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Library of the World's Best literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12

211 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Library of the World's Best literature,Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12, by VariousThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: Library of the World's Best literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12Author: VariousEditor: Charles Dudley WarnerRelease Date: May 9, 2010 [EBook #32308]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE ***Produced by Juliet Sutherland and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netJAVANESE ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT.The origin of the Oceanic dialects, and of those of India beyond the Ganges, more especiallythe civilized idioms of the Indian Archipelago, is referred to a language which was that of anunknown people inhabiting the island of Java. From this primitive language the modernJavanese is supposed to be immediately derived. Javanese literature consists of poems,dramas, songs, and historical and religious writings. The accompanying facsimile is from amythological-religious tract written upon a vegetable paper of native manufacture, andornamented with grotesque drawings.JAVANESE ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT.LIBRARY OF THEWORLD'S BEST LITERATUREANCIENT AND MODERNCHARLES DUDLEY WARNEREDITORHAMILTON WRIGHT MABIELUCIA GILBERT RUNKLEGEORGE HENRY ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Library of the World's Best literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Library of the World's Best literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12 Author: Various Editor: Charles Dudley Warner Release Date: May 9, 2010 [EBook #32308] Language: English *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at JAVANESE ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT. The origin of the Oceanic dialects, and of those of India beyond the Ganges, more especially the civilized idioms of the Indian Archipelago, is referred to a language which was that of an unknown people inhabiting the island of Java. From this primitive language the modern Javanese is supposed to be immediately derived. Javanese literature consists of poems, dramas, songs, and historical and religious writings. The accompanying facsimile is from a mythological-religious tract written upon a vegetable paper of native manufacture, and ornamented with grotesque drawings. JAVANESE ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT. LIBRARY OF THE WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE ANCIENT AND MODERN CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER EDITOR HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE LUCIA GILBERT RUNKLE GEORGE HENRY WARNER ASSOCIATE EDITORS Connoisseur Edition Vol. XII. NEW YORK THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY Connoisseur Edition LIMITED TO FIVE HUNDRED COPIES IN HALF RUSSIA No. .......... Copyright, 1896, by R. S. PEALE AND J. A. HILL All rights reserved THE ADVISORY COUNCIL CRAWFORD H. TOY, A. M., LL. D., Professor of Hebrew, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. THOMAS R. LOUNSBURY, LL. D., L. H. D., Professor of English in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, New Haven, Conn. WILLIAM M. SLOANE, Ph. D., L. H. D., Professor of History and Political Science, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J. BRANDER MATTHEWS, A. M., LL. B., Professor of Literature, Columbia University, New York City. JAMES B. ANGELL, LL. D., President of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. WILLARD FISKE, A. M., Ph. D., Late Professor of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages and Literatures, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. EDWARD S. HOLDEN, A. M., LL. D., Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer, University of California, Berkeley, Cal. ALCÉE FORTIER, LIT. D., Professor of the Romance Languages, Tulane University, New Orleans, La. WILLIAM P. TRENT, M. A., Dean of the Department of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of English and History, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. PAUL SHOREY, Ph. D., Professor of Greek and Latin Literature, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill. WILLIAM T. HARRIS, LL. D., United States Commissioner of Education, Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C. MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN, A. M., LL. D., Professor of Literature in the Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C. TABLE OF CONTENTS VOL. XII LIVED PAGE DENIS DIDEROT 1713-1784 4689 From 'Rameau's Nephew' FRANZ VON DINGELSTEDT 1814-1881 4704 A Man of Business ('The Amazon') The Watchman (same) DIOGENES LAERTIUS 200-250 A. D.? 4711 Life of Socrates ('Lives and Sayings of the Philosophers') Examples of Greek Wit and Wisdom: Bias; Plato; Aristippus; Aristotle; Theophrastus; Demetrius; Antisthenes; Diogenes; Cleanthes; Pythagoras ISAAC D'ISRAELI 1766-1848 4725 Poets, Philosophers, and Artists Made by Accident ('Curiosities of Literature') Martyrdom of Charles the First ('Commentaries on the Reign of Charles the First') SYDNEY DOBELL 1824-1874 4733 Epigram on the Death of Edward Forbes How's My Boy? The Sailor's Return Afloat and Ashore The Soul ('Balder') England (same) America Amy's Song of the Willow ('Balder') AUSTIN DOBSON 1840- 4741 BY ESTHER SINGLETON On a Nankin Plate The Old Sedan-Chair Ballad of Prose and Rhyme The Curé's Progress "Good-Night, Babbette" The Ladies of St. James's Dora v e r s u s Rose Une Marquise A Ballad to Queen Elizabeth The Princess De Lamballe ('Four Frenchwomen') MARY MAPES DODGE 1840?