And the star conquered. Was Milan not at that time under the domination of Austria? She returned to dance, triumphant, brilliant, ready to excel herself, and the uproar of hissing and booing with which her reappearance was greeted drove her once more precipitately from the Scala stage, this time never to return. No longer was she the adorable, the divine Fanny—she was the Austrian! An enemy instead of an artist. And so finished ignominiously, like a spent rocket, the reign of Elssler in Italy.
"Keep your medal," said Rosing to Lina, "one day it will be historical."
"She's old, isn't she, Elssler?" Lina remarked. "When she is angry, as she was the other night, you can see plainly how old she is."
"There speaks seventeen! If when you are near forty you can dance as Fanny dances, your husband, if he is still alive, will indeed be proud of you!"
The lessons continued, more exhausting than ever now that she was dancing nightly in the ballet. Once, after a séance at the bar lasting for more than two hours she dropped in a faint upon the floor and allowed herself to be undressed, sponged and revived with coffee, without in the least knowing what was happening to her.
After she had been for a few weeks with Angellini she emerged during her lesson hours from the obscurity of her life in the corps de ballet, for Villeneuve and other maestros sometimes came with Rosing to watch her practise. They said little in her presence. Afterward their comments were unrestrained.
"She may be thin," observed Villeneuve once, "but she has so much length of leg that her covering power is enormous. She is made like a grasshopper, your pupil! And she has lightness."
"She might well have," said Rosing dryly, "I once threatened to beat her if ever I heard her dance."