The chief magnates sat on high-backed chairs at a large table under the portrait of the Emperor, but most of the gentry were strolling about the room.
A conference took place confined to the magnates sitting at the table.
The Comte de Turenne showed him into a big reception room where many generals, gentlemen-in-waiting, and Polish magnates—several of whom Balashev had seen at the court of the Emperor of Russia—were waiting.
The old magnates, whom Pierre knew, sat and turned to look first at one and then at another, and their faces for the most part only expressed the fact that they found it very hot.
In June, after many balls and fetes given by the Polish magnates, by the courtiers, and by the Emperor himself, it occurred to one of the Polish aides-de-camp in attendance that a dinner and ball should be given for the Emperor by his aides-de-camp.
When she returned to Petersburg both the magnate and the prince were there, and both claimed their rights.
The crowd drew up to the large table, at which sat gray-haired or bald seventy-year-old magnates, uniformed and besashed almost all of whom Pierre had seen in their own homes with their buffoons, or playing boston at the clubs.
She provoked the jealousy of the elderly magnate and told him what she had told her other suitor; that is, she put the matter so that the only way for him to obtain a right over her was to marry her.
The elderly magnate was at first as much taken aback by this suggestion of marriage with a woman whose husband was alive, as the younger man had been, but Helene’s imperturbable conviction that it was as simple and natural as marrying a maiden had its effect on him too.
Had Helene herself shown the least sign of hesitation, shame, or secrecy, her cause would certainly have been lost; but not only did she show no signs of secrecy or shame, on the contrary, with good-natured naivete she told her intimate friends (and these were all Petersburg) that both the prince and the magnate had proposed to her and that she loved both and was afraid of grieving either.
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She is an oil magnate.
I wondered what Rachel had told her father—a fabulously wealthy real estate magnate—to convince him she needed to borrow a helicopter.