When Alexey Alexandrovitch reached the race-course, Anna was
already sitting in the pavilion beside Betsy, in that pavilion
where all the highest society had gathered. She caught sight of
her husband in the distance. Two men, her husband and her lover,
were the two centers of her existence, and unaided by her
external senses she was aware of their nearness. She was aware
of her husband approaching a long way off, and she could not help
following him in the surging crowd in the midst of which he was
moving. She watched his progress towards the pavilion, saw him
now responding condescendingly to an ingratiating bow, now
exchanging friendly, nonchalant greetings with his equals, now
assiduously trying to catch the eye of some great one of this
world, and taking off his big round hat that squeezed the tips of
his ears. All these ways of his she knew, and all were hateful
to her. "Nothing but ambition, nothing but the desire to get on,
that's all there is in his soul," she thought; "as for these
lofty ideals, love of culture, religion, they are only so many
tools for getting on."
From his glances towards the ladies' pavilion (he was staring
straight at her, but did not distinguish his wife in the sea of
muslin, ribbons, feathers, parasols and flowers) she saw that he
was looking for her, but she purposely avoided noticing him.
"Alexey Alexandrovitch!" Princess Betsy called to him; "I'm sure
you don't see your wife: here she is."
He smiled his chilly smile.
"There's so much splendor here that one's eyes are dazzled," he
said, and he went into the pavilion. He smiled to his wife as a
man should smile on meeting his wife after only just parting from
her, and greeted the princess and other acquaintances, giving to
each what was due--that is to say, jesting with the ladies and
dealing out friendly greetings among the men. Below, near the
pavilion, was standing an adjutant-general of whom Alexey
Alexandrovitch had a high opinion, noted for his intelligence and
culture. Alexey Alexandrovitch entered into conversation with
There was an interval between the races, and so nothing hindered
conversation. The adjutant-general expressed his disapproval of
races. Alexey Alexandrovitch replied defending them. Anna heard
his high, measured tones, not losing one word, and every word
struck her as false, and stabbed her ears with pain.