And she did certainly come to see Anna the same day, but her tone
was not at all the same as in former days. She unmistakably
prided herself on her courage, and wished Anna to appreciate the
fidelity of her friendship. She only stayed ten minutes, talking
of society gossip, and on leaving she said:
"You've never told me when the divorce is to be? Supposing I'm
ready to fling my cap over the mill, other starchy people will
give you the cold shoulder until you're married. And that's so
simple nowadays. Ca se fait. So you're going on Friday? Sorry
we shan't see each other again."
From Betsy's tone Vronsky might have grasped what he had to
expect from the world; but he made another effort in his own
family. His mother he did not reckon upon. He knew that his
mother, who had been so enthusiastic over Anna at their first
acquaintance, would have no mercy on her now for having ruined
her son's career. But he had more hope of Varya, his brother's
wife. He fancied she would not throw stones, and would go simply
arid directly to see Anna, and would receive her in her own
The day after his arrival Vronsky went to her, and finding her
alone, expressed his wishes directly.
"You know, Alexey," she said after hearing him, "how fond I am of
you, and how ready I am to do anything for you; but I have not
spoken, because I knew I could be of no use to you and to Anna
Arkadyevna," she said, articulating the name "Anna Arkadyevna"
with particular care. "Don't suppose, please, that I judge her.
Never; perhaps in her place I should have done the same. I don't
and can't enter into that," she said, glancing timidly at his
gloomy face. "But one must call things by their names. You want
me to go and see her, to ask her here, and to rehabilitate her in
society; but do understand that I CANNOT do so. I have daughters
growing up, and I must live in the world for my husband's sake.
Well, I'm ready to come and see Anna Arkadyevna: she will
understand that I can't ask her here, or I should have to do so
in such a way that she would not meet people who look at things
differently; that would offend her. I can't raise her..."