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Anna Karenina 399

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

The Latin teacher, it seems, had been unfair to him." "Yes, I have seen his pictures. I didnt care for them very much," Levin went back to the subject she had started. Levin talked now not at all with that purely businesslike attitude to the subject with which he had been talking all the morning. Every word in his conversation with her had a special significance. And talking to her was pleasant; still pleasanter it was to listen to her. Anna talked not merely naturally and cleverly, but cleverly and carelessly, attaching no value to her own ideas and giving great weight to the ideas of the person she was talking to. The conversation turned on the new movement in art, on the new illustrations of the Bible by a French artist. Vorkuev attacked the artist for a realism carried to the point of coarseness. Levin said that the French had carried conventionality further than anyone, and that consequently they see a great merit in the return to realism. In the fact of not lying they see poetry. Never had anything clever said by Levin given him so much pleasure as this remark. Annas face lighted up at once, as at once she appreciated the thought. She laughed. "I laugh," she said, "as one laughs when one sees a very true portrait. What you said so perfectly hits off French art now, painting and literature too, indeed--Zola, Daudet. But perhaps it is always so, that men form their conceptions from fictitious, conventional types, and then--all the _combinaisons_ made--they are tired of the fictitious figures and begin to invent more natural, true figures." "Thats perfectly true," said Vorknev. "So youve been at the club?" she said to her brother. "Yes, yes, this is a woman!" Levin thought, forgetting himself and staring persistently at her lovely, mobile face, which at that moment was all at once completely transformed. Levin did not hear what she was talking of as she leaned over to her brother, but he was struck by the change of her expression. Her face--so handsome a moment before in its repose--suddenly wore a look of strange curiosity, anger, and pride. But this lasted only an instant. She dropped her eyelids, as though recollecting something. "Oh, well, but thats of no interest to anyone," she said, and she turned to the English girl. "Please order the tea in the drawing room," she said in English. The girl got up and went out. "Well, how did she get through her examination?" asked Stepan Arkadyevitch. "Splendidly! Shes a very gifted child and a sweet character." "It will end in your loving her more than your own." "There a man speaks. In love theres no more nor less. I love my daughter with one love, and her with another." "I was just telling Anna Arkadyevna," said Vorkuev, "that if she were to put a hundredth part of the energy she devotes to this English girl to the public question of the education of Russian children, she would be doing a great and useful work." "Yes, but I cant help it; I couldnt do it. Count Alexey Kirillovitch urged me very much" (as she uttered the words _Count Alexey Kirillovitch_ she glanced with appealing timidity at Levin, and he unconsciously responded with a respectful and reassuring look); "he urged me to take up the school in the village. I visited it several times. The children were very nice, but I could not feel drawn to the work. You speak of energy. Energy rests upon love; and come as it will, theres no forcing it. I took to this child--I could not myself say why." And she glanced again at Levin. And her smile and her glance-- all told him that it was to him only she was addressing her words, valuing his good opinion, and at the same time sure beforehand that they understood each other. "I quite understand that," Levin answered. "Its impossible to give ones heart to a school or such institutions in general, and I believe thats just why philanthropic institutions always give such poor results." She was silent for a while, then she smiled. "Yes, yes," she agreed; "I never could. _Je nai pas le coeur assez_ large to love a whole asylum of horrid little girls. _Cela ne ma jamais reussi._ There are so many women who have made themselves _une position sociale_ in that way. And now more than ever," she said with a mournful, confiding

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