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Anna Karenina 92

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

a peaceful shore after the noise and jolting of a steamer. And so you maintain that the laborer himself is an element to be studied and to regulate the choice of methods in agriculture. Of course, Im an ignorant outsider; but I should fancy theory and its application will have its influence on the laborer too." "Yes, but wait a bit. Im not talking of political economy, Im talking of the science of agriculture. It ought to be like the natural sciences, and to observe given phenomena and the laborer in his economic, ethnographical..." At that instant Agafea Mihalovna came in with jam. "Oh, Agafea Mihalovna," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, kissing the tips of his plump fingers, "what salt goose, what herb brandy!...What do you think, isnt it time to start, Kostya?" he added. Levin looked out of the window at the sun sinking behind the bare tree-tops of the forest. "Yes, its time," he said. "Kouzma, get ready the trap," and he ran downstairs. Stepan Arkadyevitch, going down, carefully took the canvas cover off his varnished gun case with his own hands, and opening it, began to get ready his expensive new-fashioned gun. Kouzma, who already scented a big tip, never left Stepan Arkadyevitchs side, and put on him both his stockings and boots, a task which Stepan Arkadyevitch readily left him. "Kostya, give orders that if the merchant Ryabinin comes...I told him to come today, hes to be brought in and to wait for me..." "Why, do you mean to say youre selling the forest to Ryabinin?" "Yes. Do you know him?" "To be sure I do. I have had to do business with him, positively and conclusively." Stepan Arkadyevitch laughed. "Positively and conclusively" were the merchants favorite words. "Yes, its wonderfully funny the way he talks. She knows where her masters going!" he added, patting Laska, who hung about Levin, whining and licking his hands, his boots, and his gun. The trap was already at the steps when they went out. "I told them to bring the trap round; or would you rather walk?" "No, wed better drive," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, getting into the trap. He sat down, tucked the tiger-skin rug round him, and lighted a cigar. "How is it you dont smoke? A cigar is a sort of thing, not exactly a pleasure, but the crown and outward sign of pleasure. Come, this is life! How splendid it is! This is how I should like to live!" "Why, who prevents you?" said Levin, smiling. "No, youre a lucky man! Youve got everything you like. You like horses--and you have them; dogs--you have them; shooting-- you have it; farming--you have it." "Perhaps because I rejoice in what I have, and dont fret for what I havent," said Levin, thinking of Kitty. Stepan Arkadyevitch comprehended, looked at him, but said nothing. Levin was grateful to Oblonsky for noticing, with his never-failing tact, that he dreaded conversation about the Shtcherbatskys, and so saying nothing about them. But now Levin was longing to find out what was tormenting him so, yet he had not the courage to begin. "Come, tell me how things are going with you," said Levin, bethinking himself that it was not nice of him to think only of himself. Stepan Arkadyevitchs eyes sparkled merrily. "You dont admit, I know, that one can be fond of new rolls when one has had ones rations of bread--to your mind its a crime; but I dont count life as life without love," he said, taking Levins question his own way. "What am I to do? Im made that way. And really, one does so little harm to anyone, and gives oneself so much pleasure..." "What! is there something new, then?" queried Levin. "Yes, my boy, there is! There, do you see, you know the type of Ossians women.... Women, such as one sees in dreams.... Well, these women are sometimes to be met in reality...and these women are terrible. Woman, dont you know, is such a subject that however much you study it, its always perfectly new." "Well, then, it would be better not to study it." "No. Some mathematician has said that enjoyment lies in the search for truth, not in the finding it." Levin listened in silence, and in spite of all the efforts he made, he could not in the least enter into the feelings of his friend and understand his sentiments and the charm of studying such women. Chapter 15 The place fixed on for the stand-shooting was not far above a stream in

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