Oblonsky is late to dinner, and when he arrives, all the guests are sitting around awkwardly.
Oblonsky quickly smooths over the whole situation and gets everyone chatting amicably.
He leaves the dinner to check in on the drinks. In the hallway, he bumps into Levin. Oblonsky tells him that Kitty's here, and that Oblonsky will introduce Levin to Karenin.
Upon hearing that Kitty is in the room, Levin gets flustered and could care less about meeting the celebrated Karenin.
Both Kitty and Levin are filled with emotion when they meet again.
Oblonsky takes Levin over to meet Karenin. It turns out they've spent three hours on a train together before.
Oblonsky motions his guests towards the buffet.
Koznyshev, who is discussing the gradual annexation of Poland by the Russians, effortlessly transitions his conversation with Karenin and Pestsov from this deep intellectual topic to a humorous one (i.e., children).
Oblonsky asks if Levin has been doing gymnastics, and when Levin flexes his arm, his bicep is like a mound of steel.
Kitty asks Levin about bear hunting; her body language asks for forgiveness for her former mistreatment of him, and pledges her own love to him.
Levin launches into an entertaining story of the first time he met Karenin, on a train, when he blundered into Karenin's compartment wearing the sheepskin jacket of a much poorer man.
Listening to his brother, Koznyshev wonders what has happened. Tonight Levin is a confident entertainer: he's funny and self-assured, and unlike his usual self.
Levin feels as though he has grown wings, as though he's floating above all the Karenins and Oblonskys of the world.
Oblonsky puts Levin and Kitty next to each other during dinner.
The dinner party is a magnificent success—both the food and the conversation are excellent.