departure. 

" It is over now, is it? Has he gone ? " 


" Yes, thank the Lord, it is all done with ! You have 
no idea how intolerable this week has seemed to me." 

" Why so ? Here you have not been leading the life 
customary to young men," she said, frowning, and, with- 
out looking at Vronsky, she took up some crocheting 
that was lying on the table and pulled out the needle. 

" I renounced that Hfe long ago," he repUed, wonder- 
ing at the sudden change in her beautiful face, and try- 
ing to discover what it portended. " I assure you," he 
added, smiling, and showing his white teeth, " that it was 
overpoweringly unpleasant to me to look at that old life 
again, as it were, in a mirror." 

She kept her crocheting in her hand, though she did 
not work, but looked at him with strange, brilliant, not 
quite friendly eyes. 

" Liza came to see me this morning — they are not 
yet afraid to come to my house, in spite of the Coun- 
tess Lidya Ivanovna " — and here she stood up — " and 
told me about your Athenian nights. What an abomi- 
nation ! " 

" I only wanted to tell you that.... " 

She interrupted him : — 

" That it was Ther^se whom you used to know ? " 

" I was going to say .... " 

" How odious you men are ! How can you suppose 
that a woman forgets .■* " said she, growing more and 
more animated, and then disclosing the cause of her 
irritation, — " and above all a woman who can know 
nothing of your life .-* What do I know ? What can 
I know .'* " she kept repeating. " What can I know 
except what you wish to tell me ? And how can I 
know whether it is the truth ? " .... 

" Anna, you insult me ! have you no longer any faith 
in me } Have I not told you that I have no thoughts 
which I would conceal from you ? " 

" Yes, yes," she said, trying to drive away her jealous 
fears ; " but if you only knew how I suffer ! I believe 

in you, I do believe in you But what did you want to 

say to me ? " 

But he could not instantly remember what he wanted 

VOL. II. — II 


to say. Anna's fits of jealousy were becoming more 
and more frequent, and, however much he tried to con- 
ceal it, these scenes made him grow cool toward her, 
although he knew that the cause of the jealousy was 
her very love for him. How many times had he not 
said to himself that happiness existed for him only in 
this love ; and now that she loved him as only a woman 
can love for whom love outweighs all other treasures in 
life, happiness seemed farther off than when he had fol- 
lowed her from Moscow. Then he considered himself 
unhappy, but happiness was in sight ; now he felt that 
their highest happiness was in the past. She was en- 
tirely different from what she had been when he first 
saw her. Both morally and physically she had changed 
for the worse. The beauty of her form was gone, and 
when she spoke about the French actress a wicked ex- 
pression came over her face which spoiled it. He 
looked at her as a man looks at a flower which he has 
plucked and which has faded, and he finds it hard to 
recognize the beauty for the sake of which he has 
plucked it and despoiled it. And yet he felt that at 
the time when his passion was more violent, he might, 
if he had earnestly desired it, have torn his love out of 
his heart ; but now, at the very time when it seemed to 
him that he felt no love for her, he knew that the tie 
that bound him to her was indissoluble. 

" Well, well, tell me what you have to say about the 
prince," replied Anna. " I have driven away the demon, 
I have driven him away," she added. Between them- 
selves they called her jealousy the demon. " You began 
to tell me something about the prince. Why was it so 
disagreeable to you ? " 

fi^^'Oh, it was unbearable," replied Vronsky, trying to 
pick up the thread of his thought again. " The prince 
does n't improve on close acquaintance. I can only 
compare him to one of those highly fed animals which 
take first prizes at exhibitions," he added, with an air of 
vexation, which seemed to interest Anna. 

" No, but how ? Is he not a cultivated man, who has 
seen much of the world ? " 


" It is an entirely different kind of cultivation — their 
cultivation ! One would say that he was cultivated only 
for the sake of scorning cultivation, as he scorns every- 
thing else, except animal pleasures." 

"■ But are you not also fond of all these animal pleas- 
ures yourself?" said Anna, and once more he noticed 
the gloomy look in her eyes which avoided his. 

'* Why do you defend him .'' " he asked, smiling. 

" I am not defending him ; it is all absolutely indiffer- 
ent to me. But it seems to me if you did not like these 
pleasures, you might dispense with them. But you 
enjoyed going to see that Th^r^se in the costume of 
Eve." .... 

" There is the demon again," said Vronsky, taking her 
hand which lay on the table and kissing it. 

" Yes ; but I can't help it. You can't imagine what 
I suffered while I was waiting for you. I do not think 
I am jealous ; I am not jealous : when you are here with 
me I believe in you ; but when you are away, leading a 
life so incomprehensible to me...." 

She drew away from him, drew the crochet-needle out 
of her work, and speedily, with the help of her index 
finger, the stitches of white wool gleaming in the lamp- 
light began one after the other to take form, and 
swiftly, nervously, the delicate wrist* moved back and 
forth in the embroidered cuff. 

" Tell me, how was it .'' where did you meet AlekseT 
Aleksandrovitch," she asked suddenly, in a voice still 
sounding unnatural. 

"We ran against each other at the door." 

" And did he greet you like this } " 

She drew down her face and, half closing her eyes, 
instantly changed her whole expression, and Vronsky 
suddenly saw the same look in her pretty features which 
Aleksef Aleksandrovitch had worn when he bowed to 
him. He smiled, and Anna began to laugh, with that 
fresh, ringing laugh which was one of her greatest 

" I really do not understand him," said Vronsky. " I 
should have supposed that after your explanation at the 


datcha, he would have broken off with you, and pro- 
voked a duel with me ; but how can he endure such a 
situation ? He suffers, that is evident." 

" He ? " said she, with a sneer. " Oh ! he is perfectly 

" Why should we all torture ourselves in this way, 
when everything might be so easily arranged .-* " 

" Only that does n't suit him. Oh, don't I know him, 
and the falsity on which he subsists. How could he 
live as he lives with me if he had any feelings.'' He has 
no susceptibilities, no feelings ! Could a man of any 
susceptibilities live in the same house with his guilty 
wife.-* How can he talk with her? How can he address 
her famiharly ?"^ 

And again she imitated the way her husband would 
say, " T?a, ma cJihe, tui, Anna." 

" He is not a man, I tell you ; he is a puppet. No 
one knows it, but I know it. Oh, if I had been in his 
place, I would long ago have killed, have torn in pieces, 
a wife like myself, instead of saying, ' Tiii, ma chhre 
Anjta,' to her ; but he is not a man ; he is a ministerial 
machine. He does not understand that I am your wife, 

that he is nothing to. me, that he is in the way No, no, 

let us not talk about him." 

" You are unjust, my dear," said Vronsky, trying 
to calm her ; " but all the same, let us not talk any 
more about him. Tell me how you do. How are 
you .'' You wrote me you were ill ; what did the doc- 
tor say .'' " 

She looked at him with gay raillery. Evidently she 
still saw ridiculous and abominable traits in her hus- 
band, and would willingly have continued to speak 
about them. 

But he added : — 

" I suspect you were not really ill, but that it comes 
from your condition .... when will it be .'' " 

The sarcastic gleam disappeared from Anna's eyes, 

^ Literally, "say tui, thou, to her." In Russian, as in French and 
German, the second person singular is used in familiar intercourse among 
relatives and friends. — Ed. 


but suddenly a different kind of smile — the token of a 
gentle melancholy, of some feeling he could not com- 
prehend — took its place. 

