Fyodor came from a village at some distance from the one in which
Levin had once allotted land to his cooperative association. Now
it had been let to a former house porter.
Levin talked to Fyodor about this land and asked whether Platon,
a well-to-do peasant of good character belonging to the same
village, would not take the land for the coming year.
"It's a high rent; it wouldn't pay Platon, Konstantin
Dmitrievitch," answered the peasant, picking the ears off his
"But how does Kirillov make it pay?"
"Mituh!" (so the peasant called the house porter, in a tone of
contempt), "you may be sure he'll make it pay, Konstantin
Dmitrievitch! He'll get his share, however he has to squeeze to
get it! He's no mercy on a Christian. But Uncle Fokanitch" (so
he called the old peasant Platon), "do you suppose he'd flay the
skin off a man? Where there's debt, he'll let anyone off. And
he'll not wring the last penny out. He's a man too."
"But why will he let anyone off?"
"Oh, well, of course, folks are different. One man lives for his
own wants and nothing else, like Mituh, he only thinks of filling
his belly, but Fokanitch is a righteous man. He lives for his
soul. He does not forget God."
"How thinks of God? How does he live for his soul?" Levin almost
"Why, to be sure, in truth, in God's way. Folks are different.
Take you now, you wouldn't wrong a man...."
"Yes, yes, good-bye!" said Levin, breathless with excitement, and
turning round he took his stick and walked quickly away towards
home. At the peasant's words that Fokanitch lived for his soul,
in truth, in God's way, undefined but significant ideas seemed to
burst out as though they had been locked up, and all striving
towards one goal, they thronged whirling through his head,
blinding him with their light.