`Je viens de jeter bas le minstre des Affaires étrangères.'
L'autre crut qu'il plaisantait.
`De jeter bas...quoi?'
`Je vais changer le cabinet. Voilà tout! Il n'est pas trop tot
de chasser cette charogne.'
Le vieux, stupéfait, crut que son chroniqueur était
gris. Il murmura:
`Voyons, vous déraisonnez.'
`Pas du tout. Je viens de surprendre M. Laroche-Mathieu en flagrant
délit d'adultère avec ma femme. Le commissaire de police
a constaté la chose. Le ministre est foutu.'
`I have just been sacking the minister for foreign affairs.'
He thought this must be a joke.
`Sacking...what did you say?'
`I'm going to change the government. That's it. It's about time we got
rid of this bunch of jokers.'
The old man thought, in a confused way, that his diarist was drunk. He
`Come on, you're losing your grip.'
`Not in the least. I have just found M. Laroche-Mathieu in flagrante
delicto with my wife. The Commissioner of Police will back me up. The
minister is screwed.'
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is striding toward the horizon,
Her marble skirts blown back in two pink wings.
A marble sailor kneels at her foot distractedly, and at his foot
A peasant woman in black
Is praying to the monument of the sailor praying.
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is three times life size,
Her lips sweet with divinity.
She does not hear what the sailor or the peasant is saying
She is in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea.
Al mattino presto si vede la Corsica: sembra una nave carica di
montagne sospesa laggiù sull'orizzonte. Se si fosse in un altro
paese ne sarebbero nate delle leggende: da noi no: la Corsica è
un paese povero, più del nostro, nessuno ci è mai andato
e nessuno ci ha mai pensato. Quando di mattina si vede la Corsica
è che l'aria è chiara e ferma e non accenna a piovere.
Early in the morning you can see Corsica, like a ship full of
mountains out there on the horizon. In any other country there would
be stories about it, but not where we are. Corsica is a poor country,
poorer than ours: nobody has ever been there, or thought of going. If
you can see Corsica in the morning that means it is a clear calm day
and it isn't going to rain.
The fortunate brevity of this last war was due to the prompt and
courageous action of the British Government in declaring war at once.
Close your port-cullis, charge your basilisks,
And, as you profitably take up arms,
So now courageously encounter them.
For by this answer broken is the league
And naught is to be look'd for now but wars,
And naught to us more welcome is than wars.
In the Library winter seemed to come a little earlier than anywhere
else. She could tell by looking at the bust of Humboldt in the north
corner; after three o'clock the plinth stood in a pool of shadows. She
must pull herself together and look to other opportunities, that was
certain. But it would be wrong, almost indecent to quit before the new
children's section with its gay linoleum and adjustable reading lamps
(her own idea, carried through in the face of Binswanger's carping and
Miss Schalktritt's petty treasons) was properly installed and in
use. To which resolve, so comforting in its indistinct futurity, Dr
Röthling vigorously assented, adding that the New Year was an
excellent time a fresh start, "for a thorough dusting inside", a mood
which the coming season's municipal concerts with their rich
sprinkling of Beethoven and Mahler could only reinforce. He whistled
with that exactitude of pitch she envied the trumpet call from
Mahler's Second. The clarion echoed around the room and died away in
the magenta drapes.
Unsere Antwerpener Konversationen, wie er sie später bisweilen
genannt hat, drehten sich, seinem erstaunlichen Fachwissen
entsprechend, in erster Linie un baugeschichtliche Dinge, auch schon
am jeden Abend, an dem wir miteinander bis gegen Mitternacht in der
dem Wartesaal auf der andere Seite der großen Kuppelhalle genau
gegenüberlegenen Restauration gesessen sind. Die wenigen
Gäste, die sich zu später Stunde dort aufhielten, verliefen
sich nach und nach, bis wir in dem Buffetraum, der dem Wartesaal in
seiner ganzen Anlage wie ein Spiegelbild glich, allein waren mit einem
einsamen Fernet-Trinker und mit der Buffetdame, die mit
übereinandergeschlagenen Beinen auf einem Barhocker hinter dem
Ausschank thronte und sich mit volkommener Hingebung und Konzentration
die Fingernägel feilte.
Our Antwerp Debates, as he later liked to call them, were mainly
concerned with architectural history, because of his astonishing
knowledge of the subject. That was so even that first evening, when we
sat together until nearly midnight in the refreshment room across the
great domed hall from the waiting room. The few customers there were
at that late hour drifted away, and in the end we were left in the
buffet, which was a perfect mirror image of the waiting room, with
only a lone Fernet drinker and the waitress, who sat with one leg
crossed over the other on a bar stool by the bar and filed her
fingernails with the utmost dedication and concentration.
Yet hold me not forever in thine East;
How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seëst all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
But too avoid too serious an air: can it be doubted, but that the
finest woman in the world would lose all benefit of her charms, in the
eye of a man who had never seen one of another cast? The ladies
themselves seem so sensible of this, that they are all industrious to
procure foils; nay, they will become foils to themselves: for I have
observed (at Bath particularly) that they endeavour to appear as ugly
as possible in the morning, in order to set off that beauty which they
intend to shew you in the evening.
The main difficulty in using either lazo or bolas is to
ride so well as to be able at full speed, and while suddenly turning
about, to whirl them so steadily round the head, as to take aim: on
foot any person would soon learn the art. One day, as I was amusing
myself by galloping and whirling the balls round my head, by accident
the free one struck a bush, and its revolving motion being thus
destroyed, it immediately fell to the ground, and like magic caught
one hind leg of my horse; the other ball was then jerked out of my
hand, and the horse fairly secured. Luckily he was an old practised
animal, and knew what it meant; otherwise he would probably have
kicked until he had thrown himself down. The gauchos roared laughter;
they cried out that they had seen every sort of animal caught, but had
never seen a man caught by himself.
They had left Aussolas some half a mile behind, when, from a strip of
wood on their right, the fox suddenly slipped over the bank on to the
road just ahead of them, ran up it for a few yards, and whisked in at
a small entrance gate, with the three couple of hounds yelling on a
red-hot scent, not thirty yards behind. The bath-chair party whirled
in at their heels, Philippa and the donkey considerably blown, Johnny
scarlet through his freckles, but fresh as paint, the old lady blind
and deaf to all things save the chase. The hounds went raging through
the shrubs towards a grassy slope towards a shallow glen, in the
bottom of which ran a little stream, and after them over the grass
bumped the bath-chair. At the stream they turned sharply and ran up
the glen towards the avenue, which crossed it by means of a rough
But the most romantic Hunt servant is the Earthstopper, whose
job, however, is not quite so ambitious as it sounds, but consists
mainly in trying to prevent the Fox missing the enjoyment of the
run by plunging down holes in the earth.