" Soon, very soon. You said our position is painful, 
and that it must be changed. If you knew how 
hard it is for me, what I would give to be able to 
love you freely and openly! I should not torment my- 
self and I should not torment you with my jealousy 

And t/iis will be soon, but not in the way we think." 

And at the thought of how this would take place she 
felt such pity for herself that the tears filled her eyes 
and she could not go on. She put her white hand, with 
the rings sparkling in the lamplight, on Vronsky's arm. 

" This will not be as we think. I did not intend to 
speak to you about this, but you compel me to. Soon, 
soon, every knot will be disentangled, and all of us, all, 
will be at peace, and we shall not be tormented any more." 

" I don't know what you mean," he said ; yet he 
understood her. 

"You ask, 'When will it be.'" Soon. And I shall 
not survive it Don't interrupt me ! " 

And she went on speaking rapidly : — 

" I know it, I am perfectly certain I am going to die ; 
and I am glad to die, and to free myself and you." 

Her tears continued to fall. Vronsky bent over her 
hand and began to kiss it, and tried to conceal his own 
emotion, which he knew he had no ground for feeling, 
but which he could not overcome. 

" It is better that it should be so," she said, pressing 
his hand fervently. " It is the only thing, the only thing 
left for us." 

" What a foolish idea ! " said Vronsky, lifting up his 
head and regaining his self-possession. " What utter 
nonsense you are talking ! " 

"No; it is the truth." 

" What do you mean by the truth ? " 

" That I am going to die. I have seen it in a 

" In a dream ? " repeated Vronsky, involuntarily re- 
calling the muzhik of his nightmare. 


*^ Yes, in a dream," she continued. " I had this dream 
a long time ago. I dreamed that I ran into my room to 
get something or other. I was searching about, you know, 
as one does in dreams," said she, opening her eye^ wide 
with horror, "and I noticed something standing in the 
corner of my room," 

"What nonsense ! How do you suppose .... " 

But she would not let him interrupt her ; what she 
was telling was too important to her. 

'* And this something turned around, and I saw a 
little dirty muzhik, with an unkempt beard. I wanted to 
run away, but he bent toward a bag, in which he moved 
some object." 

She made the motion of a person rummaging in a 
bag ; terror was depicted on her face ; and Vronsky, 
recalling his own dream, felt the same terror seize his 

" And all the while he was searching, he talked fast, 
very fast, in French, lisping, you know, ' II f ant le battre^ 
le fer, le broyer, le p^trir .... ' I tried to wake up, but I 
only woke up in my dream, asking what it could mean. 
And Karnei said to me, ' You are going to die, you 
are going to die in child-bed, matushka.' And at last I 
woke up." .... 

" What an absurd dream ! " said Vronsky, but he 
himself felt that there was no conviction in his voice. 

" But let us say no more about it. Ring ; I am going 
to give you some tea, so stay a little longer. It is a 
long time since I .... " 

She suddenly ceased speaking. The expression of 
her face instantly changed. Horror and emotion disap- 
peared from her face, which assumed an expression of 
gentle, serious, and affectionate solicitude. He could 
not understand the significance of that change. 

She had felt within her the motion of a new life. 



After meeting Vronsky on the porch, AlekseY Alek- 
sandrovitch went, as he had planned, to the Italian 
opera. He sat through two acts, and saw every one 
whom he needed to see. Returning home, he looked 
carefully at the hat-rack, and, having assured himself 
that there was no uniform overcoat in the vestibule, 
went straight to his chamber. 

Contrary to his usual habit, instead of going to bed, 
he walked up and down his room till three o'clock in 
the morning. Anger kept him awake, for he could not 
forgive his wife for not being willing to observe the pro- 
prieties, and for not fulfilling the one condition that he 
had imposed on her, — that she should not receive her 
lover in his house. She had not complied with his 
requirement, and he felt bound to punish her, carry 
out his threat, demand a divorce, and take away his son 
from her. He knew all the difficulties that would attend 
this action, but he had said that he should do it, and 
now he was bound to carry out his threat. The Coun- 
tess Lidia had often said that this was the easiest way 
out of his position ; and recently the practice of divorce 
had reached such a pitch of perfection that AlekseY 
Aleksandrovitch saw in it a means of escaping , its 
formal difficulties. 

Moreover, misfortunes never come single ; and the 
trouble arising from the organization of the foreign 
population, and the irrigation of the fields in the gov- 
ernment of ZaraT, had caused Aleksef Aleksandrovitch 
so much unpleasantness in his office that for some time 
he had been in a perpetual state of irritation. 

He passed the night without sleeping, and his anger 
increasing all the while in a sort of colossal system of 
progression, by morning was directed even to the most 
trivial object. He dressed hastily, and went to Anna 
as soon as he knew she was up. He was afraid of los- 
ing the energy which he needed for his explanation with 


his wife ; it was as if he carried a full cup of wrath 
and was afraid of spilling it. 

Anna believ^ed that she thoroughly knew her hus- 
band ; but she was amazed at his appearance as he came 
in. His brows were contracted, and his eyes looked 
gloomily straight ahead, avoiding hers. His lips were 
firm and scornfully compressed. Never had his wife 
seen so much decision as she saw now in his gait, in 
every motion, in the sound of his voice. He entered 
without wishing her good morning, and went directly 
to her writing-desk, and, taking the key, opened the 

" What do you want .-' " cried Anna. 

"Your lover's letters." 

"They are not there," she said, closing the drawer. 
But he knew by her action that he had guessed aright, 
and, roughly pushing away her hand, he quickly seized 
the portfolio in which he knew Anna kept her important 
papers. She attempted to regain it, but he held it at a 

" Sit down ; I want to speak to you," he said, placing 
the portfolio under his arm, and holding it so firmly 
with his elbow that his shoulder was raised by it. 

Anna looked at him, astonished and frightened, but 
said nothing. 

" I told you that I would not permit you to receive 
your lover in this house." 

" I needed to see him to .... " 

She stopped, unable to find a plausible explanation. 

" I will not enter into details, and have no desire to 
know why a woman needs to see her lover." 

" I wished, I only .... " she said, flashing up, and feel- 
ing that her husband's rudeness made her bold — " is it 
possible that you are not aware how easy it is for you 
to insult me.-* " 

" One can insult only an honest man or an honest 
woman ; but to tell a thief that he is a thief, is only la 
constatation dun fait — the statement of a fact." 

" That is a degree of cruelty that I never recognized 
in you." 


" Ah ! you find a husband cruel because he gives his 
wife perfect freedom, gives her the protection of an 
honest, noble name on the sole condition that she re- 
spect the laws of propriety ? You call that cruelty ? " 

" It is worse than cruelty ; it is cowardice, if you 
insist on knowing," cried Anna, with an outburst of 
anger, and rising, she started to go. 

" No," cried he, in his piping voice, which was now 
a tone higher than usual ; and seizing her by the arm 
with his great, bony fingers so roughly that one of 
Anna's bracelets left a red print on her flesh, he forced 
her back into her place. 

