Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy

Chapter 29


Anna got into the carriage again in aneven worse frame of mind than Xt when she set out from home. To her previous tortures was added now that sense of mortification and of being an outcast which she had felt so distinctly on meeting Kitty.

"Where to? Home?" asked Pyotr.

"Yes, home," she said, not even thinking now where she was going.

"How they looked at me as something dreadful, incomprehensible, and curious! What can he be telling the other with such warmth?" she thought, staring at two men who walked by. "Can one ever tell any one what one is feeling? I meant to tell Dolly, and it's a good thing I didn't tell her. How pleased she would have been at my miseryl She would have concealed it, but her chief feeling would have been delight at my being punished for the happiness she envied me for. Kitty, she would have been even more pleased. How I can see through herl She knows I was more than usually sweet to her husband. And she's jealous and hates me. And she despises me. In her eyes I'm an immoral woman. If I were an immoral woman I could have made her husband fall in love with me ...if I'd cared to. And, indeed, I did care to. There's some one who's pleased with himself," she thought, as she saw a fat, rubicund gentleman coming towards her. He took her for an acquaintance, and lifted his glossy hat above his bald, glossy head, and then perceived his mistake. "He thought he knew me. Well, he knows me as well as any one in the world knows me. I don't know myself. I know my appetites, as the French say. They want that dirty ice-cream, that they do know for certain," she thought, looking at two boys stopping an ice-cream seller, who took a barrel off his head and began wiping his perspiring face with a towel. "We all want what is sweet and nice. If not sweetmeats, then a dirty ice. And Kitty's the same--if not Vronsky, then Levin. And she envies me, and hates me. And we all hate each other. I Kitty, Kitty me. Yes, that's the truth. 'Tiutkin, coiffeur.' Je me fais coiffer par Tiutkin.... I'll tell him that when he comes," she thought and smiled. But the same instant she remembered that she had no one now to tell anything amusing to. "And there's nothing amusing, nothing mirthful, really. It's all hateful. They're singing for vespers, and how carefully that merchant crosses himself! as if he were afraid of missing something. Why these churches and this singing and this humbug? Simply to conceal that we all hate each other like these cab-drivers who are abusing each other so angrily. Yashvin says, 'He wants to strip me of my shirt, and I him of his.' Yes, that's the truth!"

She was plunged in these thoughts, which so engrossed her that she left off thinking of her own position, when the carriage drew up at the steps of her house. It was only when she saw the porter running out to meet her that she remembered she had sent the note and the telegram

"Is there an answer?" she inquired.

"I'll see this minute," answered the porter, and glancing into his room, he took out and gave her the thin square envelope of a telegram. "I can't come before ten o'clock.--Vronsky," she read.

"And hasn't the messenger come back?"

"No," answered the porter.

"Then, since it's so, I know what I must do," she said, and feeling a vague fury and craving for revenge rising up within her, she ran upstairs. "I'll go to him myself. Before going away forever, I'll tell him all. Never have I hated any one as I hate that manl" she thought. Seeing his hat on the rack, she shuddered with aversion. She did not consider that his telegram was an answer to her telegram and that he had not yet received her note. She pictured him to herself as talking calmly to his mother and Princess Sorokina and rejoicing at her sufferings. "Yes, I must go quickly," she said, not knowing yet where she was going. She longed to get away as quickly as possible from the feelings she had gone through in that awful house. The servants, the walls, the things in that house--all aroused repulsion and hatred in her and lay like a weight upon her.

"Yes, I must go to the railway station, and if he's not there, then go there and catch him." Anna looked at the railway timetable in the newspapers. An evening train went at two minutes past eight. "Yes, I shall be in time." She gave orders for the other horses to be put in the carriage, and packed in a traveling-bag the things needed for a few days. She knew she would never come back here again.

Among the plans that came into her head she vaguely determined that after what would happen at the station or at the countess's house, she would go as far as the first town on the Nizhni road and stop there.

Dinner was on the table; she went up, but the smell of the bread and cheese was enough to make her feel that all food was disgusting. She ordered the carriage and went out. The house threw a shadow now right across the street, but it was a bright evening and still warm in the sunshine. Annushka, who came down with her things, and Pyotr, who put the things in the carriage, and the coachman, evidently out of humor, were all hateful to her, and irritated her by their words and actions.

"I don't want you, Pyotr."

"But how about the ticket?"

"Well, as you like, it doesn't matter," she said crossly.

Pyotr jumped on the box, and putting his arms akimbo, told the coachman to drive to the booking-office.