Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.

“It’s time to start, though,” said she, glancing at her watch.  “How is it Betsy doesn’t come?...”

“Yes,” said Alexey Alexandrovitch, and getting up, he folded his hands and cracked his fingers.  “I’ve come to bring you some money, too, for nightingales, we know, can’t live on fairy tales,” he said.  “You want it, I expect?”

“No, I don’t...yes, I do,” she said, not looking at him, and crimsoning to the roots of her hair.  “But you’ll come back here after the races, I suppose?”

“Oh, yes!” answered Alexey Alexandrovitch.  “And here’s the glory of Peterhof, Princess Tverskaya,” he added, looking out of the window at the elegant English carriage with the tiny seats placed extremely high.  “What elegance!  Charming!  Well, let us be starting too, then.”

Princess Tverskaya did not get out of her carriage, but her groom, in high boots, a cape, and black hat, darted out at the entrance.

“I’m going; good-bye!” said Anna, and kissing her son, she went up to Alexey Alexandrovitch and held out her hand to him.  “It was ever so nice of you to come.”

Alexey Alexandrovitch kissed her hand.

“Well, au revoir, then!  You’ll come back for some tea; that’s delightful!” she said, and went out, gay and radiant.  But as soon as she no longer saw him, she was aware of the spot on her hand that his lips had touched, and she shuddered with repulsion.

Chapter 28

When Alexey Alexandrovitch reached the race-course, Anna was already sitting in the pavilion beside Betsy, in that pavilion where all the highest society had gathered.  She caught sight of her husband in the distance.  Two men, her husband and her lover, were the two centers of her existence, and unaided by her external senses she was aware of their nearness.  She was aware of her husband approaching a long way off, and she could not help following him in the surging crowd in the midst of which he was moving.  She watched his progress towards the pavilion, saw him now responding condescendingly to an ingratiating bow, now exchanging friendly, nonchalant greetings with his equals, now assiduously trying to catch the eye of some great one of this world, and taking off his big round hat that squeezed the tips of his ears.  All these ways of his she knew, and all were hateful to her.  “Nothing but ambition, nothing but the desire to get on, that’s all there is in his soul,” she thought; “as for these lofty ideals, love of culture, religion, they are only so many tools for getting on.”

From his glances towards the ladies’ pavilion (he was staring straight at her, but did not distinguish his wife in the sea of muslin, ribbons, feathers, parasols and flowers) she saw that he was looking for her, but she purposely avoided noticing him.

“Alexey Alexandrovitch!” Princess Betsy called to him; “I’m sure you don’t see your wife:  here she is.”

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Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.