" Cowardice, indeed ! If you wish to employ that 
word, apply it to her who abandons her son and hus- 
band for a lover, and nevertheless eats her husband's 

Anna bowed her head ; she not only did not say what 
she had said the evening before to her lover, that /le 
was her husband while her husband was in the way — 
she did not even think it. She appreciated all the 
justice of his words, and she replied in a low voice : — 

"You cannot judge my position more severely than 
I do myself ; but why do you say all this ? " 

" Why do I say this .•' " continued he as angrily as 
ever ; " so that you may know that, since you have paid 
no attention to my wishes, and have broken the rules 
of propriety, I shall take measures to put an end to 
this state of affairs." 

" Soon, very soon, it will terminate itself," said Anna, 
and again at the thought of that death which she felt 
near at hand, and now so desirable, her eyes filled with 

" Sooner even than you and your lover have dreamed 

of ! You need to make atonement by keen suffer- 
in ^ »' 

" AlekseY Aleksandrovitch ! I do not say that this 
is not magnanimous ; but it is not gentlemanly to strike 
one who is down." 

" You only think of yourself : the suffering of one 
who has been your husband is of little interest to you ; 


it is a matter of indifference to you that his life has been 
overthrown, that he suffers ...." 

Alekseif Aleksandrovitch spoke so rapidly that he 
stammered, and could not speak the word.^ 

This seemed ridiculous to Anna, but she immediately 
was ashamed of herself because anything could seem 
to her ridiculous at such a moment. For the first 
time, and for a moment, she felt for him, and entered 
into his feelings and pitied him. But what could she 
say or do ? She bowed her head and was silent. 
He also was silent for a little, then began again in 
a less piercing and colder voice, emphasizing words of 
no special importance: — 

" I came to tell you .... " 

She glanced at him. " No, that proves it to me," she 
said to herself, as she remembered the expression of his 
face as he stammered over the word suffered. " No, how 
can a man, with his dull eyes, so full of calm self-satis- 
faction, feel anything." 

" I cannot change," she murmured. 

" I have come to tell you that to-morrow I am going 
to Moscow, and that I shall not enter this house again. 
You will learn of my determination from the lawyer 
who will have charge of the preliminaries of the divorce. 
My son will go to my sister," he added, recalling with 
difficulty what he wanted to say about the child. 

" You want to take Serozha away so as to cause me 
pain," she cried, glaring at him ; " you do not love him .... 
leave Serozha ! " 

" Yes, I have even lost my love for my son because 
the repulsion you inspire in me includes him ; but I 
shall keep him, nevertheless. Good morning." 

He was about to go, but she detained him. 

" Alekseif Aleksandrovitch, leave Serozha with me," 
she whispered again; "that is all I ask of you; leave 
him with me tillmy*.<. I shall soon be confined. Leave 
him with me I " 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch flushed with indignation, 
pushed away the arm that held him back, and left her 
without replying. 

^ PeU ....pele ....pelestradal. 



The reception-room of the celebrated Petersburg 
lawyer was full of people when Aleksef Aleksandro- 
vitch entered it. Three ladies, one old, another young, 
and a merchant's wife ; three men, a German banker 
with a ring on his hand, a merchant with a beard, and 
a sullen-looking official in undress-uniform with a deco- 
ration around his neck, had apparently been waiting a 
long time. 

Two clerks were writing with scratching pens. Their 
writing utensils — and Aleksef Aleksandrovitch was a 
connoisseur of such things — were of unusual excellence. 
Aleksei' could not fail to take note of that fact. One 
of the clerks turned his head, with an air of annoyance, 
toward the newcomer, and, without rising, asked him, 
with half-closed eyes : — 

" What do you want .'' " 

" I have business with the lawyer." 

" He is busy," replied the clerk severely, pointing with 
his pen toward those who were already waiting ; and 
he went back to his writing. 

" Will he not find a moment to receive me ? " asked 
Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch. 

" He is not at liberty a single moment ; he is always 
busy : have the goodness to wait." 

" Be so good as to give him my card," said Aleksei 
Aleksandrovitch, with dignity, seeing that it was im- 
possible to preserve his incognito. 

The secretary took his card, and, evidently not approv- 
ing of it, left the room. 

Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch, on principle, approved of 
public courts, but he did not fully sympathize with cer- 
tain details of its application in Russia, because of his 
acquaintance with its working in the best official rela- 
tions, and he criticized them as far as he could criticize 
anything that received the sanction of the supreme 
power. His whole life was spent in administrative 
activity, and consequently when he did not sympathize 


with anything, his lack of sympathy was modified by 
his recognition of the fact that errors were unavoidable,- 
but that some things might be remedied. In the new 
judicial arrangement he did not approve of the condi- 
tions in which the lawyers were placed. Hitherto he 
had not had occasion to deal with lawyers, and so he had 
disapproved of the system only theoretically. But now 
his disapprobation was greatly increased by the dis- 
agreeable impression made on him in the lawyer's re- 

" The lawyer will be out immediately," said the clerk; 
and in reality in about two minutes the door opened, 
and the lawyer appeared, together with a tall justice of 
the peace. 

The lawyer was a short, thick-set man, with a bald 
head, a dark reddish beard, a prominent forehead, and 
long, shiny eyebrows. His dress, from his necktie and 
double watch-chain down to his poUshed boots, was that 
of a dandy. His face was intelligent, but vulgar ; his 
manner pretentious and in bad taste. 

" Be so good as to walk in," said he, addressing 
Aleksef Aleksandrovitch ; and gloomily ushering him 
into the next room, he closed the door. 

" Will you not sit ? " 

He pointed to an arm-chair near his desk covered 
with papers, and rubbing his short, hairy hands together, 
he settled himself in front of the desk, and bent his head 
to one side. But he was hardly seated when a moth- 
miller flew on the table, and the little man, with unex- 
pected liveliness, caught it on the wing ; then he quickly 
resumed his former attitude. 

" Before beginning to explain my business," said 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch, following the movements of 
the lawyer with astonishment, " I must inform you that 
the subject which brings me here is to be kept secret." 

An imperceptible smile slightly moved the lawyer's 
projecting reddish mustache. 

" If I were not capable of keeping the secrets in- 
trusted to me, I should not be a lawyer," said he ; " but 
if you wish to be assured ...." 


AlekseT Aleksandrovitch glanced at him and noticed 
that his gray eyes, full of intelligence, had apparently 
read all that he had to tell. 

" Do you know my name ? " asked AlekseY Aleksan- 

" I know you and how valuable " — here again he caught 
a miller — " your services are, as every Russian does," 
replied the lawyer, bowing. 

AlekseY Aleksandrovitch sighed ; with difficulty he 
brought himself to speak ; but when he had once begun, 
he continued unhesitatingly, in a clear, sharp voice, em- 
phasizing certain words. 

" I have the misfortune to be a deceived husband. I 
wish to obtain legal separation from my wife, — that is, 
a divorce, — and, above all, to separate my son from his 

The lawyer's gray eyes did their best to remain seri- 
ous, but they danced with unrestrained delight, and 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch saw that they were full of an 
amusement not caused solely by the prospect of a good 
suit ; they shone with enthusiasm, with triumph, — some- 
thing like the brilliancy he had noticed in his wife's 

" You wish my assistance to obtain the divorce ? " 

" Yes, exactly ; but I must warn you that I run the 
risk of wasting your time, I have only come to ask pre- 
liminary advice. I wish a divorce, but for me certain 
forms are essential in which it is possible. Very possi- 
bly I shall give up the idea of any legal attempt if 
these forms do not coincide with my requirements." 

