"Yes, I heard so," answered Stepan Arkadyevitch; "they say he
completely cured Countess Bezzubova."
"She was here today, poor thing!" the countess said, turning to
Alexey Alexandrovitch. "This separation is awful for her. It's
such a blow to her!"
"And he positively is going?" queried Alexey Alexandrovitch.
"Yes, he's going to Paris. He heard a voice yesterday," said
Countess Lidia Ivanovna, looking at Stepan Arkadyevitch.
"Ah, a voice!" repeated Oblonsky, feeling that he must be as
circumspect as he possibly could in this society, where something
peculiar was going on, or was to go on, to which he had not the
A moment's silence followed, after which Countess Lidia Ivanovna,
as though approaching the main topic of conversation, said with a
fine smile to Oblonsky:
"I've known you for a long while, and am very glad to make a
closer acquaintance with you. Les amis de nos amis sont nos
amis. But to be a true friend, one must enter into the spiritual
state of one's friend, and I fear that you are not doing so in
the case of Alexey Alexandrovitch. You understand what I mean?"
she said, lifting her fine pensive eyes.
"In part, countess, I understand the position of Alexey
Alexandrovitch..." said Oblonsky. Having no clear idea what they
were talking about, he wanted to confine himself to generalities.
"The change is not in his external position," Countess Lidia
Ivanovna said sternly, following with eyes of love the figure of
Alexey Alexandrovitch as he got up and crossed over to Landau;
"his heart is changed, a new heart has been vouchsafed him, and
I fear you don't fully apprehend the change that has taken place
"Oh, well, in general outlines I can conceive the change. We
have always been friendly, and now..." said Stepan Arkadyevitch,
responding with a sympathetic glance to the expression of the
countess, and mentally balancing the question with which of the
two ministers she was most intimate, so as to know about which to
ask her to speak for him.