"Well, now, on my honor," said Levin, smiling, "I can't find in
my heart that feeling of regret for my freedom."
"Yes, there's such a chaos in your heart just now that you can't
find anything there," said Katavasov. "Wait a bit, when you set
it to rights a little, you'll find it!"
"No; if so, I should have felt a little, apart from my feeling"
(he could not say love before them) "and happiness, a certain
regret at losing my freedom.... On the contrary, I am glad at
the very loss of my freedom."
"Awful! It's a hopeless case!" said Katavasov. "Well, let's
drink to his recovery, or wish that a hundredth part of his
dreams may be realized--and that would be happiness such as never
has been seen on earth!"
Soon after dinner the guests went away to be in time to be
dressed for the wedding.
When he was left alone, and recalled the conversation of these
bachelor friends, Levin asked himself: had he in his heart that
regret for his freedom of which they had spoken? He smiled at
the question. "Freedom! What is freedom for? Happiness is only
in loving and wishing her wishes, thinking her thoughts, that is
to say, not freedom at all--that's happiness!"
"But do I know her ideas, her wishes, her feelings?" some voice
suddenly whispered to him. The smile died away from his face,
and he grew thoughtful. And suddenly a strange feeling came upon
him. There came over him a dread and doubt--doubt of everything.
"What if she does not love me? What if she's marrying me simply
to be married? What if she doesn't see herself what she's
doing?" he asked himself. "She may come to her senses, and only
when she is being married realize that she does not and cannot
love me." And strange, most evil thoughts of her began to come
to him. He was jealous of Vronsky, as he had been a year ago, as
though the evening he had seen her with Vronsky had been
yesterday. He suspected she had not told him everything.