She had risen to meet him, not concealing her pleasure at seeing
him; and in the quiet ease with which she held out her little
vigorous hand, introduced him to Vorkuev and indicated a
red-haired, pretty little girl who was sitting at work, calling
her her pupil, Levin recognized and liked the manners of a woman
of the great world, always self-possessed and natural.
"I am delighted, delighted," she repeated, and on her lips these
simple words took for Levin's ears a special significance. "I
have known you and liked you for a long while, both from your
friendship with Stiva and for your wife's sake.... I knew her
for a very short time, but she left on me the impression of an
exquisite flower, simply a flower. And to think she will soon be
She spoke easily and without haste, looking now and then from
Levin to her brother, and Levin felt that the impression he was
making was good, and he felt immediately at home, simple and
happy with her, as though he had known her from childhood.
"Ivan Petrovitch and I settled in Alexey's study," she said in
answer to Stepan Arkadyevitch's question whether he might smoke,
"just so as to be able to smoke"--and glancing at Levin, instead
of asking whether he would smoke, she pulled closer a
tortoise-shell cigar-case and took a cigarette.
"How are you feeling today?" her brother asked her.
"Oh, nothing. Nerves, as usual."
"Yes, isn't it extraordinarily fine?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch,
noticing that Levin was scrutinizing the picture.
"I have never seen a better portrait."
"And extraordinarily like, isn't it?" said Vorkuev.
Levin looked from the portrait to the original. A peculiar
brilliance lighted up Anna's face when she felt his eyes on her.
Levin flushed, and to cover his confusion would have asked
whether she had seen Darya Alexandrovna lately; but at that
moment Anna spoke. "We were just talking, Ivan Petrovitch and I,
of Vashtchenkov's last pictures. Have you seen them?"