Tired of this, the little Auvergnat said one day, 'Well, well, I will revenge myself on you, you lubberly baboon! So one morning he set off with his beast as usual; to decoy him he bought a sheep's heart.
Most certainly the politeness of the French is no surface quality, it is a polish welling up from a naturally affectionate heart, a naturally quick apprehension of the moods and feelings of others; it is the outcome of a culture so old that, underneath all differences, it binds together all those types and strains of blood the Savoyard, and the Southerner, the Latin of the Centre, the man from the North, the Breton, the Gascon, the Basque, the Auvergnat, even to some extent the Norman, and the Parisian in a sort of warm and bone-deep kinship.
Deceived at first by appearances, this personage, so picturesque in the midst of Parisian civilization, informed him that the house in which the girl with the golden eyes dwelt belonged to Don Hijos, Marquis de San-Real, grandee of Spain. Naturally, it was not with the Marquis that the Auvergnat was concerned. "My parcel," he said, "is for the marquise." "She is away," replied the postman.
His body was coiled up on this inclined plane and his feet touched the ground. Gavroche, with his experience of the things of this world, recognized a drunken man. He was some corner errand-man who had drunk too much and was sleeping too much. "There now," thought Gavroche, "that's what the summer nights are good for. We'll take the cart for the Republic, and leave the Auvergnat for the Monarchy."
Because I lack politeness, and am still an Auvergnat, heavy and awkward as nature made me, men of the world disdain me, judging me by my exterior, which they see and dislike. More wary, more sly, more experienced, I should be, at least, sustained by friendship, but I have given no thought to it. What good is it? I had no need of it, my force was sufficient.
If you look up my thesis, you will see that I dedicated it to him. "During the last year of my residence as house surgeon I earned enough to repay all I owed to this worthy Auvergnat by buying him a barrel and a horse.
"Yes," said the Auvergnat, angrily, "I am sure that some one has opened my trunk and stolen from it the three louis that I had hidden in a little box; and he who has done this thing must be one of the two companions who sleep here, if it were not the servant Maria.
Business had taken such proportions that it was necessary to promote the boy-of-all-work to the position of cashier, and to find some stout Auvergnat for the rougher service of the hotel Graslin. Thus, four years after her marriage, this very rich woman could not dispose of a single penny by her own will. The avarice of her husband succeeded the avarice of her parents.
A work of art in the hands of a Norman, an Auvergnat, or a Jew, is like a princess guarded by magicians in a fairy tale." "And how can you tell that this is by Wat what do you call him?" "Watteau, cousin. One of the greatest eighteenth century painters in France. Look! do you not see that it is his work?" "The movement! the life in it! the coloring!
Seeing the prodigious activity of the great city on whose pavements fortunes sprang up in a day like mushrooms, the Auvergnat felt his moral strength equal to the occasion, and leaving his master, he became clerk to a merchant in the Rue du Sentier. There, for four years, he studied commerce, and gained much experience.