Vronsky followed the guard to the carriage, and at the door of
the compartment he stopped short to make room for a lady who was
With the insight of a man of the world, from one glance at this
lady's appearance Vronsky classified her as belonging to the best
society. He begged pardon, and was getting into the carriage,
but felt he must glance at her once more; not that she was very
beautiful, not on account of the elegance and modest grace which
were apparent in her whole figure, but because in the expression
of her charming face, as she passed close by him, there was
something peculiarly caressing and soft. As he looked round, she
too turned her head. Her shining gray eyes, that looked dark
from the thick lashes, rested with friendly attention on his
face, as though she were recognizing him, and then promptly
turned away to the passing crowd, as though seeking someone. In
that brief look Vronsky had time to notice the suppressed
eagerness which played over her face, and flitted between the
brilliant eyes and the faint smile that curved her red lips. It
was as though her nature were so brimming over with something
that against her will it showed itself now in the flash of her
eyes, and now in her smile. Deliberately she shrouded the light
in her eyes, but it shone against her will in the faintly
Vronsky stepped into the carriage. His mother, a dried-up old
lady with black eyes and ringlets, screwed up her eyes, scanning
her son, and smiled slightly with her thin lips. Getting up from
the seat and handing her maid a bag, she gave her little wrinkled
hand to her son to kiss, and lifting his head from her hand,
kissed him on the cheek.
"You got my telegram? Quite well? Thank God."
"You had a good journey?" said her son, sitting down beside her,
and involuntarily listening to a woman's voice outside the door.
He knew it was the voice of the lady he had met at the door.
"All the same I don't agree with you," said the lady's voice.
"It's the Petersburg view, madame."