- 4751 The Race ('Hans Brinker') JOHN DONNE 1573-1631 4771 The Undertaking A Valediction Forbidding Mourning Song Love's Growth Song FEODOR MIKHAILOVITCH DOSTOÉVSKY 1821-1881 4779 BY ISABEL F. HAPGOOD From 'Poor People': Letter from Varvara Debrosyeloff to Makar Dyevushkin; Letter from Makar Dyevushkin to Varvara Alexievna Dobrosyeloff The Bible Reading ('Crime and Punishment') EDWARD DOWDEN 1843- 4806 The Humor of Shakespeare ('Shakespeare; a Critical Study of His Mind and Art') Shakespeare's Portraiture of Women ('Transcripts and Studies') The Interpretation of Literature (same) A. CONAN DOYLE 1859- 4815 The Red-Headed League ('The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes') Bowmen's Song ('The White Company') HOLGER DRACHMANN 1846- 4840 The Skipper and His Ship ('Paul and Virginia of a Northern Zone') The Prince's Song ('Once Upon a Time') JOSEPH RODMAN DRAKE 1795-1820 4851 A Winter's Tale ('The Croakers') The Culprit Fay The American Flag JOHN WILLIAM DRAPER 1811-1882 4865 The Vedas and Their Theology ('The Intellectual Development of Europe') Primitive Beliefs Dismissed by Scientific Knowledge (same) The Koran (same) MICHAEL DRAYTON 1563-1631 4877 Sonnet The Ballad of Agincourt Queen Mab's Excursion ('Nymphidia, the Court of Faery') GUSTAVE DROZ 1832-1895 4885 How the Baby Was Saved ('The Seamstress's Story') A Family New-Year's ('Monsieur, Madame, and Bébé') Their Last Excursion ('Making an Omelette') HENRY DRUMMOND 1851- 4897 The Country and Its People ('Tropical Africa') The East-African Lake Country (same) White Ants (same) WILLIAM DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN 1585-1649 4913 Sextain Madrigal Reason and Feeling Degeneracy of the World Briefness of Life The Universe On Death ('Cypress Grove') JOHN DRYDEN 1631-1700 4919 BY THOMAS R. LOUNSBURY From 'The Hind and the Panther' To My Dear Friend Mr. Congreve Ode to the Pious Memory of Mrs. Anne Killigrew A Song Lines Printed under Milton's Portrait Alexander's Feast; or, The Power of Music Achitophel ('Absalom and Achitophel') MAXIME DU CAMP 1822- 4951 Street Scene during the Commune ('The Convulsions of Paris') ALEXANDRE DUMAS, SENIOR 1802-1870 4957 BY ANDREW LANG The Cure for Dormice that Eat Peaches ('The Count of Monte Cristo') The Shoulder of Athos, the Belt of Porthos, and the Handkerchief of Aramis ('The Three Musketeers') Defense of the Bastion St.-Gervais (same) Consultation of the Musketeers (same) The Man in the Iron Mask ('The Viscount of Bragelonne') A Trick is Played on Henry III. by Aid of Chicot ('The Lady of Monsoreau') ALEXANDRE DUMAS, JUNIOR 1824-1895 5001 BY FRANCISQUE SARCEY The Playwright Is Born—and Made (Preface to 'The Prodigal Father') An Armed Truce ('A Friend to the Sex') Two Views of Money ('The Money Question') M. De Remonin's Philosophy of Marriage ('L'Étrangére') Reforming a Father ('The Prodigal Father') Mr. and Mrs. Clarkson ('L'Étrangére') GEORGE DU MAURIER 1834-1896 5041 At the Heart of Bohemia ('Trilby') Christmas in the Latin Quarter (same) "Dreaming True" ('Peter Ibbetson') Barty Josselin at School ('The Martian') WILLIAM DUNBAR 1465?-1530? 5064 The Thistle and the Rose From 'The Golden Targe' No Treasure Avails Without Gladness JEAN VICTOR DURUY 1811-1894 5069 The National Policy ('History of Rome') Results of the Roman Dominion (same) FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS VOLUME XII PAGE Javanese Manuscript (Colored Plate) Frontispiece The Alexandrine Manuscript (Fac-simile) xii Old Black-Letter Quarto (Fac-simile) 4726 "Charles I. Going to Execution" (Photogravure) 4730 "The Skater of the Zuyder Zee" (Photogravure) 4758 African Arabic Manuscript (Fac-simile) 4870 John Dryden (Portrait) 4920 Alexandre Dumas (Portrait) 4958 Alexandre Dumas, Fils (Portrait) 5002 VIGNETTE PORTRAITS Denis Diderot Joseph Rodman Drake Franz von Dingelstedt John William Draper Isaac D'Israeli Michael Drayton Austin Dobson Gustav Droz Mary Mapes Dodge Henry Drummond John Donne William Drummond Feodor Dostoévsky Maxime Du Camp A. Conan Doyle George du Maurier Holger Drachmann Jean Victor Duruy CODEX ALEXANDRINUS. Fifth Century. British Museum. The Alexandrine Manuscript of the Christian Scriptures is almost complete in both Testaments, the Septuagint version of the Old and the original Greek of the New. It consists of 773 sheets, 12¾ by 