There are no conditions to which a man cannot become used,
especially if he sees that all around him are living in the same
way. Levin could not have believed three months before that he
could have gone quietly to sleep in the condition in which he was
that day, that leading an aimless irrational life, living too
beyond his means, after drinking to excess (he could not call
what happened at the club anything else), forming inappropriately
friendly relations with a man with whom his wife had once been in
love, and a still more inappropriate call upon a woman who could
only be called a lost woman, after being fascinated by that woman
and causing his wife distress--he could still go quietly to
sleep. But under the influence of fatigue, a sleepless night,
and the wine he had drunk, his sleep was sound and untroubled.
At five o'clock the creak of a door opening waked him. He jumped
up and looked round. Kitty was not in bed beside him. But there
was a light moving behind the screen, and he heard her steps.
"What is it?...what is it?" he said, half-asleep. "Kitty!
What is it?"
"Nothing," she said, coming from behind the screen with a candle
in her hand. "I felt unwell," she said, smiling a particularly
sweet and meaning smile.
"What? has it begun?" he said in terror. "We ought to send..."
and hurriedly he reached after his clothes.
"No, no," she said, smiling and holding his hand. "It's sure to
be nothing. I was rather unwell, only a little. It's all over
And getting into bed, she blew out the candle, lay down and was
still. Though he thought her stillness suspicious, as though she
were holding her breath, and still more suspicious the expression
of peculiar tenderness and excitement with which, as she came
from behind the screen, she said "nothing," he was so sleepy that
he fell asleep at once. Only later he remembered the stillness
of her breathing, and understood all that must have been passing
in her sweet, precious heart while she lay beside him, not
stirring, in anticipation of the greatest event in a woman's
life. At seven o'clock he was waked by the touch of her hand on
his shoulder, and a gentle whisper. She seemed struggling
between regret at waking him, and the desire to talk to him.