"How beautiful!" he thought, looking at the strange, as it were,
mother-of-pearl shell of white fleecy cloudless resting right
over his head in the middle of the sky. "How exquisite it all is
in this exquisite night! And when was there time for that
cloud-shell to form? Just now I looked at the sky, and there was
nothing in it--only two white streaks. Yes, and so
imperceptibly too my views of life changed!"
He went out of the meadow and walked along the highroad towards
the village. A slight wind arose, and the sky looked gray and
sullen. The gloomy moment had come that usually precedes the
dawn, the full triumph of light over darkness.
Shrinking from the cold, Levin walked rapidly, looking at the
ground. "What's that? Someone coming," he thought, catching the
tinkle of bells, and lifting his head. Forty paces from him a
carriage with four horses harnessed abreast was driving towards
him along the grassy road on which he was walking. The
shaft-horses were tilted against the shafts by the ruts, but the
dexterous driver sitting on the box held the shaft over the ruts,
so that the wheels ran on the smooth part of the road.
This was all Levin noticed, and without wondering who it could
be, he gazed absently at the coach.
In the coach was an old lady dozing in one corner, and at the
window, evidently only just awake, sat a young girl holding in
both hands the ribbons of a white cap. With a face full of light
and thought, full of a subtle, complex inner life, that was
remote from Levin, she was gazing beyond him at the glow of the
At the very instant when this apparition was vanishing, the
truthful eyes glanced at him. She recognized him, and her face
lighted up with wondering delight.