Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
dinner time. As they were walking back
over the cut grass, the old man called Levins attention to the
little girls and boys who were coming from different directions,
hardly visible through the long grass, and along the road towards
the mowers, carrying sacks of bread dragging at their little
hands and pitchers of the sour rye-beer, with cloths wrapped
"Lookee, the little emmets crawling!" he said, pointing to them,
and he shaded his eyes with his hand to look at the sun. They
mowed two more rows; the old man stopped.
"Come, master, dinner time!" he said briskly. And on reaching
the stream the mowers moved off across the lines of cut grass
towards their pile of coats, where the children who had brought
their dinners were sitting waiting for them. The peasants
gathered into groups--those further away under a cart, those
nearer under a willow bush.
Levin sat down by them; he felt disinclined to go away.
All constraint with the master had disappeared long ago. The
peasants got ready for dinner. Some washed, the young lads
bathed in the stream, others made a place comfortable for a rest,
untied their sacks of bread, and uncovered the pitchers of
rye-beer. The old man crumbled up some bread in a cup, stirred
it with the handle of a spoon, poured water on it from the
dipper, broke up some more bread, and having seasoned it with
salt, he turned to the east to say his prayer.
"Come, master, taste my sop," said he, kneeling down before the
The sop was so good that Levin gave up the idea of going home.
He dined with the old man, and talked to him about his family
affairs, taking the keenest interest in them, and told him about
his own affairs and all the circumstances that could be of
interest to the old man. He felt much nearer to him than to his
brother, and could not help smiling at the affection he felt for
this man. When the old man got up again, said his prayer, and
lay down under a bush, putting some grass under his head for a
pillow, Levin did the same, and in spite of the clinging flies
that were so persistent in the sunshine, and the midges that
tickled his hot face and body, he fell asleep at once and only
waked when the sun had passed to the other side of the bush and
reached him. The old man had been awake a long while, and was
sitting up whetting the scythes of the younger lads.
Levin looked about him and hardly recognized the place,
everything was so changed. The immense stretch of meadow had
been mown and was sparkling with a peculiar fresh brilliance,
with its lines of already sweet-smelling grass in the slanting
rays of the evening sun. And the bushes about the river had been
cut down, and the river itself, not visible before, now gleaming
like steel in its bends, and the moving, ascending, peasants, and
the sharp wall of grass of the unmown part of the meadow, and the
hawks hovering over the stripped meadow--all was perfectly new.
Raising himself, Levin began considering how much had been cut
and how much more could still be done that day.
The work done was exceptionally much for forty-two men. They had
cut the whole of the big meadow, which had, in the years of serf
labor, taken thirty scythes two days to mow. Only the corners
remained to do, where the rows were short. But Levin felt a
longing to get as much mowing done that day as possible, and was
vexed with the sun sinking so quickly in the sky. He felt no
weariness; all he wanted was to get his work done more and more
quickly and as much done as possible.
"Could you cut Mashkin Upland too?--what do you think?" he said
to the old man.
"As God wills, the suns not high. A little vodka for the lads?"
At the afternoon rest, when they were sitting down again, and
those who smoked had lighted their pipes, the old man told the
men that "Mashkin Uplands to be cut--therell be some vodka."
"Why not cut it? Come on, Tit! Well look sharp! We can eat at
night. Come on!" cried voices, and eating up their bread, the
mowers went back to work.
"Come, lads, keep it up!" said Tit, and ran on ahead almost
Anna Karenina page 144 Anna Karenina page 146