Live of Two Cats from the French of Pierre Loti
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39 pages

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This early, extensively illustrated works is a fascinating novel of the period and still an interesting read today. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900's and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.



Publié par
Date de parution 28 juin 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781528762090
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0350€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Translation by
Illustrations by
Copyright 2013 Read Books Ltd. This book is copyright and may not be reproduced or copied in any way without the express permission of the publisher in writing

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Pierre Loti
Pierre Loti was the pseudonym of Julien Viaud, born on 14 January 1850. He was a highly successful French novelist and naval officer. Loti was educated in the town of his birth; Rochefort, Cherente-Maritime, France, and entered the naval school in Brest by the age of 17. Loti rose through the ranks of his profession slowly however, and was awarded the rank of captain in 1906. After encouragement from his fellow naval officers, Loti anonymously published his first novel Aziyad (1879), a partly autobiographical, part romance story, dealing with his experiences in Istanbul. It was this novel which provided inspiration to the great Marcel Proust. The first book to bring Loti fame though was Rarahu (1880), inspired by his time in Tahiti with the navy. The narrator elucidates that the name Loti was conferred upon him by the inhabitants, meaning red flower . His partly autobiographical themes continued with Le Roman d un Spahi (1881), a tale of a soldier in Senegal. However, Loti s greatest success did not come until 1886, when he returned to largely French themes; P cheur d Islande (An Iceland Fisherman). This was the most popular and finest of all his writings , as described by Edmund Gosse and evidences Loti adaptation of the impressionist techniques of contemporary painters to prose, as well as utilising his earlier studies of exotic places. This fusion of contemporary French culture and its place in the expanding imperial world brought Loti wide acclaim. In 1891 he was elected to the Acad mie Fran aise . Subsequent to this triumph, Loti visited British India, publishing L Inde (sans les Anglais) and in 1900 joined the international expedition sent to China to combat the Boxer Rebellion, publishing the Last Days of Peking in 1902. Loti s marriage to the wealthy Blanche de Ferri re in 1886 undoubtedly helped support his travels as well as his inveterate collectors habit, although it was an unhappy pairing and she left in 1906. His home at Rochefort contained sperm whale teeth, Senegalese bracelets, Egyptian cat mummies, Japanese mobiles, and he even bought the house next door for his overflow of objects. Loti died in 1923 at Hendaye, Basque Country and was interred on the le d Ol ron with a state funeral.
Pierre Loti
List of Illustrations
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
And from that hour they were fast friends (page 50)
Rolling on the crimson rug
Advancing, . . . her clear eyes fixed on mine
And still looked directly in my eyes
She passed deliciously dreamy days
There was a useless battle
In company of the everlasting tortoise
I was glad . . . that she had not died elsewhere
Lives of Two Cats
( I )
I HAVE often seen, with a questioning restlessness infinitely sad, the soul of animals meet mine from the depths of their eyes: the soul of a cat, the soul of a dog, the soul of a monkey, as pathetically, for an instant, as a human soul, revealing itself suddenly in a glance and seeking my own soul with tenderness, supplication, or terror; and I have felt perhaps more pity for these souls of animals than for those of my own brethren, because they are speechless, incapable of emerging from their semi-intelligence; above all, because they are more humble and despised.
( II )
THE two cats whose histories I am about to write are associated in memory with comparatively happy years of my life,-years scarce past by the dates they bear, but years already seeming in the remote past, borne away by the frightfully accelerating speed of time, and which, placed beside the gray to-day, bear tints of early dawn or last rosy light of morning. So fast our days hasten to the twilight, so fast our fall to the night.
( III )
PARDON me that I call each of my cats Pussy. At first I had no idea of giving names to my pets. A cat was Pussy, a kitten Kitty; and surely no names could be more expressive and tender than these. I shall call the poor little personages of my story by the names they bore in their real lives, Pussy White and Pussy Gray; the latter often known as Pussy Chinese.
( IV )
AS the oldest, allow me first to present the Angora, Pussy White. Her visiting card, by her desire, was thus inscribed-

On a memorable evening nearly twelve years ago, I saw her for the first time. It was a winter s evening, on one of my returns home at the close of some Eastern campaign. I had been in the house but a few moments, and was warming myself before a blazing wood fire, seated between my mother and my aunt Clara. Suddenly something appeared on the scene, bounding like a panther, and then rolling itself wildly on the hearth rug like a live snowball on its crimson ground. Ah! said aunt Clara, you don t know her; I will introduce her; this is our new inmate, Pussy White! We thought we would have another cat, for a mouse had found our closet in the saloon below.
The house had been catless for a long time; succeeding the mourning for a certain African cat that I had brought home from my first voyage and worshiped for two years, but who one fine morning, after a short illness, breathed out her little foreign soul, giving me her last conscious glance, and whom I had afterward buried beneath a tree in the garden.
I lifted for a closer view the roll of fur which lay so white on the crimson mat. I held her carefully with both hands, in a

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