"Oh! what was I thinking about? I was thinking about Moscow,
about the back of your head."
"Why should I, of all people, have such happiness! It's
unnatural, too good," he said, kissing her hand.
"I feel quite the opposite; the better things are, the more
natural it seems to me."
"And you've got a little curl loose," he said, carefully turning
her head round.
"A little curl, oh yes. No, no, we are busy at our work!"
Work did not progress further, and they darted apart from one
another like culprits when Kouzma came in to announce that tea
"Have they come from the town?" Levin asked Kouzma.
"They've just come; they're unpacking the things."
"Come quickly," she said to him as she went out of the study, "or
else I shall read your letters without you."
Left alone, after putting his manuscripts together in the new
portfolio bought by her, he washed his hands at the new washstand
with the elegant fittings, that had all made their appearance
with her. Levin smiled at his own thoughts, and shook his head
disapprovingly at those thoughts; a feeling akin to remorse
fretted him. There was something shameful, effeminate, Capuan,
as he called it to himself, in his present mode of life. "It's
not right to go on like this," he thought. "It'll soon be three
months, and I'm doing next to nothing. Today, almost for the
first time, I set to work seriously, and what happened? I did
nothing but begin and throw it aside. Even my ordinary pursuits
I have almost given up. On the land I scarcely walk or drive
about at all to look after things. Either I am loath to leave
her, or I see she's dull alone. And I used to think that, before
marriage, life was nothing much, somehow didn't count, but that
after marriage, life began in earnest. And here almost three
months have passed, and I have spent my time so idly and
unprofitably. No, this won't do; I must begin. Of course, it's
not her fault. She's not to blame in any way. I ought myself to
be firmer, to maintain my masculine independence of action; or
else I shall get into such ways, and she'll get used to them
too.... Of course she's not to blame," he told himself.