Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,311 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
sight of it.  Thinking once more of Alexey Alexandrovitch, she recalled the time of her illness after her confinement, and the feeling which never left her at that time.  “Why didn’t I die?” and the words and the feeling of that time came back to her.  And all at once she knew what was in her soul.  Yes, it was that idea which alone solved all.  “Yes, to die!...  And the shame and disgrace of Alexey Alexandrovitch and of Seryozha, and my awful shame, it will all be saved by death.  To die! and he will feel remorse; will be sorry; will love me; he will suffer on my account.”  With the trace of a smile of commiseration for herself she sat down in the armchair, taking off and putting on the rings on her left hand, vividly picturing from different sides his feelings after her death.

Approaching footsteps—­his steps—­distracted her attention.  As though absorbed in the arrangement of her rings, she did not even turn to him.

He went up to her, and taking her by the hand, said softly: 

“Anna, we’ll go the day after tomorrow, if you like.  I agree to everything.”

She did not speak.

“What is it?” he urged.

“You know,” she said, and at the same instant, unable to restrain herself any longer, she burst into sobs.

“Cast me off!” she articulated between her sobs.  “I’ll go away tomorrow...I’ll do more.  What am I?  An immoral woman!  A stone round your neck.  I don’t want to make you wretched, I don’t want to!  I’ll set you free.  You don’t love me; you love someone else!”

Vronsky besought her to be calm, and declared that there was no trace of foundation for her jealousy; that he had never ceased, and never would cease, to love her; that he loved her more than ever.

“Anna, why distress yourself and me so?” he said to her, kissing her hands.  There was tenderness now in his face, and she fancied she caught the sound of tears in his voice, and she felt them wet on her hand.  And instantly Anna’s despairing jealousy changed to a despairing passion of tenderness.  She put her arms round him, and covered with kisses his head, his neck, his hands.

Chapter 25

Feeling that the reconciliation was complete, Anna set eagerly to work in the morning preparing for their departure.  Though it was not settled whether they should go on Monday or Tuesday, as they had each given way to the other, Anna packed busily, feeling absolutely indifferent whether they went a day earlier or later.  She was standing in her room over an open box, taking things out of it, when he came in to see her earlier than usual, dressed to go out.

“I’m going off at once to see maman; she can send me the money by Yegorov.  And I shall be ready to go tomorrow,” he said.

Though she was in such a good mood, the thought of his visit to his mother’s gave her a pang.

“No, I shan’t be ready by then myself,” she said; and at once reflected, “so then it was possible to arrange to do as I wished.”  “No, do as you meant to do.  Go into the dining room, I’m coming directly.  It’s only to turn out those things that aren’t wanted,” she said, putting something more on the heap of frippery that lay in Annushka’s arms.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.