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Anna Karenina 307

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

door. "Whom do you want?" he asked. She did not hear his words and made no answer. Noticing the embarrassment of the unknown lady, Kapitonitch went out to her, opened the second door for her, and asked her what she was pleased to want. "From Prince Skorodumov for Sergey Alexeitch," she said. "His honors not up yet," said the porter, looking at her attentively. Anna had not anticipated that the absolutely unchanged hall of the house where she had lived for nine years would so greatly affect her. Memories sweet and painful rose one after another in her heart, and for a moment she forgot what she was here for. "Would you kindly wait?" said Kapitonitch, taking off her fur cloak. As he took off the cloak, Kapitonitch glanced at her face, recognized her, and made her a low bow in silence. "Please walk in, your excellency," he said to her. She tried to say something, but her voice refused to utter any sound; with a guilty and imploring glance at the old man she went with light, swift steps up the stairs. Bent double, and his galoshes catching in the steps, Kapitonitch ran after her, trying to overtake her. "The tutors there; maybe hes not dressed. Ill let him know." Anna still mounted the familiar staircase, not understanding what the old man was saying. "This way, to the left, if you please. Excuse its not being tidy. His honors in the old parlor now," the hall porter said, panting. "Excuse me, wait a little, your excellency; Ill just see," he said, and overtaking her, he opened the high door and disappeared behind it. Anna stood still waiting. "Hes only just awake," said the hall porter, coming out. And at the very instant the porter said this, Anna caught the sound of a childish yawn. From the sound of this yawn alone she knew her son and seemed to see him living before her eyes. "Let me in; go away!" she said, and went in through the high doorway. On the right of the door stood a bed, and sitting up in the bed was the boy. His little body bent forward with his nightshirt unbuttoned, he was stretching and still yawning. The instant his lips came together they curved into a blissfully sleepy smile, and with that smile he slowly and deliciously rolled back again. "Seryozha!" she whispered, going noiselessly up to him. When she was parted from him, and all this latter time when she had been feeling a fresh rush of love for him, she had pictured him as he was at four years old, when she had loved him most of all. Now he was not even the same as when she had left him; he was still further from the four-year-old baby, more grown and thinner. How thin his face was, how short his hair was! What long hands! How he had changed since she left him! But it was he with his head, his lips, his soft neck and broad little shoulders. "Seryozha!" she repeated just in the childs ear. He raised himself again on his elbow, turned his tangled head from side to side as though looking for something, and opened his eyes. Slowly and inquiringly he looked for several seconds at his mother standing motionless before him, then all at once he smiled a blissful smile, and shutting his eyes, rolled not backwards but towards her into her arms. "Seryozha! my darling boy!" she said, breathing hard and putting her arms round his plump little body. "Mother!" he said, wriggling about in her arms so as to touch her hands with different parts of him. Smiling sleepily still with closed eyes, he flung fat little arms round her shoulders, rolled towards her, with the delicious sleepy warmth and fragrance that is only found in children, and began rubbing his face against her neck and shoulders. "I know," he said, opening his eyes; "its my birthday today. I knew youd come. Ill get up directly." And saying that he dropped asleep. Anna looked at him hungrily; she saw how he had grown and changed in her absence. She knew, and did not know, the bare legs so long now, that were thrust out below the quilt, those short-cropped curls on his neck in which she had so often kissed him. She touched all this and could say nothing; tears choked her. "What are you crying for, mother?" he said, waking completely up. "Mother, what are you

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