The efforts of Agafea Mihalovna and the cook, that the dinner
should be particularly good, only ended in two famished friends
attacking the preliminary course, eating a great deal of bread
and butter, salt goose and salted mushrooms, and in Levin's
finally ordering the soup to be served without the accompaniment
of little pies, with which the cook had particularly meant to
impress their visitor. But though Stepan Arkadyevitch was
accustomed to very different dinners, he thought everything
excellent: the herb brandy, and the bread, and the butter, and
above all the salt goose and the mushrooms, and the nettle soup,
and the chicken in white sauce, and the white Crimean wine--
everything was superb and delicious.
"Splendid, splendid!" he said, lighting a fat cigar after the
roast. "I feel as if, coming to you, I had landed on a peaceful
shore after the noise and jolting of a steamer. And so you
maintain that the laborer himself is an element to be studied and
to regulate the choice of methods in agriculture. Of course, I'm
an ignorant outsider; but I should fancy theory and its
application will have its influence on the laborer too."
"Yes, but wait a bit. I'm not talking of political economy, I'm
talking of the science of agriculture. It ought to be like the
natural sciences, and to observe given phenomena and the laborer
in his economic, ethnographical..."
At that instant Agafea Mihalovna came in with jam.
"Oh, Agafea Mihalovna," said Stepan Arkadyevitch, kissing the
tips of his plump fingers, "what salt goose, what herb
brandy!...What do yo think, isn't it time to start, Kostya?" he
Levin looked out of the window at the sun sinking behind the bare
tree-tops of the forest.
"Yes, it's time," he said. "Kouzma, get ready the trap," and he
Stepan Arkadyevitch, going down, carefully took the canvas cover
off his varnished gun case with his own hands, and opening it,
began to get ready his expensive new-fashioned gun. Kouzma, who
already scented a big tip, never left Stepan Arkadyevitch's side,
and put on him both his stockings and boots, a task which Stepan
Arkadyevitch readily left him.