The assembled company (Dolly, kids, Katavasov, Koznyshev, the old Prince, Levin) begins gossiping about Vronsky and the Serbian War.
The old Prince is skeptical of the movement to help the Slavs, but Koznyshev and Katavasov eagerly defend it. Koznyshev feels that this is a moment in which the clear destiny of a people (the Slavs as a whole) has become clear.
Levin asks a peasant who is serving them whether he has heard priests preaching for the Slavist cause in the pulpits. After all, the Serbs are Eastern Orthodox Christians who are fighting off Muslim occupiers. The old peasant replies, what is there to think about? The Czar gets to decide, and he knows better than anyone.
Koznyshev says that he can see the rightness of this cause because he has seen numerous people from across Russia volunteering to join it. Levin claims that's just proof that they've lost their social positions or squandered their money at home and are looking for an escape from their situations. This idea of supporting the Slavic people is so vague. Look at this peasant, Levin says, he doesn't think of battling on the Slavic side as "the will of the people."