Before Vronsky's departure for the elections, Anna had reflected
that the scenes constantly repeated between them each time he
left home, might only make him cold to her instead of attaching
him to her, and resolved to do all she could to control herself
so as to bear the parting with composure. But the cold, severe
glance with which he had looked at her when he came to tell her
he was going had wounded her, and before he had started her peace
of mind was destroyed.
In solitude afterwards, thinking over that glance which had
expressed his right to freedom, she came, as she always did, to
the same point--the sense of her own humiliation. "He has the
right to go away when and where he chooses. Not simply to go
away, but to leave me. He has every right, and I have none.
But knowing that, he ought not to do it. What has he done,
though?... He looked at me with a cold, severe expression. Of
course that is something indefinable, impalpable, but it has
never been so before, and that glance means a great deal," she
thought. "That glance shows the beginning of indifference."
And though she felt sure that a coldness was beginning, there was
nothing she could do, she could not in any way alter her
relations to him. Just as before, only by love and by charm
could she keep him. And so, just as before, only by occupation
in the day, by morphine at night, could she stifle the fearful
thought of what would be if he ceased to love her. It is true
there was still one means; not to keep him--for that she wanted
nothing more than his love--but to be nearer to him, to be in
such a position that he would not leave her. That means was
divorce and marriage. And she began to long for that, and made
up her mind to agree to it the first time he or Stiva approached
her on the subject.
Absorbed in such thoughts, she passed five days without him, the
five days that he was to be at the elections.