Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
especially women.  And afterwards, how he had all at once broken out:  he had associated with the most horrible people, and rushed into the most senseless debauchery.  He remembered later the scandal over a boy, whom he had taken from the country to bring up, and, in a fit of rage, had so violently beaten that proceedings were brought against him for unlawfully wounding.  Then he recalled the scandal with a sharper, to whom he had lost money, and given a promissory note, and against whom he had himself lodged a complaint, asserting that he had cheated him.  (This was the money Sergey Ivanovitch had paid.) Then he remembered how he had spent a night in the lockup for disorderly conduct in the street.  He remembered the shameful proceedings he had tried to get up against his brother Sergey Ivanovitch, accusing him of not having paid him his share of his mother’s fortune, and the last scandal, when he had gone to a western province in an official capacity, and there had got into trouble for assaulting a village elder....  It was all horribly disgusting, yet to Levin it appeared not at all in the same disgusting light as it inevitably would to those who did not know Nikolay, did not know all his story, did not know his heart.

Levin remembered that when Nikolay had been in the devout stage, the period of fasts and monks and church services, when he was seeking in religion a support and a curb for his passionate temperament, everyone, far from encouraging him, had jeered at him, and he, too, with the others.  They had teased him, called him Noah and Monk; and, when he had broken out, no one had helped him, but everyone had turned away from him with horror and disgust.

Levin felt that, in spite of all the ugliness of his life, his brother Nikolay, in his soul, in the very depths of his soul, was no more in the wrong than the people who despised him.  He was not to blame for having been born with his unbridled temperament and his somehow limited intelligence.  But he had always wanted to be good.  “I will tell him everything, without reserve, and I will make him speak without reserve, too, and I’ll show him that I love him, and so understand him,” Levin resolved to himself, as, towards eleven o’clock, he reached the hotel of which he had the address.

“At the top, 12 and 13,” the porter answered Levin’s inquiry.

“At home?”

“Sure to be at home.”

The door of No. 12 was half open, and there came out into the streak of light thick fumes of cheap, poor tobacco, and the sound of a voice, unknown to Levin; but he knew at once that his brother was there; he heard his cough.

As he went in the door, the unknown voice was saying: 

“It all depends with how much judgment and knowledge the thing’s done.”

Konstantin Levin looked in at the door, and saw that the speaker was a young man with an immense shock of hair, wearing a Russian jerkin, and that a pockmarked woman in a woolen gown, without collar or cuffs, was sitting on the sofa.  His brother was not to be seen.  Konstantin felt a sharp pang at his heart at the thought of the strange company in which his brother spent his life.  No one had heard him, and Konstantin, taking off his galoshes, listened to what the gentleman in the jerkin was saying.  He was speaking of some enterprise.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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