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Monsieur Cherami   By: (1794-1871)

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"What! you are going so soon! I thought I hoped "

The two girls were already in the omnibus.

Copyright 1903 by G. Barrie & Son]



Paul de Kock







The office in question stood near Porte Saint Martin, at the corner of the Boulevard and Rue de Bondy, in the same building as the Deffieux restaurant, which was one of the most popular establishments in Paris in respect of wedding banquets; so that one who passed that way during the evening, and often after midnight, was likely to find the windows brilliantly lighted on the first or second floor, on the boulevard or on the square, and sometimes on both floors and on both sides; for it happened not infrequently that Deffieux entertained four or five wedding parties the same evening. That caused him no embarrassment, for he had room enough for all; indeed, I believe that, at a pinch, he would have set tables on the boulevard.

And there was dancing everywhere, on all sides: in this room, a fashionable ball; in that, a bourgeois affair; on the floor above, something not far removed from the plebeian; but it is likely that the latter was not the least enjoyable of the three, to those who took part in it; certainly, there was more noise made, at any rate.

What a home of pleasure! It seems to me that those who live in such places ought to be always in high spirits, and to have one leg in the air, ready to dance. That would be tiresome perhaps, but how can one avoid a longing to be merry when one has constantly before one's eyes a crowd of merry folk, dancing, eating, drinking, singing, making soft eyes at one another, or shaking hands with all the warmth of the most sincere regard! Man is so expansive toward the end of a hearty meal! At such a time, we all attract and love one another.

You will tell me, perhaps, that these sentiments rarely outlast the time necessary for digestion; that even those joyous wedding feasts, during which the newly married pair look at and speak to each other with such a world of love in their eyes and of tender meaning in their voices, do not even wait till the end of the year before they become transformed into gloomy and depressing pictures. There are many people who have gone so far as to say that there are only two pleasant days in married life: that on which the husband and wife come together, and that on which they part; just as there are but two to the traveller: the day of departure, and the day of return.

But people say so many things that are not true! I have known many travellers who have enjoyed travelling; they were never in a hurry to return to their firesides.

I love to believe that it is the same with husbands and wives, and that there are some who enjoy the married state and have no desire to quit it.

But what, in heaven's name, am I chattering about, when we ought already to have entered the omnibus office, whence public conveyances started for Belleville, La Villette, Saint Sulpice, Grenelle, and a multitude of other places, each farther from Paris than the last?

One could also purchase at the office in question small bottles of essence, flasks of perfumed vinegar, blacking, and pomade. Commerce slides in everywhere! There is no harm in that. Commerce is the life of nations and of individuals. Everybody is engaged in commerce, even those who do not suspect it.

It was a beautiful day, in the middle of June, and a Saturday; three circumstances which could not fail to result in bringing a large crowd to the omnibus office, as well as to Deffieux's restaurant. That restaurant attracts me; I keep going back to it, in spite of myself. That is to say, that I go back to it, not in spite of myself, but with all my heart, for one is very comfortable there. Now, you know, or you do not know but I should be very much surprised if you didn't, I resume: you know that Saturday is the day on which more wedding feasts occur than on any other day in the week... Continue reading book >>

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