In the church there was all Moscow, all the friends and
relations; and during the ceremony of plighting troth, in the
brilliantly lighted church, there was an incessant flow of
discreetly subdued talk in the circle of gaily dressed women and
girls, and men in white ties, frockcoats, and uniforms. The talk
was principally kept up by the men, while the women were absorbed
in watching every detail of the ceremony, which always means so
much to them.
In the little group nearest to the bride were her two sisters:
Dolly, and the other one, the self-possessed beauty, Madame
Lvova, who had just arrived from abroad.
"Why is it Marie's in lilac, as bad as black, at a wedding?" said
"With her complexion, it's the one salvation," responded Madame
Trubetskaya. "I wonder why they had the wedding in the evening?
It's like shop-people..."
"So much prettier. I was married in the evening too..." answered
Madame Korsunskaya, and she sighed, remembering how charming she
had been that day, and how absurdly in love her husband was, and
how different it all was now.
"They say if anyone's best man more than ten times, he'll never
be married. I wanted to be for the tenth time, but the post was
taken," said Count Siniavin to the pretty Princess Tcharskaya,
who had designs on him.
Princess Tcharskaya only answered with a smile. She looked at
Kitty, thinking how and when she would stand with Count Siniavin
in Kitty's place, and how she would remind him then of his joke
Shtcherbatsky told the old maid of honor, Madame Nikolaeva, that
he meant to put the crown on Kitty's chignon for luck.
"She ought not to have worn a chignon," answered Madame
Nikolaeva, who had long ago made up her mind that if the elderly
widower she was angling for married her, the wedding should be of
the simplest. "I don't like such grandeur."