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himself of this formality with the grace of the from heaven. He, therefore, exerted himself to bear, to which he bore so striking a resemblance. display all the graces of his mind, to show the

“ Let us make haste," he said sulkily; "and noble stranger that, in spite of all that evil tongues look out and not fall. The highway is only a might say, Monsieur Drommel had not lost his little way off, but we shall not get back to the way in the forest, because it was impossible for hotel for an hour yet, and I am dying of hun- Monsieur Drommel to lose his way anywhere. !”

He therefore explained the matter in detail, and She made a supreme effort to start off bravely, stated that the road he had followed was the best, but the twist she had given her ankle when she and that, if for a brief moment he had been emfell, and which she had forgotten, now became barrassed, it was owing to the fact that the map very painful. The sprain was not severe, but she with which he was furnished was a French one; was no longer sure-footed, and stumbled from he profited, moreover, by this occasion to declare time to time. When she reached the end of the that the French know nothing of geography, and path, and had taken ten steps on the road to that their maps are always inferior. Fleury, then she realized that her strength was The noble stranger agreed to all these propogone, and that she was dizzy and faint. Fate, sitions, which so delighted Monsieur Drommel which is always interested in pretty women, took that, when the carriage drew up before the door pity on her, and sent her help. A calèche was of the inn at Barbison, he felt a most enthusiastic passing; a noble stranger put his head through liking for his new friend the Prince de Malaserra. the door, and, waving a hand loaded with rings, he called out with a strong Italian accent:

III. “ I am going from Fontainebleau to Barbison. I have two seats to offer, and shall be delighted EVERYBODY agrees that on this evening four if you will accept them.”

persons sat at table. This is a fact that has beAt these words he leaped from the carriage, come historical. and compelled Monsieur and Madame Drommel When Monsieur Drommel descended from the to enter it, saying

carriage he was in such a half-famished condition

a “When I see a tired woman, my heart is al- that he hastened to the kitchen and gave orders ways touched.” If the noble stranger's French that dinner should be served instantaneously. was not of the purest, his manners were stately The mistress of the establishment, who had taken and his air magnificent. He had a handsome a strong dislike to Monsieur Drommel, amused head, a dark face framed in black eyebrows and herself now by thwarting his wishes. She dea beard most carefully cut and combed. Ada, clared that she had not a private room in her whose taste was refined, objected to the excessive house, and that those persons who were too late abundance of his rings, and to the strong per- for the table d'hôte must now eat in the same fumes which exhaled from his handkerchief, his room and at the same time, and that she should clothing, and his hair. But, when she was lux- wait until Monsieur Taconet and little Lestoc aruriously ensconced in the calèche, she felt as if rived: one was her cousin-german, and she felt she were restored to life, and was too grateful to the highest respect for him; the other was her this providential being not to forgive all these especial favorite. faults.

She had, from the beginning, distinguished As to Monsieur Drommel, he was disposed to him from among the herd of young fellows who regard this courtesy shown by an Italian toward frequented her house. She petted him, for she a German thinker as that instinctive and natural was proud of sheltering under her roof a youth homage rendered to a superior race by all inferior whose future was so full of promise—a phænix ones. A spectator would have thought the calèche of whom everybody was talking, and would have belonged to the German, and perhaps he really been glad to inscribe on her sign, “ Little Lestoc believed this to be the case, and that the Italian lives here !” was indebted to him, he treated him with so great She therefore calmly signified to Monsieur condescension. When, however, he learned, in Drommel that no napkin should be unfolded the course of conversation, that this man with until little Lestoc was there. He protested, and the rings was a great Sicilian personage, and lost his temper. She answered that, if he was bore the fine title of Prince de Malaserra, he sud- not satisfied, he could go elsewhere. She was denly changed his attitude—his manner became rude, and he was angry, and would have come to less pompous, and even quite affectionate. He blows had not the Prince de Malaserra interwas always weak enough to admire those things fered. He had all the amenity and graceful good which cost most dearly; he had a naïve respect humor that characterizes great lords and gentlefor titles and rank. The acquaintance and friend- men. With his gay grace he conciliated both ship of a prince seemed to him a direct blessing parties, calmed their perturbed spirits, and

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smoothed down Monsieur Drommel. He said thoroughly utilize for the common good all their laughingly :

ability." “My dear sir, be as philosophical as myself. The ex-policeman was perfectly aghast. “Do When things do not go as I wish, I try to wish you mean," he said angrily, “ that the legislators that they may go as they do."

of the future will employ thieves to watch and Just at this moment Monsieur Taconet and guard our pockets ? " little Lestoc arrived, and they all went to dinner. “Monsieur," answered Drommel with a sarAs for Madame Drommel, as it was repose of donic smile, “ will you kindly tell me what a thief which she stood most in need, she hastened to is?” her bed.

