Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
and see Anna, and show her that her feelings could not be
changed, in spite of the change in her position. That she might
be independent of the Levins in this expedition, Darya
Alexandrovna sent to the village to hire horses for the drive;
but Levin learning of it went to her to protest.
"What makes you suppose that I dislike your going? But, even if
I did dislike it, I should still more dislike your not taking my
horses," he said. "You never told me that you were going for
certain. Hiring horses in the village is disagreeable to me,
and, whats of more importance, theyll undertake the job and
never get you there. I have horses. And if you dont want to
wound me, youll take mine."
Darya Alexandrovna had to consent, and on the day fixed Levin had
ready for his sister-in-law a set of four horses and relays,
getting them together from the farm- and saddle-horses--not at
all a smart-looking set, but capable of taking Darya Alexandrovna
the whole distance in a single day. At that moment, when horses
were wanted for the princess, who was going, and for the midwife,
it was a difficult matter for Levin to make up the number, but
the duties of hospitality would not let him allow Darya
Alexandrovna to hire horses when staying in his house. Moreover,
he was well aware that the twenty roubles that would be asked for
the journey were a serious matter for her; Darya Alexandrovnas
pecuniary affairs, which were in a very unsatisfactory state,
were taken to heart by the Levins as if they were their own.
Darya Alexandrovna, by Levins advice, started before daybreak.
The road was good, the carriage comfortable, the horses trotted
along merrily, and on the box, besides the coachman, sat the
counting-house clerk, whom Levin was sending instead of a groom
for greater security. Darya Alexandrovna dozed and waked up only
on reaching the inn where the horses were to be changed.
After drinking tea at the same well-to-do peasants with whom
Levin had stayed on the way to Sviazhskys, and chatting with the
women about their children, and with the old man about Count
Vronsky, whom the latter praised very highly, Darya Alexandrovna,
at ten oclock, went on again. At home, looking after her
children, she had no time to think. So now, after this journey
of four hours, all the thoughts she had suppressed before rushed
swarming into her brain, and she thought over all her life as she
never had before, and from the most different points of view.
Her thoughts seemed strange even to herself. At first she
thought about the children, about whom she was uneasy, although
the princess and Kitty (she reckoned more upon her) had promised
to look after them. "If only Masha does not begin her naughty
tricks, if Grisha isnt kicked by a horse, and Lilys stomach
isnt upset again!" she thought. But these questions of the
present were succeeded by questions of the immediate future. She
began thinking how she had to get a new flat in Moscow for the
coming winter, to renew the drawing room furniture, and to make
her elder girl a cloak. Then questions of the more remote future
occurred to her: how she was to place her children in the world.
"The girls are all right," she thought; "but the boys?"
"Its very well that Im teaching Grisha, but of course thats
only because I am free myself now, Im not with child. Stiva,
of course, theres no counting on. And with the help of
good-natured friends I can bring them up; but if theres another
baby coming?..." And the thought struck her how untruly it was
said that the curse laid on woman was that in sorrow she should
bring forth children.
"The birth itself, thats nothing; but the months of carrying the
child--thats whats so intolerable," she thought, picturing to
herself her last pregnancy, and the death of the last baby. And
she recalled the conversation she had just had with the young
woman at the inn. On being asked whether she had any children,
the handsome young woman had answered cheerfully:
"I had a girl baby, but God set me free; I buried her last Lent."
"Well, did you grieve very much for her?" asked Darya
"Why grieve? The old man has grandchildren enough as it is. It
was only a trouble. No working, nor
Anna Karenina page 346 Anna Karenina page 348