Falling on his knees before the bed, he held his wife's hand
before his lips and kissed it, and the hand, with a weak movement
of the fingers, responded to his kiss. And meanwhile, there at
the foot of the bed, in the deft hands of Lizaveta Petrovna, like
a flickering light in a lamp, lay the life of a human creature,
which had never existed before, and which would now with the same
right, with the same importance to itself, live and create in its
"Alive! alive! And a boy too! Set your mind at rest!" Levin
heard Lizaveta Petrovna saying, as she slapped the baby's back
with a shaking hand.
"Mamma, is it true?" said Kitty's voice.
The princess's sobs were all the answers she could make. And in
the midst of the silence there came in unmistakable reply to the
mother's question, a voice quite unlike the subdued voices
speaking in the room. It was the bold, clamorous, self-assertive
squall of the new human being, who had so incomprehensibly
If Levin had been told before that Kitty was dead, and that he
had died with her, and that their children were angels, and that
God was standing before him, he would have been surprised at
nothing. But now, coming back to the world of reality, he had to
make great mental efforts to take in that she was alive and well,
and that the creature squalling so desperately was his son.
Kitty was alive, her agony was over. And he was unutterably
happy. That he understood; he was completely happy in it. But
the baby? Whence, why, who was he?... He could not get used to
the idea. It seemed to him something extraneous, superfluous, to
which he could not accustom himself.