"Here you are at last!" she observed, holding out her hand to
He kissed her hand and sat down beside her.
"Altogether then, I see your visit was a success," he said to
"Oh, yes," she said, and she began telling him about everything
from the beginning: her journey with Countess Vronskaya, her
arrival, the accident at the station. Then she described the
pity she had felt, first for her brother, and afterwards for
"I imagine one cannot exonerate such a man from blame, though he
is your brother," said Alexey Alexandrovitch severely.
Anna smiled. She knew that he said that simply to show that
family considerations could not prevent him from expressing his
genuine opinion. She knew that characteristic in her husband,
and liked it.
"I am glad it has all ended so satisfactorily, And that you are
back again," he went on. "Come, what do they say about the new
act I have got passed in the council?"
Anna had heard nothing of this act, And she felt
conscience-stricken at having been able so readily to forget what
was to him of such importance.
"Here, on the other hand, it has made a great sensation," he
said, with a complacent smile.
She saw that Alexey Alexandrovitch wanted to tell her something
pleasant to him about it, and she brought him by questions to
telling it. With the same complacent smile he told her of the
ovations he had received in consequence of the act the had
"I was very, very glad. It shows that at last a reasonable and
steady view of the matter is becoming prevalent among us."
Having drunk his second cup of tea with cream, and bread, Alexey
Alexandrovitch got up, and was going towards his study.
"And you've not been anywhere this evening? You've been dull, I
expect?" he said.