Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
snapping off the buds of the
lime trees and nibbling them. He was embarrassed through a sense
that Darya Alexandrovna would be annoyed by receiving from an
outsider help that should by rights have come from her own
husband. Darya Alexandrovna certainly did not like this little
way of Stepan Arkadyevitchs of foisting his domestic duties on
others. And she was at once aware that Levin was aware of this.
It was just for this fineness of perception, for this delicacy,
that Darya Alexandrovna liked Levin.
"I know, of course," said Levin, "that that simply means that you
would like to see me, and Im exceedingly glad. Though I can
fancy that, used to town housekeeping as you are, you must feel
in the wilds here, and if theres anything wanted, Im altogether
at your disposal."
"Oh, no!" said Dolly. "At first things were rather
uncomfortable, but now weve settled everything capitally--
thanks to my old nurse," she said, indicating Marya Philimonovna,
who, seeing that they were speaking of her, smiled brightly and
cordially to Levin. She knew him, and knew that he would be a
good match for her young lady, and was very keen to see the
"Wont you get in, sir, well make room this side!" she said to
"No, Ill walk. Children, whod like to race the horses with
me?" The children knew Levin very little, and could not remember
when they had seen him, but they experienced in regard to him
none of that strange feeling of shyness and hostility which
children so often experience towards hypocritical, grown-up
people, and for which they are so often and miserably punished.
Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most
penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes
it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be
disguised. Whatever faults Levin had, there was not a trace of
hypocrisy in him, and so the children showed him the same
friendliness that they saw in their mothers face. On his
invitation, the two elder ones at once jumped out to him and ran
with him as simply as they would have done with their nurse or
Miss Hoole or their mother. Lily, too, began begging to go to
him, and her mother handed her to him; he sat her on his shoulder
and ran along with her.
"Dont be afraid, dont be afraid, Darya Alexandrovna!" he said,
smiling good-humoredly to the mother; "theres no chance of my
hurting or dropping her."
And, looking at his strong, agile, assiduously careful and
needlessly wary movements, the mother felt her mind at rest, and
smiled gaily and approvingly as she watched him.
Here, in the country, with children, and with Darya Alexandrovna,
with whom he was in sympathy, Levin was in a mood not infrequent
with him, of childlike light-heartedness that she particularly
liked in him. As he ran with the children, he taught them
gymnastic feats, set Miss Hoole laughing with his queer English
accent, and talked to Darya Alexandrovna of his pursuits in the
After dinner, Darya Alexandrovna, sitting alone with him on the
balcony, began to speak of Kitty.
"You know, Kittys coming here, and is going to spend the summer
"Really," he said, flushing, and at once, to change the
conversation, he said: "Then Ill send you two cows, shall I? If
you insist on a bill you shall pay me five roubles a month; but
its really too bad of you."
"No, thank you. We can manage very well now."
"Oh, well, then, Ill have a look at your cows, and if youll
allow me, Ill give directions about their food. Everything
depends on their food."
And Levin, to turn the conversation, explained to Darya
Alexandrovna the theory of cow-keeping, based on the principle
that the cow is simply a machine for the transformation of food
into milk, and so on.
He talked of this, and passionately longed to hear more of Kitty,
and, at the same time, was afraid of hearing it. He dreaded the
breaking up of the inward peace he had gained with such effort.
"Yes, but still all this has to be looked after, and who is there
to look after it?" Darya Alexandrovna responded, without
She had by now got her household matters so satisfactorily
arranged, thanks to Marya Philimonovna, that she was disinclined
to make any change in them; besides, she had no faith in Levins
knowledge of farming. General principles, as to the cow being a
machine for the
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