Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 8e Cahier, 3e Planche

As we have just received from Montendre, in Saintonge, a Letter by one of our Subscribers, and that the extent of this Book does not permit us today of longer details, we will not extend ourselves here on more than an agreeable and satisfying glance that can give a Table set with its diverse decorations; we will confine ourselves to describe one of the objects which stands out more, and very-often fixes the attention and curiosity of Guests; we mean a cruet. (See THIRD PLATE.)

This is composed of a platter held on four feet, with a handle at each of the two ends of the platter. In the middle is raised a base holding an obelisk surmounted with a globe.

On two sides are placed two fashionable holders, in which are held two crystal oil bottles cut with facets, and which are each closed with a chased stopper.

The platter, the platter handles, the base, the obelisk, the globe on the obelisk, the fashionable holders, and the stoppers which cover the bottles, are all of well-worked silver.

Response to the Letter in the Journal de Paris on February 9, 1786, on the occasion of new Fashions.

To the Editors of the Cabinet des Modes.

From Montendre in Saintonge, February 9, 1786

The cause of the despair, Messieurs, of Madame D*** P.D.G.A.S. of Brive la Gaillarde, must have touched you in a very lively way. For me, I confess that the pleasant jeremiad that she had printed in the Journal de Paris on the 9th of this month, diverted me very much.

I am this woman that Madame Elect complained about, and that she regards as so beneath her, though I am her cousin, and the widow of a Receiver of Taxes. As I know that she has just subscribed to your Cabinet des Modes, I pray you put in my Letter in one of your next Numbers, for revenge on the pretentions and hauteur of my dear cousin.

What will be her surprise! what will be her chagrin! that she will have! and how long will her migraine and insomnia last! when she learns that the young Officer that gave me his hand, when I appeared in one of the most brilliant Assemblies of the pretty City I live in, will be my spouse in three days!

I owe this victory, Messieurs, to your charming Cabinet. I had put on that day a robe à la Turque, and my coiffure was a hat à la Captif: my Lover swung still between the gold of my Rival and my weak charms; but aided by my galant costume, I finished by defeating him and making him decide in my favor.

This is the true cause of the despair and insomnia of the old Madame D.*** P.D.G.A.S. of Brive-la-Gaillarde. Do not allow her, Messieurs, to cool your zeal, and continue to go into your details of Fashion. I feel very disposed to never love my husband; but if he should do the same, it is good that I follow the counsel of Count Almaviva, in the Marriage of Figaro, that is, that I try to keep him. And which means is surer than that of seeming new every day  to his eyes, in varying my outfits?

In the name of Heaven, Messieurs, stay away from Metaphysics, Morals, and even the Maxims of wisdom, that the superannuated Coquette of Brive-la-Gaillarde demands; it is not from those that we want to borrow from the Capital. Regarding Literature and History, we other Provincials, busy with less important affairs that the Ladies of Court and the City, we have time to read; and we receive, with gratitude, all that you want to put into your Issues, on these two subjects.

I have the honor of being, etc.
Where one finds almost the same words as in the first, but arranged for a different Tune. ... No, no, Colette is not deceitful.

First line.
1. Yes, yes, a hundred times I repeat it to you,
2. .............. I tell you what I think,
3. .............. I say to you with frankness,
4. .............. I say it without flattery,
5. .............. I tell it to you without scruple,
6. .............. I am like a furnace,
7. No, no, I am not deceitful,
8. Yes, yes, each guesses it of you,
9. .............. you are my sovereign,
10. ............ I lost the Tramontane;

Second line.
---------- Love reigns in my heart.

Third line.
1. It's when I see Colinette, etc.
2. ..................... my Hortense, etc.
3. ..................... my Louise, etc.
4. ..................... Rosalie, -- my Julie, etc.
5. ..................... my Ursule, etc.
6. ..................... my Thérèse,
7. It is for you, Adelaide,
8. It's when I see Justine, -- Christine, etc.
9. It's when I see Madeleine, etc.
10. .................... Marianne, etc.

Fourth line. ---- That I taste happiness.
Yes, yes, etc.

Example of this couplet.
Yes, yes, a hundred times I repeat to you,
Love reigns in my heart;
It's when I see Colinette
That I taste happiness.
Yes, yes, etc.
To the tune: Sad reason, etc.

First line.
1. You know the faithful Bastienne;
2. ................................ Bathilde,
3. ................................ Artemise,
4. ................................ Nanette, etc.

Second line. ------- Who for (1. Bastien, 2. Colin, 3. Mausole, 4. Lubin)* had a tormented heart:

Third line. --------- Thus today my love for (1. Hélène, 2. Clothilde, 3. Louise, 4. Fancherre)

Fourth line. ------- Will be known for my fidelity.

You know the faithful Bastienne,
Who for Bastien had a tormented heart:
Thus today my love for Hélène
Will be known for my fidelity.

A Suite of Passe-Partouts, in the next No.

* Couples from operas and history: Les Amours de Bastien et Bastienne (Justine Favart and Harny de Guerville, 1753); possibly L'Union de l'Amour et des Arts (Floquet, 1773); Artemisia II of Caria and her husband/brother Mausolus (d. 350 and 353 BCE, respectively); "a scandalous Belgian couple ... in the late eighteenth century"

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