I said so even at the time when everybody was in raptures about him, when he had just returned from abroad, and when, if you remember, he posed as a sort of Marat at one of my soirees.
And how has it ended? I was against this marriage even then and foretold all that has happened.
" Anna Pavlovna continued to give on free evenings the same kind of soirees as before--such as she alone had the gift of arranging--at which was to be found "the cream of really good society, the bloom of the intellectual essence of Petersburg," as she herself put it.
Besides this refined selection of society Anna Pavlovna's receptions were also distinguished by the fact that she always presented some new and interesting person to the visitors and that nowhere else was the state of the political thermometer of legitimate Petersburg court society so dearly and distinctly indicated.

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