A few weeks before, Konstantin Levin had written to his brother
that through the sale of the small part of the property, that had
remained undivided, there was a sum of about two thousand roubles
to come to him as his share.
Nikolay said that he had come now to take this money and, what
was more important, to stay a while in the old nest, to get in
touch with the earth, so as to renew his strength like the heroes
of old for the work that lay before him. In spite of his
exaggerated stoop, and the emaciation that was so striking from
his height, his movements were as rapid and abrupt as ever.
Levin led him into his study.
His brother dressed with particular care--a thing he never used
to do--combed his scanty, lank hair, and, smiling, went
He was in the most affectionate and good-humored mood, just as
Levin often remembered him in childhood. He even referred to
Sergey Ivanovitch without rancor. When he saw Agafea Mihalovna,
he made jokes with her and asked after the old servants. The
news of the death of Parfen Denisitch made a painful impression
on him. A look of fear crossed his face, but he regained his
"Of course he was quite old," he said, and changed the subject.
"Well, I'll spend a month or two with you, and then I'm off to
Moscow. Do you know, Myakov has promised me a place there, and
I'm going into the service. Now I'm going to arrange my life
quite differently," he went on. "You know I got rid of that
"Marya Nikolaevna? Why, what for?"
"Oh, she was a horrid woman! She caused me all sorts of
worries." But he did not say what the annoyances were. He could
not say that he had cast off Marya Nikolaevna because the tea was
weak, and, above all, because she would look after him, as though
he were an invalid.
"Besides, I want to turn over a new leaf completely now. I've
done silly things, of course, like everyone else, but money's
the last consideration; I don't regret it. So long as there's
health, and my health, thank God, is quite restored."