"They've come!" "Here he is!" "Which one?" "Rather young, eh?"
"Why, my dear soul, she looks more dead than alive!" were the
comments in the crowd, when Levin, meeting his bride in the
entrance, walked with her into the church.
Stepan Arkadyevitch told his wife the cause of the delay, and the
guests were whispering it with smiles to one another. Levin saw
nothing and no one; he did not take his eyes off his bride.
Everyone said she had lost her looks dreadfully of late, and was
not nearly so pretty on her wedding day as usual; but Levin did
not think so. He looked at her hair done up high, with the long
white veil and white flowers and the high, stand-up, scalloped
collar, that in such a maidenly fashion hid her long neck at the
sides and only showed it in front, her strikingly slender figure,
and it seemed to him that she looked better than ever--not
because these flowers, this veil, this gown from Paris added
anything to her beauty; but because, in spite of the elaborate
sumptuousness of her attire, the expression of her sweet face, of
her eyes, of her lips was still her own characteristic expression
of guileless truthfulness.
"I was beginning to think you meant to run away," she said, and
smiled to him.
"It's so stupid, what happened to me, I'm ashamed to speak of
it!" he said, reddening, and he was obliged to turn to Sergey
Ivanovitch, who came up to him.
"This is a pretty story of yours about the shirt!" said Sergey
Ivanovitch, shaking his head and smiling.
"Yes, yes!" answered Levin, without an idea of what they were
"Now, Kostya, you have to decide," said Stepan Arkadyevitch with
an air of mock dismay, "a weighty question. You are at this
moment just in the humor to appreciate all its gravity. They ask
me, are they to light the candles that have been lighted before
or candles that have never been lighted? It's a matter of ten
roubles," he added, relaxing his lips into a smile. "I have
decided, but I was afraid you might not agree."