Part 6, Chapter 30 Summary
Sviazhsky introduces Levin to his friends. This time Levin cannot avoid Vronsky, as he is standing with Stepan Arkadyevitch and Sergey Ivanovitch. Vronsky is quick to extend his hand and says he remembers meeting Levin at Princess Shtcherbatsky’s. Levin blushes, says he remembers, and turns to talk to his brother. Vronsky continues his conversation oblivious to Levin, but Levin keeps thinking about how he might “gloss over” his blushing.
Levin asks about what is happening in the election process, but his questions simply demonstrate his complete lack of understanding of the process. Stepan Arkadyevitch winks at Vronsky, suggesting this is as exciting as a race one might bet on. Vronsky sets his jaw and says it seems to him more like a fight. There is a pause in the conversation, and Vronsky notices Levin’s gloomy eyes are fixed on him. Noting his uniform, asks why Levin is a nobleman who lives in the country but is not a justice of the peace.
Levin thinks the justice of the peace is a “silly institution,” but Vronsky thinks just the opposite. Levin says he has had no good experiences with the justice of the peace in his district and relates a rather ridiculous story to prove it; even as he speaks he knows what he is saying is “stupid.” Stepan Arkadyevitch and Vronsky walk away, and Sergey Ivanovitch tells his brother he cannot believe he has no political tact. While he does not have to make a friend of him, Vronsky is on his side of this issue and there is no sense in making him an enemy.
The old marshal has made up his mind to stand, and the elections begin. Sergey Ivanovitch whispers to Levin that he should cast his vote by placing the white ball on the right side; but he is confused and thinks he knows the enemy, so he votes to the left. As he watches others vote, Levin scowls and realizes he voted incorrectly. Everyone is still as the counting...
(The entire section is 510 words.)