" Oh, that is always the way," said the lawyer ; " you 
will always remain perfectly free." 

The little man, that he might not offend his client by 
the delight which his face ill concealed, fixed his eyes 
on AlekseY Aleksandrovitch's feet. He saw a moth fly- 
ing in front of his nose and he put out his hand, but he 
restrained himself, out of respect to Aleksel Aleksandro- 
vitch's situation. 

" The general features of the laws of divorce are well 
known to me," continued Aleksei Aleksandrovitch; "but 


I should like to have a general knowledge of the for- 
malities which are employed in the practical settlement 
of affairs of this kind." 

" You wish," replied the lawyer, not raising his eyes 
and entering with no little satisfaction into the spirit of 
his client's words, "you wish me to expound for you the 
way whereby your wishes may be fulfilled." 

And, as Aleksei Aleksandrovitch assented with an 
inclination of his head, he continued, casting a furtive 
glance now and then at his face, which was flushed with 
red spots. 

" Divorce, according to our laws," said he, with a slight 
shade of disdain for our laws, " is possible, as you know, 
in the following cases.... Let them wait!" he cried, 
seeing his clerk open the door. However, he rose, went 
to say a few words to him, came back, and sat down 
again : " .... in the following cases : physical defect of 
one of the parties ; next, the unexplained absence of 
one of them for five years," — in making this enumera- 
tion he bent down his short, hairy fingers, one after 
another, — " and finally, adultery." This word he pro- 
nounced with evident satisfaction. " The categories are 
as follows : " — he kept on doubling over his fat fingers, 
although the case before him and the categories, it 
was plain enough, could not be classified together, — 
" physical incapacity of husband or wife, then adultery 
of husband or wife." Then as all his fingers were closed 
he raised them all again and proceeded : " This is the 
theoretical view, but I think that, in doing me the honor 
to consult me, you desire to know the practical side, do 
you not .'' And therefore, guiding myself by antecedents, 
it is my duty to inform you that as this case is neither 
one of physical defect, nor absence of one of the parties, 
as I understand .'' " .... 

Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch bowed his head in confirma- 
tion of this. 

"The reason last named remains, — adultery, — and 
the conviction of the guilty party by mutual consent, and 
without mutual consent, compulsory conviction. I must 
say that the last case is rarely met with in practice," 


said the lawyer ; and he glanced at his client and waited 
like a gunsmith who explains to a purchaser the use of 
two pistols of different caliber, leaving him free to choose 
between them. 

But Alekser Aleksandrovitch remaining silent, he 
continued : — 

" The commonest, simplest, and most reasonable way, 
in my opinion, is to recognize the guilt by mutual agree- 
ment. I should not allow myself to say this if I were 
talking to a man of less experience than yourself," said 
the lawyer, " but I suppose that this is comprehensible 
to you." 

Alekself Aleksandrovitch, however, was so troubled 
that he did not at the first moment realize the reason- 
ableness of " adultery, by mutual agreement," and this 
uncertainty was to be read in his eyes ; but the lawyer 
came at once to his aid. 

" Suppose that a man and wife can no longer live 
together ; if both consent to a divorce, the details and 
formalities amount to nothing. This is the simplest 
and surest way." 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch understood now, but he had 
religious convictions which stood in the way of his em- 
ploying this measure. ■ 

" In the present case this means is out of the ques- 
tion," said he. " Here only one case is possible : com- 
pulsory conviction, supported by letters which are in 
my possession." 

At the mention of letters, the lawyer, pressing his 
lips together, uttered an exclamation both of pity and 

" Please take notice," he began, " affairs of this sort 
are, as you well know, decided by the upper clergy," he 
said. " Our Fathers the protopopes are great connois- 
seurs in affairs of this kind and attend to the minutest 
details," said he, with a smile which showed his sympa- 
thy for the protopopes. " Letters undoubtedly might 
serve as partial evidence. But proofs must be furnished 
in the right way — by witnesses. However, if you do 
me the honor to grant me your confidence, you must 


give me the choice of measures to be pursued. Where 
there is a will, there is a way." 

"If that is so...." began AlekseY Aleksandrovitch, 
suddenly growing very pale. But at that instant the 
lawyer again ran to the door, to reply to a fresh interrup- 
tion from his clerk. 

" Tell her, then, that this is not a cheap shop," said 
he and returned to Aleksef Aleksandrovitch. As he 
returned to his place he caught another moth. 

" My reps will be in a fine condition by summer ! " 
he said to himself, scowling. 

" You were kind enough to say .... " 

" I will communicate to you my decision by letter," 
replied Aleksef Aleksandrovitch, standing up and lean- 
ing his hand on the table. After standing for a moment 
in thought, he said : — 

" From your words I conclude that a divorce is possi- 
ble. I shall be obliged to you if you will make your 
conditions known to me." 

" Everything is possible if you will give me entire 
freedom of action," said the lawyer, eluding the last 
question. " When may I expect a communication from 
you ? " asked he, moving to the door with eyes as shiny 
as his boots. 

" Within a week. You will then have the goodness 
to let me know whether you accept the case, and on 
what terms } " 

" Very good." 

The lawyer bowed respectfully, conducted his client 
to the door, and when he was left alone, he gave vent 
to his feelings of joy ; he felt so gay that, contrary to 
his principles, he made a deduction to a lady skilled in 
the art of making a bargain, and neglected to catch a 
moth, resolving definitely that he would have his furni- 
ture upholstered the next winter with velvet, as Sigonin 



Alekse'i' Aleksandrovitch had won a brilliant vic- 
tory at the session of the Commission of August 29, but 
the consequences of his victory were injurious to him. 
The new committee appointed to study the situation of 
the foreign population had been constituted and had 
gone to its field of action with a promptness and energy 
surprising to Aleksei Aleksandrovitch ; at the end of 
three months it presented its report. 

The condition of this population had been studied 
from a political, administrative, economical, ethnographi- 
cal, material, and religious point of view. Each ques- 
tion was followed by an admirably concise reply, leaving 
no room to doubt that these answers were the work, not 
of a human mind, always liable to mistake, but of an 
experienced bureaucracy. These answers were based 
on official data, such as the reports of governors and 
archbishops, based again on the reports of heads of 
districts and ecclesiastical superintendents, in their turn 
based on the reports from communal administrations 
and country priests. And therefore their correctness 
could not be doubted. Questions such as these, " Why 
are the harvests poor .'' " and, " Why do the inhabitants 
of certain localities persist in their behefs .■* " and the like 
— questions which without the help of the official ma- 
chine could never be solved, and to which ages would not 
have found a reply — were clearly solved, in conformity 
with the opinions of Aleksef Aleksandrovitch. 

But Stremof, feeling that he had been touched to 
the quick at the last session, had employed for the recep- 
tion of the committee's report a stratagem unexpected 
by Aleksei Aleksandrovitch. Taking with him several 
other members, he suddenly went over to Karenin's 
side, and, not satisfied with warmly supporting the 
measures proposed by Aleksei Aleksandrovitch, he pro- 
posed others, of the same nature. These measures, 
which were of such a radical nature as to be entirely 
opposed to Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch's intention, were 


adopted and then Stremof 's tactics were revealed. Car- 
ried to extremes, these measures seemed so ridiculous 
that the government officials, and public opinion, and 
ladies of influence, and the daily papers, all attacked 
them and expressed the greatest indignation both at 
the measures themselves and at their avowed promoter, 
Alekseif Aleksandrovitch. 

