"You're a regular reactionist, I see."
"Really, I have never considered what I am. I am Konstantin
Levin, and nothing else."
"And Konstantin Levin very much out of temper," said Stepan
"Yes, I am out of temper, and do you know why? Because--excuse
me--of your stupid sale..."
Stepan Arkadyevitch frowned good-humoredly, like one who feels
himself teased and attacked for no fault of his own.
"Come, enough about it!" he said. "When did anybody ever sell
anything without being told immediately after the sale, 'It was
worth much more'? But when one wants to sell, no one will give
anything.... No, I see you've a grudge against that unlucky
"Maybe I have. And do you know why? You'll say again that I'm a
reactionist, or some other terrible word; but all the same it
does annoy and anger me to see on all sides the impoverishing of
the nobility to which I belong, and, in spite of the amalgamation
of classes, I'm glad to belong. And their impoverishment is not
due to extravagance--that would be nothing; living in good style
--that's the proper thing for noblemen; it's only the nobles who
know how to do it. Now the peasants about us buy land, and I
don't mind that. The gentleman does nothing, while the peasant
works and supplants the idle man. That's as it ought to be. And
I'm very glad for the peasant. But I do mind seeing the process
of impoverishment from a sort of--I don't know what to call it--
innocence. Here a Polish speculator bought for half its value a
magnificent estate from a young lady who lives in Nice. And
there a merchant will get three acres of land, worth ten roubles,
as security for the loan of one rouble. Here, for no kind of
reason, you've made that rascal a present of thirty thousand
"Well, what should I have done? Counted every tree?"