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Victor Cherbuliez
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about Samuel Brohl and Company.
like fresh and living waters.  To praise her grace properly, I must borrow the language of the ‘Song of Solomon’:  ’Thy lips, O my spouse! drop as the honey-comb; honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.  This thy stature is like to a palm-tree.  Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.  A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse:  a spring shut up—­a fountain sealed.’  Some day she will cry out, with the Shulamite, ’Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.’  She belongs to us, my dear Larinski—­my dear partner; she had yielded, and you and I share the honour of the victory.  I presented myself before her, and my presence did not displease her.  I related to her your history, as you would have related it yourself, with delicacy and simplicity, neither adding nor omitting.  Her heart was touched; her heart was taken captive.  You will wed her—­she will bear your name; but you will marry her by proxy, and I shall be your proctor.  I promise to consider myself your mandatory, or, to express it better, you will own the property and I will have the usufruct.  Never fear that I shall forget what I owe to you, or the modesty proper to my estate.”

At these words, he made a grand gesture, as if to banish the phantom that he had conjured up, and that fled away trembling with sorrow, shame, and indignation.  The peacock cried anew a mournful shriek.  “Stupid bird!” thought Samuel Brohl, quaking with sudden dread.

He looked at his watch, and reflected that the hour was advancing—­that he was losing time with the spirits.  He rose hastily, and wended his way toward Cormeilles; thence he wished to come upon a sunny path that led to the banks of the Seine, and Sartrouville, the belfry of which was plainly visible.  When he reached the foot of the declivity, he turned his head and saw, on the summit of the hill, through the space left by the crooked branches of two plantains, a white wall, that seemed to laugh amid the verdure, and a little higher the pointed roof of the dove-cote, where Mlle. Moriaz’s doves had their nests.  He did not need to look long at this roof to recognise it.  He threw a burning kiss in the air—­a kiss that was sent to the doves as well as to the dove-cote—­to the house as well as to the woman—­to the woman as well as the house.  For the first time in his life, Samuel Brohl was in love; but Samuel Brohl’s love differed from Abel Larinski’s.  When they adore a woman, be she as beautiful as a picture, the frame, if it is a rich one, pleases them as much as the painting; and they propose to possess their mistress with all her appendages and appurtenances.

CHAPTER V

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