Part 1 section 25: Nicholas tells Levin about a Locksmith's Association they are starting where all the products and profits will be common property. He also tells Levin not to talk to him about their brother, Sergius Ivanich, as they do not get along. When Nicholas goes out in the hall with the young man, Levin is alone with Marry and finds out that she has been with his brother for two years and that his health is bad. Levin invites Nicholas to come and visit him in the country, and Nicholas replies that he would come if he were sure he would not find Sergius Ivanich there. His speech starts to get confused, and Levin and Mary convince him to go to bed. Mary tells Levin that she will write to him in case of need and that she will try to convince Nicholas to go to him.
Part 1 section 26: The next morning Levin leaves Moscow for home. As he nears home he gets happier and feels less shame and dissatisfaction with himself. He decides that he will no longer hope for the happiness which marriage would have brought and that he will not allow himself to be carried away by passion, as other times that he has allowed that to happen torment him. He also vows to watch over Nicholas and to live more simply and work harder. His old nurse, Agatha Mikhaylovna, greets him when he arrives home. He soon gets underway with his farming duties.
Part 1 section 27: Later, in the drawing room, Levin thinks about how all of his happiness depended on his marriage and that now he must renounce it. He sits and talks with Agatha Mikhaylovna for awhile, and she seems to understand his disappointment.
Part 1 section 28: The morning after the ball Anna is making preparations to return home. Dolly thinks that she is acting strangely. Anna tells her that Kitty did not come to dinner that day because she is jealous of her because of Vronsky. She asks Dolly to make things right between her and Kitty, and Dolly replies that she would not want Kitty to marry Vronsky if he could fall in love with another so quickly anyway.
Part 1 section 29: In the train Anna is happy to be leaving. She sits and tries to read an English novel, but is too distracted and can't stop feeling uneasy about her time in Moscow. At a stop she leaves the train to get some air.
Part 1 section 30: Anna sees Vronsky there. She had been trying to convince herself that Vronsky meant nothing to her, but she is filled with joy when she sees him. She knows that he is going so that he can be near her, and that is what he says when she asks him. She tells him not to say things like that and re-enters the train. She does not sleep that night and cannot stop thinking about Vronsky. When she arrives home she sees her husband, Karenin, there to meet her and at once notices how large his ears are. He says he is a devoted husband to pick her up like this.
Part 1 section 31: Vronsky does not sleep that night either and thinks that he would go anywhere to be near Anna. The next day at the station he sees Karenin first and thinks that Anna cannot love him. He goes toward them and tries to talk to Anna. Karenin talks to him slightly, trying to make it obvious he wants to be alone with his wife.
Part 1 section 32: When Anna arrives home her son runs down to meet her, and she realizes that she is disappointed with him to, just as she was with Karenin when he met her at the station. She had pictured him nicer than he was in reality while she was away. Karenin leaves home to go to work. The Countess Lydia Ivanovna (a friend of Karenin's) comes to visit Anna and wants to know all about the gossip from Moscow. While talking to her Anna wonders if the Countess was always as irritating as she was then being.
Part 1 section 33: When Karenin returns home they have dinner, and as usual there are about three guests. Karenin is a very busy man and every moment of his day is planned. After dinner he has a meeting to attend. Anna was also going out, but some dresses she had left to be altered were not finished yet, and she decides to stay home with her son. Karenina returns and they talk a bit about her trip and Moscow, and Anna realizes that he is a good man.
Part 1 section 34: When Vronsky had gone to Moscow he had loaned his Petersburg flat to his comrade Petrisky. At is arrival, Petrisky is there with some friends. Petrisky is happy to see him and they order coffee and talk. The people in Vronsky's Petersburg world are divided between the inferior sort who think that a husband should live with the one wife he is married to, and the real people to which his friends belong who abandon themselves to passion. Vronsky puts on his uniform to report himself and then goes to see his brother and his friend Betsy so that he can start visiting the people with whom he would likely meet Anna Karenina.
Part 2 section 1: Kitty is ill. A consultation with doctors has determined that the Shcherbatskys should go abroad to restore her health. Both Kitty and her father know that she is just suffering from a broken heart.
Part 2 section 2: Dolly comes over and is sorry to hear that they are going abroad as she will miss Kitty. Her reconciliation with her husband has not really lasted, and she has suspicions that he has another mistress. Dolly tells her mother that Levin had wanted to propose to Kitty when he was there. Her mother lies and says that she heard nothing about it. Dolly says that if Kitty refused him she could be ill with regret now that Vronsky has gone. Kitty's mother feels bad about how much she is to blame for the whole thing, since she encouraged Vronsky over Levin.