Alexey Alexandrovitch took leave of Betsy in the drawing room,
and went to his wife. She was lying down, but hearing his steps
she sat up hastily in her former attitude, and looked in a scared
way at him. He saw she had been crying.
"I am very grateful for your confidence in me." He repeated
gently in Russian the phrase he had said in Betsy's presence in
French, and sat down beside her. When he spoke to her in
Russian, using the Russian "thou" of intimacy and affection, it
was insufferably irritating to Anna. "And I am very grateful for
your decision. I, too, imagine that since he is going away,
there is no sort of necessity for Count Vronsky to come here.
"But I've said so already, so why repeat it?" Anna suddenly
interrupted him with an irritation she could not succeed in
repressing. "No sort of necessity," she thought, "for a man to
come and say good-bye to the woman he loves, for whom he was
ready to ruin himself, and has ruined himself, and who cannot
live without him. No sort of necessity!" she compressed her
lips, and dropped her burning eyes to his hands with their
swollen veins. They were rubbing each other.
"Let us never speak of it," she added more calmly.
"I have left this question to you to decide, and I am very glad
to see..." Alexey Alexandrovitch was beginning.
"That my wish coincides with your own," she finished quickly,
exasperated at his talking so slowly while she knew beforehand
all he would say.
"Yes," he assented; "and Princess Tverskaya's interference in the
most difficult private affairs is utterly uncalled for. She
"I don't believe a word of what's said about her," said Anna
quickly. "I know she really cares for me."
Alexey Alexandrovitch sighed and said nothing. She played
nervously with the tassel of her dressing-gown, glancing at him
with that torturing sensation of physical repulsion for which she
blamed herself, though she could not control it. Her only desire
now was to be rid of his oppressive presence.