Chapter 14Levin looked before him and saw a herd of cattle, then he caught sight of his wagonette with Black in the shafts, and the coachman, who, driving up to the herd, said something to the herdsman. Then he heard the rattle of the wheels and the snort of the sleek horse close by him. But he was so buried in his thoughts that he did not even wonder why the coachman had come for him.
He only thought of that when the coachman had driven quite up to him and shouted to him.
`The mistress sent me. Your brother has come, and some gentleman with him.'
Levin got into the wagonette and took the reins.
As though just roused out of sleep, for a long while Levin could not collect his faculties. He stared at the sleek horse flecked with lather between his haunches and on his neck, where the harness rubbed, stared at Ivan the coachman, sitting beside him, and remembered that he was expecting his brother, thought that his wife was most likely uneasy at his long absence, and tried to guess who was the visitor who had come with his brother. And his brother and his wife and the unknown guest seemed to him now quite different from before. He fancied that now his relations with all men would be different.
`With my brother there will be none of that aloofness there always used to be between us, there will be no disputes; with Kitty there shall never be quarrels; with the visitor, whoever he may be, I will be friendly and amiable; and with the servants, with Ivan - it will all be different.'
Pulling the stiff rein and holding in the good horse that snorted with impatience and begged to be let go, Levin looked round at Ivan sitting beside him, not knowing what to do with his unoccupied hands, continually pressing down his shirt as it puffed out, and he tried to find something to start a conversation about with him. He would have said that Ivan had pulled the saddle girth up too high, but that was like blame, and he longed for friendly, warm talk. Nothing else occurred to him.
`Your Honor must keep to the right and mind that stump,' said the coachman, pulling the rein Levin held.
`Please don't touch anything and don't teach me!' said Levin, angered by this interference. Now, as always, interference made him angry, and he felt sorrowfully at once how mistaken had been his supposition that his spiritual condition could immediately change him in contact with reality.
He was not a quarter of a versta from home when he saw Grisha and Tania running to meet him.
`Uncle Kostia! Mamma's coming, and grandfather, and Sergei Ivanovich, and someone else,' they said, clambering up into the wagonette.
`Who is he?'
`An awfully terrible person! And he does like this with his arms,' said Tania, getting up in the wagonette and mimicking Katavassov.
`Old or young?' asked Levin, laughing, reminded of someone, he did not know whom, by Tania's performance.
`Oh, I hope it's not a tiresome person!' thought Levin.
As soon as he turned, at a bend in the road, and saw the party coming, Levin recognized Katavassov in a straw hat, walking along swinging his arms just as Tania had shown him.
Katavassov was very fond of discussing metaphysics, having derived his notions from natural science writers who had never studied metaphysics, and in Moscow Levin had had many arguments with him of late.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|