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Anna Karenina 170

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

he should not go either. She went up to the table, wrote to her husband, "I have received your letter. --A."; and, ringing the bell, gave it to the footman. "We are not going," she said to Annushka, as she came in. "Not going at all?" "No; dont unpack till tomorrow, and let the carriage wait. Im going to the princesss." "Which dress am I to get ready?" Chapter 17 The croquet party to which the Princess Tverskaya had invited Anna was to consist of two ladies and their adorers. These two ladies were the chief representatives of a select new Petersburg circle, nicknamed, in imitation of some imitation, _les sept merveilles du monde_. These ladies belonged to a circle which, though of the highest society, was utterly hostile to that in which Anna moved. Moreover, Stremov, one of the most influential people in Petersburg, and the elderly admirer of Liza Merkalova, was Alexey Alexandrovitchs enemy in the political world. From all these considerations Anna had not meant to go, and the hints in Princess Tverskayas note referred to her refusal. But now Anna was eager to go, in the hope of seeing Vronsky. Anna arrived at Princess Tverskayas earlier than the other guests. At the same moment as she entered, Vronskys footman, with side-whiskers combed out like a _Kammerjunker_, went in too. He stopped at the door, and, taking off his cap, let her pass. Anna recognized him, and only then recalled that Vronsky had told her the day before that he would not come. Most likely he was sending a note to say so. As she took off her outer garment in the hall, she heard the footman, pronouncing his "rs" even like a _Kammerjunker_, say, "From the count for the princess," and hand the note. She longed to question him as to where his master was. She longed to turn back and send him a letter to come and see her, or to go herself to see him. But neither the first nor the second nor the third course was possible. Already she heard bells ringing to announce her arrival ahead of her, and Princess Tverskayas footman was standing at the open door waiting for her to go forward into the inner rooms. "The princess is in the garden; they will inform her immediately. Would you be pleased to walk into the garden?" announced another footman in another room. The position of uncertainty, of indecision, was still the same as at home--worse, in fact, since it was impossible to take any step, impossible to see Vronsky, and she had to remain here among outsiders, in company so uncongenial to her present mood. But she was wearing a dress that she knew suited her. She was not alone; all around was that luxurious setting of idleness that she was used to, and she felt less wretched than at home. She was not forced to think what she was to do. Everything would be done of itself. On meeting Betsy coming towards her in a white gown that struck her by its elegance, Anna smiled at her just as she always did. Princess Tverskaya was walking with Tushkevitch and a young lady, a relation, who, to the great joy of her parents in the provinces, was spending the summer with the fashionable princess. There was probably something unusual about Anna, for Betsy noticed it at once. "I slept badly," answered Anna, looking intently at the footman who came to meet them, and, as she supposed, brought Vronskys note. "How glad I am youve come!" said Betsy. "Im tired, and was just longing to have some tea before they come. You might go"-- she turned to Tushkevitch--"with Masha, and try the croquet ground over there where theyve been cutting it. We shall have time to talk a little over tea; well have a cozy chat, eh?" she said in English to Anna, with a smile, pressing the hand with which she held a parasol. "Yes, especially as I cant stay very long with you. Im forced to go on to old Madame Vrede. Ive been promising to go for a century," said Anna, to whom lying, alien as it was to her nature, had become not merely simple and natural in society, but a positive source of satisfaction. Why she said this, which she had not thought of a second before, she could not have explained. She had said it simply from the reflection that as Vronsky would not be here, she

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