Chapter 17

Next day, at eleven o'clock in the morning, Vronsky drove to the station of the Peterburg railway to meet his mother, and the first person he came across on the great flight of steps was Oblonsky, who was expecting his sister by the same train.

`Ah! Your Excellency!' cried Oblonsky, `Whom are you meeting?'

`My mother,' Vronsky responded, smiling, as everyone did who met Oblonsky. He shook hands with him, and together they ascended the steps. `She is to be here from Peterburg today.'

`I was looking out for you till two o'clock last night. Where did you go from the Shcherbatsky's?'

`Home,' answered Vronsky. `I must own I felt so well content yesterday after the Shcherbatsky's that I didn't care to go anywhere.'

```I can tell the gallant steed's by some... I don't know what... ``pace's; I can tell youths ``by their faces,''' declaimed Stepan Arkadyevich, just as he had done before to Levin.

Vronsky smiled with a look that seemed to say that he did not deny it, but he promptly changed the subject.

`And whom are you meeting?' he asked.

`I? I've come to meet a pretty woman,' said Oblonsky.

`So that's it!'

`Honi soit qui mal y pense! My sister Anna.'

`Ah! that's Madame Karenina,' said Vronsky.

`You know her, no doubt?'

`I think I do. Or perhaps not... I really am not sure,' Vronsky answered heedlessly, with a vague recollection of something stiff and tedious evoked by the name Karenina.

`But Alexei Alexandrovich, my celebrated brother-in-law, you surely must know. All the world knows him.'

`I know him by reputation and by sight. I know that he's clever, learned, religious somewhat... But you know that's not... not in my line,' said Vronsky in English.

`Yes, he's a very remarkable man; rather a conservative, but a very nice man,' observed Stepan Arkadyevich, `a very nice man.'

`Oh, well, so much the better for him,' said Vronsky smiling. `Oh, you've come,' he said, addressing a tall old footman of his mother's standing at the door; `come here.'

Besides the charm Oblonsky had in general for everyone, Vronsky had felt of late specially drawn to him by the fact that in his imagination he was associated with Kitty.

`Well, what do you say? Shall we give a supper on Sunday for the diva?' he said to him with a smile, taking his arm.

`Of course. I'm collecting subscriptions. Oh, did you make the acquaintance of my friend Levin?' asked Stepan Arkadyevich.

`Yes; but he left rather early.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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