The Fudge Family In Paris Letter XII. From Miss Biddy Fudge To Miss Dorothy ----.
At last, DOLLY,--thanks to potent emetic,
Which BOBBY and Pa, grimace sympathetic,
Have swallowed this morning, to balance the bliss,
Of an eel matelote and a bisque d'écrevisses--
I've a morning at home to myself, and sit down
To describe you our heavenly trip out of town.
How agog you must be for this letter, my dear!
Lady JANE, in the novel, less languisht to hear,
If that elegant cornet she met at Lord NEVILLE'S
Was actually dying with love or--blue devils.
But Love, DOLLY, Love is the theme I pursue;
With Blue Devils, thank heaven, I have nothing to do--
Except, indeed, dear Colonel CALICOT spies
Any imps of that color in certain blue eyes,
Which he stares at till I, DOLL, at his do the same;
Then he simpers--I blush--and would often exclaim,
If I knew but the French for it, "Lord, Sir, for shame!"
Well, the morning was lovely--the trees in full dress
For the happy occasion--the sunshine express--
Had we ordered it, dear, of the best poet going,
It scarce could be furnisht more golden and glowing.
Tho' late when we started, the scent of the air
Was like GATTIE'S rose-water,--and, bright, here and there,
On the grass an odd dew-drop was glittering yet,
Like my aunt's diamond pin on her green tabbinet!
While the birds seemed to warble as blest on the boughs,
As if each a plumed Calicot had for her spouse;
And the grapes were all blushing and kissing in rows,
And--in short, need I tell you wherever one goes
With the creature one loves, 'tis couleur de rose;
And ah! I shall ne'er, lived I ever so long, see
A day such as that at divine Montmorency!
There was but one drawback--at first when we started,
The Colonel and I were inhumanly parted;
How cruel--young hearts of such moments to rob!
He went in Pa's buggy, and I went with BOB:
And, I own, I felt spitefully happy to know
That Papa and his comrade agreed but so-so.
For the Colonel, it seems, is a stickler of BONEY'S--
Served with him of course--nay, I'm sure they were cronies.
So martial his features! dear DOLL, you can trace
Ulm, Austerlitz, Lodi, as plain in his face
As you do on that pillar of glory and brass,
Which the poor DUC DE BERRI must hate so to pass!
It appears, too, he made--as most foreigners do--
About English affairs an odd blunder or two.
For example misled by the names, I dare say--
He confounded JACK CASTLES with LORD CASTLEREAGH;
And--sure such a blunder no mortal hit ever on--
Fancied the present Lord CAMDEN the clever one!
But politics ne'er were the sweet fellow's trade;
'Twas for war and the ladies my Colonel was made.
And oh! had you heard, as together we walkt
Thro' that beautiful forest, how sweetly he talkt;
And how perfectly well he appeared, DOLL, to know
All the life and adventures of JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU?--
"'Twas there," said he--not that his words I can state--
'Twas a gibberish that Cupid alone could translate;--
But "there," said he, (pointing where, small and remote,
The dear Hermitage rose), "there his JULIE he wrote,--
"Upon paper gilt-edged, without blot or erasure;
"Then sauded it over with silver and azure,
"And--oh, what will genius and fancy not do!--
"Tied the leaves up together with nonpareille blue!"
What a trait of Rousseau! what a crowd of emotions
From sand and blue ribbons are conjured up here!
Alas, that a man of such exquisite notions
Should send his poor brats to the Foundling, my dear!
"'Twas here too perhaps," Colonel CALICOT said--
As down the small garden he pensively led--
(Tho' once I could see his sublime forehead wrinkle
With rage not to find there the loved periwinkle)
"'Twas here he received from the fair D'ÉPINAY
"(Who called him so sweetly her Bear, every day,)
"That dear flannel petticoat, pulled off to form
"A waistcoat, to keep the enthusiast warm!"
Such, DOLL, were the sweet recollections we pondered,
As, full of romance, thro' that valley we wandered.
The flannel (one's train of ideas, how odd it is!)
Led us to talk about other commodities,
Cambric, and silk, and--I ne'er shall forget,
For the sun was then hastening in pomp to its set.
And full on the Colonel's dark whiskers shone down,
When he askt me, with eagerness,--who made my gown?
The question confused me--for, DOLL, you must know,
And I ought to have told my best friend long ago,
That, by Pa's strict command, I no longer employ
That enchanting couturière, Madame LE ROI;
But am forced now to have VICTORINE, who--deuce take her!--
It seems is, at present, the King's mantua-maker--
I mean of his party--and, tho' much the smartest,
LE ROI is condemned as a rank Bonapartist.
