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Vronsky receives a note from Anna one evening requesting that he meet her at her home while Karenin is out. Before the rendezvous, Vronsky falls asleep and has an ominous dream about a peasant with a dirty beard who speaks in French. Because of the dream, Vronsky is late to see Anna, and he runs into Karenin when he arrives at the house. Karenin gives him one icy stare and leaves; Vronsky wishes Karenin would have it out once and for all and challenge him to a duel.
In another attempt to lash out against Karenin’s constrictions and to demonstrate her own freedom, Anna tells Vronsky to meet at her house, despite Karenin’s express wishes to the contrary. Vronsky has the dream that Anna also has, and this nonverbal link demonstrates a deep bond between them, even if this bond—which seems to suggest a Russia that has lost itself in the form of a destitute peasant speaking a non-Russian language— is fated to come to an ominous ending.
Vronsky does not believe that his relationship with Anna will come to an end. His career ambition has receded into the background. Anna is hectic when she sees him, but says she won’t quarrel.
Vronsky is still ambitious, but his world centers on his relationship with Anna: he is self-centered, but his internal axis has shifted so that his ambitions involve her rather than his career.