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Anna Karenina 141


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and he went on. "I imagine," he said, "that no sort of activity is likely to be lasting if it is not founded on self-interest, thats a universal principle, a philosophical principle," he said, repeating the word "philosophical" with determination, as though wishing to show that he had as much right as any one else to talk of philosophy. Sergey Ivanovitch smiled. "He too has a philosophy of his own at the service of his natural tendencies," he thought. "Come, youd better let philosophy alone," he said. "The chief problem of the philosophy of all ages consists just in finding the indispensable connection which exists between individual and social interests. But thats not to the point; what is to the point is a correction I must make in your comparison. The birches are not simply stuck in, but some are sown and some are planted, and one must deal carefully with them. Its only those peoples that have an intuitive sense of whats of importance and significance in their institutions, and know how to value them, that have a future before them--its only those peoples that one can truly call historical." And Sergey Ivanovitch carried the subject into the regions of philosophical history where Konstantin Levin could not follow him, and showed him all the incorrectness of his view. "As for your dislike of it, excuse my saying so, thats simply our Russian sloth and old serf-owners ways, and Im convinced that in you its a temporary error and will pass." Konstantin was silent. He felt himself vanquished on all sides, but he felt at the same time that what he wanted to say was unintelligible to his brother. Only he could not make up his mind whether it was unintelligible because he was not capable of expressing his meaning clearly, or because his brother would not or could not understand him. But he did not pursue the speculation, and without replying, he fell to musing on a quite different and personal matter. Sergey Ivanovitch wound up the last line, untied the horse, and they drove off. Chapter 4 The personal matter that absorbed Levin during his conversation with his brother was this. Once in a previous year he had gone to look at the mowing, and being made very angry by the bailiff he had recourse to his favorite means for regaining his temper,-- he took a scythe from a peasant and began mowing. He liked the work so much that he had several times tried his hand at mowing since. He had cut the whole of the meadow in front of his house, and this year ever since the early spring he had cherished a plan for mowing for whole days together with the peasants. Ever since his brothers arrival, he had been in doubt whether to mow or not. He was loath to leave his brother alone all day long, and he was afraid his brother would laugh at him about it. But as he drove into the meadow, and recalled the sensations of mowing, he came near deciding that he would go mowing. After the irritating discussion with his brother, he pondered over this intention again. "I must have physical exercise, or my temperll certainly be ruined," he thought, and he determined he would go mowing, however awkward he might feel about it with his brother or the peasants. Towards evening Konstantin Levin went to his counting house, gave directions as to the work to be done, and sent about the village to summon the mowers for the morrow, to cut the hay in Kalinov meadow, the largest and best of his grass lands. "And send my scythe, please, to Tit, for him to set it, and bring it round tomorrow. I shall maybe do some mowing myself too," he said, trying not to be embarrassed. The bailiff smiled and said: "Yes, sir." At tea the same evening Levin said to his brother: "I fancy the fine weather will last. Tomorrow I shall start mowing." "Im so fond of that form of field labor," said Sergey Ivanovitch. "Im awfully fond of it. I sometimes mow myself with the peasants, and tomorrow I want to try mowing the whole day." Sergey Ivanovitch lifted his head, and looked with interest at his brother. "How do you mean? Just like one of the peasants, all day long?" "Yes, its very pleasant," said Levin. "Its splendid as exercise, only youll hardly be able to stand it," said Sergey Ivanovitch, without a shade of irony. "Ive tried it. Its hard work

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