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bearing

Posted Jan 12 2013 1:02am
But after that hour there passed another hour, ash boots two hours, three, the full five hours he had fixed as the furthest limit of his sufferings, and the situation was still unchanged; and he was still bearing it because there was nothing to be done but bear it - every instant feeling that he had reached the utmost limits of his endurance, and that his heart would break with sympathy and pain. But still the minutes passed by, and the hours, and still more hours, and his misery and horror grew and were more and more intense. All the ordinary conditions of life, without which one can form no conception of anything, had ceased to exist for Levin. He lost all sense of time. Minutes - those minutes when she sent for him and he held her moist hand, that would squeeze his hand with extraordinary violence and then push it away - seemed to him hours, and hours seemed to him minutes. He was surprised when Lizaveta Petrovna asked him to light a candle behind a screen, and he found that it was five o'clock in the afternoon. If he had been told it was only ten o'clock in the morning he would not have been surprised. Where he was all this time, he knew as little as the time of anything. He saw her swollen face, sometimes bewildered and in agony, sometimes smiling and trying to reassure him. He saw the old Princess too, flushed and overwrought, with her gray curls in disorder, forcing herself to gulp down her tears, biting her lips; he saw Dolly too, and the doctor, smoking thick cigarettes, and Lizaveta Petrovna with a firm, resolute, reassuring face, and the old Prince walking up and down the hall with a frowning face. But why they came in and went out, where they were, he did not know. The Princess was with the doctor in the bedroom, then in the study, where a table set for dinner suddenly appeared; then she was not there, but Dolly was. Then Levin remembered he had been sent somewhere. Once he had been sent to move a table and sofa. He had done this eagerly, thinking it had to be done for her sake, and only later on he found it was his own bed he had been getting ready. Then he had been sent to the study to ask the doctor something. The doctor had answered and then had said something about the irregularities in the municipal council. Then he had been sent to the bedroom to help the old Princess move the holy image in its silver-gilt setting, and with the Princess's old waiting maid he had clambered on a shelf to reach it and had broken the lampad, and the old servant had tried to reassure him about the lampad and about his wife, and he carried the holy image in and set it at the head of Kitty's bed, carefully tucking the image in behind the pillow. But where, when, and why all this had happened, he could not tell. He did not understand why the old Princess took his hand, and looking compassionately at him, begged him not to worry himself, and Dolly persuaded him to eat something and led him out of the room, and even the doctor looked seriously and with commiseration at him, and offered him a drop of something. All he knew and felt was that what was happening was what had happened nearly a year before in the hotel of the country town at the deathbed of his brother Nikolai. But that had been grief - this was joy. Yet that grief and this joy were alike outside all the ordinary conditions of life; they were loopholes, as it were, in that ordinary life, through which there came glimpses of something sublime. And in the contemplation of this sublime something the soul was exalted to inconceivable heights of which it had before had no conception, while reason lagged behind, unable to keep up with it. `Lord, have mercy on us, and succor us!' he repeated to himself incessantly, feeling, in spite of his long and, as it seemed, complete alienation from religion, that he turned to God just as trustfully and simply as he had in his childhood and first youth.
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