Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
looking men in the face again without shame, and he could live in accordance with his own habits.  One thing he could not pluck out of his heart, though he never ceased struggling with it, was the regret, amounting to despair, that he had lost her forever.  That now, having expiated his sin against the husband, he was bound to renounce her, and never in future to stand between her with her repentance and her husband, he had firmly decided in his heart; but he could not tear out of his heart his regret at the loss of her love, he could not erase from his memory those moments of happiness that he had so little prized at the time, and that haunted him in all their charm.

Serpuhovskoy had planned his appointment at Tashkend, and Vronsky agreed to the proposition without the slightest hesitation.  But the nearer the time of departure came, the bitterer was the sacrifice he was making to what he thought his duty.

His wound had healed, and he was driving about making preparations for his departure for Tashkend.

“To see her once and then to bury myself, to die,” he thought, and as he was paying farewell visits, he uttered this thought to Betsy.  Charged with this commission, Betsy had gone to Anna, and brought him back a negative reply.

“So much the better,” thought Vronsky, when he received the news.  “It was a weakness, which would have shattered what strength I have left.”

Next day Betsy herself came to him in the morning, and announced that she had heard through Oblonsky as a positive fact that Alexey Alexandrovitch had agreed to a divorce, and that therefore Vronsky could see Anna.

Without even troubling himself to see Betsy out of his flat, forgetting all his resolutions, without asking when he could see her, where her husband was, Vronsky drove straight to the Karenins’.  He ran up the stairs seeing no one and nothing, and with a rapid step, almost breaking into a run, he went into her room.  And without considering, without noticing whether there was anyone in the room or not, he flung his arms round her, and began to cover her face, her hands, her neck with kisses.

Anna had been preparing herself for this meeting, had thought what she would say to him, but she did not succeed in saying anything of it; his passion mastered her.  She tried to calm him, to calm herself, but it was too late.  His feeling infected her.  Her lips trembled so that for a long while she could say nothing.

“Yes, you have conquered me, and I am yours,” she said at last, pressing his hands to her bosom.

“So it had to be,” he said.  “So long as we live, it must be so.  I know it now.”

“That’s true,” she said, getting whiter and whiter, and embracing his head.  “Still there is something terrible in it after all that has happened.”

“It will all pass, it will all pass; we shall be so happy.  Our love, if it could be stronger, will be strengthened by there being something terrible in it,” he said, lifting his head and parting his strong teeth in a smile.

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Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.