10¾ inches, of very thin gray goatskin vellum, written on both sides in two columns of faint but clear characters. It was made in the early part of the fifth century, under the supervision of Thecla, a noble Christian lady of Alexandria, in the fifth century. It was brought from Alexandria to Constantinople by Cyril Lucar, Patriarch of Constantinople, who in 1624 gave it into the charge of the English Ambassador for presentation to King James I.; but owing to James' death before the presentation could be made, it was presented instead to Charles I. It remained in the possession of the English sovereigns until the Royal Library was presented to the nation by George II. in 1753. With the exception of the greater part of Matthew to Chapter xxv., two leaves of John, and three of Second Corinthians, it contains the whole Greek Bible, including the two Epistles of Clement of Rome, which in early times ranked among the inspired books. Its table of contents shows that it once included also the "Psalms of Solomon," though, from their position and title in the index, it is evident that they were regarded as standing apart from the other books. The Museum has bound the leaves of this precious manuscript in four volumes, and has had photographic copies made of each page for the use of students. The accompanying reproduction is from the last chapter of the First Epistle of John, from "His Son," in verse 9, to the end. CODEX ALEXANDRINUS. DENIS DIDEROT (1713-1784) A mong the French Encyclopædists of the eighteenth century Denis Diderot holds the place of leader. There were intellects of broader scope and of much surer balance in that famous group, but none of such versatility, brilliancy, and outbursting force. To his associates he was a marvel and an inspiration. He was born in October 1713, in Langres, Haute-Marne, France; and died in Paris July 31st, Denis Diderot Denis1784. After a classical education in Jesuit schools, he utterly disgusted his father by turning to Diderotthe Bohemian life of a littérateur in Paris. Although very poor, he married at the age of thirty. The whole story of his married life—the common Parisian story in those days—reflects no credit on him; though his l i a i s o n with Mademoiselle Voland presents the aspects of a friendship abiding through life. Poverty spurred him to exertion. Four days of work in 1746 are said to have produced 'Pensées Philosophiques' (Philosophic Thoughts). This book, with a little essay following it, 'Interprétation de la Nature,' was his first open attack on revealed religion. Its argument, though only negative, and keeping within the bounds of theism, foretokened a class of utterances which were frequent in Diderot's later years, and whose assurance of his materialistic atheism would be complete had they not been too exclamatory for settled conviction. He contents himself with glorifying the passions, to the annulling of all ethical standards. On this point at least his convictions were stable, for long afterward he writes thus to Mademoiselle Voland:—"The man of mediocre passion lives and dies like the brute.... If we were bound to choose between Racine, a bad husband, a bad father, a false friend, and a sublime poet, and Racine, good father, good husband, good friend, and dull worthy man, I hold to the first. Of Racine the bad man, what remains? Nothing. Of Racine the man of genius? The work is eternal." About 1747 he produced an allegory, 'Promenade du Sceptique.' This French 'Pilgrim's Progress' scoffs at the Church of Rome for denying pleasure, then decries the pleasures of the world, and ends by asserting the hopeless uncertainty of the philosophy which both scoffs at the Church and decries worldly pleasure. At this period he was evidently inclined to an irregular attack on the only forms of Christianity familiar to him, asceticism and pietism. In 1749 Diderot first showed himself a thinker of original power, in his Letter on the Blind. This work, 'Lettre sur les Avengles à l'Usage de Ceux qui Voient' (Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those who See) opened the eyes of the public to Diderot's peculiar genius, and the eyes of the authorities to the menace in his principles. The result was his imprisonment, and from that the spread of his views. His offense was, that through his ingenious supposition of the mind deprived of its use of one or more of the bodily senses, he had shown the relativity of all man's conceptions, and had thence deduced the relativity, the lack of absoluteness, of all man's ethical standards—thus invalidating the foundations of civil and social order. The broad assertion that Diderot and his philosophic group caused the French Revolution has only this basis, that these men were among the omens of its advance, feeling its stir afar but not recognizing the coming earthquake. Yet it may be conceded that Diderot anticipated things great and strange; for his mind, although neither precise nor capable of sustained and systematic thought, was amazingly original in conception and powerful in grasp. The