"Here's Dolly for you, princess, you were so anxious to see her,"
said Anna, coming out with Darya Alexandrovna onto the stone
terrace where Princess Varvara was sitting in the shade at an
embroidery frame, working at a cover for Count Alexey
Kirillovitch's easy chair. "She says she doesn't want anything
before dinner, but please order some lunch for her, and I'll go
and look for Alexey and bring them all in."
Princess Varvara gave Dolly a cordial and rather patronizing
reception, and began at once explaining to her that she was
living with Anna because she had always cared more for her than
her sister Katerina Pavlovna, the aunt that had brought Anna up,
and that now, when every onehad abandoned Anna, she thought it
her duty to help her in this most difficult period of transition.
"Her husband will give her a divorce, and then I shall go back to
my solitude; but now I can be of use, and I am doing my duty,
however difficult it may be for me--not like some other people.
And how sweet it is of you, how right of you to have come! They
live like the best of married couples; it's for God to judge
them, not for us. And didn't Biryuzovsky and Madame
Avenieva...and Sam Nikandrov, and Vassiliev and Madame Mamonova,
and Liza Neptunova... Did no one say anything about them? And
it has ended by their being received by everyone. And then,
c'est un interieur si joli, si comme il faut. Tout-a-fait a
l'anglaise. On se reunit le matin au breakfast, et puis on se
separe. Everyone does as he pleases till dinnertime. Dinner at
seven o'clock. Stiva did very rightly to send you. He needs
their support. You know that through his mother and brother he
can do anything. And then they do so much good. He didn't tell
you about his hospital? Ce sera admirable--everything from
Their conversation was interrupted by Anna, who had found the men
of the party in the billiard room, and returned with them to the
terrace. There was still a long time before the dinner-hour, it
was exquisite weather, and so several different methods of
spending the next two hours were proposed. There were very many
methods of passing the time at Vozdvizhenskoe, and these were all
unlike those in use at Pokrovskoe.