To be an enthusiast had become her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did not feel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her. The subdued smile which, though it did not suit her faded features , always played round her lips xpressed, as in a spoiled child, a continual consciousness of her charming defect, which she neither wished, nor ould, nor considered it necessary, to correct. All her invitations without exception, written in French, and delivered by a scarlet-liveried footman that morning, ran as follows.
He had just entered, wearing an embroidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars on his breast and a serene expression on his flat face. He spoke in that refined French in which our randfathers not only spoke but thought, and with the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importance ho had grown old in society and at court. He went up to Anna Pavlovna, kissed her hand, presenting to her his bald, scented, and shining head, and complacently seated himself on the sofa..