Page:Inside Canton.djvu/209

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profusely decked with flowers, and trembling on their small feet like a tumbler standing tiptoe as Mercury, looked like figurantes at the opera. By-and-bye, as soon as the young Chinese had become a little familiarised with Madame the Ambassador's wife, her childlike simplicity resumed its influence, and she examined, item by item, all the particulars of the Parisian toilette. Every object provoked a murmur of admiration: a pretty bracelet, a masterpiece of jewellery, quite captivated her, and in her gestures and the tones of her voice she so broadly betrayed her wish to have it, that Madame de Lagrené took it off and fastened it on the arm of the fair Chinese, who took care not to refuse the gift, and expressed her delight at possessing the desired object by warbling a charming little song, full of caressing turns, tender and effortless, characteristic in fact of this spoilt child. The first moments of pleasure over, she grew calm, and said to the Ambassador's lady:—

"Since you give me your most precious jewels, you love me, I know; tell me, then, what I must do to have, like you, a complexion white as the jessamine and ruddy as the peach?"

At this question, Callery, who alone understood the young lady, replied with a smile:—

"It is a privilege of the women of the West to have cheeks coloured thus; they use no artificial means to produce it."