Steps were heard at the door, and Princess Betsy, knowing it was
Madame Karenina, glanced at Vronsky. He was looking towards the
door, and his face wore a strange new expression. Joyfully,
intently, and at the same time timidly, he gazed at the
approaching figure, and slowly he rose to his feet. Anna walked
into the drawing room. Holding herself extremely erect, as
always, looking straight before her, and moving with her swift,
resolute, and light step, that distinguished her from all other
society women, she crossed the short space to her hostess, shook
hands with her, smiled, and with the same smile looked around at
Vronsky. Vronsky bowed low and pushed a chair up for her.
She acknowledged this only by a slight nod, flushed a little, and
frowned. But immediately, while rapidly greeting her
acquaintances, and shaking the hands proffered to her, she
addressed Princess Betsy:
"I have been at Countess Lidia's, and meant to have come here
earlier, but I stayed on. Sir John was there. He's very
"Oh, that's this missionary?"
"Yes; he told us about the life in India, most interesting
The conversation, interrupted by her coming in, flickered up
again like the light of a lamp being blown out.
"Sir John! Yes, Sir John; I've seen him. He speaks well. The
Vlassieva girl's quite in love with him."
"And is it true the younger Vlassieva girl's to marry Topov?"
"Yes, they say it's quite a settled thing."
"I wonder at the parents! They say it's a marriage for love."
"For love? What antediluvian notions you have! Can one talk of
love in these days?" said the ambassador's wife.
"What's to be done? It's a foolish old fashion that's kept up
still," said Vronsky.