"Now there is something I want to talk about, and you know what
it is. About Anna," Stepan Arkadyevitch said, pausing for a
brief space, and shaking off the unpleasant impression.
As soon as Oblonsky uttered Anna's name, the face of Alexey
Alexandrovitch was completely transformed; all the life was gone
out of it, and it looked weary and dead.
"What is it exactly that you want from me?" he said, moving in
his chair and snapping his pince-nez.
"A definite settlement, Alexey Alexandrovitch, some settlement of
the position. I'm appealing to you" ("not as an injured
husband," Stepan Arkadyevitch was going to say, but afraid of
wrecking his negotiation by this, he changed the words) "not as a
statesman" (which did not sound a propos), "but simply as a man,
and a good-hearted man and a Christian. You must have pity on
her," he said.
"That is, in what way precisely?" Karenin said softly.
"Yes, pity on her. If you had seen her as I have!--I have been
spending all the winter with her--you would have pity on her.
Her position is awful, simply awful!"
"I had imagined," answered Alexey Alexandrovitch in a higher,
almost shrill voice, "that Anna Arkadyevna had everything she had
desired for herself."
"Oh, Alexey Alexandrovitch, for heaven's sake, don't let us
indulge in recriminations! What is past is past, and you know
what she wants and is waiting for--divorce."
"But I believe Anna Arkadyevna refuses a divorce, if I make it a
condition to leave me my son. I replied in that sense, and
supposed that the matter was ended. I consider it at an end,"
shrieked Alexey Alexandrovitch.