Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
had been thinking on the road, would not have noticed anything special in Anna.  But now Dolly was struck by that temporary beauty, which is only found in women during the moments of love, and which she saw now in Anna’s face.  Everything in her face, the clearly marked dimples in her cheeks and chin, the line of her lips, the smile which, as it were, fluttered about her face, the brilliance of her eyes, the grace and rapidity of her movements, the fulness of the notes of her voice, even the manner in which, with a sort of angry friendliness, she answered Veslovsky when he asked permission to get on her cob, so as to teach it to gallop with the right leg foremost—­it was all peculiarly fascinating, and it seemed as if she were herself aware of it, and rejoicing in it.

When both the women were seated in the carriage, a sudden embarrassment came over both of them.  Anna was disconcerted by the intent look of inquiry Dolly fixed upon her.  Dolly was embarrassed because after Sviazhsky’s phrase about “this vehicle,” she could not help feeling ashamed of the dirty old carriage in which Anna was sitting with her.  The coachman Philip and the counting house clerk were experiencing the same sensation.  The counting house clerk, to conceal his confusion, busied himself settling the ladies, but Philip the coachman became sullen, and was bracing himself not to be overawed in future by this external superiority.  He smiled ironically, looking at the raven horse, and was already deciding in his own mind that this smart trotter in the char-a-banc was only good for promenade, and wouldn’t do thirty miles straight off in the heat.

The peasants had all got up from the cart and were inquisitively and mirthfully staring at the meeting of the friends, making their comments on it.

“They’re pleased, too; haven’t seen each other for a long while,” said the curly-headed old man with the bast round his hair.

“I say, Uncle Gerasim, if we could take that raven horse now, to cart the corn, that ’ud be quick work!”

“Look-ee!  Is that a woman in breeches?” said one of them, pointing to Vassenka Veslovsky sitting in a side saddle.

“Nay, a man!  See how smartly he’s going it!”

“Eh, lads! seems we’re not going to sleep, then?”

“What chance of sleep today!” said the old man, with a sidelong look at the sun.  “Midday’s past, look-ee!  Get your hooks, and come along!”

Chapter 18

Anna looked at Dolly’s thin, care-worn face, with its wrinkles filled with dust from the road, and she was on the point of saying what she was thinking, that is, that Dolly had got thinner.  But, conscious that she herself had grown handsomer, and that Dolly’s eyes were telling her so, she sighed and began to speak about herself.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.