DO, please, go then and call on the Bols, Kitty said to her husband, when he came in to see her at eleven oclock before going out. I know you are dining at the club; papa put down your name. But what are you going to do in the morning?
Oh, you wouldnt believe it! Ive got so out of the way of all this that it makes me feel positively ashamed. Its such a horrible thing to do! A complete outsider walks in, sits down, stays on with nothing to do, wastes their time and worries himself, and walks away!
Yes, I did, but I always felt ashamed, and now Im so out of the way of it that, by Jove! Id sooner go two days running without my dinner than pay this call! Ones so ashamed! I feel all the while that theyre annoyed, that theyre saying, What has he come for?
That cough she knew well. It was a sign of intense dissatisfaction, not with her, but with himself. He certainly was displeased not at so much money being spent, but at being reminded of what he, knowing something was unsatisfactory, wanted to forget.
He had said it without thinking, simply to console her. But when he glanced at her and saw those sweet truthful eyes fastened questioningly on him, he repeated it with his whole heart. I was positively forgetting her, he thought. And he remembered what was before them, so soon to come.
No, nothing will happen, and dont think about it. Im going for a walk on the boulevard with papa. Were going to see Dolly. I shall expect you before dinner. Oh yes! Do you know that Dollys position is becoming utterly impossible? Shes in debt all round; she hasnt a penny. We were talking yesterday with mamma and Arseny (this was her sisters husband LVOV), and we determined to send you with him to talk to Stiva. Its really unbearable. One cant speak to papa about it But if you and he
During the first part of their stay in Moscow, Levin had used his own horses brought up from the country. He had tried to arrange this part of their expenses in the best and cheapest way possible; but it appeared that their own horses came dearer than hired horses, and they still hired too.
Levin was not by now struck as he had been at first by the fact that to get from one end of Moscow to the other he had to have two powerful horses put into a heavy carriage, to take the carriage three miles through the snowy slush and to keep it standing there four hours, paying five roubles every time. Now it seemed quite natural.
And so, simply and easily, thanks to the facilities of town life, Levin settled a question which, in the country, would have called for so much personal trouble and exertion, and going out on to the steps, he called a sledge, sat down, and drove to Nikitsky. On the way he thought no more of money, but mused on the introduction that awaited him to the Petersburg savant, a writer on sociology, and what he would say to him about his book.
Only during the first days of his stay in Moscow Levin had been struck by the expenditure, strange to one living in the country, unproductive but inevitable, that was expected of him on every side. But by now he had grown used to it. That had happened to him in this matter which is said to happen to drunkardsthe first glass sticks in the throat, the second flies down like a hawk, but after the third theyre like tiny little birds. When Levin had changed his first hundred-rouble note to pay for liveries for his footmen and hall-porter, he could not help reflecting that these liveries were of no use to any onebut they were indubitably necessary, to judge by the amazement of the princess and Kitty when he suggested that they might do without liveries,that these liveries would cost the wages of two labourers for the summer, that is, would pay for about three hundred working days from Easter to Ash-Wednesday, and each a day of hard work from early morning to late eveningand that hundred-rouble note did stick in his throat. But the next note, changed to pay for providing a dinner for their relations, that cost twenty-eight roubles, though it did excite in Levin the reflection that twenty-eight roubles meant nine measures of oats, which men would with groans and sweat have reaped and bound and threshed and winnowed and sifted and sown,this next one he parted with more easily. And now the notes he changed no longer aroused such reflections, and they flew off like little birds. Whether the labour devoted to obtaining the money corresponded to the pleasure given by what was bought with it, was a consideration he had long ago dismissed. His business calculation that there was a certain price below which he could not sell certain grain was forgotten too. The rye, for the price of which he had so long held out, had been sold for fifty kopecks a measure cheaper than it had been fetching a month ago. Even the consideration that with such an expenditure he could not go on living for a year without debt, that even had no force. Only one thing was essential: to have money in the bank, without inquiring where it came from, so as to know that one had the wherewithal to buy meat for to-morrow. And this condition had hitherto been fulfilled; he had always had the money in the bank. But now the money in the bank had gone, and he could not quite tell where to get the next instalment. And this it was which, at the moment when Kitty had mentioned money, had disturbed him; but he had no time to think about it. He drove off, thinking of Katavasov and the meeting with Metrov that was before him.