What a time since I wrote!--I'm a sad, naughty girl--
For, tho' like a tee-totum, I'm all in a twirl;--
Yet even (as you wittily say) a tee-totum
Between all its twirls gives a letter to note 'em.
But, Lord, such a place! and then, DOLLY, my dresses,
My gowns, so divine!--there's no language expresses,
Except just the two words "superbe, magnifique,"
The trimmings of that which I had home last week!
It is called--I forget--à la--something which sounded
Like alicampane--but in truth I'm confounded
And bothered, my dear, 'twixt that troublesome boy's
(BOB'S) cookery language, and Madame LE ROI'S:
What with fillets of roses, and fillets of veal,
Things garni with lace, and things garni with eel,
One's hair and one's cutlets both en papillote,
And a thousand more things I shall ne'er have by rote,
I can scarce tell the difference, at least as to phrase,
Between beef à la Psyche and curls à la braise.--
But in short, dear, I'm trickt out quite à la Francaise,
With my bonnet--so beautiful!--high up and poking,
Like things that are put to keep chimneys from smoking.
Where shall I begin with the endless delights
Of this Eden of milliners, monkeys and sights--
This dear busy place, where there's nothing transacting
But dressing and dinnering, dancing and acting?
Imprimis, the Opera--mercy, my ears!
Brother BOBBY'S remark, t'other night, was a true one:--
"This must be the music," said he, "of the spears,
For I'm curst if each note of it doesn’t run thro' one!"
Pa says (and you know, love, his Book's to make out
'Twas the Jacobins brought every mischief about)
That this passion for roaring has come in of late,
Since the rabble all tried for a voice in the State.--
What a frightful idea, one's mind to o'erwhelm!
What a chorus, dear DOLLY, would soon be let loose of it,
If, when of age, every man in the realm
Had a voice like old LAIS, and chose to make use of it!
No--never was known in this riotous sphere
Such a breach of the peace as their singing, my dear.
So bad too, you'd swear that the God of both arts,
Of Music and Physic, had taken a frolic
For setting a loud fit of asthma in parts,
And composing a fine rumbling bass to a cholic!
But, the dancing--ah parlez-moi, DOLLY, de ca--
There, indeed, is a treat that charms all but Papa.
Such beauty--such grace--oh ye sylphs of romance!
Fly, fly to TITANIA, and ask her if she has
One light-footed nymph in her train, that can dance
Like divine BIGOTTINI and sweet FANNY BIAS!
FANNY BIAS in FLORA--dear creature!--you'd swear,
When her delicate feet in the dance twinkle round,
That her steps are of light, that her home is the air,
And she only par complaisance touches the ground.
And when BIGOTTINI in PSYCHE dishevels
Her black flowing hair, and by daemons is driven,
Oh! who does not envy those rude little devils,
That hold her and hug her, and keep her from heaven?
Then, the music--so softly its cadences die,
So divinely--oh, DOLLY! between you and I,
It's as well for my peace that there's nobody nigh
To make love to me then--you've a soul, and can judge
What a crisis 'twould be for your friend BIDDY FUDGE!
The next place (which BOBBY has near lost his heart in)
They call it the Play-house--I think--of St. Martin;
Quite charming--and very religious--what folly
To say that the French are not pious, dear DOLLY,
Where here one beholds, so correctly and rightly,
The Testament turned into melodrames nightly;
And doubtless so fond they're of scriptural facts,
They will soon get the Pentateuch up in five acts.
Here DANIEL, in pantomime, bids bold defiance
To NEBUCHADNEZZAR and all his stuft lions,
While pretty young Israelites dance round the Prophet,
In very thin clothing, and but little of it;--
Here BEGRAND, who shines in this scriptural path,
As the lovely SUSANNA, without even a relic
Of drapery round her, comes out of the bath
In a manner that, BOB says, is quite Eve-angelic!
But in short, dear, 'twould take me a month to recite
All the exquisite places we're at, day and night;
And, besides, ere I finish, I think you'll be glad
Just to hear one delightful adventure I've had.
Last night, at the Beaujon, a place where--I doubt
If its charms I can paint--there are cars, that set out
From a lighted pavilion, high up in the air,
And rattle you down, DOLL--you hardly know where.
These vehicles, mind me, in which you go thro'
This delightfully dangerous journey, hold two,
Some cavalier asks, with humility, whether
You'll venture down with him--you smile--'tis a match;
In an instant you're seated, and down both together
Go thundering, as if you went post to old scratch!
Well, it was but last night, as I stood and remarkt
On the looks and odd ways of the girls who embarkt,
The impatience of some for the perilous flight,
The forced giggle of others, 'twixt pleasure and fright,--
That, there came up--imagine, dear DOLL, if you can--
A fine sallow, sublime, sort of Werterfaced man,
With mustachios that gave (what we read of so oft)
The dear Corsair expression, half savage, half soft,
As Hyenas in love may be fancied to look, or
A something between ABELARD and old BLUCHER!
Up he came, DOLL, to me, and uncovering his head,
(Rather bald, but so warlike!) in bad English said,
"Ah! my dear--if Ma'mselle vil be so very good--
Just for von littel course"--tho' I scarce understood
What he wisht me to do, I said, thank him, I would.
Off we set--and, tho' 'faith, dear, I hardly knew whether
My head or my heels were the uppermost then,
For 'twas like heaven and earth, DOLLY, coming together,--
Yet, spite of the danger, we dared it again.
And oh! as I gazed on the features and air
Of the man, who for me all this peril defied,
I could fancy almost he and I were a pair
Of unhappy young lovers, who thus, side by side,
Were taking, instead of rope, pistol, or dagger, a
Desperate dash down the falls of Niagara!
This achieved, thro' the gardens we sauntered about,
Saw the fire-works, exclaimed "magnifique!" at each cracker,
And, when 'twas all o'er, the dear man saw us out
With the air I will say, of a Prince, to our fiacre.
Now, hear me--this Stranger,--it may be mere folly--
But who do you think we all think it is, DOLLY?
Why, bless you, no less than the great King of Prussia,
Who's here now incog.--he, who made so much fuss, you
Remember, in London, with BLUCHER and PLATOF,
When SAL was near kissing old BLUCHER'S cravat off!
Pa says he's come here to look after his money,
(Not taking things now as he used under BONEY,)
Which suits with our friend, for BOB saw him, he swore,
Looking sharp to the silver received at the door.
Besides, too, they say that his grief for his Queen
(Which was plain in this sweet fellow's face to be seen)
Requires such a stimulant dose as this car is,
Used three times a day with young ladies in Paris.
Some Doctor, indeed, has declared that such grief
Should--unless 'twould to utter despairing its folly push--
Fly to the Beaujon, and there seek relief
By rattling, as BOB says, "like shot thro' a holly-bush."
I must now bid adieu;--only think, DOLLY, think
If this should be the King--I have scarce slept a wink
With imagining how it will sound in the papers,
And how all the Misses my good luck will grudge,
When they read that Count RUPPIN, to drive away vapors,
Has gone down the Beaujon with Miss BIDDY FUDGE.
Nota Bene.--Papa's almost certain 'tis he--
For he knows the Legitimate cut and could see,
In the way he went poising and managed to tower
So erect in the car, the true Balance of Power.