Lvov, the husband of Natalia, Kitty's sister, had spent all his
life in foreign capitals, where he had been educated, and had
been in the diplomatic service.
During the previous year he had left the diplomatic service, not
owing to any "unpleasantness" (he never had any "unpleasantness"
with anyone), and was transferred to the department of the court
of the palace in Moscow, in order to give his two boys the best
In spite of the striking contrast in their habits and views and
the fact that Lvov was older than Levin, they had seen a great
deal of one another that winter, and had taken a great liking to
Lvov was at home, and Levin went in to him unannounced.
Lvov, in a house coat with a belt and in chamois leather shoes,
was sitting in an armchair, and with a pince-nez with blue
glasses he was reading a book that stood on a reading desk, while
in his beautiful hand he held a half-burned cigarette daintily
away from him.
His handsome, delicate, and still youthful-looking face, to which
his curly, glistening silvery hair gave a still more aristocratic
air, lighted up with a smile when he saw Levin.
"Capital! I was meaning to send to you. How's Kitty? Sit here,
it's more comfortable." He got up and pushed up a rocking chair.
"Have you read the last circular in the Journal de St.
Petersbourg? I think it's excellent," he said with a slight
Levin told him what he had heard from Katavasov was being said in
Petersburg, and after talking a little about politics, he told
him of his interview with Metrov, and the learned society's
meeting. To Lvov it was very interesting.
"That's what I envy you, that you are able to mix in these
interesting scientific circles," he said. And as he talked, he
passed as usual into French, which was easier to him. "It's true
I haven't the time for it. My official work and the children
leave me no time; and then I'm not ashamed to own that my
education has been too defective."