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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 57 / 106





57 / 106



I HAVE JUST HAD a sad adventure, which will drive me away from here. I lose all patience! —Death! —It is not to be rem- edied; and you alone are to blame, for you urged and im- pelled me to fill a post for which I was by no means suited. I have now reason to be satisfied, and so have you! But, that you may not again attribute this fatality to my impetuous temper, I send you, my dear sir, a plain and simple narration of the affair, as a mere chronicler of facts would describe it. The Count of O—likes and distinguishes me. It is well known, and I have mentioned this to you a hundred times. Yesterday I dined with him. It is the day on which the nobil- ity are accustomed to assemble at his house in the evening. I never once thought of the assembly, nor that we subalterns did not belong to such society. Well, I dined with the count; and, after dinner, we adjourned to the large hall. We walked up and down together: and I conversed with him, and with Colonel B—, who joined us; and in this manner the hour for the assembly approached. God knows, I was thinking of noth- ing, when who should enter but the honourable Lady accom-

panied by her noble husband and their silly, scheming daugh- ter, with her small waist and flat neck; and, with disdainful looks and a haughty air they passed me by. As I heartily detest the whole race, I determined upon going away; and only waited till the count had disengaged himself from their impertinent prattle, to take leave, when the agreeable Miss B— came in. As I never meet her without experiencing a heartfelt pleasure, I stayed and talked to her, leaning over the back of her chair, and did not perceive, till after some time, that she seemed a little confused, and ceased to answer me with her usual ease of manner. I was struck with it. “Heavens!” I said to myself, “can she, too, be like the rest?” I felt annoyed, and was about to withdraw; but I remained, notwithstanding, forming ex- cuses for her conduct, fancying she did not mean it, and still hoping to receive some friendly recognition. The rest of the company now arrived. There was the Baron F —, in an entire suit that dated from the coronation of Francis I.; the Chan- cellor N—, with his deaf wife; the shabbily-dressed I—, whose old-fashioned coat bore evidence of modern repairs: this crowned the whole. I conversed with some of my acquain- tances, but they answered me laconically. I was engaged in


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