The croquet party to which the Princess Tverskaya had invited
Anna was to consist of two ladies and their adorers. These two
ladies were the chief representatives of a select new Petersburg
circle, nicknamed, in imitation of some imitation, les sept
merveilles du monde. These ladies belonged to a circle which,
though of the highest society, was utterly hostile to that in
which Anna moved. Moreover, Stremov, one of the most influential
people in Petersburg, and the elderly admirer of Liza Merkalova,
was Alexey Alexandrovitch's enemy in the political world. From
all these considerations Anna had not meant to go, and the hints
in Princess Tverskaya's note referred to her refusal. But now
Anna was eager to go, in the hope of seeing Vronsky.
Anna arrived at Princess Tverskaya's earlier than the other
At the same moment as she entered, Vronsky's footman, with side-whiskers combed out like a Kammerjunker, went in too. He stopped
at the door, and, taking off his cap, let her pass. Anna
recognized him, and only then recalled that Vronsky had told her
the day before that he would not come. Most likely he was
sending a note to say so.
As she took off her outer garment in the hall, she heard the
footman, pronouncing his "r's" even like a Kammerjunker, say,
"From the count for the princess," and hand the note.
She longed to question him as to where his master was. She
longed to turn back and send him a letter to come and see her, or
to go herself to see him. But neither the first nor the second
nor the third course was possible. Already she heard bells
ringing to announce her arrival ahead of her, and Princess
Tverskaya's footman was standing at the open door waiting for her
to go forward into the inner rooms.
"The princess is in the garden; they will inform her immediately.
Would you be pleased to walk into the garden?" announced another
footman in another room.