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Anna Karenina 395

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

Vronskys Atlas had won the first prize. Levin did not notice how the time passed at dinner. "Ah! and here they are!" Stepan Arkadyevitch said towards the end of dinner, leaning over the back of his chair and holding out his hand to Vronsky, who came up with a tall officer of the Guards. Vronskys face too beamed with the look of good-humored enjoyment that was general in the club. He propped his elbow playfully on Stepan Arkadyevitchs shoulder, whispering something to him, and he held out his hand to Levin with the same good-humored smile. "Very glad to meet you," he said. "I looked out for you at the election, but I was told you had gone away." "Yes, I left the same day. Weve just been talking of your horse. I congratulate you," said Levin. "It was very rapidly run." "Yes; youve race horses too, havent you?" "No, my father had; but I remember and know something about it." "Where have you dined?" asked Stepan Arkadyevitch. "We were at the second table, behind the columns." "Weve been celebrating his success," said the tall colonel. "Its his second Imperial prize. I wish I might have the luck at cards he has with horses. Well, why waste the precious time? Im going to the infernal regions," added the colonel, and he walked away. "Thats Yashvin," Vronsky said in answer to Turovtsin, and he sat down in the vacated seat beside them. He drank the glass offered him, and ordered a bottle of wine. Under the influence of the club atmosphere or the wine he had drunk, Levin chatted away to Vronsky of the best breeds of cattle, and was very glad not to feel the slightest hostility to this man. He even told him, among other things, that he had heard from his wife that she had met him at Princess Marya Borissovnas. "Ah, Princess Marya Borissovna, shes exquisite!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, and he told an anecdote about her which set them all laughing. Vronsky particularly laughed with such simplehearted amusement that Levin felt quite reconciled to him. "Well, have we finished?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, getting up with a smile. "Let us go." Chapter 8 Getting up from the table, Levin walked with Gagin through the lofty room to the billiard room, feeling his arms swing as he walked with a peculiar lightness and ease. As he crossed the big room, he came upon his father-in-law. "Well, how do you like our Temple of Indolence?" said the prince, taking his arm. "Come along, come along!" "Yes, I wanted to walk about and look at everything. Its interesting." "Yes, its interesting for you. But its interest for me is quite different. You look at those little old men now," he said, pointing to a club member with bent back and projecting lip, shuffling towards them in his soft boots, "and imagine that they were _shlupiks_ like that from their birth up." "How _shlupiks_?" "I see you dont know that name. Thats our club designation. You know the game of rolling eggs: when ones rolled a long while it becomes a _shlupik_. So it is with us; one goes on coming and coming to the club, and ends by becoming a _shlupik_. Ah, you laugh! but we look out, for fear of dropping into it ourselves. You know Prince Tchetchensky?" inquired the prince; and Levin saw by his face that he was just going to relate something funny. "No, I dont know him." "You dont say so! Well, Prince Tchetchensky is a well-known figure. No matter, though. Hes always playing billiards here. Only three years ago he was not a _shlupik_ and kept up his spirits and even used to call other people _shlupiks_. But one day he turns up, and our porter...you know Vassily? Why, that fat one; hes famous for his _bon mots_. And so Prince Tchetchensky asks him, Come, Vassily, whos here? Any _shlupiks_ here yet? And he says, Youre the third. Yes, my dear boy, that he did!" Talking and greeting the friends they met, Levin and the prince walked through all the rooms: the great room where tables had already been set, and the usual partners were playing for small stakes; the divan room, where they were playing chess, and Sergey Ivanovitch was sitting talking to somebody; the billiard room, where, about a sofa in a recess, there was a lively party drinking champagne--Gagin was one of them. They peeped into the "infernal

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