As he rode up to the house in the happiest frame of mind, Levin
heard the bell ring at the side of the principal entrance of the
"Yes, that's someone from the railway station," he thought,
"just the time to be here from the Moscow train...Who could it
be? What if it's brother Nikolay? He did say: 'Maybe I'll go
to the waters, or maybe I'll come down to you.'" He felt
dismayed and vexed for the first minute, that his brother
Nikolay's presence should come to disturb his happy mood of
spring. But he felt ashamed of the feeling, and at once he
opened, as it were, the arms of his soul, and with a softened
feeling of joy and expectation, now he hoped with all his heart
that it was his brother. He pricked up his horse, and riding out
from behind the acacias he saw a hired three-horse sledge from
the railway station, and a gentleman in a fur coat. It was not
his brother. "Oh, if it were only some nice person one could
talk to a little!" he thought.
"Ah," cried Levin joyfully, flinging up both his hands. "Here's
a delightful visitor! Ah, how glad I am to see you!" he shouted,
recognizing Stepan Arkadyevitch.
"In shall find out for certain whether she's married, or when
she's going to be married," he thought. And on that delicious
spring day he felt that the thought of her did not hurt him at
"Well, you didn't expect me, eh?" said Stepan Arkadyevitch,
getting out of the sledge, splashed with mud on the bridge of his
nose, on his cheek, and on his eyebrows, but radiant with health
and good spirits. "I've come to see you in the first place," he
said, embracing and kissing him, "to have some stand-shooting
second, and to sell the forest at Ergushovo third."
"Delightful! What a spring we're having! How ever did you get
along in a sledge?"
"In a cart it would have been worse still, Konstantin
Dmitrievitch," answered the driver, who knew him.