"No, Dolly, darling!... Well, we'll see. Come along, come
along!" and Anna led Dolly to her room.
That room was not the smart guest chamber Vronsky had suggested,
but the one of which Anna had said that Dolly would excuse it.
And this room, for which excuse was needed, was more full of
luxury than any in which Dolly had ever stayed, a luxury that
reminded her of the best hotels abroad.
"Well, darling, how happy I am!" Anna said, sitting down in her
riding habit for a moment beside Dolly. "Tell me about all of
you. Stiva I had only a glimpse of, and he cannot tell one
about the children. How is my favorite, Tanya? Quite a big
girl, I expect?"
"Yes, she's very tall," Darya Alexandrovna answered shortly,
surprised herself that she should respond so coolly about her
children. "We are having a delightful stay at the Levins'," she
"Oh, if I had known," said Anna, "that you do not despise me!...
You might have all come to us. Stiva's an old friend and a great
friend of Alexey's, you know," she added, and suddenly she
"Yes, but we are all..." Dolly answered in confusion.
"But in my delight I'm talking nonsense. The one thing, darling,
is that I am so glad to have you!" said Anna, kissing her again.
"You haven't told me yet how and what you think about me, and I
keep wanting to know. But I'm glad you will see me as I am.
The chief thing I shouldn't like would be for people to imagine I
want to prove anything. I don't want to prove anything; I
merely want to live, to do no one harm but myself. I have the
right to do that, haven't I? But it is a big subject, and we'll
talk over everything properly later. Now I'll go and dress and
send a maid to you."