Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
the throng of ladies, all tulle, ribbons, lace, and flowers, waiting to be asked to dance—­Kitty was never one of that throng—­when she was asked for a waltz, and asked by the best partner, the first star in the hierarchy of the ballroom, a renowned director of dances, a married man, handsome and well-built, Yegorushka Korsunsky.  He had only just left the Countess Bonina, with whom he had danced the first half of the waltz, and, scanning his kingdom—­that is to say, a few couples who had started dancing—­he caught sight of Kitty, entering, and flew up to her with that peculiar, easy amble which is confined to directors of balls.  Without even asking her if she cared to dance, he put out his arm to encircle her slender waist.  She looked round for someone to give her fan to, and their hostess, smiling to her, took it.

“How nice you’ve come in good time,” he said to her, embracing her waist; “such a bad habit to be late.”  Bending her left hand, she laid it on his shoulder, and her little feet in their pink slippers began swiftly, lightly, and rhythmically moving over the slippery floor in time to the music.

“It’s a rest to waltz with you,” he said to her, as they fell into the first slow steps of the waltz.  “It’s exquisite—­such lightness, precision.”  He said to her the same thing he said to almost all his partners whom he knew well.

She smiled at his praise, and continued to look about the room over his shoulder.  She was not like a girl at her first ball, for whom all faces in the ballroom melt into one vision of fairyland.  And she was not a girl who had gone the stale round of balls till every face in the ballroom was familiar and tiresome.  But she was in the middle stage between these two; she was excited, and at the same time she had sufficient self-possession to be able to observe.  In the left corner of the ballroom she saw the cream of society gathered together.  There—­incredibly naked—­was the beauty Lidi, Korsunsky’s wife; there was the lady of the house; there shone the bald head of Krivin, always to be found where the best people were.  In that direction gazed the young men, not venturing to approach.  There, too, she descried Stiva, and there she saw the exquisite figure and head of Anna in a black velvet gown.  And he was there.  Kitty had not seen him since the evening she refused Levin.  With her long-sighted eyes, she knew him at once, and was even aware that he was looking at her.

“Another turn, eh?  You’re not tired?” said Korsunsky, a little out of breath.

“No, thank you!”

“Where shall I take you?”

“Madame Karenina’s here, I think...take me to her.”

“Wherever you command.”

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Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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