"Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast
revealed them unto babes." So Levin thought about his wife as he
talked to her that evening.
Levin thought of the text, not because he considered himself
"wise and prudent." He did not so consider himself, but he could
not help knowing that he had more intellect than his wife and
Agafea Mihalovna, and he could not help knowing that when he
thought of death, he thought with all the force of his intellect.
He knew too that the brains of many great men, whose thoughts he
had read, had brooded over death and yet knew not a hundredth
part of what his wife and Agafea Mihalovna knew about it.
Different as those two women were, Agafea Mihalovna and Katya, as
his brother Nikolay had called her, and as Levin particularly
liked to call her now, they were quite alike in this. Both knew,
without a shade of doubt, what sort of thing life was and what
was death, and though neither of them could have answered, and
would even not have understood the questions that presented
themselves to Levin, both had no doubt of the significance of
this event, and were precisely alike in their way of looking at
it, which they shared with millions of people. The proof that
they knew for a certainty the nature of death lay in the fact
that they knew without a second of hesitation how to deal with
the dying, and were not frightened of them. Levin and other men
like him, though they could have said a great deal about death,
obviously did not know this since they were afraid of death, and
were absolutely at a loss what to do when people were dying. If
Levin had been alone now with his brother Nikolay, he would have
looked at him with terror, and with still greater terror waited,
and would not have known what else to do.