Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.
"One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four--turn to your lady; one, two, three, four--now deep reverence. Now you take her hand; no, not her whole hand--the tips of her fingers; now you lead her to her seat; now a deep bow, so. That will do. You are improving, but you must be more light, more graceful, more courtly in your air; still you will do. "Now run away, Mignon. to the garden; you have madam's permission to gather fruit. "Now, Monsieur Rupert, we will take our lesson in fencing." The above speech was in the French language, and the speaker was a tall, slightly-built man of about fifty years of age. The scene was a long low room, in a mansion situated some two miles from Derby. The month was January, 1702, and King William the Third sat upon the throne. In the room, in addition to the dancing master, were the lad he was teaching, an active, healthy-looking boy between fifteen and sixteen; his partner, a bright-faced French girl of some twelve years of age; and an old man, nearer eighty than seventy, but still erect and active, who sat in a large armchair, looking on. By the alacrity with which the lad went to an armoire and took out the foils, and steel caps with visors which served as fencing masks, it was clear that he preferred the fencing lesson to the dancing. He threw off his coat, buttoned a padded guard across his chest, and handing a foil to his instructor, took his place before him.