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Anna Karenina 329

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

one want to go to bed!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, who, after drinking several glasses of wine at supper, was now in his most charming and sentimental humor. "Look, Kitty," he said, pointing to the moon, which had just risen behind the lime trees --"how exquisite! Veslovsky, this is the time for a serenade. You know, he has a splendid voice; we practiced songs together along the road. He has brought some lovely songs with him, two new ones. Varvara Andreevna and he must sing some duets." When the party had broken up, Stepan Arkadyevitch walked a long while about the avenue with Veslovsky; their voices could be heard singing one of the new songs. Levin hearing these voices sat scowling in an easy-chair in his wifes bedroom, and maintained an obstinate silence when she asked him what was wrong. But when at last with a timid glance she hazarded the question: "Was there perhaps something you disliked about Veslovsky?"--it all burst out, and he told her all. He was humiliated himself at what he was saying, and that exasperated him all the more. He stood facing her with his eyes glittering menacingly under his scowling brows, and he squeezed his strong arms across his chest, as though he were straining every nerve to hold himself in. The expression of his face would have been grim, and even cruel, if it had not at the same time had a look of suffering which touched her. His jaws were twitching, and his voice kept breaking. "You must understand that Im not jealous, thats a nasty word. I cant be jealous, and believe that.... I cant say what I feel, but this is awful.... Im not jealous, but Im wounded, humiliated that anybody dare think, that anybody dare look at you with eyes like that." "Eyes like what?" said Kitty, trying as conscientiously as possible to recall every word and gesture of that evening and every shade implied in them. At the very bottom of her heart she did think there had been something precisely at the moment when he had crossed over after her to the other end of the table; but she dared not own it even to herself, and would have been even more unable to bring herself to say so to him, and so increase his suffering. "And what can there possibly be attractive about me as I am now?..." "Ah!" he cried, clutching at his head, "you shouldnt say that!... If you had been attractive then..." "Oh, no, Kostya, oh, wait a minute, oh, do listen!" she said, looking at him with an expression of pained commiseration. "Why, what can you be thinking about! When for me theres no one in the world, no one, no one!... Would you like me never to see anyone?" For the first minute she had been offended at his jealousy; she was angry that the slightest amusement, even the most innocent, should be forbidden her; but now she would readily have sacrificed, not merely such trifles, but everything, for his peace of mind, to save him from the agony he was suffering. "You must understand the horror and comedy of my position," he went on in a desperate whisper; "that hes in my house, that hes done nothing improper positively except his free and easy airs and the way he sits on his legs. He thinks its the best possible form, and so Im obliged to be civil to him." "But, Kostya, youre exaggerating," said Kitty, at the bottom of her heart rejoicing at the depth of his love for her, shown now in his jealousy. "The most awful part of it all is that youre just as you always are, and especially now when to me youre something sacred, and were so happy, so particularly happy--and all of a sudden a little wretch.... Hes not a little wretch; why should I abuse him? I have nothing to do with him. But why should my, and your, happiness..." "Do you know, I understand now what its all come from," Kitty was beginning. "Well, what? what?" "I saw how you looked while we were talking at supper." "Well, well!" Levin said in dismay. She told him what they had been talking about. And as she told him, she was breathless with emotion. Levin was silent for a space, then he scanned her pale and distressed face, and suddenly he clutched at his head. "Katya, Ive been worrying you! Darling, forgive me! Its madness! Katya,

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