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Anna Karenina 50

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

to listen to what his brother was telling him about the association. He saw that this association was a mere anchor to save him from self-contempt. Nikolay Levin went on talking: "You know that capital oppresses the laborer. The laborers with us, the peasants, bear all the burden of labor, and are so placed that however much they work they cant escape from their position of beasts of burden. All the profits of labor, on which they might improve their position, and gain leisure for themselves, and after that education, all the surplus values are taken from them by the capitalists. And societys so constituted that the harder they work, the greater the profit of the merchants and landowners, while they stay beasts of burden to the end. And that state of things must be changed," he finished up, and he looked questioningly at his brother. "Yes, of course," said Konstantin, looking at the patch of red that had come out on his brothers projecting cheek bones. "And so were founding a locksmiths association, where all the production and profit and the chief instruments of production will be in common." "Where is the association to be?" asked Konstantin Levin. "In the village of Vozdrem, Kazan government." "But why in a village? In the villages, I think, there is plenty of work as it is. Why a locksmiths association in a village?" "Why? Because the peasants are just as much slaves as they ever were, and thats why you and Sergey Ivanovitch dont like people to try and get them out of their slavery," said Nikolay Levin, exasperated by the objection. Konstantin Levin sighed, looking meanwhile about the cheerless and dirty room. This sigh seemed to exasperate Nikolay still more. "I know your and Sergey Ivanovitchs aristocratic views. I know that he applies all the power of his intellect to justify existing evils." "No; and what do you talk of Sergey Ivanovitch for?" said Levin, smiling. "Sergey Ivanovitch? Ill tell you what for!" Nikolay Levin shrieked suddenly at the name of Sergey Ivanovitch. "Ill tell you what for.... But whats the use of talking? Theres only one thing.... What did you come to me for? You look down on this, and youre welcome to,--and go away, in Gods name go away!" he shrieked, getting up from his chair. "And go away, and go away!" "I dont look down on it at all," said Konstantin Levin timidly. "I dont even dispute it." At that instant Marya Nikolaevna came back. Nikolay Levin looked round angrily at her. She went quickly to him, and whispered something. "Im not well; Ive grown irritable," said Nikolay Levin, getting calmer and breathing painfully; "and then you talk to me of Sergey Ivanovitch and his article. Its such rubbish, such lying, such self-deception. What can a man write of justice who knows nothing of it? Have you read his article?" he asked Kritsky, sitting down again at the table, and moving back off half of it the scattered cigarettes, so as to clear a space. "Ive not read it," Kritsky responded gloomily, obviously not desiring to enter into the conversation. "Why not?" said Nikolay Levin, now turning with exasperation upon Kritsky. "Because I didnt see the use of wasting my time over it." "Oh, but excuse me, how did you know it would be wasting your time? That articles too deep for many people--thats to say its over their heads. But with me, its another thing; I see through his ideas, and I know where its weakness lies." Everyone was mute. Kritsky got up deliberately and reached his cap. "Wont you have supper? All right, good-bye! Come round tomorrow with the locksmith." Kritsky had hardly gone out when Nikolay Levin smiled and winked. "Hes no good either," he said. "I see, of course..." But at that instant Kritsky, at the door, called him... "What do you want now?" he said, and went out to him in the passage. Left alone with Marya Nikolaevna, Levin turned to her. "Have you been long with my brother?" he said to her. "Yes, more than a year. Nikolay Dmitrievitchs health has become very poor. Nikolay Dmitrievitch drinks a great deal," she said. "That is...how does he drink?" "Drinks vodka, and its bad for him." "And a great deal?" whispered Levin. "Yes," she said, looking timidly towards the doorway, where Nikolay Levin had reappeared. "What were you talking about?" he said, knitting his brows, and turning his scared eyes from one to the

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