"What for?" said Vronsky, as though in amazement. "Why, there's
no meaning in it!"
"There's no meaning in it to you, because you care nothing for
me. You don't care to understand my life. The one thing that I
cared for here was Hannah. You say it's affectation. Why, you
said yesterday that I don't love my daughter, that I love this
English girl, that it's unnatural. I should like to know what
life there is for me that could be natural!"
For an instant she had a clear vision of what she was doing, and
was horrified at how she had fallen away from her resolution.
But even though she knew it was her own ruin, she could not
restrain herself, could not keep herself from proving to him that
he was wrong, could not give way to him.
"I never said that; I said I did not sympathize with this sudden
"How is it, though you boast of your straightforwardness, you
don't tell the truth?"
"I never boast, and I never tell lies," he said slowly,
restraining his rising anger. "It's a great pity if you can't
"Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should
be. And if you don't love me any more, it would be better and
more honest to say so."
"No, this is becoming unbearable!" cried Vronsky, getting up from
his chair; and stopping short, facing her, he said, speaking
deliberately: "What do you try my patience for?" looking as
though he might have said much more, but was restraining himself.
"It has limits."
"What do you mean by that?" she cried, looking with terror at the
undisguised hatred in his whole face, and especially in his
cruel, menacing eyes
"I mean to say..." he was beginning, but he checked himself. "I
must ask what it is you want of me?"