"We've come to fetch you. Your lessive lasted a good time
today," said Petritsky. "Well, is it over?"
"It is over," answered Vronsky, smiling with his eyes only, and
twirling the tips of his mustaches as circumspectly as though
after the perfect order into which his affairs had been brought
any over-bold or rapid movement might disturb it.
"You're always just as if you'd come out of a bath after it,"
said Petritsky. "I've come from Gritsky's" (that was what they
called the colonel); "they're expecting you."
Vronsky, without answering, looked at his comrade, thinking of
"Yes; is that music at his place?" he said, listening to the
familiar sounds of polkas and waltzes floating across to him.
"What's the fete?"
"Aha!" said Vronsky, "why, I didn't know."
The smile in his eyes gleamed more brightly than ever.
Having once made up his mind that he was happy in his love, that
he sacrificed his ambition to it--having anyway taken up this
position, Vronsky was incapable of feeling either envious of
Serpuhovskoy or hurt with him for not coming first to him when he
came to the regiment. Serpuhovskoy was a good friend, and he was
delighted he had come.
"Ah, I'm very glad!"
The colonel, Demin, had taken a large country house. The whole
party were in the wide lower balcony. In the courtyard the first
objects that met Vronsky's eyes were a band of singers in white
linen coats, standing near a barrel of vodka, and the robust,
good-humored figure of the colonel surrounded by officers. He
had gone out as far as the first step of the balcony and was
loudly shouting across the band that played Offenbach's
quadrille, waving his arms and giving some orders to a few
soldiers standing on one side. A group of soldiers, a
quartermaster, and several subalterns came up to the balcony with
Vronsky. The colonel returned to the table, went out again onto
the steps with a tumbler in his hand, and proposed the toast, "To
the health of our former comrade, the gallant general, Prince