Sergey Ivanovitch smiled. "He too has a philosophy of his own at
the service of his natural tendencies," he thought.
"Come, you'd better let philosophy alone," he said. "The chief
problem of the philosophy of all ages consists just in finding
the indispensable connection which exists between individual and
social interests. But that's not to the point; what is to the
point is a correction I must make in your comparison. The
birches are not simply stuck in, but some are sown and some are
planted, and one must deal carefully with them. It's only those
peoples that have an intuitive sense of what's of importance and
significance in their institutions, and know how to value them,
that have a future before them--it's only those peoples that one
can truly call historical."
And Sergey Ivanovitch carried the subject into the regions of
philosophical history where Konstantin Levin could not follow
him, and showed him all the incorrectness of his view.
"As for your dislike of it, excuse my saying so, that's simply
our Russian sloth and old serf-owner's ways, and I'm convinced
that in you it's a temporary error and will pass."
Konstantin was silent. He felt himself vanquished on all sides,
but he felt at the same time that what he wanted to say was
unintelligible to his brother. Only he could not make up his
mind whether it was unintelligible because he was not capable of
expressing his meaning clearly, or because his brother would not
or could not understand him. But he did not pursue the
speculation, and without replying, he fell to musing on a quite
different and personal matter.
Sergey Ivanovitch wound up the last line, untied the horse, and
they drove off.