"But she has a daughter: no doubt she's busy looking after her?"
"I believe you picture every woman simply as a female, une
couveuse," said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "If she's occupied, it must
be with her children. No, she brings her up capitally, I
believe, but one doesn't hear about her. She's busy, in the
first place, with what she writes. I see you're smiling
ironically, but you're wrong. She's writing a children's book,
and doesn't talk about it to anyone, but she read it to me and I
gave the manuscript to Vorkuev...you know the publisher...and
he's an author himself too, I fancy. He understands those
things, and he says it's a remarkable piece of work. But are you
fancying she's an authoress?--not a bit of it. She's a woman
with a heart, before everything, but you'll see. Now she has a
little English girl with her, and a whole family she's looking
"Oh, something in a philanthropic way?"
"Why, you will look at everything in the worst light. It's not
from philanthropy, it's from the heart. They--that is, Vronsky--
had a trainer, an Englishman, first-rate in his own line, but a
drunkard. He's completely given up to drink--delirium tremens--
and the family were cast on the world. She saw them, helped
them, got more and more interested in them, and now the whole
family is on her hands. But not by way of patronage, you know,
helping with money; she's herself preparing the boys in Russian
for the high school, and she's taken the little girl to live with
her. But you'll see her for yourself."
The carriage drove into the courtyard, and Stepan Arkadyevitch
rang loudly at the entrance where sledges were standing.
And without asking the servant who opened the door whether the
lady were at home, Stepan Arkadyevitch walked into the hall.
Levin followed him, more and more doubtful whether he was doing
right or wrong.