Anna Karenina HTML version

Chapter I.11
Levin emptied his glass, and they were silent for a while.
"There's one other thing I ought to tell you. Do you know Vronsky?" Stepan
Arkadyevitch asked Levin.
"No, I don't. Why do you ask?"
"Give us another bottle," Stepan Arkadyevitch directed the Tatar, who was filling
up their glasses and fidgeting round them just when he was not wanted.
"Why you ought to know Vronsky is that he's one of your rivals."
"Who's Vronsky?" said Levin, and his face was suddenly transformed from the
look of childlike ecstasy which Oblonsky had just been admiring to an angry and
unpleasant expression.
"Vronsky is one of the sons of Count Kirill Ivanovitch Vronsky, and one of the
finest specimens of the gilded youth of Petersburg. I made his acquaintance in
Tver when I was there on official business, and he came there for the levy of
recruits. Fearfully rich, handsome, great connections, an aide-de-camp, and with
all that a very nice, good-natured fellow. But he's more than simply a good-
natured fellow, as I've found out here--he's a cultivated man, too, and very
intelligent; he's a man who'll make his mark."
Levin scowled and was dumb.
"Well, he turned up here soon after you'd gone, and as I can see, he's over head
and ears in love with Kitty, and you know that her mother..."
"Excuse me, but I know nothing," said Levin, frowning gloomily. And immediately
he recollected his brother Nikolay and how hateful he was to have been able to
forget him.
"You wait a bit, wait a bit," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, smiling and touching his
hand. "I've told you what I know, and I repeat that in this delicate and tender
matter, as far as one can conjecture, I believe the chances are in your favor."
Levin dropped back in his chair; his face was pale.
"But I would advise you to settle the thing as soon as may be," pursued
Oblonsky, filling up his glass.