Stremof slipped out of sight, pretending that he only 
blindly followed Karenin's plan, and that he himself 
was amazed and dumfounded at what had happened. 
This greatly weakened Alekse'i Aleksandrovitch. But 
notwithstanding his enfeebled health, notwithstanding 
his family annoyances, he did not give up. The com- 
mittee was split into two factions : some of them, with 
Stremof at their head, explained their mistake by the 
fact that they had placed full confidence in the Revi- 
sionary Committee which, under the lead of Alekseif 
Aleksandrovitch, had brought in its report, and they 
declared the report of this committee of inspection was 
rubbish and so much wasted paper. AlekseT Alek- 
sandrovitch, with a party of men who saw the peril of 
such a revolutionary reference to documents, continued 
to support the data worked out by the Revisionary 

As a result of this, the highest circles and even so- 
ciety was thrown into confusion, and although this 
was a question of the greatest interest to every one, 
no one could make out whether the foreign popula- 
tions were in reality suffering and dying out or flourish- 

Karenin's position in consequence of this and partly 
in consequence of the contempt which people felt 
for him by reason of his wife's unfaithfulness became 
very precarious. In this state of affairs he made 
an important resolution : to the great astonishment 
of the commission, he announced that he demanded 
the right to go and study these questions himself 
on the spot ; and, permission having been granted him, 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch set out for the distant prov- 


His departure made a great sensation, especially from 
the fact that, at his very departure, he officially refused 
the traveling expenses required for twelve post-horses, 
to take him to the places of inspection. 

" I think that was very noble of him," said Betsy to 
the Princess Miagkaya. "Why should they pay for 
post-horses, when every one knows that you can go 
everywhere nowadays by rail ? " 

But the Princess Miagkaya did not agree with her, 
and she was greatly wrought up by the Princess Tver- 
skaya's remark. 

" This is very well for you to say," she replied, " when 
you have I don't know how many millions, but I like 
it very much when my husband goes off on a tour of 
inspection in the summer. It is very healthy and 
agreeable for him to go driving about, but I have made 
it a rule to keep that money for my own horse-hire and 
izvoshchiks ! " 

On his way to the distant provinces, AlekseY Alek- 
sandrovitch stopped at Moscow three days. 

The next day after his arrival, he was coming from a 
call on the governor-general. At the crossing of the 
GazetnoT Street, where carriages of every description 
are always thronging, he heard his name called in such 
a gay, sonorous voice, that he could not help stopping. 
There stood Stepan Arkadyevitch on the sidewalk, in a 
short, stylish paletot, with a stylish hat set on one 
side, with a radiant smile which showed his white teeth 
between his red lips, gay, youthful-looking, brilliant. 
He kept calling to him and beckoning to him to 
stop. He was holding by one hand to the window of 
a carriage which had drawn up to the sidewalk, and in 
the carriage was a woman in a velvet hat, with two 
little ones ; she also beckoned to him and smiled. 

It was Dolly and her children. 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch had not counted on seeing 
in Moscow any one whom he knew, and least of all his 
wife's brother. He took off his hat and would have 
proceeded, but Stepan Arkadyevitch motioned to the 


coachman to stop, and ran through the snow to the 

" How long have you been here ? What a sin not to 
let us know you were coming ! I was at Dusseaux's last 
evening, and I saw the name of Karenin on the list of 
arrivals, but it never occurred to me that it was you, 
else I should have looked you up," said he, passing his 
head through the door. " How glad I am to see you," 
he went on to say, striking his feet together to shake 
off the snow. "What a sin not to let us know." 

"I hadn't time. I am very busy," replied Alekseif 
Aleksandrovitch, curtly. 

" Come and speak to my wife ; she wants to see you 
very much." 

Alekseif Aleksandrovitch threw off the plaid which 
covered his chilly limbs, and, leaving his carriage, made 
a way through the snow to Darya Aleksandrovna. 

" Why, what has happened, Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch, 
that you avoid us in this way ? " said she, smiling. 

" I was very busy. I am delighted to see you," re- 
plied Karenin, in a tone which clearly proved that he 
was annoyed. " How is your health ? " 

" How is my dear Anna ? " 

Alekseif Aleksandrovitch muttered a few words, and 
was about to leave her, but Stepan Arkadyevitch de- 
tained him. 

" Do you know what we are going to do to-morrow ? 
Dolly, invite him to dine. Have Koznuishef and Pestsof, 
so as to regale him with the representative intellects of 

"Oh, please come! " said Dolly; "we will name any 
hour that is convenient — five or six, as you please. 
But how is my dear Anna .<* It is so long ...." 

" She is well," muttered Aleksei" Aleksandrovitch 
again, frowning. " Very happy to have met you." 

And he went back to his carriage. 

" Will you come ? " cried Dolly again. 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch said something in reply 
which Dolly could not hear in the rumble of car- 


" I am coming to see you to-morrow ! " cried Stepan 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch shut himself up in his car- 
riage, and crouched down in one corner so as not to see 
and not to be seen. 

"What a strange fellow ! " said Stepan Arkadyevitch 
to his wife ; and looking at his watch he made an affec- 
tionate sign of farewell to his wife and children, and 
started off down the sidewalk at a brisk pace. 

" Stiva, Stiva ! " cried Dolly, blushing. He came 

" I must have some money for the children's cloaks. 
Give me some." 

" No matter about that. Tell them that I will settle 
the bill." 

And he disappeared, gayly nodding to some acquain- 
tance as he went. 


The next day was Sunday, and Stepan Arkadyevitch 
went to the Bolsho'i or Great Theater, to attend the 
rehearsal of the ballet, and gave the coral necklace to 
Masha Chibisovaya, the pretty dancing-girl who was 
making her d^but under his protection, as he had prom- 
ised the day before, and behind the scenes in the dim 
twilight of the theater he seized his opportunity and 
kissed her pretty little face glowing with pleasure at his 
gift. Besides fulfilling his promise as to the coral neck- 
lace, he wanted to arrange with her for an assignation 
after the ballet. Having explained to her that he could 
not possibly manage to be present at the beginning of 
the ballet, he promised to come for the next act and 
take her out for supper. 

From the theater Stepan Arkadyevitch went to the 
Okhotnui Ryad, himself selected a fish and asparagus 
for the dinner ; and at noon he went to Dusseaux's, 
where three travelers, friends of his, by happy chance 
were stopping, — Levin, just returned from his journey 


abroad ; his new nachalnik or chief, who had just been 
appointed, and had come to Moscow to look into affairs ; 
and lastly, his brother-in-law, Karenin, whom he was 
bound to invite to dinner. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch liked to go out to dinner, but 
what he liked better still was to give a choice little 
dinner-party with a few select friends. The program 
that he made out for this day pleased him, — fresh 
perch, with asparagus, and a simple but superb roast of 
beef, as pike de resistance, and the right kinds of wine. 
Among the guests he expected Kitty and Levin, and, 
to offset them, a cousin and the young Shcherbatsky ; 
the pikes de resistance among the guests were to be 
Sergyel Koznuishef, a Muscovite and philosopher, and 
Karenin, a Petersburger and man of affairs. More- 
over he would invite the well-known Pestsof, a comical 
fellow, a youth of fifty years, an enthusiast, a musician, 
a ready talker, a historian and a liberal, who would be 
the sauce or garnish for Koznuishef and Aleksei Alek- 
sandrovitch. He would put every one in good spirits 
and stir them up. 

