After dinner, Darya Alexandrovna, sitting alone with him on the
balcony, began to speak of Kitty.
"You know, Kitty's coming here, and is going to spend the summer
"Really," he said, flushing, and at once, to change the
conversation, he said: "Then I'll send you two cows, shall I? If
you insist on a bill you shall pay me five roubles a month; but
it's really too bad of you."
"No, thank you. We can manage very well now."
"Oh, well, then, I'll have a look at your cows, and if you'll
allow me, I'll give directions about their food. Everything
depends on their food."
And Levin, to turn the conversation, explained to Darya
Alexandrovna the theory of cow-keeping, based on the principle
that the cow is simply a machine for the transformation of food
into milk, and so on.
He talked of this, and passionately longed to hear more of Kitty,
and, at the same time, was afraid of hearing it. He dreaded the
breaking up of the inward peace he had gained with such effort.
"Yes, but still all this has to be looked after, and who is there
to look after it?" Darya Alexandrovna responded, without
She had by now got her household matters so satisfactorily
arranged, thanks to Marya Philimonovna, that she was disinclined
to make any change in them; besides, she had no faith in Levin's
knowledge of farming. General principles, as to the cow being a
machine for the production of milk, she looked on with suspicion.
It seemed to her that such principles could only be a hindrance
in farm management. It all seemed to her a far simpler matter:
all that was needed, as Marya Philimonovna had explained, was to
give Brindle and Whitebreast more food and drink, and not to let
the cook carry all the kitchen slops to the laundry maid's cow.
That was clear. But general propositions as to feeding on meal
and on grass were doubtful and obscure. And, what was most
important, she wanted to talk about Kitty.