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After this, there was a smile upon Louisa's
face that day, for some one else. Alas, for
some one else!

"So much the less is the whelp the only
creature that she cares for," thought James
Harthouse, reversing the reflection of his first
day's knowledge of her pretty face. " So
much the less, so much the less."


A FRENCHWOMAN'S characteristics are
generally that she is unexceptionally shod; that
she wears inimitable gloves; that she has a
toilette of two colours only, with a distracting
way of wearing a shawl; that her manners are
bewitching, full of small graces and delicately-
shaded coquetteries, but never wanting in the
nicest appreciation of external proprieties, to
which her flirtations are always subordinate;
that she has a marvellous facility of walking
clean through the dirty streets of Paris, and
as marvellous a knack of holding up her skirts
with one hand over her left hip (I have seen
many Englishwomen try to imitate this, but
I never saw one succeed); that she has a
supernatural preservation of youth, and a
bewildering habit of mistaking her friend's
husband for her own. These are her popular
characteristics, and few people allow her any
other; but those who know her well, know
that other thoughts besides dress and flirting
work beneath those smooth bands of glossy
hair, which look as if they had taken a
lifetime to bring into their present high
condition of polish and intricate arrangement,
and that the hands, in their close-fitting gloves,
can do something better than make up caps
or crochet purses; that she is not only an
agreeable woman of society, but also a careful
housekeeper, an affectionate mother, and a
submissive wife.

Look at that pretty little woman, tripping
pleasantly along the boulevard, and chatting
gaily with the bonne in the high white
Normandy cap, who walks familiarly by her side.
The bonne is carrying an infant, clothed all
in white down to its boots, or in blue and
white, which shows that it is voué au blanc,
or au bleu et blanc: that is, consecrated to the
Virgin for one, perhaps for two years, either
for fear or for gratitude. Our little woman
herself is dressed in perfect good taste;
from head to foot not an incongruous
colour, not an ill-fitting line. Her bonnet
alone would madden the country milliner
who should try to discover the structural
secret of all those clippings of silks, and laces,
and ribbons, and how it was that each colour
and material seemed to belong so entirely to
the others, and to harmonise with, or form
the complement of the whole. Examine
closely, and you will find this pretty bonnet,
and that elegant-looking gown which fits like
wax, are both of the simplest material;
they appear to be good enough for an English
duchess, but it is the richness of good taste
and arrangement, not of stuff, that our Parisian
coquette delights in; and she knows how to
look better in a cheap print than many
others in satin or in velvet. She has an
elegantly-shaped basket in her hand, and she
carries it gracefully, and not at all as if it were
filled with common household stuff.  But lift up
the cover, and you will find a bunch of sorrel
leaves (oseille), or a thick slice of pumpkin
(potiron), for to-day's dinner, if it be Friday,
when they must have soupe maigre for
conscience' sake; or, perchance, if inclined to
expenditure, and the dinner may be gras, you
will see a small ris de veau (in a bill we
know of, this article of food, called in English
sweetbread, was charged as the smile of a
calf ), or a mutton cutlet, or a piece of bifstek
from the entre-côtes, or anything else small
and relishing for the plat de viande. Anyhow,
it is sure to contain something useful and
domestic, whether in the shape of fruit,
vegetables, meat, or butter and eggs, of which
there is a large consumption in a French
household; something that few English ladies
would buy for themselves, and fewer still
carry home through Regent Street, when
dressed, as our little friend is to-day. We
have seen a marquise of the real old nobility,
a rich woman too, carry a big flower-pot from
the Marché des Fleurs, at the Madeleine, with
as much indifference as our fine ladies would
carry a bouquet or a fan.

Let us follow this little woman, and see
how she lives in her own house, and if
she be there only the gay butterfly she
looks in the streets, or if she have any
graver notion, of the duties of life than dress
and flirting. We follow her into a by-street,
and into another by-street, a third, and a
fourthperhaps to the Quartier du Roule,
perhaps to Chaillot, or just in the contrary
direction, to the Marais, or to Bercy. She
suddenly extinguishes herself in the yawning
jaws of a porte-cochère in one of these by-
streets, let us say in the Rue de la
Pépinière, near the Faubourg Saint Honoré.
She stops at the porter's lodge to take
her key, and speak a few words pleasantly to
the porter: in all probability more than a
few, for our little woman loves talking,
and is usually well informed on all the
gossip of the quartier. She hears all
that has happened in her absence, including
the arrest of certain unfortunate brigands,
who have been marched between files of
soldiers with fixed bayonets, to the house of
the commissaire, opposite: or that Madame
Une-telle has gone out in a petit coupé with
Monsieur Un-tel; and, Mon Dieu!—but some
people are blind. Our friend shrugs her shoulders
in virtuous indignation, and, mindful
of a possible future, calls the concierge
Monsieur or Madame with praiseworthy
perseverance; for she pays respect to
every one. In France the rendering, in
England the exacting, of respect, marks the
true blood, in rather diverse manners. She