"But how can it be helped?" said Levin penitently. "It was my
last effort. And I did try with all my soul. I can't. I'm no
good at it."
"It's not that you're no good at it," said Sergey Ivanovitch; "it
is that you don't look at it as you should."
"Perhaps not," Levin answered dejectedly.
"Oh! do you know brother Nikolay's turned up again?"
This brother Nikolay was the elder brother of Konstantin Levin,
and half-brother of Sergey Ivanovitch; a man utterly ruined, who
had dissipated the greater part of his fortune, was living in the
strangest and lowest company, and had quarreled with his
"What did you say?" Levin cried with horror. "How do you know?"
"Prokofy saw him in the street."
"Here in Moscow? Where is he? Do you know?" Levin got up from
his chair, as though on the point of starting off at once.
"I am sorry I told you," said Sergey Ivanovitch, shaking his head
at his younger brother's excitement. "I sent to find out where
he is living, and sent him his IOU to Trubin, which I paid. This
is the answer he sent me."
And Sergey Ivanovitch took a note from under a paper-weight and
handed it to his brother.
Levin read in the queer, familiar handwriting: "I humbly beg you
to leave me in peace. That's the only favor I ask of my gracious
Levin read it, and without raising his head stood with the note
in his hands opposite Sergey Ivanovitch.
There was a struggle in his heart between the desire to forget
his unhappy brother for the time, and the consciousness that it
would be base to do so.