In his latter years he developed an exaggerated love for solitude, a predilection for self-preservation and still worse, a constant fear of death and mania of persecution, which ran like a black thread through all his writings and brought on gradually the final tragic catastrophe.—He became insane in 1891 and died in 1893 without having recovered his mind.
Life, movement, penetrating[*] observation, and hypersensitiveness, both artistic and physical, are the dominant traits of this literary phenomenon. His rise to fame was as vertiginous as his fall and decay. As a novelist he may have his equals and superiors, but as a short story-writer, with the exception of Charles Nodier and Alphonse Daudet, he had none.—
The Happy Hour Library
[*][Note from Brett: The original uses “penertation” and “penertating” but I could not find this word anywhere so assumed it was a typographical error.]
The Prussian Commander, Major Graf von Farlsberg, was finishing the reading of his mail, comfortably seated in a large tapestry armchair, with his booted feet resting on the elegant marble of the mantelpiece on which, for the last three months that he had been occupying the Chateau d’Uville, his spurs had traced two deep grooves, growing deeper every day.
A cup of coffee was steaming on an inlaid guerdon, stained with liqueur, burned by cigars, notched by the penknife of the conquering officer who, while sharpening his pencil, would stop at times and trace on the marble monograms or designs according to the fancy of his indolent dream.