Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
as possible, with rests, and above all, carelessly and heedlessly, without thinking.  That summer Levin saw this at every step.  He sent the men to mow some clover for hay, picking out the worst patches where the clover was overgrown with grass and weeds and of no use for seed; again and again they mowed the best acres of clover, justifying themselves by the pretense that the bailiff had told them to, and trying to pacify him with the assurance that it would be splendid hay; but he knew that it was owing to those acres being so much easier to mow.  He sent out a hay machine for pitching the hay—­it was broken at the first row because it was dull work for a peasant to sit on the seat in front with the great wings waving above him.  And he was told, “Don’t trouble, your honor, sure, the womenfolks will pitch it quick enough.”  The ploughs were practically useless, because it never occurred to the laborer to raise the share when he turned the plough, and forcing it round, he strained the horses and tore up the ground, and Levin was begged not to mind about it.  The horses were allowed to stray into the wheat because not a single laborer would consent to be night-watchman, and in spite of orders to the contrary, the laborers insisted on taking turns for night duty, and Ivan, after working all day long, fell asleep, and was very penitent for his fault, saying, “Do what you will to me, your honor.”

They killed three of the best calves by letting them into the clover aftermath without care as to their drinking, and nothing would make the men believe that they had been blown out by the clover, but they told him, by way of consolation, that one of his neighbors had lost a hundred and twelve head of cattle in three days.  All this happened, not because anyone felt ill-will to Levin or his farm; on the contrary, he knew that they liked him, thought him a simple gentleman (their highest praise); but it happened simply because all they wanted was to work merrily and carelessly, and his interests were not only remote and incomprehensible to them, but fatally opposed to their most just claims.  Long before, Levin had felt dissatisfaction with his own position in regard to the land.  He saw where his boat leaked, but he did not look for the leak, perhaps purposely deceiving himself. (Nothing would be left him if he lost faith in it.) But now he could deceive himself no longer.  The farming of the land, as he was managing it, had become not merely unattractive but revolting to him, and he could take no further interest in it.

To this now was joined the presence, only twenty-five miles off, of Kitty Shtcherbatskaya, whom he longed to see and could not see.  Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya had invited him, when he was over there, to come; to come with the object of renewing his offer to her sister, who would, so she gave him to understand, accept him now.  Levin himself had felt on seeing Kitty Shtcherbatskaya that he had never ceased to

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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