mist, blank to his brethren, seems to have wreathed itself into wonderful shapes to his eye; he was the seer whose wild enthusiasm caught the oracles from an inner shrine. A predictive power appears in his Letter on the Blind, where he imagines the blind taught to read by touch; and nineteenth-century hypotheses gleam dimly in his random guess at variability in organisms, and at survival of those best adapted to their environment. Diderot's monumental work, 'L'Encyclopédie,' dates from the middle of the century. It was his own vast enlargement of Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopædia of 1727, of which a bookseller had demanded a revision in French. D'Alembert was secured as his colleague, and in 1751 the first volume appeared. The list of contributors includes most of the great contemporary names in French literature. From these, Diderot and D'Alembert gathered the inner group known as the French Encyclopædists, to whose writings has been ascribed a general tendency to destroy religion and to reconstitute society. The authorities interfered repeatedly, with threats and prohibitions of the publication; but the science of government included the science of connivance for an adequate consideration, and the great work went forward. Its danger lurked in its principles; for Diderot dealt but little in the cheap flattery which the modern demagogue addresses to the populace. D'Alembert, wearied by ten years of persecution, retired in 1759, leaving the indefatigable Diderot to struggle alone through seven years, composing and revising hundreds of articles, correcting proofs, supervising the unrivaled illustrations of the mechanic arts, while quieting the opposition of the authorities. The Encyclopædia under Diderot followed no one philosophic path. Indeed, there are no signs that he ever gave any consideration to either the intellectual or the ethical force of consistency. His writing indicates his utter carelessness both as to the direction and as to the pace of his thought. He had an abiding conviction that Christianity was partly delusion and largely priestcraft, and was maintained chiefly for upholding iniquitous privilege. His antagonism was developed primarily from his emotions and sympathies rather than from his intellect; hence it sometimes swerved, drawing perilously near to formal orthodoxy. Moreover, this vivacious philosopher sometimes rambled into practical advice, and easily effervesced into fervid moralizings of the sentimental and almost tearful sort. His immense natural capacity for sentiment appears in his own account of his meeting with Grimm after a few months' absence. His sentimentalism, however, had its remarkable counterpoise in a most practical tendency of mind. In the Encyclopædia the interests of agriculture and of all branches of manufacture were treated with great fullness; and the reform of feudal abuses lingering in the laws of France was vigorously urged in a style more practical than cyclopædic. Diderot gave much attention to the drama, and his 'Paradoxe sur le Comédien' (Paradox on the Actor) is a valuable discussion. He is the father of the modern domestic drama. His influence upon the dramatic literature of Germany was direct and immediate; it appeared in the plays of Lessing and Schiller, and much of Lessing's criticism was inspired by Diderot. His 'Père de Famille' (Family-Father) and 'Le Fils Naturel' (The Natural Son) marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the stage, in the midst of which we are now living. Breaking with the old traditions, Diderot abandoned the lofty themes of classic tragedy and portrayed the life of the b o u r g e o i s i e. The influence of England, frequently manifest in the work of the Encyclopædists, is evident also here. Richardson was then the chief force in fiction, and the sentimental element so characteristic in him reappears in the dramas of Diderot. Goethe was strongly attracted by the genius of Diderot, and thought it worth his while not only to translate but to supply with a long and luminous commentary the latter's 'Essay on Painting.' It was by a singular trick of fortune, too, that one of Diderot's most powerful works should first have appeared in German garb, and not in the original French until after the author's death. A manuscript copy of the book chanced to fall into the hands of Goethe, who so greatly admired it that he at once translated, annotated, and published it. This was the famous dialogue 'Le Neveu de Rameau' (Rameau's Nephew), a work which only Diderot's peculiar genius could have produced. Depicting the typical parasite, shameless, quick-witted for every species of villainy, at home in every possible meanness, the dialogue is a probably unequaled compound of satire, high æsthetics, gleaming humor, sentimental moralizing, fine musical criticism, and scientific character analysis, with passages of brutal indecency. Among literary critics of painting, Diderot has his place in the highest rank. His nine 'Salons'—criticisms which in his good-nature he wrote for