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to do that, but they dousand and
I knoe one whaving lost pay the
guished artist. The album pursues him unceasingly, in town, in the country, in the sanctuary of his library or of his study. Persons whom one has never seen, of whose very names one is ignorant, are not afraid to send you their album with a little note written on scented paper, in which they place you above all the greatest men past, present, and even to come, and all this to get from you a few lines, or a drawing, or some verses, or something in water-colours. . If you do not speedily satisfy the impatience of these demanders, they will write to you every day to beg of you to have the goodness to think of their album which they requested you to send back to them, for they cannot even take the trouble of coming to seek it.
In order not to receive any more letters, you yield to importunity; you inscribe something in the album, and then you send it back by a porter.
They return a thousand and a thousand thanks on receiving the album, but they do not pay the porter; and it is you who have to do that, for having lost your time and done an obliging thing for some one whom you do not know.
I know an author of great wit and genius who has adopted the wise resolution of regularly writing the same thing in every album that is sent to him. · Penetrate with us a moment into the cabinet of one of our authors of celebrity. Let us take in preference a man of letters who is married, for if Hymen is a charming tie, the details of the domestic economy are not always in accordance with the respect which one owes to the muses; and the voice of a child who is crying, or a woman who is scolding makes the favourites of Apollo quickly descend from the celestial regions, by reminding them that they are but simple mortals. · Monsieur G. is a man of talents and merit; he has a pretty wife and two children, of whom he is extremely fond. Let us follow him into his cabinet, which he enters about cleven o'clock in the forenoon. · M. G.-( Seating himself at his desk). Ah! now let us work. I feel myself in a good vein to day (looks at the time-piece). Already eleven o'clock-we have breakfasted too late. I have told my wife twenty times that I would be in my cabinet at ten o'clock, but wives do not comprehend that when one has the head full of a subject and the imagination fired, the hour of repast should be advanced or retarded. When mine has said: “My dear, dinner is ready," or, “ the breakfast is waiting for you," it is absolutely necessary that I should comply with the invitation; otherwise my cabinet is besieged, and then there is ill-humour and grumbling; and, as I love peace, I prefer yielding at once (he takes up a manuscript which he perceives upon his desk).
What is this we have here? I do not know this handwriting-
M. G.-You have overturned all the papers on my desk. Mad. G.-I! A pretty story, indeed; what have I to do with your desk?
M. G.–Then the maid has done it. Everything is turned topsy-turvy-my pens-my penknives -some day I shall have an important paper taken; a chapter or a scene, to singe a fowl, or cut into curl papers. (Speaking very loud.) I tell you again, that I will have nothing touched upon my desk.
Mad. G.--Oh, heavens! Well, well, nobody shall touch anything. It is not worth while to be in a passion about Look, how do you like this cap that has just been sent home to me ?
M. G.-(Still searching amongst his papers.) Where the devil is my poem? I left it here, yesterday. Mad. G.-Is it not very becoming to me ? M. G.–They have taken all my wafers, too; not left me one. Mad. G.-Oh! for the wafers, it is your daughter who took them to play with ; you will do well to scold her. The colour of this riband is pretty, is it not ?
M. G.-If it is my daughter, that is another affair ; provided, however, that she do not eat them, for that might do her harm. Ah! here is my pcem ; that is very lucky.
Mad. G.–You se: your poem was not lost, and that there was no need to make such an outcry about it; this riband is of a pretty colour, is it not?
M. G.-(Without looking at his wife.) Yes, yes, it is pretty, charming, delightful! you look very well; but leave me to my studies ; go away, I beg of you.
Mad. G.-He has not even looked at me. Apropos, somebody has just sent us a very fine salmon.
M. G.-(Out of patience.) Well, very good; what is it to me that some one has sent us a salmon? Leave me, I say, to my studies.
Mad. G.-How very gallant these authors are ! and there are women who will say to you—“ Ah! you ought to think yourself very happy to be the wife of a man of talent.” Yes, indeed ; these great geniuses are very amiable. Ah! did you see the manuscript that was brought here yesterday? I put it there.
M. G.-You were very wrong to take it in. Once, for all, I will no longer trouble myself with reading the manuscripts of all those men who get up some fine morning with the idea of writing a drama or a romance. They come to ask of you advice and counsel, and when you tell them frankly what you think of their work, they are angry. Who was it brought this ?
Mad. G.-A very young man, with fair hair, who was so genteel, so polite; who supplicated me so earnestly to take his manuscript.
M. G.–There it is now; the way of all women. Because it was a young man with fair hair, he was not to be refused.
Mad. G.–Truly, Monsieur, I advise you to speak, and when women come here, under pretence of showing you their manuscripts, provided they be young and agreeable, you know very well how to introduce them to your cabinet, and to shut the door.
