Anna Karenina HTML version

Chapter I.23
Vronsky and Kitty waltzed several times round the room. After the first waltz Kitty
went to her mother, and she had hardly time to say a few words to Countess
Nordston when Vronsky came up again for the first quadrille. During the quadrille
nothing of any significance was said: there was disjointed talk between them of
the Korsunskys, husband and wife, whom he described very amusingly, as
delightful children at forty, and of the future town theater; and only once the
conversation touched her to the quick, when he asker her about Levin, whether
he was here, and added that he liked him so much. But Kitty did not expect much
from the quadrille. She looked forward with a thrill at her heart to the mazurka.
She fancied that in the mazurka everything must be decided. The fact that he did
not during the quadrille ask her for the mazurka did not trouble her. She felt sure
she would dance the mazurka with him as she had done at former balls, and
refused five young men, saying she was engaged for the mazurka. The whole
ball up to the last quadrille was for Kitty an enchanted vision of delightful colors,
sounds, and motions. she only sat down when she felt too tired and begged for a
rest. But as she was dancing the last quadrille with one of the tiresome young
men whom she could not refuse, she chanced to be vis-a-vis with Vronsky and
Anna. She had not been near Anna again since the beginning of the evening,
and now again she saw her suddenly quite new and surprising. She saw in her
the signs of that excitement of success she knew so well in herself; she saw that
she was intoxicated with the delighted admiration she was exciting. She knew
that feeling and knew its signs, and saw them in Anna; saw the quivering,
flashing light in her eyes, and the smile of happiness and excitement
unconsciously playing on her lips, and the deliberate grace, precision, and
lightness of her movements.
"Who?" she asked herself. "All or one?" And not assisting the harassed young
man she was dancing with in the conversation, the thread of which he had lost
and could not pick up again, she obeyed with external liveliness the peremptory
shouts of Korsunsky starting them all into the grand round, and then into the
chaine, and at the same time she kept watch with a growing pang at her heart.
"No, it's not the admiration of the crowd has intoxicated her, but the adoration of
one. And that one? can it be he?" Every time he spoke to Anna the joyous light
flashed into her eyes, and the smile of happiness curved her red lips. she
seemed to make an effort to control herself, to try not to show these signs of
delight, but they came out on her face of themselves. "But what of him?" Kitty
looked at him and was filled with terror. What was pictured so clearly to Kitty in
the mirror of Anna's face she saw in him. What had become of his always self-
possessed resolute manner, and the carelessly serene expression of his face?
Now every time he turned to her, he bent his head, as though he would have
fallen at her feet, and in his eyes there was nothing but humble submission and
dread. "I would not offend you," his eyes seemed every time to be saying, "but I