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Anna Karenina 433


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up to great bitterness, Anna went upstairs. "Is there anyone with her?" she asked in the hall. "Katerina Alexandrovna Levin," answered the footman. "Kitty! Kitty, whom Vronsky was in love with!" thought Anna, "the girl he thinks of with love. Hes sorry he didnt marry her. But me he thinks of with hatred, and is sorry he had anything to do with me." The sisters were having a consultation about nursing when Anna called. Dolly went down alone to see the visitor who had interrupted their conversation. "Well, so youve not gone away yet? I meant to have come to you," she said; "I had a letter from Stiva today." "We had a telegram too," answered Anna, looking round for Kitty. "He writes that he cant make out quite what Alexey Alexandrovitch wants, but he wont go away without a decisive answer." "I thought you had someone with you. Can I see the letter?" "Yes; Kitty," said Dolly, embarrassed. "She stayed in the nursery. She has been very ill." "So I heard. May I see the letter?" "Ill get it directly. But he doesnt refuse; on the contrary, Stiva has hopes," said Dolly, stopping in the doorway. "I havent, and indeed I dont wish it," said Anna. "Whats this? Does Kitty consider it degrading to meet me?" thought Anna when she was alone. "Perhaps shes right, too. But its not for her, the girl who was in love with Vronsky, its not for her to show me that, even if it is true. I know that in my position I cant be received by any decent woman. I knew that from the first moment I sacrificed everything to him. And this is my reward! Oh, how I hate him! And what did I come here for? Im worse here, more miserable." She heard from the next room the sisters voices in consultation. "And what am I going to say to Dolly now? Amuse Kitty by the sight of my wretchedness, submit to her patronizing? No; and besides, Dolly wouldnt understand. And it would be no good my telling her. It would only be interesting to see Kitty, to show her how I despise everyone and everything, how nothing matters to me now." Dolly came in with the letter. Anna read it and handed it back in silence. "I knew all that," she said, "and it doesnt interest me in the least." "Oh, why so? On the contrary, I have hopes," said Dolly, looking inquisitively at Anna. She had never seen her in such a strangely irritable condition. "When are you going away?" she asked. Anna, half-closing her eyes, looked straight before her and did not answer. "Why does Kitty shrink from me?" she said, looking at the door and flushing red. "Oh, what nonsense! Shes nursing, and things arent going right with her, and Ive been advising her.... Shes delighted. Shell be here in a minute," said Dolly awkwardly, not clever at lying. "Yes, here she is." Hearing that Anna had called, Kitty had wanted not to appear, but Dolly persuaded her. Rallying her forces, Kitty went in, walked up to her, blushing, and shook hands. "I am so glad to see you," she said with a trembling voice. Kitty had been thrown into confusion by the inward conflict between her antagonism to this bad woman and her desire to be nice to her. But as soon as she saw Annas lovely and attractive face, all feeling of antagonism disappeared. "I should not have been surprised if you had not cared to meet me. Im used to everything. You have been ill? Yes, you are changed," said Anna. Kitty felt that Anna was looking at her with hostile eyes. She ascribed this hostility to the awkward position in which Anna, who had once patronized her, must feel with her now, and she felt sorry for her. They talked of Kittys illness, of the baby, of Stiva, but it was obvious that nothing interested Anna. "I came to say good-bye to you," she said, getting up. "Oh, when are you going?" But again not answering, Anna turned to Kitty. "Yes, I am very glad to have seen you," she said with a smile. "I have heard so much of you from everyone, even from your husband. He came to see me, and I liked him exceedingly," she said, unmistakably with malicious intent. "Where is he?" "He has gone back to

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