The Works of Théophile Gautier ...: Mademoiselle de Maupin (Google eBook)

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Pub. for subscribers only by G. D. Sproul, 1900
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Page 77 - No, fools, no, goitrous cretins that you are, a book does not make gelatine soup; a novel is not a pair of seamless boots; a sonnet, a syringe with a continuous jet; or a drama, a railway — all things which are essentially civilising and adapted to advance humanity on its path of oroeress.
Page 81 - ... use in our being on this earth and living. I challenge the wisest of the company to tell us what we are good for unless it be not to subscribe to the Constitutionnel or any other paper. Next, admitting that, a priori, our being in existence is of use, what are the things really necessary to sustain that existence? Soup and meat twice a day are all that is needed to fill our stomachs in the strict sense of the word. Man, to whom a coffin six feet long and two feet wide is more than sufficient...
Page 60 - ... la creme. Our ignorance is pretty learned, and our virginity has long since vanished; these are things to be possessed once only, and do what we may we cannot again have them, for nothing is swifter than disappearing virginity and vanishing illusions. And perhaps it is no great harm, after all, and the knowledge of all things may be preferable to the ignorance of all things. That is a question the discussion of which I leave to those who are more learned than I. What is certain is that the world...
Page 82 - What is the use of beauty in woman ? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists. What is the use of music ? — of painting ? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard ? There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man's needs are low and disgusting, like his own...
Page 93 - ... ships fought real battles on a real sea; when thousands of men earnestly carved each other — turn pale, O heroic Franconi! — when, the sea having withdrawn, the desert appeared, with its raging tigers and lions, fearful supernumeraries that played but once; when the leading part was played by some robust Dacian or Pannonian athlete, whom it would often have been mighty difficult to recall at the close of the performance, whose leading lady was some splendid and hungry lioness of Numidia starved...
Page 279 - What have I been doing ? I do not know. I have come and gone, slept and waked...
Page 80 - I am aware that there are people who prefer mills to churches, and the bread of the body to the bread of the soul. I have nothing to say to such people. They deserve to be economists in this world and in the next likewise.
Page 83 - ... Tokay or Johannisberger from his Bohemian castle, and I would deem the electoral laws sufficiently wide, if some streets were more so and some other things less. Although I am no dilettante, I would rather have the noise of fiddles and tambourines than that of the bell of the President of the Chamber, I would sell my breeches for a ring, and my bread for preserves. It appears to me that the most fitting occupation for a civilized man is to do nothing, or to smoke analytically his pipe or cigar....
Page 82 - MADEMOISELLE DE MAUPIN What is the use of beauty in woman ? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists. What is the use of music ? — of painting ? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard ? There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use.
Page 56 - When he speaks, it is only in madrigals and perfumed gallantries of the best précieux style and of the bravest air; he has read novels and knows poetry; he is valiant and ready to draw; he scatters gold with a lavish hand, — so Angelica, Agnes, and Isabella can scarce refrain from throwing themselves in his arms, well-bred and great ladies though they are; and so the husband is regularly betrayed in the fifth act, and is very lucky if it is not in the first. That is how marriage is treated by...

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