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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAnna Karenina - Part Seven - Chapter 26
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Anna Karenina - Part Seven - Chapter 26 Post by :Don_Stone Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :January 2011 Read :2782

Click below to download : Anna Karenina - Part Seven - Chapter 26 (Format : PDF)

Anna Karenina - Part Seven - Chapter 26

Never before had a day been passed in quarrel. To-day was the
first time. And this was not a quarrel. It was the open
acknowledgment of complete coldness. Was it possible to glance at
her as he had glanced when he came into the room for the
guarantees.--to look at her, see her heart was breaking with
despair, and go out without a word with that face of callous
composure? He was not merely cold to her, he hated her because he
loved another woman--that was clear.

And remembering all the cruel words he had said, Anna supplied,
too, the words that he had unmistakably wished to say and could
have said to her, and she grew more and more exasperated.

"I won't prevent you," he might say. "You can go where you like.
You were unwilling to be divorced from your husband, no doubt so
that you might go back to him. Go back to him. If you want money,
I'll give it to you. How many roubles do you want?"

All the most cruel words that a brutal man could say, he said to
her in her imagination, and she could not forgive him for them,
as though he had actually said them.

"But didn't he only yesterday swear he loved me, he, a truthful
and sincere man? Haven't I despaired for nothing many times
already?" she said to herself afterwards.

All that day, except for the visit to Wilson's, which occupied
two hours, Anna spent in doubts whether everything were over or
whether there were still hope of reconciliation, whether she
should go away at once or see him once more. She was expecting
him the whole day, and in the evening, as she went to her own
room, leaving a message for him that her head ached, she said to
herself, "If he comes in spite of what the maid says, it means
that he loves me still. If not, it means that all is over, and
then I will decide what I'm to do! . . ."

In the evening she heard the rumbling of his carriage stop at the
entrance, his ring, his steps and his conversation with the
servant; he believed what was told him, did not care to fmd out
more, and went to his own room. So then everything was over. And
death rose clearly and vividly before her mind as the sole means
of bringing back love for her in his heart, of punishung him and
of gaining the victoryin that strife which the evil spirit in
possession of her heart was waging with him.

Now nothing mattered: going or not going to Vozdvizhenskoe,
getting or not getting a divorce from her husband--all that did
not matter. The one thing that mattered was punishing him. When
she poured herself out her usual dose of opium, and thought that
she had only to drink off the whole bottle to die, it seemed to
her so simple and easy, that she began musing with enjoyment on
how he would suffer, and repent and love her memory when it would
be too late. She lay in bed with open eyes, by the light of a
single burned-down candle, gazing at the carved cornice of the
ceiling and at the shadow of the screen that covered part of it,
while she vividly pictured to herself how he would feel when she
would be no more, when she would be only a memory to him. "How
could I say such cruel things to her?" he would say. "How could I
go out of the room without saying anything to her? But now she is
no more. She has gone away from us forever. She is . . ."
Suddenly the shadow of the screen wavered, pounced on the whole
cornice, the whole ceiling; other shadows from the other side
swooped to meet it, for an instant the shadows flitted back, but
then with fresh swiftness they darted forward, wavered,
commingled, and all was darkness. "Death!" she thought. And such
horror came upon her that for a long while she could not realize
where she was, and for a long while her trembling hands could not
find the matches and light another candle, instead of the one
that had burned down and gone out. "No, anything--only to
live. Why, I love him! Why, he loves me! This has been before and
will pass," she said, feeling that tears of joy at the return to
life were trickling down her cheeks. And to escape from her panic
she went hurriedly to his room.

He was asleep there, and sleeping soundly. She went up to him,
and holding the light above his face, she gazed a long while at
him. Now when he was asleep, she loved him so that at the sight
of him she could not keep back tears of tenderness. But she knew
that if he waked up he would look at her with cold eyes,
convinced that he was right, and that before telling him of her
love, she would have to prove to him that he had been wrong in
his treatment of her. Without waking him, she went back, and
after a second dose of opium she fell towards morning into a
heavy, incomplete sleep, during which she never quite lost
consciousness.

