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A cross, set with small diamonds, was procured, and sent, with a complimentary note, to the beautiful Parisian. It was accepted, and Volatile was invited to call.
The delight of Wilheim Meister, on being admitted to the private apartments of his lovely actress, was not equal to the joy of Volatile when he found himself in the boudoir of M'lle L'Amour. Upon his entrance, the lady herself was not visible, but a snuffy old Frenchwoman offered him a chair. The room was richly draped and carpetted; there were two large mirrors, and the furniture was elegant. Volatile's first movement was unpropitious, for he happened to tread on the tail of a pet puppy, that yelped and ran to the old woman, who took it up, hugged it in her arms, covered it with snuff and kisses, and ceased from her endearments only to cast angry glances at Volatile. Eventually, the little beast stole from the apartment.
At length Angelique entered. She did not look so blooming as on the night of her first appearance. The roses had faded from her cheeks, and Volatile was surprised to find that she was quite lame. She received him with a great deal of grace and affability, and entered into a very animated conversation. Volatile was not surprised to find that she had much of the enfante gatée about her, but he thought her characterized by great taste and wit. Perhaps he was not mistaken. The humblest Frenchwoman collects, almost miraculously, a considerable stock of information, and acquires, I know not how, a command of language, and a facility of expression, which is really enviable. French naïveté may not be nature, but it is still interesting
All at once a scratching was heard at the door. 'Oh ! maman!' cried Angelique,'ouvrez la porte — c'est mon pauvre
Fidèle.' The old lady hastened to admit him. The little dog entered, covered with mud. Volatile's pantaloons were immaculate : the little scoundrel rushed against his legs at once.
• Ah ! monsieur !' cried the sentimental Parisian : "voila comme il vous aime!'
The muddy cur sprang into Volatile's lap. A beautiful dog!' cried Volatile — then added to himself: “Curse the little whelp! I wish he were at Jericho!'
· Fidêle ! Fidèle !' cried the danseuse, donnez le main à Monsieur.'
The dog placed his muddy paw in Volatile's white-gloved hand, and finished his performances, by biting my friend's finger. He was on the point of throwing his tormentor into the fire, but was recalled to his senses by the exclamation of the proprietress of the animal : Ah! Monsieur Volatile ! il vous baise' – he kisses you.'
It was with great difficulty that my friend finally persuaded the cross old woman to take the dog off. The remainder of the morning passed very pleasantly. Angelique was denied to every one, and the interview became literally a tête-a-tête, for the old
woman was soon weary with listening to the conversation of the fair Parisian and her American admirer. When Volatile took leave, he thought himself really in love. At this period of the affair, I told him it was high time to consider how his father would relish the introduction of a French dancer into the family. To this he made no answer : he was evidently too far gone for reflection.
Volatile was now the constant attendant of Angelique. He waited upon her at ballet rehearsals, and frequently rode home with her from the theatre. One evening he called upon the lady, and found her in the best possible humor. She entertained him with a song, and danced her very best pas seul in her most bewitching manner. Volatile was delighted. "Still,' said he, 'this is nothing but a rehearsal, for you are presently going to repeat this to the public.'
* Non, Monsieur Volatile, I am going to write to de directeur, dat I am ver sick dis evening - I have got a physician's certificate.'
* But,' said Volatile, who felt for the poor devil of a manager : * Mr. Trumpet will lose a vast deal of money by your non-appearance.'
“Ah, mon ami,' said Angelique, sentimentally, ‘vat is money ? Money is dross !'
At these words, a bitter pang shot across the breast of Volatile, for his presents to the dancer had almost exhausted his funds. But there was no resisting her blandishments. She was to disappoint a crowded theatre for his sake. The beautiful creature who had turned the heads of half the beaux of the metropolis, was now at his side, all smiles and gayety. Intoxicating thought ! It is sometimes almost fatal to be young. Volatile looked from the window. The white snow lay level and sparkling on the ground, and every roof and tree glittered in the frosty moonlight. The sound of sleigh-bells was unfrequent, for even the favorite amusement had been relinquished for the superior attractions of M’lle L'Amour. This lady was passionately fond of sleighing. She ran to dress, while he went for his horses and sleigh.
Meanwhile the theatre was gradually filling. Pit, boxes, and gallery swarmed with eager crowds. As the time for the appearance of Angelique drew near, the excitement became intense. The curtain rang up, the house was hushed, and the manager came forward with a dejected air. 'Ladies and gentlemen : I am sorry to inform you, that severe sickness unhappily deprives M’lle L'Amour of the pleasure of appearing before you this evening.' A murmur of disappointment and pity ran round the boxes. The pit and gallery, less sentimental and more prudent, desired the restoration of their money. The manager thought it politic to gratify them.
Volatile, highly elated, drove up to the door of his fair friend, and assisted her into his light sleigh. Away they flew— both of them in the highest spirits. Volatile chose an unfrequented road, for he knew he was enjoying a dangerous honor. They alighted at a country tavern, the smirking proprietor of which was perfectly unconscious of the celebrity of the lady whom he ushered into his little back parlor. The old landlady bustled about to make things tidy and comfortable, and put a thousand questions to Angelique, which were answered by her escort. Rejecting the landlord's offer of flip, Volatile called for champaigne, and his fair companion appeared by no means reluctant to partake of it. Her spirits had reached the highest pitch of elevation when they reentered the sleigh. Volatile waved his lash over the heads of his horses, and they bounded off like frightened deer. While their master had been drinking champaigne they had not been neglected, but, on the contrary, had been paying a practical compliment to the excellent grain of mine host of the Golden Ball. Angelique expressed a wish to drive.
