Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
His mother, who had her own separate property, had allowed Alexey every year twenty thousand in addition to the twenty-five thousand he had reserved, and Alexey had spent it all.  Of late his mother, incensed with him on account of his love affair and his leaving Moscow, had given up sending him the money.  And in consequence of this, Vronsky, who had been in the habit of living on the scale of forty-five thousand a year, having only received twenty thousand that year, found himself now in difficulties.  To get out of these difficulties, he could not apply to his mother for money.  Her last letter, which he had received the day before, had particularly exasperated him by the hints in it that she was quite ready to help him to succeed in the world and in the army, but not to lead a life which was a scandal to all good society.  His mother’s attempt to buy him stung him to the quick and made him feel colder than ever to her.  But he could not draw back from the generous word when it was once uttered, even though he felt now, vaguely foreseeing certain eventualities in his intrigue with Madame Karenina, that this generous word had been spoken thoughtlessly, and that even though he were not married he might need all the hundred thousand of income.  But it was impossible to draw back.  He had only to recall his brother’s wife, to remember how that sweet, delightful Varya sought, at every convenient opportunity, to remind him that she remembered his generosity and appreciated it, to grasp the impossibility of taking back his gift.  It was as impossible as beating a woman, stealing, or lying.  One thing only could and ought to be done, and Vronsky determined upon it without an instant’s hesitation:  to borrow money from a money-lender, ten thousand roubles, a proceeding which presented no difficulty, to cut down his expenses generally, and to sell his race horses.  Resolving on this, he promptly wrote a note to Rolandak, who had more than once sent to him with offers to buy horses from him.  Then he sent for the Englishman and the money-lender, and divided what money he had according to the accounts he intended to pay.  Having finished this business, he wrote a cold and cutting answer to his mother.  Then he took out of his notebook three notes of Anna’s, read them again, burned them, and remembering their conversation on the previous day, he sank into meditation.

Chapter 20

Vronsky’s life was particularly happy in that he had a code of principles, which defined with unfailing certitude what he ought and what he ought not to do.  This code of principles covered only a very small circle of contingencies, but then the principles were never doubtful, and Vronsky, as he never went outside that circle, had never had a moment’s hesitation about doing what he ought to do.  These principles laid down as invariable rules:  that one must pay a cardsharper, but need not pay a tailor; that

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.