Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

His Excellency the Minister   By: (1840-1913)

Book cover

First Page:

THIS EDITION DEDICATED TO THE HONOR OF THE ACADÉMIE FRANÇAISE IS LIMITED TO ONE THOUSAND NUMBERED AND REGISTERED SETS, OF WHICH THIS IS

NUMBER 358

THE ROMANCISTS JULES CLARETIE HIS EXCELLENCY THE MINISTER

BIBLIOTHÈQUE DES CHEFS D'OEUVRE DU ROMAN CONTEMPORAIN

HIS EXCELLENCY THE MINISTER

JULES CLARETIE

OF THE ACADÉMIE FRANÇAISE

PRINTED FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY BY

GEORGE BARRIE & SONS, PHILADELPHIA COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY G.B. & SON

THIS EDITION OF HIS EXCELLENCY THE MINISTER HAS BEEN COMPLETELY TRANSLATED BY HENRI ROBERTS

THE ETCHINGS ARE BY EUGENE WALLET AND DRAWINGS BY ADRIEN MARIE

TO ALPHONSE DAUDET

My dear friend,

Ideas sometimes float about in the air like the pollen of flowers. For years past I have been at work collecting notes for this book which I have decided to dedicate to you.

In one of your charming prefaces, you told us lately that you only painted from nature. We are both of us, I imagine, in our day and generation, quite captivated and carried away by that modern society from which in your exquisite creations you have so well understood how to extract the essence.

What is it that I have desired to do this time? That which we have both been trying to do at one and the same time: to seize, in passing, these stirring times of ours, these modern manners, that society which perpetuates the antediluvian uproar, that feverish, bustling world always posing before the footlights, that market for the sale of appetites, that kirmess of pleasure that saddens us a little and amuses us a great deal, and allows us romance writers, simple seekers after truth, to smile in our sleeves at the constant seekers after portfolios.

This book is true, I have seen the events narrated in it pass before my own eyes, and I can say, as a spectator greatly interested in what I see, that I am delighted, my old fellow traveller, to write your great and honored name on the first page of my book as a witness to the sincere affection and true comradeship of

Your devoted,

JULES CLARETIE.

PREFACE

There was once a Minister of State who presented to his native land the astonishing spectacle of a Cabinet Minister dying whilst in office. This action was so astounding to the nation at large that a statue has since been erected to his memory.

I saw his funeral procession defile past me, I think I even made one of the Committee sent by the Society of Men of Letters to march in the funeral convoy. It was superb. This lawyer from the Provinces, good honest man, eloquent orator, honest politician that he was, who came to Paris but to die there, was buried with the greatest magnificence.

De Musset had eight persons to follow him to the grave; his Excellency had one hundred thousand.

I returned home from this gorgeous funeral in a thoughtful mood, thinking how much emptiness there is in glory, and particularly in political glory. This man had been "His Excellency the Minister" and not only his own province, but the whole country had placed its hopes on him. But what had he done? He had left his home to cast himself into the great whirlpool of the metropolis. It was the romance of a great provincial plunged in Paris into the reality of contemporary history, and become as ordinary as the commonplace items of the Journals. "What a subject for a study at once profoundly modern and perfectly lifelike!" The funeral convoy had hardly left the church of the Madeleine when my plot of this romance was thought out, and appeared clearly before me in this title, very brief and simple: His Excellency the Minister .

I have not drawn any one in particular, I have thought of no individual person, I even forgot all about this departed Minister, whose face I hardly caught even a glimpse of, and of whose life I was completely ignorant; I had only in my mind's eye a hero or rather a heroine: Politics with all its discouragements, its vexations, its treacheries, its deceptions, its visions as fair as the blue sky of summer, suddenly bursting like soap bubbles; and to the woes of Politics, I naturally endeavored to add those of the pangs of love... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books