Anna and Vronsky catch up on each others' lives, but Anna gets angry at the idea of a certain actress, Thérèse, being at a party that Vronsky gave.
Anna's attacks of jealousy have been increasing, and it makes Vronsky feel colder towards her.
She has changed for the worse from the time they first met, both morally and physically.
He compares her to a beautiful flower that he has plucked and destroyed so that now he is unable to recognize in the current faded object the beauty of his prior affection.
At the same time, Vronsky knows that the two of them have a bond that can't be broken.
The two chat briefly about Karenin. Anna can imitate him exactly. She does so out of anger, and calls Karenin a machine instead of a human being.
Vronsky asks when she is going to have the baby.
Anna says it will be soon. She says that everyone will be at peace soon. She is referring to her death, which she says is imminent.
She describes a dream she had a long time ago, where she ran into her bedroom and found an ugly old peasant with a matted beard in the corner. He fumbled in a sack and spoke in French. (Just like Vronsky's dream in the previous chapter.) When Anna woke up she was still in a dream, and a servant told her that she would die in childbirth.
The French she hears, while the meaning is not immediately clear, goes like this: "il faut le batter le fer, le broyer, le pétrir …" In other words, "You must beat the iron, pound it, knead it" (4.3.60).
Vronsky tries to alleviate her fears, but he lacks conviction.
Anna rings for tea, and as she does so the expression on her face changes from horror to bliss.