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our own; and when forced to return to every day things, return to them with renovated spirits, and the hope that the delightful creations in which we have been revelling, may at some future time be realized to our senses ; if not in this world, in another.
FROM MISS FLIRTILLA TO MISS PRUDENTIA.
It seems requisite, before the reader enters upon the following correspondence, to remind him of our having, on a previous occasion, remarked how much the introduction of French frivolities into the manners of the Scottish fair is at variance with their customary habits and deportment, and how much we doubted that the pretended improvement would be ultimately and generally beneficial. We shall now leave him to draw his own conclusions from this part of a correspondence betwixt two amiable young ladies of different characters, united by the bonds of friendship, and only separated by circumstances : namely, the former's being on her travels in order to give the last polishing touch to her person and education, whilst the companion of her early youth was doomed, from a more limited income, to remain at home-discreet, sedate, and contented with her lot.. Now to the letters.
from writing to you sooner, for a number of interesting things took place on my road here; but you know Ma's old-fashioned economical way: she has forgotten the first impulses of the heart, and calculates the postage of a letter; so she insisted on my not putting you to this expense until I arrived in Paris, and even now wants me to wait for Mr. Ballantyne, who thinks of visiting your cold and smoky capital in three weeks.
“ C'est un eternité pour l'amour,” As somebody says (but this somebody must not be brought in before the proper time and place); so you see, my dear girl, I stole out by myself, without fear of being run away with by the light and volage chevaliers Français, and went personally, whilst Ma was in the arms of Morpheus, and put this (my letter) in the Grande Poste, in the Rue Jean Jaques Rosseau, and I was followed and looked at by legions of admirers ; aye, my love, and some of these gay youths were of the Legion of Honour too ! what say you to that? Entre nous, how a little bit of red ribbon does give a finish to a gentleman's dress, just peeping out of his button-hole, like a grandee in cog: the black stock, bushy hair, rakishly worn hat, and a thousand sweet et cæteras, not forgetting what I call game-spurs, and high-heeled boots. And now, my dear Prudentia, I am so bewildered with delight at every thing in this dear, dissipated metropolis, that I don't know where to begin. First, the Thuilleries are splendid,-the entrance to Paris is magnificent,--the Column grand, the Opera enchanting,—the Feydean captivating, the attentions of the men overpowering, and their manners divine! I should have been ruined if I had not learned waltzes and quadrilles before I came here: I might have been accounted a rustic amongst rustics, an uneducated amongst the vulgar; but you advised me never to waltz with a foreigner, who, between you and I, are the only people worth waltzing with. Such murmuring of vows and oaths as we whirl round together ;-such humble yet warm attentions, so much mischief done with the eye, and such elegant exertions to set off a partner to the best advantage. Who would dance with a Scotch loon after these, a rough animal who handles you' as he would the reins of a coachhorse, merely to give himself exercise and to get you on? French women are not driven thus, and why should we be so? They are gently led in wreaths of flowers and vive! The rosy wreath say I? But my poor little head is straying, and you must not chide me for it. They who have not drank of the cup of pleasure know not its bewitching effect. I dare say, notwithstanding, that a sober cup of tea would satisfy my dear Prudentia just as well : however, I must try and convert you, and bring you over here by hook or by crook. A propos, I have already named you to the very cream of elegance, the pearl of perfection; a gallant young lancer of twenty-two years of age, with one of those faces which you meet with in a picture gallery, with berry-black whiskers, and chintuft à la Henri Quartere, an eye like an eagle, and a high forehead of polished marble, a lofty air, seducing smile, and covered with military decorations. He evinced much interest to see you. How romantic! To see my friend, he observed, would be like seeing my second-self; a thing that always must have high interest with an admirer. He binted too that he was devoted to me à la vie, à la mort, that he had a dear comrade as brave as he is engaging, and covered with wounds and glory, whom he would introduce to you, and who would be almost intuitively in love with you before he saw you. He too has two orders dangling on his breast ; but I am going on too fast. I must tell you that we went first to Meurice's Hotel, where every thing was so extravagant that we were forced to leave it, at which I was not ill-pleased, for I saw nothing but our own country people, (I mean Britons) there; and they do indeed, Prudentia, lose by comparison, don't be angry. Neither our men nor women know how to dress, and you will allow that the exterior is the first thing we judge by; and as to politeness, they know it only by name. Bless you, a French nobleman of the first rank takes his hat off respectfully to the humblest class of our sex-dear woman is his idol! From Meurice's, Ma, from economy, removed to the Farbourg St. Germain, the other side of the water ; I at first shed a tear at being borne away from the centre of high fashion, but I was consoled by the agreeable inmates of our private hotel, or lodging house, consiste ing of a countess - no less, my love of about thirty, as giddy and as playful as a girk of fifteen, whose husband is at his chateau three hundred miles off, and three militaires, one a lancer, and the other two Gardes du Corps, but all titled; the Marquis de Maisonvude, the Vicompt Volage, and the Chevalier d'Orcourt. The former is my dying swain, the other two his confidants, and of the same part of France, Auvergne. We have been every where : to the play, to church, to the Palais Royal, to the Chapel Royal, to the Promenade, and I know not where. The Marquis wanted to take me in his cabriolet to the Bois de Boulogne, but Ma ill- naturedly refused, and I would not eat any thing the whole day, nor utter any thing beyond yes and no. She cannot bear Frenchmen, a proof of her bad taste. The Countess, however, gave what she called her little impromptu at night, and forced Ma to come and bring me. Now this impromptu consisted in a concert and a ball sans façon, with a cold collation at one in the morning. How your poor dear friend Flirtilla, who is thought so slightly of at home, was flattered, sought for, and admired : I blush as I recite my triumph. The French ladies were all envy. One youth protested he had always had a penchant for English ladies ; a colonel of hussars stole my glove, and swore that he would keep it more reverentially than a saint's relick ; J'en ai trop vu en Espagne, said he: and two captains of the Garde, nay, all, assured me, that they were dying for the felicity of being my partner. There was no Miss, or Ma'am, are you engaged for the next dance?” But “ may I aspire to the honour of Mademoiselle's dancing the next quadrille with me?" On assuring one of them that I was engaged for four dances, but that then I should be happy to accept his offer, he replied, “ four dances hence that is an age, but” (with a sigh), “ J'attendrai toujours.” Now where would you find such refinement in Scotland ? The truth is, that English women were quite the rage. I don't know how many marriages, elopements, and faux pas have not taken