Vronsky in amazement raised his head, and stared, as he knew how
to stare, not into the Englishman's eyes, but at his forehead,
astounded at the impertinence of his question. But realizing
that in asking this the Englishman had been looking at him not as
an employer, but as a jockey, he answered:
"I've got to go to Bryansky's; I shall be home within an hour."
"How often I'm asked that question today!" he said to himself,
and he blushed, a thing which rarely happened to him. The
Englishman looked gravely at him; and, as though he, too, knew
where Vronsky was going, he added:
"The great thing's to keep quiet before a race," said he; "don't
get out of temper or upset about anything."
"All right," answered Vronsky, smiling; and jumping into his
carriage, he told the man to drive to Peterhof.
Before he had driven many paces away, the dark clouds that had
been threatening rain all day broke, and there was a heavy
downpour of rain.
"What a pity!" thought Vronsky, putting up the roof of the
carriage. "It was muddy before, now it will be a perfect swamp."
As he sat in solitude in the closed carriage, he took out his
mother's letter and his brother's note, and read them through.
Yes, it was the same thing over and over again. Everyone, his
mother, his brother, everyone thought fit to interfere in the
affairs of his heart. This interference aroused in him a feeling
of angry hatred--a feeling he had rarely known before. "What
business is it of theirs? Why does everybody feel called upon to
concern himself about me? And why do they worry me so? Just
because they see that this is something they can't understand.
If it were a common, vulgar, worldly intrigue, they would have
left me alone. They feel that this is something different, that
this is not a mere pastime, that this woman is dearer to me than
life. And this is incomprehensible, and that's why it annoys
them. Whatever our destiny is or may be, we have made it
ourselves, and we do not complain of it," he said, in the word we
linking himself with Anna. "No, they must needs teach us how to
live. They haven't an idea of what happiness is; they don't know
that without our love, for us there is neither happiness nor
unhappiness--no life at all," he thought.