Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
papers, and said: "So do it that way, if you
please, Zahar Nikititch."
The secretary retired in confusion. During the consultation with
the secretary Levin had completely recovered from his
embarrassment. He was standing with his elbows on the back of a
chair, and on his face was a look of ironical attention.
"I dont understand it, I dont understand it," he said.
"What dont you understand?" said Oblonsky, smiling as brightly
as ever, and picking up a cigarette. He expected some queer
outburst from Levin.
"I dont understand what you are doing," said Levin, shrugging
his shoulders. "How can you do it seriously?"
"Why, because theres nothing in it."
"You think so, but were overwhelmed with work."
"On paper. But, there, youve a gift for it," added Levin.
"Thats to say, you think theres a lack of something in me?"
"Perhaps so," said Levin. "But all the same I admire your
grandeur, and am proud that Ive a friend in such a great person.
Youve not answered my question, though," he went on, with a
desperate effort looking Oblonsky straight in the face.
"Oh, thats all very well. You wait a bit, and youll come to
this yourself. Its very nice for you to have over six thousand
acres in the Karazinsky district, and such muscles, and the
freshness of a girl of twelve; still youll be one of us one day.
Yes, as to your question, there is no change, but its a pity
youve been away so long."
"Oh, why so?" Levin queried, panic-stricken.
"Oh, nothing," responded Oblonsky. "Well talk it over. But
whats brought you up to town?"
"Oh, well talk about that, too, later on," said Levin, reddening
again up to his ears.
"All right. I see," said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "I should ask you
to come to us, you know, but my wifes not quite the thing. But
I tell you what; if you want to see them, theyre sure now to be
at the Zoological Gardens from four to five. Kitty skates. You
drive along there, and Ill come and fetch you, and well go and
dine somewhere together."
"Capital. So good-bye till then."
"Now mind, youll forget, I know you, or rush off home to the
country!" Stepan Arkadyevitch called out laughing.
And Levin went out of the room, only when he was in the doorway
remembering that he had forgotten to take leave of Oblonskys
"That gentleman must be a man of great energy," said Grinevitch,
when Levin had gone away.
"Yes, my dear boy," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, nodding his head,
"hes a lucky fellow! Over six thousand acres in the Karazinsky
district; everything before him; and what youth and vigor! Not
like some of us."
"You have a great deal to complain of, havent you, Stepan
"Ah, yes, Im in a poor way, a bad way," said Stepan Arkadyevitch
with a heavy sigh.
When Oblonsky asked Levin what had brought him to town, Levin
blushed, and was furious with himself for blushing, because he
could not answer, "I have come to make your sister-in-law an
offer," though that was precisely what he had come for.
The families of the Levins and the Shtcherbatskys were old, noble
Moscow families, and had always been on intimate and friendly
terms. This intimacy had grown still closer during Levins
student days. He had both prepared for the university with the
young Prince Shtcherbatsky, the brother of Kitty and Dolly, and
had entered at the same time with him. In those days Levin used
often to be in the Shtcherbatskys house, and he was in love with
the Shtcherbatsky household. Strange as it may appear, it was
with the household, the family, that Konstantin Levin was in
love, especially with the feminine half of the household. Levin
did not remember his own mother, and his only sister was older
than he was, so that it was in the Shtcherbatskys house that he
saw for the first time that inner life of an old, noble,
cultivated, and honorable family of which he had been deprived by
the death of his father and mother. All the members of that
family, especially the feminine half, were pictured by him, as
it were, wrapped about with a mysterious poetical veil, and he
not only perceived no defects whatever in them, but under the
poetical veil that shrouded them he assumed the existence of the
loftiest sentiments and every possible perfection. Why
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