At Anna -...

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At Anna's confession, Karenin remains still and deathlike. After seeing her home, he is better able to  examine the problem. Like a sufferer who has had the bad tooth extracted, he feels relief at his wife's  outburst. Despite his deep cowardice, he first considers challenging Vronsky to a duel. Karenin  decides that, being indispensable to the ministry, he should allow nothing to interfere either with his  duties or his reputation; no, a duel would solve nothing. Legal divorce, or even separation, is also not  feasible, since the resulting scandal would injure only himself and the guilty parties would be united;  they should rather suffer from their crimes. His only recourse is to keep his wife with him, conceal  from the world what had happened, use every measure in his power to break off the intrigue, and  above all (though he does not admit this) to punish her. His decision pleases him, and he feels 
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