Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
had to do now. She needed
consolation. She must be calm, and get out of this insufferable
position. The thought of immediate action binding her to her
son, of going away somewhere with him, gave her this consolation.
She dressed quickly, went downstairs, and with resolute steps
walked into the drawing room, where she found, as usual, waiting
for her, the coffee, Seryozha, and his governess. Seryozha, all
in white, with his back and head bent, was standing at a table
under a looking-glass, and with an expression of intense
concentration which she knew well, and in which he resembled his
father, he was doing something to the flowers he carried.
The governess had a particularly severe expression. Seryozha
screamed shrilly, as he often did, "Ah, mamma!" and stopped,
hesitating whether to go to greet his mother and put down the
flowers, or to finish making the wreath and go with the flowers.
The governess, after saying good-morning, began a long and
detailed account of Seryozhas naughtiness, but Anna did not hear
her; she was considering whether she would take her with her or
not. "No, I wont take her," she decided. "Ill go alone with
"Yes, its very wrong," said Anna, and taking her son by the
shoulder she looked at him, not severely, but with a timid glance
that bewildered and delighted the boy, and she kissed him.
"Leave him to me," she said to the astonished governess, and not
letting go of her son, she sat down at the table, where coffee
was set ready for her.
"Mamma! I...I...didnt..." he said, trying to make out from her
expression what was in store for him in regard to the peaches.
"Seryozha," she said, as soon as the governess had left the room,
"that was wrong, but youll never do it again, will you?... You
She felt that the tears were coming into her eyes. "Can I help
loving him?" she said to herself, looking deeply into his scared
and at the same time delighted eyes. "And can he ever join his
father in punishing me? Is it possible he will not feel for me?"
Tears were already flowing down her face, and to hide them she
got up abruptly and almost ran out on to the terrace.
After the thunder showers of the last few days, cold, bright
weather had set in. The air was cold in the bright sun that
filtered through the freshly washed leaves.
She shivered, both from the cold and from the inward horror which
had clutched her with fresh force in the open air.
"Run along, run along to Mariette," she said to Seryozha, who had
followed her out, and she began walking up and down on the straw
matting of the terrace. "Can it be that they wont forgive me,
wont understand how it all couldnt be helped?" she said to
Standing still, and looking at the tops of the aspen trees waving
in the wind, with their freshly washed, brightly shining leaves
in the cold sunshine, she knew that they would not forgive her,
that everyone and everything would be merciless to her now as
was that sky, that green. And again she felt that everything was
split in two in her soul. "I mustnt, mustnt think," she said
to herself. "I must get ready. To go where? When? Whom to
take with me? Yes, to Moscow by the evening train. Annushka and
Seryozha, and only the most necessary things. But first I must
write to them both." She went quickly indoors into her boudoir,
sat down at the table, and wrote to her husband:--"After what
has happened, I cannot remain any longer in your house. I am
going away, and taking my son with me. I dont know the law, and
so I dont know with which of the parents the son should remain;
but I take him with me because I cannot live without him. Be
generous, leave him to me."
Up to this point she wrote rapidly and naturally, but the appeal
to his generosity, a quality she did not recognize in him, and
the necessity of winding up the letter with something touching,
pulled her up. "Of my fault and my remorse I cannot speak,
She stopped again, finding no connection in her ideas. "No," she
said to herself, "theres no need of anything," and tearing up
the letter, she wrote it again,
Anna Karenina page 166 Anna Karenina page 168