The Nabob eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 434 pages of information about The Nabob.
scraps from the plates and the dregs from the bottles.  The champagne was beginning to claim its own among the guests.  Joey wanted to dance a jig on the table-cloth.  The ladies, at the least word that was a little gay, threw themselves back with the piercing laughter of people who are being tickled, allowing their embroidered skirts to trail beneath the table, loaded with the remains of the food and covered with spilt grease.  M. Louis had discreetly retired.  Glasses were filled up before they had been emptied; one of the housekeepers dipped a handkerchief in hers, filled with water, and bathed her forehead with it, because her head was swimming, she said.  It was time that the festivity should end; and, in fact, an electric bell ringing in the corridor warned us that the footman, on duty at the theatre, had come to summon the coachmen.  Thereupon Monpavon proposed the health of the master of the house, thanking him for his little party.  M. Noel announced that he proposed to give another at Saint-Romans, in honour of the visit of the Bey, to which most of those present would probably be invited.  And I was about to rise in my turn, being sufficiently accustomed to social banquets to know that on such an occasion the oldest man present is expected to propose the health of the ladies, when the door opened abruptly, and a tall footman, bespattered with mud, a dripping umbrella in his hand, perspiring, out of breath, cried to us, without respect for the company: 

“But come on then, you set of idiots!  What are you sticking here for?  Don’t you know it is over?”

THE FESTIVITIES IN HONOUR OF THE BEY

In the regions of the Midi, of bygone civilization, historical castles still standing are rare.  Only at long intervals on the hillsides some old abbey lifts its tottering and dismembered front, perforated by holes that once were windows, whose empty spaces look now only to the sky.  A monument of dust, burnt up by the sun, dating from the time of the Crusades or of the Courts of Love, without a trace of man among its stones, where even the ivy no longer clings nor the acanthus, but which the dried lavenders and the ferns embalm.  In the midst of all those ruins the castle of Saint-Romans is an illustrious exception.  If you have travelled in the Midi you have seen it, and you are to see it again now.  It is between Valence and Montelimart, on a site just where the railway runs alongside the Rhone, at the foot of the rich slopes of Baume, Raucoule, and Mercurol, where the far-famed vineyards of l’Ermitage, spreading out for five miles in close-planted rows of vines, which seem to grow as one looks, roll down almost into the river, which is there as green and full of islands as the Rhine at Basle, but under a sun the Rhine has never known.  Saint-Romans is opposite on the other side of the river; and, in spite of the brevity of the vision, the headlong rush of the train, which

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The Nabob from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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