Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina

Chapter 14 (continued)

"Please don't touch and don't teach me!" said Levin, angered by this interference. Now, as always, interference made him angry, and he felt sorrowfully at once how mistaken had been his supposition that his spiritual condition could immediately change him in contact with reality.

He was not a quarter of a mile from home when he saw Grisha and Tanya running to meet him.

"Uncle Kostya! mamma's coming, and grandfather, and Sergey Ivanovitch, and someone else," they said, clambering up into the trap.

"Who is he?"

"An awfully terrible person! And he does like this with his arms," said Tanya, getting up in the trap and mimicking Katavasov.

"Old or young?" asked Levin, laughing, reminded of someone, he did not know whom, by Tanya's performance.

"Oh, I hope it's not a tiresome person!" thought Levin.

As soon as he turned, at a bend in the road, and saw the party coming, Levin recognized Katavasov in a straw hat, walking along swinging his arms just as Tanya had shown him. Katavasov was very fond of discussing metaphysics, having derived his notions from natural science writers who had never studied metaphysics, and in Moscow Levin had had many arguments with him of late.

And one of these arguments, in which Katavasov had obviously considered that he came off victorious, was the first thing Levin thought of as he recognized him.

"No, whatever I do, I won't argue and give utterance to my ideas lightly," he thought.

Getting out of the trap and greeting his brother and Katavasov, Levin asked about his wife.

"She has taken Mitya to Kolok" (a copse near the house). "She meant to have him out there because it's so hot indoors," said Dolly. Levin had always advised his wife not to take the baby to the wood, thinking it unsafe, and he was not pleased to hear this.

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