"What does he keep reading philosophy of some sort for all this
year?" she wondered. "If it's all written in those books, he can
understand them. If it's all wrong, why does he read them? He
says himself that he would like to believe. Then why is it he
doesn't believe? Surely from his thinking so much? And he
thinks so much from being solitary. He's always alone, alone.
He can't talk about it all to us. I fancy he'll be glad of these
visitors, especially Katavasov. He likes discussions with them,"
she thought, and passed instantly to the consideration of where
it would be more convenient to put Katavasov, to sleep alone or
to share Sergey Ivanovitch's room. And then an idea suddenly
struck her, which made her shudder and even disturb Mitya, who
glanced severely at her. "I do believe the laundress hasn't sent
the washing yet, and all the best sheets are in use. If I don't
see to it, Agafea Mihalovna will give Sergey Ivanovitch the wrong
sheets," and at the very idea of this the blood rushed to Kitty's
"Yes, I will arrange it," she decided, and going back to her
former thoughts, she remembered that some spiritual question of
importance had been interrupted, and she began to recall what.
"Yes, Kostya, an unbeliever," she thought again with a smile.
"Well, an unbeliever then! Better let him always be one than
like Madame Stahl, or what I tried to be in those days abroad.
No, he won't ever sham anything."
And a recent instance of his goodness rose vividly to her mind.
A fortnight ago a penitent letter had come from Stepan
Arkadyevitch to Dolly. He besought her to save his honor, to
sell her estate to pay his debts. Dolly was in despair, she
detested her husband, despised him, pitied him, resolved on a
separation, resolved to refuse, but ended by agreeing to sell
part of her property. After that, with an irrepressible smile of
tenderness, Kitty recalled her husband's shamefaced
embarrassment, his repeated awkward efforts to approach the
subject, and how at last, having thought of the one means of
helping Dolly without wounding her pride, he had suggested to
Kitty--what had not occurred to her before--that she should give
up her share of the property.