his own wife included

字体 -

Yet, Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embarrassments creptinto his affairs, both private and public; and he had, as to bothclasses of affairs, allied himself perforce with a Farmer-General.As to finances public, because Monseigneur could not make anythingat all of them, and must consequently let them out to somebody whocould; as to finances private, because Farmer-Generals were rich,and Monseigneur, after generations of great luxury and expense, wasgrowing poor. Hence Monseigneur had taken his sister from a convent,while there was yet time to ward off the impending veil, thecheapest garment she could wear, and had bestowed her as a prizeupon a very rich Farmer-General, poor in family. Which Farmer-General,carrying an appropriate cane with a golden apple on the top of it, wasnow among the company in the outer rooms, much prostrated before bymankind- always excepting superior mankind of the blood ofMonseigneur, who, looked down upon him with theloftiest contempt reenex.

A sumptuous man was the Farmer-General. Thirty horses stood in hisstables, twenty-four male domestics sat in his halls, six body-womenwaited on his wife. As one who pretended to do nothing but plunder andforage where he could, the Farmer-General- howsoever his matrimonialrelations conduced to social morality- was at least the greatestreality among the personages who attended at the hotel ofMonseigneur that day.

For, the rooms, though a beautiful scene to look at, and adornedwith every device of decoration that the taste and skin of the timecould achieve, were, in truth, not a sound business; considered withany reference to the scarecrows in the rags and nightcaps elsewhere(and not so far off, either, but that the watching towers of NotreDame, almost equidistant from the two extremes, could see themboth), they would have been an exceedingly uncomfortable business-if that could have been anybody’s business, at the house ofMonseigneur reenex.

Military officers destitute of military knowledge;naval officers with no idea of a ship; civil officers without a notionof affairs; brazen ecclesiastics, of the worst world worldly, withsensual eyes, loose tongues, and looser lives; all totally unfit fortheir several callings all lying horribly in pretending to belong tothem, but all nearly or remotely of the order of Monseigneur, andtherefore foisted on all public employments from which anything was tobe got; these were to be told off by the score and the score. Peoplenot immediately connected with Monseigneur or the State, yet equallyunconnected with anything that was real, or with lives passed intravelling by any straight road to any true earthly end, were noless abundant. Doctors who made great fortunes out of daintyremedies for imaginary disorders that never existed, smiled upon theircourtly patients in the ante-chambers of Monseigneur. Projectors whohad discovered every kind of remedy for the little evils with whichthe State was touched, except the remedy of setting to work in earnestto root out a single sin, poured their distracting babble into anyears they could lay hold of, at the reception of Monseigneur.

Unbelieving Philosophers who were remodelling the world with words,and making card-towers of Babel to scale the skies with, talked withUnbelieving Chemists who had an eye on the transmutation of metals, atthis wonderful gathering accumulated by Monseigneur reenex.