Unconsciously going over in his memory the conversations that had
taken place during and after dinner, Alexey Alexandrovitch
returned to his solitary room. Darya Alexandrovna's words about
forgiveness had aroused in him nothing but annoyance. The
applicability or non-applicability of the Christian precept to
his own case was too difficult a question to be discussed
lightly, and this question had long ago been answered by Alexey
Alexandrovitch in the negative. Of all that had been said, what
stuck most in his memory was the phrase of stupid, good-natured
Turovtsin--"ACTED LIKE A MAN, HE DID! CALLED HIM OUT AND SHOT
HIM!" Everyone had apparently shared this feeling, though from
politeness they had not expressed it.
"But the matter is settled, it's useless thinking about it,"
Alexey Alexandrovitch told himself. And thinking of nothing but
the journey before him, and the revision work he had to do, he
went into his room and asked the porter who escorted him where
his man was. The porter said that the man had only just gone
out. Alexey Alexandrovitch ordered tea to be sent him, sat down
to the table, and taking the guidebook, began considering the
route of his journey.
"Two telegrams," said his manservant, coming into the room. "I
beg your pardon, your excellency; I'd only just that minute gone
Alexey Alexandrovitch took the telegrams and opened them. The
first telegram was the announcement of Stremov's appointment to
the very post Karenin had coveted. Alexey Alexandrovitch flung
the telegram down, and flushing a little, got up and began to
pace up and down the room. "Quos vult perdere dementat," he
said, meaning by quos the persons responsible for this
appointment. He was not so much annoyed that he had not received
the post, that he had been conspicuously passed over; but it was
incomprehensible, amazing to him that they did not see that the
wordy phrase-monger Stremov was the last man fit for it. How
could they fail to see how they were ruining themselves, lowering
their prestige by this appointment?
"Something else in the same line," he said to himself bitterly,
opening the second telegram. The telegram was from his wife.
Her name, written in blue pencil, "Anna," was the first thing
that caught his eye. "I am dying; I beg, I implore you to come.
I shall die easier with your forgiveness," he read. He smiled
contemptuously, and flung down the telegram. That this was a
trick and a fraud, of that, he thought for the first minute,
there could be no doubt.