Epistle from Monsieur Leon

Mr E. Elliott

King’s Theatre
20 March 1817


It is in demandant Pardon of the grand liberté that I myself address you.

I not can suppose that you ignorant my Name. My name, si bien comme dans le fashonable world — mais, to prevent a mistake — I am Mons. Leon, Maître de Ballet of the Opera House. You, Madame, who make your occupation of the Muses, knows very well that one of them was Danseuse, that is Terpsichore. She it was invent la Danse; en un mot, Ballet Master (what you call? Mistress?) to all the Gods and Goddesses. Therefore, you must, sans doute, carry great respect for my Profession. Eh bien, nonobstant tout cela, it is you, c’est nous, Mademoiselle, which makes it the most great injuries.

You come never to the Opera, jamais! I not shall pretend to say for what; I never accuse nobody to want the good taste — moi! Mais, all the Tuesdays night last year, certain Gentlemens and Lady too, come to admire me and my Wife and the Beaux Arts — à present, that you have change your Attique Chest to those Night, they have took their fly from us, to you and the belles lettres! Indeed, Mademoiselle, it is cruelle opposition - but they tell to me since you go in France, you are très honnête, so I resolve myself to write you.

Mademoiselle me dit “A quoi bon cela?” “Taisez vous Madame!” je reponds. Ainsi, Mademoiselle, I repose myself upon your bonté, praying you if to change the night is impossible, you shall send away the Gentlemens without their supper, sans souper, so they will be in time for the Ballet.

In you presenting the hommage of my respect, I am,

Le Votre

A. Leon
Maître de Ballet

P.S. I recommend you come and see my last new masterpiece.