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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

would go simply and directly to see Anna, and would receive her in her own house. The day after his arrival Vronsky went to her, and finding her alone, expressed his wishes directly. "You know, Alexey," she said after hearing him, "how fond I am of you, and how ready I am to do anything for you; but I have not spoken, because I knew I could be of no use to you and to Anna Arkadyevna," she said, articulating the name "Anna Arkadyevna" with particular care. "Dont suppose, please, that I judge her. Never; perhaps in her place I should have done the same. I dont and cant enter into that," she said, glancing timidly at his gloomy face. "But one must call things by their names. You want me to go and see her, to ask her here, and to rehabilitate her in society; but do understand that I _cannot_ do so. I have daughters growing up, and I must live in the world for my husbands sake. Well, Im ready to come and see Anna Arkadyevna: she will understand that I cant ask her here, or I should have to do so in such a way that she would not meet people who look at things differently; that would offend her. I cant raise her..." "Oh, I dont regard her as fallen more than hundreds of women you do receive!" Vronsky interrupted her still more gloomily, and he got up in silence, understanding that his sister-in-laws decision was not to be shaken. "Alexey! dont be angry with me. Please understand that Im not to blame," began Varya, looking at him with a timid smile. "Im not angry with you," he said still as gloomily; "but Im sorry in two ways. Im sorry, too, that this means breaking up our friendship--if not breaking up, at least weakening it. You will understand that for me, too, it cannot be otherwise." And with that he left her. Vronsky knew that further efforts were useless, and that he had to spend these few days in Petersburg as though in a strange town, avoiding every sort of relation with his own old circle in order not to be exposed to the annoyances and humiliations which were so intolerable to him. One of the most unpleasant features of his position in Petersburg was that Alexey Alexandrovitch and his name seemed to meet him everywhere. He could not begin to talk of anything without the conversation turning on Alexey Alexandrovitch; he could not go anywhere without risk of meeting him. So at least it seemed to Vronsky, just as it seems to a man with a sore finger that he is continually, as though on purpose, grazing his sore finger on everything. Their stay in Petersburg was the more painful to Vronsky that he perceived all the time a sort of new mood that he could not understand in Anna. At one time she would seem in love with him, and then she would become cold, irritable, and impenetrable. She was worrying over something, and keeping something back from him, and did not seem to notice the humiliations which poisoned his existence, and for her, with her delicate intuition, must have been still more unbearable. Chapter 29 One of Annas objects in coming back to Russia had been to see her son. From the day she left Italy the thought of it had never ceased to agitate her. And as she got nearer to Petersburg, the delight and importance of this meeting grew ever greater in her imagination. She did not even put to herself the question how to arrange it. It seemed to her natural and simple to see her son when she should be in the same town with him. But on her arrival in Petersburg she was suddenly made distinctly aware of her present position in society, and she grasped the fact that to arrange this meeting was no easy matter. She had now been two days in Petersburg. The thought of her son never left her for a single instant, but she had not yet seen him. To go straight to the house, where she might meet Alexey Alexandrovitch, that she felt she had no right to do. She might be refused admittance and insulted. To write and so enter into relations with her husband--that it made her miserable to think of doing; she could only be at peace when she did not think of her

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