The elderly lady was a Princess Drubetskaya, belonging to one of the best families in Russia, but she was poor, and having long been out of society had lost her former influential connections.
Prince Vasili kept the promise he had given to Princess Drubetskaya who had spoken to him on behalf of her only son Boris on the evening of Anna Pavlovna's soiree.
"Princess Drubetskaya to see Prince Vasili Sergeevich," he called to a footman dressed in knee breeches, shoes, and a swallow-tail coat, who ran downstairs and looked over from the halfway landing.
It's that protege of yours, that sweet Princess Drubetskaya, that Anna Mikhaylovna whom I would not take for a housemaid... the infamous, vile woman!
She did not realize the significance of this war, though Dessalles with whom she constantly conversed was passionately interested in its progress and tried to explain his own conception of it to her, and though the "God's folk" who came to see her reported, in their own way, the rumors current among the people of an invasion by Antichrist, and though Julie (now Princess Drubetskaya), who had resumed correspondence with her, wrote patriotic letters from Moscow.
"You don't spare anyone," said Julie Drubetskaya as she collected and pressed together a bunch of raveled lint with her thin, beringed fingers.
Julie Drubetskaya told me so.