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Anna Karenina 216

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

you not to let us know!" he repeated. "I had no time; I am very busy," Alexey Alexandrovitch responded dryly. "Come to my wife, she does so want to see you." Alexey Alexandrovitch unfolded the rug in which his frozen feet were wrapped, and getting out of his carriage made his way over the snow to Darya Alexandrovna. "Why, Alexey Alexandrovitch, what are you cutting us like this for?" said Dolly, smiling. "I was very busy. Delighted to see you!" he said in a tone clearly indicating that he was annoyed by it. "How are you?" "Tell me, how is my darling Anna?" Alexey Alexandrovitch mumbled something and would have gone on. But Stepan Arkadyevitch stopped him. "I tell you what well do tomorrow. Dolly, ask him to dinner. Well ask Koznishev and Pestsov, so as to entertain him with our Moscow celebrities." "Yes, please, do come," said Dolly; "we will expect you at five, or six oclock, if you like. How is my darling Anna? How long..." "She is quite well," Alexey Alexandrovitch mumbled, frowning. "Delighted!" and he moved away towards his carriage. "You will come?" Dolly called after him. Alexey Alexandrovitch said something which Dolly could not catch in the noise of the moving carriages. "I shall come round tomorrow!" Stepan Arkadyevitch shouted to him. Alexey Alexandrovitch got into his carriage, and buried himself in it so as neither to see nor be seen. "Queer fish!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch to his wife, and glancing at his watch, he made a motion of his hand before his face, indicating a caress to his wife and children, and walked jauntily along the pavement. "Stiva! Stiva!" Dolly called, reddening. He turned round. "I must get coats, you know, for Grisha and Tanya. Give me the money." "Never mind; you tell them Ill pay the bill!" and he vanished, nodding genially to an acquaintance who drove by. Chapter 7 The next day was Sunday. Stepan Arkadyevitch went to the Grand Theater to a rehearsal of the ballet, and gave Masha Tchibisova, a pretty dancing-girl whom he had just taken under his protection, the coral necklace he had promised her the evening before, and behind the scenes in the dim daylight of the theater, managed to kiss her pretty little face, radiant over her present. Besides the gift of the necklace he wanted to arrange with her about meeting after the ballet. After explaining that he could not come at the beginning of the ballet, he promised he would come for the last act and take her to supper. From the theater Stepan Arkadyevitch drove to Ohotny Row, selected himself the fish and asparagus for dinner, and by twelve oclock was at Dussots, where he had to see three people, luckily all staying at the same hotel: Levin, who had recently come back from abroad and was staying there; the new head of his department, who had just been promoted to that position, and had come on a tour of revision to Moscow; and his brother-in-law, Karenin, whom he must see, so as to be sure of bringing him to dinner. Stepan Arkadyevitch liked dining, but still better he liked to give a dinner, small, but very choice, both as regards the food and drink and as regards the selection of guests. He particularly liked the program of that days dinner. There would be fresh perch, asparagus, and _la piece de resistance_-- first-rate, but quite plain, roast beef, and wines to suit: so much for the eating and drinking. Kitty and Levin would be of the party, and that this might not be obtrusively evident, there would be a girl cousin too, and young Shtcherbatsky, and _la piece de resistance_ among the guests--Sergey Koznishev and Alexey Alexandrovitch. Sergey Ivanovitch was a Moscow man, and a philosopher; Alexey Alexandrovitch a Petersburger, and a practical politician. He was asking, too, the well-known eccentric enthusiast, Pestsov, a liberal, a great talker, a musician, an historian, and the most delightfully youthful person of fifty, who would be a sauce or garnish for Koznishev and Karenin. He would provoke them and set them off. The second installment for the forest had been received from the merchant and was not yet exhausted; Dolly had been very amiable and goodhumored of late, and the idea of the dinner pleased Stepan Arkadyevitch from every point of view. He was in the most light-hearted mood. There were two circumstances a little unpleasant, but these two circumstances were drowned in the sea of good-humored gaiety which flooded the soul of Stepan Arkadyevitch. These two circumstances were: first,

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