We have said, that the breakfast of Rose-Pompon was singular. You shall judge. On a little table placed before her, was a wash-hand-basin, into which she had recently plunged her fresh face, bathing it in pure water. From the bottom of this basin, now transformed into a salad-bowl, Rose Pompon took with the tips of her fingers large green leaves, dripping with vinegar, and crunched them between her tiny white teeth, whose enamel was too hard to allow them to be set on edge. Her drink was a glass of water and syrup of gooseberries, which she stirred with a wooden mustard-spoon. Finally, as an extra dish, she had a dozen olives in one of those blue glass trinket-dishes sold for twenty-five sous. Her dessert was composed of nuts, which she prepared to roast on a red-hot shovel. That Rose-Pompon, with such an unaccountable savage choice of food, should retain a freshness of complexion worthy of her name, is one of those miracles, which reveal the mighty power of youth and health. When she had eaten her salad, Rose-Pompon was about to begin upon her olives, when a low knock was heard at the door, which was modestly bolted on the inside.
“Who is there?” said Rose-Pompon.
“A friend—the oldest of the old,” replied a sonorous, jovial voice. “Why do you lock yourself in?”
“What! is it you, Ninny Moulin?”
“Yes, my beloved pupil. Open quickly. Time presses.”
“Open to you? Oh, I dare say!—that would be pretty, the figure I am!”
“I believe you! what does it matter what figure you are? It would be very pretty, thou rosiest of all the roses with which Cupid ever adorned his quiver!”
“Go and preach fasting and morality in your journal, fat apostle!” said Rose—Pompon, as she restored the scarlet shirt to its place, with Philemon’s other garments.