and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before
update time:2023-12-07

and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before

作者:Words do not express meaning networkupdate time:2023-12-07 分类:theory

and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before,

"Go to the devil, you old preacher!" growled Wilkie, as he saw the door close on the retreating figure of M. Patterson, who had acted as his guardian for ten years. None of M. Patterson's wise advice lingered in the young fellow's mind. To use a familiar expression, "It went in through one ear and came out through the other." Only two facts had made an impression upon him: that he was to be his own master henceforth, and that he had a fortune at his command. There it lay upon the table, five thousand francs in glittering gold.

and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before

If M. Wilkie had taken the trouble to attentively examine the rooms which had suddenly become his own, he would perhaps have recognized the fact that a loving hand had prepared them for his reception. Countless details revealed the delicate taste of a woman, and the thoughtful tenderness of a mother. None of those little superfluities which delight a young man had been forgotten. There was a box of choice cigars upon the table, and a jar of tobacco on the mantel-shelf. But Wilkie did not take time to discover this. He hastily slipped five hundred francs into his pocket, locked the rest of his money in a drawer, and went out with as lofty an air as if all Paris belonged to him, or as if he had enough money to purchase it.

and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before

He had resolved to give a fete in honor of his deliverance, and so he hurried off in search of some of his old college chums. He found two of them; and, although it was very wounding to his self- love, M. Wilkie was obliged to confess to them that this was his first taste of liberty, and that he scarcely knew what to do with himself. Of course his friends assured him that they could quickly make him acquainted with the only life that it was worth while living; and, to prove it, they accepted the invitation to dinner which he immediately offered them. It was a remarkable repast. Other acquaintances dropped in, the wine flowed in rivers; and after dinner they danced. And at day-break, having served his apprenticeship at baccarat, M. Wilkie found himself without a penny in his pocket, and face to face with a bill of four hundred francs, for which amount he was obliged to go to his rooms, under the escort of one of the waiters. This first experiment ought to have disgusted him, or at least have made him reflect. But no. He felt quite in his element in the society of dissipated young men and enamelled women. He swore that he would win a place in their midst, and an influential place too. But it was easier to form this plan than to carry it into execution, as he discovered when, at the end of the month, he counted his money to see what remained of the five thousand francs that had been given him for his quarterly allowance. He had just three hundred francs left.

and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before

Twenty thousand francs a year is what one chooses to make it-- wealth or poverty. Twenty thousand francs a year represents about sixty francs a day; but what are sixty francs to a high liver, who breakfasts and dines at the best restaurants, whose clothes are designed by an illustrious tailor, who declines to make a pair of trousers for less than a hundred francs? What are three louis a day to a man who hires a box for first performances at the opera, to a man who gambles and gives expensive suppers, to a man who drives out with yellow-haired demoiselles, and who owns a race- horse? Measuring his purse and his ambition, M. Wilkie discovered that he should never succeed in making both ends meet. "How do other people manage?" he wondered. A puzzling question! Every evening a thousand gorgeously apparelled gentlemen, with a cigar in their mouth and a flower in their button-hole, may be seen promenading between the Chaussee d'Antin and the Faubourg Montmartre. Everybody knows them, and they know everybody, but how they exist is a problem which it is impossible to solve. How do they live, and what do they live on? Everybody knows that they have no property; they do nothing, and yet they are reckless in their expenditures, and rail at work and jeer at economy. What source do they derive their money from? What vile business are they engaged in?

However, M. Wilkie did not devote much time to solving this question. "My relatives must wish me to starve," he said to himself. "Not I--I'm not that sort of a person, as I'll soon let them know." And thereupon he wrote to M. Patterson. By return of post that gentleman sent him a cheque for one thousand francs--a mere drop in the bucket. M. Wilkie felt indignant and so he wrote again. This time he was obliged to wait for a reply. Still at last it came. M. Patterson sent him two thousand francs, and an interminable epistle full of reproaches. The interesting young man threw the letter into the fire, and went out to hire a carriage by the month and a servant.

From that day forward, his life was spent in demanding money and waiting for it. He employed in quick succession every pretext that could soften the hearts of obdurate relatives, or find the way to the most closely guarded cash-box. He was ill--he had contracted a debt of honor--he had imprudently lent money to an unscrupulous friend--he was about to be arrested for debt. And in accordance with the favorable or unfavorable character of the replies his manner became humble or impertinent, so that his friends soon learned to judge very accurately of the condition of his purse by the way he wore his mustaches. He became wise with experience, however; and on adding all the sums he had received together, he decided that his family must be very rich to allow him so much money. And this thought made him anxious to fathom the mystery of his birth and his infancy. He finally persuaded himself that he was the son of a great English nobleman--a member of the House of Lords, who was twenty times a millionaire. And he more than half believed it when he told his creditors that his lordship, his father, would some day or other come to Paris and pay all his debts. Unfortunately it was not M. Wilkie's noble father that arrived, but a letter from M. Patterson, which was couched as follows:

"MY DEAR SIR, a considerable sum was placed in my hands to meet your unexpected requirements; and in compliance with your repeated appeals, I have remitted the entire amount to you. Not a penny remains in my possession--so that my instructions have been fulfilled. Spare yourself the trouble of making any fresh demands; they will meet with no reply. In future you will not receive a penny above your allowance, which in my opinion is already too large a one for a young man of your age."

This letter proved a terrible blow to Wilkie. What should he do? He felt that M. Patterson would not revoke his decision; and indeed he wrote him several imploring letters, in vain. Yet never had his need of money been so urgent. His creditors were becoming uneasy; bills actually rained in upon his concierge; his next quarterly allowance was not due for some time to come, and it was only through the pawnbroker that he could obtain money for his more pressing requirements. He had begun to consider himself ruined. He saw himself reduced to dismissing his carriage, to selling his third share of Pompier de Nanterre and losing the esteem of all his witty friends.

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