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know. Shes very good-hearted, I suppose, _mais excessivement terre-a-terre._ Still, Im very glad to see her." He took Annas hand and looked inquiringly into her eyes. Misinterpreting the look, she smiled to him. Next morning, in spite of the protests of her hosts, Darya Alexandrovna prepared for her homeward journey. Levins coachman, in his by no means new coat and shabby hat, with his ill-matched horses and his coach with the patched mud-guards, drove with gloomy determination into the covered gravel approach. Darya Alexandrovna disliked taking leave of Princess Varvara and the gentlemen of the party. After a day spent together, both she and her hosts were distinctly aware that they did not get on together, and that it was better for them not to meet. Only Anna was sad. She knew that now, from Dollys departure, no one again would stir up within her soul the feelings that had been roused by their conversation. It hurt her to stir up these feelings, but yet she knew that that was the best part of her soul, and that that part of her soul would quickly be smothered in the life she was leading. As she drove out into the open country, Darya Alexandrovna had a delightful sense of relief, and she felt tempted to ask the two men how they had liked being at Vronskys, when suddenly the coachman, Philip, expressed himself unasked: "Rolling in wealth they may be, but three pots of oats was all they gave us. Everything cleared up till there wasnt a grain left by cockcrow. What are three pots? A mere mouthful! And oats now down to forty-five kopecks. At our place, no fear, all comers may have as much as they can eat." "The masters a screw," put in the counting house clerk. "Well, did you like their horses?" asked Dolly. "The horses!--theres no two opinions about them. And the food was good. But it seemed to me sort of dreary there, Darya Alexandrovna. I dont know what you thought," he said, turning his handsome, good-natured face to her. "I thought so too. Well, shall we get home by evening?" "Eh, we must!" On reaching home and finding everyone entirely satisfactory and particularly charming, Darya Alexandrovna began with great liveliness telling them how she had arrived, how warmly they had received her, of the luxury and good taste in which the Vronskys lived, and of their recreations, and she would not allow a word to be said against them. "One has to know Anna and Vronsky--I have got to know him better now--to see how nice they are, and how touching," she said, speaking now with perfect sincerity, and forgetting the vague feeling of dissatisfaction and awkwardness she had experienced there. Chapter 25 Vronsky and Anna spent the whole summer and part of the winter in the country, living in just the same condition, and still taking no steps to obtain a divorce. It was an understood thing between them that they should not go away anywhere; but both felt, the longer they lived alone, especially in the autumn, without guests in the house, that they could not stand this existence, and that they would have to alter it. Their life was apparently such that nothing better could be desired. They had the fullest abundance of everything; they had a child, and both had occupation. Anna devoted just as much care to her appearance when they had no visitors, and she did a great deal of reading, both of novels and of what serious literature was in fashion. She ordered all the books that were praised in the foreign papers and reviews she received, and read them with that concentrated attention which is only given to what is read in seclusion. Moreover, every subject that was of interest to Vronsky, she studied in books and special journals, so that he often went straight to her with questions relating to agriculture or architecture, sometimes even with questions relating to horse-breeding or sport. He was amazed at her knowledge, her memory, and at first was disposed to doubt it, to ask for confirmation of her facts; and she would find what he asked for in some book, and show it to him. The building of the hospital, too, interested her. She did not merely assist, but planned and suggested a great deal herself. But her chief thought was still of herself--how far she was dear to Vronsky, how far she could make up to him for all he

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