"It's a rest to waltz with you," he said to her, as they fell
into the first slow steps of the waltz. "It's exquisite--such
lightness, precision." He said to her the same thing he said to
almost all his partners whom he knew well.
She smiled at his praise, and continued to look about the room
over his shoulder. She was not like a girl at her first ball,
for whom all faces in the ballroom melt into one vision of
fairyland. And she was not a girl who had gone the stale round
of balls till every face in the ballroom was familiar and
tiresome. But she was in the middle stage between these two; she
was excited, and at the same time she had sufficient
self-possession to be able to observe. In the left corner of the
ballroom she saw the cream of society gathered together.
There--incredibly naked--was the beauty Lidi, Korsunsky's wife;
there was the lady of the house; there shone the bald head of
Krivin, always to be found where the best people were. In that
direction gazed the young men, not venturing to approach. There,
too, she descried Stiva, and there she saw the exquisite figure
and head of Anna in a black velvet gown. And HE was there.
Kitty had not seen him since the evening she refused Levin. With
her long-sighted eyes, she knew him at once, and was even aware
that he was looking at her.
"Another turn, eh? You're not tired?" said Korsunsky, a little
out of breath.
"No, thank you!"
"Where shall I take you?"
"Madame Karenina's here, I think...take me to her."
"Wherever you command."