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The Nabob, Vol. 2 (of 2)   By: (1840-1897)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: The Duc, the Duchesse, and the Doctor. ]

THE NABOB

BY

ALPHONSE DAUDET

TRANSLATED BY

GEORGE BURNHAM IVES

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

BRANDER MATTHEWS

IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II.

BOSTON

LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY

1902

Copyright, 1898,

BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

All rights reserved.

University Press:

JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

XIII. A DAY OF SPLEEN 1

XIV. THE EXHIBITION 20

XV. MEMOIRS OF A CLERK. IN THE RECEPTION ROOM 42

XVI. A PUBLIC MAN 57

XVII. THE APPARITION 86

XVIII. THE JENKINS PEARLS 107

XIX. THE OBSEQUIES 135

XX. BARONESS HEMERLINGUE 163

XXI. THE SITTING 194

XXII. PARISIAN DRAMAS 230

XXIII. MEMOIRS OF A CLERK. LAST SHEETS 255

XXIV. AT BORDIGHERA 267

XXV. THE FIRST NIGHT OF "RÉVOLTE" 287

ILLUSTRATIONS

The Duc, the Duchesse, and the Doctor Frontispiece

"'Don't be afraid. I have no evil designs on you'" Page 153

The First Night of "Révolte" " 287

From drawings by Lucius Rossi.

THE NABOB.

XIII.

A DAY OF SPLEEN.

Five o'clock in the afternoon. Rain ever since the morning, a gray sky, so low that one can touch it with one's umbrella, dirty weather, puddles, mud, nothing but mud, in thick pools, in gleaming streaks along the edge of the sidewalks, driven back in vain by automatic sweepers, sweepers with handkerchiefs tied over their heads, and carted away on enormous tumbrils which carry it slowly and in triumph through the streets toward Montreuil; removed and ever reappearing, oozing between the pavements, splashing carriage panels, horses' breasts, the clothing of the passers by, soiling windows, thresholds, shop fronts, until one would think that all Paris was about to plunge in and disappear beneath that depressing expanse of miry earth in which all things are jumbled together and lose their identity. And it is a pitiable thing to see how that filth invades the spotless precincts of new houses, the copings of the quays, the colonnades of stone balconies. There is some one, however, whom this spectacle rejoices, a poor, ill, disheartened creature, who, stretched out at full length on the embroidered silk covering of a divan, her head resting on her clenched fists, gazes gleefully out through the streaming window panes and gloats over all these ugly details:

"You see, my Fairy, this is just the kind of weather I wanted to day. See them splash along. Aren't they hideous, aren't they filthy? What mud! It's everywhere, in the streets, on the quays, even in the Seine, even in the sky. Ah! mud is a fine thing when you're downhearted. I would like to dabble in it, to mould a statue with it, a statue one hundred feet high, and call it, 'My Ennui.'"

"But why do you suffer from ennui, my darling?" mildly inquires the ex ballet dancer, good natured and rosy, from her armchair, in which she sits very erect for fear of damage to her hair, which is even more carefully arranged than usual. "Haven't you all that any one can need to be happy?"

And she proceeds, in her placid voice, to enumerate for the hundredth time her reasons for happiness, her renown, her genius, her beauty, all men at her feet, the handsomest, the most powerful; oh! yes, the most powerful, for that very day But an ominous screech, a heart rending wail from the jackal, maddened by the monotony of her desert, suddenly makes the studio windows rattle and sends the terrified old chrysalis back into her cocoon.

The completion of her group and its departure for the Salon has left Felicia for a week past in this state of prostration, of disgust, of heart rending, distressing irritation... Continue reading book >>




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