Next day at ten o'clock Levin, who had already gone his rounds,
knocked at the room where Vassenka had been put for the night.
"Entrez!" Veslovsky called to him. "Excuse me, I've only just
finished my ablutions," he said, smiling, standing before him in
his underclothes only.
"Don't mind me, please." Levin sat down in the window. "Have
you slept well?"
"Like the dead. What sort of day is it for shooting?"
"What will you take, tea or coffee?"
"Neither. I'll wait till lunch. I'm really ashamed. I suppose
the ladies are down? A walk now would be capital. You show me
After walking about the garden, visiting the stable, and even
doing some gymnastic exercises together on the parallel bars,
Levin returned to the house with his guest, and went with him
into the drawing room.
"We had splendid shooting, and so many delightful experiences!"
said Veslovsky, going up to Kitty, who was sitting at the
samovar. "What a pity ladies are cut off from these delights!"
"Well, I suppose he must say something to the lady of the house,"
Levin said to himself. Again he fancied something in the smile,
in the all-conquering air with which their guest addressed
The princess, sitting on the other side of the table with Marya
Vlasyevna and Stepan Arkadyevitch, called Levin to her side, and
began to talk to him about moving to Moscow for Kitty's
confinement, and getting ready rooms for them. Just as Levin
had disliked all the trivial preparations for his wedding, as
derogatory to the grandeur of the event, now he felt still more
offensive the preparations for the approaching birth, the date of
which they reckoned, it seemed, on their fingers. He tried to
turn a deaf ear to these discussions of the best patterns of long
clothes for the coming baby; tried to turn away and avoid seeing
the mysterious, endless strips of knitting, the triangles of
linen, and so on, to which Dolly attached special importance.
The birth of a son (he was certain it would be a son) which was
promised him, but which he still could not believe in--so
marvelous it seemed--presented itself to his mind, on one hand,
as a happiness so immense, and therefore so incredible; on the
other, as an event so mysterious, that this assumption of a
definite knowledge of what would be, and consequent preparation
for it, as for something ordinary that did happen to people,
jarred on him as confusing and humiliating.