Anna Karenina HTML version

Chapter I. 29
"Come, it's all over, and thank God!" was the first thought that came to Anna
Arkadyevna, when she had said good-bye for the last time to her brother, who
had stood blocking up the entrance to the carriage till the third bell rang. She sat
down on her lounge beside Annushka, and looked about her in the twilight of the
sleeping-carriage. "Thank God! tomorrow I shall see Seryozha and Alexey
Alexandrovitch, and my life will go on in the old way, all nice and as usual."
Still in the same anxious frame of mind, as she had been all that day, Anna took
pleasure in arranging herself for the journey with great care. With her little deft
hands she opened and shut her little red bag, took out a cushion, laid it on her
knees, and carefully wrapping up her feet, settled herself comfortably. An invalid
lady had already lain down to sleep. Two other ladies began talking to Anna, and
a stout elderly lady tucked up her feet, and made observations about the heating
of the train. Anna answered a few words, but not foreseeing any entertainment
from the conversation, she asked Annushka to get a lamp, hooked it onto the
arm of her seat, and took from her bag a paper knife and an English novel. At
first her reading made no progress. The fuss and bustle were disturbing; then
when the train had started, she could not help listening to the noises; then the
snow beating on the left window and sticking to the pane, and the sight of the
muffled guard passing by, covered with snow on one side, and the conversations
about the terrible snowstorm raging outside, distracted her attention. Farther on,
it was continually the same again and again: the same shaking and rattling, the
same snow on the window, the same rapid transitions from steaming heat to
cold, and back again to heat, the same passing glimpses of the same figures in
the twilight, and the same voices, and Anna began to read and to understand
what she read. Annushka was already dozing, the red bag on her lap, clutched
by her broad hands, in gloves, of which one was torn. Anna Arkadyevna read
and understood, but it was distasteful to her to read, that is, to follow the
reflection of other people's lives. She had too great a desire to live herself. If she
read that the heroine of the novel was nursing a sick man, she longed to move
with noiseless steps about the room of a sick man; if she read of a member of
Parliament making a speech, she longed to be delivering the speech; if she read
of how Lady Mary had ridden after the hounds, and had provoked her sister-in-
law, and had surprised everyone by her boldness, she too wished to be doing the
same. But there was no chance of doing anything; and twisting the smooth paper
knife in her little hands, she forced herself to read.
The hero of the novel was already almost reaching his English happiness, a
baronetcy and an estate, and Anna was feeling a desire to go with him to the
estate, when she suddenly felt that HE ought to feel ashamed, and that she was
ashamed of the same thing. But what had he to be ashamed of? "What have I to
be ashamed of?" she asked herself in injured surprise. She laid down the book