The footman agreed, and went upstairs, taking Levin into the
Levin could hear through the door the doctor coughing, moving
about, washing, and saying something. Three minutes passed; it
seemed to Levin that more than an hour had gone by. He could not
wait any longer.
"Pyotr Dmitrievitch, Pyotr Dmitrievitch!" he said in an imploring
voice at the open door. "For God's sake, forgive me! See me as
you are. It's been going on more than two hours already."
"I a minute; in a minute!" answered a voice, and to his
amazement Levin heard that the doctor was smiling as he spoke.
"For one instant."
"In a minute."
Two minutes more passed while the doctor was putting on his
boots, and two minutes more while the doctor put on his coat and
combed his hair.
"Pyotr Dmitrievitch!" Levin was beginning again in a plaintive
voice, just as the doctor came in dressed and ready. "These
people have no conscience," thought Levin. "Combing his hair,
while we're dying!"
"Good morning!" the doctor said to him, shaking hands, and, as it
were, teasing him with his composure. "There's no hurry. Well
Trying to be as accurate as possible Levin began to tell him
every unnecessary detail of his wife's condition, interrupting
his account repeatedly with entreaties that the doctor would come
with him at once.
"Oh, you needn't be in any hurry. You don't understand, you
know. I'm certain I'm not wanted, still I've promised, and if
you like, I'll come. But there's no hurry. Please sit down;
won't you have some coffee?"
Levin stared at him with eyes that asked whether he was laughing
at him; but the doctor had no notion of making fun of him.