M. G.-Because a lady is often timid, and afraid to speak before witnesses; but enough of this. Constance, will you do me a great favour? Mad. G.-Certainly, my dear; what is it? M. G.–Only to go and leave me to my studies. Mad. G.-I was sure of it. What it is to marry a man of letters! he has not even once looked at my pretty cap. (Mad. G. goes out, and her husband resumes his seat at his
desk, takes his poem, reads it over, seems to meditate, and says, while mending his pen,) It seems to me that this passage is not amiss,
"Of a marriage well-suited, a child crowns the joys ;
Very well, that is conclusive; let us finish this chapter; I am engaged in the portrait of the wife.. (He knits his forehead.)
Ah ! good; I have it. (He declaims.)
"A wife is a god~" Yes, that is not a bad idea.
"A wife is a god—" (Some one scratches softly at the door.)
" Is a god- who-who" (The scratching becomes louder.) But who the devil torments me in this manner ? One cannot know what it is to be quiet here. (The noise ceases.) It seems as if this had been done on purpose. As soon as I come here, in order to study, it is who shall make the most noise to annoy me. Let us see; I had my verse. Ah! here it is :
“A wife is a god who unceasingly strives ". (Some one scratches much more violently than the first time, and kicks at the door.)
M. G.-(Very angry.) Who is there? What do they want with me? Is this noise never to have an end ? (Goes to open the door of the cabinet ; a little girl about six years old has stuck herself close to it, with a cup and ball in her hand.)
LITTLE GIRL.--It is I, papa; I knocked very softly, because mamma had forbidden me to disturb you, and that I am not tall enough to open the door myself.
M. G. (In a harsh voice, which becomes every moment more gentle.) How is this, Mademoiselle Clare? Is it you who take the liberty of coming here to interrupt me? This is not to be borne! ( T'aking her on his knee.) What is it you want ? Let us see; have you been crying ?
THE LITTLE GIRL.-( Very quick, without taking breath.) Papa, it is only because my brother, who is always plaguing me, who teazes me, and who has broken my cup and ball, which I would not lend to him.
M. G.-Ha! Monsieur Ernest does so, does he ? Very well, he shall settle that with me.
THE LITTLE GIRL.—Yes; I told him that I would tell you of it. He said he did not care if I did, and then he put his tongue out at me.
M. G.–The little rascal! Very well; I shall speak to him. Now go away, my pretty.
THE LITTLE GIRL.-Put my cup and ball to rights.
M. G.-I have not time. The devil! (Taking the cup and ball.) It is nothing but the string which is broken. I think I have some here. (Puts a string to the cup and ball. There, I have put a shorter one; it will be more convenient for you to play with. And take great care not to play too roughly; you may hurt yourself with the ball. Here, do you see? this is the way you must do. (Gives her a lesson how to play the cup and ball.)
THE LITTLE GIRL.-Oh! I know very well how to make it go so. Thank you, good papa. (Taking the toy.)
M. G.-( After kissing his little daughter.) Now, go awaygo away; and, above all, don't let me be disturbed again-/shuts the door )-or I shall be angry in good earnest. (Resumes his seat at his desk, and rubs his forehead.) Let us see—to resume
“ And love without bounds,
With the gentlest attentions her husband surrounds." Very well that. Now for it. I had my verse. Ah !
“A wife is a god who-who--" (Sinking back in his arm-chair, and rubbing his forehead.) I had my idea a few minutes ago. “ Who”—Ah! that's it
“ Who unceasingly strives--" (The door of the cabinet is abruptly burst open, and a little boy, with a laughing countenance, comes jumping into the room.)
M. G.-(Very angry.) How now, Monsieur Ernest! Is this the way you come into my study? You are pretty bold, I think, little rascal. I have forbidden you ever to come and plague me. Go away! And be careful another time how you take away your sister's cup and ball, or put out your tongue at her. I shall correct you myself. Off, I say! and that as fast as your legs can carry you. (The little boy, whose countenance has fallen while his father was speaking, hangs his head, and is going to make his retreat without daring to utter a word. His father calls him back.)
M. G.–Let us sce. What did you come in for? You came here for something certainly ?
THE LITTLE Boy.-(His heart full.) Oh, yes! but you are angry with me. I am going away. I don't like to make you angry.
M. G.-Come here--come here then. (Takes his hand.) Why did you take away your sister's cup and ball ? You have made her cry.
THE LITTLE Boy.—(Trying to cry himself.) Oh! but my sister did not tell you that she had taken away my little theatre – that she had spoilt all the scenes. The fine forest is full of currant-jelly! I wanted to make plays there, like you. Hi, hi, hi! ( sobbing), and now I can't do so any more, and my puppets now have none of them any legs.
M. G.-(Kissing his son.) Poor fellow! Your forest is full
his father, their of; 'or put on