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Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own


Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys’ house. The wife had

discovered that the husband was carrying on an intrigue with a French girl,

who had been a governess in their family, and she had announced to her

husband that she could not go on living in the same house with him. This

position of affairs had now lasted three days, and not only the husband and

wife themselves, but all the members of their family and household, were

painfully conscious of it. Every person in the house felt that there was no

sense in their living together, and that the stray people brought together by

chance in any inn had more in common with one another than they, the

members of the family and household of the Oblonskys. The wife did not

leave her own room, the husband had not been at home for three days. The

children ran wild all over the house; the English governess quarreled with the

housekeeper, and wrote to a friend asking her to look out for a new situation

for her; the man-cook had walked off the day before just at dinner time; the

kitchen-maid, and the coachman had given warning.

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