the use of his friend Grimm, on the annual exhibitions in the Paris Salon from 1759 onward— have never been surpassed among non-technical criticisms for brilliancy, freshness, and philosophic suggestiveness. They reveal the man's elemental strength; which was not in his knowledge, for he was without technical training in art and had seen scarcely any of the world's masterpieces, but in his sensuously sympathetic nature, which gave him quickness of insight and delicacy in interpretation. He had the faculty of making and keeping friends, being unaffected, genial, amiable, enthusiastically generous and helpful to his friends, and without vindictiveness to his foes. He needed these qualities to counteract his almost utter lack of conscientiousness, his gush of sentiment, his unregulated morals, his undisciplined genius, his unbalanced thought. His style of writing, often vivid and strong, is as often awkward and dull, and is frequently lacking in finish. As a philosophic author and thinker his voluminous work is of little enduring worth, for though plentiful in original power it totally lacks organic unity; his thought rambles carelessly, his method is confused. It has been said of him that he was a master who produced no masterpiece. But as a talker, a converser, all witnesses testify that he was wondrously inspiring and suggestive, speaking sometimes as from mysterious heights of vision or out of unsearchable deeps of thought. FROM 'RAMEAU'S NEPHEW' Be the weather fair or foul, it is my custom in any case at five o'clock in the afternoon to stroll in the Palais Royal. I am always to be seen alone and meditative, on the bench D'Argenson. I hold converse with myself on politics or love, on taste or philosophy, and yield up my soul entirely to its own frivolity. It may follow the first idea that presents itself, be the idea wise or foolish. In the Allée de Foi one sees our young rakes following upon the heels of some courtesan who passes on with shameless mien, laughing face, animated glance, and a pug nose; but they soon leave her to follow another, teasing them all, joining none of them. My thoughts are my courtesans. When it is really too cold or rainy, I take refuge in the Café de la Régence and amuse myself by watching the chess- players. Paris is the place of the world and the Café de la Régence the place of Paris where the best chess is played. There one witnesses the most carefully calculated moves; there one hears the most vulgar conversation; for since it is possible to be at once a man of intellect and a great chess-player, like Légal, so also one may be at once a great chess- player and a very silly person, like Foubert or Mayot. One afternoon I was there, observing much, speaking rarely, and hearing as little as possible, when one of the most singular personages came up to me that ever was produced by this land of ours, where surely God has never caused a dearth of singular characters. He is a combination of high-mindedness and baseness, of sound understanding and folly; in his head the conceptions of honor and dishonor must be strangely tangled, for the good qualities with which nature has endowed him he displays without boastfulness, and the bad qualities without shame. For the rest, he is firmly built, has an extraordinary power of imagination, and possesses an uncommonly strong pair of lungs. Should you ever meet him and succeed in escaping from the charm of his originality, it must be by stopping both ears with your fingers or by precipitate flight. Heavens, what terrible lungs! And nothing is less like him than he himself. Sometimes he is thin and wasted, like a man in the last stages of consumption; you could count his teeth through his cheeks; you would think he had not tasted food for several days, or had come from La Trappe. A month later he is fattened and filled out as if he had never left the banquets of the rich or had been fed among the Bernardines. To-day, with soiled linen, torn trousers, clad in rags, and almost barefoot, he passes with bowed head, avoids those whom he meets, till one is tempted to call him and bestow upon him an alms. To-morrow, powdered, well groomed, well dressed, and well shod, he carries his head high, lets himself be seen, and you would take him almost for a respectable man. So he lives from day to day, sad or merry, according to the circumstances. His first care, when he rises in the morning, is to take thought where he is to dine. After dinner he bethinks himself of some opportunity to procure supper, and with the night come new cares. Sometimes he goes on foot to his little attic, which is his home if the landlady, impatient at long arrears of rent, has not taken the key away from him. Sometimes he goes to one of the taverns in the suburbs, and there, between a bit of bread and a mug of beer, awaits the day. If he lacks the six sous necessary to procure him quarters for the night, which is occasionally the case, he applies to some cabman among his friends or to the coachman of some great lord, and a place on the straw beside