In the morning she was waked by a horrible nightmare, which had
recurred several times in her dreams, even before her connection
with Vronsky. A little old man with unkempt beard was doing
something bent down over some iron, muttering meaningless French
words, and she, as she always did in this nightmare (it was what
made the horror of it), felt that this peasant was taking no
notice of her, but was doing something horrible with the iron--
over her. And she waked up in a cold sweat.

When she got up, the previous day came back to her as though
veiled in mist.

"There was a quarrel. Just what has happened several times. I
said I had a headache, and he did not come in to see me.
To-morrow we're going away; I must see him and get ready for the
journey," she said to herself. And learning that he was in his
study, she went down to him. As she passed through the
drawing-room she heard a carriage stop at the entrance, and
looking out of the window she saw the carriage, from which a
young girl in a lilac hat was leaning out giving some direction
to the footman ringing the bell. After a parley in the hall, some
one came up- stairs, and Vronsky's steps could be heard passing
the drawing-room. He went rapidly down-stairs. Anna went again to
the window. She saw him come out onto the steps without his hat
and go up to the carriage. The young girl in the lilac hat handed
him a parcel. Vronsky, smiling, said something to her. The
carriage drove away, he ran rapidly up-stairs again.

The mists that had shrouded everything in her soul parted
suddenly. The feelings of yesterday pierced the sick heart with a
fresh pang. She could not understand now how she could have
lowered herself by spending a whole day with him in his house.
She went into his room to anDounce her determination.

"That was Madame Sorokina and her daughter. They came and brought
me the money and the deeds from maman. I couldn't get them
yesterday. How is your head, better?" he said quietly, not
wishing to see and to understand the gloomy and solemn expression
of her face.

She looked silently, intently at him, standing in the middle of
the room. He glanced at her, frowned for a moment, and went on
reading a letter. She turned, and went deliberately out of the
room. He still might have turned her back, but she had reached
the door, he was still silent, and the only sound audible was the
rustling of the note-paper as he turned it.

"Oh, by the way," he said at the very moment she was in the
doorway, "we're going to-morrow for certain, aren't we?"

"You, but not I," she said, turning round to him.

"Anna, we can't go on like this. .."

"You, but not I," she repeated.

"This is getting unbearable!"

"You ...you will be sorry for this," she said, and went out.

Frightened by the desperate expression with which these words
were uttered, he jumped up and would have run after her, but on
second thoughts he sat down and scowled, setting his teeth. This
vulgar--as he thought it--threat of something vague exasperated
him. "I've tried everything," he thought; "the only thing left is
not to pay attention," and he began to get ready to drive into
town, and again to his mother's to get her signature to the
deeds.

She heard the sound of his steps about the study and the
diningroom. At the drawing-room he stood still. But he did not
turn in to see her, he merely gave an order that the horse should
be given to Voytov if he came while he was away. Then she heard
the carriage brought round, the door opened, and he came out
again. But he went back into the porch again, and some one was
running up-stairs. It was the valet running up for his gloves
that had been forgotten. She went to the window and saw him take
the gloves without looking, and touching the coachman on the back
he said something to him. Then without looking up at the window
he settled himself in his usual attitude in the carriage, with
his legs crossed, and drawing on his gloves he vanished round the
corner.

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"He has gone. It is over!" Anna said to herself, standing at thewindow; and in answer to this statement the impression of thedarkness when the candle had flickered out, and of her fearfuldream mingling into one, filled her heart with cold terror."No, that cannot be!" she cried, and crossing the room she rangthe bell. She was so afraid now of being alone, that withoutwaiting for the servant to come in, she went out to meet him."Inquire where the count has gone," she said. The servantanswered that the count had gone to the stable."His honor left word that if you cared to
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Feeling that the reconciliation was complete, Anna set eagerly toto work in the morning preparing for their departure. Though itwas not settled whether they should go on Monday or Tuesday, asthey had each given way to the other, Anna packed busily, feelingabsolutely indifferent whether they went a day earlier or later.She was standing in her room over an open box, taking things outof it, when he came in to see her earlier than usually, dressedto go out."I'm going off at once to see maman; she can send me the money byYegorov. And I shall be ready to go to-morrow," he said.Though
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