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Anna Karenina 15

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

his eyes upon Sergey Ivanovitch, as though to ask: Whats one to say to him? But Sergey Ivanovitch, who had been talking with far less heat and one-sidedness than the professor, and who had sufficient breadth of mind to answer the professor, and at the same time to comprehend the simple and natural point of view from which the question was put, smiled and said: "That question we have no right to answer as yet." "We have not the requisite data," chimed in the professor, and he went back to his argument. "No," he said; "I would point out the fact that if, as Pripasov directly asserts, perception is based on sensation, then we are bound to distinguish sharply between these two conceptions." Levin listened no more, and simply waited for the professor to go.
Chapter 8
When the professor had gone, Sergey Ivanovitch turned to his brother. "Delighted that youve come. For some time, is it? Hows your farming getting on?" Levin knew that his elder brother took little interest in farming, and only put the question in deference to him, and so he only told him about the sale of his wheat and money matters. Levin had meant to tell his brother of his determination to get married, and to ask his advice; he had indeed firmly resolved to do so. But after seeing his brother, listening to his conversation with the professor, hearing afterwards the unconsciously patronizing tone in which his brother questioned him about agricultural matters (their mothers property had not been divided, and Levin took charge of both their shares), Levin felt that he could not for some reason begin to talk to him of his intention of marrying. He felt that his brother would not look at it as he would have wished him to. "Well, how is your district council doing?" asked Sergey Ivanovitch, who was greatly interested in these local boards and attached great importance to them. "I really dont know." "What! Why, surely youre a member of the board?" "No, Im not a member now; Ive resigned," answered Levin, "and I no longer attend the meetings." "What a pity!" commented Sergey Ivanovitch, frowning. Levin in self-defense began to describe what took place in the meetings in his district. "Thats how it always is!" Sergey Ivanovitch interrupted him. "We Russians are always like that. Perhaps its our strong point, really, the faculty of seeing our own shortcomings; but we overdo it, we comfort ourselves with irony which we always have on the tip of our tongues. All I say is, give such rights as our local self-government to any other European people--why, the Germans or the English would have worked their way to freedom from them, while we simply turn them into ridicule." "But how can it be helped?" said Levin penitently. "It was my last effort. And I did try with all my soul. I cant. Im no good at it." "Its not that youre no good at it," said Sergey Ivanovitch; "it is that you dont look at it as you should." "Perhaps not," Levin answered dejectedly. "Oh! do you know brother Nikolays turned up again?" This brother Nikolay was the elder brother of Konstantin Levin, and half-brother of Sergey Ivanovitch; a man utterly ruined, who had dissipated the greater part of his fortune, was living in the strangest and lowest company, and had quarreled with his brothers. "What did you say?" Levin cried with horror. "How do you know?" "Prokofy saw him in the street." "Here in Moscow? Where is he? Do you know?" Levin got up from his chair, as though on the point of starting off at once. "I am sorry I told you," said Sergey Ivanovitch, shaking his head at his younger brothers excitement. "I sent to find out where he is living, and sent him his IOU to Trubin, which I paid. This is the answer he sent me." And Sergey Ivanovitch took a note from under a paper-weight and handed it to his brother. Levin read in the queer, familiar handwriting: "I humbly beg you to leave me in peace. Thats the only favor I ask of my gracious brothers.--Nikolay Levin." Levin read it, and without raising his head stood with the note in his hands opposite Sergey Ivanovitch. There was a struggle in his heart between the desire to forget his unhappy brother for the time, and the consciousness that it would be base to do so. "He obviously wants to offend me," pursued Sergey Ivanovitch; "but he cannot offend me, and I should

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