Konstantin Levin regarded his brother as a man of immense intellect and culture, as generous in the highest sense of the word, and possessed of a special faculty for working for the public good. But in the depths of his heart, the older he became, and the more intimately he knew his brother, the more and more frequently the thought struck him that this faculty of working for the public good, of which he felt himself utterly devoid, was possibly not so much a quality as a lack of something - not a lack of good, honest, noble desires and tastes, but a lack of vital force, of what is called heart, of that impulse which drives a man to choose some one out of the innumerable paths of life, and to care only for that one. The better he knew his brother, the more he noticed that Sergei Ivanovich, and many other people who worked for the public welfare, were not led by any impulse of the heart to care for the public good, but reasoned from intellectual considerations that it was a right thing to take an interest in public affairs, and consequently took an interest in them. Levin was confirmed in this conjecture by observing that his brother did not take questions affecting the public welfare or the question of the immortality of the soul a bit more to heart than he did chess problems, or the ingenious construction of a new machine.

Besides this, Konstantin Levin was not at his ease with his brother, because in the country, especially in summertime, Levin was continually busy with work on the land, and the long summer day was not long enough for him to get through all he had to do, while Sergei Ivanovich was merely taking a holiday. But though he was taking a holiday now - that is to say, he was doing no writing - he was so used to intellectual activity that he liked to put into concise and eloquent shape the ideas that occurred to him, and liked to have someone listen to him. His most usual and natural listener was his brother. And so, in spite of the friendliness and directness of their relations, Konstantin felt an awkwardness in leaving him alone. Sergei Ivanovich liked to stretch himself on the grass in the sun, and to lie so, basking and chatting lazily.

`You wouldn't believe,' he would say to his brother, `what a pleasure this rural laziness is to me. Not an idea in one's brain - as empty as a drum!'

But Konstantin Levin found it dull sitting and listening to him, especially when he knew that while he was away manure would be carted into fields not plowed ready for it, and heaped up God knows how; and the shares in the plows would not be screwed in, so that they would come off, and then his men would say the new plows were a silly invention, and there was nothing like the old wooden plow, and so on.

`Come, you've done enough trudging about in the heat,' Sergei Ivanovich would say to him.

`No, I must just run round to the countinghouse for a minute,' Levin would answer, and would run off to the fields.

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