cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well
jones_casey

  • Music:

balzac

people of an observing turn, of the sort who are bent upon finding out where you buy your candelabra, or who ask you what rent you pay when they are pleased with your apartments, had noticed, from time to time, the appearance of an extraordinary personage at the fetes, concerts, balls, and routs given by the countess. it was a man. the first time that he was seen in the house was at a concert, when he seemed to have been drawn to the salon by marianina's enchanting voice.

"i have been cold for the last minute or two," said a lady near the door to her neighbor.
the stranger, who was standing near the speaker, moved away.

"this is very strange! now i am warm," she said, after his departure.

"perhaps you will call me mad, but i cannot help thinking that my neighbor, the gentleman in black who just walked away, was the cause of my feeling cold."

ere long the exaggeration to which people in society are naturally inclined, produced a large and growing crop of the most amusing ideas, the most curious expressions, the most absurd fables concerning this mysterious individual. without being precisely a vampire, a ghoul, a fictitious man, a sort of faust or robin des bois, he partook of the nature of all these anthropomorphic conceptions, according to those persons who were addicted to the fantastic. occasionally some
german would take for realities these ingenious jests of parisian evil-speaking. the stranger was simply an old man. some young men, who were accustomed to decide the future of europe every morning in a few fashionable phrases, chose to see in the stranger some great criminal, the possessor of enormous wealth. novelists described the old man's life and gave some really interesting details of the atrocities committed by him while he was in the service of the prince of mysore.
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