"Yes, and indeed it's time to start," said Metrov. "Come with
us, and from there, if you care to, come to my place. I should
very much like to hear your work."
"Oh, no! It's no good yet, it's unfinished. But I shall be very
glad to go to the meeting."
"I say, friends, have you heard? He has handed in the separate
report," Katavasov called from the other room, where he was
putting on his frock coat.
And a conversation sprang up upon the university question, which
was a very important event that winter in Moscow. Three old
professors in the council had not accepted the opinion of the
younger professors. The young ones had registered a separate
resolution. This, in the judgment of some people, was monstrous,
in the judgment of others it was the simplest and most just thing
to do, and the professors were split up into two parties.
One party, to which Katavasov belonged, saw in the opposite party
a scoundrelly betrayal and treachery, while the opposite party
saw in them childishness and lack of respect for the authorities.
Levin, though he did not belong to the university, had several
times already during his stay in Moscow heard and talked about
this matter, and had his own opinion on the subject. He took
part in the conversation that was continued in the street, as
they all three walked to the buildings of the old university.
The meeting had already begun. Round the cloth-covered table, at
which Katavasov and Metrov seated themselves, there were some
half-dozen persons, and one of these was bending close over a
manuscript, reading something aloud. Levin sat down in one of
the empty chairs that were standing round the table, and in a
whisper asked a student sitting near what was being read. The
student, eyeing Levin with displeasure, said:
Though Levin was not interested in the biography, he could not
help listening, and learned some new and interesting facts about
the life of the distinguished man of science.