Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Humorous Account of a Ball

An Old Dance.—There is a very pretty dance, which young ladies are very fond of leading their parents, and which is generally played to a very pretty tune, but which has never been described yet. The following are the principal figures of this popular dance, which, for the want of a better name, we will call "La Flirtation : "—
First Figure. (Before Supper).— The lady and gentleman meet, take hands, and retire to a secret corner in the room. They sit, exchange glances, smile, and join in a general round of conversation. The gentleman makes the first advance, the lady the second. This continues several times, when Mamma comes forward, and the gentleman goes off to the right, and tbe lady to the left, and Mamma is left to go through the Chaine des Dames by herself.
Second Figure. (At Supper).— The gentleman hands across chicken, ham, jelly, and trifle, which are taken by the lady, and empty plates returned. They take wine, and balancez. Bonbons and crackers are exchanged several times, when Mamma comes across from the other side, and Daughter glissez out of the room. Gentleman sits opposite to pigeon-pie, and goes down the middle of the lobster salad and up again.
Third Set. (After Supper).— Lady chassez out of the room. Gentleman follows. Grand galop to Conservatory. Poussette from corner to corner, concluding with a quiet set on ottoman. Lady drops her glove; the gentleman fait la reverence, and pockets the same. Ditto with bouquet. They join hands, talk, laugh, nod, and whisper to side faces, when Mamma comes down the centre, and galops across to lady. They dos-a-dos, and the dance is concluded by the daughter being poussetted round the Conservatory, and chassezed up to bed. The gentleman does the cavalier seul out of the house, advances to a lantern, sets to a cigar, and promenades slowly home.
(Punch, London 1849, p. vii.)

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