“ A thief, sir ?-zounds, sir!" During the first course no one uttered a word. “Do not swear, I beg of you," interrupted Only the noise made by knives, forks, and jaws little Lestoc, who was all attention, though he was heard. Occasionally Monsieur Taconet ex- looked perfectly indifferent. “My Aunt Dorothy, amined the Prince de Malaserra out of the cor- who brought me up, taught me that it was most ners of his eye. The Prince in his turn stealth- unlucky to swear!” ily watched little Lestoc, who surveyed Monsieur You were wrong in interrupting the gentleDrommel, and Monsieur Drommel had eyes only man,” said Monsieur Drommel, “ for he was gofor his plate. When he had swallowed half a ing to tell me that a thief is he who appropriates chicken fricassee, and had assuaged the exacting the property of others. I expected him to say anguish of his stomach, and felt circulate in his this, and in reply I shall say that the Government veins the gentle warmth of some excellent Bor- is a thief because it sometimes takes possession deaux, his bad humor was dissipated as by en- of people on the plea of public utility.” chantment; his energy returned and his spirits “I never liked sophistry nor sophists,” said revived. He waited with considerable impatience Monsieur Taconet, whose nerves began to be afuntil an opportunity should arrive for him to talk, fected by the sneers of this German. which he especially liked to do when eating, there- Little Lestoc again interrupted, and said in his by adding to the pleasures of the table the joy cold, measured tone: of astonishing his neighbor. It was Monsieur Answer each other, gentlemen; but I do Taconet who offered the opportunity for which beg of you that you will not lose your tempers. he was longing, by repeating the terms of a sen- You see I am not angry, although the arguments tence just pronounced against a poacher caught of our most honorable fellow boarder-I should in the act in the forest.

like to know his name,” he added, interrupting Monsieur Drommel's nostrils dilated, he himself—"may I venture to ask it?" swelled out his cheeks, and, placing his two el- * You may venture, young man-my name is bows on the table, cried out:

Drommel.” He added modestly, “ It is a name “And these are the beauties of our civiliza- that in Germany enjoys a certain notoriety, but I tion!”

doubt if it be yet known in Barbison." “What do you mean?” asked Monsieur Ta- Lestoc bowed with profound respect. conet, looking at him more openly.

“Can it be possible, sir !” he exclaimed. “I "I wish to say,” he replied, “and not only to ought to have known it. But you are greatly say, but to affirm, that our so-called civilization mistaken. For what do you take us ? Can you is most pitiable; that we are still in the midst of suppose that we are so ignorant that we have barbarism, where the Government punishes men never heard of the great philosopher, the probecause it does not know how to elevate them.” found thinker, and the illustrious publisher who

“You think, then, that crime should not be founded the celebrated sheet ‘Light,' to which punished ?"

I have always promised myself the pleasure of “I think, and not only think but affirm, that subscribing ?” there is, in the present wretched social condition Monsieur Drommel at once conceived the in which we live, an immense expenditure of best possible opinion of this young man, and he strength; that our prisons are full of clever per- looked upon him with tender, appreciative eyes. sons who have not understood how to utilize their He did not know that his information was so qualities. Listen to me, if you please: I åm will- fresh, or that he had acquired it in a glade in the ing to wager ten to one that the poacher of whom forest. you speak is a most intelligent man, who poaches “The weight of your great name, however,” because he is not able to do anything else.” continued Lestoc, “ does not prevent me from re

Reasoning in that way, counterfeiters—" garding your opinions as absolutely heretical, un

“Do you deny their talents ?" interrupted healthy, and offensive. I am not angry, like MonMonsieur Drommel. “I am as certain as I am sieur Taconet, for I am never angry; but your living, that the law-makers of the future will theory regarding poachers is scandalous to a de

