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Mr. Vasili, the tutor, does not immediately know who Anna is, but once he figures it out, he wonders if he should go tell Karenin that she is here.
Mr. Vasili goes in because he is supposed to get Seryozha up at a certain time but, hearing the happy conversation between mother and son, he decides to give them ten more minutes.
Meanwhile, Anna's arrival has generated intense discussion among the servants. They know that she and Karenin can't meet, but Karenin is going to the nursery at 9 a.m.
Seryozha's nanny, who adores Anna, comes in to wish the boy a happy birthday.
Seryozha watches the nanny whisper something to Anna, and Anna's expression turns into fear and shame.
Anna turns to Seryozha and tries to say good-bye, but she can't get the words out.
Seryozha understands without being told that it's impossible for his mother and father to meet, and he also knows instinctively that Anna doesn't want to leave him. What he can't wrap his head around is the idea that Anna has done something wrong. Why should she look guilty, he wonders?.
Anna tells him to love his father and that his father is a better person than she is.
The two of them weep throughout their good-bye.
Karenin comes in. Despite having just said that he's a better person than she is, Anna is instantly full of loathing and disgust for Karenin and envy that he should be able to spend time with Seryozha when she can't. She runs out of the room.