A propos," she added, becoming calm again, "I am expecting two very interesting men tonight, le Vicomte de Mortemart, who is connected with the Montmorencys through the Rohans, one of the best French families.
Prince Vasili's son, Hippolyte, had come with Mortemart, whom he introduced.
She kept an anxious watch on him when he approached the group round Mortemart to listen to what was being said there, and again when he passed to another group whose center was the abbe.
The third group was gathered round Mortemart and Anna Pavlovna.
The group about Mortemart immediately began discussing the murder of the Duc d'Enghien.
Anna Pavlovna's "At Home" was like the former one, only the novelty she offered her guests this time was not Mortemart, but a diplomatist fresh from Berlin with the very latest details of the Emperor Alexander's visit to Potsdam, and of how the two august friends had pledged themselves in an indissoluble alliance to uphold the cause of justice against the enemy of the human race.
The "cream of really good society" consisted of the fascinating Helene, forsaken by her husband, Mortemart, the delightful Prince Hippolyte who had just returned from Vienna, two diplomatists, the old aunt, a young man referred to in that drawing room as "a man of great merit" (un homme de beaucoup de merite), a newly appointed maid of honor and her mother, and several other less noteworthy persons.
Mortemart, Hippolyte's friend, addressed him firmly.