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Anna Karenina 379


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for and against. The marshal had been voted for by a considerable majority. All was noise and eager movement towards the doors. Snetkov came in, and the nobles thronged round him, congratulating him. "Well, now is it over?" Levin asked Sergey Ivanovitch. "Its only just beginning," Sviazhsky said, replying for Sergey Ivanovitch with a smile. "Some other candidate may receive more votes than the marshal." Levin had quite forgotten about that. Now he could only remember that there was some sort of trickery in it, but he was too bored to think what it was exactly. He felt depressed, and longed to get out of the crowd. As no one was paying any attention to him, and no one apparently needed him, he quietly slipped away into the little room where the refreshments were, and again had a great sense of comfort when he saw the waiters. The little old waiter pressed him to have something, and Levin agreed. After eating a cutlet with beans and talking to the waiters of their former masters, Levin, not wishing to go back to the hall, where it was all so distasteful to him, proceeded to walk through the galleries. The galleries were full of fashionably dressed ladies, leaning over the balustrade and trying not to lose a single word of what was being said below. With the ladies were sitting and standing smart lawyers, high school teachers in spectacles, and officers. Everywhere they were talking of the election, and of how worried the marshal was, and how splendid the discussions had been. In one group Levin heard his brothers praises. One lady was telling a lawyer: "How glad I am I heard Koznishev! Its worth losing ones dinner. Hes exquisite! So clear and distinct all of it! Theres not one of you in the law courts that speaks like that. The only one is Meidel, and hes not so eloquent by a long way." Finding a free place, Levin leaned over the balustrade and began looking and listening. All the noblemen were sitting railed off behind barriers according to their districts. In the middle of the room stood a man in a uniform, who shouted in a loud, high voice: "As a candidate for the marshalship of the nobility of the province we call upon staff-captain Yevgeney Ivanovitch Apuhtin!" A dead silence followed, and then a weak old voice was heard: "Declined!" "We call upon the privy councilor Pyotr Petrovitch Bol," the voice began again. "Declined!" a high boyish voice replied. Again it began, and again "Declined." And so it went on for about an hour. Levin, with his elbows on the balustrade, looked and listened. At first he wondered and wanted to know what it meant; then feeling sure that he could not make it out he began to be bored. Then recalling all the excitement and vindictiveness he had seen on all the faces, he felt sad; he made up his mind to go, and went downstairs. As he passed through the entry to the galleries he met a dejected high school boy walking up and down with tired-looking eyes. On the stairs he met a couple--a lady running quickly on her high heels and the jaunty deputy prosecutor. "I told you you werent late," the deputy prosecutor was saying at the moment when Levin moved aside to let the lady pass. Levin was on the stairs to the way out, and was just feeling in his waistcoat pocket for the number of his overcoat, when the secretary overtook him. "This way, please, Konstantin Dmitrievitch; they are voting." The candidate who was being voted on was Nevyedovsky, who had so stoutly denied all idea of standing. Levin went up to the door of the room; it was locked. The secretary knocked, the door opened, and Levin was met by two red-faced gentlemen, who darted out. "I cant stand any more of it," said one red-faced gentleman. After them the face of the marshal of the province was poked out. His face was dreadful-looking from exhaustion and dismay. "I told you not to let any one out!" he cried to the doorkeeper. "I let someone in, your excellency!" "Mercy on us!" and with a heavy sigh the marshal of the province walked with downcast head to the high table in the middle of the room, his legs staggering in his white trousers. Nevyedovsky had scored a higher majority, as they had planned, and he was the new marshal of the province. Many people were amused, many

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