he could deceive himself no longer. The farming of the land, as he was managing it, had become not merely unattractive but revolting to him, and he could take no further interest in it.

To this now was joined the presence, only thirty verstas off, of Kitty Shcherbatskaia, whom he longed to see and could not. Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaia had invited him, when he was over there, to come; to come with the object of renewing his proposal to her sister, who would, so she gave him to understand, accept it now. Levin himself had felt on seeing Kitty Shcherbatskaia that he had never ceased to love her; but he could not go over to the Oblonskys', knowing she was there. The fact that he had proposed to her, and that she had refused him, had placed an insuperable barrier between her and him. `I can't ask her to be my wife merely because she can't be the wife of the man she wanted to marry,' he said to himself. The thought of this made him cold and hostile to her. `I should not be able to speak to her without a feeling of reproach; I could not look at her without resentment; and she will only hate me all the more, as she's bound to. And besides, how can I now, after what Darya Alexandrovna told me, go to see them? Can I help showing that I know what she told me? And I shall come to forgive her magnanimously, and take pity on her! And go through a performance before her of forgiving, and deigning to bestow my love on her!... Why did Darya Alexandrovna tell me that? I might have seen her by chance - then everything would have happened of itself; but, as it is, it's out of the question - out of the question!'

Darya Alexandrovna sent him a letter, asking him for a sidesaddle for Kitty's use. `I'm told you have a sidesaddle,' she wrote to him; `I hope you will bring it over yourself.'

This was more than he could stand. How could a woman of any intelligence, of any delicacy, put her sister in such a humiliating position! He wrote ten notes, and tore them all up, and then sent the saddle without any reply. To write that he would come was impossible, because he could not come; to write that he could not come because something prevented him, or that he would be away, would be still worse. He sent the saddle without any answer; and with a sense of having done something shameful, he handed over all the now revolting business of the estate to his bailiff, and set off next day to a remote district to see his friend Sviiazhsky, who had splendid marshes for double snipes in his neighborhood, and had lately written, asking him to keep a long-standing promise to visit him. The snipe marsh, in the Surovsky district, had long tempted Levin, but he had continually put off this visit on account of his work on the estate. Now he was glad to get away from the neighborhood of the Shcherbatskys, and still more from his farmwork, especially on a shooting expedition, which always served as the best consolation in trouble.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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