After a capital dinner and a great deal of cognac drunk at
Bartnyansky's, Stepan Arkadyevitch, only a little later than the
appointed time, went in to Countess Lidia Ivanovna's.
"Who else is with the countess?--a Frenchman?" Stepan
Arkadyevitch asked the hall porter, as he glanced at the familiar
overcoat of Alexey Alexandrovitch and a queer, rather
artless-looking overcoat with clasps.
"Alexey Alexandrovitch Karenin and Count Bezzubov," the porter
"Princess Myakaya guessed right," thought Stepan Arkadyevitch, as
he went upstairs. "Curious! It would be quite as well, though,
to get on friendly terms with her. She has immense influence.
If she would say a word to Pomorsky, the thing would be a
It was still quite light out-of-doors, but in Countess Lidia
Ivanovna's little drawing room the blinds were drawn and the
lamps lighted. At a round table under a lamp sat the countess
and Alexey Alexandrovitch, talking softly. A short, thinnish
man, very pale and handsome, with feminine hips and knock-kneed
legs, with fine brilliant eyes and long hair lying on the collar
of his coat, was standing at the end of the room gazing at the
portraits on the wall. After greeting the lady of the house and
Alexey Alexandrovitch, Stepan Arkadyevitch could not resist
glancing once more at the unknown man.
"Monsieur Landau!" the countess addressed him with a softness and
caution that impressed Oblonsky. And she introduced them.
Landau looked round hurriedly, came up, and smiling, laid his
moist, lifeless hand in Stepan Arkadyevitch's outstretched hand
and immediately walked away and fell to gazing at the portraits
again. The countess and Alexey Alexandrovitch looked at each
"I am very glad to see you, particularly today," said Countess
Lidia Ivanovna, pointing Stepan Arkadyevitch to a seat beside
"I introduced you to him as Landau," she said in a soft voice,
glancing at the Frenchman and again immediately after at Alexey
Alexandrovitch, "but he is really Count Bezzubov, as you're
probably aware. Only he does not like the title."