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Anna Karenina 3

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

all the necessaries for shaving. "Are there any papers from the office?" asked Stepan Arkadyevitch, taking the telegram and seating himself at the looking-glass. "On the table," replied Matvey, glancing with inquiring sympathy at his master; and, after a short pause, he added with a sly smile, "Theyve sent from the carriage-jobbers." Stepan Arkadyevitch made no reply, he merely glanced at Matvey in the looking-glass. In the glance, in which their eyes met in the looking-glass, it was clear that they understood one another. Stepan Arkadyevitchs eyes asked: "Why do you tell me that? dont you know?" Matvey put his hands in his jacket pockets, thrust out one leg, and gazed silently, good-humoredly, with a faint smile, at his master. "I told them to come on Sunday, and till then not to trouble you or themselves for nothing," he said. He had obviously prepared the sentence beforehand. Stepan Arkadyevitch saw Matvey wanted to make a joke and attract attention to himself. Tearing open the telegram, he read it through, guessing at the words, misspelt as they always are in telegrams, and his face brightened. "Matvey, my sister Anna Arkadyevna will be here tomorrow," he said, checking for a minute the sleek, plump hand of the barber, cutting a pink path through his long, curly whiskers. "Thank God!" said Matvey, showing by this response that he, like his master, realized the significance of this arrival--that is, that Anna Arkadyevna, the sister he was so fond of, might bring about a reconciliation between husband and wife. "Alone, or with her husband?" inquired Matvey. Stepan Arkadyevitch could not answer, as the barber was at work on his upper lip, and he raised one finger. Matvey nodded at the looking-glass. "Alone. Is the room to be got ready upstairs?" "Inform Darya Alexandrovna: where she orders." "Darya Alexandrovna?" Matvey repeated, as though in doubt. "Yes, inform her. Here, take the telegram; give it to her, and then do what she tells you." "You want to try it on," Matvey understood, but he only said, "Yes sir." Stepan Arkadyevitch was already washed and combed and ready to be dressed, when Matvey, stepping deliberately in his creaky boots, came back into the room with the telegram in his hand. The barber had gone. "Darya Alexandrovna told me to inform you that she is going away. Let him do--that is you--do as he likes," he said, laughing only with his eyes, and putting his hands in his pockets, he watched his master with his head on one side. Stepan Arkadyevitch was silent a minute. Then a good-humored and rather pitiful smile showed itself on his handsome face. "Eh, Matvey?" he said, shaking his head. "Its all right, sir; she will come round," said Matvey. "Come round?" "Yes, sir." "Do you think so? Whos there?" asked Stepan Arkadyevitch, hearing the rustle of a womans dress at the door. "Its I," said a firm, pleasant, womans voice, and the stern, pockmarked face of Matrona Philimonovna, the nurse, was thrust in at the doorway. "Well, what is it, Matrona?" queried Stepan Arkadyevitch, going up to her at the door. Although Stepan Arkadyevitch was completely in the wrong as regards his wife, and was conscious of this himself, almost every one in the house (even the nurse, Darya Alexandrovnas chief ally) was on his side. "Well, what now?" he asked disconsolately. "Go to her, sir; own your fault again. Maybe God will aid you. She is suffering so, its sad to hee her; and besides, everything in the house is topsy-turvy. You must have pity, sir, on the children. Beg her forgiveness, sir. Theres no help for it! One must take the consequences..." "But she wont see me." "You do your part. God is merciful; pray to God, sir, pray to God." "Come, thatll do, you can go," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, blushing suddenly. "Well now, do dress me." He turned to Matvey and threw off his dressing-gown decisively. Matvey was already holding up the shirt like a horses collar, and, blowing off some invisible speck, he slipped it with obvious pleasure over the well-groomed body of his master.
Chapter 3
When he was dressed, Stepan Arkadyevitch sprinkled some scent on himself, pulled down his shirt-cuffs, distributed into his pockets his cigarettes, pocketbook, matches, and watch with its double chain and seals, and shaking out his handkerchief, feeling himself clean, fragrant, healthy, and physically at ease, in spite of his unhappiness, he walked with a slight swing on each leg into the dining-room, where coffee was already waiting for him, and beside the coffee, letters and papers from the office. He read the letters.

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