From that time a new life began for Alexei Alexandrovich and for his wife. Nothing special happened. Anna went out into society, as she had always done, was particularly often at Princess Betsy's, and met Vronsky everywhere. Alexei Alexandrovich saw this, but was powerless to do anything. All his efforts to draw her into open discussion she confronted with a barrier which he could not penetrate, made up of a sort of amused perplexity. Outwardly everything was the same, but their inner relations were completely changed. Alexei Alexandrovich, a man of great power in the world of politics, felt himself helpless in this matter. Like an ox with head bent submissively, he waited the fall of the poleax which he felt was lifted over him. Every time he began to think about it, he felt that he must try once more; that by kindness, tenderness and persuasion there was still hope of saving her, of bringing her back to herself, and every day he was on the verge of talking to her. But every time he began he felt that the spirit of evil and deceit, which had taken possession of her, had possession of him too, and he talked to her in a tone quite unlike that which he had meant to use. Involuntarily he talked to her in his habitual tone of bantering at anyone who should say what he was saying. And in that tone it was impossible to say to her what the occasion demanded.