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Anna Karenina 231


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among them. They did no harm to anyone, and were all enjoying it. What struck Levin was that he could see through them all today, and from little, almost imperceptible signs knew the soul of each, and saw distinctly that they were all good at heart. And Levin himself in particular they were all extremely fond of that day. That was evident from the way they spoke to him, from the friendly, affectionate way even those he did not know looked at him. "Well, did you like it?" Sergey Ivanovitch asked him. "Very much. I never supposed it was so interesting! Capital! Splendid!" Sviazhsky went up to Levin and invited him to come round to tea with him. Levin was utterly at a loss to comprehend or recall what it was he had disliked in Sviazhsky, what he had failed to find in him. He was a clever and wonderfully good-hearted man. "Most delighted," he said, and asked after his wife and sister-in-law. And from a queer association of ideas, because in his imagination the idea of Sviazhskys sister-in-law was connected with marriage, it occurred to him that there was no one to whom he could more suitably speak of his happiness, and he was very glad to go and see them. Sviazhsky questioned him about his improvements on his estate, presupposing, as he always did, that there was no possibility of doing anything not done already in Europe, and now this did not in the least annoy Levin. On the contrary, he felt that Sviazhsky was right, that the whole business was of little value, and he saw the wonderful softness and consideration with which Sviazhsky avoided fully expressing his correct view. The ladies of the Sviazhsky household were particularly delightful. It seemed to Levin that they knew all about it already and sympathized with him, saying nothing merely from delicacy. He stayed with them one hour, two, three, talking of all sorts of subjects but the one thing that filled his heart, and did not observe that he was boring them dreadfully, and that it was long past their bedtime. Sviazhsky went with him into the hall, yawning and wondering at the strange humor his friend was in. It was past one oclock. Levin went back to his hotel, and was dismayed at the thought that all alone now with his impatience he had ten hours still left to get through. The servant, whose turn it was to be up all night, lighted his candles, and would have gone away, but Levin stopped him. This servant, Yegor, whom Levin had noticed before, struck him as a very intelligent, excellent, and, above all, good-hearted man. "Well, Yegor, its hard work not sleeping, isnt it?" "Ones got to put up with it! Its part of our work, you see. In a gentlemans house its easier; but then here one makes more." It appeared that Yegor had a family, three boys and a daughter, a sempstress, whom he wanted to marry to a cashier in a saddlers shop. Levin, on hearing this, informed Yegor that, in his opinion, in marriage the great thing was love, and that with love one would always be happy, for happiness rests only on oneself. Yegor listened attentively, and obviously quite took in Levins idea, but by way of assent to it he enunciated, greatly to Levins surprise, the observation that when he had lived with good masters he had always been satisfied with his masters, and now was perfectly satisfied with his employer, though he was a Frenchman. "Wonderfully good-hearted fellow!" thought Levin. "Well, but you yourself, Yegor, when you got married, did you love your wife?" "Ay! and why not?" responded Yegor. And Levin saw that Yegor too was in an excited state and intending to express all his most heartfelt emotions. "My life, too, has been a wonderful one. From a child up..." he was beginning with flashing eyes, apparently catching Levins enthusiasm, just as people catch yawning. But at that moment a ring was heard. Yegor departed, and Levin was left alone. He had eaten scarcely anything at dinner, had refused tea and supper at Sviazhskys, but he was incapable of thinking of supper. He had not slept the previous night, but was incapable of thinking of sleep either. His room was cold, but he was oppressed by heat. He opened both the movable panes in his window and sat down to the table opposite the open panes. Over the snow-covered roofs could

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