Chapter 10

She had risen to meet him, without concealing her pleasure at seeing him; and in the quiet ease with which she held out her little and vigorous hand, introduced him to Vorkuev, and indicated a red-haired, pretty little girl who was sitting at work, calling her her pupil, Levin recognized and liked the manners of a woman of the great world, always self-possessed and natural.

`I am delighted, delighted,' she repeated, and on her lips these simple words took for Levin's ears a special significance. `I have known you and liked you for a long while, both from your friendship with Stiva and for your wife's sake.... I knew her for a very short time, but she left on me the impression of an exquisite flower - just a flower. And to think she will soon be a mother!'

She spoke easily and without haste, looking now and then from Levin to her brother, and Levin felt that the impression he was making was good, and he felt immediately at home, at ease and happy with her, as though he had known her from childhood.

`Ivan Petrovich and I settled in Alexei's study,' she said in answer to Stepan Arkadyevich's question whether he might smoke, `just so as to be able to smoke' - and glancing at Levin, instead of asking whether he would smoke, she pulled closer a tortoise-shell cigarette case and took a corn-leaf cigarette.

`How are you feeling today?' her brother asked her.

`Oh, nothing. Nerves, as usual.'

`Yes, isn't it extraordinarily fine?' said Stepan Arkadyevich, noticing that Levin was glancing at the picture.

`I have never seen a better portrait.'

`And extraordinarily like, isn't it?' said Vorkuev.

Levin looked from the portrait to the original. A peculiar brilliance lighted up Anna's face when she felt his eyes on her. Levin flushed, and to cover his confusion would have asked whether she had seen Darya Alexandrovna lately; but at that moment Anna spoke:

`We were just talking, Ivan Petrovich and I, of Vashchenkov's last pictures. Have you seen them?'

`Yes, I have seen them,' answered Levin.

`But, I beg your pardon, I interrupted you... You were saying?...'

Levin asked if she had seen Dolly lately.

`She was here yesterday. She was very indignant with the high school people on Grisha's account. The Latin teacher, it seems, had been unfair to him.'

`Yes, I have seen his pictures. I didn't care for them very much,' Levin went back to the subject she had started.

Levin talked now not at all with that purely businesslike attitude to the subject with which he had been talking all the morning. Every word in his conversation with her had a special significance. And talking to her was pleasant; still pleasanter was it to listen to her.

Anna talked not merely naturally and cleverly, but cleverly and carelessly, attaching no value to her own ideas and giving great weight to the ideas of the person she was talking to.

The conversation turned on the new movement in art, on the new illustrations of the Bible by a French artist. Vorkuev attacked the artist for a realism carried to the point of coarseness. Levin said that the

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