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wife and inquired about the concert. Levin answered, and repeated an inquiry about Madame Apraksinas sudden death. "But she was always in weak health." "Were you at the opera yesterday?" "Yes, I was." "Lucca was very good." "Yes, very good," he said, and as it was utterly of no consequence to him what they thought of him, he began repeating what they had heard a hundred times about the characteristics of the singers talent. Countess Bola pretended to be listening. Then, when he had said enough and paused, the colonel, who had been silent till then, began to talk. The colonel too talked of the opera, and about culture. At last, after speaking of the proposed _folle journee_ at Turins, the colonel laughed, got up noisily, and went away. Levin too rose, but he saw by the face of the countess that it was not yet time for him to go. He must stay two minutes longer. He sat down. But as he was thinking all the while how stupid it was, he could not find a subject for conversation, and sat silent. "You are not going to the public meeting? They say it will be very interesting," began the countess. "No, I promised my belle-soeur to fetch her from it," said Levin. A silence followed. The mother once more exchanged glances with a daughter. "Well, now I think the time has come," thought Levin, and he got up. The ladies shook hands with him, and begged him to say _mille choses_ to his wife for them. The porter asked him, as he gave him his coat, "Where is your honor staying?" and immediately wrote down his address in a big handsomely bound book. "Of course I dont care, but still I feel ashamed and awfully stupid," thought Levin, consoling himself with the reflection that everyone does it. He drove to the public meeting, where he was to find his sister-in-law, so as to drive home with her. At the public meeting of the committee there were a great many people, and almost all the highest society. Levin was in time for the report which, as everyone said, was very interesting. When the reading of the report was over, people moved about, and Levin met Sviazhsky, who invited him very pressingly to come that evening to a meeting of the Society of Agriculture, where a celebrated lecture was to be delivered, and Stepan Arkadyevitch, who had only just come from the races, and many other acquaintances; and Levin heard and uttered various criticisms on the meeting, on the new fantasia, and on a public trial. But, probably from the mental fatigue he was beginning to feel, he made a blunder in speaking of the trial, and this blunder he recalled several times with vexation. Speaking of the sentence upon a foreigner who had been condemned in Russia, and of how unfair it would be to punish him by exile abroad, Levin repeated what he had heard the day before in conversation from an acquaintance. "I think sending him abroad is much the same as punishing a carp by putting it into the water," said Levin. Then he recollected that this idea, which he had heard from an acquaintance and uttered as his own, came from a fable of Krilovs, and that the acquaintance had picked it up from a newspaper article. After driving home with his sister-in-law, and finding Kitty in good spirits and quite well, Levin drove to the club. Chapter 7 Levin reached the club just at the right time. Members and visitors were driving up as he arrived. Levin had not been at the club for a very long while--not since he lived in Moscow, when he was leaving the university and going into society. He remembered the club, the external details of its arrangement, but he had completely forgotten the impression it had made on him in old days. But as soon as, driving into the wide semicircular court and getting out of the sledge, he mounted the steps, and the hall porter, adorned with a crossway scarf, noiselessly opened the door to him with a bow; as soon as he saw in the porters room the cloaks and galoshes of members who thought it less trouble to take them off downstairs; as soon as he heard the mysterious ringing bell that preceded him as he ascended the easy, carpeted staircase, and saw the statue on the landing, and the third porter at the top doors, a familiar figure grown older, in the club

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