IT was bright and sunny. A fine rain had been falling all the morning, and now it had not long cleared up. The iron roofs, the flags of the roads, the flints of the pavements, the wheels and leather, the brass and the tinplate of the carriagesall glistened brightly in the May sunshine. It was three oclock, and the very liveliest time in the streets.
As she sat in a corner of the comfortable carriage, that hardly swayed on its supple springs, while the greys trotted swiftly, in the midst of the unceasing rattle of wheels and the changing impressions in the pure air, Anna ran over the events of the last days, and she saw her position quite differently from how it had seemed at home. Now the thought of death seemed no longer so terrible and so clear to her, and death itself no longer seemed so inevitable. Now she blamed herself for the humiliation to which she had lowered herself. I entreat him to forgive me. I have given in to him. I have owned myself in fault. What for? Cant I live without him? And leaving unanswered the question how she was going to live without him, she fell to reading the signs on the shops. Office and warehouse. Dental surgeon. Yes, Ill tell Dolly all about it. She doesnt like Vronsky. I shall be sick and ashamed, but Ill tell her. She loves me, and Ill follow her advice. I wont give in to him; I wont let him train me as he pleases. Filippov, bun-shop. They say they send their dough to Petersburg. The Moscow water is so good for it. Ah, the springs at Mitishtchen, and the pancakes!
And she remembered how, long, long ago, when she was a girl of seventeen, she had gone with her aunt to Troitsa. Riding, too. Was that really me, with red hands? How much that seemed to me then splendid and out of reach has become worthless, while what I had then has gone out of my reach for ever! Could I ever have believed then that I could come to such humiliation? How conceited and self-satisfied he will be when he gets my note! But I will show him. How horrid that paint smells! Why is it theyre always painting and building? Modes et robes, she read. A man bowed to her. It was Annushkas husband. Our parasites; she remembered how Vronsky had said that. Our? Why our? Whats so awful is that one cant tear up the past by its roots. One cant tear it out, but one can hide ones memory of it. And Ill hide it. And then she thought of her past with Alexey Alexandrovitch, of how she had blotted the memory of it out of her life. Dolly will think Im leaving my second husband, and so I certainly must be in the wrong. As if I cared to be right! I cant help it! she said, and she wanted to cry. But at once she fell to wondering what those two girls could be smiling about. Love, most likely. They dont know how dreary it is, how low The boulevard and the children. Three boys running, playing at horses. Seryozha! And Im losing everything and not getting him back. Yes, Im losing everything, if he doesnt return. Perhaps he was late for the train and has come back by now. Longing for humiliation again! she said to herself. No, Ill go to Dolly, and say straight out to her, Im unhappy, I deserve this, Im to blame, but still Im unhappy, help me. These horses, this carriagehow loathsome I am to myself in this carriageall his; but I wont see them again.
Kitty! Kitty, whom Vronsky was in love with! thought Anna, the girl he thinks of with love. Hes sorry he didnt marry her. But me he thinks of with hatred, and is sorry he had anything to do with me.
Whats this? Does Kitty consider it degrading to meet me? thought Anna when she was alone. Perhaps shes right, too. But its not for her, the girl who was in love with Vronsky, its not for her to show me that, even if it is true. I know that in my position I cant be received by any decent woman. I knew that from the first moment I sacrificed everything to him. And this is my reward! Oh, how I hate him! And what did I come here for? Im worse here, more miserable. She heard from the next room the sisters voices in consultation. And what am I going to say to Dolly now? Amuse Kitty by the sight of my wretchedness, submit to her patronising? No; and besides, Dolly wouldnt understand. And it would be no good my telling her. It would only be interesting to see Kitty, to show her how I despise every one and everything, how nothing matters to me now.
Oh, what nonsense! Shes nursing, and things arent going right with her, and Ive been advising her. Shes delighted. Shell be here in a minute, said Dolly awkwardly, not clever at lying. Yes, here she is.
Kitty had been thrown into confusion by the inward conflict between her antagonism to this bad woman and her desire to be nice to her. But as soon as she saw Annas lovely and attractive face, all feeling of antagonism disappeared.
Kitty felt that Anna was looking at her with hostile eyes. She ascribed this hostility to the awkward position in which Anna, who had once patronised her, must feel with her now, and she felt sorry for her.
Yes, I am very glad to have seen you, she said with a smile. I have heard so much of you from every one, even from your husband. He came to see me, and I liked him exceedingly, she said, unmistakably with malicious intent. Where is he?