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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

and for a long while he could not make out whether he was ill-tempered or crying. "What is it? I expect you hurt yourself when you fell down?" said the tutor. "I told you it was a dangerous game. And we shall have to speak to the director." "If I had hurt myself, nobody should have found it out, thats certain." "Well, what is it, then?" "Leave me alone! If I remember, or if I dont remember?...what business is it of his? Why should I remember? Leave me in peace!" he said, addressing not his tutor, but the whole world. Chapter 20 Stepan Arkadyevitch, as usual, did not waste his time in Petersburg. In Petersburg, besides business, his sisters divorce, and his coveted appointment, he wanted, as he always did, to freshen himself up, as he said, after the mustiness of Moscow. In spite of its _cafes chantants_ and its omnibuses, Moscow was yet a stagnant bog. Stepan Arkadyevitch always felt it. After living for some time in Moscow, especially in close relations with his family, he was conscious of a depression of spirits. After being a long time in Moscow without a change, he reached a point when he positively began to be worrying himself over his wifes ill-humor and reproaches, over his childrens health and education, and the petty details of his official work; even the fact of being in debt worried him. But he had only to go and stay a little while in Petersburg, in the circle there in which he moved, where people lived--really lived--instead of vegetating as in Moscow, and all such ideas vanished and melted away at once, like wax before the fire. His wife?... Only that day he had been talking to Prince Tchetchensky. Prince Tchetchensky had a wife and family, grown-up pages in the corps,...and he had another illegitimate family of children also. Though the first family was very nice too, Prince Tchetchensky felt happier in his second family; and he used to take his eldest son with him to his second family, and told Stepan Arkadyevitch that he thought it good for his son, enlarging his ideas. What would have been said to that in Moscow? His children? In Petersburg children did not prevent their parents from enjoying life. The children were brought up in schools, and there was no trace of the wild idea that prevailed in Moscow, in Lvovs household, for instance, that all the luxuries of life were for the children, while the parents have nothing but work and anxiety. Here people understood that a man is in duty bound to live for himself, as every man of culture should live. His official duties? Official work here was not the stiff, hopeless drudgery that it was in Moscow. Here there was some interest in official life. A chance meeting, a service rendered, a happy phrase, a knack of facetious mimicry, and a mans career might be made in a trice. So it had been with Bryantsev, whom Stepan Arkadyevitch had met the previous day, and who was one of the highest functionaries in government now. There was some interest in official work like that. The Petersburg attitude on pecuniary matters had an especially soothing effect on Stepan Arkadyevitch. Bartnyansky, who must spend at least fifty thousand to judge by the style he lived in, had made an interesting comment the day before on that subject. As they were talking before dinner, Stepan Arkadyevitch said to Bartnyansky: "Youre friendly, I fancy, with Mordvinsky; you might do me a favor: say a word to him, please, for me. Theres an appointment I should like to get--secretary of the agency..." "Oh, I shant remember all that, if you tell it to me.... But what possesses you to have to do with railways and Jews?... Take it as you will, its a low business." Stepan Arkadyevitch did not say to Bartnyansky that it was a "growing thing"--Bartnyansky would not have understood that. "I want the money, Ive nothing to live on." "Youre living, arent you?" "Yes, but in debt." "Are you, though? Heavily?" said Bartnyansky sympathetically. "Very heavily: twenty thousand." Bartnyansky broke into good-humored laughter. "Oh, lucky fellow!" said he. "My debts mount up to a million and a half, and Ive nothing, and still I can live, as you see!" And Stepan Arkadyevitch saw the correctness of this view not in words only but in actual fact. Zhivahov owed three hundred thousand, and hadnt a farthing to bless himself

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