At ten o'clock the old prince, Sergey Ivanovitch, and Stepan
Arkadyevitch were sitting at Levin's. Having inquired after
Kitty, they had dropped into conversation upon other subjects.
Levin heard them, and unconsciously, as they talked, going over
the past, over what had been up to that morning, he thought of
himself as he had been yesterday till that point. It was as
though a hundred years had passed since then. He felt himself
exalted to unattainable heights, from which he studiously lowered
himself so as not to wound the people he was talking to. He
talked, and was all the time thinking of his wife, of her
condition now, of his son, in whose existence he tried to school
himself into believing. The whole world of woman, which had
taken for him since his marriage a new value he had never
suspected before, was now so exalted that he could not take it in
in his imagination. He heard them talk of yesterday's dinner at
the club, and thought: "What is happening with her now? Is she
asleep? How is she? What is she thinking of? Is he crying, my
son Dmitri?" And in the middle of the conversation, in the
middle of a sentence, he jumped up and went out of the room.
"Send me word if I can see her," said the prince.
"Very well, in a minute," answered Levin, and without stopping,
he went to her room.
She was not asleep, she was talking gently with her mother,
making plans about the christening.
Carefully set to rights, with hair well-brushed, in a smart
little cap with some blue in it, her arms out on the quilt, she
was lying on her back. Meeting his eyes, her eyes drew him to
her. Her face, bright before, brightened still more as he drew
near her. There was the same change in it from earthly to
unearthly that is seen in the face of the dead. But then it
means farewell, here it meant welcome. Again a rush of emotion,
such as he had felt at the moment of the child's birth, flooded
his heart. She took his hand and asked him if he had slept. He
could not answer, and turned away, struggling with his weakness.