"Oh, no, he's a very good man, and I'm not unhappy; quite the
contrary, I'm very happy. Well, so we shan't be singing any more
now," she added, turning towards the house.
"How good you are! how good you are!" cried Kitty, and stopping
her, she kissed her. "If I could only be even a little like
"Why should you be like anyone? You're nice as you are," said
Varenka, smiling her gentle, weary smile.
"No, I'm not nice at all. Come, tell me.... Stop a minute,
let's sit down," said Kitty, making her sit down again beside
her. "Tell me, isn't it humiliating to think that a man has
disdained your love, that he hasn't cared for it?..."
"But he didn't disdain it; I believe he cared for me, but he was
a dutiful son..."
"Yes, but if it hadn't been on account of his mother, if it had
been his own doing?..." said Kitty, feeling she was giving away
her secret, and that her face, burning with the flush of shame,
had betrayed her already.
"I that case he would have done wrong, and I should not have
regretted him," answered Varenka, evidently realizing that they
were now talking not of her, but of Kitty.
"But the humiliation," said Kitty, "the humiliation one can never
forget, can never forget," she said, remembering her look at the
last ball during the pause in the music.
"Where is the humiliation? Why, you did nothing wrong?"
"Worse than wrong--shameful."
Varenka shook her head and laid her hand on Kitty's hand.
"Why, what is there shameful?" she said. "You didn't tell a man,
who didn't care for you, that you loved him, did you?"