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but Anna cut her short, kissing her hand once more. "I know more of the world than you do," she said. "I know how men like Stiva look at it. You speak of his talking of you with her. That never happened. Such men are unfaithful, but their home and wife are sacred to them. Somehow or other these women are still looked on with contempt by them, and do not touch on their feeling for their family. They draw a sort of line that cant be crossed between them and their families. I dont understand it, but it is so." "Yes, but he has kissed her..." "Dolly, hush, darling. I saw Stiva when he was in love with you. I remember the time when he came to me and cried, talking of you, and all the poetry and loftiness of his feeling for you, and I know that the longer he has lived with you the loftier you have been in his eyes. You know we have sometimes laughed at him for putting in at every word: Dollys a marvelous woman. You have always been a divinity for him, and you are that still, and this has not been an infidelity of the heart..." "But if it is repeated?" "It cannot be, as I understand it..." "Yes, but could you forgive it?" "I dont know, I cant judge.... Yes, I can," said Anna, thinking a moment; and grasping the position in her thought and weighing it in her inner balance, she added: "Yes, I can, I can, I can. Yes, I could forgive it. I could not be the same, no; but I could forgive it, and forgive it as though it had never been, never been at all..." "Oh, of course," Dolly interposed quickly, as though saying what she had more than once thought, "else it would not be forgiveness. If one forgives, it must be completely, completely. Come, let us go; Ill take you to your room," she said, getting up, and on the way she embraced Anna. "My dear, how glad I am you came. It has made things better, ever so much better." Chapter 20 The whole of that day Anna spent at home, thats to say at the Oblonskys, and received no one, though some of her acquaintances had already heard of her arrival, and came to call; the same day. Anna spent the whole morning with Dolly and the children. She merely sent a brief note to her brother to tell him that he must not fail to dine at home. "Come, God is merciful," she wrote. Oblonsky did dine at home: the conversation was general, and his wife, speaking to him, addressed him as "Stiva," as she had not done before. In the relations of the husband and wife the same estrangement still remained, but there was no talk now of separation, and Stepan Arkadyevitch saw the possibility of explanation and reconciliation. Immediately after dinner Kitty came in. She knew Anna Arkadyevna, but only very slightly, and she came now to her sisters with some trepidation, at the prospect of meeting this fashionable Petersburg lady, whom everyone spoke so highly of. But she made a favorable impression on Anna Arkadyevna--she saw that at once. Anna was unmistakably admiring her loveliness and her youth: before Kitty knew where she was she found herself not merely under Annas sway, but in love with her, as young girls do fall in love with older and married women. Anna was not like a fashionable lady, nor the mother of a boy of eight years old. In the elasticity of her movements, the freshness and the unflagging eagerness which persisted in her face, and broke out in her smile and her glance, she would rather have passed for a girl of twenty, had it not been for a serious and at times mournful look in her eyes, which struck and attracted Kitty. Kitty felt that Anna was perfectly simple and was concealing nothing, but that she had another higher world of interests inaccessible to her, complex and poetic. After dinner, when Dolly went away to her own room, Anna rose quickly and went up to her brother, who was just lighting a cigar. "Stiva," she said to him, winking gaily, crossing him and glancing towards the door, "go, and God help you." He threw down the cigar, understanding her, and departed through the doorway. When Stepan Arkadyevitch had disappeared, she went back to the sofa where she

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