`You do not admit the possibility at all?' he queried. `But why not? We admit the existence of electricity, of which we know nothing. Why should there not be some new force, still unknown to us, which...'
`When electricity was discovered,' Levin interrupted hurriedly, `it was only the phenomenon that was discovered, and it was unknown from what it proceeded and what were its effects, and ages passed before its applications were conceived. But the spiritualists, on the contrary, have begun with tables writing for them, and spirits appearing to them, and have only later started saying that it is an unknown force.'
Vronsky listened attentively to Levin, as he always did listen, obviously interested in his words.
`Yes, but the spiritualists say we don't know at present what this force is, but there is a force, and these are the conditions in which it acts. Let the scientific men find out what the force consists of. No, I don't see why there should not be a new force, if it...'
`Why, because with electricity,' Levin interrupted again, `every time you rub tar against wool, a certain phenomenon is manifested; but in this case it does not happen every time, and so it follows it is not a natural phenomenon.'
Feeling probably that the conversation was taking a tone too serious for a drawing room, Vronsky made no rejoinder, but by way of trying to change the conversation, he smiled brightly, and turned to the ladies.
`Do let us try at once, Countess,' he said; but Levin would finish saying what he thought.
`I think,' he went on, `that this attempt of the spiritualists to explain their miracles as some sort of new natural force is most futile. They boldly talk of spiritual force, and then try to subject it to material experiment.'