Next day at eleven o'clock in the morning Vronsky drove to the
station of the Petersburg railway to meet his mother, and the
first person he came across on the great flight of steps was
Oblonsky, who was expecting his sister by the same train.
"Ah! your excellency!" cried Oblonsky, "whom are you meeting?"
"My mother," Vronsky responded, smiling, as everyone did who met
Oblonsky. He shook hands with him, and together they ascended
the steps. "She is to be here from Petersburg today."
"I was looking out for you till two o'clock last night. Where
did you go after the Shtcherbatskys'?"
"Home," answered Vronsky. "I must own I felt so well content
yesterday after the Shtcherbatskys' that I didn't care to go
"I know a gallant steed by tokens sure,
And by his eyes I know a youth in love,"
declaimed Stepan Arkadyevitch, just as he had done before to
Vronsky smiled with a look that seemed to say that he did not
deny it, but he promptly changed the subject.
"And whom are you meeting?" he asked.
"I? I've come to meet a pretty woman," said Oblonsky.
"You don't say so!"
"Honi soit qui mal y pense! My sister Anna."
"Ah! that's Madame Karenina," said Vronsky.
"You know her, no doubt?"
"I think I do. Or perhaps not...I really am not sure," Vronsky
answered heedlessly, with a vague recollection of something stiff
and tedious evoked by the name Karenina.
"But Alexey Alexandrovitch, my celebrated brother-in-law, you
surely must know. All the world knows him."