You just gotta love Tolstoy.
In this chapter, the Countess asks the Count for 500 roubles, and then gives it to Anna Mikhailovna when she gets back.
That would be the Cliff's Notes version.
In reality, the Countess is upset, rings her servant who takes too long to get there, so she calls her "miss" and "dear" which T tells us is what she does when she's cross.
The Count comes in, and speaks highly of his highly paid chef and his Madeira sauce. He waddles in, more specifically. The Countess asks what the stain is she points to, on his waistcoat, and says it must be gravy. And then "The thing is, Count, that I need money."
Her face grew sad.
I'm really falling in love with Tolstoy for these details. She tells him it's quite a lot as she takes out her handkerchief to wipe off the gravy stain.
So the Count calls Mitenka to get him 700 roubles, "Yes, Mitenka, please, be sure they're clean," said the Countess, sighing sadly. She says money has done so many awful things, but she very much needs it.
Anna comes back, the Countess abruptly pulls away a handkerchief that has been covering the money, blushing (which looks strange T says) and tells her it's for Boris, to have his uniform made. They both start crying.
They wept because they were friends, and because they were kind, and because they, who had been friends since childhood, were concerned with such a mean subject -- money; and because their youth was gone...But for both of them they were pleasant tears...
Really. Just really. What can you say? Gorgeous.
6 months ago