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Anna Karenina 118

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

inquisitive look Mihail Vassilievitch turned on her that he was, as it were, keeping watch on her. Mihail Vassilievitch promptly went out on the terrace. She sat down beside her husband. "You dont look quite well," she said. "Yes," he said; "the doctors been with me today and wasted an hour of my time. I feel that some one of our friends must have sent him: my healths so precious, it seems." "No; what did he say?" She questioned him about his health and what he had been doing, and tried to persuade him to take a rest and come out to her. All this she said brightly, rapidly, and with a peculiar brilliance in her eyes. But Alexey Alexandrovitch did not now attach any special significance to this tone of hers. He heard only her words and gave them only the direct sense they bore. And he answered simply, though jestingly. There was nothing remarkable in all this conversation, but never after could Anna recall this brief scene without an agonizing pang of shame. Seryozha came in preceded by his governess. If Alexey Alexandrovitch had allowed himself to observe he would have noticed the timid and bewildered eyes with which Seryozha glanced first at his father and then at his mother. But he would not see anything, and he did not see it. "Ah, the young man! Hes grown. Really, hes getting quite a man. How are you, young man?" And he gave his hand to the scared child. Seryozha had been shy of his father before, and now, ever since Alexey Alexandrovitch had taken to calling him young man, and since that insoluble question had occurred to him whether Vronsky were a friend or a foe, he avoided his father. He looked round towards his mother as though seeking shelter. It was only with his mother that he was at ease. Meanwhile, Alexey Alexandrovitch was holding his son by the shoulder while he was speaking to the governess, and Seryozha was so miserably uncomfortable that Anna saw he was on the point of tears. Anna, who had flushed a little the instant her son came in, noticing that Seryozha was uncomfortable, got up hurriedly, took Alexey Alexandrovitchs hand from her sons shoulder, and kissing the boy, led him out onto the terrace, and quickly came back. "Its time to start, though," said she, glancing at her watch. "How is it Betsy doesnt come?..." "Yes," said Alexey Alexandrovitch, and getting up, he folded his hands and cracked his fingers. "Ive come to bring you some money, too, for nightingales, we know, cant live on fairy tales," he said. "You want it, I expect?" "No, I dont...yes, I do," she said, not looking at him, and crimsoning to the roots of her hair. "But youll come back here after the races, I suppose?" "Oh, yes!" answered Alexey Alexandrovitch. "And heres the glory of Peterhof, Princess Tverskaya," he added, looking out of the window at the elegant English carriage with the tiny seats placed extremely high. "What elegance! Charming! Well, let us be starting too, then." Princess Tverskaya did not get out of her carriage, but her groom, in high boots, a cape, and black hat, darted out at the entrance. "Im going; good-bye!" said Anna, and kissing her son, she went up to Alexey Alexandrovitch and held out her hand to him. "It was ever so nice of you to come." Alexey Alexandrovitch kissed her hand. "Well, _au revoir_, then! Youll come back for some tea; thats delightful!" she said, and went out, gay and radiant. But as soon as she no longer saw him, she was aware of the spot on her hand that his lips had touched, and she shuddered with repulsion. Chapter 28 When Alexey Alexandrovitch reached the race-course, Anna was already sitting in the pavilion beside Betsy, in that pavilion where all the highest society had gathered. She caught sight of her husband in the distance. Two men, her husband and her lover, were the two centers of her existence, and unaided by her external senses she was aware of their nearness. She was aware of her husband approaching a long way off, and she could not help following him in the surging crowd in the midst of which he was moving. She watched his progress towards the pavilion, saw him now responding condescendingly to an ingratiating bow, now exchanging friendly, nonchalant greetings with his equals, now assiduously trying to catch the eye of some great one

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