Chapter 15

The streets were still empty. Levin went to the house of the Shcherbatskys. The visitors' doors were closed and everything was asleep. He walked back, went into his room again, and asked for coffee. The day servant, not Iegor this time, brought it to him. Levin would have entered into conversation with him, but a bell rang for the servant, and he went out. Levin tried to drink coffee and take a bite of a roll, but his mouth was quite at a loss what to do with the roll. Levin, rejecting the roll, put on his coat and went out again for a walk. It was nine o'clock when he reached the Shcherbatskys' steps the second time. In the house they were only just up, and the cook came out to go marketing. He had to get through at least two hours more.

All that night and morning Levin lived perfectly unconsciously, and felt perfectly lifted out of the conditions of material life. He had eaten nothing for a whole day, he had not slept for two nights, had spent several hours undressed in the frozen air, and felt not only fresher and stronger than ever, but felt utterly independent of his body; he moved without muscular effort, and felt as if he could do anything. He was convinced he could fly upward or lift the corner of the house, if need be. He spent the remainder of the time in the street, incessantly looking at his watch and gazing about him.

And what he saw then, he never saw again after. Especially the children going to school, the blue-gray doves fluttering down from the roofs to the pavement, and the little loaves covered with flour, set out by an unseen hand, touched him. Those loaves, those doves, and those two boys were not of this earth. It all happened at the same time: a boy ran toward a dove and glanced smiling at Levin; the dove, with a whir of her wings, darted away, flashing in the sun, amid grains of snow that quivered in the air, while from a little window there came a smell of fresh-baked bread, and the loaves were set out. All of this together was so extraordinarily resplendent that Levin laughed and cried with delight. Going a long way round by Gazetny Lane and Kislovka, he went back again to the hotel, and, putting his watch before him, sat down to wait for twelve o'clock. In the next room they were talking about some sort of machines, and swindling, and coughing their morning coughs. They did not realize that the hand was near twelve. The hand reached it. Levin went out on the steps. The sleigh drivers clearly knew all about it. They crowded round Levin with happy faces, quarreling among themselves, and offering their services. Trying not to offend the other sleigh drivers, and promising to drive with them too, Levin took one and told him to drive to the Shcherbatskys'. The sleigh driver was splendid in a white shirt collar, sticking out over his overcoat and into his strong, full-blooded red neck. The sleigh was high and comfortable, and altogether such a one as Levin never drove in after, and the horse was a good one, and tried to gallop yet didn't seem to move. The driver knew the Shcherbatskys' house, and drew up at the entrance, squaring his arms and saying a `Whoa!' especially indicative of respect for his fare. The Shcherbatskys' hall porter certainly knew all about it. This was evident from the smile in his eyes and the way he said:

`Well, it's a long while since you've been to see us, Konstantin Dmitrievich!'

Not only did he know all about it, but he was unmistakably delighted and making efforts to conceal his joy. Looking into his kindly old eyes, Levin realized even something new in his happiness.

`Are they up?'

`Pray walk in! Leave it here,' said he, smiling, as Levin would have come back to take his hat. That meant something.

`To whom shall I announce your honor?' asked the footman.

The footman, though a young man, and one of the new school of footmen - a dandy - was a very kindhearted, good fellow, and he too knew all about it.

`The Princess... the Prince... the young Princess...' said Levin.

The first person he saw was Mademoiselle Linon. She walked across the room, and her ringlets and her face were beaming. He had barely spoken to her, when suddenly he heard the rustle of a skirt at

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