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Anna Karenina 220


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Anna Karenina

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had previously felt no liking for Count Anitchkin, and had always differed from him in his opinions. But now, from a feeling readily comprehensible to officials--that hatred felt by one who has suffered a defeat in the service for one who has received a promotion, he could not endure him. "Well, have you seen him?" said Alexey Alexandrovitch with a malignant smile. "Of course; he was at our sitting yesterday. He seems to know his work capitally, and to be very energetic." "Yes, but what is his energy directed to?" said Alexey Alexandrovitch. "Is he aiming at doing anything, or simply undoing whats been done? Its the great misfortune of our government--this paper administration, of which hes a worthy representative." "Really, I dont know what fault one could find with him. His policy I dont know, but one thing--hes a very nice fellow," answered Stepan Arkadyevitch. "Ive just been seeing him, and hes really a capital fellow. We lunched together, and I taught him how to make, you know that drink, wine and oranges. Its so cooling. And its a wonder he didnt know it. He liked it awfully. No, really hes a capital fellow." Stepan Arkadyevitch glanced at his watch. "Why, good heavens, its four already, and Ive still to go to Dolgovushins! So please come round to dinner. You cant imagine how you will grieve my wife and me." The way in which Alexey Alexandrovitch saw his brother-in-law out was very different from the manner in which he had met him. "Ive promised, and Ill come," he answered wearily. "Believe me, I appreciate it, and I hope you wont regret it," answered Stepan Arkadyevitch, smiling. And, putting on his coat as he went, he patted the footman on the head, chuckled, and went out. "At five oclock, and not evening dress, please," he shouted once more, turning at the door. Chapter 9 It was past five, and several guests had already arrived, before the host himself got home. He went in together with Sergey Ivanovitch Koznishev and Pestsov, who had reached the street door at the same moment. These were the two leading representatives of the Moscow intellectuals, as Oblonsky had called them. Both were men respected for their character and their intelligence. They respected each other, but were in complete and hopeless disagreement upon almost every subject, not because they belonged to opposite parties, but precisely because they were of the same party (their enemies refused to see any distinction between their views); but, in that party, each had his own special shade of opinion. And since no difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions, they never agreed in any opinion, and had long, indeed, been accustomed to jeer without anger, each at the others incorrigible aberrations. They were just going in at the door, talking of the weather, when Stepan Arkadyevitch overtook them. In the drawing room there were already sitting Prince Alexander Dmitrievitch Shtcherbatsky, young Shtcherbatsky, Turovtsin, Kitty, and Karenin. Stepan Arkadyevitch saw immediately that things were not going well in the drawing-room without him. Darya Alexandrovna, in her best gray silk gown, obviously worried about the children, who were to have their dinner by themselves in the nursery, and by her husbands absence, was not equal to the task of making the party mix without him. All were sitting like so many priests wives on a visit (so the old prince expressed it), obviously wondering why they were there, and pumping up remarks simply to avoid being silent. Turovtsin--good, simple man--felt unmistakably a fish out of water, and the smile with which his thick lips greeted Stepan Arkadyevitch said, as plainly as words: "Well, old boy, you have popped me down in a learned set! A drinking party now, or the _Chateau des Fleurs_, would be more in my line!" The old prince sat in silence, his bright little eyes watching Karenin from one side, and Stepan Arkadyevitch saw that he had already formed a phrase to sum up that politician of whom guests were invited to partake as though he were a sturgeon. Kitty was looking at the door, calling up all her energies to keep her from blushing at the entrance of Konstantin Levin. Young Shtcherbatsky, who had not been introduced to Karenin, was trying to look as though he were not in the least conscious of it. Karenin himself had followed the Petersburg fashion for a dinner with ladies and was wearing evening dress and a white tie. Stepan Arkadyevitch saw

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