Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
wise to blame,” thought Dolly.  “I know nothing of her except the very best, and I have seen nothing but kindness and affection from her towards myself.”  It was true that as far as she could recall her impressions at Petersburg at the Karenins’, she did not like their household itself; there was something artificial in the whole framework of their family life.  “But why should I not receive her?  If only she doesn’t take it into her head to console me!” thought Dolly.  “All consolation and counsel and Christian forgiveness, all that I have thought over a thousand times, and it’s all no use.”

All these days Dolly had been alone with her children.  She did not want to talk of her sorrow, but with that sorrow in her heart she could not talk of outside matters.  She knew that in one way or another she would tell Anna everything, and she was alternately glad at the thought of speaking freely, and angry at the necessity of speaking of her humiliation with her, his sister, and of hearing her ready-made phrases of good advice and comfort.  She had been on the lookout for her, glancing at her watch every minute, and, as so often happens, let slip just that minute when her visitor arrived, so that she did not hear the bell.

Catching a sound of skirts and light steps at the door, she looked round, and her care-worn face unconsciously expressed not gladness, but wonder.  She got up and embraced her sister-in-law.

“What, here already!” she said as she kissed her.

“Dolly, how glad I am to see you!”

“I am glad, too,” said Dolly, faintly smiling, and trying by the expression of Anna’s face to find out whether she knew.  “Most likely she knows,” she thought, noticing the sympathy in Anna’s face.  “Well, come along, I’ll take you to your room,” she went on, trying to defer as long as possible the moment of confidences.

“Is this Grisha?  Heavens, how he’s grown!” said Anna; and kissing him, never taking her eyes off Dolly, she stood still and flushed a little.  “No, please, let us stay here.”

She took off her kerchief and her hat, and catching it in a lock of her black hair, which was a mass of curls, she tossed her head and shook her hair down.

“You are radiant with health and happiness!” said Dolly, almost with envy.

“I?....  Yes,” said Anna.  “Merciful heavens, Tanya!  You’re the same age as my Seryozha,” she added, addressing the little girl as she ran in.  She took her in her arms and kissed her.  “Delightful child, delightful!  Show me them all.”

She mentioned them, not only remembering the names, but the years, months, characters, illnesses of all the children, and Dolly could not but appreciate that.

“Very well, we will go to them,” she said.  “It’s a pity Vassya’s asleep.”

After seeing the children, they sat down, alone now, in the drawing room, to coffee.  Anna took the tray, and then pushed it away from her.

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Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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