A debutante’s diary: Alice makes an impression


I was sitting for Augustus in a fairylike costume when Louisa came to tell me Sir Samuel Hayes was waiting. His delight when I came in with my hair down was comical. ‘May I kiss it?’ he asked, taking up one long tress, and looking at it as you may see a man look at a baby. I gave the required permission; a very safe one, seeing it was a good yard from my face.

I went back to Augustus and the painting; but before he had done scolding me for such a long absence, the door opened, and his servant announcing ‘Mr Cornwallis West’, in walked one of his particular artist friends, and uncommonly surprised he looked at seeing me. I must own to a penchant towards these charming London men Fate has lately thrown me among, they are perfectly irresistible.

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This particular specimen was six foot three, uncommonly handsome, and evidently admired me as much as I did him, so in five minutes we were chattering gaily, the object of his visit forgotten, and Augustus in despair exclaiming ‘West, my dear fellow, be kind enough to allow my fair model to return to her duties.’

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Which at last the culprit reluctantly proceeded to do, after extorting a promise that I would come to the party he gives Monday night.

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Every Girl’s Duty’, edited by Maggy Parsons and published by Andre Deutsch