Kitty was particularly glad of a chance of being alone with her
husband, for she had noticed the shade of mortification that
had passed over his face--always so quick to reflect every
feeling--at the moment when he had come onto the terrace and
asked what they were talking of, and had got no answer.
When they had set off on foot ahead of the others, and had come
out of sight of the house onto the beaten dusty road, marked with
rusty wheels and sprinkled with grains of corn, she clung faster
to his arm and pressed it closer to her. He had quite forgotten
the momentary unpleasant impression, and alone with her he felt,
now that the thought of her approaching motherhood was never for
a moment absent from his mind, a new and delicious bliss, quite
pure from all alloy of sense, in the being near to the woman he
loved. There was no need of speech, yet he longed to hear the
sound of her voice, which like her eyes had changed since she had
been with child. In her voice, as in her eyes, there was that
softness and gravity which is found in people continually
concentrated on some cherished pursuit.
"So you're not tired? Lean more on me," said he.
"No, I'm so glad of a chance of being alone with you, and I must
own, though I'm happy with them, I do regret our winter evenings
"That was good, but this is even better. Both are better," he
said, squeezing her hand.
"Do you know what we were talking about when you came in?"
"Oh, yes, about jam too; but afterwards, about how men make
"Ah!" said Levin, listening more to the sound of her voice than
to the words she was saying, and all the while paying attention
to the road, which passed now through the forest, and avoiding
places where she might make a false step.