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Anna Karenina 125

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Emma Watson Pussy


Anna Karenina

War And Peace

mamma," said Kitty; "you wonder that Im enthusiastic about her." The next day, as she watched her unknown friend, Kitty noticed that Mademoiselle Varenka was already on the same terms with Levin and his companion as with her other _proteges_. She went up to them, entered into conversation with them, and served as interpreter for the woman, who could not speak any foreign language. Kitty began to entreat her mother still more urgently to let her make friends with Varenka. And, disagreeable as it was to the princess to seem to take the first step in wishing to make the acquaintance of Madame Stahl, who thought fit to give herself airs, she made inquiries about Varenka, and, having ascertained particulars about her tending to prove that there could be no harm though little good in the acquaintance, she herself approached Varenka and made acquaintance with her. Choosing a time when her daughter had gone to the spring, while Varenka had stopped outside the bakers, the princess went up to her. "Allow me to make your acquaintance," she said, with her dignified smile. "My daughter has lost her heart to you," she said. "Possibly you do not know me. I am..." "That feeling is more than reciprocal, princess," Varenka answered hurriedly. "What a good deed you did yesterday to our poor compatriot!" said the princess. Varenka flushed a little. "I dont remember. I dont think I did anything," she said. "Why, you saved that Levin from disagreeable consequences." "Yes, _sa compagne_ called me, and I tried to pacify him, hes very ill, and was dissatisfied with the doctor. Im used to looking after such invalids." "Yes, Ive heard you live at Mentone with your aunt--I think-- Madame Stahl: I used to know her _belle-soeur_." "No, shes not my aunt. I call her mamma, but I am not related to her; I was brought up by her," answered Varenka, flushing a little again. This was so simply said, and so sweet was the truthful and candid expression of her face, that the princess saw why Kitty had taken such a fancy to Varenka. "Well, and whats this Levin going to do?" asked the princess. "Hes going away," answered Varenka. At that instant Kitty came up from the spring beaming with delight that her mother had become acquainted with her unknown friend. "Well, see, Kitty, your intense desire to make friends with Mademoiselle. . ." "Varenka," Varenka put in smiling, "thats what everyone calls me." Kitty blushed with pleasure, and slowly, without speaking, pressed her new friends hand, which did not respond to her pressure, but lay motionless in her hand. The hand did not respond to her pressure, but the face of Mademoiselle Varenka glowed with a soft, glad, though rather mournful smile, that showed large but handsome teeth. "I have long wished for this too," she said. "But you are so busy." "Oh, no, Im not at all busy," answered Varenka, but at that moment she had to leave her new friends because two little Russian girls, children of an invalid, ran up to her. "Varenka, mammas calling!" they cried. And Varenka went after them. Chapter 32 The particulars which the princess had learned in regard to Varenkas past and her relations with Madame Stahl were as follows: Madame Stahl, of whom some people said that she had worried her husband out of his life, while others said it was he who had made her wretched by his immoral behavior, had always been a woman of weak health and enthusiastic temperament. When, after her separation from her husband, she gave birth to her only child, the child had died almost immediately, and the family of Madame Stahl, knowing her sensibility, and fearing the news would kill her, had substituted another child, a baby born the same night and in the same house in Petersburg, the daughter of the chief cook of the Imperial Household. This was Varenka. Madame Stahl learned later on that Varenka was not her own child, but she went on bringing her up, especially as very soon afterwards Varenka had not a relation of her own living. Madame Stahl had now been living more than ten years continuously abroad, in the south, never leaving her couch. And some people said that Madame Stahl had made her social position as a philanthropic, highly religious woman; other people said she really was at heart the highly ethical being, living for nothing but the good of her fellow creatures, which she represented herself to be. No one knew what her faith was--Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox. But one fact was indubitable--she

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