The more mental effort he made the clearer he saw that it was undoubtedly so: that he had really forgotten and overlooked one little circumstance in life - that Death would come and end everything, so that it was useless to begin anything, and that there was no help for it, Yes it was terrible but true
Between Countess Nordston and Levin there had been established those relations, not infrequent in society, in which two persons, while ostensibly remaining on friendly terms, are contemptuous of each other to such a degree that they cannot even treat each other seriously and cannot even insult each one another.
In my considered opinion, salary is payment for goods delivered and it must conform to the law of supply and demand. If, therefore, the fixed salary is a violation of this law - as, for instance, when I see two engineers leaving college together and both equally well trained and efficient, and one getting forty thousand while the other only earns two thousand , or when lawyers and hussars, possessing no special qualifications, are appointed directors of banks with huge salaries - I can only conclude that their salaries are not fixed according to the law of supply and demand but simply by personal influence. And this is an abuse important in itself and having a deleterious effect on government service.
The acquisition by dishonest means and cunning,' said Levin, feeling that he was incapable of clearly defining the borderline between honesty and dishonesty. 'Like the profits made by banks,' he went on. 'This is evil, I mean, the acquisition of enormous fortunes without work, as it used to be with the spirit monopolists. Only the form has changed. Hardly were the monopolies abolished before railways and banks appeared: just another way of making money without work.