Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina. Most Definite And Firm Opinions

Anna smiled, as one smiles at the weaknesses of the people one loves, and, putting her arm under his, accompanied him to the door of the study. She knew his habit, which had become a necessity, of reading in the evenings. She knew that in spite of the responsibilities of service which consumed almost all his time, he considered it his duty to follow everything remarkable that appeared in books on politics, philosophy, theology, that art was completely foreign to his nature, but that, in spite of that, or rather because of it, Alexei Alexandrovich did not miss anything that caused a stir in that area, and considered it his duty to read everything. She knew that in the areas of politics, philosophy and theology, Alexei Alexandrovich doubted or searched; but in questions of art and poetry, and especially music, of which he lacked all understanding, he had the most definite and firm opinions. He liked to talk about Shakespeare, Raphael, Beethoven, about the significance of the new schools in poetry and music, which with him were all sorted out in a very clear order.

‘Well, God bless you,’ she said at the door of the study, where a shaded candle and a carafe of water had already been prepared for him beside the armchair. ‘And I’ll write to Moscow.’

He pressed her hand and again kissed it.

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