Levin has not visited Sviyazhsky in some time because his friend has a sister-in-law whom he wants Levin to marry, which makes Levin uncomfortable. However, Levin wants to measure his feelings against her. Sviyazhsky is something of a contradiction: even though he looks down on peasants as a class, for example, he supports individual peasants at elections. The snipe-shooting that day is not very good. At tea afterwards, Levin blushes and feels awkward around the sister-in-law, who is wearing a dress with a plunging neckline.
Levin visits his friend to distract himself from his emotions about Kitty, but the visit backfires when his friend’s sister-in-law comes out with her plunging cleavage and clear desires to ensnare a husband. Levin is embarrassed around Kitty, but he’s not looking for a substitute bride. Unlike his friend, who freely practices hypocrisy, Levin is too emotionally honest to say one thing and do another.