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Anna Karenina 153


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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 matter settled. "Wont you get in, sir, well make room this side!" she said to him. "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 country. 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 with me." "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 interest. 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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