Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
regret, but a positive pleasure, in interrupting this
conversation on a topic she had heard so much of that she was by
now weary of it. "Well, how is Kitty? I am dining with you
today. I tell you what, Arseny," she turned to her husband, "you
take the carriage."
And the husband and wife began to discuss their arrangements for
the day. As the husband had to drive to meet someone on official
business, while the wife had to go to the concert and some public
meeting of a committee on the Eastern Question, there was a great
deal to consider and settle. Levin had to take part in their
plans as one of themselves. It was settled that Levin should go
with Natalia to the concert and the meeting, and that from there
they should send the carriage to the office for Arseny, and he
should call for her and take her to Kittys; or that, if he had
not finished his work, he should send the carriage back and Levin
would go with her.
"Hes spoiling me," Lvov said to his wife; "he assures me that
our children are splendid, when I know how much thats bad there
is in them."
"Arseny goes to extremes, I always say," said his wife. "If you
look for perfection, you will never be satisfied. And its true,
as papa says,--that when we were brought up there was one
extreme--we were kept in the basement, while our parents lived in
the best rooms; now its just the other way--the parents are in
the wash house, while the children are in the best rooms.
Parents now are not expected to live at all, but to exist
altogether for their children."
"Well, what if they like it better?" Lvov said, with his
beautiful smile, touching her hand. "Anyone who didnt know you
would think you were a stepmother, not a true mother."
"No, extremes are not good in anything," Natalia said serenely,
putting his paper knife straight in its proper place on the
"Well, come here, you perfect children," Lvov said to the two
handsome boys who came in, and after bowing to Levin, went up to
their father, obviously wishing to ask him about something.
Levin would have liked to talk to them, to hear what they would
say to their father, but Natalia began talking to him, and then
Lvovs colleague in the service, Mahotin, walked in, wearing his
court uniform, to go with him to meet someone, and a conversation
was kept up without a break upon Herzegovina, Princess
Korzinskaya, the town council, and the sudden death of Madame
Levin even forgot the commission intrusted to him. He
recollected it as he was going into the hall.
"Oh, Kitty told me to talk to you about Oblonsky," he said, as
Lvov was standing on the stairs, seeing his wife and Levin off.
"Yes, yes, maman wants us, _les beaux-freres,_ to attack him,"
he said, blushing. "But why should I?"
"Well, then, I will attack him," said Madame Lvova, with a smile,
standing in her white sheepskin cape, waiting till they had
finished speaking. "Come, let us go."
At the concert in the afternoon two very interesting things were
performed. One was a fantasia, _King Lear;_ the other was a
quartette dedicated to the memory of Bach. Both were new and in
the new style, and Levin was eager to form an opinion of them.
After escorting his sister-in-law to her stall, he stood against
a column and tried to listen as attentively and conscientiously
as possible. He tried not to let his attention be distracted,
and not to spoil his impression by looking at the conductor in a
white tie, waving his arms, which always disturbed his enjoyment
of music so much, or the ladies in bonnets, with strings
carefully tied over their ears, and all these people either
thinking of nothing at all or thinking of all sorts of things
except the music. He tried to avoid meeting musical connoisseurs
or talkative acquaintances, and stood looking at the floor
straight before him, listening.
But the more he listened to the fantasia of King Lear the further
he felt from forming any definite opinion of it. There was, as
it were, a continual beginning, a preparation of the musical
expression of some feeling, but it fell to pieces again directly,
breaking into new musical motives, or simply nothing but the
whims of the composer, exceedingly complex but disconnected
sounds. And these
Anna Karenina page 390 Anna Karenina page 392