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Last of the Great Scouts : the life story of Col. William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill" as told by his sister eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about Last of the Great Scouts .
He indulged in queer mystifications, covering his papers with false names and anagrams—­for the police, he said, were on his track, and he must be careful.  His love-affairs became less and less fortunate; but he was still sometimes successful, and when he was he registered the fact—­upon his braces.  He dreamed and drifted a great deal.  He went up to San Pietro in Montorio, and looking over Rome, wrote the initials of his past mistresses in the dust.  He tried to make up his mind whether Napoleon after all was the only being he respected; no—­there was also Mademoiselle de Lespinasse.  He went to the opera at Naples and noted that ’la musique parfaite, comme la pantomime parfaite, me fait songer a ce qui forme actuellement l’objet de mes reveries et me fait venir des idees excellentes:  ... or, ce soir, je ne puis me dissimuler que j’ai le malheur of being too great an admirer of Lady L....’ He abandoned himself to ’les charmantes visions du Beau qui souvent encore remplissent ma tete a l’age de fifty-two.’  He wondered whether Montesquieu would have thought his writings worthless.  He sat scribbling his reminiscences by the fire till the night drew on and the fire went out, and still he scribbled, more and more illegibly, until at last the paper was covered with hieroglyphics undecipherable even by M. Chuquet himself.  He wandered among the ruins of ancient Rome, playing to perfection the part of cicerone to such travellers as were lucky enough to fall in with him; and often his stout and jovial form, with the satyric look in the sharp eyes and the compressed lips, might be seen by the wayside in the Campagna, as he stood and jested with the reapers or the vine-dressers or with the girls coming out, as they had come since the days of Horace, to draw water from the fountains of Tivoli.  In more cultivated society he was apt to be nervous; for his philosophy was never proof against the terror of being laughed at.  But sometimes, late at night, when the surroundings were really sympathetic, he could be very happy among his friends.  ‘Un salon de huit ou dix personnes,’ he said, ’dont toutes les femmes ont eu des amants, ou la conversation est gaie, anecdotique, et ou l’on prend du punch leger a minuit et demie, est l’endroit du monde ou je me trouve le mieux.’

And in such a Paradise of Frenchmen we may leave Henri Beyle.

1914

LADY HESTER STANHOPE

The Pitt nose has a curious history.  One can watch its transmigrations through three lives.  The tremendous hook of old Lord Chatham, under whose curve Empires came to birth, was succeeded by the bleak upward-pointing nose of William Pitt the younger—­the rigid symbol of an indomitable hauteur.  With Lady Hester Stanhope came the final stage.  The nose, still with an upward tilt in it, had lost its masculinity; the hard bones of the uncle and the grandfather had disappeared.  Lady Hester’s was a nose of wild ambitions, of pride grown fantastical, a nose that scorned the earth, shooting off, one fancies, towards some eternally eccentric heaven.  It was a nose, in fact, altogether in the air.

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