But the princess did not understand his feelings, and put down
his reluctance to think and talk about it to carelessness and
indifference, and so she gave him no peace. She had commissioned
Stepan Arkadyevitch to look at a fiat, and now she called Levin
"I know nothing about it, princess. Do as you think fit," he
"You must decide when you will move."
"I really don't know. I know millions of children are born away
from Moscow, and doctors...why..."
"But if so..."
"Oh, no, as Kitty wishes."
"We can't talk to Kitty about it! Do you want me to frighten
her? Why, this spring Natalia Golitzina died from having an
"I will do just what you say," he said gloomily.
The princess began talking to him, but he did not hear her.
Though the conversation with the princess had indeed jarred upon
him, he was gloomy, not on account of that conversation, but from
what he saw at the samovar.
"No, it's impossible," he thought, glancing now and then at
Vassenka bending over Kitty, telling her something with his
charming smile, and at her, flushed and disturbed.
There was something not nice in Vassenka's attitude, in his eyes,
in his smile. Levin even saw something not nice in Kitty's
attitude and look. And again the light died away in his eyes.
Again, as before, all of a sudden, without the slightest
transition, he felt cast down from a pinnacle of happiness,
peace, and dignity, into an abyss of despair, rage, and
humiliation. Again everything and everyone had become hateful to
"You do just as you think best, princess," he said again, looking
"Heavy is the cap of Monomach," Stepan Arkadyevitch said
playfully, hinting, evidently, not simply at the princess's
conversation, but at the cause of Levin's agitation, which he had