Chapter 3

When she went into Kitty's little sanctum, a pretty, rosy little room, full of knickknacks in vieux saxe, as youthful and rosy and gay as Kitty herself had been only two months ago, Dolly recalled how they had together decorated the room the year before, with what gaiety and love. Her heart turned cold when she beheld Kitty sitting on the low chair nearest the door, her eyes fixed immovably on a corner of the rug. Kitty glanced at her sister, and the cold, rather austere expression of her face did not change.

`I'm going now, and shall entrench myself at home, and you won't be able to come to see me,' said Darya Alexandrovna sitting down beside her. `I want to talk to you.'

`What about?' Kitty asked swiftly, lifting her head in fright.

`What should it be, save what's grieving you?'

`I have no grief.'

`Come, Kitty. Do you possibly think I cannot know? I know all. And, believe me, this is so insignificant... We've all been through it.'

Kitty did not speak, and her face had a stern expression.

`He's not worth your suffering on his account,' pursued Darya Alexandrovna, coming straight to the point.

`Yes - because he has disdained me,' said Kitty, in a jarring voice. `Don't say anything! Please, don't say anything!'

`But whoever told you that? No one has said that. I'm certain he was in love with you, and remained in love with you, but...'

`Oh, the most awful thing of all for me are these condolences!' cried out Kitty, in a sudden fit of anger. She turned round on her chair, turned red, and her fingers moved quickly, as she pinched the buckle of the belt she held, now with one hand, now with the other. Dolly knew this trick her sister had of grasping something in turn with each of her hands, when in excitement; she knew that, in a moment of excitement Kitty was capable of forgetting herself and saying a great deal too much and much that was unpleasant, and Dolly would have calmed her; but it was already too late.

`What - what is it you want to make me feel, eh?' said Kitty quickly. `That I've been in love with a man who didn't even care to know me, and that I'm dying for love of him? And this is said to me by my own sister, who imagines that... that... that she's sympathizing with me!... I don't want these condolences and hypocrisies!'

`Kitty, you're unjust.'

`Why do you torment me?'

`But I... On the contrary... I can see you're hurt....'

But Kitty in her heat did not hear her.

`I've nothing to despair over and be comforted about. I'm sufficiently proud never to allow myself to care for a man who does not love me.'

`Why, I don't say anything of the kind... Only, tell me the truth,' said Darya Alexandrovna, taking her by the hand, `tell me - did Levin speak to you?...'

The mention of Levin seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige of self-control. She leaped up from her chair, and, flinging the buckle to the ground, gesticulating rapidly with her hands, she said:

  By PanEris using Melati.

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