It was past five, and several guests had already arrived, before the host himself got home. He went in together with Sergei Ivanovich Koznishev and with Pestsov, both of whom had reached the street door at the same moment. These were the two leading representatives of the Moscow intellectuals, as Oblonsky had called them. Both were men respected for their character and their intelligence. They respected each other, but were in complete and hopeless disagreement upon almost every subject, not because they belonged to opposite parties, but precisely because they were of the same party (their enemies refused to see any distinction between their views); but, in that party, each had his own special shade of opinion. And since no difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semiabstract questions, they never agreed on any opinion, and, indeed, had long been accustomed to jeer without anger at each other's incorrigible aberrations. .Cartier Rings.
They were just going in at the door, talking of the weather, when Stepan Arkadyevich overtook them. In the drawing room there were already sitting Prince Alexander Dmitrievich Shcherbatsky, young Shcherbatsky, Turovtsin, Kitty, and Karenin. .replica christian louboutin.
Stepan Arkadyevich saw immediately that things were not going well in the drawing room without him. Darya Alexandrovna, in her best gray silk gown, obviously worried about the children who were to have their dinner by themselves in the nursery, and by her husband's absence, was not equal to the task of making the party mix without him. All were sitting like so many priests' daughters on a visit (so the old Prince expressed it), obviously wondering why they were there, and pumping up remarks simply to avoid being silent. Turovtsin - goodhearted man - felt unmistakably like a fish out of water, and the smile with which his thick lips greeted Stepan Arkadyevich said, as plainly as words: `Well, old boy, you have popped me down in a learned set! A drinking party, and the Chateau des Fleurs, would be more in my line!' The old Prince sat in silence, his bright little eyes watching Karenin with a sidelong look; and Stepan Arkadyevich saw that he had already formed a sharp remark to sum up that politician of whom guests had been invited to partake, as though he were a sturgeon. Kitty was looking at the door, calling up all her energies to keep her from blushing at the entrance of Konstantin Levin. Young Shcherbatsky, who had not been introduced to Karenin, was trying to look as though he were not in the least embarrassed by it. Karenin himself had followed the Peterburg. etiquette for a dinner with ladies present and was wearing evening dress and a white tie. Stepan Arkadyevich saw by his face that he had come simply to keep his promise, and was performing a disagreeable duty in being present at this gathering. He was indeed the person chiefly responsible for the chill benumbing all the guests before Stepan Arkadyevich came in. .cartier love bracelet replica.
On entering the drawing room Stepan Arkadyevich apologized, explaining that he had been detained by that Prince who was always the scapegoat for all his absences and unpunctualities, and in one moment he had made all the guests acquainted with each other, and, bringing together Alexei Alexandrovich and Sergei Koznishev, had started them on a discussion of the Russification of Poland, into which they immediately plunged with Pestsov. Slapping Turovtsin on the shoulder, he whispered something comic in his ear, and set him down by his wife and the old Prince. Then he told Kitty she was looking very pretty that evening, and presented Shcherbatsky to Karenin. In a moment he had so kneaded together the social dough that the drawing room became very lively, and there was a merry buzz of voices. Konstantin Levin was the only person who had not arrived. But this was so much the better, as, going into the dining room, Stepan Arkadyevich found to his horror that the port and sherry had been procured from Depre, and not from Leve, and, directing that the coachman should be sent off as speedily as possible to Leve's he started back to the drawing room. .cartier love bracelet replica.
In the dining room he was met by Konstantin Levin. .cartier love bracelet replica.
`I'm not late?' .cartier love bracelet replica.
`You can never help being late!' said Stepan Arkadyevich, taking his arm. .hermes bracelet replica.
`Have you a lot of people? Who's here?' asked Levin, unable to help blushing, as he knocked the snow off his cap with his glove. .cartier love bracelet replica.
`All our own set. Kitty's here. Come along, I'll introduce you to Karenin.' .Christian Louboutin Replica.
Stepan Arkadyevich, for all his liberal views, was well aware that to meet Karenin was sure to be felt a flattering distinction, and so treated his best friends to this honor. But at that instant Konstantin Levin was not in a condition to feel all the gratification of making such an acquaintance. He had not seen Kitty since that memorable evening when he met Vronsky - not counting, that is, the moment when he had had a glimpse of her on the highroad. He had known at the bottom of his heart that he would see her here today. But, to keep his thoughts free, he had tried to persuade himself that he did not know it. Now when he heard that she was here, he was suddenly conscious of such delight, and at the same time of such dread, that his breath failed him and he could not utter what he wanted to say. .bvlgari rings replica.
`What is she like, what is she like? As she used to be, or as she was in the carriage? What if Darya Alexandrovna told the truth? Why shouldn't it be the truth?' he thought. .bvlgari rings replica.
`Oh, please, introduce me to Karenin,' he brought out with an effort, and with a desperately determined step he walked into the drawing room and beheld her. .bvlgari bracelet replica.
She was not the same as she used to be, nor was she as she had been in the carriage; she was quite different. .hermes bracelet replica.
She was scared, shy, shamefaced, and because of all this, still more charming. She saw him the very instant he walked into the room. She had been expecting him. She was delighted, and so confused at her own delight that there was a moment, the moment when he went up to her sister and glanced again at her, when she, and he, and Dolly, who saw it all, thought she would break down and begin to cry. She crimsoned, turned white, crimsoned again, and grew faint, waiting with quivering lips for him to come to her. He went up to her, bowed, and held out his hand without speaking. Except for the slight quiver of her lips and the moisture in her eyes, making them brighter, her smile was almost calm as she said: .hermes bracelet replica.
`How long it is since we've seen each other!' and, with desperate determination, with her cold hand squeezed his. .cartier love bracelet replica.
