Anna Karenina eBook

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

“You may trample me in the mud,” he heard Alexey Alexandrovitch’s words and saw him standing before him, and saw Anna’s face with its burning flush and glittering eyes, gazing with love and tenderness not at him but at Alexey Alexandrovitch; he saw his own, as he fancied, foolish and ludicrous figure when Alexey Alexandrovitch took his hands away from his face.  He stretched out his legs again and flung himself on the sofa in the same position and shut his eyes.

“To sleep!  To forget!” he repeated to himself.  But with his eyes shut he saw more distinctly than ever Anna’s face as it had been on the memorable evening before the races.

“That is not and will not be, and she wants to wipe it out of her memory.  But I cannot live without it.  How can we be reconciled? how can we be reconciled?” he said aloud, and unconsciously began to repeat these words.  This repetition checked the rising up of fresh images and memories, which he felt were thronging in his brain.  But repeating words did not check his imagination for long.  Again in extraordinarily rapid succession his best moments rose before his mind, and then his recent humiliation.  “Take away his hands,” Anna’s voice says.  He takes away his hands and feels the shamestruck and idiotic expression of his face.

He still lay down, trying to sleep, though he felt there was not the smallest hope of it, and kept repeating stray words from some chain of thought, trying by this to check the rising flood of fresh images.  He listened, and heard in a strange, mad whisper words repeated:  “I did not appreciate it, did not make enough of it.  I did not appreciate it, did not make enough of it.”

“What’s this?  Am I going out of my mind?” he said to himself.  “Perhaps.  What makes men go out of their minds; what makes men shoot themselves?” he answered himself, and opening his eyes, he saw with wonder an embroidered cushion beside him, worked by Varya, his brother’s wife.  He touched the tassel of the cushion, and tried to think of Varya, of when he had seen her last.  But to think of anything extraneous was an agonizing effort.  “No, I must sleep!” He moved the cushion up, and pressed his head into it, but he had to make an effort to keep his eyes shut.  He jumped up and sat down.  “That’s all over for me,” he said to himself.  “I must think what to do.  What is left?” His mind rapidly ran through his life apart from his love of Anna.

“Ambition?  Serpuhovskoy?  Society?  The court?” He could not come to a pause anywhere.  All of it had had meaning before, but now there was no reality in it.  He got up from the sofa, took off his coat, undid his belt, and uncovering his hairy chest to breathe more freely, walked up and down the room.  “This is how people go mad,” he repeated, “and how they shoot escape humiliation,” he added slowly.

He went to the door and closed it, then with fixed eyes and clenched teeth he went up to the table, took a revolver, looked round him, turned it to a loaded barrel, and sank into thought.  For two minutes, his head bent forward with an expression of an intense effort of thought, he stood with the revolver in his hand, motionless, thinking.

Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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