As soon as Levin approached the bath, the experiment was tried,
and it was completely successful. The cook, sent for with this
object, bent over the baby. He frowned and shook his head
disapprovingly. Kitty bent down to him, he gave her a beaming
smile, propped his little hands on the sponge and chirruped,
making such a queer little contented sound with his lips, that
Kitty and the nurse were not alone in their admiration. Levin,
too, was surprised and delighted.
The baby was taken out of the bath, drenched with water, wrapped
in towels, dried, and after a piercing scream, handed to his
"Well, I am glad you are beginning to love him," said Kitty to
her husband, when she had settled herself comfortably in her
usual place, with the baby at her breast. "I am so glad! It had
begun to distress me. You said you had no feeling for him."
"No; did I say that? I only said I was disappointed."
"What! disappointed in him?"
"Not disappointed in him, but in my own feeling; I had expected
more. I had expected a rush of new delightful emotion to come
as a surprise. And then instead of that--disgust, pity..."
She listened attentively, looking at him over the baby, while she
put back on her slender fingers the rings she had taken off while
giving Mitya his bath.
"And most of all, at there being far more apprehension and pity
than pleasure. Today, after that fright during the storm, I
understand how I love him."
Kitty's smile was radiant.
"Were you very much frightened?" she said. "So was I too, but I
feel it more now that it's over. I'm going to look at the oak.
How nice Katavasov is! And what a happy day we've had
altogether. And you're so nice with Sergey Ivanovitch, when you
care to be.... Well, go back to them. It's always so hot and
steamy here after the bath."