for him, not as a high official, not as a member of society, but simply as a suffering man; indeed, he had not such a one in the whole world.

Alexei Alexandrovich grew up an orphan. There were two brothers. They did not remember their father, and their mother died when Alexei Alexandrovich was ten years old. The property was a small one. Their uncle, Karenin, a government official of high standing, at one time a favorite of the late Czar, had brought them up.

On completing his high school and university courses with medals, Alexei Alexandrovich had, with his uncle's aid, immediately started in a prominent position in the service, and from that time forward he had devoted himself exclusively to political ambition. In the high school and the university, and afterward in the service, Alexei Alexandrovich had never formed a close friendship with anyone. His brother had been the person nearest to his heart, but he had a post in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was always abroad, where he had died shortly after Alexei Alexandrovich's marriage.

While he was governor of a province, Anna's aunt, a wealthy provincial lady, had brought him - middle- aged as he was, though young for a governor - together with her niece, and had succeeded in putting him in such a position that he had either to declare himself or to leave town. Alexei Alexandrovich hesitated a great while. There were at the time as many reasons for the step as against it, and there was no overbalancing consideration to outweigh his invariable rule of abstaining when in doubt. But Anna's aunt had through a common acquaintance insinuated that he had already compromised the girl, and that he was in honor bound to propose to her. He proposed, and concentrated on his betrothed and his wife all the feeling of which he was capable.

The attachment he felt to Anna precluded in his heart every need of intimate relations with others. And now, among all his acquaintances, he had not one friend. He had plenty of so-called connections, but no friendships. Alexei Alexandrovich had plenty of people whom he could invite to dinner, to whose sympathy he could appeal in any public affair he was concerned about, whose interest he could reckon upon for anyone he wished to help, with whom he could candidly discuss other people's business and affairs of state. But his relations with these people were confined to one clearly defined channel, and had a certain routine from which it was impossible to depart. There was one man, a comrade of his at the university, with whom he had become friendly later, and with whom he could have spoken of a personal sorrow; but this friend had a post in the Department of Education in a remote part of Russia. Of the people in Peterburg the most intimate and most likely were his head clerk and his doctor.

Mikhail Vassilievich Sludin, the head clerk, was a straightforward, intelligent, goodhearted and conscientious man, and Alexei Alexandrovich was aware of his personal good will. But their five years of official work together seemed to have put a barrier between them that cut off warmer relations.

After signing the papers brought him, Alexei Alexandrovich had sat for a long while in silence, glancing at Mikhail Vassilievich, and several times he attempted to speak, but could not. He had already prepared the phrase: `You have heard of my trouble?' But he ended by saying as usual: `So you'll get this ready for me?' and with that dismissed him.

The other person was the doctor, who had also a kindly feeling for him; but there had long existed a silent understanding between them that both were weighed down by work, and always in a hurry.

Of his women friends, foremost among them Countess Lidia Ivanovna, Alexei Alexandrovich never thought. All women, simply as women, were terrible and distasteful to him.

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