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

My Private Menagerie   By: (1811-1872)

Book cover

First Page:

Transcriber's Note

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of corrections is found at the end of the text. Oe ligatures have been expanded. Text originally printed in Greek characters has been transliterated and surrounded with ~.

THE WORKS OF THÉOPHILE GAUTIER

VOLUME NINETEEN

TRANSLATED AND EDITED BY PROFESSOR F. C. DE SUMICHRAST Department of French, Harvard University

CAPTAIN FRACASSE

PART THREE

MY PRIVATE MENAGERIE

THE ATHENAEUM SOCIETY NEW YORK

Copyright, 1902, by GEORGE D. SPROUL

UNIVERSITY PRESS · JOHN WILSON AND SON · CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.

Contents

MY PRIVATE MENAGERIE

I ANTIQUITY Page 283

II THE WHITE DYNASTY " 294

III THE BLACK DYNASTY " 305

IV THIS SIDE FOR DOGS " 318

V MY HORSES " 336

My Private Menagerie

MY PRIVATE MENAGERIE

I

ANTIQUITY

I have often been caricatured in Turkish dress seated upon cushions, and surrounded by cats so familiar that they did not hesitate to climb upon my shoulders and even upon my head. The caricature is truth slightly exaggerated, and I must own that all my life I have been as fond of animals in general and of cats in particular as any brahmin or old maid. The great Byron always trotted a menagerie round with him, even when travelling, and he caused to be erected, in the park of Newstead Abbey, a monument to his faithful Newfoundland dog Boatswain, with an inscription in verse of his own inditing. I cannot be accused of imitation in the matter of our common liking for dogs, for that love manifested itself in me at an age when I was yet ignorant of the alphabet.

A clever man being at this time engaged in preparing a "History of Animals of Letters," I jot down these notes in which he may find, so far as my own animals are concerned, trustworthy information.

The earliest remembrance of this sort that I have goes back to the time of my arrival in Paris from Tarbes. I was then three years old, so that it is difficult to credit the statement made by Mirecourt and Vapereau, who affirm that I "proved but an indifferent pupil" in my native town. Home sickness of a violence that no one would credit a child with being capable of experiencing, fell upon me. I spoke our local dialect only, and people who talked French "were not mine own people." I would wake in the middle of the night and inquire whether we were not soon to start on our return to our own land.

No dainty tempted me, no toy could amuse me. Drums and trumpets equally failed to relieve my gloom. Among the objects and beings I regretted figured a dog called Cagnotte, whom it had been found impossible to bring with us. His absence told on me to such an extent that one morning, having first chucked out of the window my little tin soldiers, my German village with its painted houses, and my bright red fiddle, I was about to take the same road to return as speedily as possible to Tarbes, the Gascons, and Cagnotte. I was grabbed by the jacket in the nick of time, and Josephine, my nurse, had the happy thought to tell me that Cagnotte, tired of waiting for us, was coming that very day by the stage coach. Children accept the improbable with artless faith; nothing strikes them as impossible; only, they must not be deceived, for there is no impairing the fixity of a settled idea in their brains. I kept asking, every fifteen minutes, whether Cagnotte had not yet come. To quiet me, Josephine bought on the Pont Neuf a little dog not unlike the Tarbes specimen. I did not feel sure of its identity, but I was told that travelling changed dogs very much. I was satisfied with the explanation and accepted the Pont Neuf dog as being the authentic Cagnotte. He was very gentle, very amiable, and very well behaved. He would lick my cheeks, and indeed his tongue was not above licking also the slices of bread and butter cut for my afternoon tea... 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