Chapter 14

When Kitty had gone and Levin was left alone, he felt such uneasiness without her and such an impatient longing to get as quickly as possible to tomorrow morning, when he would see her again and be plighted to her forever, that he felt afraid, as though of death, of those fourteen hours that he had to get through without her. It was essential for him to be with someone to talk to, so as not to be left alone; to deceive time. Stepan Arkadyevich would have been the companion most congenial to him, but he was going out, he said, to a soiree - in reality to the ballet. Levin only had time to tell him he was happy, and that he loved him, and would never, never forget what he had done for him. The eyes and the smile of Stepan Arkadyevich showed Levin that he comprehended that feeling fittingly.

`Oh, so it's not time to die yet?' said Stepan Arkadyevich, pressing Levin's hand with emotion.

`N-n-no!' said Levin.

Darya Alexandrovna too, as she said good-by to him, gave him a sort of congratulation, saying, `How glad I am you have met Kitty again! One must value old friends.' Levin did not like these words of Darya Alexandrovna's. She could not understand how lofty and beyond her it all was, and she ought not to have dared to allude to it. Levin said good-by to them, but, not to be left alone, he attached himself to his brother.

`Where are you going?'

`I'm going to a meeting.'

`Well, I'll come with you. May I?'

`What for? Yes, come along,' said Sergei Ivanovich, smiling. `What is the matter with you today?'

`With me? Happiness is the matter with me!' said Levin, letting down the window of the carriage they were driving in. `You don't mind? It's so stifling. Happiness is all that's the matter with me! Why is it you have never married?'

Sergei Ivanovich smiled.

`I am very glad - she seems a lovely gi...' Sergei Ivanovich was beginning.

`Don't say it! Don't say it!' shouted Levin, clutching at the collar of his fur coat with both hands, and muffling him up in it. `She's a lovely girl' were such simple, humble words, so out of harmony with his feeling.

Sergei Ivanovich laughed outright a merry laugh, which was rare with him.

`Well, anyway, I may say that I'm very glad of it.'

`That you may do tomorrow, tomorrow - and say no more! Nothing, nothing - silence,' said Levin, and muffling him once more in his fur coat, he added: `I do like you so! Well, is it possible for me to be present at the meeting?'

`Of course it is.'

`What is your discussion about today?' asked Levin, never ceasing smiling.

They arrived at the meeting. Levin heard the secretary hesitatingly read the minutes which he obviously did not himself understand; but Levin saw from this secretary's face what a good, fine, kindhearted person he was. This was evident from his confusion and embarrassment in reading the minutes. Then the discussion began. They were disputing about the reckoning off of certain sums and the laying of certain pipes, and Sergei Ivanovich was very cutting to two members, and said something at great length with an air of triumph; and another member, scribbling something on a bit of paper, began timidly at first, but

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