The women and the secret

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Illustration by Tony Johannot
There’s nothing like a secret weighs;
Too heavy ’tis for women tender;
And, for this matter, in my days,
I’ve seen some men of female gender.

To prove his wife, a husband cried,
(The night he knew the truth would hide,)
‘O Heavens! What’s this? O dear — I beg
I’m torn — O! O! I’ve laid an egg!’ …Read more »

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His vague glance hovered for a long time over the sea…

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His vague glance hovered for a long time over the sea
Aramis bit his lips. “Nothing! nothing! Your pardon, I meant to say…”
“What?”
“That if we were inclined – if we took a fancy to make an excursion by
sea, we could not.”
“Very good! and why should that vex you? A fine pleasure, ma foi! For my part, I don’t regret it at all. What I regret is certainly not the more or less amusement we can find at Belle-Isle; what I regret, Aramis, is Pierrefonds; is Bracieux; is le Valon; is my beautiful France! Here weare not in France, my dear friend; we are – I know not where. Oh! I tell you …Read more »

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The Shepherd And The Sea

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The shepherd and the sea
A shepherd, neighbour to the sea,
Lived with his flock contentedly.
His fortune, though but small,
Was safe within his call.
At last some stranded kegs of gold
Him tempted, and his flock he sold,
Turn’d merchant, and the ocean’s waves …Read more »

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My friend, the only friend I have, speak…

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My friend, speak...
“What sort of a person do you take me for?”
“What do you mean?”
“If you know anything, why conceal it from me? If you do not know anything, why did you write so warningly?”
“True, true, I was very wrong, and I regret having done so, Raoul. It seems nothing to write to a friend and say ‘Come;’ but to have this friend face to face, to feel him tremble, and breathlessly and anxiously wait to hear what one hardly dare tell him, is very different.”
“Dare! I have courage enough, if …Read more »

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Aramis’ grave and thoughtful face appeared…

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Aramis appeared
Begun in this manner, the supper soon became a fete; no one tried to be witty, for no one failed in being so. La Fontaine forgot his Gorgny wine and allowed Vatel to reconcile him to the wines of the Rhone and those from the shores of Spain. The Abbe Fouquet became so kind and good-natured that Gourville said to him, “Take care, Monsieur l’Abbe ; if you are so tender, you will be eaten.”
The hours passed away so joyously, that …Read more »

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The Bear And The Two Companions

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The Bear And The Two Companions

Two fellows, needing funds, and bold,
A bearskin to a furrier sold,
Of which the bear was living still,
But which they presently would kill–
At least they said they would.
And, if their word was good,
It was a king of bears–an Ursa Major–
The biggest bear beneath the sun.
Its skin, the chaps would wager,
Was cheap at double cost;
‘Twould make one laugh at frost–
And make two robes as well as one.
Old Dindenaut, in sheep who dealt,
Less prized his sheep, than they their pelt–
(In their account ’twas theirs,
But in his own, the bears.)
By bargain struck upon the skin, …Read more »

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I slid down into the abyss

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Sliding down the well
They had hardly closed the gate before I sprang from the window and ran to the well. Then, just as my governor had leaned over, so leaned I. Something white and luminous glistened in the green and quivering ripples of the water. The brilliant disk fascinated and allured me; my eyes became fixed, and I could hardly breathe. The well seemed to draw me in with its large mouth and icy breath; and I thought I read, at the bottom of the water, characters of fire traced upon the letter the queen had touched. Then, scarcely knowing what I was about, and urged on by one of those instinctive impulses which drive men upon their destruction, I lowered the cord …Read more »

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