"And my husband tells me just the same, but I don't believe it,"
said Princess Myakaya. "If our husbands didn't talk to us, we
should see the facts as they are. Alexey Alexandrovitch, to my
thinking, is simply a fool. I say it in a whisper...but doesn't
it really make everything clear? Before, when I was told to
consider him clever, I kept looking for his ability, and thought
myself a fool for not seeing it; but directly I said, he a fool,
though only in a whisper, everything's explained, isn't it?"
"How spiteful you are today!"
"Not a bit. I'd no other way out of it. One of the two had to
be a fool. And, well, you know one can't say that of oneself."
"'No one is satisfied with his fortune, and everyone is
satisfied with his wit.'" The attache repeated the French
"That's just it, just it," Princess Myakaya turned to him. "But
the point is that I won't abandon Anna to your mercies. She's so
nice, so charming. How can she help it if they're all in love
with her, and follow her about like shadows?"
"Oh, I had no idea of blaming her for it," Anna's friend said in
"If no one follows us about like a shadow, that's no proof that
we've any right to blame her."
And having duly disposed of Anna's friend, the Princess Myakaya
got up, and together with the ambassador's wife, joined the group
at the table, where the conversation was dealing with the king of
"What wicked gossip were you talking over there?" asked Betsy.
"About the Karenins. The princess gave us a sketch of Alexey
Alexandrovitch," said the ambassador's wife with a smile, as she
sat down at the table.