Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
world, and taking off his big round hat that squeezed the tips of
his ears. All these ways of his she knew, and all were hateful
to her. "Nothing but ambition, nothing but the desire to get on,
thats all there is in his soul," she thought; "as for these
lofty ideals, love of culture, religion, they are only so many
tools for getting on."
From his glances towards the ladies pavilion (he was staring
straight at her, but did not distinguish his wife in the sea of
muslin, ribbons, feathers, parasols and flowers) she saw that he
was looking for her, but she purposely avoided noticing him.
"Alexey Alexandrovitch!" Princess Betsy called to him; "Im sure
you dont see your wife: here she is."
He smiled his chilly smile.
"Theres so much splendor here that ones eyes are dazzled," he
said, and he went into the pavilion. He smiled to his wife as a
man should smile on meeting his wife after only just parting from
her, and greeted the princess and other acquaintances, giving to
each what was due--that is to say, jesting with the ladies and
dealing out friendly greetings among the men. Below, near the
pavilion, was standing an adjutant-general of whom Alexey
Alexandrovitch had a high opinion, noted for his intelligence and
culture. Alexey Alexandrovitch entered into conversation with
There was an interval between the races, and so nothing hindered
conversation. The adjutant-general expressed his disapproval of
races. Alexey Alexandrovitch replied defending them. Anna heard
his high, measured tones, not losing one word, and every word
struck her as false, and stabbed her ears with pain.
When the three-mile steeplechase was beginning, she bent forward
and gazed with fixed eyes at Vronsky as he went up to his horse
and mounted, and at the same time she heard that loathsome,
never-ceasing voice of her husband. She was in an agony of
terror for Vronsky, but a still greater agony was the
never-ceasing, as it seemed to her, stream of her husbands
shrill voice with its familiar intonations.
"Im a wicked woman, a lost woman," she thought; "but I dont
like lying, I cant endure falsehood, while as for _him_ (her
husband) its the breath of his life--falsehood. He knows all
about it, he sees it all; what does he care if he can talk so
calmly? If he were to kill me, if he were to kill Vronsky, I
might respect him. No, all he wants is falsehood and propriety,"
Anna said to herself, not considering exactly what it was she
wanted of her husband, and how she would have liked to see him
behave. She did not understand either that Alexey
Alexandrovitchs peculiar loquacity that day, so exasperating to
her, was merely the expression of his inward distress and
uneasiness. As a child that has been hurt skips about, putting
all his muscles into movement to drown the pain, in the same way
Alexey Alexandrovitch needed mental exercise to drown the
thoughts of his wife that in her presence and in Vronskys, and
with the continual iteration of his name, would force themselves
on his attention. And it was as natural for him to talk well and
cleverly, as it is natural for a child to skip about. He was
"Danger in the races of officers, of cavalry men, is an essential
element in the race. If England can point to the most brilliant
feats of cavalry in military history, it is simply owing to the
fact that she has historically developed this force both in
beasts and in men. Sport has, in my opinion, a great value, and
as is always the case, we see nothing but what is most
"Its not superficial," said Princess Tverskaya. "One of the
officers, they say, has broken two ribs."
Alexey Alexandrovitch smiled his smile, which uncovered his
teeth, but revealed nothing more.
"Well admit, princess, that thats not superficial," he said,
"but internal. But thats not the point," and he turned again to
the general with whom he was talking seriously; "we mustnt
forget that those who are taking part in the race are military
men, who have chosen that career, and one must allow that every
calling has its disagreeable side. It forms an integral part of
the duties of an officer. Low sports, such as prize-fighting or
Spanish bull-fights, are a sign of barbarity. But specialized
trials of skill are a sign of development."
"No, I shant come another time; its
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