The sight of his younger brother's appearance had immediately put him in a good humor.
`Well, you have an appetite!' he said, looking at his dark-red, sunburned face and neck bent over the plate.
`Splendid! You can't imagine what an effective remedy it is for every sort of foolishness. I want to enrich medicine with a new word: Arbeitskur.'
`Well, but you don't need it, I should fancy.'
`No - but for all sorts of nervous invalids.'
`Yes, it ought to be tried. I had meant to come to the mowing to look at you, but it was so unbearably hot that I got no further than the forest. I sat there a little, and went on by the forest to the village, met your old nurse, and sounded her as to the peasant's view of you. As far as I can make out, they don't approve of this. She said: ``It's not a gentleman's work.' Altogether, I fancy that in the people's ideas there are very clear and definite notions of certain, as they call it, ``gentlemanly' lines of action. And they don't sanction the gentlefolk's moving outside bounds clearly laid down in their ideas.'
`Maybe so; but anyway, it's a pleasure such as I have never known in my life. And there's no harm in it, you know. Is there?' answered Levin. `I can't help it if they don't like it. Though I do believe it's all right. Eh?'
`Altogether,' pursued Sergei Ivanovich, `you're satisfied with your day?'
`Quite satisfied. We cut the whole meadow. And I made friends with such a splendid old man there! You can't fancy how delightful he was!'
`Well, so you're satisfied with your day. And so am I. First, I solved two chess problems, and one a very pretty one - a pawn opening. I'll show it to you. And then - I thought over our conversation of yesterday.'
`Eh! Our conversation of yesterday?' said Levin, blissfully dropping his eyelids and drawing deep breaths after finishing his dinner, and absolutely incapable of recalling what their conversation of yesterday had been about.
`I think you are partly right. Our difference of opinion amounts to this: that you make the mainspring self- interest, while I contend that interest in the common weal is bound to exist in every man of a certain degree of advancement. Possibly you are right too - that action founded on material interest would be more desirable. You are altogether, as the French say, too primesautière a nature; you must have intense, energetic action, or nothing.'
Levin listened to his brother and did not understand a single word, and did not want to understand. He was only afraid his brother might ask him some question which would make it evident he had not heard.
`So that's what I think it is, my dear boy,' said Sergei Ivanovich, touching him on the shoulder.
`Yes, of course. But, do you know? I won't stand up for my view,' answered Levin, with a guilty, childlike smile. `Whatever was it I was disputing about?' he wondered. `Of course, I'm right, and he's right, and it's all first-rate. Only I must go round to the countinghouse and see to things.' He got up, stretching and smiling.
Sergei Ivanovich smiled too.
`If you want to go out, let's go together,' he said, disinclined to be parted from his brother, who seemed positively breathing out freshness and energy. `Come, we'll go to the countinghouse, if you have to go there.'
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