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Elizabeth Bibesco
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 94 pages of information about Balloons.

“Is it?”

“But of course.”

“I always wonder,” she murmured, “about accidental and sudden meetings.  They are a sort of nervous shock and you always feel that you are looking for something that you’ve mislaid and that you don’t seem able to find again until you’ve parted.”

“How depressing you are.  Looking for mislaid intimacy, do you mean?”

“I suppose so.”

“When I saw you I simply felt—­Margaret, thank God!”

“Matthew, you old humbug.”

“And for you who specialise in intimacy and the unexpected, it is simply disgraceful.”

“But I don’t.”

“You used to.”

“Yes.”

“Are you a reformed character?”

“A reformed experimentalist.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“Matthew, after all I am glad to see you.”

“Then let us take a taxi and drive round the Bois.”

“Very well.”

“You’re not reformed at all.  If you were, you would say, ’I’ve got to try on,’ or, ‘there are so many things I must do before lunch,’ or ’I am only in Paris for such a short time.’”

“They’re all true.”

“Of course—­that sort of thing is always true.  The point is, is it relevant?”

“Talking of specialists.  Do you still specialise in the irrelevant?”

“I have never understood what that word meant when applied to my activities.  I have still kept my sense of proportion, if that is what you are driving at?”

“And Virginia?”

“Is still Virginia.”

“And you love her?”

“Very often.”

“Not all the time?”

“Certainly not.  How then should I have my opportunities of discovering that I loved her?”

“Does she like your method?”

“I wonder.  Sometimes it gets on her nerves.”

“Poor Virginia.”

“It is ridiculous to pity Virginia.  Every one adores her and she meddles about in people’s lives to her heart’s content.”

“I always pity women who care for charming men.”

“Why—­because charming men are fickle?”

“No, because they are vulnerable.”

“Nonsense.”

“Charm is the dragon’s blood.”

“But the leaf always falls somewhere.”

“And the weak spot is vanity—­which is no use to one at all.”

“By the way, how is Michael, talking of charming men.  Or, were we talking about them?”

“I suppose so.”

“Margaret, I don’t like Michael.”

“Why not?”

“He is too complete.”

“Do you usually tell women that you don’t like their husbands?”

“No, they usually tell it to me.”

“Is that what you suggest that I am doing?”

“Margaret, please.  You know I didn’t mean that.  It was just an idiotic jeu de mots.”

“Matthew, be careful; if you are serious you will turn my head.”

“I would love to turn your head.”

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