"There go the inseparables," Yashvin dropped, glancing
sarcastically at the two officers who were at that instant
leaving the room. And he bent his long legs, swatched in tight
riding breeches, and sat down in the chair, too low for him, so
that his knees were cramped up in a sharp angle.
"Why didn't you turn up at the Red Theater yesterday? Numerova
wasn't at all bad. Where were you?"
"In was late at the Tverskoys'," said Vronsky.
"Ah!" responded Yashvin.
Yashvin, a gambler and a rake, a man not merely without moral
principles, but of immoral principles, Yashvin was Vronsky's
greatest friend in the regiment. Vronsky liked him both for his
exceptional physical strength, which he showed for the most part
by being able to drink like a fish, and do without sleep without
being in the slightest degree affected by it; and for his great
strength of character, which he showed in his relations with his
comrades and superior officers, commanding both fear and respect,
and also at cards, when he would play for tens of thousands and
however much he might have drunk, always with such skill and
decision that he was reckoned the best player in the English
Club. Vronsky respected and liked Yashvin particularly because
he felt Yashvin liked him, not for his name and his money, but
for himself. And of all men he was the only one with whom
Vronsky would have liked to speak of his love. He felt that
Yashvin, in spite of his apparent contempt for every sort of
feeling, was the only man who could, so he fancied, comprehend
the intense passion which now filled his whole life. Moreover,
he felt certain that Yashvin, as it was, took no delight in
gossip and scandal, and interpreted his feeling rightly, that is
to say, knew and believed that this passion was not a jest, not a
pastime, but something more serious and important.
Vronsky had never spoken to him of his passion, but he was aware
that he knew all about it, and that he put the right
interpretation on it, and he was glad to see that in his eyes.