Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow.
Anna Pavlovna’s drawing room was gradually filling. The highest Petersburg society was assembled there: people differing widely in age and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged.
Prince Vasili’s daughter, the beautiful Helene, wore a ball dress and her badge as maid of honor. The youthful little Princess Bolkénskaya, known as the most fascinating woman in Petersburg was also there. Vasili’s son, Hippolyte, Mortemart and many others had also come.
To each new arrival Anna Pavlovna said, “You have not yet seen my aunt,” or “You do not know my aunt?” and very gravely conducted him or her to a little old lady, wearing large bows of ribbon in her cap, who had come sailing in from another room as soon as the guests began to arrive; and slowly turning her eyes from the visitor to her aunt, Anna Pavlovna mentioned each one’s name and then left them.
Each visitor performed the ceremony of greeting this old aunt whom not one of them knew, not one of them wanted to know, and not one of them cared about; Anna Pavlovna observed these greetings with mournful and solemn interest and silent approval. The aunt spoke to each of them in the same words, about their health and her own.
And each visitor, though politeness prevented his showing impatience, left the old woman with a sense of relief at having performed a vexatious duty and did not return to her the whole evening.
“The guests left the old woman with a sense of relief at having performed a vexatious
duty”. The duty is described as vexatious because:
Create a FREE account and get: