Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
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
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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