When she saw once more those composed gestures, heard that
shrill, childish, and sarcastic voice, her aversion for him
extinguished her pity for him, and she felt only afraid, but at
all costs she wanted to make clear her position.
"I cannot be your wife while I..." she began.
He laughed a cold and malignant laugh.
"The manner of life you have chosen is reflected, I suppose, in
your ideas. I have too much respect or contempt, or both...I
respect your past and despise your present...that I was far from
the interpretation you put on my words."
Anna sighed and bowed her head.
"Though indeed I fail to comprehend how, with the independence
you show," he went on, getting hot, "--announcing your infidelity
to your husband and seeing nothing reprehensible in it,
apparently--you can see anything reprehensible in performing a
wife's duties in relation to your husband."
"Alexey Alexandrovitch! What is it you want of me?"
"I want you not to meet that man here, and to conduct yourself so
that neither the world nor the servants can reproach you...not to
see him. That's not much, I think. And in return you will enjoy
all the privileges of a faithful wife without fulfilling her
duties. That's all I have to say to you. Now it's time for me
to go. I'm not dining at home." He got up and moved towards the
Anna got up too. Bowing in silence, he let her pass before him.