`Can't you go tomorrow?' she said.

`Well, no! The deeds and the money for the business I'm going there for I can't get by tomorrow,' he answered.

`If so, we won't go at all.'

`But why so?'

`I shall not go later. Monday or never!'

`What for?' said Vronsky, as though in amazement. `Why, there's no meaning in it!'

`There's no meaning in it to you, because you care nothing for me. You don't care to understand my life. The one thing that I cared for here was Hannah. You say it's affectation. Why, you said yesterday that I don't love my daughter, that I love this English girl, that it's unnatural. I should like to know what life there is for me that could be natural!'

For an instant she had a clear vision of what she was doing, and was horrified at how she had fallen away from her resolution. But even though she knew it was her own ruin, she could not restrain herself, could not keep herself from proving to him that he was wrong, could not give way to him.

`I never said that; I said I did not sympathize with this sudden passion.'

`How is it, though you boast of your straightforwardness, you don't tell the truth?'

`I never boast, and I never tell lies,' he said slowly, restraining his rising anger. `It's a great pity if you can't respect...'

`Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.... And if you don't love me any more, it would be better and more honest to say so.'

`No, this is becoming unbearable!' cried Vronsky, getting up from his chair; and stopping short, facing her, he said speaking deliberately:

`What do you try my patience for?' looking as though he might have said much more, but was restraining himself. `It has limits.'

`What do you mean by that?' she cried, looking with terror at the undisguised hatred in his whole face, and especially in his cruel, sinister eyes.

`I mean to say...' he was beginning, but he checked himself. `I must ask what it is you want of me?'

`What I can want? All I can want is that you should not desert me, as you think of doing,' she said, understanding all he had not uttered. `But that I don't want; that's secondary. I want love, and there is none. So then, all is at an end.'

She turned toward the door.

`Stop! sto-op!' said Vronsky, with no change in the gloomy lines of his brows, though he held her by the hand. `What is it all about? I said that we must put off going for three days, and on that you told me I was lying, that I was not an honorable man.'

`Yes, and I repeat that the man who reproaches me with having sacrificed everything for me,' she said, recalling the words of a still earlier quarrel, `is worse than a dishonorable man - he's a heartless man.'

`Oh, there are limits to endurance!' he cried, and hastily let go her hand.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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