Kitty stood beside her husband, evidently awaiting the end of a conversation that had no interest for her, in order to tell him something.
“You have changed in many respects since your marriage, and for the better,” said Sergey Ivanovitch, smiling to Kitty, and obviously little interested in the conversation, “but you have remained true to your passion for defending the most paradoxical theories.”
“Katya, it’s not good for you to stand,” her husband said to her, putting a chair for her and looking significantly at her.
“Oh, and there’s no time either,” added Sergey Ivanovitch, seeing the children running out.
At the head of them all Tanya galloped sideways, in her tightly-drawn stockings, and waving a basket and Sergey Ivanovitch’s hat, she ran straight up to him.
Boldly running up to Sergey Ivanovitch with shining eyes, so like her father’s fine eyes, she handed him his hat and made as though she would put it on for him, softening her freedom by a shy and friendly smile.
“Varenka’s waiting,” she said, carefully putting his hat on, seeing from Sergey Ivanovitch’s smile that she might do so.
Varenka was standing at the door, dressed in a yellow print gown, with a white kerchief on her head.
“I’m coming, I’m coming, Varvara Andreevna,” said Sergey Ivanovitch, finishing his cup of coffee, and putting into their separate pockets his handkerchief and cigar-case.
“And how sweet my Varenka is! eh?” said Kitty to her husband, as soon as Sergey Ivanovitch rose. She spoke so that Sergey Ivanovitch could hear, and it was clear that she meant him to do so. “And how good-looking she is—such a refined beauty! Varenka!” Kitty shouted. “Shall you be in the mill copse? We’ll come out to you.”
“You certainly forget your condition, Kitty,” said the old princess, hurriedly coming out at the door. “You mustn’t shout like that.”
Varenka, hearing Kitty’s voice and her mother’s reprimand, went with light, rapid steps up to Kitty. The rapidity of her movement, her flushed and eager face, everything betrayed that something out of the common was going on in her. Kitty knew what this was, and had been watching her intently. She called Varenka at that moment merely in order mentally to give her a blessing for the important event which, as Kitty fancied, was bound to come to pass that day after dinner in the wood.
“Varenka, I should be very happy if a certain something were to happen,” she whispered as she kissed her.
“And are you coming with us?” Varenka said to Levin in confusion, pretending not to have heard what had been said.
“I am coming, but only as far as the threshing-floor, and there I shall stop.”
“Why, what do you want there?” said Kitty.
“I must go to have a look at the new wagons, and to check the invoice,” said Levin; “and where will you be?”
“On the terrace.”