The whole of that day Anna spent at home, that's to say at the
Oblonskys', and received no one, though some of her acquaintances
had already heard of her arrival, and came to call; the same day.
Anna spent the whole morning with Dolly and the children. She
merely sent a brief note to her brother to tell him that he must
not fail to dine at home. "Come, God is merciful," she wrote.
Oblonsky did dine at home: the conversation was general, and his
wife, speaking to him, addressed him as "Stiva," as she had not
done before. In the relations of the husband and wife the same
estrangement still remained, but there was no talk now of
separation, and Stepan Arkadyevitch saw the possibility of
explanation and reconciliation.
Immediately after dinner Kitty came in. She knew Anna
Arkadyevna, but only very slightly, and she came now to her
sister's with some trepidation, at the prospect of meeting this
fashionable Petersburg lady, whom everyone spoke so highly of.
But she made a favorable impression on Anna Arkadyevna--she saw
that at once. Anna was unmistakably admiring her loveliness and
her youth: before Kitty knew where she was she found herself not
merely under Anna's sway, but in love with her, as young girls do
fall in love with older and married women. Anna was not like a
fashionable lady, nor the mother of a boy of eight years old. In
the elasticity of her movements, the freshness and the unflagging
eagerness which persisted in her face, and broke out in her smile
and her glance, she would rather have passed for a girl of
twenty, had it not been for a serious and at times mournful look
in her eyes, which struck and attracted Kitty. Kitty felt that
Anna was perfectly simple and was concealing nothing, but that
she had another higher world of interests inaccessible to her,
complex and poetic.
After dinner, when Dolly went away to her own room, Anna rose
quickly and went up to her brother, who was just lighting a
"Stiva," she said to him, winking gaily, crossing him and
glancing towards the door, "go, and God help you."
He threw down the cigar, understanding her, and departed through