In the doorway the marshal of the province jostled against Levin.
"Beg pardon, excuse me, please," he said as to a stranger, but
recognizing Levin, he smiled timidly. It seemed to Levin that he
would have liked to say something, but could not speak for
emotion. His face and his whole figure in his uniform with the
crosses, and white trousers striped with braid, as he moved
hurriedly along, reminded Levin of some hunted beast who sees
that he is in evil case. This expression in the marshal's face
was particularly touching to Levin, because, only the day before,
he had been at his house about his trustee business and had seen
him in all his grandeur, a kind-hearted, fatherly man. The big
house with the old family furniture; the rather dirty, far from
stylish, but respectful footmen, unmistakably old house serfs who
had stuck to their master; the stout, good-natured wife in a cap
with lace and a Turkish shawl, petting her pretty grandchild, her
daughter's daughter; the young son, a sixth form high school boy,
coming home from school, and greeting his father, kissing his big
hand; the genuine, cordial words and gestures of the old man--all
this had the day before roused an instinctive feeling of respect
and sympathy in Levin. This old man was a touching and pathetic
figure to Levin now, and he longed to say something pleasant to
"So you're sure to be our marshal again," he said.
"It's not likely," said the marshal, looking round with a scared
expression. "I'm worn out, I'm old. If there are men younger
and more deserving than I, let them serve."
And the marshal disappeared through a side door.
The most solemn moment was at hand. They were to proceed
immediately to the election. The leaders of both parties were
reckoning white and black on their fingers.
The discussion upon Flerov had given the new party not only
Flerov's vote, but had also gained time for them, so that they
could send to fetch three noblemen who had been rendered unable
to take part in the elections by the wiles of the other party.
Two noble gentlemen, who had a weakness for strong drink, had
been made drunk by the partisans of Snetkov, and a third had been
robbed of his uniform.