“Bernard Jansoulet, Deputy for Corsica.”
A public man!
Only then did he remember that he was one. Who would have suspected it, seeing him breathless and bare-headed, like a porter after a street fight, under the eager, coldly mocking glances of the crowd?
If you want simple and sincere feeling, if you would see overflowing affection, tenderness, laughter—the laughter born of great happiness which, at a tiny movement of the lips, is brought to the verge of tears—and the beautiful wild joy of youth illumined by bright eyes transparent to the very depths of the souls behind them—all these things you may find this Sunday morning in a house that you know of, a new house, down yonder, right at the end of the old faubourg. The glass door on the ground floor shines more brightly than usual. More gaily than ever dance the letters over the door, and from the open windows comes the sound of glad cries, flowing from a stream of happiness.
“Accepted! it is accepted! Oh, what good luck! Henriette, Elise, do come here! M. Maranne’s play is accepted!”
Andre heard the news yesterday. Cardailhac, the manager of the Nouveautes, sent for him to inform him that his play was to be produced immediately—that it would be put on next month. They passed the evening discussing scenic arrangements and the distribution of parts; and, as it was too late to knock at his neighbour’s door when he got home from the theatre, the happy author waited for the morning in feverish impatience, and then, as soon as he heard people stirring below and the shutters open with a click against the house-front, he made haste to go down to announce the good news to his friends. Just now they are all assembled together, the young ladies in pretty deshabille, their hair hastily twisted up, and M. Joyeuse, whom the announcement had surprised in the midst of shaving, presenting under his embroidered night-cap a strange face divided into two parts, one side shaved, the other not. But Andre Maranne is the most excited, for you know what the acceptance of Revolt means for him; what was agreed between them and Bonne Maman. The poor fellow looks at her as if to find an encouragement in her eyes; and the rather mischievous, kind eyes seem to say, “Make the experiment, in any case. What is the risk?” To give himself courage he looks also at Mlle. Elise, pretty as a flower, with her long eyelashes drooped. At last, making up his mind:
“M. Joyeuse,” said he thickly, “I have a very serious communication to make to you.”
M. Joyeuse expresses astonishment.
“A communication? Ah, mon Dieu, you alarm me!”
And lowering his voice:
“Are the girls in the way?”
“No. Bonne Maman knows what I mean. Mlle. Elise also must have some suspicion of it. It is only the children.”