"What you spoke of just now was a mistake, and not love."
"Remember that I have forbidden you to utter that word, that
hateful word," said Anna, with a shudder. But at once she felt
that by that very word "forbidden" she had shown that she
acknowledged certain rights over him, and by that very fact was
encouraging him to speak of love. "I have long meant to tell you
this," she went on, looking resolutely into his eyes, and hot all
over from the burning flush on her cheeks. "I've come on purpose
this evening, knowing I should meet you. I have come to tell you
that this must end. I have never blushed before anyone, and you
force me to feel to blame for something."
He looked at her and was struck by a new spiritual beauty in her
"What do you wish of me?" he said simply and seriously.
"I want you to go to Moscow and ask for Kitty's forgiveness," she
"You don't wish that?" he said.
He saw she was saying what she forced herself to say, not what
she wanted to say.
"If you love me, as you say," she whispered, "do so that I may
be at peace."
His face grew radiant.
"Don't you know that you're all my life to me? But I know no
peace, and I can't give to you; all myself--and love...yes. I
can't think of you and myself apart. You and I are one to me.
And I see no chance before us of peace for me or for you. I see
a chance of despair, of wretchedness...or I see a chance of
bliss, what bliss!... Can it be there's no chance of it?" he
murmured with his lips; but she heard.
She strained every effort of her mind to say what ought to be
said. But instead of that she let her eyes rest on him, full of
love, and made no answer.