Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
her and expecting her in the same way.  That day in the public gardens there had been a lady in a lilac veil, whom he had watched with a throbbing heart, believing it to be she as she came towards them along the path.  The lady had not come up to them, but had disappeared somewhere.  That day, more intensely than ever, Seryozha felt a rush of love for her, and now, waiting for his father, he forgot everything, and cut all round the edge of the table with his penknife, staring straight before him with sparkling eyes and dreaming of her.

“Here is your papa!” said Vassily Lukitch, rousing him.

Seryozha jumped up and went up to his father, and kissing his hand, looked at him intently, trying to discover signs of his joy at receiving the Alexander Nevsky.

“Did you have a nice walk?” said Alexey Alexandrovitch, sitting down in his easy chair, pulling the volume of the Old Testament to him and opening it.  Although Alexey Alexandrovitch had more than once told Seryozha that every Christian ought to know Scripture history thoroughly, he often referred to the Bible himself during the lesson, and Seryozha observed this.

“Yes, it was very nice indeed, papa,” said Seryozha, sitting sideways on his chair and rocking it, which was forbidden.  “I saw Nadinka” (Nadinka was a niece of Lidia Ivanovna’s who was being brought up in her house).  “She told me you’d been given a new star.  Are you glad, papa?”

“First of all, don’t rock your chair, please,” said Alexey Alexandrovitch.  “And secondly, it’s not the reward that’s precious, but the work itself.  And I could have wished you understood that.  If you now are going to work, to study in order to win a reward, then the work will seem hard to you; but when you work” (Alexey Alexandrovitch, as he spoke, thought of how he had been sustained by a sense of duty through the wearisome labor of the morning, consisting of signing one hundred and eighty papers), “loving your work, you will find your reward in it.”

Seryozha’s eyes, that had been shining with gaiety and tenderness, grew dull and dropped before his father’s gaze.  This was the same long-familiar tone his father always took with him, and Seryozha had learned by now to fall in with it.  His father always talked to him—­so Seryozha felt—­as though he were addressing some boy of his own imagination, one of those boys that exist in books, utterly unlike himself.  And Seryozha always tried with his father to act being the story-book boy.

“You understand that, I hope?” said his father.

“Yes, papa,” answered Seryozha, acting the part of the imaginary boy.

The lesson consisted of learning by heart several verses out of the Gospel and the repetition of the beginning of the Old Testament.  The verses from the Gospel Seryozha knew fairly well, but at the moment when he was saying them he became so absorbed in watching the sharply protruding, bony knobbiness of his father’s forehead, that he lost the thread, and he transposed the end of one verse and the beginning of another.  So it was evident to Alexey Alexandrovitch that he did not understand what he was saying, and that irritated him.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.