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Anna Karenina 234

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

the arm and drawing him towards himself. "Even when this little feather-head fancied..." "Papa!" shrieked Kitty, and shut his mouth with her hands. "Well, I wont!" he said. "Im very, very ...plea ...Oh, what a fool I am..." He embraced Kitty, kissed her face, her hand, her face again, and made the sign of the cross over her. And there came over Levin a new feeling of love for this man, till then so little known to him, when he saw how slowly and tenderly Kitty kissed his muscular hand. Chapter 16 The princess sat in her armchair, silent and smiling; the prince sat down beside her. Kitty stood by her fathers chair, still holding his hand. All were silent. The princess was the first to put everything into words, and to translate all thoughts and feelings into practical questions. And all equally felt this strange and painful for the first minute. "When is it to be? We must have the benediction and announcement. And whens the wedding to be? What do you think, Alexander?" "Here he is," said the old prince, pointing to Levin--"hes the principal person in the matter." "When?" said Levin blushing. "Tomorrow; If you ask me, I should say, the benediction today and the wedding tomorrow." "Come, _mon cher_, thats nonsense!" "Well, in a week." "Hes quite mad." "No, why so?" "Well, upon my word!" said the mother, smiling, delighted at this haste. "How about the trousseau?" "Will there really be a trousseau and all that?" Levin thought with horror. "But can the trousseau and the benediction and all that--can it spoil my happiness? Nothing can spoil it!" He glanced at Kitty, and noticed that she was not in the least, not in the very least, disturbed by the idea of the trousseau. "Then it must be all right," he thought. "Oh, I know nothing about it; I only said what I should like," he said apologetically. "Well talk it over, then. The benediction and announcement can take place now. Thats very well." The princess went up to her husband, kissed him, and would have gone away, but he kept her, embraced her, and, tenderly as a young lover, kissed her several times, smiling. The old people were obviously muddled for a moment, and did not quite know whether it was they who were in love again or their daughter. When the prince and the princess had gone, Levin went up to his betrothed and took her hand. He was self-possessed now and could speak, and he had a great deal he wanted to tell her. But he said not at all what he had to say. "How I knew it would be so! I never hoped for it; and yet in my heart I was always sure," he said. "I believe that it was ordained." "And I!" she said. "Even when...." She stopped and went on again, looking at him resolutely with her truthful eyes, "Even when I thrust from me my happiness. I always loved you alone, but I was carried away. I ought to tell you.... Can you forgive that?" "Perhaps it was for the best. You will have to forgive me so much. I ought to tell you..." This was one of the things he had meant to speak about. He had resolved from the first to tell her two things--that he was not chaste as she was, and that he was not a believer. It was agonizing, but he considered he ought to tell her both these facts. "No, not now, later!" he said. "Very well, later, but you must certainly tell me. Im not afraid of anything. I want to know everything. Now it is settled." He added: "Settled that youll take me whatever I may be--you wont give me up? Yes?" "Yes, yes." Their conversation was interrupted by Mademoiselle Linon, who with an affected but tender smile came to congratulate her favorite pupil. Before she had gone, the servants came in with their congratulations. Then relations arrived, and there began that state of blissful absurdity from which Levin did not emerge till the day after his wedding. Levin was in a continual state of awkwardness and discomfort, but the intensity of his happiness went on all the while increasing. He felt continually that a great deal was being expected of him--what, he did not know; and he did everything he was told, and it all gave him happiness. He had thought

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