Twenty Years Ago

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 170 pages
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. M. LE PROFESSEUR. j]ELL, the short and sharp struggle was over; Paris was trampled in the dust, and her liberties were no more. But still she must meet and talk about her humiliation, if about nothing else. And we too went out, though only amongst those with whom we sympathised. We sought Madame Gibbs's democratic salons, prepared to meet men who, we were told, felt with varied agonies of rage, grief, and shame, that France had now lost her place amongst the nations. As I entered I thought especially of M. Lamourette, who, I had heard, was in such deep dejection as to go about ashamed of being a Frenchman, and wishing himself un Anglais. As I well knew my friend's particular feelings about my countrymen, I did full justice to this expression of humiliation. The rooms were crowded, but as soon as I entered I recognised the voice of the sorrowing patriot; I knew him at once by the loudness of his hilarity. He was there beside a fair, quiet young lady, who stood statuelike, in graceful calm, presiding at the tea-table, himself pouring out words and gesticulation fast as shot, and evidently doing the intensely agreeable. The aspect of the whole party indeed, was not other than that of men, I am glad to say, in excellent health and spirits. To be sure, whenever we talked politics, the same strain would be renewed; produced, as I thought, by the mortifying consciousness that they ought to have prevented the coup d'etat, and had not done so. Formerly I had thought that keen sense of public deterioration a hopeful sign. I knew not what to say of it now; I wanted deeds, not words. But here comes the facetious Professor, sliding up to me glass in eye, with a couple of bows, and the sprightly enquiry, 'Ehbien, mademoiselle, gardez-vous toujours vos pre'juge's a...

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