The second instalment of money from the sale of the 
wood had been recently received and was not all gone ; 
Dolly for some time had been lovely and charming ; 
and the thought of this dinner in every respect delighted 
Stepan Arkadyevitch. He was in the happiest frame 
of mind. There were two things which were rather dis- 
agreeable. But these two circumstances were drowned 
in the sea of joviality which rolled its billows in Stepan 
Arkadyevitch's soul. These two circumstances were : 
in the first place, when the evening before he had met 
AlekseT Aleksandrovitch on the street, he had perceived 
that he was stern and cold; and uniting the fact that 
AlekseY Aleksandrovitch had not called or sent word of 
his presence with certain rumors that had reached his 
ears about his sister's relations with Vronsky, Stepan 
Arkadyevitch suspected serious trouble between the 
husband and wife. This was one unpleasant thing. 

The second slight shadow was the fact that the new 
nachalnik, like all new chiefs, had the reputation of be- 


ing a terribly exacting man, who got up at six o'clock, 
worked like a horse, and demanded similar zeal from his 
subordinates. Moreover, this new nachalnik had the 
reputation of being a regular bear in his manners and 
was, according to rumor, a man of the opposite party 
from that to which his predecessor had belonged, and to 
which Stepan Arkadyevitch himself had up to that time 
also belonged. 

The afternoon before, Stepan Arkadyevitch had ap- 
peared at the office in full uniform and the new nachal- 
nik had been very cordial and had talked with Oblonsky 
as with an old friend. Consequently he thought it his 
duty to pay him an unofficial visit. The thought that 
the new nachalnik might not receive him cordially was 
the second disturbing element. But Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch felt instinctively that all would be arranged to per- 

" All people, all men, are transgressors as well as we. 
Why get angry and quarrel .•' " he said to himself as he 
went to the hotel. 

"How are you, Vasili .-• " said he, as he went through 
the corridor with his hat cocked on one side, and met a 
lackey of his acquaintance ; " have you sacrificed your 
whiskers .'' Levin .-' in number seven ? Please show me. 
Thanks ! Do you know, is Count Anitchkin at home ? " 
This was the new nachalnik. 

"At your service," said Vasili, with a smile. "We 
have not seen you for a long time." 

" I was here yesterday, but came up another stair- 
way. Is this number seven .'' " 

When Stepan Arkadyevitch entered, Levin was stand- 
ing in the middle of his room with a muzhik from Tver, 
measuring a bear-skin. 

" Ah ! did you kill him ? " cried Stepan Arkadyevitch. 
" Splendid skin ! A bear ! How are you, Arkhip }" 

He held out his hand to the peasant, and then sat 
down in his paletot and hat. 

" Take off your coat, and stay awhile," said Levin, 
taking his hat. 

" I have n't time. I only came in for a little second," 


replied Oblonsky. He unbuttoned his paletot, then 
took it off, and stayed a whole hour to talk with Levin 
about the hunt and other subjects. 

" Well now ! Tell me, please, what you did while you 
were abroad ; where have you been ? " he asked after 
the peasant had gone. 

" I went to Germany, to France, and England, but 
only to the manufacturing centers, and not to the capi- 
tals. I saw a great deal that was new. I am glad I 

"Yes, yes, I know your ideas about organized labor." 

" Oh, no ! in Russia there can be no labor question. 
The question of the workingman does n't concern us ; 
the only important question for Russia is the relation of 
the workman to the soil ; the question exists there, but 
it is impossible to remedy it there, while here .... " 

Oblonsky listened attentively. 

" Yes, yes," said he, " it is possible that you are right, 
but I am glad that you are in better spirits ; you hunt 
the bear, you work, you are enthusiastic. Shcherbatsky 
told me that he had found you blue and melancholy, 
talking of nothing but death." .... 

" What of that .-* I am continually thinking of death," 
repHed Levin. " It 's true that there is a time to die, 
and that all is vanity. But I will tell you honestly I 
set great value on my thought and work ; but think of 
this world — just take notice! — this world of ours, a 
little mold making the smallest of the planets ! and 
we imagine that our ideas, our works, are something 
grand. It 's all grains of dust ! " .... 

" All that is as old as the hills, brother ! " 

" It is old ; but you see when this idea becomes clear 
to us, how miserable life seems ! When we know that 
death will surely come, and that there will be nothing 
left of us, the most important things seem as insignifi- 
cant as the turning over of this bear-skin. And so in 
order to keep away thoughts of death, we hunt and work 
and try to divert ourselves." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch smiled, and gave Levin one of 
his affectionate looks. 


" Well, of course ! Here you come to me and you 
pounce on me because I seek pleasure in life ! Be not 
so severe, O moralist ! " 

" All the same, there is some good in life," replied 
Levin, becoming confused. ** Well, I don't know, I 
only know that we must soon die." 

" Why soon .? " 

" And you know there is less charm in life when we 
think of death, but more restfulness." 

" On the contrary, we must enjoy what there is of it, 

anyway But," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, rising for 

the tenth time, " I must go." 

"Oh, no! stay a little longer," said Levin, holding 
him back ; '' when shall we see each other again ? I 
leave to-morrow." 

"I am a queer fellow. This is what I came for! .... 
Don't fail to come and dine with us to-day. Your 
brother will be with us ; my brother-in-law, Karenin, will 
be there." 

" Is he here ? " asked Levin, and he wanted to ask 
about Kitty ; he had heard that she had been in Peters- 
burg at the beginning of the winter, visiting her sister, 
the wife of a diplomatist, and he did not know whether 
she had returned or not, but he hesitated about asking. 

** Whether she has come back or not, it 's all the 
same. I will accept," he thought. 

" Will you come ? " 

" Well ! Of course I will." 

" At five o'clock, in ordinary dress." 

And Stepan Arkadyevitch rose, and went down to 
see the new nachalnik. Instinct had not deceived him : 
this dreadful man proved to be a good fellow ; Stepan 
Arkadyevitch lunched with him, and stayed so long to 
talk that it was nearly four o'clock when he got to 
Aleksel Aleksandrovitch's room. 



Aleksei Aleksandrovitch, after he returned from 
mass, spent the morning in his room. He had two 
things to accomplish on this day : first, to receive a 
deputation of the foreign population which was on its 
way to Petersburg, and happened just at that time to 
be at Moscow, and he wanted to instruct them as to 
what they should say ; and then to write to his lawyer, 
as he had promised. 

The deputation, although it had been appointed at 
Aleksef Aleksandrovitch's invitation, was likely to cause 
great embarrassment and even to be a source of peril, 
and Aleksei Aleksandrovitch was very glad to meet it 
in Moscow. The members of the deputation had not 
the slightest comprehension of their duties and obliga- 
tions. They were perfectly persuaded that their work 
consisted in exposing their needs and explaining the ac- 
tual state of affairs and asking governmental assistance ; 
and they really could not comprehend that some of their 
statements and demands gave color to the arguments of 
the hostile party, and therefore spoiled the whole business. 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch had a long discussion with 
them, made out a program, from which they were not 
to deviate on any account in their dealings with the 
government, and, when they left him, gave them letters 
of introduction to various persons in Petersburg, so that 
they might be properly treated. The Countess Lidya 
Ivanovna would be his principal auxiliary in this mat- 
ter; she had a specialty for deputations, and knew 
better than anybody else how to manage them. 

