Monday, December 7, 2015

Etiquette and a French Empress

The Empress loves to amuse herself, and is no doubt often weary enough of the etiquette of the Court, probably thought that her going there would be a diversion.

Rude and Ruder?
An Anecdote of the French Empress
A story with regard to the Empress's visit to one of the minor theatres, is going lhe rounds, according to which her Majesty recently went to the Ambigu-Comique, unexpected, and attended only by one of her ladies. The theatre in question is quite without the pale of the beau monde and is in fact attended by rather a rowdy set of customers. 

The Empress, who dearly loves to amuse herself, and who is no doubt often weary enough of the etiquette of the Court, probably thought that her going there would not only be a diversion for herself, but would also be considered as a compliment by the "small folk" who frequent this theatre. 

But it appears that the "small folk" thought otherwise, and were not at all pleased at so unceremonious an intrusion into their haunts ; and accordingly, when the Empress and her attendant entered their box the whole pit struck up in chorus, "Cordieu! Madame, what are you come to do here?" (being a verse in a song out of a comic play called "The Sieur de Franiboisy" which has been the rage here for some time past, and which all the gamins in Paris have been singing till the rest of the world are sick of it.) 

Whereupon her Majesty, horrified and disconcerted at such a reception, beat an instantaneous retreat, and disappeared, followed by her attendant, without having even taken her seat. 

For the correctness of this story, however, I would not undertake to vouch ; all I can say is that I have it from a respectable young man who declares that he was present on the occasion, and joined in the song.— Paris Correspondence, 1856


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