Marriage had never presented itself to him as a possibility. He
not only disliked family life, but a family, and especially a
husband was, in accordance with the views general in the bachelor
world in which he lived, conceived as something alien, repellant,
and, above all, ridiculous.
But though Vronsky had not the least suspicion what the parents
were saying, he felt on coming away from the Shtcherbatskys' that
the secret spiritual bond which existed between him and Kitty had
grown so much stronger that evening that some step must be taken.
But what step could and ought to be taken he could not imagine.
"What is so exquisite," he thought, as he returned from the
Shtcherbatskys', carrying away with him, as he always did, a
delicious feeling of purity and freshness, arising partly from
the fact that he had not been smoking for a whole evening, and
with it a new feeling of tenderness at her love for him--"what
is so exquisite is that not a word has been said by me or by her,
but we understand each other so well in this unseen language of
looks and tones, that this evening more clearly than ever she
told me she loves me. And how secretly, simply, and most of all,
how trustfully! I feel myself better, purer. I feel that I have
a heart, and that there is a great deal of good in me. Those
sweet, loving eyes! When she said: Indeed I do...'
"Well, what then? Oh, nothing. It's good for me, and good for
her." And he began wondering where to finish the evening.
He passed in review of the places he might go to. "Club? a game
of bezique, champagne with Ignatov? No, I'm not going. Chateau
des Fleurs; there I shall find Oblonsky, songs, the cancan. No,
I'm sick of it. That's why I like the Shtcherbatskys', that I'm
growing better. I'll go home." He went straight to his room at
Dussot's Hotel, ordered supper, and then undressed, and as soon
as his head touched the pillow, fell into a sound sleep.