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Anna Karenina 322

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

be dissatisfied with yourself if you are happy?" "Well, how shall I say?... In my heart I really care for nothing whatever but that you should not stumble--see? Oh, but really you mustnt skip about like that!" he cried, breaking off to scold her for too agile a movement in stepping over a branch that lay in the path. "But when I think about myself, and compare myself with others, especially with my brother, I feel Im a poor creature." "But in what way?" Kitty pursued with the same smile. "Dont you too work for others? What about your co-operative settlement, and your work on the estate, and your book?..." "Oh, but I feel, and particularly just now--its your fault," he said, pressing her hand--"that all that doesnt count. I do it in a way halfheartedly. If I could care for all that as I care for you!... Instead of that, I do it in these days like a task that is set me." "Well, what would you say about papa?" asked Kitty. "Is he a poor creature then, as he does nothing for the public good?" "He?--no! But then one must have the simplicity, the straightforwardness, the goodness of your father: and I havent got that. I do nothing, and I fret about it. Its all your doing. Before there was you--and _this_ too," he added with a glance towards her waist that she understood--"I put all my energies into work; now I cant, and Im ashamed; I do it just as though it were a task set me, Im pretending...." "Well, but would you like to change this minute with Sergey Ivanovitch?" said Kitty. "Would you like to do this work for the general good, and to love the task set you, as he does, and nothing else?" "Of course not," said Levin. "But Im so happy that I dont understand anything. So you think hell make her an offer today?" he added after a brief silence. "I think so, and I dont think so. Only, Im awfully anxious for it. Here, wait a minute." She stooped down and picked a wild camomile at the edge of the path. "Come, count: he does propose, he doesnt," she said, giving him the flower. "He does, he doesnt," said Levin, tearing off the white petals. "No, no!" Kitty, snatching at his hand, stopped him. She had been watching his fingers with interest. "You picked off two." "Oh, but see, this little one shant count to make up," said Levin, tearing off a little half-grown petal. "Heres the wagonette overtaking us." "Arent you tired, Kitty?" called the princess. "Not in the least." "If you are you can get in, as the horses are quiet and walking." But it was not worth while to get in, they were quite near the place, and all walked on together. Chapter 4 Varenka, with her white kerchief on her black hair, surrounded by the children, gaily and good-humoredly looking after them, and at the same time visibly excited at the possibility of receiving a declaration from the man she cared for, was very attractive. Sergey Ivanovitch walked beside her, and never left off admiring her. Looking at her, he recalled all the delightful things he had heard from her lips, all the good he knew about her, and became more and more conscious that the feeling he had for her was something special that he had felt long, long ago, and only once, in his early youth. The feeling of happiness in being near her continually grew, and at last reached such a point that, as he put a huge, slender-stalked agaric fungus in her basket, he looked straight into her face, and noticing the flush of glad and alarmed excitement that overspread her face, he was confused himself, and smiled to her in silence a smile that said too much. "If so," he said to himself, "I ought to think it over and make up my mind, and not give way like a boy to the impulse of a moment." "Im going to pick by myself apart from all the rest, or else my efforts will make no show," he said, and he left the edge of the forest where they were walking on low silky grass between old birch trees standing far apart, and went more into the heart of the wood, where between the white birch trunks there were gray trunks of aspen and dark bushes of hazel. Walking some

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