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gree. I should use a stronger word, but Aunt “My dear Prince," he said quickly; “I do Dorothy would not be pleased."

not suppress property. I simply wish to perfect “Do I really scandalize you, my young it. The point now is that the earth should profriend?" answered Monsieur Drommel indul- duce all that it is capable of producing, and that gently, for he liked people who were scandalized, property become accessible to every one. but who kept their tempers. They composed Do you catch my idea ? Please follow my reaprecisely the audiences he liked.

soning: A lazy fellow has inherited a certain “What would you have? It is the fault of field from his father, which he only half cultimy education. I was born in La Brie at Perigny, vates. We will call him X, if you say so. Z is in the middle of the village, opposite the wheel- a man of merit who had had no inheritance, wright's, in the house under the great pear-tree. and who does not know in what way to employ Do you know Perigny? Do you know the wheel his talents. Z knows that, if he owned the wright's? Do you know the great pear-tree? field which belongs to X, he would double its No, you do not, nor do you know my Aunt Doro- value, and be able to pay to the Government thy who brought me up. As you are aware, double the tax paid by X. Is it not, therefore, she was a most respectable lady who had prin- to the interest of society, to the interest of the ciples, and three long hairs on her chin. She Government, and of everybody, in short, that weighed two hundred pounds altogether, you this field should be taken from X and given to understand, the three hairs and the principles Z? When the law is once made and applied included.”

with full vigor, that property shall be taken pos"Two hundred and fifty pounds," murmured session of for the public good, land will bear ten Monsieur Taconet.

times as much as now; and, if each person be“Two hundred, sir !” repeated the artist, comes a property-holder, there will be, of course, haughtily; "and, when I say two hundred, I no more robbers." mean two hundred !--Now, my Aunt Dorothy “ Except X,” cried Monsieur Taconet, in some did not like thieves and robbers, and would never exasperation. have allowed them to be admitted into the Gov- “We will find some employment for him," ernment. When they were there, she agreed answered the German, disdainfully. “I must that they should be left, but that they should be admit, however, that I feel very little interest in placed there purposely was a very different mat- X: I told you he was an indolent fellow. It is a ter. I will here state that she taught me, at an great pity that he is not better calculated for the early age, to feel and to show respect for the battle of life. There is no principle more sacred property of others. I believed all she said then, than the right of the strongest, for in this world and I believe it still."

there is nothing so obvious as strength, and se“I do not in the least doubt," answered Mon- lection is the law of society as it is of nature." sieur Drommel, " that Mademoiselle Dorothée As he spoke he looked down with an air of was a most respectable person; but, my dear complacent admiration on his vigorous wrists child, she was not strong in her logic. She and his long, muscular arms, which he thought should have known that property is not a pri- quite strong enough to pull up an oak by the mordial right—that it is a human invention, and roots. At this moment a dish of roast larks was that it is allowable for us to reform it by accom- served. This was little Lestoc's favorite game, modating it to natural laws."

of which the hostess was well aware. Monsieur Then the Prince de Malaserra, who had said Drommel took three or four on his plate and nothing up to this moment, uttered a melancholy swallowed them in two mouthfuls, crunching the exclamation :

bones between his strong teeth. It seemed to “Good Heavens !” he exclaimed ; “you make him that these larks believed as well as himself me shiver! Property, my dear friend, is my idol, in the great law of selection, that they rejoiced and you would destroy it. You are a powerful in having been predestined to gladden the stomlogician-the most powerful in the world, un- ach of a great man, and to be incorporated into doubtedly. I realized this in the calèche, but it his glorious substance. was written in the Divine Comédie' that the The Prince de Malaserra, who was watching devil, too, is a logician. I beg your pardon, my him, shuddered again, and began to talk : dear friend, for my comparison, but I shudder- “Ah! you really pain me, my dear friendyes, I shudder—"

you really pain me. Just think of Malaserra! It Monsieur Drommel was much flattered that is such a beautiful spot. Everything is there that the Prince had called him twice“ his dear friend,” any one can possibly want—vines, olive-trees, and before witnesses. He colored high with meadows, golden grain, and oranges as large as pleasure, and, looking at the Prince with the eyes pumpkins. Ah! Malaserra is most dear to me. of a cooing dove

