"Oblonsky's carriage!" the porter shouted in an angry bass. The
carriage drove up and both got in. It was only for the first few
moments, while the carriage was driving out of the clubhouse
gates, that Levin was still under the influence of the club
atmosphere of repose, comfort, and unimpeachable good form. But
as soon as the carriage drove out into the street, and he felt it
jolting over the uneven road, heard the angry shout of a sledge
driver coming towards them, saw in the uncertain light the red
blind of a tavern and the shops, this impression was dissipated,
and he began to think over his actions, and to wonder whether he
was doing right in going to see Anna. What would Kitty say? But
Stepan Arkadyevitch gave him no time for reflection, and, as
though divining his doubts, he scattered them.
"How glad I am," he said, "that you should know her! You know
Dolly has long wished for it. And Lvov's been to see her, and
often goes. Though she is my sister," Stepan Arkadyevitch
pursued, "I don't hesitate to say that she's a remarkable woman.
But you will see. Her position is very painful, especially now."
"Why especially now?"
"We are carrying on negotiations with her husband about a
divorce. And he's agreed; but there are difficulties in regard
to the son, and the business, which ought to have been arranged
long ago, has been dragging on for three months past. As soon as
the divorce is over, she will marry Vronsky. How stupid these
old ceremonies are, that no one believes in, and which only
prevent people being comfortable!" Stepan Arkadyevitch put in.
"Well, then their position will be as regular as mine, as yours."
"What is the difficulty?" said Levin.
"Oh, it's a long and tedious story! The whole business is in
such an anomalous position with us. But the point is she has
been for three months in Moscow, where everyone knows her,
waiting for the divorce; she goes out nowhere, sees no woman
except Dolly, because, do you understand, she doesn't care to
have people come as a favor. That fool Princess Varvara, even
she has left her, considering this a breach of propriety. Well,
you see, in such a position any other woman would not have found
resources in herself. But you'll see how she has arranged her
life--how calm, how dignified she is. To the left, in the
crescent opposite the church!" shouted Stepan Arkadyevitch,
leaning out of the window. "Phew! how hot it is!" he said, in
spite of twelve degrees of frost, flinging his open overcoat
still wider open.