Lots more people came to luncheon, and though it is in the wilds of the country, what we would call, they were all in lovely afternoon dresses, as if it were town and the height of the season. But we were so merry at lunch. A general conversation is far more bright and entertaining than at home.
After lunch we walked in the woods, and I can never tell you of the beauty of it, with the scent of Spring in the air, and the quaint wild flowers. It is their last Sunday down here; they go off to Europe next week.
Shoals more visitors for tea, among them a little bride who had already got her husband to heel. She talked all the time of what she was going to do and he did not speak a word. But it is only in that sort of way they are very emancipated, it seems, for while they are actually married they are as good as gold, as far as looking at anyone else is concerned. It is when they come to Europe they have flirtations like us. But as I said before, there would not be any zest, because you can get a divorce and marry the man so easily it makes it always une affaire de jeune fille.
Now I must dress for dinner, so good-bye, dear Mamma.
Kisses to my angels.
Your affectionate daughter,
PLAZA HOTEL. NEW YORK, Tuesday.
DEAREST MAMMA,—I have a theatre and dance to tell you of in this letter. To begin with, the theatres themselves are far better built than ours; everyone can see, and there is no pit, and the boxes are in graduated heights so that you have not to crane your neck,—but the decorations in every one we have yet been to are unspeakable. This one last night had grouped around the proscenium what looked exactly like a turkey’s insides (I hope you aren’t shocked, Mamma!). I once saw the marmiton taken out at Arrachon, when I was a little girl and got into the kitchen,—just those awful colours, and strange long, twisted, curled-up tuby-looking things. They are massed on the boxes, too, and were, I suppose, German “Art Nouveau.”
I always think Art Nouveau must have been originated by a would-be artist who got drunk on absinthe after eating too much pate de foie gras in a batard-Louis XV. room, then slept, then woke, and in a fit of D.T. conceived it. He saw impossible flowers and almost rats running up the furniture, and every leg and line out of balance and twisted; and fancy, if one could avoid it, putting it in a theatre! The play itself was very well acted, but, as is nearly always the case here, unless it is a lovely blood-and-shooting, far West play, the heroine is drawn to be a selfish puny character, full of egotism and thinking of her own feelings. The men were perfectly splendid actors, but they distracted my eye so with their padded shoulders it quite worried me. The hero was a small person, and when he appeared in tennis flannels his shoulders were sloping, and in proportion to his little body; but when the coat got on again they were at least eight inches wider, and, as he lifted his arms to clasp his lady, one saw where the padding ended; it was absolutely ridiculous and made me laugh in a serious place.