A silence followed, during which Vronsky--since he had to look at something--looked at Levin, at his feet, at his uniform, then at his face, and noticing his gloomy eyes fixed upon him, he said, in order to say something: "How is it that you, living constantly in the country, are not a justice of the peace? You are not in the uniform of one.

" "It's because I consider that the justice of the peace is a silly institution," Levin answered gloomily.

He had been all the time looking for an opportunity to enter into conversation with Vronsky, so as to smooth over his rudeness at their first meeting.

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