The subject seemed strangely chosen for an infant singer; but I suppose
the point of the exhibition lay in hearing the notes of love and jealousy
warbled with the lisp of childhood; and in very bad taste that point was:
at least I thought so.
Adele sang the canzonette tunefully enough, and with the naivete of her
age. This achieved, she jumped from my knee and said, "Now,
Mademoiselle, I will repeat you some poetry."
Assuming an attitude, she began, "La Ligue des Rats: fable de La
Fontaine." She then declaimed the little piece with an attention to
punctuation and emphasis, a flexibility of voice and an appropriateness
of gesture, very unusual indeed at her age, and which proved she had been
"Was it your mama who taught you that piece?" I asked.
"Yes, and she just used to say it in this way: 'Qu' avez vous donc? lui
dit un de ces rats; parlez!' She made me lift my hand--so--to remind me
to raise my voice at the question. Now shall I dance for you?"