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Anna Karenina 131

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

shes a real angel, allez," Madame Berthe assented. In the arcade they met Varenka herself. She was walking rapidly towards them carrying an elegant red bag. "Here is papa come," Kitty said to her. Varenka made--simply and naturally as she did everything--a movement between a bow and a curtsey, and immediately began talking to the prince, without shyness, naturally, as she talked to everyone. "Of course I know you; I know you very well," the prince said to her with a smile, in which Kitty detected with joy that her father liked her friend. "Where are you off to in such haste?" "Mamans here," she said, turning to Kitty. "She has not slept all night, and the doctor advised her to go out. Im taking her her work." "So thats angel number one?" said the prince when Varenka had gone on. Kitty saw that her father had meant to make fun of Varenka, but that he could not do it because he liked her. "Come, so we shall see all your friends," he went on, "even Madame Stahl, if she deigns to recognize me." "Why, did you know her, papa?" Kitty asked apprehensively, catching the gleam of irony that kindled in the princes eyes at the mention of Madame Stahl. "I used to know her husband, and her too a little, before shed joined the Pietists." "What is a Pietist, papa?" asked Kitty, dismayed to find that what she prized so highly in Madame Stahl had a name. "I dont quite know myself. I only know that she thanks God for everything, for every misfortune, and thanks God too that her husband died. And thats rather droll, as they didnt get on together." "Whos that? What a piteous face!" he asked, noticing a sick man of medium height sitting on a bench, wearing a brown overcoat and white trousers that fell in strange folds about his long, fleshless legs. This man lifted his straw hat, showed his scanty curly hair and high forehead, painfully reddened by the pressure of the hat. "Thats Petrov, an artist," answered Kitty, blushing. "And thats his wife," she added, indicating Anna Pavlovna, who, as though on purpose, at the very instant they approached walked away after a child that had run off along a path. "Poor fellow! and what a nice face he has!" said the prince. "Why dont you go up to him? He wanted to speak to you." "Well, let us go, then," said Kitty, turning round resolutely. "How are you feeling today?" she asked Petrov. Petrov got up, leaning on his stick, and looked shyly at the prince. "This is my daughter," said the prince. "Let me introduce myself." The painter bowed and smiled, showing his strangely dazzling white teeth. "We expected you yesterday, princess," he said to Kitty. He staggered as he said this, and then repeated the motion, trying to make it seem as if it had been intentional. "I meant to come, but Varenka said that Anna Pavlovna sent word you were not going." "Not going!" said Petrov, blushing, and immediately beginning to cough, and his eyes sought his wife. "Anita! Anita!" he said loudly, and the swollen veins stood out like cords on his thin white neck. Anna Pavlovna came up. "So you sent word to the princess that we werent going!" he whispered to her angrily, losing his voice. "Good morning, princess," said Anna Pavlovna, with an assumed smile utterly unlike her former manner. "Very glad to make your acquaintance," she said to the prince. "Youve long been expected, prince." "What did you send word to the princess that we werent going for?" the artist whispered hoarsely once more, still more angrily, obviously exasperated that his voice failed him so that he could not give his words the expression he would have liked to. "Oh, mercy on us! I thought we werent going," his wife answered crossly. "What, when...." He coughed and waved his hand. The prince took off his hat and moved away with his daughter. "Ah! ah!" he sighed deeply. "Oh, poor things!" "Yes, papa," answered Kitty. "And you must know theyve three children, no servant, and scarcely any means. He gets something from the Academy," she went on briskly, trying to drown the distress that the queer change in Anna Pavlovnas manner to her had aroused in her. "Oh, heres Madame Stahl," said Kitty, indicating an invalid carriage, where, propped on pillows, something in gray and blue was lying under a sunshade. This was Madame Stahl. Behind her stood the gloomy, healthy-looking German workman who pushed the carriage.

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