The Missed Ball

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This picture is from a book, another book about Marie-Antoinette that doesn’t say much; and the picture being the only thing that intrigued me, I took a picture of the picture and stored it in my files for some time, for I had nothing intelligent to say about it either. Two weeks ago I ran into it again, and I remembered that Casanova mentioned Duke Richelieu’s collection of fabrics, small pieces of fabrics complete with notes explaining where and when they were collected. So I thought that Richelieu’s strange collection must had had a similar effect on Casanova; but then I shrugged the idea off, because Duke Richelieu was quite a character, while these shoes don’t have any such personality behind them. These shoes are just some late XVIII century shoes –all anonymous and in their anonymity they say something that I need to figure out. I have to figure out the well-waxed parquet floor and the shoe box — all these cracks filled with some two centuries worth of dust. Then I sneezed. Looked for a tissue. Didn’t find any. And desperate grabbed a roll of toilet paper. Achoo! My eyes began to water! I swear I was seeing something in those fabrics; and as I sneezed I’ve heard the sharp heels running upstairs — my neighbor, she was probably going out for the night…, had to be wearing a dress! I heard the rustling of folds and giggles. What is she laughing about? I glued my eye to the the spy hole…, what the…! Down the stairs descended a masked beauty in a basket dress that could barely pass between the wall and the banisters. She was not alone, two gentlemen stomped down banging their canes and pressing tri-cornered hats to their silk jabots. My God! I forgot that it was the night of the Masked Ball at the Chateau! I swung the wardrobe open: both of my XVII and XVIII century costumes were there, the hats, the swords, the stockings, but my silver-buckled shoes…, their box was nowhere to be found — probably lost or misplaced when I moved to the new place! It was a quarter to midnight, and I have no fairy god-mother. I went back to the computer, found the picture with the shoes and typed, “This year, on the night of the Masked Ball, Cinderella swept the floor, did the dishes, and then, while brushing and flossing her teeth, decided not to rush the happy ending. Good night to all my pumpkins!”


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Costume Parties at Chateau Versailles, Versailles. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Missed Ball

  1. I’m so sorry to here that your period costumes were gone! But congrats on flossing…one day all those ball-goers will be rockin’ dentures and you’ll be the belle of the ball.

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