Part 6, Chapter 28 Summary
Levin is unable to hear everything distinctly due to all the noise of people around him, but he knows there is a disagreement about the interpretation of some act and the meaning of the exact words “liable to be called up for trial.” The disagreement continues until Sergey Ivanovitch, waiting until the angry gentleman has finished speaking, makes his way to the table through the crowd which parts for him. He says the best solution to the problem is to read the actual act, and he sends the secretary to find it. The act says that if there is a disagreement, there must be a ballot.
As Sergey Ivanovitch reads the act and begins to explain it, a large, whiskered nobleman advances to the table, strikes it, and shouts loudly for the matter to be put to a vote. The room is soon in an uproar. Levin is confused because the large man is on the opposite side of things than Sergey Ivanovitch yet he has demanded they pursue the same course of action as Sergey Ivanovitch proposed. Both sides seem filled with hatred for the other and for a moment there is nothing but confusion; the marshal of the province finally has to call for order.
Furious and violent voices are raised all over the room, but the men’s faces are even more furious and violent. Levin is bewildered by the situation and marvels at the passion which these men demonstrate. It is painful for Levin to see these noblemen whom he respects in such an “unpleasant and vicious state of excitement.” He escapes by going into the other room. The only people in there are the waiters at the refreshment bar. Looking at their calm and cheerful faces, Levin feels an unexpected sense of relief. Just as Levin is about to engage the men in a conversation, an old nobleman takes his arm and says his brother is looking for him. It is time to vote on the legal point.
He enters the room and takes the white ball to vote but has forgotten which side his brother...
(The entire section is 538 words.)