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Anna Karenina 90

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

on your shoes." "Why is it you have earth thats not sifted?" said Levin. "Well, we crumble it up," answered Vassily, taking up some seed and rolling the earth in his palms. Vassily was not to blame for their having filled up his cart with unsifted earth, but still it was annoying. Levin had more than once already tried a way he knew for stifling his anger, and turning all that seemed dark right again, and he tried that way now. He watched how Mishka strode along, swinging the huge clods of earth that clung to each foot; and getting off his horse, he took the sieve from Vassily and started sowing himself. "Where did you stop?" Vassily pointed to the mark with his foot, and Levin went forward as best he could, scattering the seed on the land. Walking was as difficult as on a bog, and by the time Levin had ended the row he was in a great heat, and he stopped and gave up the sieve to Vassily. "Well, master, when summers here, mind you dont scold me for these rows," said Vassily. "Eh?" said Levin cheerily, already feeling the effect of his method. "Why, youll see in the summer time. Itll look different. Look you where I sowed last spring. How I did work at it! I do my best, Konstantin Dmitrievitch, dye see, as I would for my own father. I dont like bad work myself, nor would I let another man do it. Whats good for the masters good for us too. To look out yonder now," said Vassily, pointing, "it does ones heart good." "Its a lovely spring, Vassily." "Why, its a spring such as the old men dont remember the like of. I was up home; an old man up there has sown wheat too, about an acre of it. He was saying you wouldnt know it from rye." "Have you been sowing wheat long?" "Why, sir, it was you taught us the year before last. You gave me two measures. We sold about eight bushels and sowed a rood." "Well, mind you crumble up the clods," said Levin, going towards his horse, "and keep an eye on Mishka. And if theres a good crop you shall have half a rouble for every acre." "Humbly thankful. We are very well content, sir, as it is." Levin got on his horse and rode towards the field where was last years clover, and the one which was ploughed ready for the spring corn. The crop of clover coming up in the stubble was magnificent. It had survived everything, and stood up vividly green through the broken stalks of last years wheat. The horse sank in up to the pasterns, and he drew each hoof with a sucking sound out of the half-thawed ground. Over the ploughland riding was utterly impossible; the horse could only keep a foothold where there was ice, and in the thawing furrows he sank deep in at each step. The ploughland was in splendid condition; in a couple of days it would be fit for harrowing and sowing. Everything was capital, everything was cheering. Levin rode back across the streams, hoping the water would have gone down. And he did in fact get across, and startled two ducks. "There must be snipe too," he thought, and just as he reached the turning homewards he met the forest keeper, who confirmed his theory about the snipe. Levin went home at a trot, so as to have time to eat his dinner and get his gun ready for the evening. Chapter 14 As he rode up to the house in the happiest frame of mind, Levin heard the bell ring at the side of the principal entrance of the house. "Yes, thats someone from the railway station," he thought, "just the time to be here from the Moscow train...Who could it be? What if its brother Nikolay? He did say: Maybe Ill go to the waters, or maybe Ill come down to you." He felt dismayed and vexed for the first minute, that his brother Nikolays presence should come to disturb his happy mood of spring. But he felt ashamed of the feeling, and at once he opened, as it were, the arms of his soul, and with a softened feeling of joy and expectation, now he hoped with all his heart that it was his brother. He pricked up his horse, and riding out from behind

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