Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.

“I have had a nap, Kostya!” she said to him; “and I am so comfortable now.”

She looked at him, but suddenly her expression changed.

“Give him to me,” she said, hearing the baby’s cry.  “Give him to me, Lizaveta Petrovna, and he shall look at him.”

“To be sure, his papa shall look at him,” said Lizaveta Petrovna, getting up and bringing something red, and queer, and wriggling.  “Wait a minute, we’ll make him tidy first,” and Lizaveta Petrovna laid the red wobbling thing on the bed, began untrussing and trussing up the baby, lifting it up and turning it over with one finger and powdering it with something.

Levin, looking at the tiny, pitiful creature, made strenuous efforts to discover in his heart some traces of fatherly feeling for it.  He felt nothing towards it but disgust.  But when it was undressed and he caught a glimpse of wee, wee, little hands, little feet, saffron-colored, with little toes, too, and positively with a little big toe different from the rest, and when he saw Lizaveta Petrovna closing the wide-open little hands, as though they were soft springs, and putting them into linen garments, such pity for the little creature came upon him, and such terror that she would hurt it, that he held her hand back.

Lizaveta Petrovna laughed.

“Don’t be frightened, don’t be frightened!”

When the baby had been put to rights and transformed into a firm doll, Lizaveta Petrovna dandled it as though proud of her handiwork, and stood a little away so that Levin might see his son in all his glory.

Kitty looked sideways in the same direction, never taking her eyes off the baby.  “Give him to me! give him to me!” she said, and even made as though she would sit up.

“What are you thinking of, Katerina Alexandrovna, you mustn’t move like that!  Wait a minute.  I’ll give him to you.  Here we’re showing papa what a fine fellow we are!”

And Lizaveta Petrovna, with one hand supporting the wobbling head, lifted up on the other arm the strange, limp, red creature, whose head was lost in its swaddling clothes.  But it had a nose, too, and slanting eyes and smacking lips.

“A splendid baby!” said Lizaveta Petrovna.

Levin sighed with mortification.  This splendid baby excited in him no feeling but disgust and compassion.  It was not at all the feeling he had looked forward to.

He turned away while Lizaveta Petrovna put the baby to the unaccustomed breast.

Suddenly laughter made him look round.  The baby had taken the breast.

“Come, that’s enough, that’s enough!” said Lizaveta Petrovna, but Kitty would not let the baby go.  He fell asleep in her arms.

“Look, now,” said Kitty, turning the baby so that he could see it.  The aged-looking little face suddenly puckered up still more and the baby sneezed.

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Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.