Anna Karenina eBook

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

Next day he received from Alexey Alexandrovitch a final answer, refusing to grant Anna’s divorce, and he understood that this decision was based on what the Frenchman had said in his real or pretended trance.

Chapter 23

In order to carry through any undertaking in family life, there must necessarily be either complete division between the husband and wife, or loving agreement.  When the relations of a couple are vacillating and neither one thing nor the other, no sort of enterprise can be undertaken.

Many families remain for years in the same place, though both husband and wife are sick of it, simply because there is neither complete division nor agreement between them.

Both Vronsky and Anna felt life in Moscow insupportable in the heat and dust, when the spring sunshine was followed by the glare of summer, and all the trees in the boulevards had long since been in full leaf, and the leaves were covered with dust.  But they did not go back to Vozdvizhenskoe, as they had arranged to do long before; they went on staying in Moscow, though they both loathed it, because of late there had been no agreement between them.

The irritability that kept them apart had no external cause, and all efforts to come to an understanding intensified it, instead of removing it.  It was an inner irritation, grounded in her mind on the conviction that his love had grown less; in his, on regret that he had put himself for her sake in a difficult position, which she, instead of lightening, made still more difficult.  Neither of them gave full utterance to their sense of grievance, but they considered each other in the wrong, and tried on every pretext to prove this to one another.

In her eyes the whole of him, with all his habits, ideas, desires, with all his spiritual and physical temperament, was one thing—­love for women, and that love, she felt, ought to be entirely concentrated on her alone.  That love was less; consequently, as she reasoned, he must have transferred part of his love to other women or to another woman—­and she was jealous.  She was jealous not of any particular woman but of the decrease of his love.  Not having got an object for her jealousy, she was on the lookout for it.  At the slightest hint she transferred her jealousy from one object to another.  At one time she was jealous of those low women with whom he might so easily renew his old bachelor ties; then she was jealous of the society women he might meet; then she was jealous of the imaginary girl whom he might want to marry, for whose sake he would break with her.  And this last form of jealousy tortured her most of all, especially as he had unwarily told her, in a moment of frankness, that his mother knew him so little that she had had the audacity to try and persuade him to marry the young Princess Sorokina.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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