Anna arrives at Princess Betsy’s. Vronsky and an ambassador’s wife begin to argue about love and marriage: she says the only happy marriages are arranged, while he argues for passion. Princess Betsy asks Anna for her opinion, and Anna says that there are many kinds of love.
Anna's comment seems to be double edged. Her acknowledgment of many different kinds of love may suggest that she is open to a relationship of passion with Vronsky or is satisfied with her non-passionate marriage to Karenin.
Anna tells Vronsky that she has received word that Kitty is ill. She and Vronsky go to a private corner, where Anna rebukes him for the way he acted toward Kitty. Anna says that she wants Vronsky to go to Moscow and beg Kitty’s forgiveness. Vronsky says that Anna doesn’t want that. Instead of protesting, she looks at him with her eyes filled with love.
Although Anna knows that she should reproach Vronsky for his behavior toward Kitty, and although she knows that she should encourage him to return to Kitty, she cannot say the right thing. She says nothing at all, but her expression of love is far more powerful than words.
Karenin arrives at the party, but Vronsky and Anna continue to sit apart. The entire room gossips about Vronsky and Anna; only Karenin appears not to notice. Karenin tries to get Anna to go home with him, but Anna says that she is going to stay for supper, and Karenin leaves.
The only person who does not see Karenin as a cuckold is Karenin himself. Anna is fairly careless of her reputation, remaining ensconced in private conversation with Vronsky even after her husband arrives.
After supper, Vronsky tells Anna that he wants her love, not her friendship. She tells Vronsky that the word “love” means much to her.
Anna does not accept or refuse Vronsky’s advance verbally, but her silence speaks volumes.