Vronsky for the first time experienced a feeling of anger against
Anna, almost a hatred for her willfully refusing to understand
her own position. This feeling was aggravated by his being
unable to tell her plainly the cause of his anger. If he had
told her directly what he was thinking, he would have said:
"In that dress, with a princess only too well known to everyone,
to show yourself at the theater is equivalent not merely to
acknowledging your position as a fallen woman, but is flinging
down a challenge to society, that is to say, cutting yourself off
from it forever."
He could not say that to her. "But how can she fail to see it,
and what is going on in her?" he said to himself. He felt at the
same time that his respect for her was diminished while his sense
of her beauty was intensified.
He went back scowling to his rooms, and sitting down beside
Yashvin, who, with his long legs stretched out on a chair, was
drinking brandy and seltzer water, he ordered a glass of the same
"You were talking of Lankovsky's Powerful. That's a fine horse,
and I would advise you to buy him," said Yashvin, glancing at
his comrade's gloomy face. "His hind-quarters aren't quite
first-rate, but the legs and head--one couldn't wish for anything
"I think I will take him," answered Vronsky.
Their conversation about horses interested him, but he did not
for an instant forget Anna, and could not help listening to the
sound of steps in the corridor and looking at the clock on the
"Anna Arkadyevna gave orders to announce that she has gone to the
Yashvin, tipping another glass of brandy into the bubbling water,
drank it and got up, buttoning his coat.
"Well, let's go," he said, faintly smiling under his mustache,
and showing by this smile that he knew the cause of Vronsky's
gloominess, and did not attach any significance to it.