Anna Karenina eBook

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

Everything went happily at home too; but at lunch Grisha began whistling, and, what was worse, was disobedient to the English governess, and was forbidden to have any tart.  Darya Alexandrovna would not have let things go so far on such a day had she been present; but she had to support the English governess’s authority, and she upheld her decision that Grisha should have no tart.  This rather spoiled the general good humor.  Grisha cried, declaring that Nikolinka had whistled too, and he was not punished, and that he wasn’t crying for the tart—­he didn’t care—­but at being unjustly treated.  This was really too tragic, and Darya Alexandrovna made up her mind to persuade the English governess to forgive Grisha, and she went to speak to her.  But on the way, as she passed the drawing room, she beheld a scene, filling her heart with such pleasure that the tears came into her eyes, and she forgave the delinquent herself.

The culprit was sitting at the window in the corner of the drawing room; beside him was standing Tanya with a plate.  On the pretext of wanting to give some dinner to her dolls, she had asked the governess’s permission to take her share of tart to the nursery, and had taken it instead to her brother.  While still weeping over the injustice of his punishment, he was eating the tart, and kept saying through his sobs, “Eat yourself; let’s eat it together...together.”

Tanya had at first been under the influence of her pity for Grisha, then of a sense of her noble action, and tears were standing in her eyes too; but she did not refuse, and ate her share.

On catching sight of their mother they were dismayed, but, looking into her face, they saw they were not doing wrong.  They burst out laughing, and, with their mouths full of tart, they began wiping their smiling lips with their hands, and smearing their radiant faces all over with tears and jam.

“Mercy!  Your new white frock!  Tanya!  Grisha!” said their mother, trying to save the frock, but with tears in her eyes, smiling a blissful, rapturous smile.

The new frocks were taken off, and orders were given for the little girls to have their blouses put on, and the boys their old jackets, and the wagonette to be harnessed; with Brownie, to the bailiff’s annoyance, again in the shafts, to drive out for mushroom picking and bathing.  A roar of delighted shrieks arose in the nursery, and never ceased till they had set off for the bathing-place.

They gathered a whole basketful of mushrooms; even Lily found a birch mushroom.  It had always happened before that Miss Hoole found them and pointed them out to her; but this time she found a big one quite of herself, and there was a general scream of delight, “Lily has found a mushroom!”

Then they reached the river, put the horses under the birch trees, and went to the bathing-place.  The coachman, Terenty, fastened the horses, who kept whisking away the flies, to a tree, and, treading down the grass, lay down in the shade of a birch and smoked his shag, while the never-ceasing shrieks of delight of the children floated across to him from the bathing-place.

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Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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