"To sleep! To forget!" he said to himself with the serene
confidence of a healthy man that if he is tired and sleepy, he
will go to sleep at once. And the same instant his head did
begin to feel drowsy and he began to drop off into forgetfulness.
The waves of the sea of unconsciousness had begun to meet over
his head, when all at once--it was as though a violent shock of
electricity had passed over him. He started so that he leaped up
on the springs of the sofa, and leaning on his arms got in a
panic onto his knees. His eyes were wide open as though he had
never been asleep. The heaviness in his head and the weariness
in his limbs that he had felt a minute before had suddenly gone.
"You may trample me in the mud," he heard Alexey Alexandrovitch's
words and saw him standing before him, and saw Anna's face with
its burning flush and glittering eyes, gazing with love and
tenderness not at him but at Alexey Alexandrovitch; he saw his
own, as he fancied, foolish and ludicrous figure when Alexey
Alexandrovitch took his hands away from his face. He stretched
out his legs again and flung himself on the sofa in the same
position and shut his eyes.
"To sleep! To forget!" he repeated to himself. But with his
eyes shut he saw more distinctly than ever Anna's face as it had
been on the memorable evening before the races.
"That is not and will not be, and she wants to wipe it out of her
memory. But I cannot live without it. How can we be reconciled?
how can we be reconciled?" he said aloud, and unconsciously began
to repeat these words. This repetition checked the rising up of
fresh images and memories, which he felt were thronging in his
brain. But repeating words did not check his imagination for
long. Again in extraordinarily rapid succession his best moments
rose before his mind, and then his recent humiliation. "Take
away his hands," Anna's voice says. He takes away his hands and
feels the shamestruck and idiotic expression of his face.