He quickly rubbed out what he had written, gave her the chalk,
and stood up. She wrote, t, i, c, n, a, d.
Dolly was completely comforted in the depression caused by her
conversation with Alexey Alexandrovitch when she caught sight of
the two figures: Kitty with the chalk in her hand, with a shy and
happy smile looking upwards at Levin, and his handsome figure
bending over the table with glowing eyes fastened one minute on
the table and the next on her. He was suddenly radiant: he had
understood. It meant, "Then I could not answer differently."
He glanced at her questioningly, timidly.
"Yes," her smile answered.
"And n...and now?" he asked.
"Well, read this. I'll tell you what I should like--should like
so much!" she wrote the initial letters, i, y, c, f, a, f, w, h.
This meant, "If you could forget and forgive what happened."
He snatched the chalk with nervous, trembling fingers, and
breaking it, wrote the initial letters of the following phrase,
"I have nothing to forget and to forgive; I have never ceased to
She glanced at him with a smile that did not waver.
"I understand," she said in a whisper.
He sat down and wrote a long phrase. She understood it all, and
without asking him, "Is it this?" took the chalk and at once
For a long while he could not understand what she had written,
and often looked into her eyes. He was stupefied with happiness.
He could not supply the word she had meant; but in her charming
eyes, beaming with happiness, he saw all he needed to know. And
he wrote three letters. But he had hardly finished writing when
she read them over her arm, and herself finished and wrote the