Think, DOLL, how confounded I lookt--so well knowing
The Colonel's opinions--my cheeks were quite glowing;
I stammered out something--nay, even half named
The legitimate sempstress, when, loud, he exclaimed,
"Yes; yes, by the stitching 'tis plain to be seen
"It was made by that Bourbonite bitch, VICTORINE!"
What a word for a hero!--but heroes will err,
And I thought, dear, I'd tell you things just as they were.
Besides tho' the word on good manners intrench,
I assure you 'tis not half so shocking in French.
But this cloud, tho' embarrassing, soon past away,
And the bliss altogether, the dreams of that day,
The thoughts that arise, when such dear fellows woo us,--
The nothings that then, love, are--everything to us--
That quick correspondence of glances and sighs,
And what BOB calls the "Two-penny-post of the Eyes"--
Ah, DOLL! tho' I know you've a heart, 'tis in vain,
To a heart so unpractised these things to explain.
They can only be felt, in their fulness divine,
By her who has wandered, at evening's decline,
Thro' a valley like that, with a Colonel like mine!
But here I must finish--for BOB, my dear DOLLY,
Whom physic, I find, always makes melancholy,
Is seized with a fancy for churchyard reflections;
And, full of all yesterday's rich recollections,
Is just setting off for Montmartre--"for there is,"
Said he, looking solemn, "the tomb of the VÉRYS!
"Long, long have I wisht as a votary true,
"O'er the grave of such talents to utter my moans;
"And, to-day--as my stomach is not in good cue
"For the flesh of the VÉRYS--I'll visit their bones!"
He insists upon my going with him--how teasing!
This letter, however, dear DOLLY, shall lie
Unsealed in my drawer, that, if anything pleasing
Occurs while I'm out, I may tell you--good-by.
Oh, DOLLY, dear DOLLY, I'm ruined for ever--
I ne'er shall be happy again, DOLLY, never!
To think of the wretch--what a victim was I!
'Tis too much to endure--I shall die, I shall die--
"My brain's in a fever--my pulses beat quick--
I shall die or at least be exceedingly sick!
Oh! what do you think? after all my romancing,
My visions of glory, my sighing, my glancing,
This Colonel--I scarce can commit it to paper--
This Colonel's no more than a vile linen-draper!!
'Tis true as I live--I had coaxt brother BOB so,
(You'll hardly make out what I'm writing, I sob so,)
For some little gift on my birthday--September
The thirtieth, dear, I'm eighteen, you remember--
That BOB to a shop kindly ordered the coach,
(Ah! little I thought who the shopman would prove,)
To bespeak me a few of those mouchoirs de poche,
Which, in happier hours, I have sighed for, my love--
(The most beautiful things--two Napoleons the price--
And one's name in the corner embroidered so nice!)
Well, with heart full of pleasure, I entered the shop.
But--ye Gods, what a phantom!--I thought I should drop--
There he stood, my dear DOLLY--no room for a doubt--
There, behind the vile counter, these eyes saw him stand,
With a piece of French cambric, before him rolled out,
And that horrid yard-measure upraised in his hand!
Oh!--Papa, all along, knew the secret,' is clear--
'Twas a shopman he meant by a "Brandenburgh," dear!
The man, whom I fondly had fancied a King,
And, when that too delightful illusion was past,
As a hero had worshipt--vile, treacherous thing--
To turn out but a low linen-draper at last!
My head swam around--the wretch smiled, I believe,
But his smiling, alas, could no longer deceive--
I fell back on BOB--my whole heart seemed to wither--
And, pale as a ghost, I was carried back hither!
I only remember that BOB, as I caught him,
With cruel facetiousness said, "Curse the Kiddy!
"A stanch Revolutionist always I've thought him,
"But now I find out he's a Counter one, BIDDY!"
Only think, my dear creature, if this should be known
To that saucy, satirical thing, Miss MALONE!
What a story 'twill be at Shandangan for ever!
What laughs and what quizzing she'll have with the men!
It will spread thro' the country--and never, oh! never
Can BIDDY be seen at Kilrandy again!
Farewell--I shall do something desperate, I fear--
And, ah! if my fate ever reaches your ear,
One tear of compassion my DOLL will not grudge
To her poor--broken-hearted--young friend, BIDDY FUDGE.
Nota bene--I am sure you will hear, with delight,
That we're going, all three, to see BRUNET to-night.
A laugh will revive me--and kind Mr. COX
(Do you know him?) has got us the Governor's box.
The Fudge Family In Paris Letter XII. From Miss Biddy Fudge To Miss Dorothy ----. by Thomas Moore