The old people sat with the old, the young with the young, and the hostess at the tea table, on which stood exactly the same kind of cakes in a silver cake basket as the Panins had at their party.
Surrounded by the screaming children the mummers, covering their faces and disguising their voices, bowed to their hostess and arranged themselves about the room.
What distinguished them from others was the absence of host or hostess and the presence of the good-natured Iogel, flying about like a feather and bowing according to the rules of his art, as he collected the tickets from all his visitors.
The host and hostess look toward the door, and now and then glance at one another, and the visitors try to guess from these glances who, or what, they are waiting for--some important relation who has not yet arrived, or a dish that is not yet ready.
If local tradition may be believed, it was visited by the apostle Paul, who converted his hostess Santa Xantippa; and, according to one version of his life, it was the see of the famous St Crispin in the 3rd century.
And having got rid of this young man who did not know how to behave, she resumed her duties as hostess and continued to listen and watch, ready to help at any point where the conversation might happen to flag.
Everyone moved back, and the Emperor came smiling out of the drawing room leading his hostess by the hand but not keeping time to the music.
We took seats on an old leather sofa and side chair while our hostess sat behind the desk that dominated the room.
To be in Anna Pavlovna's drawing room he considered an important step up in the service, and he at once understood his role, letting his hostess make use of whatever interest he had to offer.