"So much the worse for those who keep up the fashion. The only
happy marriages I know are marriages of prudence."
"Yes, but then how often the happiness of these prudent marriages
flies away like dust just because that passion turns up that they
have refused to recognize," said Vronsky.
"But by marriages of prudence we mean those in which both parties
have sown their wild oats already. That's like scarlatina--one
has to go through it and get it over."
"Then they ought to find out how to vaccinate for love, like
"I was in love in my young days with a deacon," said the Princess
Myakaya. "I don't know that it did me any good."
"No; I imagine, joking apart, that to know love, one must make
mistakes and then correct them," said Princess Betsy.
"Even after marriage?" aid the ambassador's wife playfully.
"'It's never too late to mend.'" The attache repeated the
"Just so," Betsy agreed; "one must make mistakes and correct
them. What do you think about it?" she turned to Anna, who, with
a faintly perceptible resolute smile on her lips, was listening
in silence to the conversation.
"I think," said Anna, playing with the glove she had taken off,
"I think...if so many men, so many minds, certainly so many
hearts, so many kinds of love."
Vronsky was gazing at Anna, and with a fainting heart waiting for
what she would say. He sighed as after a danger escaped when she
uttered these words.
Anna suddenly turned to him.
"Oh, I have had a letter from Moscow. They write me that Kitty
Shtcherbatskaya's very ill."
"Really?" said Vronsky, knitting his brows.