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Anna Karenina 173

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

stroke all on one side. "I drove here with Vaska.... Ah, to be sure, you dont know each other." And mentioning his surname she introduced the young man, and reddening a little, broke into a ringing laugh at her mistake--that is, at her having called him Vaska to a stranger. Vaska bowed once more to Anna, but he said nothing to her. He addressed Sappho: "Youve lost your bet. We got here first. Pay up," said he, smiling. Sappho laughed still more festively. "Not just now," said she. "Oh, all right, Ill have it later." "Very well, very well. Oh, yes." She turned suddenly to Princess Betsy: "I am a nice person...I positively forgot it... Ive brought you a visitor. And here he comes." The unexpected young visitor, whom Sappho had invited, and whom she had forgotten, was, however, a personage of such consequence that, in spite of his youth, both the ladies rose on his entrance. He was a new admirer of Sapphos. He now dogged her footsteps, like Vaska. Soon after Prince Kaluzhsky arrived, and Liza Merkalova with Stremov. Liza Merkalova was a thin brunette, with an Oriental, languid type of face, and--as everyone used to say--exquisite enigmatic eyes. The tone of her dark dress (Anna immediately observed and appreciated the fact) was in perfect harmony with her style of beauty. Liza was as soft and enervated as Sappho was smart and abrupt. But to Annas taste Liza was far more attractive. Betsy had said to Anna that she had adopted the pose of an innocent child, but when Anna saw her, she felt that this was not the truth. She really was both innocent and corrupt, but a sweet and passive woman. It is true that her tone was the same as Sapphos; that like Sappho, she had two men, one young and one old, tacked onto her, and devouring her with their eyes. But there was something in her higher than what surrounded her. There was in her the glow of the real diamond among glass imitations. This glow shone out in her exquisite, truly enigmatic eyes. The weary, and at the same time passionate, glance of those eyes, encircled by dark rings, impressed one by its perfect sincerity. Everyone looking into those eyes fancied he knew her wholly, and knowing her, could not but love her. At the sight of Anna, her whole face lighted up at once with a smile of delight. "Ah, how glad I am to see you!" she said, going up to her. "Yesterday at the races all I wanted was to get to you, but youd gone away. I did so want to see you, yesterday especially. Wasnt it awful?" she said, looking at Anna with eyes that seemed to lay bare all her soul. "Yes; I had no idea it would be so thrilling," said Anna, blushing. The company got up at this moment to go into the garden. "Im not going," said Liza, smiling and settling herself close to Anna. "You wont go either, will you? Who wants to play croquet?" "Oh, I like it," said Anna. "There, how do you manage never to be bored by things? Its delightful to look at you. Youre alive, but Im bored." "How can you be bored? Why, you live in the liveliest set in Petersburg," said Anna. "Possibly the people who are not of our set are even more bored; but we--I certainly--are not happy, but awfully, awfully bored." Sappho smoking a cigarette went off into the garden with the two young men. Betsy and Stremov remained at the tea-table. "What, bored!" said Betsy. "Sappho says they did enjoy themselves tremendously at your house last night." "Ah, how dreary it all was!" said Liza Merkalova. "We all drove back to my place after the races. And always the same people, always the same. Always the same thing. We lounged about on sofas all the evening. What is there to enjoy in that? No; do tell me how you manage never to be bored?" she said, addressing Anna again. "One has but to look at you and one sees, heres a woman who may be happy or unhappy, but isnt bored. Tell me how you do it?" "I do nothing," answered Anna, blushing at these searching questions. "Thats the best way," Stremov put in. Stremov was a man of fifty, partly gray, but still vigorous-looking, very ugly,

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