Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
were pleased and happy, many were in ecstasies, many
were disgusted and unhappy. The former marshal of the province
was in a state of despair, which he could not conceal. When
Nevyedovsky went out of the room, the crowd thronged round him
and followed him enthusiastically, just as they had followed the
governor who had opened the meetings, and just as they had
followed Snetkov when he was elected.
The newly elected marshal and many of the successful party dined
that day with Vronsky.
Vronsky had come to the elections partly because he was bored in
the country and wanted to show Anna his right to independence,
and also to repay Sviazhsky by his support at the election for
all the trouble he had taken for Vronsky at the district council
election, but chiefly in order strictly to perform all those
duties of a nobleman and landowner which he had taken upon
himself. But he had not in the least expected that the election
would so interest him, so keenly excite him, and that he would be
so good at this kind of thing. He was quite a new man in the
circle of the nobility of the province, but his success was
unmistakable, and he was not wrong in supposing that he had
already obtained a certain influence. This influence was due to
his wealth and reputation, the capital house in the town lent him
by his old friend Shirkov, who had a post in the department of
finances and was director of a flourishing bank in Kashin; the
excellent cook Vronsky had brought from the country, and his
friendship with the governor, who was a schoolfellow of
Vronskys--a schoolfellow he had patronized and protected indeed.
But what contributed more than all to his success was his direct,
equable manner with everyone, which very quickly made the
majority of the noblemen reverse the current opinion of his
supposed haughtiness. He was himself conscious that, except that
whimsical gentleman married to Kitty Shtcherbatskaya, who had _a
propos de bottes_ poured out a stream of irrelevant absurdities
with such spiteful fury, every nobleman with whom he had made
acquaintance had become his adherent. He saw clearly, and other
people recognized it, too, that he had done a great deal to
secure the success of Nevyedovsky. And now at his own table,
celebrating Nevyedovskys election, he was experiencing an
agreeable sense of triumph over the success of his candidate.
The election itself had so fascinated him that, if he could
succeed in getting married during the next three years, he began
to think of standing himself--much as after winning a race ridden
by a jockey, he had longed to ride a race himself.
Today he was celebrating the success of his jockey. Vronsky sat
at the head of the table, on his right hand sat the young
governor, a general of high rank. To all the rest he was the
chief man in the province, who had solemnly opened the elections
with his speech, and aroused a feeling of respect and even of awe
in many people, as Vronsky saw; to Vronsky he was little Katka
Maslov--that had been his nickname in the Pages Corps--whom he
felt to be shy and tried to _mettre a son aise_. On the left hand
sat Nevyedovsky with his youthful, stubborn, and malignant face.
With him Vronsky was simple and deferential.
Sviazhsky took his failure very light-heartedly. It was indeed
no failure in his eyes, as he said himself, turning, glass in
hand, to Nevyedovsky; they could not have found a better
representative of the new movement, which the nobility ought to
follow. And so every honest person, as he said, was on the side
of todays success and was rejoicing over it.
Stepan Arkadyevitch was glad, too, that he was having a good
time, and that everyone was pleased. The episode of the
elections served as a good occasion for a capital dinner.
Sviazhsky comically imitated the tearful discourse of the
marshal, and observed, addressing Nevyedovsky, that his
excellency would have to select another more complicated method
of auditing the accounts than tears. Another nobleman jocosely
described how footmen in stockings had been ordered for the
marshals ball, and how now they would have to be sent back
unless the new marshal would give a ball with footmen in
Continually during dinner they said of Nevyedovsky: "our
marshal," and "your excellency."
This was said with the same pleasure with which a bride is called
"Madame" and her husbands name.
Anna Karenina page 379 Anna Karenina page 381