Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
said Stepan Arkadyevitch, as conspicuously brilliant in the midst
of all the Petersburg brilliance as he was in Moscow, his face
rosy, and his whiskers sleek and glossy. "I came up yesterday,
and Im delighted that I shall see your triumph. When shall we
"Come tomorrow to the messroom," said Vronsky, and squeezing
him by the sleeve of his coat, with apologies, he moved away to
the center of the race course, where the horses were being led
for the great steeplechase.
The horses who had run in the last race were being led home,
steaming and exhausted, by the stable-boys, and one after another
the fresh horses for the coming race made their appearance, for
the most part English racers, wearing horsecloths, and looking
with their drawn-up bellies like strange, huge birds. On the
right was led in Frou-Frou, lean and beautiful, lifting up her
elastic, rather long pasterns, as though moved by springs. Not
far from her they were taking the rug off the lop-eared
Gladiator. The strong, exquisite, perfectly correct lines of the
stallion, with his superb hind-quarters and excessively short
pasterns almost over his hoofs, attracted Vronskys attention in
spite of himself. He would have gone up to his mare, but he was
again detained by an acquaintance.
"Oh, theres Karenin!" said the acquaintance with whom he was
chatting. "Hes looking for his wife, and shes in the middle of
the pavilion. Didnt you see her?"
"No," answered Vronsky, and without even glancing round towards
the pavilion where his friend was pointing out Madame Karenina,
he went up to his mare.
Vronsky had not had time to look at the saddle, about which he
had to give some direction, when the competitors were summoned to
the pavilion to receive their numbers and places in the row at
starting. Seventeen officers, looking serious and severe, many
with pale faces, met together in the pavilion and drew the
numbers. Vronsky drew the number seven. The cry was heard:
Feeling that with the others riding in the race, he was the
center upon which all eyes were fastened, Vronsky walked up to
his mare in that state of nervous tension in which he usually
became deliberate and composed in his movements. Cord, in honor
of the races, had put on his best clothes, a black coat buttoned
up, a stiffly starched collar, which propped up his cheeks, a
round black hat, and top boots. He was calm and dignified as
ever, and was with his own hands holding Frou-Frou by both reins,
standing straight in front of her. Frou-Frou was still trembling
as though in a fever. Her eye, full of fire, glanced sideways at
Vronsky. Vronsky slipped his finger under the saddle-girth. The
mare glanced aslant at him, drew up her lip, and twitched her
ear. The Englishman puckered up his lips, intending to indicate
a smile that anyone should verify his saddling.
"Get up; you wont feel so excited."
Vronsky looked round for the last time at his rivals. He knew
that he would not see them during the race. Two were already
riding forward to the point from which they were to start.
Galtsin, a friend of Vronskys and one of his more formidable
rivals, was moving round a bay horse that would not let him
mount. A little light hussar in tight riding breeches rode off
at a gallop, crouched up like a cat on the saddle, in imitation
of English jockeys. Prince Kuzovlev sat with a white face on his
thoroughbred mare from the Grabovsky stud, while an English groom
led her by the bridle. Vronsky and all his comrades knew
Kuzovlev and his peculiarity of "weak nerves" and terrible
vanity. They knew that he was afraid of everything, afraid of
riding a spirited horse. But now, just because it was terrible,
because people broke their necks, and there was a doctor standing
at each obstacle, and an ambulance with a cross on it, and a
sister of mercy, he had made up his mind to take part in the
race. Their eyes met, and Vronsky gave him a friendly and
encouraging nod. Only one he did not see, his chief rival,
Mahotin on Gladiator.
"Dont be in a hurry," said Cord to Vronsky, "and remember one
thing: dont hold her in at the fences, and dont urge her on;
let her go as she likes."
"All right, all right," said Vronsky, taking the reins.
Anna Karenina page 110 Anna Karenina page 112