“And I!” she said. “Even when....” She stopped and went on again, looking at him resolutely with her truthful eyes, “Even when I thrust from me my happiness. I always loved you alone, but I was carried away. I ought to tell you.... Can you forgive that?”
“Perhaps it was for the best. You will have to forgive me so much. I ought to tell you...”
This was one of the things he had meant to speak about. He had resolved from the first to tell her two things—that he was not chaste as she was, and that he was not a believer. It was agonizing, but he considered he ought to tell her both these facts.
“No, not now, later!” he said.
“Very well, later, but you must certainly tell me. I’m not afraid of anything. I want to know everything. Now it is settled.”
He added: “Settled that you’ll take me whatever I may be—you won’t give me up? Yes?”
Their conversation was interrupted by Mademoiselle Linon, who with an affected but tender smile came to congratulate her favorite pupil. Before she had gone, the servants came in with their congratulations. Then relations arrived, and there began that state of blissful absurdity from which Levin did not emerge till the day after his wedding. Levin was in a continual state of awkwardness and discomfort, but the intensity of his happiness went on all the while increasing. He felt continually that a great deal was being expected of him—what, he did not know; and he did everything he was told, and it all gave him happiness. He had thought his engagement would have nothing about it like others, that the ordinary conditions of engaged couples would spoil his special happiness; but it ended in his doing exactly as other people did, and his happiness being only increased thereby and becoming more and more special, more and more unlike anything that had ever happened.
“Now we shall have sweetmeats to eat,” said Mademoiselle Linon— and Levin drove off to buy sweetmeats.
“Well, I’m very glad,” said Sviazhsky. “I advise you to get the bouquets from Fomin’s.”
“Oh, are they wanted?” And he drove to Fomin’s.
His brother offered to lend him money, as he would have so many expenses, presents to give....
“Oh, are presents wanted?” And he galloped to Foulde’s.
And at the confectioner’s, and at Fomin’s, and at Foulde’s he saw that he was expected; that they were pleased to see him, and prided themselves on his happiness, just as every one whom he had to do with during those days. What was extraordinary was that everyone not only liked him, but even people previously unsympathetic, cold, and callous, were enthusiastic over him, gave way to him in everything, treated his feeling with tenderness and delicacy, and shared his conviction that he was the happiest man in the world because his betrothed was beyond perfection. Kitty too felt the same thing. When Countess Nordston ventured to hint that she had hoped for something better, Kitty was so angry and proved so conclusively that nothing in the world could be better than Levin, that Countess Nordston had to admit it, and in Kitty’s presence never met Levin without a smile of ecstatic admiration.