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Anna Karenina 377

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

do it, if its a clear loss?" "Oh, well, one does it! What would you have? Its habit, and one knows its how it should be. And whats more," the landowner went on, leaning his elbows on the window and chatting on, "my son, I must tell you, has no taste for it. Theres no doubt hell be a scientific man. So therell be no one to keep it up. And yet one does it. Here this year Ive planted an orchard." "Yes, yes," said Levin, "thats perfectly true. I always feel theres no real balance of gain in my work on the land, and yet one does it.... Its a sort of duty one feels to the land." "But I tell you what," the landowner pursued; "a neighbor of mine, a merchant, was at my place. We walked about the fields and the garden. No, said he, Stepan Vassilievitch, everythings well looked after, but your gardens neglected. But, as a fact, its well kept up. To my thinking, Id cut down that lime-tree. Here youve thousands of limes, and each would make two good bundles of bark. And nowadays that barks worth something. Id cut down the lot." "And with what he made hed increase his stock, or buy some land for a trifle, and let it out in lots to the peasants," Levin added, smiling. He had evidently more than once come across those commercial calculations. "And hed make his fortune. But you and I must thank God if we keep what weve got and leave it to our children." "Youre married, Ive heard?" said the landowner. "Yes," Levin answered, with proud satisfaction. "Yes, its rather strange," he went on. "So we live without making anything, as though we were ancient vestals set to keep in a fire." The landowner chuckled under his white mustaches. "There are some among us, too, like our friend Nikolay Ivanovitch, or Count Vronsky, thats settled here lately, who try to carry on their husbandry as though it were a factory; but so far it leads to nothing but making away with capital on it." "But why is it we dont do like the merchants? Why dont we cut down our parks for timber?" said Levin, returning to a thought that had struck him. "Why, as you said, to keep the fire in. Besides thats not work for a nobleman. And our work as noblemen isnt done here at the elections, but yonder, each in our corner. Theres a class instinct, too, of what one ought and oughtnt to do. Theres the peasants, too, I wonder at them sometimes; any good peasant tries to take all the land he can. However bad the land is, hell work it. Without a return too. At a simple loss." "Just as we do," said Levin. "Very, very glad to have met you," he added, seeing Sviazhsky approaching him. "And here weve met for the first time since we met at your place," said the landowner to Sviazhsky, "and weve had a good talk too." "Well, have you been attacking the new order of things?" said Sviazhsky with a smile. "That were bound to do." "Youve relieved your feelings?" Chapter 30 Sviazhsky took Levins arm, and went with him to his own friends. This time there was no avoiding Vronsky. He was standing with Stepan Arkadyevitch and Sergey Ivanovitch, and looking straight at Levin as he drew near. "Delighted! I believe Ive had the pleasure of meeting you...at Princess Shtcherbatskayas," he said, giving Levin his hand. "Yes, I quite remember our meeting," said Levin, and blushing crimson, he turned away immediately, and began talking to his brother. With a slight smile Vronsky went on talking to Sviazhsky, obviously without the slightest inclination to enter into conversation with Levin. But Levin, as he talked to his brother, was continually looking round at Vronsky, trying to think of something to say to him to gloss over his rudeness. "What are we waiting for now?" asked Levin, looking at Sviazhsky and Vronsky. "For Snetkov. He has to refuse or to consent to stand," answered Sviazhsky. "Well, and what has he done, consented or not?" "Thats the point, that hes done neither," said Vronsky. "And if he refuses, who will stand then?" asked Levin, looking at Vronsky. "Whoever chooses to," said Sviazhsky. "Shall you?" asked Levin. "Certainly not I," said Sviazhsky, looking confused, and turning an alarmed glance at the malignant gentleman, who was standing beside Sergey Ivanovitch. "Who then?

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