"I didn't want to see you for anything," he answered timidly.
"I've simply come to see you."
His brother's timidity obviously softened Nikolay. His lips
"Oh, so that's it?" he said. "Well, come in; sit down. Like
some supper? Masha, bring supper for three. No, stop a minute.
Do you know who this is?" he said, addressing his brother, and
indicating the gentleman in the jerkin: "This is Mr. Kritsky, my
friend from Kiev, a very remarkable man. He's persecuted by the
police, of course, because he's not a scoundrel."
And he looked round in the way he always did at everyone in the
room. Seeing that the woman standing in the doorway was moving
to go, he shouted to her, "Wait a minute, I said." And with the
inability to express himself, the incoherence that Konstantin
knew so well, he began, with another look round at everyone, to
tell his brother Kritsky's story: how he had been expelled from
the university for starting a benefit society for the poor
students and Sunday schools; and how he had afterwards been a
teacher in a peasant school, and how he had been driven out of
that too, and had afterwards been condemned for something.
"You're of the Kiev university?" said Konstantin Levin to
Kritsky, to break the awkward silence that followed.
"Yes, I was of Kiev," Kritsky replied angrily, his face
"And this woman," Nikolay Levin interrupted him, pointing to her,
"is the partner of my life, Marya Nikolaevna. I took her out of
a bad house," and he jerked his neck saying this; "but I love her
and respect her, and any one who wants to know me," he added,
raising his voice and knitting his brows, "I beg to love her and
respect her. She's just the same as my wife, just the same. So
now you know whom you've to do with. And if you think you're
lowering yourself, well, here's the floor, there's the door."
And again his eyes traveled inquiringly over all of them.