Darya Alexandrovna carried out her intention and went to see
Anna. She was sorry to annoy her sister and to do anything Levin
disliked. She quite understood how right the Levins were in not
wishing to have anything to do with Vronsky. But she felt she
must go and see Anna, and show her that her feelings could not be
changed, in spite of the change in her position. That she might
be independent of the Levins in this expedition, Darya
Alexandrovna sent to the village to hire horses for the drive;
but Levin learning of it went to her to protest.
"What makes you suppose that I dislike your going? But, even if
I did dislike it, I should still more dislike your not taking my
horses," he said. "You never told me that you were going for
certain. Hiring horses in the village is disagreeable to me,
and, what's of more importance, they'll undertake the job and
never get you there. I have horses. And if you don't want to
wound me, you'll take mine."
Darya Alexandrovna had to consent, and on the day fixed Levin had
ready for his sister-in-law a set of four horses and relays,
getting them together from the farm- and saddle-horses--not at
all a smart-looking set, but capable of taking Darya Alexandrovna
the whole distance in a single day. At that moment, when horses
were wanted for the princess, who was going, and for the midwife,
it was a difficult matter for Levin to make up the number, but
the duties of hospitality would not let him allow Darya
Alexandrovna to hire horses when staying in his house. Moreover,
he was well aware that the twenty roubles that would be asked for
the journey were a serious matter for her; Darya Alexandrovna's
pecuniary affairs, which were in a very unsatisfactory state,
were taken to heart by the Levins as if they were their own.
Darya Alexandrovna, by Levin's advice, started before daybreak.
The road was good, the carriage comfortable, the horses trotted
along merrily, and on the box, besides the coachman, sat the
counting-house clerk, whom Levin was sending instead of a groom
for greater security. Darya Alexandrovna dozed and waked up only
on reaching the inn where the horses were to be changed.