Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
is bound to exist in
every man of a certain degree of advancement. Possibly you are
right too, that action founded on material interest would be more
desirable. You are altogether, as the French say, too
_primesautiere_ a nature; you must have intense, energetic action,
Levin listened to his brother and did not understand a single
word, and did not want to understand. He was only afraid his
brother might ask him some question which would make it evident
he had not heard.
"So thats what I think it is, my dear boy," said Sergey
Ivanovitch, touching him on the shoulder.
"Yes, of course. But, do you know? I wont stand up for my
view," answered Levin, with a guilty, childlike smile. "Whatever
was it I was disputing about?" he wondered. "Of course, Im
right, and hes right, and its all first-rate. Only I must go
round to the counting house and see to things." He got up,
stretching and smiling. Sergey Ivanovitch smiled too.
"If you want to go out, lets go together," he said, disinclined
to be parted from his brother, who seemed positively breathing
out freshness and energy. "Come, well go to the counting house,
if you have to go there."
"Oh, heavens!" shouted Levin, so loudly that Sergey Ivanovitch
was quite frightened.
"What, what is the matter?"
"Hows Agafea Mihalovnas hand?" said Levin, slapping himself on
the head. "Id positively forgotten her even."
"Its much better."
"Well, anyway Ill run down to her. Before youve time to get
your hat on, Ill be back."
And he ran downstairs, clattering with his heels like a
Stephan Arkadyevitch had gone to Petersburg to perform the most
natural and essential official duty--so familiar to everyone in
the government service, though incomprehensible to outsiders--
that duty, but for which one could hardly be in government
service, of reminding the ministry of his existence--and having,
for the due performance of this rite, taken all the available
cash from home, was gaily and agreeably spending his days at the
races and in the summer villas. Meanwhile Dolly and the children
had moved into the country, to cut down expenses as much as
possible. She had gone to Ergushovo, the estate that had been
her dowry, and the one where in spring the forest had been sold.
It was nearly forty miles from Levins Pokrovskoe. The big, old
house at Ergushovo had been pulled down long ago, and the old
prince had had the lodge done up and built on to. Twenty years
before, when Dolly was a child, the lodge had been roomy and
comfortable, though, like all lodges, it stood sideways to the
entrance avenue, and faced the south. But by now this lodge was
old and dilapidated. When Stepan Arkadyevitch had gone down in
the spring to sell the forest, Dolly had begged him to look over
the house and order what repairs might be needed. Stepan
Arkadyevitch, like all unfaithful husbands indeed, was very
solicitous for his wifes comfort, and he had himself looked over
the house, and given instructions about everything that he
considered necessary. What he considered necessary was to cover
all the furniture with cretonne, to put up curtains, to weed the
garden, to make a little bridge on the pond, and to plant
flowers. But he forgot many other essential matters, the want of
which greatly distressed Darya Alexandrovna later on.
In spite of Stepan Arkadyevitchs efforts to be an attentive
father and husband, he never could keep in his mind that he had a
wife and children. He had bachelor tastes, and it was in
accordance with them that he shaped his life. On his return to
Moscow he informed his wife with pride that everything was ready,
that the house would be a little paradise, and that he advised
her most certainly to go. His wifes staying away in the country
was very agreeable to Stepan Arkadyevitch from every point of
view: it did the children good, it decreased expenses, and it
left him more at liberty. Darya Alexandrovna regarded staying in
the country for the summer as essential for the children,
especially for the little girl, who had not succeeded in
regaining her strength after the scarlatina, and also as a means
of escaping the petty humiliations, the little bills owing to the
wood-merchant, the fishmonger, the shoemaker, which made her
miserable. Besides this, she was pleased to go away to the
country because she was dreaming of
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