Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
claims his father and his teacher made upon him.  Those claims were in opposition, and he was in direct conflict with his education.  He was nine years old; he was a child; but he knew his own soul, it was precious to him, he guarded it as the eyelid guards the eye, and without the key of love he let no one into his soul.  His teachers complained that he would not learn, while his soul was brimming over with thirst for knowledge.  And he learned from Kapitonitch, from his nurse, from Nadinka, from Vassily Lukitch, but not from his teachers.  The spring his father and his teachers reckoned upon to turn their mill-wheels had long dried up at the source, but its waters did their work in another channel.

His father punished Seryozha by not letting him go to see Nadinka, Lidia Ivanovna’s niece; but this punishment turned out happily for Seryozha.  Vassily Lukitch was in a good humor, and showed him how to make windmills.  The whole evening passed over this work and in dreaming how to make a windmill on which he could turn himself—­clutching at the sails or tying himself on and whirling round.  Of his mother Seryozha did not think all the evening, but when he had gone to bed, he suddenly remembered her, and prayed in his own words that his mother tomorrow for his birthday might leave off hiding herself and come to him.

“Vassily Lukitch, do you know what I prayed for tonight extra besides the regular things?”

“That you might learn your lessons better?”

“No.”

“Toys?”

“No.  You’ll never guess.  A splendid thing; but it’s a secret!  When it comes to pass I’ll tell you.  Can’t you guess!”

“No, I can’t guess.  You tell me,” said Vassily Lukitch with a smile, which was rare with him.  “Come, lie down, I’m putting out the candle.”

“Without the candle I can see better what I see and what I prayed for.  There!  I was almost telling the secret!” said Seryozha, laughing gaily.

When the candle was taken away, Seryozha heard and felt his mother.  She stood over him, and with loving eyes caressed him.  But then came windmills, a knife, everything began to be mixed up, and he fell asleep.

Chapter 28

On arriving in Petersburg, Vronsky and Anna stayed at one of the best hotels; Vronsky apart in a lower story, Anna above with her child, its nurse, and her maid, in a large suite of four rooms.

On the day of his arrival Vronsky went to his brother’s.  There he found his mother, who had come from Moscow on business.  His mother and sister-in-law greeted him as usual:  they asked him about his stay abroad, and talked of their common acquaintances, but did not let drop a single word in allusion to his connection with Anna.  His brother came the next morning to see Vronsky, and of his own accord asked him about her, and Alexey Vronsky told him directly that he looked upon his connection with Madame Karenina as marriage; that he hoped to arrange a divorce, and then to marry her, and until then he considered her as much a wife as any other wife, and he begged him to tell their mother and his wife so.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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