Then, too, I have a palace at Palermo. I have

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two, indeed; and I must assure you, my dear realism, by the sentiment of synthesis.” And he friend, as I would assure my best of friends, added, as he devoured a fifth lark: “Do not that if Z should come to ask me for Malaserra, allow yourself to be deceived; it was the Gerand if I should have him within gunshot, I am manic synthesis that conquered at Sedan." quite certain some accident would happen. But Monsieur Taconet was carrying his glass to we will talk no more of Malaserra, but think of his lips; he let it fall upon the table, where it the cause of morality, my friend. Respect for broke into fragments; and his brown eyes flashed property is the holiest of sentiments. The dis- fire. He calmed himself in a moment, and murtinction of thine and mine is the keystone, the mured : “Patience !' said Panurge." palladium, the tutelary safeguard of all honest "By the way, now that we are on the subpeople like ourselves. It is the foundation of the ject, may I ask what you propose to do with universe; it is—"

families ?" He wanted to say more, but Monsieur Taco- “I shall not destroy them. I shall only make net had his gimlet eyes upon him. When a man them more perfect; for I shall have children eduhas been a police-officer for twenty-five years, cated by the Government.” something of it remains; and there is in the eyes And marriage? Will you abolish that?" an indescribable something—a mingling of com- “Marriage, my dear child, is the most absurd mand and suspicion. The Prince de Malaserra of prejudices, the greatest possible attack upon felt a certain discomfort under these eyes—a dis- the liberty of man and of woman. I shall replace comfort due to the excessive delicacy of his epi- it with free love." dermis, and which was the result of his familiarity "Ah! yes; I see. You wish wives to circuwith the best society.

late as well as property." Monsieur Drommel attributed the emotion of •Will a man be allowed to have several ?" the Prince to the anxiety he felt in regard to asked Monsieur Taconet. Malaserra ; he hastened to give him his word of * You misinterpret all my opinions,” answered honor that the legislator of the future would take Monsieur Drommel sharply. “Love is essentially good care not to dispossess him of his land, of

monogamy. And the only polygamy that is in his golden grain, and of his oranges as large as conformity with nature is successive polygamy. pumpkins.

Man has no right to dispose, for eternity, of his "I pique myself on being a physiognomist," person, which is sacred, and of his wishes, which he said. “I knew at once that you were a great are variable. The law does not recognize the agriculturist. Trust to me, my Prince, Malaserra perpetual vows of monks ; nor will the legislator shall not be touched. The land will belong to of the future recognize the vows of marriage. the most deserving. I do not intend to abolish He will inscribe at the head of his constitution property; I only desire to put it in circulation." the grand principle of elective affinities. Man is

“Is it in circulation in Germany?" asked but a chemical combination.” Lestoc.

“Precisely," said Monsieur Taconet. “Z has Monsieur Drommel uttered a profound sigh. an affinity for the wife of X, as well as for his

‘Germany,” he said, “is still governed by old field; consequently, he must have the field and prejudices; but she begins to awaken from her the wife.” torpor, and it is she, I feel certain, who will give “And who told you," said Monsieur Dromthe signal for the grand emancipation."

mel, “ that the wife of Z has not an affinity for “The great Courbet,"answered Lestoc, “once X? Such an exchange would make four persons did me me the honor of climbing up to my happy.” studio to see my first picture, which, between “Do they exchange their wives in this way in ourselves, was a frightful daub. “Young man,' Germany?" said Lestoc. he said to me, as he laid his mighty hand upon “They will do so some day, and all the world my head—young man, your picture pleases me. will think it an excellent plan.” It is as good as a Titian.' When I heard these "Omnis clocha clochabilis /cried Monsieur words, I was delirious with joy. I literally did Taconet; and it is a beautiful thing to be well not know what to do. I was tempted to cry out, read in one's breviary. O man of genius, come to my heart!' Unfor- "I shall adhere to my Aunt Dorothy's lestunately, he went on. “But,' he continued, “you son,” said Lestoc. “I was one day under the are not quite up to the mark.'”

great pear-tree. I remember just her dress. It “No; nor is Germany quite up to the mark," was a chocolate-colored dress, and a cap with resumed Monsieur Drommel. “But she will im- long strings. 'Henri,' she said to me, “never do prove. We are still in the twilight; but to-mor- to others what you would not that they should do row the sun will rise. The German nation is unto you.' And, in order to make me remember distinguished from all others by the genius of her words, she gave me a smart slap on my right

