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His colleague for the nonce, Sandeau, he considered to be a protege of his; and used him a while as a kind of secretary. In this year especially he showed much solicitude about him. There was nothing to excite his jealousy in the author of Sacs et Parchemins, who was not elected to the Academy until nearly the end of the decade in which Balzac died. On the contrary, his pity was aroused by Sandeau’s precarious position and by the recent separation between Madame Dudevant and this first of her lovers, who did his best to commit suicide by swallowing a dose of acetate of morphia. Luckily the dose was so large that Sandeau’s stomach refused to digest it. George Sand herself Balzac admired but did not care for at this time. He would talk to her amiably when he met her at the Opera; but, if she invited him to dinner, he invented an excuse, if possible, for not going. “Don’t speak to me,” he would say, “of this writer of the neuter gender. Nature ought to have given her more breeches and less style.”
On the island a thrush had begun to sing. Molly raised her head, as if to listen. The water lapped against the sides of the canoe.
A flight of rooks, tenants of the adjacent grove, were hovering about the ruin, and balancing themselves upon ever airy projection, and looked down with curious eye and cawed as the postchaise rattled along below.
They entered Rheims the last day of May, 1580, for in Rheims was the soul, if not the body, of the College now driven, partly for convenience, partly by force of trouble, out of Douay. That College was never re-formed: but the scholar-exiles lived close together, up and down the street still called Rue des Anglais. The travellers were rapturously welcomed by all, especially by the great Englishman whom the old narrative quaintly calls “Mr. Dr. Allen, the President.” Here at Rheims the venerable Bishop of St. Asaph fell ill of a fever. He was never again to cross the Channel. By the time he had fairly recovered, rumours of his movements had naturally got abroad, and the Pope was unwilling to imperil so important and precious a person. While still a convalescent at Rheims, Goldwell wrote to his Holiness in person, begging him to listen to no objections, but to anoint at once three or four new Bishops to shepherd their own needy Church; and he very touchingly assures the Holy Father, knowing that the question of a fitting maintenance for them would arise, that God had so inclined the minds of all the English priests whom he knew to put up with their penniless and hunted daily lives, and the vision of the gallows always before them, that any of these, once consecrated, would be entirely contented to go on as poorly as he had gone heretofore, like a Bishop of the Early Church. The application failed. “Etiquette and routine prevailed,” says Simpson, in summing up this incident.
‘A mystery?’ I repeated.
The dowager took Julie in her arms, and kissed her on the forehead with a tenderness and pity more often found in women’s ways and manner than in their hearts. Then she coaxed her niece with kind, soothing words, assured her of a happy future, lulled her with promises of love, and put her to bed as if she had been not a niece, but a daughter, a much-beloved daughter whose hopes and cares she had made her own. Perhaps the old Marquise had found her own youth and inexperience and beauty again in this nephew’s wife. And the Countess fell asleep, happy to have found a friend, nay a mother, to whom she could tell everything freely.
The learned brother so often mentioned was reckoned the best scholar in all that or the next street to it; insomuch, as having run something behindhand with the world, he obtained the favour from a certain lord 34 to receive him into his house and to teach his children. A while after the lord died, and he, by long practice upon his father’s will, found the way of contriving a deed of conveyance of that house to himself and his heirs; upon which he took possession, turned the young squires out, and received his brothers in their stead.
It’s just like Ashley’s: there’s a man just like Mr. Piddicombe, who goes round the ring in a huzzah-dress, cracking a whip; there are a dozen Miss Woolfords, who appear like Polish princesses, Dihannas, Sultannas, Cachuchas, and heaven knows what! There’s the fat man, who comes in with the twenty-three dresses on, and turns out to be the living skeleton! There’s the clowns, the sawdust, the white horse that dances a hornpipe, the candles stuck in hoops, just as in our own dear country.
"Five clubs redoubled," said Basildon. "Your lead, Meyer."
Well, we arrived at Boulogne; and Jemmy, after making inquiries, right and left, about the Baron, found that no such person was known there; and being bent, I suppose, at all events, on marrying her daughter to a lord, she determined to set off for Paris, where, as he had often said, he possessed a magnificent —— hotel he called it;— and I remember Jemmy being mightily indignant at the idea; but hotel, we found afterwards, means only a house in French, and this reconciled her. Need I describe the road from Boulogne to Paris? or need I describe that Capitol itself? Suffice it to say, that we made our appearance there, at “Murisse’s Hotel,” as became the family of Coxe Tuggeridge; and saw everything worth seeing in the metropolis in a week. It nearly killed me, to be sure; but, when you’re on a pleasure-party in a foreign country, you must not mind a little inconvenience of this sort.
“You have told us that you went into your room to fetch a reel of cotton. Whereabouts was it?”
“Yes, Mannion: I have got his letter to her. She is criminated by it, even past her father’s contradiction — and he doesn’t stick at a trifle! But I’ll begin at the beginning, and tell you everything. Hang it, Basil, you look as if I’d brought you bad news instead of good!”
“H’m! Don’t the jasmines smell fine tonight?”
Among the ancient Greeks the male sex, one half of the human race, received the highest cultivation and refinement: whilst the other, so far as intellect is concerned, were educated as slaves and were raised but few degrees in all that related to moral of intellectual excellence above the condition of savages. The gradations in the society of man present us with slow improvement in this respect. The Roman women held a higher consideration in society, and were esteemed almost as the equal partners with their husbands in the regulation of domestic economy and the education of their children. The practices and customs of modern Europe are essentially different from and incomparably less pernicious than either, however remote from what an enlightened mind cannot fail to desire as the future destiny of human beings.
"I know--I know. Brenda, I deceived you about that man for your own sake and for mine. I took his sins on my shoulders that he might not get into trouble."
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