the horses is vouchsafed him. In the morning he carries a part of his mattress in his hair. If the season is mild, he spends the whole night strolling back and forth on the Cours or in the Champs Élysées. With the day he appears again in the city, dressed yesterday for to-day and to-day often for the rest of the week. For such originals I cannot feel much esteem, but there are others who make close acquaintances and even friends of them. Once in the year perhaps they are able to put their spell upon me, when I meet them, because their character is in such strong contrast to that of every-day humanity, and they break the oppressive monotony which our education, our social conventions, our traditional proprieties have produced. When such a man enters a company, he acts like a cake of yeast that raises the whole, and restores to each a part of his natural individuality. He shakes them up, brings things into motion, elicits praise or censure, drives truth into the open, makes upright men recognizable, unmasks the rogues, and there the wise man sits and listens and is enabled to distinguish one class from another. This particular specimen I had long known; he frequented a house into which his talents had secured him the entrée. These people had an only daughter. He swore to the parents that he would marry their daughter. They only shrugged their shoulders, laughed in his face, and assured him that he was a fool. But I saw the day come when the thing was accomplished. He asked me for some money, which I gave him. He had, I know not how, squirmed his way into a few houses, where a c o u v e r t stood always ready for him, but it had been stipulated that he should never speak without the consent of his hosts. So there he sat and ate, filled the while with malice; it was fun to see him under this restraint. The moment he ventured to break the treaty and open his mouth, at the very first word the guests all shouted "O Rameau!" Then his eyes flashed wrathfully, and he fell upon his food again with renewed energy. You were curious to know the man's name; there it is. He is the nephew of the famous composer who has saved us from the church music of Lulli which we have been chanting for a hundred years, ... and who, having buried the Florentine, will himself be buried by Italian virtuosi; he dimly feels this, and so has become morose and irritable, for no one can be in a worse humor—not even a beautiful woman who in the morning finds a pimple on her nose—than an author who sees himself threatened with the fate of outliving his reputation, as Marivaux and Crébillon f i l s prove. Rameau's nephew came up to me. "Ah, my philosopher, do I meet you once again? What are you doing here among the good-for-nothings? Are you wasting your time pushing bits of wood about?" I—No; but when I have nothing better to do, I take a passing pleasure in watching those who push them about with skill. H e—A rare pleasure, surely. Excepting Légal and Philidor, there is no one here that understands it.... I—You are hard to please. I see that only the best finds favor with you. H e—Yes, in chess, checkers, poetry, oratory, music, and such other trumpery. Of what possible use is mediocrity in these things? I—I am almost ready to agree with you.... H e—You have always shown some interest in me, because I'm a poor devil whom you really despise, but who after all amuses you. I—That is true. H e—Then let me tell you. (Before beginning, he drew a deep sigh, covered his forehead with both hands, then with calm countenance continued:—) You know I am ignorant, foolish, silly, shameless, rascally, gluttonous. I—What a panegyric! H e—It is entirely true. Not a word to be abated; no contradiction, I pray you. No one knows me better than I know myself, and I don't tell all. I—Rather than anger you, I will assent. H e—Now, just think, I lived with people who valued me precisely because all these qualities were mine in a high degree. I—That is most remarkable. I have hitherto believed that people concealed these qualities even from themselves, or excused them, but always despised them in others. H e—Conceal them? Is that possible? You may be sure that when Palissot is alone and contemplates himself, he tells quite a different story. You may be sure that he and his companion make open confession to each other that they are a pair of arrant rogues. Despise these qualities in others? My people were much more reasonable, and I fared excellently well among them. I was cock of the walk. When absent, I was instantly missed. I was pampered. I was their little Rameau, their good Rameau, the shameless, ignorant, lazy Rameau, the fool, the clown, the gourmand. Each of these epithets was to me a smile, a caress, a slap on the back, a box on the ears, a kick, a dainty morsel thrown upon my plate at dinner, a liberty permitted me after dinner as if it were of no account; for I am of no account. People make of me and do before me and with me whatever they please, and I never give it a thought....
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