To Mademoiselle Angele St. Cyr
A male's heart cannot describe foolishness.
Her heart, beauty,and nature are so noble,
that just taking her in makes me breathless.
And I know I am but a man,quite dull.
I can only hope she understands me
through the feelings of a poor admirer
that I see her as my Aphrodite
the goddess of beauty, charm and ardor
and yet, so sweet in innocence is she,
that I am lulled every time by her
to sneak one more glance, to hear one more word.
I can't say my words to her without slur
Despite all my studies she feels awkward
Her smile entrances, her laugh is a bell
Why do you have to bear your name so well?
Your most ardent, truest admirer,
Armand St. Just
"Do you think I should send it?" Armand stared at the paper, anxiety running through him like a knife. Marguerite looked up from her book with a smile.
"Gad, is my brother in love?" she teased, and went back to reading. It was something Armand had given her as a gift a few weeks ago, and she had been reading and rereading it in her spare time.
He watched her for a moment. She was scarcely past twenty, but her child-like features were entrancing to the male's eye. There was always something musical in her voice and an air of elegance in her manner one did not always find in a bourgeois woman. "You like that, don't you?"
She held up the book, "This? Of course! Rousseau's works are always fascinating. I cannot help but feel this... this burning sensation that he is true. Thank you again, for giving it to me." She went back to reading and Armand went back to nervously staring at the page. Would she laugh in his face, or return his affections?
"Do you think she likes me?"
"Really Armand, that is something an insecure ten year old boy would ask," Marguerite did not raise her head out of the pages.
"I know," he laughed, "I am unsure of myself. I have as much experience with this as a ten year old boy. At least they have an excuse." Marguerite did not say anything so Armand continued. "You have experience with men. They admire you and propose to you every day." She sat up abruptly and shut the book, somewhat unnerved by that. She always hated to talk about the situation regarding her hundreds of suitors.
"They are men I hardly know, Armand. And I do not see how this will help you win that St. Cyr girl's affections. In my opinion she is too pompous for you." Marguerite straightened a little, as if the idea of the aristocrat made her want to act like one herself. If any first class guests had come in and seen Marguerite slouched on the couch, they would have sniffed and turned their heads at her. Like a stinging bee, he knew Angele would do the same thing, but no one could be perfect! It was just her caste, the way she had been raised. Surely, she would see him as who he really was at heart, not just what class he belonged to.
"You judge her too harshly my sister, her eyes twinkle when she laughs and her smile is angelic and-"
"How fitting," Marguerite sniffed. "She is like an angel, you say," her voice turned sarcastic and Armand knew he was in for a witty rebuke. "Well, beware the evil behind smiling eyes, Armand."
"So you think it unwise to give it to her?" He twiddled the scrap between his forefinger and thumb, ready to crush it if Marguerite said so.
"I cannot make the decision for you. If she deserves the apple of your eye," Marguerite sighed and walked to him, "go ahead. Just beware, her father is more ruthless than she." Armand took her hand.
"She is not ruthless! And her father isn't so bad. Just a little medieval."
"Just like the rest of his caste." Marguerite strode to her place on the couch as Armand stared after her. What was her advice? After settling in with the book, she sighed. "I'm just warning you. Angele and her family may not be what they appear." For a few minutes, Armand gazed at the decorated red and bronze rug. It was from Italy. Marguerite fell in love with it somewhere and had thought he would like it. Of course he smiled and thanked her, but it was just... so ugly. The colors and design must have been hundreds of years old. "It's from the Renaissance, Armand. I know you like anything from that time period, so it reminded me of you." Obviously, he did not like everything from the Renaissance, at least not rugs. The only reason he kept it was to remind himself of Marguerite's thoughtfulness, even though she was not always right all the time.
He looked up and she flipped a page, scouring the words on the page like a starving dog. "Would you..." he rubbed his neck, "If you received a poem like this, would you admire him back?"
She sighed for being disturbed. "Let me read it." He ducked his head and handed it to her. He watched her face, ready for her to laugh out loud, but all she did was cover her heart with her slender hand and look back up with awe. "If I received this... I would be flattered Armand! My opinion would then be reviewed thoroughly by examining what I already know of his character, opinions and personality. Most times, they talk in big words but are empty-hearted." She stood and touched his cheek with her hand. "Of course, my little papa, you are not one of those dull-headed men." Armand felt over-joyed to see that his sister, one of the strictest women when it came to suitors, approved of his manner of confession. Life had never looked so hopeful and happy until then. He stood and grabbed his coat, kissing her on the cheek before almost running out the door.
"Don't forget your hat!" She called to him. He rounded back and grabbed it, smiling gratefully at her. "or your head..."she muttered before plopping down on her seat again, finally free to read her Rousseau.