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Anna Karenina 129

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

was well enough, and the princess had nothing to say against it, especially as Petrovs wife was a perfectly nice sort of woman, and that the German princess, noticing Kittys devotion, praised her, calling her an angel of consolation. All this would have been very well, if there had been no exaggeration. But the princess saw that her daughter was rushing into extremes, and so indeed she told her. "_Il ne faut jamais rien outrer_," she said to her. Her daughter made her no reply, only in her heart she thought that one could not talk about exaggeration where Christianity was concerned. What exaggeration could there be in the practice of a doctrine wherein one was bidden to turn the other cheek when one was smitten, and give ones cloak if ones coat were taken? But the princess disliked this exaggeration, and disliked even more the fact that she felt her daughter did not care to show her all her heart. Kitty did in fact conceal her new views and feelings from her mother. She concealed them not because she did not respect or did not love her mother, but simply because she was her mother. She would have revealed them to anyone sooner than to her mother. "How is it Anna Pavlovnas not been to see us for so long?" the princess said one day of Madame Petrova. "Ive asked her, but she seems put out about something." "No, Ive not noticed it, maman," said Kitty, flushing hotly. "Is it long since you went to see them?" "Were meaning to make an expedition to the mountains tomorrow," answered Kitty, "Well, you can go," answered the princess, gazing at her daughters embarrassed face and trying to guess the cause of her embarrassment. That day Varenka came to dinner and told them that Anna Pavlovna had changed her mind and given up the expedition for the morrow. And the princess noticed again that Kitty reddened. "Kitty, havent you had some misunderstanding with the Petrovs?" said the princess, when they were left alone. "Why has she given up sending the children and coming to see us?" Kitty answered that nothing had happened between them, and that she could not tell why Anna Pavlovna seemed displeased with her. Kitty answered perfectly truly. She did not know the reason Anna Pavlovna had changed to her, but she guessed it. She guessed at something which she could not tell her mother, which she did not put into words to herself. It was one of those things which one knows but which one can never speak of even to oneself, so terrible and shameful would it be to be mistaken. Again and again she went over in her memory all her relations with the family. She remembered the simple delight expressed on the round, good-humored face of Anna Pavlovna at their meetings; she remembered their secret confabulations about the invalid, their plots to draw him away from the work which was forbidden him, and to get him out-of-doors; the devotion of the youngest boy, who used to call her "my Kitty," and would not go to bed without her. How nice it all was! Then she recalled the thin, terribly thin figure of Petrov, with his long neck, in his brown coat, his scant, curly hair, his questioning blue eyes that were so terrible to Kitty at first, and his painful attempts to seem hearty and lively in her presence. She recalled the efforts she had made at first to overcome the repugnance she felt for him, as for all consumptive people, and the pains it had cost her to think of things to say to him. She recalled the timid, softened look with which he gazed at her, and the strange feeling of compassion and awkwardness, and later of a sense of her own goodness, which she had felt at it. How nice it all was! But all that was at first. Now, a few days ago, everything was suddenly spoiled. Anna Pavlovna had met Kitty with affected cordiality, and had kept continual watch on her and on her husband. Could that touching pleasure he showed when she came near be the cause of Anna Pavlovnas coolness? "Yes," she mused, "there was something unnatural about Anna Pavlovna, and utterly unlike her good nature, when she said angrily the day before yesterday: There, he will keep waiting for you; he wouldnt drink his coffee without you, though hes grown so dreadfully weak." "Yes, perhaps, too, she didnt like it

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