"That I don't believe," said Levin with a smile, feeling, as he
always did, touched at Lvov's low opinion of himself, which was
not in the least put on from a desire to seem or to be modest,
but was absolutely sincere.
"Oh, yes, indeed! I feel now how badly educated I am. To
educate my children I positively have to look up a great deal,
and in fact simply to study myself. For it's not enough to have
teachers, there must be someone to look after them, just as on
your land you want laborers and an overseer. See what I'm
reading"--he pointed to Buslaev's Grammar on the desk--"it's
expected of Misha, and it's so difficult.... Come, explain to
me.... Here he says..."
Levin tried to explain to him that it couldn't be understood, but
that it had to be taught; but Lvov would not agree with him.
"Oh, you're laughing at it!"
"On the contrary, you can't imagine how, when I look at you, I'm
always learning the task that lies before me, that is the
education of one's children."
"Well, there's nothing for you to learn," said Lvov.
"All I know," said Levin, "is that I have never seen better
brought-up children than yours, and I wouldn't wish for children
better than yours."
Lvov visibly tried to restrain the expression of his delight, but
he was positively radiant with smiles.
"If only they're better than I! That's all I desire. You don't
know yet all the work," he said, "with boys who've been left like
mine to run wild abroad."
"You'll catch all that up. They're such clever children. The
great thing is the education of character. That's what I learn
when I look at your children."