On the day of the wedding, according to the Russian custom (the
princess and Darya Alexandrovna insisted on strictly keeping all
the customs), Levin did not see his betrothed, and dined at his
hotel with three bachelor friends, casually brought together at
his rooms. These were Sergey Ivanovitch, Katavasov, a university
friend, now professor of natural science, whom Levin had met in
the street and insisted on taking home with him, and Tchirikov,
his best man, a Moscow conciliation-board judge, Levin's
companion in his bear-hunts. The dinner was a very merry one:
Sergey Ivanovitch was in his happiest mood, and was much amused
by Katavasov's originality. Katavasov, feeling his originality
was appreciated and understood, made the most of it. Tchirikov
always gave a lively and good-humored support to conversation of
"See, now," said Katavasov, drawling his words from a habit
acquired in the lecture-room, "what a capable fellow was our
friend Konstantin Dmitrievitch. I'm not speaking of present
company, for he's absent. At the time he left the university he
was fond of science, took an interest in humanity; now one-half
of his abilities is devoted to deceiving himself, and the other
to justifying the deceit."
"A more determined enemy of matrimony than you I never saw," said
"Oh, no, I'm not an enemy of matrimony. I'm in favor of division
of labor. People who can do nothing else ought to rear people
while the rest work for their happiness and enlightenment.
That's how I look at it. To muddle up two trades is the error of
the amateur; I'm not one of their number."
"How happy I shall be when I hear that you're in love!" said
Levin. "Please invite me to the wedding."
"I'm in love now."
"Yes, with a cuttlefish! You know," Levin turned to his brother,
"Mihail Semyonovitch is writing a work on the digestive organs of
"Now, make a muddle of it! It doesn't matter what about. And
the fact is, I certainly do love cuttlefish."