The rhymes and reasons are always the same, only the trivial details change. That Senior King decides to throw a late Winter ball, to honor his nieces’ engagement, and makes the charitable donation of tickets for all the doctors and their families is simply convenient more than celebrated.
The rich and affluent, and the hanger's on to the rich and affluent, of Rochester waltzed each other around the floor. They talk at tables pressed to the edge of the floor, starting with the weather and the season moving into the topics in vogue and on to the city events to come, circling always the edge of polite business.
Anything but the world outside their doors. All the while back stabbing and conniving at each other with each thought matching their syrupy words.
Just because he understands it all (and hears it all) does not mean he has to embrace it.
Edward does what's required of him (introductions to the Senior, to so many others he smiles at without caring; middling chit chat about the weather and seasons, his sister and brother-in-law, Eastman's seasonal concert, about King's boycotting heir apparent) until it isn't, and he can slip the crowds.