Never in my life have I seen such wonderful eyes! One might construct a whole astronomy out of them. Every changeful mood was there reflected; so I have called them “Eyes like the Sea.”
When first I met pretty Bessy, we were both children. She was twelve years old, I was a hobbledehoy of sixteen. We were learning dancing together. A Frenchman had taken up his quarters in our town, an itinerant dancing-master, who set the whole place in a whirl. His name was Monsieur Galifard. He had an extraordinarily large head, a bronzed complexion, eyebrows running into each other, and short legs; and on the very tip of his large aquiline nose was a big wart. Yet, for all that, he was really charming. Whenever he danced or spoke, he instantly became irresistible. All our womankind came thither on his account; all of them I say, from nine years old and upwards to an age that was quite incalculable. I recall the worthy man with the liveliest gratitude. I have to thank him for the waltz and the quadrille, as well as for the art of picking up a fallen fan without turning my back upon the lady.
Bessy was the master’s greatest trouble. She would never keep time; she would never take to the elegant “pli,” and he could never wean her from her wild and frolicsome ways. Woe to the dancer who became her partner!