"I'm awfully fond of it. I sometimes mow myself with the
peasants, and tomorrow I want to try mowing the whole day."
Sergey Ivanovitch lifted his head, and looked with interest at
"How do you mean? Just like one of the peasants, all day long?"
"Yes, it's very pleasant," said Levin.
"It's splendid as exercise, only you'll hardly be able to stand
it," said Sergey Ivanovitch, without a shade of irony.
"I've tried it. It's hard work at first, but you get into it.
I dare say I shall manage to keep it up..."
"Really! what an idea! But tell me, how do the peasants look at
it? I suppose they laugh in their sleeves at their master's
being such a queer fish?"
"No, I don't think so; but it's so delightful, and at the same
time such hard work, that one has no time to think about it."
"But how will you do about dining with them? To send you a
bottle of Lafitte and roast turkey out there would be a little
"No, I'll simply come home at the time of their noonday rest."
Next morning Konstantin Levin got up earlier than usual, but he
was detained giving directions on the farm, and when he reached
the mowing grass the mowers were already at their second row.
From the uplands he could get a view of the shaded cut part of
the meadow below, with its grayish ridges of cut grass, and the
black heaps of coats, taken off by the mowers at the place from
which they had started cutting.
Gradually, as he rode towards the meadow, the peasants came into
sight, some in coats, some in their shirts mowing, one behind
another in a long string, swinging their scythes differently. He
counted forty-two of them.