Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,311 pages of information about Anna Karenina.

But at that moment a ring was heard.  Yegor departed, and Levin was left alone.  He had eaten scarcely anything at dinner, had refused tea and supper at Sviazhsky’s, but he was incapable of thinking of supper.  He had not slept the previous night, but was incapable of thinking of sleep either.  His room was cold, but he was oppressed by heat.  He opened both the movable panes in his window and sat down to the table opposite the open panes.  Over the snow-covered roofs could be seen a decorated cross with chains, and above it the rising triangle of Charles’s Wain with the yellowish light of Capella.  He gazed at the cross, then at the stars, drank in the fresh freezing air that flowed evenly into the room, and followed as though in a dream the images and memories that rose in his imagination.  At four o’clock he heard steps in the passage and peeped out at the door.  It was the gambler Myaskin, whom he knew, coming from the club.  He walked gloomily, frowning and coughing.  “Poor, unlucky fellow!” thought Levin, and tears came into his eyes from love and pity for this man.  He would have talked with him, and tried to comfort him, but remembering that he had nothing but his shirt on, he changed his mind and sat down again at the open pane to bathe in the cold air and gaze at the exquisite lines of the cross, silent, but full of meaning for him, and the mounting lurid yellow star.  At seven o’clock there was a noise of people polishing the floors, and bells ringing in some servants’ department, and Levin felt that he was beginning to get frozen.  He closed the pane, washed, dressed, and went out into the street.

Chapter 15

The streets were still empty.  Levin went to the house of the Shtcherbatskys.  The visitors’ doors were closed and everything was asleep.  He walked back, went into his room again, and asked for coffee.  The day servant, not Yegor this time, brought it to him.  Levin would have entered into conversation with him, but a bell rang for the servant, and he went out.  Levin tried to drink coffee and put some roll in his mouth, but his mouth was quite at a loss what to do with the roll.  Levin, rejecting the roll, put on his coat and went out again for a walk.  It was nine o’clock when he reached the Shtcherbatskys’ steps the second time.  In the house they were only just up, and the cook came out to go marketing.  He had to get through at least two hours more.

All that night and morning Levin lived perfectly unconsciously, and felt perfectly lifted out of the conditions of material life.  He had eaten nothing for a whole day, he had not slept for two nights, had spent several hours undressed in the frozen air, and felt not simply fresher and stronger than ever, but felt utterly independent of his body; he moved without muscular effort, and felt as if he could do anything.  He was convinced he could fly upwards or lift the corner of the house, if need be.  He spent the remainder of the time in the street, incessantly looking at his watch and gazing about him.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.