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cheek. That was her way of impressing things “ There is one question which I burn to ask on my memory. Consequently, I have never of our eloquent companion, Monsieur Drommel,” done to others—"

said Lestoc blandly. “No, no!” exclaimed Monsieur Drommel, “Ask me any questions you please, naive interrupting him. “That is quite impossible.” child of La Brie; for you have excited a warm

“I assure you I am speaking the truth, and interest in my breast.” that the sacrifice has cost me little. I have never “ Have you never been married ?" been in love. I must tell you that I belong to the Young man,” answered Monsieur Drommel open-air school, which school holds as its first gravely, “when you know life a little better you principle that the middle distance is everything, will know that philosophers are occasionally and woman is only a spot on the landscape. You obliged to accommodate themselves to the manfollow me, I trust? I paint my landscape, you ners and customs of the century in which they understand, beginning with the sky; for you live." must always begin with the sky. When my pic- • Precisely. But, may I ask if you have ture is done, I consider it admirable; but I sud- taught Madame Drommel the theory of elective denly discover that it requires a spot upon it, affinities and of circulation ?" two spots, in fact, one rose and the other blue, My young friend," answered the German, or straw-color, it may be; the hue has nothing more gravely than before, “know that in certain to do with it. I rummage through my memory, lands women have no other rule for their conduct and finally discover some straw-colored woman. than the impulses of their senses or the caprices I go to her, or I see her pass in the street, and I of their imaginations, and that it would be danbeg her to come up to my studio, saying: 'Ma- gerous to have the bridle on their necks, and to dame, you are essential to my happiness; you trust to their sense of honor. But with us it is are the spot for which I am looking.'

very different. Did you know German women, “ What nonsense!” said Monsieur Taconet. you would know that they have no need of safe

“I am so dull,” continued the young artist, guards for their virtue. They are distinguished 'that I really know nothing of love. Love may from all other women by the depth of their moral do for artists who paint interiors; but what have sense, the intensity of their attachments, and the we, students in the open air, to do with it? How grandeur of their passion. When a German the deuce can a man fall in love with a mere woman once gives her heart, she never takes it spot ?"

back again her love is a worship, a religion, Monsieur Drommel looked at him with min- and she never denies her god. You do not congled admiration and surprise.

test, I imagine, the moral and intellectual supe“ It might be true, my dear boy; but the time riority conceded by all honest people to the Gerwill come

manic race.

It is very possible that certain imNo; never!” he interrupted. "I am alto- pressions and prejudices are necessary to the gether too busy.”

inferior races.

The red-skins must have their “Except on Sundays and fête days,” said Ta- manitous, I suppose. I am sorry for the Latins: conet.

they are destined to give way before long to “I am always too busy,” said Lestoc, with a younger nations, which have energy and fire as frown. “I have already said so, and I never well as a future. When Germany has transpermit any one to doubt my word. It is possible formed the world, and imposed the new laws that thirty years hence, in my old age, I may with her own strong hand on the new régime, change; but, if I do, it will be a proof that my woe to the people who are unable to accept its brain is softening."

rudimentary principles—they will disappear as “He is a most extraordinary fellow !” said the red-skins do at the approach of the whites !” Monsieur Drommel to the Prince de Malaserra. Here the ex-police officer cried out for the

“Amazing !" muttered the Prince. “For my third time, “« Patience !' answered Panurge.” part, I have always respected the tenth com- “Who on earth is this Panurge of whom mandment. I have never coveted my neighbor's you keep talking?" asked Monsieur Drommel house, nor his ox, nor his ass. Man is never impatiently. perfect, however. The only part of my neigh- He, unlike the ex-police officer, had read evbor's goods which I have occasionally envied is erything except Rabelais. --if you will have it-his wife! If, however, “Panurge," answered Monsieur Taconet," was you will allow me to explain my idea more a man of property, to whom one never caused fully-"

annoyance without having reason to repent, and He explained no more-his words died on his he was offended with Dindenaut when with him lips, under the chilling glances of Monsieur Taco- one day, because, having his spectacles, he heard net.

more easily with his left ear."

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