Dolly broaches the subject of Kitty, and Levin’s hope begins to re-emerge. Dolly thinks that Kitty’s refusal of Levin’s proposal at the time does not mean that Kitty will refuse Levin forever. Levin, however, gets angry and thinks that Dolly is giving him false hope. Dolly’s daughter comes in, and Dolly speaks French with her, which makes Levin think that she’s being insincere. After tea, Dolly is no longer cheerful; another spat between her children has occurred, and it no longer seems adorable to her. Levin leaves, and she doesn’t try to keep him.
Levin hope mixes with despair based on past experience. French was considered by the Russia elite to be a more sophisticated and intellectual language than Russian. Yet Levin, a man of the country (which can also be read as a man connected to the land of Russia), finds he can't trust anyone speaking French. Levin, and the novel, suggest that Russians should use Russian things, and not look to foreign culture or language for sophistication.