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Anna Karenina 221


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by his face that he had come simply to keep his promise, and was performing a disagreeable duty in being present at this gathering. He was indeed the person chiefly responsible for the chill benumbing all the guests before Stepan Arkadyevitch came in. On entering the drawing room Stepan Arkadyevitch apologized, explaining that he had been detained by that prince, who was always the scapegoat for all his absences and unpunctualities, and in one moment he had made all the guests acquainted with each other, and, bringing together Alexey Alexandrovitch and Sergey Koznishev, started them on a discussion of the Russification of Poland, into which they immediately plunged with Pestsov. Slapping Turovtsin on the shoulder, he whispered something comic in his ear, and set him down by his wife and the old prince. Then he told Kitty she was looking very pretty that evening, and presented Shtcherbatsky to Karenin. In a moment he had so kneaded together the social dough that the drawing room became very lively, and there was a merry buzz of voices. Konstantin Levin was the only person who had not arrived. But this was so much the better, as going into the dining room, Stepan Arkadyevitch found to his horror that the port and sherry had been procured from Depre, and not from Levy, and, directing that the coachman should be sent off as speedily as possible to Levys, he was going back to the drawing room. In the dining room he was met by Konstantin Levin. "Im not late?" "You can never help being late!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, taking his arm. "Have you a lot of people? Whos here?" asked Levin, unable to help blushing, as he knocked the snow off his cap with his glove. "All our own set. Kittys here. Come along, Ill introduce you to Karenin." Stepan Arkadyevitch, for all his liberal views, was well aware that to meet Karenin was sure to be felt a flattering distinction, and so treated his best friends to this honor. But at that instant Konstantin Levin was not in a condition to feel all the gratification of making such an acquaintance. He had not seen Kitty since that memorable evening when he met Vronsky, not counting, that is, the moment when he had had a glimpse of her on the highroad. He had known at the bottom of his heart that he would see her here today. But to keep his thoughts free, he had tried to persuade himself that he did not know it. Now when he heard that she was here, he was suddenly conscious of such delight, and at the same time of such dread, that his breath failed him and he could not utter what he wanted to say. "What is she like, what is she like? Like what she used to be, or like what she was in the carriage? What if Darya Alexandrovna told the truth? Why shouldnt it be the truth?" he thought. "Oh, please, introduce me to Karenin," he brought out with an effort, and with a desperately determined step he walked into the drawing room and beheld her. She was not the same as she used to be, nor was she as she had been in the carriage; she was quite different. She was scared, shy, shame-faced, and still more charming from it. She saw him the very instant he walked into the room. She had been expecting him. She was delighted, and so confused at her own delight that there was a moment, the moment when he went up to her sister and glanced again at her, when she, and he, and Dolly, who saw it all, thought she would break down and would begin to cry. She crimsoned, turned white, crimsoned again, and grew faint, waiting with quivering lips for him to come to her. He went up to her, bowed, and held out his hand without speaking. Except for the slight quiver of her lips and the moisture in her eyes that made them brighter, her smile was almost calm as she said: "How long it is since weve seen each other!" and with desperate determination she pressed his hand with her cold hand. "Youve not seen me, but Ive seen you," said Levin, with a radiant smile of happiness. "I saw you when you were driving from the railway station to Ergushovo." "When?" she asked, wondering. "You were driving to Ergushovo," said Levin, feeling as if he would sob with the rapture that was

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