• You, Angelique ! cried Volatile, in surprise and alarm : “Why, you have never driven any thing faster than the wooden team in Cinderella. How can you expect to manage a pair of such fly-aways as these ? You 'll break your precious little neck, to say nothing of mine.'
But the beauty, like all beauties, was self-willed. Volatile gave her the reins, and she stood up in front. The little bays kept the track, of course ; but they wanted a strong pull, and the lady's strength was inadequate to that. Volatile would have remained at her side to assist her, but she imperiously waved him back, and raised her whip. Fatal rashness! As the lash descended on the backs of the good little nags, they sprang almost out of the harness, and then ran for life. Volatile seized the reins, but he could not bring them up in time. There was a snow-bank in the way, and an upset was the inevitable consequence. His presence of ind did not forsake him. He stopped the horses, and then went to look for Angelique. The fair French woman was completely imbedded in the snow, but her friend very carefully extracted her. As soon as she regained her feet, she began to settle her drapery, and then she danced about on the shining crust till she had restored the circulation of her blood. As Volatile handed her into the sleigh again, he asked her if she should like to drive home, but she replied in the negative, and my friend restored her safely to her dwelling.
He was now more in love with her than ever. However, a circumstance soon occurred which somewhat damped his ardor for a time. He went into a jeweller's one day to purchase a watch trinket, when he was shown the identical diamond cross which he had
presented to the French girl, and which the jeweller appeared anxious to dispose of
Mr. Volatile,' said the man, 'I can afford to sell you this cheap, for I got it under price myself. I bought it from an old French woman, the other day.'
My friend concealed his agitation, and asked leave to take the cross home with him, assuring the jeweller that he would either purchase it, or return it in the course of the day. Armed with this proof of her duplicity, he sought an interview with Angelique. She was all smiles. After conversing on indifferent topics for a while, Volatile suddenly drew out the diamond cross. * Angelique,' said he, calmly, do you know this bauble ?
The lady blushed at the sight of the tell-tale cross, but recovering herself instantly, told a most piteous story of being distressed for money, dunned by dress-makers, and duped by managers.
She excused herself with all the volubility of a French woman,
and finally ended by modestly requesting a trifling loan. Volatile found fault with nothing but her anticipating an offer. He left with her the diamond cross, and all the money he had about him. Oh! strange infatuation of youth! Singular simplicity! Must the arm be palsied, and the heart be withered, before we can acquire experience ?
Day after day witnessed Volatile's visits to the syren. hausted his allowance, borrowed of me, and wrote home for more. Poor Captain Volatile ! Little did you, in the simplicity of your heart, imagine that your beloved son was preparing to present you with a French daughter-in-law! It was well that you were naturally of an unsuspicious temper: had it been otherwise, you would have actually expired with indignation. Volatile was so infatuated, that it seemed as if nothing short of a miracle could save him. Had Angelique given him credit for the purity of heart which he possessed, he would have been ruined outright. One day, however, as he was sitting with his intended bride, a pretty little child ran into the room, and clasping the knees of Angelique, cried :
• Ah ! maman ! combien je vous aime.' 'N'est elle pas jolie comme un ange ?' asked Angelique. • Beautiful!' said Volatile : 'but why does she call you mother ?'
• She is my child !’ replied the unblushing Parisian. Volatile stared aghast. After sitting a few minutes longer, he arose and retreated to the door. He wished the lady 'good morning,' but it was an eternal farewell. He never saw her face again. And thus ended his nine days' delusion, and the reign of the French Dancing Girl.
NAMES OF TOWNS IN THE UNITED STATES.
Our countrymen have claimed for themselves an inventive genius superior to that of any other people. This may be true, so far as the mechanical arts are concerned; but when the imagination has been exercised in the invention of words, by which to designate the numerous cities, towns, villages, and rivers of our country, it is evident that there is a great deficiency of originality, as well as good taste.
The writer of these pages was accidentally led to notice this subject, while making some statistical researches, during the winter of 1835 and '36. The frequent occurrence of the same names in almost every state in the Union, was the cause of much perplexity, and induced him to examine the subject at length. This examination reulted in the following analysis of American names.
The people of ancient as well as of modern times designated their cities, towns, etc., by names peculiar to themselves. Every nation had a class of names as distinct as its language. These were seldom borrowed by others, as foreigners could not understand the meaning which was intended to be conveyed by them among the people with whom they originated. These names indicated the particular object for which the towns or cities that bore them were built, or to whose munificence they owed their origin and prosperity, if fortune had favored them with the latter. In other cases, they obtained their appellations from the peculiarities of their situation, or from the avocations of their inhabitants. The names of mountains, rivers, and other geographical divisions, were alike indicative of their situation.
The cities of ancient Egypt bore names which at once made known to what god or goddess they owed their protection, or whose fanes of devotion they had the honor and exclusive privilege of containing. The Hebrew names of cities, mountains, rivers, etc., were, in some way, connected with their history or location, or with the religious opinions of the particular tribes which inhabited them.
Greek and Roman appellations, also, originated from similar sources, or were more or less connected in their origin, with their mythology. Asiatic names, particularly those of Hindostan, indicate by their termination whether they designate a district, a city, a town, or a village; whether it is fortified; whether in a morass, on a hill, and other peculiarities in its situation. The origin of these may, perhaps, be attributed to the copiousness of the languages from which they are derived, as in them much may be expressed by a single word or termination. Many East Indian names can be traced to the Sanscrit language, in which their true meaning may be found. The same remarks will apply to other places in Asia, the original names of which are formed in its primitive languages.
European names also contain significant meanings in the languages of her aboriginal inhabitants, when they owe their origin to them; and although in their terminations they have been altered to suit the peculiar dialects of the people by whom they are now em ployed, are not unfrequently the medium through which may be