[Sidenote: Church Etiquette]
I told her how bored I was, and about “Antoine” passing, and how I had tried to make him see. She seemed more annoyed than ever, and said I must have made some mistake, as “Antoine” was not in Paris. She was awfully shocked at the idea of my wanting to speak to him in the street anyway, and said I surely must know it was the custom here for the men to bow first. She was altogether so cross and excited and different that I felt sure her confesseur must have given her some disagreeable penance. We went for a drive in the Bois after that, and Heloise recovered, and was nice to me. We met the Marquise de Vermandoise and a young man walking in one of the side allees, and when I wanted to wave to them Heloise pinched me, and made me look the other way; and when I asked why, she said it was not very good form to “see” people in Paris out of the Season—that one never was sure what they were there for—and that I was certainly not to mention it either at Tournelle or Croixmare! Isn’t this a queer country, Mamma?
[Sidenote: Morals and Manners]
We drove until quite late, and just as we were arriving at the door, who should pass but the Marquis? He stopped at once and helped us out. Heloise told him directly that we were only up seeing the dentist, and seemed in a great hurry to get into the porte cocher; but he was not to be shaken off, and stopped talking to us for about five minutes. He is quite amusing; he looked at me all the time he was talking to Heloise. I am sure, Mamma, from what the people at Nazeby talked about, he would have asked us to dine and go to a play if he had been an Englishman, and I told Heloise so. She said no Frenchman would dream of such a thing—us two alone—it was unheard of! and she only hoped no one had seen us talking to him in the street as it was! I said I liked the English way best, as in that case we should be going out and enjoying ourselves, instead of eating a snatchy meal alone.
It is now nine o’clock, and all the evening we have had to put up with just sitting on the balcony. It has been dull, and I am off to bed, so good-night, dear Mamma. I shan’t come up to Paris with French people again in a hurry!—Your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.
Chateau de Croixmare,
Monday, 29th August.
[Sidenote: The Sights of the Foire]
Dearest Mamma,—Oh, we had such fun yesterday! After Mass the Baronne sent over to ask if Jean, Heloise, and I would go with them to the Foire at Lavonniere, a village about ten miles off. It is a very celebrated Foire, and in the last century every one went from Versailles, and even now lots of people who spend the summer there attend. You go in the evening after dinner, and there are no horrid cows and things with horns rushing about, or tipsy people. Godmamma looked awfully severe when she heard of the invitation; but since the row, when they had to cajole me, she has been more civil, so she said I might go if Heloise would really look after me, although if I was Victorine she would not have permitted it for a moment.