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Anna Karenina 120

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

too upsetting," said Princess Betsy. "Isnt it, Anna?" "It is upsetting, but one cant tear oneself away," said another lady. "If Id been a Roman woman I should never have missed a single circus." Anna said nothing, and keeping her opera glass up, gazed always at the same spot. At that moment a tall general walked through the pavilion. Breaking off what he was saying, Alexey Alexandrovitch got up hurriedly, though with dignity, and bowed low to the general. "Youre not racing?" the officer asked, chaffing him. "My race is a harder one," Alexey Alexandrovitch responded deferentially. And though the answer meant nothing, the general looked as though he had heard a witty remark from a witty man, and fully relished _la pointe de la sauce_. "There are two aspects," Alexey Alexandrovitch resumed: "those who take part and those who look on; and love for such spectacles is an unmistakable proof of a low degree of development in the spectator, I admit, but..." "Princess, bets!" sounded Stepan Arkadyevitchs voice from below, addressing Betsy. "Whos your favorite?" "Anna and I are for Kuzovlev," replied Betsy. "Im for Vronsky. A pair of gloves?" "Done!" "But it is a pretty sight, isnt it?" Alexey Alexandrovitch paused while there was talking about him, but he began again directly. "I admit that manly sports do not..." he was continuing. But at that moment the racers started, and all conversation ceased. Alexey Alexandrovitch too was silent, and everyone stood up and turned towards the stream. Alexey Alexandrovitch took no interest in the race, and so he did not watch the racers, but fell listlessly to scanning the spectators with his weary eyes. His eyes rested upon Anna. Her face was white and set. She was obviously seeing nothing and no one but one man. Her hand had convulsively clutched her fan, and she held her breath. He looked at her and hastily turned away, scrutinizing other faces. "But heres this lady too, and others very much moved as well; its very natural," Alexey Alexandrovitch told himself. He tried not to look at her, but unconsciously his eyes were drawn to her. He examined that face again, trying not to read what was so plainly written on it, and against his own will, with horror read on it what he did not want to know. The first fall--Kuzovlevs, at the stream--agitated everyone, but Alexey Alexandrovitch saw distinctly on Annas pale, triumphant face that the man she was watching had not fallen. When, after Mahotin and Vronsky had cleared the worst barrier, the next officer had been thrown straight on his head at it and fatally injured, and a shudder of horror passed over the whole public, Alexey Alexandrovitch saw that Anna did not even notice it, and had some difficulty in realizing what they were talking of about her. But more and more often, and with greater persistence, he watched her. Anna, wholly engrossed as she was with the race, became aware of her husbands cold eyes fixed upon her from one side. She glanced round for an instant, looked inquiringly at him, and with a slight frown turned away again. "Ah, I dont care!" she seemed to say to him, and she did not once glance at him again. The race was an unlucky one, and of the seventeen officers who rode in it more than half were thrown and hurt. Towards the end of the race everyone was in a state of agitation, which was intensified by the fact that the Tsar was displeased. Chapter 29 Everyone was loudly expressing disapprobation, everyone was repeating a phrase some one had uttered--"The lions and gladiators will be the next thing," and everyone was feeling horrified; so that when Vronsky fell to the ground, and Anna moaned aloud, there was nothing very out of the way in it. But afterwards a change came over Annas face which really was beyond decorum. She utterly lost her head. She began fluttering like a caged bird, at one moment would have got up and moved away, at the next turned to Betsy. "Let us go, let us go!" she said. But Betsy did not hear her. She was bending down, talking to a general who had come up to her. Alexey Alexandrovitch went up to Anna and courteously offered her his arm. "Let us go, if you like," he said in French, but Anna was listening to the general and did not notice her husband. "Hes broken his leg too, so they say," the general was saying. "This is beyond everything." Without answering her husband, Anna lifted her

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