Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
meeting Alexey Alexandrovitch the day before in the street he had
noticed that he was cold and reserved with him, and putting the
expression of Alexey Alexandrovitchs face and the fact that he
had not come to see them or let them know of his arrival with the
rumors he had heard about Anna and Vronsky, Stepan Arkadyevitch
guessed that something was wrong between the husband and wife.
That was one disagreeable thing. The other slightly disagreeable
fact was that the new head of his department, like all new heads,
had the reputation already of a terrible person, who got up at
six oclock in the morning, worked like a horse, and insisted on
his subordinates working in the same way. Moreover, this new
head had the further reputation of being a bear in his manners,
and was, according to all reports, a man of a class in all
respects the opposite of that to which his predecessor had
belonged, and to which Stepan Arkadyevitch had hitherto belonged
himself. On the previous day Stepan Arkadyevitch had appeared at
the office in a uniform, and the new chief had been very affable
and had talked to him as to an acquaintance. Consequently Stepan
Arkadyevitch deemed it his duty to call upon him in his
non-official dress. The thought that the new chief might not
tender him a warm reception was the other unpleasant thing. But
Stepan Arkadyevitch instinctively felt that everything would _come
round_ all right. "Theyre all people, all men, like us poor
sinners; why be nasty and quarrelsome?" he thought as he went
into the hotel.
"Good-day, Vassily," he said, walking into the corridor with his
hat cocked on one side, and addressing a footman he knew; "why,
youve let your whiskers grow! Levin, number seven, eh? Take me
up, please. And find out whether Count Anitchkin" (this was the
new head) "is receiving."
"Yes, sir," Vassily responded, smiling. "Youve not been to see
us for a long while."
"I was here yesterday, but at the other entrance. Is this
Levin was standing with a peasant from Tver in the middle of the
room, measuring a fresh bearskin, when Stepan Arkadyevitch went
"What! you killed him?" cried Stepan Arkadyevitch. "Well done!
A she-bear? How are you, Arhip!"
He shook hands with the peasant and sat down on the edge of a
chair, without taking off his coat and hat.
"Come, take off your coat and stay a little," said Levin, taking
"No, I havent time; Ive only looked in for a tiny second,"
answered Stepan Arkadyevitch. He threw open his coat, but
afterwards did take it off, and sat on for a whole hour, talking
to Levin about hunting and the most intimate subjects.
"Come, tell me, please, what you did abroad? Where have you
been?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, when the peasant had gone.
"Oh, I stayed in Germany, in Prussia, in France, and in England--
not in the capitals, but in the manufacturing towns, and saw a
great deal that was new to me. And Im glad I went."
"Yes, I knew your idea of the solution of the labor question."
"Not a bit: in Russia there can be no labor question. In Russia
the question is that of the relation of the working people to the
land; though the question exists there too--but there its a
matter of repairing whats been ruined, while with us..."
Stepan Arkadyevitch listened attentively to Levin.
"Yes, yes!" he said, "its very possible youre right. But Im
glad youre in good spirits, and are hunting bears, and working,
and interested. Shtcherbatsky told me another story--he met
you--that you were in such a depressed state, talking of nothing
"Well, what of it? Ive not given up thinking of death," said
Levin. "Its true that its high time I was dead; and that all
this is nonsense. Its the truth Im telling you. I do value
my idea and my work awfully; but in reality only consider this:
all this world of ours is nothing but a speck of mildew, which
has grown up on a tiny planet. And for us to suppose we can have
something great--ideas, work--its all dust and ashes."
"But all thats as old as the hills, my boy!"
"It is old; but do you know, when you grasp this fully, then
somehow everything becomes of no consequence. When you
understand that you will die tomorrow, if not today,
Anna Karenina page 216 Anna Karenina page 218