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Anna Karenina 354

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

if not exactly ashamed, at least uncomfortable. Darya Alexandrovna had a great sense of relief when Annushka, whom she had known for years, walked in. The smart maid was sent for to go to her mistress, and Annushka remained with Darya Alexandrovna. Annushka was obviously much pleased at that ladys arrival, and began to chatter away without a pause. Dolly observed that she was longing to express her opinion in regard to her mistresss position, especially as to the love and devotion of the count to Anna Arkadyevna, but Dolly carefully interrupted her whenever she began to speak about this. "I grew up with Anna Arkadyevna; my ladys dearer to me than anything. Well, its not for us to judge. And, to be sure, there seems so much love..." "Kindly pour out the water for me to wash now, please," Darya Alexandrovna cut her short. "Certainly. Weve two women kept specially for washing small things, but most of the linens done by machinery. The count goes into everything himself. Ah, what a husband!..." Dolly was glad when Anna came in, and by her entrance put a stop to Annushkas gossip. Anna had put on a very simple batiste gown. Dolly scrutinized that simple gown attentively. She knew what it meant, and the price at which such simplicity was obtained. "An old friend," said Anna of Annushka. Anna was not embarrassed now. She was perfectly composed and at ease. Dolly saw that she had now completely recovered from the impression her arrival had made on her, and had assumed that superficial, careless tone which, as it were, closed the door on that compartment in which her deeper feelings and ideas were kept. "Well, Anna, and how is your little girl?" asked Dolly. "Annie?" (This was what she called her little daughter Anna.) "Very well. She has got on wonderfully. Would you like to see her? Come, Ill show her to you. We had a terrible bother," she began telling her, "over nurses. We had an Italian wet-nurse. A good creature, but so stupid! We wanted to get rid of her, but the baby is so used to her that weve gone on keeping her still." "But how have you managed?..." Dolly was beginning a question as to what name the little girl would have; but noticing a sudden frown on Annas face, she changed the drift of her question. "How did you manage? have you weaned her yet?" But Anna had understood. "You didnt mean to ask that? You meant to ask about her surname. Yes? That worries Alexey. She has no name--that is, shes a Karenina," said Anna, dropping her eyelids till nothing could be seen but the eyelashes meeting. "But well talk about all that later," her face suddenly brightening. "Come, Ill show you her. _Elle est tres gentille_. She crawls now." In the nursery the luxury which had impressed Dolly in the whole house struck her still more. There were little go-carts ordered from England, and appliances for learning to walk, and a sofa after the fashion of a billiard table, purposely constructed for crawling, and swings and baths, all of special pattern, and modern. They were all English, solid, and of good make, and obviously very expensive. The room was large, and very light and lofty. When they went in, the baby, with nothing on but her little smock, was sitting in a little elbow chair at the table, having her dinner of broth, which she was spilling all over her little chest. The baby was being fed, and the Russian nursery maid was evidently sharing her meal. Neither the wet-nurse nor the head nurse were there; they were in the next room, from which came the sound of their conversation in the queer French which was their only means of communication. Hearing Annas voice, a smart, tall, English nurse with a disagreeable face and a dissolute expression walked in at the door, hurriedly shaking her fair curls, and immediately began to defend herself though Anna had not found fault with her. At every word Anna said, the English nurse said hurriedly several times, "Yes, my lady." The rosy baby with her black eyebrows and hair, her sturdy red little body with tight goose-flesh skin, delighted Darya Alexandrovna in spite of the cross expression with which she stared at the stranger. She positively envied the babys healthy appearance. She was delighted, too, at the babys crawling. Not one

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