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Anna Karenina 367

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

think of it? Not a day, not an hour passes that I dont think of it, and blame myself for thinking of it...because thinking of that may drive me mad. Drive me mad!" she repeated. "When I think of it, I cant sleep without morphine. But never mind. Let us talk quietly. They tell me, divorce. In the first place, he wont give me a divorce. Hes under the influence of Countess Lidia Ivanovna now." Darya Alexandrovna, sitting erect on a chair, turned her head, following Anna with a face of sympathetic suffering. "You ought to make the attempt," she said softly. "Suppose I make the attempt. What does it mean?" she said, evidently giving utterance to a thought, a thousand times thought over and learned by heart. "It means that I, hating him, but still recognizing that I have wronged him--and I consider him magnanimous--that I humiliate myself to write to him.... Well, suppose I make the effort; I do it. Either I receive a humiliating refusal or consent.... Well, I have received his consent, say..." Anna was at that moment at the furthest end of the room, and she stopped there, doing something to the curtain at the window. "I receive his consent, but my...my son? They wont give him up to me. He will grow up despising me, with his father, whom Ive abandoned. Do you see, I love... equally, I think, but both more than myself--two creatures, Seryozha and Alexey." She came out into the middle of the room and stood facing Dolly, with her arms pressed tightly across her chest. In her white dressing gown her figure seemed more than usually grand and broad. She bent her head, and with shining, wet eyes looked from under her brows at Dolly, a thin little pitiful figure in her patched dressing jacket and nightcap, shaking all over with emotion. "It is only those two creatures that I love, and one excludes the other. I cant have them together, and thats the only thing I want. And since I cant have that, I dont care about the rest. I dont care about anything, anything. And it will end one way or another, and so I cant, I dont like to talk of it. So dont blame me, dont judge me for anything. You cant with your pure heart understand all that Im suffering." She went up, sat down beside Dolly, and with a guilty look, peeped into her face and took her hand. "What are you thinking? What are you thinking about me? Dont despise me. I dont deserve contempt. Im simply unhappy. If anyone is unhappy, I am," she articulated, and turning away, she burst into tears. Left alone, Darya Alexandrovna said her prayers and went to bed. She had felt for Anna with all her heart while she was speaking to her, but now she could not force herself to think of her. The memories of home and of her children rose up in her imagination with a peculiar charm quite new to her, with a sort of new brilliance. That world of her own seemed to her now so sweet and precious that she would not on any account spend an extra day outside it, and she made up her mind that she would certainly go back next day. Anna meantime went back to her boudoir, took a wine glass and dropped into it several drops of a medicine, of which the principal ingredient was morphine. After drinking it off and sitting still a little while, she went into her bedroom in a soothed and more cheerful frame of mind. When she went into the bedroom, Vronsky looked intently at her. He was looking for traces of the conversation which he knew that, staying so long in Dollys room, she must have had with her. But in her expression of restrained excitement, and of a sort of reserve, he could find nothing but the beauty that always bewitched him afresh though he was used to it, the consciousness of it, and the desire that it should affect him. He did not want to ask her what they had been talking of, but he hoped that she would tell him something of her own accord. But she only said: "I am so glad you like Dolly. You do, dont you?" "Oh, Ive known her a long while, you

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