When he had finished this business, Aleksef Aleksan- 
drovitch wrote to his lawyer. Without the slightest mis- 
giving, he gave him full power to do as he thought best, 
and sent three notes from Vronsky to Anna, which he had 
found in the portfolio. Since Aleksei Aleksandrovitch 
had left home with the intention of never returning to 
his family, and since his interview with the lawyer, when 
he had confided to one person at least his intentions, 


and especially since he had transferred this episode of 
his life to a documentary basis, he had become more 
and more settled in his convictions, and was now per- 
fectly clear in his mind that what he wished could be 

Just as he was seaUng his letter, he heard Stepan 
Arkady evitch's loud voice asking the servant if his 
brother-in-law was at home, and insisting on being 

" It 's all the same," thought Aleksel Aleksandrovitch, 
" or rather, so much the better. I will explain to him 
my position in regard to his sister, and he will under- 
stand that it is impossible for me to dine at his house." 

" Come in," he cried, gathering up his papers and 
pushing them into a writing-case. 

" There now, you see yovi lied, and he is at home," 
said Stepan Arkadyevitch to the servant, who would not 
let him in ; then, taking off his overcoat as he walked 
along, he came into AlekseT Aleksandrovitch's room. 

"I am delighted to find you.,.," he began gayly, 
"I hope,..," 

" I cannot go," said AlekseT Aleksandrovitch, coldly, 
receiving his brother-in-law standing, and not asking 
him to sit down, Aleksel" Aleksandrovitch resolved to 
adopt with his wife's brother the cool relations which 
seemed proper since he had decided to get a divorce. 
But he did not reckon on that sea of kind-heartedness 
which was always overflowing its banks in Stepan Arka- 
dyevitch's heart. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch opened wide his bright, clear 

" Why can't you come ? What do you mean ? " he 
asked in French with some hesitation. " But you prom- 
ised to come, and we all are counting on you." 

" I wish to tell you that I cannot come because our 
family relations must be broken." 

"How is that ? Why ? " said Oblonsky, with a smile. 

*' Because I have commenced an action for getting a 
divorce from my wife, your sister. I must.... " 

But AlekseT Aleksandrovitch did not finish his sen- 


tence — for Stepan Arkadyevitch acted in a manner 
quite contrary to his expectations. Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch sank into an arm-chair, with a deep sigh. 

" Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch, it can't be possible," he 
cried, with pain expressed in his face. 

" It is true." 

" Pardon me. I cannot, I cannot believe it." 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch sat down ; he felt that his 
words had not produced the effect that he had looked 
for, and that whatever explanation he might make his 
relations with Oblonsky would remain the same. 

"Yes, it is a cruel necessity, but I am forced to de- 
mand the divorce," he replied. 

" I will say only one thing to you, AlekseY Aleksan- 
drovitch. I know that you are a man of principle, and 
I know Anna is one of the best of women, — excuse me 
if I cannot change my opinion of her, — I cannot 
believe it ; there must be some misunderstanding ! " 

" Yes ; if it were only a misunderstanding ! " .... 

" Excuse me ; I understand ; but I beg of you, I beg 
of you, do not be in haste," interrupted Stepan Arka- 

" I have done nothing hastily," said Aleksef Aleksan- 
drovitch, coldly ; " but in such a case, one cannot ask 
advice of anybody; I am decided." 

"This is terrible," exclaimed Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
with a deep sigh. " I would do one thing, Alekseif 
Aleksandrovitch. I beseech you to do this ! " said he. 
" Proceedings, as I understand, have not yet begun. 
Before you do anything talk with my wife. She loves 
Anna like a sister, she loves you, and she is a woman 
of good sense. For God's sake, talk with her. Do me 
this favor, I beg of you." 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch deliberated, and Stepan Ar- 
kadyevitch looked at him sympathetically, not breaking 
in on his silence. 

" Will you come to her ? " 

"Well, I don't know. That is the reason I did not 
call at your house. I suppose our relations ought to be 
broken off." 


" Why should they be ? I don't see that. Allow me 
to believe that apart from our family connection, you 
have toward me, to a certain extent at least, the same 
friendly sentiments which I have always felt toward 

you Andgenuine regard.... "said Stepan Arkadyevitch, 

pressing his hand. " Even if your worst surmises were 
justified, I should never take it on myself to criticize 
either side, and I see no reason why our relations should 
be changed. But now do this, — come and see my wife." 

" Well, you and I look on this matter differently," said 
Aleksei Aleksandrovitch, coldly. " However, we will 
not discuss it." 

" No, but why should you not come and dine with us> 
at least to-day .■* My wife expects you. Please come ! 
and above all talk with her ; she is, I assure you, a 
superior woman. For God's sake come, I beg you on 
my knees." 

" If you wish it so much, I will go," said Alekself 
Aleksandrovitch, sighing. And to change the conver- 
sation, he asked Stepan Arkadyevitch about a matter 
which interested them both : about the new nachalnik, a 
man still young, who had suddenly received such an 
important appointment. 

Aleksef Aleksandrovitch had never liked Count 
Anitchkin, and had always differed with him about many 
questions ; and now he could not help a feeling of envy 
natural to an official who had suffered defeat in his work 
and saw a younger man receiving advancement. 

"Well, have you met him yet.-*" asked Aleksef Alek- 
sandrovitch, with a venomous smile. 

" Oh, yes ; he was with us yesterday at the session. 
He seems like a man very well informed and very active." 

" Active ? but how does he employ his activity ? " ex- 
claimed Aleksei' Aleksandrovitch. " Is it in doing his 
work, or in destroying what others have done before 
him ? The plague of our government is this scribbling 
bureaucracy, of which Anitchkin is a worthy representa- 

" Truly I don't know how this criticism applies to him. 
I don't even know his tendencies ; at any rate, he is a 



very good fellow," replied Stepan Arkadyevitch. " I 
have just been with him,... a very good fellow; we 
lunched together, and I taught him how to make a drink, 
you know — wine and oranges. He liked it very much. 
No, he is a fine young man." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch looked at his watch. 

" Akh batiushki ! it is after four o'clock ! and I have 
still to see Dolgovushin. It is decided, then, that you 
will dine with us, is n't it .'' Both my wife and myself 
will feel really hurt if you refuse to come." 

Aleksei Aleksandrovitch took leave of his brother-in- 
law very differently from the way in which he had 
greeted him. 

" I have promised, and I will come," he repUed in a 
melancholy tone. 

" Believe me, I appreciate it; and I hope you will not 
regret it," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, with a smile. 

And putting on his overcoat in the hall, he shook his 
fist at the servant's head, laughed, and went out. 

"At five o'clock, remember, and in ordinary dress," he 
called back once more, returning to the door. 


It was already six o'clock and several guests had 
come when the master of the house entered, meeting 
SergyeY Ivanovitch Koznuishef and Pestsof at the door. 