`You've not seen me, but I've seen you,' said Levin, with a radiant smile of happiness. `I saw you when you were driving from the railway station to Ergushovo.'
`When?' she asked, wondering.
`You were driving to Ergushovo,' said Levin, feeling as if he would sob with the rapture that was flooding his heart. - `And how dared I associate a thought of anything not innocent with this touching creature? And, yes, I do believe what Darya Alexandrovna told me is true,' he thought.
Stepan Arkadyevich took him by the arm and led him away to Karenin.
`Let me introduce you.' He mentioned their names.
`Very glad to meet you again,' said Alexei Alexandrovich coldly, shaking hands with Levin.
`You are acquainted?' Stepan Arkadyevich asked in surprise.
`We spent three hours together in the train,' said Levin smiling, `but got out, just as in a masquerade, quite mystified - at least I was.'
`Oh, so that's it! Come along, please,' said Stepan Arkadyevich, pointing in the direction of the dining room.
The men went into the dining room and went up to the table for hors d'oeuvres, laid with six sorts of vodka and as many kinds of cheese, some with little silver spades and some without, caviar, herrings, preserves of various kinds, and plates with slices of French bread.
The men stood round the strong-smelling spirits and salt delicacies, and the discussion of the Russification of Poland between Koznishev, Karenin and Pestsov, died down in anticipation of dinner.
Sergei Ivanovich was unequaled in his skill in winding up the most heated and serious argument by some unexpected pinch of Attic salt that changed the disposition of his opponent. He did this now.
Alexei Alexandrovich had been maintaining that the Russification of Poland could only be accomplished as a result of greater principles, which ought to be introduced by the Russian government.
Pestsov insisted that one country can absorb another only when it is the more densely populated.
Koznishev admitted both points, but with limitations. As they were going out of the drawing room to conclude the argument, Koznishev said smiling:
`So, then, for the Russification of our foreign populations there is but one method - to bring up as many children as one can. My brother and I are terribly at fault, I see. You married men - especially you, Stepan Arkadyevich - are the real patriots: what number have you reached?' he said, smiling genially at their host and holding out a tiny wineglass to him.
Everyone laughed, and Stepan Arkadyevich with particular good humor.
`Oh, yes, that's the best method!' he said, munching cheese and filling the wineglass with a special sort of vodka. The conversation dropped at the jest.
`This cheese is not bad. Shall I give you some?' said the master of the house. `Why, have you been going in for gymnastics again?' he asked Levin, pinching his muscle with his left hand. Levin smiled, bent his arm, and under Stepan Arkadyevich's fingers the muscles swelled up like a sound cheese, hard as a knob of iron, through the fine cloth of the coat.
`What biceps! A perfect Samson!'
`I imagine great strength is needed for hunting bears,' observed Alexei Alexandrovich, who had the mistiest notions about the chase. He cut off and spread with cheese a wafer of bread fine as a spiderweb.
`Not at all. Quite the contrary - a child can kill a bear,' he said, with a slight bow moving aside for the ladies, who were approaching the hors d'oeuvres table.
`You have killed a bear, I've been told!' said Kitty, trying assiduously to catch with her fork a perverse mushroom that would slip away, and shaking the lace over her white arm. `Are there bears on your place?' she added, turning her charming little head to him and smiling.
There was apparently nothing extraordinary in what she said, but what unutterable meaning there was for him in every sound, in every turn of her lips, her eyes, her hand as she said it! There was entreaty for forgiveness, and trust in him, and tenderness - soft, timid tenderness - and promise, and hope, and love for him, which he could not but believe in, and which suffocated him with happiness.
`No, we've been hunting in the Tver province. It was coming back from there that I met your beau-frere in the train, or your beau-frere's brother-in-law,' he said with a smile. `It was an amusing meeting.'
And he began telling with droll good humor how, after not sleeping all night, he had, wearing a fur-lined, full-skirted coat, got into Alexei Alexandrovich's compartment.
`The conductor, forgetting the proverb, would have chucked me out on account of my attire; but thereupon I began expressing my feelings in elevated language, and... you, too,' he said, addressing Karenin and forgetting his name, `at first would have ejected me on the ground of my coat, but afterward you took my part, for which I am extremely grateful.'
`The rights of passengers generally to choose their seats are too ill-defined,' said Alexei Alexandrovich, rubbing the tips of his fingers on his handkerchief.
`I saw you were in uncertainty about me,' said Levin, smiling good-naturedly, `but I made haste to plunge into intellectual conversation to smooth over the defects of my attire.'
Sergei Ivanovich, while he kept a conversation with their hostess, had one ear for his brother, and he glanced askance at him. `What is the matter with him today? Why such a conquering hero?' he thought. He did not know that Levin was feeling as though he had grown wings. Levin knew she was listening to his words and that she was glad to listen to him. And this was the only thing that interested him. Not in that room only, but in the whole world, there existed for him only himself, with enormously increased importance and dignity in his own eyes, and she. He felt himself on a pinnacle that made him giddy, and far away down below were all those kind, excellent Karenins, Oblonskys, and all the world.
Quite without attracting notice, without glancing at them, as though there were no other places left, Stepan Arkadyevich put Levin and Kitty side by side.
`Oh, you may as well sit there,' he said to Levin.
The dinner was as choice as the china, of which Stepan Arkadyevich was a connoisseur. The soupe Marie-Louise was a splendid success; the tiny patties eaten with it melted in the mouth and were irreproachable. The two footmen and Matvei, in white cravats, did their duty with the dishes and wines unobtrusively, quietly, and dexterously. On the material side the dinner was a success; it was no less so on the immaterial. The conversation, at times general and at times between individuals, never paused, and toward the end the company was so lively that the men rose from the table without stopping speaking, and even Alexei Alexandrovich became lively.
? Leo Tolstoy