My First Years As A Frenchwoman 1876 To 1879
My first big dinner at the Ministry of Public Instruction rather intimidated me. We were fifty people--I the only lady. I went over to the ministry in the afternoon to see the table, which was very well arranged with quantities of flowers, beautiful Sevres china, not much silver--there is very little left in France, it having all been melted at the time of the Revolution. The official dinners are always well done in Paris. I suppose the traditions of the Empire have been handed down. We arrived a few minutes before eight, all the staff and directors already there, and by ten minutes after eight every one had arrived.
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