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A Love Episode - Emile Zola

A Love Episode - Emile Zola


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Originally UPLOADED by SATHEESH BALACHANDRAN/ Guruvayur/ /LIBRARY OF BABEL/ {in the process of "being built"} Contact: satheeshgvr@gmail.com, to DOWNLOAD this eBook. Thank You.
Originally UPLOADED by SATHEESH BALACHANDRAN/ Guruvayur/ /LIBRARY OF BABEL/ {in the process of "being built"} Contact: satheeshgvr@gmail.com, to DOWNLOAD this eBook. Thank You.

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Published by: Satheesh Balachandran on Jun 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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have been hunting for Perdiguet; you know whom I mean, my singer fellow. But I haven't been able to lay my
hands on him, and I have brought you the great Morizot instead."

The great Morizot was an amateur who entertained drawing-rooms by conjuring with juggler-balls. A gipsy
table was assigned to him, and on this he accomplished his most wonderful tricks; but it all passed off without
the spectators evincing the slightest interest. The poor little darlings were pulling serious faces; some of the
tinier mites fell fast asleep, sucking their thumbs. The older children turned their heads and smiled towards
their parents, who were themselves yawning behind their hands. There was thus a general feeling of relief
when the great Morizot decided to take his table away.

"Oh! he's awfully clever," whispered Malignon into Madame Deberle's neck.

But the red curtain was drawn aside once again, and an entrancing spectacle brought all the little folks to their

Along the whole extent of the dining-room stretched the table, laid and bedecked as for a grand dinner, and
illumined by the bright radiance of the central lamp and a pair of large candelabra. There were fifty covers
laid; in the middle and at either end were shallow baskets, full of flowers; between these towered tall
epergnes, filled to overflowing with crackers in gilded and colored paper. Then there were mountains of
decorated cakes, pyramids of iced fruits, piles of sandwiches, and, less prominent, a whole host of
symmetrically disposed plates, bearing sweetmeats and pastry: buns, cream puffs, and brioches alternating
with dry biscuits, cracknals, and fancy almond cakes. Jellies were quivering in their glass dishes. Whipped
creams waited in porcelain bowls. And round the table sparkled the silver helmets of champagne bottles, no
higher than one's hand, made specially to suit the little guests. It all looked like one of those gigantic feasts
which children conjure up in dreamland--a feast served with the solemnity that attends a repast of grown-up
folks--a fairy transformation of the table to which their own parents sat down, and on which the horns of
plenty of innumerable pastry-cooks and toy dealers had been emptied.

"Come, come, give the ladies your arms!" said Madame Deberle, her face covered with smiles as she watched
the delight of the children.

But the filing off in couples proved a lure. Lucien, who had triumphantly taken Jeanne's arm, went first. But
the others following behind fell somewhat into confusion, and the mothers were forced to come and assign
them places, remaining close at hand, especially behind the babies, whom they watched lest any mischance
should befall them. Truth to tell, the guests at first seemed rather uncomfortable; they looked at one another,
felt afraid to lay hands on the good things, and were vaguely disquieted by this new social organization in
which everything appeared to be topsy-turvy, the children seated at table while their parents remained
standing. At length the older ones gained confidence and commenced the attack. And when the mothers
entered into the fray, and cut up the large cakes, helping those in their vicinity, the feast speedily became very
animated and noisy. The exquisite symmetry of the table was destroyed as though by a tempest. The two
Berthier girls, Blanche and Sophie, laughed at the sight of their plates, which had been filled with something
of everything--jam, custard, cake, and fruit. The five young ladies of the Levasseur family took sole
possession of a corner laden with dainties, while Valentine, proud of her fourteen years, acted the lady's part,
and looked after the comfort of her little neighbors. Lucien, however, impatient to display his politeness,
uncorked a bottle of champagne, but in so clumsy a way that the whole contents spurted over his cherry silk
breeches. There was quite a to-do about it.

"Kindly leave the bottles alone! I am to uncork the champagne," shouted Pauline.

She bustled about in an extraordinary fashion, purely for her own amusement. On the entry of a servant with
the chocolate pot, she seized it and filled the cups with the greatest glee, as active in the performance as any
restaurant waiter. Next she took round some ices and glasses of syrup and water, set them down for a moment

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