Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
directly that he looked upon his connection with Madame
Karenina as marriage; that he hoped to arrange a divorce, and
then to marry her, and until then he considered her as much a
wife as any other wife, and he begged him to tell their mother
and his wife so.
"If the world disapproves, I dont care," said Vronsky; "but if
my relations want to be on terms of relationship with me, they
will have to be on the same terms with my wife."
The elder brother, who had always a respect for his younger
brothers judgment, could not well tell whether he was right or
not till the world had decided the question; for his part he had
nothing against it, and with Alexey he went up to see Anna.
Before his brother, as before everyone, Vronsky addressed Anna
with a certain formality, treating her as he might a very
intimate friend, but it was understood that his brother knew
their real relations, and they talked about Annas going to
In spite of all his social experience Vronsky was, in consequence
of the new position in which he was placed, laboring under a
strange misapprehension. One would have thought he must have
understood that society was closed for him and Anna; but now some
vague ideas had sprung up in his brain that this was only the
case in old-fashioned days, and that now with the rapidity of
modern progress (he had unconsciously become by now a partisan of
every sort of progress) the views of society had changed, and
that the question whether they would be received in society was
not a foregone conclusion. "Of course," he thought, "she would
not be received at court, but intimate friends can and must look
at it in the proper light." One may sit for several hours at a
stretch with ones legs crossed in the same position, if one
knows that theres nothing to prevent ones changing ones
position; but if a man knows that he must remain sitting so with
crossed legs, then cramps come on, the legs begin to twitch and
to strain towards the spot to which one would like to draw them.
This was what Vronsky was experiencing in regard to the world.
Though at the bottom of his heart he knew that the world was shut
on them, he put it to the test whether the world had not changed
by now and would not receive them. But he very quickly perceived
that though the world was open for him personally, it was closed
for Anna. Just as in the game of cat and mouse, the hands raised
for him were dropped to bar the way for Anna.
One of the first ladies of Petersburg society whom Vronsky saw
was his cousin Betsy.
"At last!" she greeted him joyfully. "And Anna? How glad I am!
Where are you stopping? I can fancy after your delightful
travels you must find our poor Petersburg horrid. I can fancy
your honeymoon in Rome. How about the divorce? Is that all
Vronsky noticed that Betsys enthusiasm waned when she learned
that no divorce had as yet taken place.
"People will throw stones at me, I know," she said, "but I shall
come and see Anna; yes, I shall certainly come. You wont be
here long, I suppose?"
And she did certainly come to see Anna the same day, but her tone
was not at all the same as in former days. She unmistakably
prided herself on her courage, and wished Anna to appreciate the
fidelity of her friendship. She only stayed ten minutes, talking
of society gossip, and on leaving she said:
"Youve never told me when the divorce is to be? Supposing Im
ready to fling my cap over the mill, other starchy people will
give you the cold shoulder until youre married. And thats so
simple nowadays. _Ca se fait_. So youre going on Friday? Sorry
we shant see each other again."
From Betsys tone Vronsky might have grasped what he had to
expect from the world; but he made another effort in his own
family. His mother he did not reckon upon. He knew that his
mother, who had been so enthusiastic over Anna at their first
acquaintance, would have no mercy on her now for having ruined
her sons career. But he had more hope of Varya, his brothers
wife. He fancied she would not throw stones, and
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