Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
crockery, sat with a gypsy girl on his knee, and seemed to be
asking--what more, and does the whole Russian spirit consist in
In reality, of all the Russian entertainments the prince liked
best French actresses and ballet dancers and white-seal
champagne. Vronsky was used to princes, but, either because he
had himself changed of late, or that he was in too close
proximity to the prince, that week seemed fearfully wearisome to
him. The whole of that week he experienced a sensation such as a
man might have set in charge of a dangerous madman, afraid of the
madman, and at the same time, from being with him, fearing for
his own reason. Vronsky was continually conscious of the
necessity of never for a second relaxing the tone of stern
official respectfulness, that he might not himself be insulted.
The princes manner of treating the very people who, to Vronskys
surprise, were ready to descend to any depths to provide him with
Russian amusements, was contemptuous. His criticisms of Russian
women, whom he wished to study, more than once made Vronsky
crimson with indignation. The chief reason why the prince was so
particularly disagreeable to Vronsky was that he could not help
seeing himself in him. And what he saw in this mirror did not
gratify his self-esteem. He was a very stupid and very
self-satisfied and very healthy and very well-washed man, and
nothing else. He was a gentleman--that was true, and Vronsky
could not deny it. He was equable and not cringing with his
superiors, was free and ingratiating in his behavior with his
equals, and was contemptuously indulgent with his inferiors.
Vronsky was himself the same, and regarded it as a great merit to
be so. But for this prince he was an inferior, and his
contemptuous and indulgent attitude to him revolted him.
"Brainless beef! can I be like that?" he thought.
Be that as it might, when, on the seventh day, he parted from the
prince, who was starting for Moscow, and received his thanks, he
was happy to be rid of his uncomfortable position and the
unpleasant reflection of himself. He said good-bye to him at the
station on their return from a bear hunt, at which they had had a
display of Russian prowess kept up all night.
When he got home, Vronsky found there a note from Anna. She
wrote, "I am ill and unhappy. I cannot come out, but I cannot go
on longer without seeing you. Come in this evening. Alexey
Alexandrovitch goes to the council at seven and will be there
till ten." Thinking for an instant of the strangeness of her
bidding him come straight to her, in spite of her husbands
insisting on her not receiving him, he decided to go.
Vronsky had that winter got his promotion, was now a colonel, had
left the regimental quarters, and was living alone. After having
some lunch, he lay down on the sofa immediately, and in five
minutes memories of the hideous scenes he had witnessed during
the last few days were confused together and joined on to a
mental image of Anna and of the peasant who had played an
important part in the bear hunt, and Vronsky fell asleep. He
waked up in the dark, trembling with horror, and made haste to
light a candle. "What was it? What? What was the dreadful
thing I dreamed? Yes, yes; I think a little dirty man with a
disheveled beard was stooping down doing something, and all of a
sudden he began saying some strange words in French. Yes, there
was nothing else in the dream," he said to himself. "But why was
it so awful?" He vividly recalled the peasant again and those
incomprehensible French words the peasant had uttered, and a
chill of horror ran down his spine.
"What nonsense!" thought Vronsky, and glanced at his watch.
It was half-past eight already. He rang up his servant, dressed
in haste, and went out onto the steps, completely forgetting the
dream and only worried at being late. As he drove up to the
Karenins entrance he looked at his watch and saw it was ten
minutes to nine. A high, narrow carriage with a pair of grays
was standing at the entrance. He recognized Annas carriage.
"She is coming to me," thought Vronsky, "and better she should.
I dont like going into that
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