"Our young people think they know everything when they have learned to dance and to speak French." Words of the Emperor Alexander, quoted by Madame de Choiseul-Gouffier.
PETROVITCH the merchant would have thought himself greatly lacking in his duty towards Ivan the boyar if he had suffered him to remain beneath his roof. As soon as he had provided him with a fashionable outfit—that is to say, an outfit composed of garments fashionable in Paris three seasons previously—he transferred him to the palace of a widowed lady of rank who had promised to act as his guardian. He was to associate with her sons, and to share with them the instructions of the French tutor whose services were then considered indispensable to every young Russian of noble birth. For these advantages Petrovitch paid very liberally: in many families, even of the highest position, good silver roubles were not as plentiful as they were desirable, and were not likely to be rejected when they presented themselves for acceptance.
Feodor was deputed to accompany Ivan to his new home, since the elder members of the family did not care to present themselves. It must be owned that the little Russian, in his glossy blue caftan of the finest cloth and his bright silken sash, had the advantage of his companion, who looked as awkward as a naturally graceful boy could contrive to do with his limbs confined in the tightest of French garments.