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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

in the slightest degree affected by it; and for his great strength of character, which he showed in his relations with his comrades and superior officers, commanding both fear and respect, and also at cards, when he would play for tens of thousands and however much he might have drunk, always with such skill and decision that he was reckoned the best player in the English Club. Vronsky respected and liked Yashvin particularly because he felt Yashvin liked him, not for his name and his money, but for himself. And of all men he was the only one with whom Vronsky would have liked to speak of his love. He felt that Yashvin, in spite of his apparent contempt for every sort of feeling, was the only man who could, so he fancied, comprehend the intense passion which now filled his whole life. Moreover, he felt certain that Yashvin, as it was, took no delight in gossip and scandal, and interpreted his feeling rightly, that is to say, knew and believed that this passion was not a jest, not a pastime, but something more serious and important. Vronsky had never spoken to him of his passion, but he was aware that he knew all about it, and that he put the right interpretation on it, and he was glad to see that in his eyes. "Ah! yes," he said, to the announcement that Vronsky had been at the Tverskoys; and his black eyes shining, he plucked at his left mustache, and began twisting it into his mouth, a bad habit he had. "Well, and what did you do yesterday? Win anything?" asked Vronsky. "Eight thousand. But three dont count; he wont pay up." "Oh, then you can afford to lose over me," said Vronsky, laughing. (Yashvin had bet heavily on Vronsky in the races.) "No chance of my losing. Mahotins the only one thats risky." And the conversation passed to forecasts of the coming race, the only thing Vronsky could think of just now. "Come along, Ive finished," said Vronsky, and getting up he went to the door. Yashvin got up too, stretching his long legs and his long back. "Its too early for me to dine, but I must have a drink. Ill come along directly. Hi, wine!" he shouted, in his rich voice, that always rang out so loudly at drill, and set the windows shaking now. "No, all right," he shouted again immediately after. "Youre going home, so Ill go with you." And he walked out with Vronsky. Chapter 20 Vronsky was staying in a roomy, clean, Finnish hut, divided into two by a partition. Petritsky lived with him in camp too. Petritsky was asleep when Vronsky and Yashvin came into the hut. "Get up, dont go on sleeping," said Yashvin, going behind the partition and giving Petritsky, who was lying with ruffled hair and with his nose in the pillow, a prod on the shoulder. Petritsky jumped up suddenly onto his knees and looked round. "Your brothers been here," he said to Vronsky. "He waked me up, damn him, and said hed look in again." And pulling up the rug he flung himself back on the pillow. "Oh, do shut up, Yashvin!" he said, getting furious with Yashvin, who was pulling the rug off him. "Shut up!" He turned over and opened his eyes. "Youd better tell me what to drink; such a nasty taste in my mouth, that..." "Brandys better than anything," boomed Yashvin. "Tereshtchenko! brandy for your master and cucumbers," he shouted, obviously taking pleasure in the sound of his own voice. "Brandy, do you think? Eh?" queried Petritsky, blinking and rubbing his eyes. "And youll drink something? All right then, well have a drink together! Vronsky, have a drink?" said Petritsky, getting up and wrapping the tiger-skin rug round him. He went to the door of the partition wall, raised his hands, and hummed in French, "There was a king in Thule." "Vronsky, will you have a drink?" "Go along," said Vronsky, putting on the coat his valet handed to him. "Where are you off to?" asked Yashvin. "Oh, here are your three horses," he added, seeing the carriage drive up. "To the stables, and Ive got to see Bryansky, too, about the horses," said Vronsky. Vronsky had as a fact promised to call at Bryanskys, some eight miles from Peterhof, and to bring him some money owing for some horses; and he hoped to have time to get that in too. But his comrades

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