Darya Alexandrovna, sitting erect on a chair, turned her head,
following Anna with a face of sympathetic suffering.
"You ought to make the attempt," she said softly.
"Suppose I make the attempt. What does it mean?" she said,
evidently giving utterance to a thought, a thousand times thought
over and learned by heart. "It means that I, hating him, but
still recognizing that I have wronged him--and I consider him
magnanimous--that I humiliate myself to write to him.... Well,
suppose I make the effort; I do it. Either I receive a
humiliating refusal or consent.... Well, I have received his
consent, say..." Anna was at that moment at the furthest end
of the room, and she stopped there, doing something to the
curtain at the window. "I receive his consent, but my...my
son? They won't give him up to me. He will grow up despising
me, with his father, whom I've abandoned. Do you see, I love...
equally, I think, but both more than myself--two creatures,
Seryozha and Alexey."
She came out into the middle of the room and stood facing Dolly,
with her arms pressed tightly across her chest. I her white
dressing gown her figure seemed more than usually grand and
broad. She bent her head, and with shining, wet eyes looked from
under her brows at Dolly, a thin little pitiful figure in her
patched dressing jacket and nightcap, shaking all over with
"It is only those two creatures that I love, and one excludes the
other. I can't have them together, and that's the only thing I
want. And since I can't have that, I don't care about the rest.
I don't care about anything, anything. And it will end one way
or another, and so I can't, I don't like to talk of it. So don't
blame me, don't judge me for anything. You can't with your pure
heart understand all that I'm suffering." She went up, sat down
beside Dolly, and with a guilty look, peeped into her face and
took her hand.
"What are you thinking? What are you thinking about me? Don't
despise me. I don't deserve contempt. I'm simply unhappy. If
anyone is unhappy, I am," she articulated, and turning away, she
burst into tears.