The Karenins, husband and wife, continued living in the same
house, met every day, but were complete strangers to one another.
Alexey Alexandrovitch made it a rule to see his wife every day,
so that the servants might have no grounds for suppositions, but
avoided dining at home. Vronsky was never at Alexey
Alexandrovitch's house, but Anna saw him away from home, and her
husband was aware of it.
The position was one of misery for all three; and not one of them
would have been equal to enduring this position for a single day,
if it had not been for the expectation that it would change, that
it was merely a temporary painful ordeal which would pass over.
Alexey Alexandrovitch hoped that this passion would pass, as
everything does pass, that everyone would forget about it, and
his name would remain unsullied. Anna, on whom the position
depended, and for whom it was more miserable than for anyone,
endured it because she not merely hoped, but firmly believed,
that it would all very soon be settled and come right. She had
not the least idea what would settle the position, but she firmly
believed that something would very soon turn up now. Vronsky,
against his own will or wishes, followed her lead, hoped too that
something, apart from his own action, would be sure to solve all
In the middle of the winter Vronsky spent a very tiresome week.
A foreign prince, who had come on a visit to Petersburg, was put
under his charge, and he had to show him the sights worth seeing.
Vronsky was of distinguished appearance; he possessed, moreover,
the art of behaving with respectful dignity, and was used to
having to do with such grand personages--that was how he came to
be put in charge of the prince. But he felt his duties very
irksome. The prince was anxious to miss nothing of which he
would be asked at home, had he seen that in Russia? And on his
own account he was anxious to enjoy to the utmost all Russian
forms of amusement. Vronsky was obliged to be his guide in
satisfying both these inclinations. The mornings they spent
driving to look at places of interest; the evenings they passed
enjoying the national entertainments. The prince rejoiced in
health exceptional even among princes. By gymnastics and careful
attention to his health he had brought himself to such a point
that in spite of his excess in pleasure he looked as fresh as a
big glossy green Dutch cucumber. The prince had traveled a great
deal, and considered one of the chief advantages of modern
facilities of communication was the accessibility of the
pleasures of all nations.