Serpuhovskoy had planned his appointment at Tashkend, and Vronsky
agreed to the proposition without the slightest hesitation. But
the nearer the time of departure came, the bitterer was the
sacrifice he was making to what he thought his duty.
His wound had healed, and he was driving about making
preparations for his departure for Tashkend.
"To see her once and then to bury myself, to die," he thought,
and as he was paying farewell visits, he uttered this thought to
Betsy. Charged with this commission, Betsy had gone to Anna, and
brought him back a negative reply.
"So much the better," thought Vronsky, when he received the news.
"It was a weakness, which would have shattered what strength I
Next day Betsy herself came to him in the morning, and announced
that she had heard through Oblonsky as a positive fact that
Alexey Alexandrovitch had agreed to a divorce, and that therefore
Vronsky could see Anna.
Without even troubling himself to see Betsy out of his fiat,
forgetting all his resolutions, without asking when he could see
her, where her husband was, Vronsky drove straight to the
Karenins'. He ran up the stairs seeing no one and nothing, and
with a rapid step, almost breaking into a run, he went into her
room. And without considering, without noticing whether there
was anyone in the room or not, he flung his arms round her, and
began to cover her face, her hands, her neck with kisses.
Anna had been preparing herself for this meeting, had thought
what she would say to him, but she did not succeed in saying
anything of it; his passion mastered her. She tried to calm him,
to calm herself, but it was too late. His feeling infected her.
Her lips trembled so that for a long while she could say nothing.
"Yes, you have conquered me, and I am yours," she said at last,
pressing his hands to her bosom.
"So it had to be," he said. "So long as we live, it must be so.
I know it now."