often talk of the secret characteristics - only known to them - of those they love. `Do you see that big building? That's the new hospital. I believe it will cost over a hundred thousand; that's his dada just now. And do you know how it all came about? The peasants asked him for some meadowland, I think it was, at a cheaper rate, and he refused, and I accused him of being miserly. Of course it was not really because of that, but because of everything together - he began this hospital to prove, do you see, that he was not miserly about money. C'est une petitesse, if you like, but I love him all the more for it. And now you'll see the house in a moment. It was his grandfather's house, and he has had nothing changed outside.'
`How beautiful!' said Dolly, looking with involuntary admiration at the handsome house with columns, standing out among the different-colored greens of the old trees in the garden.
`Isn't it fine? And from the house, from the top, the view is wonderful.'
They drove into a courtyard strewn with gravel and bright with flowers, in which two laborers were at work putting an edging of stones round the light mold of a flower bed, and drew up in a covered entry.
`Ah, they're here already!' said Anna, looking at the saddle horses, which were just being led away from the steps. `It is a good horse, isn't it? It's my cob; my favorite. Lead him here and bring me some sugar. Where is the Count?' she inquired of two smart footmen who darted out. `Ah, there he is!' she said, seeing Vronsky coming to meet her with Veslovsky.
`Where are you going to put the Princess?' said Vronsky in French, addressing Anna, and without waiting for a reply, he once more greeted Darya Alexandrovna, and this time he kissed her hand. `I think the big balcony room.'
`Oh, no, that's too far off! Better in the corner room, we shall see each other more. Come, let's go up,' said Anna, as she gave her favorite horse the sugar the footman had brought her.
`Et vous oubliez votre devoir,' she said to Veslovsky, who came out too on the steps.
`Pardon, j'en ai tout plein les poches,' he answered, smiling, putting his fingers in his waistcoat pocket.
`Mais vous venez trop tard,' she said, rubbing her handkerchief on her hand, which the horse had made wet in taking the sugar.
Anna turned to Dolly, `You can stay some time? For one day only? That's impossible!'
`I promised to be back, and the children...' said Dolly, feeling embarrassed both because she had to get her bag out of the carriage, and because she knew her face must be covered with dust.
`No, Dolly, darling!... Well, we'll see. Come along, come along!' and Anna led Dolly to her room.
That room was not the smart guestchamber Vronsky had suggested, but the one which Anna had said Dolly would surely excuse. And this room, for which excuse was needed, was more full of luxury than any in which Dolly had ever stayed, a luxury that reminded her of the best hotels abroad.
`Well, darling, how happy I am!' Anna said, sitting down in her riding habit for a moment beside Dolly. `Tell me about all of you. Stiva I had only a glimpse of, and he cannot tell one about the children. How is my favorite, Tania? Quite a big girl, I expect?'
`Yes, she's very tall,' Darya Alexandrovna answered shortly, surprised herself that she should respond so coolly about her children. `We are having a delightful stay at the Levins',' she added.
`Oh, if I had known,' said Anna, `that you do not despise me!... You might have all come to us. Stiva's an old friend and a great friend of Alexei's, you know,' she added, and suddenly she blushed.
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