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Anna Karenina 68


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her as a thing so stupid, ludicrous even! Doctoring her seemed to her as absurd as putting together the pieces of a broken vase. Her heart was broken. Why would they try to cure her with pills and powders? But she could not grieve her mother, especially as her mother considered herself to blame. "May I trouble you to sit down, princess?" the celebrated doctor said to her. He sat down with a smile, facing her, felt her pulse, and again began asking her tiresome questions. She answered him, and all at once got up, furious. "Excuse me, doctor, but there is really no object in this. This is the third time youve asked me the same thing." The celebrated doctor did not take offense. "Nervous irritability," he said to the princess, when Kitty had left the room. "However, I had finished..." And the doctor began scientifically explaining to the princess, as an exceptionally intelligent woman, the condition of the young princess, and concluded by insisting on the drinking of the waters, which were certainly harmless. At the question: Should they go abroad? the doctor plunged into deep meditation, as though resolving a weighty problem. Finally his decision was pronounced: they were to go abroad, but to put no faith in foreign quacks, and to apply to him in any need. It seemed as though some piece of good fortune had come to pass after the doctor had gone. The mother was much more cheerful when she went back to her daughter, and Kitty pretended to be more cheerful. She had often, almost always, to be pretending now. "Really, Im quite well, mamma. But if you want to go abroad, lets go!" she said, and trying to appear interested in the proposed tour, she began talking of the preparations for the journey. Chapter 2 Soon after the doctor, Dolly had arrived. She knew that there was to be a consultation that day, and though she was only just up after her confinement (she had another baby, a little girl, born at the end of the winter), though she had trouble and anxiety enough of her own, she had left her tiny baby and a sick child, to come and hear Kittys fate, which was to be decided that day. "Well, well?" she said, coming into the drawing room, without taking off her hat. "Youre all in good spirits. Good news, then?" They tried to tell her what the doctor had said, but it appeared that though the doctor had talked distinctly enough and at great length, it was utterly impossible to report what he had said. The only point of interest was that it was settled they should go abroad. Dolly could not help sighing. Her dearest friend, her sister, was going away. And her life was not a cheerful one. Her relations with Stepan Arkadyevitch after their reconciliation had become humiliating. The union Anna had cemented turned out to be of no solid character, and family harmony was breaking down again at the same point. There had been nothing definite, but Stepan Arkadyevitch was hardly ever at home; money, too, was hardly ever forthcoming, and Dolly was continually tortured by suspicions of infidelity, which she tried to dismiss, dreading the agonies of jealousy she had been through already. The first onslaught of jealousy, once lived through, could never come back again, and even the discovery of infidelities could never now affect her as it had the first time. Such a discovery now would only mean breaking up family habits, and she let herself be deceived, despising him and still more herself, for the weakness. Besides this, the care of her large family was a constant worry to her: first, the nursing of her young baby did not go well, then the nurse had gone away, now one of the children had fallen ill. "Well, how are all of you?" asked her mother. "Ah, mamma, we have plenty of troubles of our own. Lili is ill, and Im afraid its scarlatina. I have come here now to hear about Kitty, and then I shall shut myself up entirely, if--God forbid--it should be scarlatina." The old prince too had come in from his study after the doctors departure, and after presenting his cheek to Dolly, and saying a few words to her, he turned to his wife: "How have you settled it? youre going? Well, and what do you mean to do with me?" "I suppose you had better stay here, Alexander,"

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