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Anna Karenina 121

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

opera glass and gazed towards the place where Vronsky had fallen; but it was so far off, and there was such a crowd of people about it, that she could make out nothing. She laid down the opera glass, and would have moved away, but at that moment an officer galloped up and made some announcement to the Tsar. Anna craned forward, listening. "Stiva! Stiva!" she cried to her brother. But her brother did not hear her. Again she would have moved away. "Once more I offer you my arm if you want to be going," said Alexey Alexandrovitch, reaching towards her hand. She drew back from him with aversion, and without looking in his face answered: "No, no, let me be, Ill stay." She saw now that from the place of Vronskys accident an officer was running across the course towards the pavilion. Betsy waved her handkerchief to him. The officer brought the news that the rider was not killed, but the horse had broken its back. On hearing this Anna sat down hurriedly, and hid her face in her fan. Alexey Alexandrovitch saw that she was weeping, and could not control her tears, nor even the sobs that were shaking her bosom. Alexey Alexandrovitch stood so as to screen her, giving her time to recover herself. "For the third time I offer you my arm," he said to her after a little time, turning to her. Anna gazed at him and did not know what to say. Princess Betsy came to her rescue. "No, Alexey Alexandrovitch; I brought Anna and I promised to take her home," put in Betsy. "Excuse me, princess," he said, smiling courteously but looking her very firmly in the face, "but I see that Annas not very well, and I wish her to come home with me." Anna looked about her in a frightened way, got up submissively, and laid her hand on her husbands arm. "Ill send to him and find out, and let you know," Betsy whispered to her. As they left the pavilion, Alexey Alexandrovitch, as always, talked to those he met, and Anna had, as always, to talk and answer; but she was utterly beside herself, and moved hanging on her husbands arm as though in a dream. "Is he killed or not? Is it true? Will he come or not? Shall I see him today?" she was thinking. She took her seat in her husbands carriage in silence, and in silence drove out of the crowd of carriages. In spite of all he had seen, Alexey Alexandrovitch still did not allow himself to consider his wifes real condition. He merely saw the outward symptoms. He saw that she was behaving unbecomingly, and considered it his duty to tell her so. But it was very difficult for him not to say more, to tell her nothing but that. He opened his mouth to tell her she had behaved unbecomingly, but he could not help saying something utterly different. "What an inclination we all have, though, for these cruel spectacles," he said. "I observe..." "Eh? I dont understand," said Anna contemptuously. He was offended, and at once began to say what he had meant to say. "I am obliged to tell you," he began. "So now we are to have it out," she thought, and she felt frightened. "I am obliged to tell you that your behavior has been unbecoming today," he said to her in French. "In what way has my behavior been unbecoming?" she said aloud, turning her head swiftly and looking him straight in the face, not with the bright expression that seemed covering something, but with a look of determination, under which she concealed with difficulty the dismay she was feeling. "Mind," he said, pointing to the open window opposite the coachman. He got up and pulled up the window. "What did you consider unbecoming?" she repeated. "The despair you were unable to conceal at the accident to one of the riders." He waited for her to answer, but she was silent, looking straight before her. "I have already begged you so to conduct yourself in society that even malicious tongues can find nothing to say against you. There was a time when I spoke of your inward attitude, but I am not speaking of that now. Now I speak only of your external attitude. You have behaved improperly, and I would wish it not to occur again." She did not hear half of what he was saying; she felt panic-stricken before him, and was thinking whether it

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