Well, it isn't the King, after all, my dear creature!
But don't you go laugh, now--there's nothing to quiz in't--
For grandeur of air and for grimness of feature,
He might be a King, DOLL, tho', hang him, he isn't.
At first, I felt hurt, for I wisht it, I own,
If for no other cause but to vex Miss MALONE,--
(The great heiress, you know, of Shandangan, who's here,
Showing off with such airs, and a real Cashmere,
While mine's but a paltry, old rabbit-skin, dear!)
But Pa says, on deeply considering the thing,
"I am just as well pleased it should not be the King;
"As I think for my BIDDY, so gentille and jolie.
"Whose charms may their price in an honest way fetch,
"That a Brandenburgh"--(what is a Brandenburgh, DOLLY?)--
"Would be, after all, no such very great catch.
"If the REGENT indeed"--added he, looking sly--
(You remember that comical squint of his eye)
But I stopt him with "La, Pa, how can you say so,
"When the REGENT loves none but old women, you know!"
Which is fact, my dear DOLLY--we, girls of eighteen,
And so slim--Lord, he'd think us not fit to be seen:
And would like us much better as old-as, as old
As that Countess of DESMOND, of whom I've been told
That she lived to much more than a hundred and ten,
And was killed by a fall from a cherry-tree then!
What a frisky old girl! but--to come to my lover,
Who, tho' not a King, is a hero I'll swear,--
You shall hear all that's happened, just briefly run over,
Since that happy night, when we whiskt thro' the air!
Let me see--'twas on Saturday--yes, DOLLY, yes--
From that evening I date the first dawn of my bliss;
When we both rattled off in that dear little carriage,
Whose journey, BOB says, is so like Love and Marriage,
"Beginning gay, desperate, dashing, down-hilly,
"And ending as dull as a six-inside Dilly!"
Well, scarcely a wink did I sleep the night thro';
And, next day, having scribbled my letter to you,
With a heart full of hope this sweet fellow to meet,
I set out with Papa, to see Louis DIX-HUIT
Make his bow to some half-dozen women and boys,
Who get up a small concert of shrill Vive le Rois-
And how vastly genteeler, my dear, even this is,
Than vulgar Pall-Mall's oratorio of hisses!
The gardens seemed full--so, of Course, we walkt o'er 'em,
'Mong orange-trees, clipt into town-bred decorum,
And daphnes and vases and many a statue
There staring, with not even a stitch on them, at you!
The ponds, too, we viewed--stood awhile on the brink
To contemplate the play of those pretty gold fishes--
"Live bullion," says merciless BOB, "which, I think,
"Would, if coined, with a little mint sauce, be delicious!"
But what, DOLLY, what, is the gay orange-grove,
Or gold fishes, to her that's in search of her love?
In vain did I wildly explore every chair
Where a thing like a man was--no lover sat there!
In vain my fond eyes did I eagerly cast
At the whiskers, mustachios and wigs that went past,
To obtain if I could but a glance at that curl,--
A glimpse of those whiskers, as sacred, my girl,
As the lock that, Pa says,is to Mussulman given,
For the angel to hold by that "lugs them to heaven!"
Alas, there went by me full many a quiz,
And mustachios in plenty, but nothing like his!
Disappointed, I found myself sighing out "well-a-day,"--
Thought of the words of TOM MOORE'S Irish Melody,
Something about the "green spot of delight"
(Which, you know, Captain MACKINTOSH sung to us one day):
Ah DOLLY, my "spot" was that Saturday night,
And its verdure, how fleeting, had withered by Sunday!
We dined at a tavern--La, what do I say?
If BOB was to know!--a Restaurateur's, dear;
Where your properest ladies go dine every day,
And drink Burgundy out of large tumblers, like beer.
Fine BOB (for he's really grown super-fine)
Condescended for once to make one of the party;
Of course, tho' but three, we had dinner for nine,
And in spite of my grief, love, I own I ate hearty.
Indeed, DOLL, I know not how 'tis, but, in grief,
I have always found eating a wondrous relief;
And BOB, who's in love, said he felt the same, quite--
"My sighs," said he, "ceased with the first glass I drank you;
"The lamb made me tranquil, the puffs made me light,
"And--now that all's o'er--why, I'm--pretty well, thank you!"
To my great annoyance, we sat rather late;
For BOBBY and Pa had a furious debate
About singing and cookery--BOBBY, of course,
Standing up for the latter Fine Art in full force;
And Pa saying, "God only knows which is worst,
"The French Singers or Cooks, but I wish us well over it--
"What with old LAÏ'S and VÉRY, I'm curst
"If my head or my stomach will ever recover it!"
'Twas dark when we got to the Boulevards to stroll,
And in vain did I look 'mong the street Macaronis,
When, sudden it struck me--last hope of my soul--
That some angel might take the dear man to TORTONI'S!
We entered--and, scarcely had BOB, with an air,
For a grappe à la jardinière called to the waiters,
When, oh DOLL! I saw him--my hero was there
(For I knew his white small-clothes and brown leather gaiters),
A group of fair statues from Greece smiling o'er him,
And lots of red currant-juice sparkling before him!
Oh! DOLLY, these heroes--what creatures they are;
In the boudoir the same as in fields full of slaughter!
As cool in the Beaujon's precipitous car,
As when safe at TORTONI'S, o'er iced currant water!
He joined us--imagine, dear creature, my ecstasy--
Joined by the man I'd have broken ten necks to see!
BOB wished to treat him with Punch à la glace,
But the sweet fellow swore that my beaute, my grâce,
And my ja-ne-sais-quoi (then his whiskers he twirled)
Were to him, "on de top of all Ponch in de vorld."--
How pretty!--tho' oft (as of course it must be)
Both his French and his English are Greek, DOLL, to me.
But, in short, I felt happy as ever fond heart did;
And happier still, when 'twas fixt, ere we parted,
That, if the next day should be pastoral weather.
We all would set off, in French buggies, together,
To see Montmorency--that place which, you know,
Is so famous for cherries and JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU.
His card then he gave us--the name, rather creased--
But 'twas CALICOT--something--a Colonel, at least!
After which--sure there never was hero so civil--he
Saw us safe home to our door in Rue Rivoli,
Where his last words, as, at parting, he threw
A soft look o'er his shoulders, were--"How do you do!"
But, lord!--there's Papa for the post--I'm so vext--
Montmorency must now, love, be kept for my next.
That dear Sunday night--I was charmingly drest,
And--so providential!--was looking my best;
Such a sweet muslin gown, with a flounce--and my frills,
You've no notion how rich--(tho' Pa has by the bills)
And you'd smile had you seen, when we sat rather near,
Colonel CALICOT eyeing the cambric, my dear.
Then the flowers in my bonnet--but, la! it's in vain--
So, good-by, my sweet DOLL--I shall soon write again.
Nota bene--our love to all neighbors about--
Your Papa in particular--how is his gout?
P.S.--I've just opened my letter to say,
In your next you must tell me, (now do, DOLLY, pray,
For I hate to ask BOB, he's so ready to quiz,)
What sort of a thing, dear, a Brandenburgh is.