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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/524

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THE WALTZ.

for the Honourable Augustus Tiptoe, her partner-general and Opera-knight. Hearing great praises of Mrs. H.'s dancing (she was famous for birthnight minuets in the latter end of the last century), I unbooted, and went to a ball at the Countess's, expecting to see a country dance, or, at most, Cotillons, reels, and all the old paces to the newest tunes. But, judge of my surprise, on arriving, to see poor dear Mrs. Hornem with her arms half round the loins of a huge hussar-looking gentleman I never set eyes on before; and his, to say truth, rather more than half round her waist, turning round, and round, to a d——d see-saw up-and-down sort of tune, that reminded me of the "Black Joke," only more "affettuoso,[1] till it made me quite giddy with wondering they were not so. By and by they stopped a bit, and I thought they would sit or fall down:—but no; with Mrs. H.'s hand on his shoulder, "Quam familiariter"[2] (as Terence said, when I was at school,) they walked about a minute, and then at it again, like two cock-chafers spitted on the same bodkin. I asked what all this meant, when, with a loud laugh, a child no older than our Wilhelmina (a name I never heard but in the Vicar of Wakefield, though her mother

  1. More expressive.—[MS.]
  2. My Latin is all forgotten, if a man can be said to have forgotten what he never remembered; but I bought my title-page motto of a Catholic priest for a three-shilling bank token, after much haggling for the even sixpence. I grudged the money to a papist, being all for the memory of Perceval and "No popery," and quite regretting the downfall of the pope, because we can't burn him any more.—[Revise No. 2.]