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Anna Karenina 19

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

he were a favorite brother. "And can it be my fault, can I have done anything wrong? They talk of flirtation. I know its not he that I love; but still I am happy with him, and hes so jolly. Only, why did he say that?..." she mused. Catching sight of Kitty going away, and her mother meeting her at the steps, Levin, flushed from his rapid exercise, stood still and pondered a minute. He took off his skates, and overtook the mother and daughter at the entrance of the gardens. "Delighted to see you," said Princess Shtcherbatskaya. "On Thursdays we are home, as always." "Today, then?" "We shall be pleased to see you," the princess said stiffly. This stiffness hurt Kitty, and she could not resist the desire to smooth over her mothers coldness. She turned her head, and with a smile said: "Good-bye till this evening." At that moment Stepan Arkadyevitch, his hat cocked on one side, with beaming face and eyes, strode into the garden like a conquering hero. But as he approached his mother-in-law, he responded in a mournful and crestfallen tone to her inquiries about Dollys health. After a little subdued and dejected conversation with his mother-in-law, he threw out his chest again, and put his arm in Levins. "Well, shall we set off?" he asked. "Ive been thinking about you all this time, and Im very, very glad youve come," he said, looking him in the face with a significant air. "Yes, come along," answered Levin in ecstasy, hearing unceasingly the sound of that voice saying, "Good-bye till this evening," and seeing the smile with which it was said. "To the England or the Hermitage?" "I dont mind which." "All right, then, the England," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, selecting that restaurant because he owed more there than at the Hermitage, and consequently considered it mean to avoid it. "Have you got a sledge? Thats first-rate, for I sent my carriage home." The friends hardly spoke all the way. Levin was wondering what that change in Kittys expression had meant, and alternately assuring himself that there was hope, and falling into despair, seeing clearly that his hopes were insane, and yet all the while he felt himself quite another man, utterly unlike what he had been before her smile and those words, "Good-bye till this evening." Stepan Arkadyevitch was absorbed during the drive in composing the menu of the dinner. "You like turbot, dont you?" he said to Levin as they were arriving. "Eh?" responded Levin. "Turbot? Yes, Im _awfully_ fond of turbot." Chapter 10 When Levin went into the restaurant with Oblonsky, he could not help noticing a certain peculiarity of expression, as it were, a restrained radiance, about the face and whole figure of Stepan Arkadyevitch. Oblonsky took off his overcoat, and with his hat over one ear walked into the dining room, giving directions to the Tatar waiters, who were clustered about him in evening coats, bearing napkins. Bowing to right and left to the people he met, and here as everywhere joyously greeting acquaintances, he went up to the sideboard for a preliminary appetizer of fish and vodka, and said to the painted Frenchwoman decked in ribbons, lace, and ringlets, behind the counter, something so amusing that even that Frenchwoman was moved to genuine laughter. Levin for his part refrained from taking any vodka simply because he felt such a loathing of that Frenchwoman, all made up, it seemed, of false hair, _poudre de riz,_ and _vinaigre de toilette_. He made haste to move away from her, as from a dirty place. His whole soul was filled with memories of Kitty, and there was a smile of triumph and happiness shining in his eyes. "This way, your excellency, please. Your excellency wont be disturbed here," said a particularly pertinacious, white-headed old Tatar with immense hips and coat-tails gaping widely behind. "Walk in, your excellency," he said to Levin; by way of showing his respect to Stepan Arkadyevitch, being attentive to his guest as well. Instantly flinging a fresh cloth over the round table under the bronze chandelier, though it already had a table cloth on it, he pushed up velvet chairs, and came to a standstill before Stepan Arkadyevitch with a napkin and a bill of fare in his hands, awaiting his commands. "If you prefer it, your excellency, a private room will be free directly; Prince Golistin with a lady. Fresh oysters have come in." "Ah! oysters." Stepan Arkadyevitch became thoughtful. "How if we were to change our program, Levin?" he said, keeping his finger on the bill

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