Letter 11 - Obligation

Miss Maitland Bristow
14 Bathurst Mews

8 September 1902

Dearest Maisie,

Thank you for your words of comfort. It means so much to me to have you as my dear friend. My mother's letter was unsettling to say the least but there is not a thing I can do about it. I am resigned to settling into life here in Paris. My days have been quite monopolized by the French language. The scheming Mr. Westley has seen fit that I am tutored every day of the week, except for Sunday, of course. Just the sight of Mr. Rousseau makes me ever so slightly ill. It is not that he is repulsive physically, he is not. If it were not for his condescending responses to all of my questions, I would not mind his company. But he is never so much as a minute late and, as I said before, always in the possession of white daisies which he then proceeds to force on me. Indeed, I am beginning to quite disdain the daisy. Yesterday Mr. Rousseau (at the advice of Mr. Westley) decided it was a fine day for a walk. I had my parasol with me, as it was quite bright that day. We passed a very lovely cafe. As we passed, Mr. Rousseau would say, "Now, what is zees?" as he pointed to a fork and I would say, "le fourchette." And on he would continue with the glass, the napkin, and so on. Clearly, the most romantic walk of my life. The only thing of interest, I daresay, was the way Mr. Rousseau began to sweat and stumble upon his words and finally asked if I would be so kind as to join him at an upcoming gathering to take place in a few days time. That is when I dropped my parasol. I was so taken aback. I had not had time to gather myself and make any sort of reply when Mr. Rousseau cleared his throat and asked once more if I would attend this small gathering with him. Maisie, what else could I do? I had to say "yes."

So it seems we both have dinner parties to attend. Only you will be in the presence of Queen Victoria's Sir Rothschild, and I will be in the sad company of Mr. Rousseau. Do not for one moment envy my being in Paris! I can hardly wait to hear from you.


Adeline Westley

23 rue Saint Paul

No comments: