"No," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, who felt a great inclination to
tell Vronsky of Levin's intentions in regard to Kitty. "No,
you've not got a true impression of Levin. He's a very nervous
man, and is sometimes out of humor, it's true, but then he is
often very nice. He's such a true, honest nature, and a heart of
gold. But yesterday there were special reasons," pursued Stepan
Arkadyevitch, with a meaning smile, totally oblivious of the
genuine sympathy he had felt the day before for his friend, and
feeling the same sympathy now, only for Vronsky. "Yes, there
were reasons why he could not help being either particularly
happy or particularly unhappy."
Vronsky stood still and asked directly: "How so? Do you mean he
made your belle-soeur an offer yesterday?"
"Maybe," said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "I fancied something of the
sort yesterday. Yes, if he went away early, and was out of humor
too, it must mean it.... He's been so long in love, and I'm very
sorry for him."
"So that's it! I should imagine, though, she might reckon on a
better match," said Vronsky, drawing himself up and walking about
again, "though I don't know him, of course," he added. "Yes,
that is a hateful position! That's why most fellows prefer to
have to do with Klaras. If you don't succeed with them it only
proves that you've not enough cash, but in this case one's
dignity's at stake. But here's the train."
The engine had already whistled in the distance. A few instants
later the platform was quivering, and with puffs of steam hanging
low in the air from the frost, the engine rolled up, with the
lever of the middle wheel rhythmically moving up and down, and
the stooping figure of the engine-driver covered with frost.
Behind the tender, setting the platform more and more slowly
swaying, came the luggage van with a dog whining in it. At last
the passenger carriages rolled in, oscillating before coming to a
A smart guard jumped out, giving a whistle, and after him one by
one the impatient passengers began to get down: an officer of
the guards, holding himself erect, and looking severely about
him; a nimble little merchant with a satchel, smiling gaily; a
peasant with a sack over his shoulder.