Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
had had the lodge done up and built on to.  Twenty years before, when Dolly was a child, the lodge had been roomy and comfortable, though, like all lodges, it stood sideways to the entrance avenue, and faced the south.  But by now this lodge was old and dilapidated.  When Stepan Arkadyevitch had gone down in the spring to sell the forest, Dolly had begged him to look over the house and order what repairs might be needed.  Stepan Arkadyevitch, like all unfaithful husbands indeed, was very solicitous for his wife’s comfort, and he had himself looked over the house, and given instructions about everything that he considered necessary.  What he considered necessary was to cover all the furniture with cretonne, to put up curtains, to weed the garden, to make a little bridge on the pond, and to plant flowers.  But he forgot many other essential matters, the want of which greatly distressed Darya Alexandrovna later on.

In spite of Stepan Arkadyevitch’s efforts to be an attentive father and husband, he never could keep in his mind that he had a wife and children.  He had bachelor tastes, and it was in accordance with them that he shaped his life.  On his return to Moscow he informed his wife with pride that everything was ready, that the house would be a little paradise, and that he advised her most certainly to go.  His wife’s staying away in the country was very agreeable to Stepan Arkadyevitch from every point of view:  it did the children good, it decreased expenses, and it left him more at liberty.  Darya Alexandrovna regarded staying in the country for the summer as essential for the children, especially for the little girl, who had not succeeded in regaining her strength after the scarlatina, and also as a means of escaping the petty humiliations, the little bills owing to the wood-merchant, the fishmonger, the shoemaker, which made her miserable.  Besides this, she was pleased to go away to the country because she was dreaming of getting her sister Kitty to stay with her there.  Kitty was to be back from abroad in the middle of the summer, and bathing had been prescribed for her.  Kitty wrote that no prospect was so alluring as to spend the summer with Dolly at Ergushovo, full of childish associations for both of them.

The first days of her existence in the country were very hard for Dolly.  She used to stay in the country as a child, and the impression she had retained of it was that the country was a refuge from all the unpleasantness of the town, that life there, though not luxurious—­Dolly could easily make up her mind to that—­was cheap and comfortable; that there was plenty of everything, everything was cheap, everything could be got, and children were happy.  But now coming to the country as the head of a family, she perceived that it was all utterly unlike what she had fancied.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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