Just at that moment the door opened suddenly. “Is supper ready?” asked a deep voice.
“Eh, here he is, the dear friend!
“O surprise extreme!
Grand Dieu! c’est lui-meme—
alive and in the flesh.”
“And hungry,” said Gerfaut, as he dropped into a chair near the fire.
“Would you like to compose an opera in three acts, The Chaste Suzannah, music by Meyerbeer?”
“I should like some supper first. Madame Gobillot, I beseech you, give me something to eat. Thanks to your mountain air, I am almost starved.”
“But, Monsieur, we have been waiting two hours for you,” retorted the landlady, as she made each stewpan dance in succession.
“That is a fact,” said the artist; “let us go into the dining-room, then.
“Gia la mensa a preparata.”
“While supping, I will explain my plans to you. I have just found a Daniel in the ashes—”
“My dear Marillac, drop your Daniel and Suzannah,” replied Gerfaut, as he sat down to the table; “I have something much more important to talk to you about.”
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Evident that the man
was above his costume; a rare thing!
Mania for fearing that she may be compromised
Material in you to make one of Cooper’s redskins
Recourse to concessions is often as fatal to women as to kings
Those whom they most amuse are those who are best worth amusing
Trying to conceal by a smile (a blush)
When one speaks of the devil he appears
Wiped his nose behind his hat, like a well-bred orator
By CHARLES DE BERNARD
While the two friends are devouring to the very last morsel the feast prepared for them by Madame Gobillot, it may not be out of place to explain in a few words the nature of the bonds that united these two men.
The Vicomte de Gerfaut was one of those talented beings who are the veritable champions of an age when the lightest pen weighs more in the social balance than our ancestors’ heaviest sword. He was born in the south of France, of one of those old families whose fortune had diminished each generation, their name finally being almost all that they had left. After making many sacrifices to give their son an education worthy of his birth, his parents did not live to enjoy the fruits of their efforts, and Gerfaut became an orphan at the time when he had just finished his law studies. He then abandoned the career of which his father had dreamed for him, and the possibilities of a red gown bordered with ermine. A mobile and highly colored imagination, a passionate love for the arts, and, more than all, some intimacies contracted with men of letters, decided his vocation and launched him into literature.