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people smile at the weaknesses of those they love, and, putting her hand under his, she escorted him to the door of the study. She knew his habit, that had grown into a necessity, of reading in the evening. She knew, too, that in spite of his official duties, which swallowed up almost the whole of his time, he considered it his duty to keep up with everything of note that appeared in the intellectual world. She knew, too, that he was really interested in books dealing with politics, philosophy, and theology, that art was utterly foreign to his nature; but, in spite of this, or rather, in consequence of it, Alexey Alexandrovitch never passed over anything in the world of art, but made it his duty to read everything. She knew that in politics, in philosophy, in theology, Alexey Alexandrovitch often had doubts, and made investigations; but on questions of art and poetry, and, above all, of music, of which he was totally devoid of understanding, he had the most distinct and decided opinions. He was fond of talking about Shakespeare, Raphael, Beethoven, of the significance of new schools of poetry and music, all of which were classified by him with very conspicuous consistency. "Well, God be with you," she said at the door of the study, where a shaded candle and a decanter of water were already put by his armchair. "And Ill write to Moscow." He pressed her hand, and again kissed it. "All the same hes a good man; truthful, good-hearted, and remarkable in his own line," Anna said to herself going back to her room, as though she were defending him to someone who had attacked him and said that one could not love him. "But why is it his ears stick out so strangely? Or has he had his hair cut?" Precisely at twelve oclock, when Anna was still sitting at her writing table, finishing a letter to Dolly, she heard the sound of measured steps in slippers, and Alexey Alexandrovitch, freshly washed and combed, with a book under his arm, came in to her. "Its time, its time," said he, with a meaning smile, and he went into their bedroom. "And what right had he to look at him like that?" thought Anna, recalling Vronskys glance at Alexey Alexandrovitch. Undressing, she went into the bedroom; but her face had none of the eagerness which, during her stay in Moscow, had fairly flashed from her eyes and her smile; on the contrary, now the fire seemed quenched in her, hidden somewhere far away. Chapter 34 When Vronsky went to Moscow from Petersburg, he had left his large set of rooms in Morskaia to his friend and favorite comrade Petritsky. Petritsky was a young lieutenant, not particularly well-connected, and not merely not wealthy, but always hopelessly in debt. Towards evening he was always drunk, and he had often been locked up after all sorts of ludicrous and disgraceful scandals, but he was a favorite both of his comrades and his superior officers. On arriving at twelve oclock from the station at his flat, Vronsky saw, at the outer door, a hired carriage familiar to him. While still outside his own door, as he rang, he heard masculine laughter, the lisp of a feminine voice, and Petritskys voice. "If thats one of the villains, dont let him in!" Vronsky told the servant not to announce him, and slipped quietly into the first room. Baroness Shilton, a friend of Petritskys, with a rosy little face and flaxen hair, resplendent in a lilac satin gown, and filling the whole room, like a canary, with her Parisian chatter, sat at the round table making coffee. Petritsky, in his overcoat, and the cavalry captain Kamerovsky, in full uniform, probably just come from duty, were sitting each side of her. "Bravo! Vronsky!" shouted Petritsky, jumping up, scraping his chair. "Our host himself! Baroness, some coffee for him out of the new coffee pot. Why, we didnt expect you! Hope youre satisfied with the ornament of your study," he said, indicating the baroness. "You know each other, of course?" "I should think so," said Vronsky, with a bright smile, pressing the baronesss little hand. "What next! Im an old friend." "Youre home after a journey," said the baroness, "so Im flying. Oh, Ill be off this minute, if Im in the way." "Youre home, wherever you are, baroness," said Vronsky. "How do you do, Kamerovsky?" he added, coldly shaking hands with Kamerovsky. "There, you never

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