His plate did not seem clean to him; he pointed to a spot and flung it aside. Tikhon caught it and handed it to the butler.
Very economical, the way he shows us two servants standing there. What kind of person would fling a plate? Hmm. So much is packed into this mini-package of two short sentences.
This is the chapter when Prince Vassily and his libertine of a son Anatole show up, seeking the wealthy Princess Marya's hand in marriage.
The end of this chapter seems to suggest Tolstoy's own philosophy:
What could it all mean in comparison with the predestination of God, without whose will not one hair falls from man's head.