a new tormenting fear

The baby fell asleep in her arms. “Look now,” said Kitty, turning the baby towards him so that he could see him. The old-looking face suddenly wrinkled still more, and the baby sneezed.

Smiling, and barely keeping back tears of tenderness, Levin kissed his wife and left the darkened room.

What he felt for this small being was not at all what he had expected. There was nothing happy or joyful in this feeling; on the contrary, there was a new tormenting fear. There was an awareness of a new region of vulnerability. And this awareness was so tormenting at first, the fear lest this helpless being should suffer was so strong, that because of it he scarcely noticed the strange feeling of senseless joy and even pride he had experienced when the baby sneezed.