These were the two chief representatives of Moscow in- 
tellect, as Oblonsky had called them, and were men of 
distinction both by wit and character. They valued each 
other, but on almost every topic were absolutely and 
hopelessly at odds, not because they belonged to oppos- 
ing parties but precisely because they were of the same 
camp, — their enemies confounded them in one, — but 
in this camp they each had their shades of opinion. Now 
there is nothing more conducive to disagreement than 
dissent in small particulars, and so they not only never 
agreed in their opinions, but never failed to laugh at each 
Qther good-naturedly for their incorrigible inistakes. 


They reached the door, talking about the weather, just 
as Stepan Arkadyevitch overtook them. 

The old Prince Aleksandr Dmitrievitch Shcherbatsky, 
young Shcherbatsky, Turovtsuin, Kitty, and Karenin 
were already in the drawing-room. 

Stepan Arkadyevitch instantly perceived that matters 
in the drawing-room were going badly without him. 
Darya Aleksandrovna, in her best gray silk gown, es- 
pecially preoccupied with the children, who should have 
been eating their supper in the nursery by themselves, 
and anxious because her husband was late, did not 
succeed very well in entertaining her guests. All were 
sitting "like a pope's daughters making a call," as the 
old prince expressed it, evidently perplexed to know 
why they had come and with difficulty finding a few 
words so that the silence might not be absolute. The 
good-natured Turovtsuin apparently felt out of his 
sphere and the smile on his thick lips when he greeted 
Stepan Arkadyevitch spoke louder than words: "Well, 
my dear fellow, you have got me here with clever 
people ! We are making merry here. It is a regular 
chdteau des fleitrs ! .... I am doing my part." 

The old prince was sitting in silence looking out of 
the corner of his bright eyes at Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
and Stepan Arkadyevitch perceived that he was trying 
to think up something worth saying to make an impres- 
sion on this great statesman who was being served up 
like a sterlet for the benefit of the guests. Kitty kept 
glancing at the door, trying with all her might not to be 
caught blushing when Konstantin Levin should appear. 
Young Shcherbatsky, who had not been presented to 
Karenin, was trying to show that this did not cause 
him any constraint. 

Karenin himself was in black coat and white necktie, 
according to the Petersburg custom, and Stepan Arkadye- 
vitch perceived by his face that he had come only to 
keep his promise and by mingling in this society was per- 
forming a burdensome task. He more than any one else 
was the cause of the chill which froze all the guests into 
silence until Stepan Arkadyevitch made his appearance. 


As soon as Stepan Arkadyevitch entered the drawing- 
room, he made his excuses and explained that he had 
been detained by a certain prince who was always his 
scapegoat for all his delays and absences. In a twin- 
kling he presented his guests to one another, furnished 
Koznuishef and Karenin a subject of conversation, — 
the Russification of Poland, which they instantly grap- 
pled with, also enlisting Pestsof in the discussion. 
Then, tapping Turovtsuin on the shoulder, he whispered 
some jest into his ear and sat him down between his 
wife and Prince Shcherbatsky, Then he complimented 
Kitty on her beauty and introduced young Shcherbatsky 
to Karenin. In a twinkling he had so worked on all 
this mass of social dough that it began to seem like a 
salon and the voices intermingled in gay confusion. 

Konstantin Levin was the only guest not on hand. 

But even this was a fortunate circumstance, because 
when Stepan Arkadyevitch went into the dining-room 
he discovered to his dismay that the port and sherry 
had come from Des Pres and not from Levy, and he 
seized the opportunity to send the coachman in all 
haste to Levy's, and then he returned to the drawing- 

Levin met him at the door of the dining-room. 

" I am not late, am I ? " 

" How could you be ? " replied Stepan Arkadyevitch, 
taking him by the arm. 

" Are there many people here .-' Who are they ? " 
asked Levin, blushing involuntarily, and with his glove 
brushing away the snow from his hat. 

" No one but relatives. Kitty is here. Come and let 
me present you to Karenin." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch, notwithstanding his liberal views, 
knew that a presentation to Karenin could not fail to be 
flattering, and therefore he regaled his best friends with 
this pleasure. But at this moment Konstantin Levin 
was not in a condition to appreciate all the satisfaction 
which this acquaintance would afford. 

He had not seen Kitty since that well-remembered 
evening when he met Vronsky, except for that glimpse 


of her which he had as she sat in her carriage. In the 
depth of his heart he knew that he was to see her this 
evening. But in his attempt to preserve all the freedom 
of his thoughts, he had tried to persuade himself that he 
did not know it. And now as he learned that she was 
there, he suddenly felt such timidity and at the same 
time such terror that he could hardly breathe, and he 
found it impossible to say what he wanted to say. 

" How will she seem .-* Just as she used to .-* Suppose 
Darya Aleksandrovna was right ! Why was n't she 
right .'' " he thought. 

" Oh ! present me to Karenin, I beg of you," he suc- 
ceeded in stammering, as he entered the drawing-room 
with the courage of despair and saw her. 

She was neither as she had been in old time nor as 
she had been in the carriage : she was altogether differ- 
ent ; she was nervous, timid, modest, and therefore even 
more charming than ever. 

She saw him the moment he entered the drawing- 
room. She had been watching for him, and she felt so 
glad and so confused by reason of her gladness that at 
one moment especially when, after greeting Dolly, he 
looked at her, she was afraid of bursting into tears. 
Levin and Dolly both noticed it. She blushed and 
turned pale and blushed again ; she was so agitated 
that her lips trembled. 

Levin approached her, and bowed and silently offered 
his hand. Had it not been for the slight trembling of 
her lips and the moisture that suffused her eyes and 
increased their brilliancy, her smile would have been 
almost serene as she said : — 

" How long it is since we have met ! " And at the 
same time with a sort of desperate resolution put her 
cold hand into his. 

" You have not seen me ; but I saw you one day," 
said Levin, with a smile of radiant happiness. " I saw 
you when you were going from the railway station to 

" When was it .'* " asked she, in surprise. 

" You were on your way to Yergushovo," said Levin, 

VOL. II. — 13 


feeling that the joy which flooded his soul was suffocat- 
ing him. "How," thought he, "could I have dared to 
associate anything but innocence with this fascinating 
creature? Yes, Darya Aleksandrovna was right." 

Stepan Arkadyevitch came to conduct him to Karenin, 

" Allow me to make you acquainted," said he, calling 
each by name. 

" It is very pleasant to meet you again," said Aleksef 
Aleksandrovitch, coolly, as he took Levin's hand. 

"What! do you already know each other .-'" asked 
Oblonsky, with surprise. 

" We traveled together for three hours," said Levin, 
smihng, "but we parted as from a masked ball, very 
much mystified ; at least, it was the case with me." 

" Really ? .... Will you pass into the dining-room } " 
said Stepan Arkadyevitch pointing toward the door. 

The gentlemen walked into the dining-room, and went 
to a table laden with the zakuska, which was composed of 
six kinds of vodka, as manyvarieties of cheese with silver 
shovels and without, caviare, herring, preserves of differ- 
ent kinds, and platefuls of French bread sHced thin. 

The men stood around the table ; and, while waiting for 
the dinner, the conversation between Sergye'f Ivanovitch 
Koznuishef, Karenin, and Pestsof, about the Russifica- 
tion of Poland, began to languish. Sergyei Ivanovitch, 
who had a faculty peculiar to himself for ending even 
the most absorbing and serious dispute, by an unex- 
pected infusion of Attic salt and so putting the dis- 
putants into a better frame of mind, did th