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Anna Karenina 398


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or wrong. Looking at himself in the glass, Levin noticed that he was red in the face, but he felt certain he was not drunk, and he followed Stepan Arkadyevitch up the carpeted stairs. At the top Stepan Arkadyevitch inquired of the footman, who bowed to him as to an intimate friend, who was with Anna Arkadyevna, and received the answer that it was M. Vorkuev. "Where are they?" "In the study." Passing through the dining room, a room not very large, with dark, paneled walls, Stepan Arkadyevitch and Levin walked over the soft carpet to the half-dark study, lighted up by a single lamp with a big dark shade. Another lamp with a reflector was hanging on the wall, lighting up a big full-length portrait of a woman, which Levin could not help looking at. It was the portrait of Anna, painted in Italy by Mihailov. While Stepan Arkadyevitch went behind the _treillage_, and the mans voice which had been speaking paused, Levin gazed at the portrait, which stood out from the frame in the brilliant light thrown on it, and he could not tear himself away from it. He positively forgot where he was, and not even hearing what was said, he could not take his eyes off the marvelous portrait. It was not a picture, but a living, charming woman, with black curling hair, with bare arms and shoulders, with a pensive smile on the lips, covered with soft down; triumphantly and softly she looked at him with eyes that baffled him. She was not living only because she was more beautiful than a living woman can be. "I am delighted!" He heard suddenly near him a voice, unmistakably addressing him, the voice of the very woman he had been admiring in the portrait. Anna had come from behind the treillage to meet him, and Levin saw in the dim light of the study the very woman of the portrait, in a dark blue shot gown, not in the same position nor with the same expression, but with the same perfection of beauty which the artist had caught in the portrait. She was less dazzling in reality, but, on the other hand, there was something fresh and seductive in the living woman which was not in the portrait. Chapter 10 She had risen to meet him, not concealing her pleasure at seeing him; and in the quiet ease with which she held out her little vigorous hand, introduced him to Vorkuev and indicated a red-haired, pretty little girl who was sitting at work, calling her her pupil, Levin recognized and liked the manners of a woman of the great world, always self-possessed and natural. "I am delighted, delighted," she repeated, and on her lips these simple words took for Levins ears a special significance. "I have known you and liked you for a long while, both from your friendship with Stiva and for your wifes sake.... I knew her for a very short time, but she left on me the impression of an exquisite flower, simply a flower. And to think she will soon be a mother!" She spoke easily and without haste, looking now and then from Levin to her brother, and Levin felt that the impression he was making was good, and he felt immediately at home, simple and happy with her, as though he had known her from childhood. "Ivan Petrovitch and I settled in Alexeys study," she said in answer to Stepan Arkadyevitchs question whether he might smoke, "just so as to be able to smoke"--and glancing at Levin, instead of asking whether he would smoke, she pulled closer a tortoise-shell cigar-case and took a cigarette. "How are you feeling today?" her brother asked her. "Oh, nothing. Nerves, as usual." "Yes, isnt it extraordinarily fine?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, noticing that Levin was scrutinizing the picture. "I have never seen a better portrait." "And extraordinarily like, isnt it?" said Vorkuev. Levin looked from the portrait to the original. A peculiar brilliance lighted up Annas face when she felt his eyes on her. Levin flushed, and to cover his confusion would have asked whether she had seen Darya Alexandrovna lately; but at that moment Anna spoke. "We were just talking, Ivan Petrovitch and I, of Vashtchenkovs last pictures. Have you seen them?" "Yes, I have seen them," answered Levin. "But, I beg your pardon, I interrupted you...you were saying?..." Levin asked if she had seen Dolly lately. "She was here yesterday. She was very indignant with the high school people on Grishas account.

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