"But tell me about yourself. We've a great deal to talk about.
And I've had a talk with..." Dolly did not know what to call
him. She felt it awkward to call him either the count or Alexey
"With Alexey," said Anna, "I know what you talked about. But I
wanted to ask you directly what you think of me, of my life?"
"How am I to say like that straight off? I really don't know."
"No, tell me all the same.... You see my life. But you mustn't
forget that you're seeing us in the summer, when you have come to
us and we are not alone.... But we came here early in the
spring, lived quite alone, and shall be alone again, and I desire
nothing better. But imagine me living alone without him, alone,
and that will be...I see by everything that it will often be
repeated, that he will be half the time away from home," she
said, getting up and sitting down close by Dolly.
"Of course," she interrupted Dolly, who would have answered, "of
course I won't try to keep him by force. I don't keep him
indeed. The races are just coming, his horses are running, he
will go. I'm very glad. But think of me, fancy my position....
But what's the use of talking about it?" She smiled. "Well,
what did he talk about with you?"
"He spoke of what I want to speak about of myself, and it's easy
for me to be his advocate; of whether there is not a possibility
...whether you could not..." (Darya Alexandrovna hesitated)
"correct, improve your position.... You know how I look at
it.... But all the same, if possible, you should get
"Divorce, you mean?" said Anna. "Do you know, the only woman who
came to see me in Petersburg was Betsy Tverskaya? You know her,
of course? Au fond, c'est la femme la plus depravee qui existe.
She had an intrigue with Tushkevitch, deceiving her husband in
the basest way. And she told me that she did not care to know me
so long as my position was irregular. Don't imagine I would
compare...I know you, darling. But I could not help
remembering.... Well, so what did he say to you?" she repeated.