AT the end of the evening Kitty told her mother of her conversation with Levin, and in spite of all the pity she felt for Levin, she was glad at the thought that she had received an offer. She had no doubt that she had acted rightly. But after she had gone to bed, for a long while she could not sleep. One impression pursued her relentlessly. It was Levins face, with his scowling brows, and his kind eyes looking out in dark dejection below them, as he stood listening to her father, and glancing at her and at Vronsky. And she felt so sorry for him that tears came into her eyes. But immediately she thought of the man for whom she had given him up. She vividly recalled his manly, resolute face, his noble self-possession, and the good-nature conspicuous in everything towards every one. She remembered the love for her of the man she loved, and once more all was gladness in her soul, and she lay on the pillow, smiling with happiness.
Im sorry, Im sorry; but what could I do? Its not my fault, she said to herself; but an inner voice told her something else. Whether she felt remorse at having won Levins love, or at having refused him, she did not know. But her happiness was poisoned by doubts. Lord, have pity on us; Lord, have pity on us; Lord, have pity on us! she repeated to herself, till she fell asleep.
What? Ill tell you what! shouted the prince, waving his arms, and at once wrapping his squirrel-lined dressing-gown round him again. That youve no pride, no dignity; that youre disgracing, ruining your daughter by this vulgar, stupid matchmaking!
She, pleased and happy after her conversation with her daughter, had gone to the prince to say good-night as usual, and though she had no intention of telling him of Levins offer and Kittys refusal, still she hinted to her husband that she fancied things were practically settled with Vronsky, and that he would declare himself so soon as his mother arrived. And thereupon, at those words, the prince had all at once flown into a passion, and began to use unseemly language.
What have you done? Ill tell you what. First of all, youre trying to catch an eligible gentlemen, and all Moscow will be talking of it, and with good reason. If you have evening parties, invite every one, and dont pick out the possible suitors. Invite all the young bucks. Engage a pianoplayer and let them dance, and not as you do things nowadays, hunting up good matches. It makes me sick, sick to see it, and youve gone on till youve turned the poor wenchs head. Levins thousand times the better man. As for this little Petersburg swell, theyre turned out by machinery, all on one pattern, and all precious rubbish. But if he were a prince of the blood, my daughter need not run after any one.
Oh yes, you fancy! And how if she really is in love, and hes no more thinking of marriage than I am! Oh, that I should live to see it! Ah! spiritualism! Ah! Nice! Ah! the ball! And the prince, imagining that he was mimicking his wife, made a mincing curtsey at each word. And this is how were preparing wretchedness for Kitty; and shes really got the notion into her head
I dont suppose; I know. We have eyes for such things, though women-folk havent. I see a man who has serious intentions, thats Levin; and I see a peacock, like this featherhead, whos only amusing himself.
The princess had at first been quite certain that that evening had settled Kittys future, and that there could be no doubt of Vronskys intentions, but her husbands words had disturbed her. And returning to her own room, in terror before the unknown future, she too, like Kitty, repeated several times in her heart, Lord, have pity; Lord, have pity; Lord, have pity!