She shut the door and went towards him, and as she did so she thought: "If I had seen Alick Craven sitting there reading!" "I was having a look at this." He held up the book. It was Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal." "Not the book for you!" she said. "Though your French is so good." "No." He laid it down, and she noticed the tangle of veins on his hand.

Since 1845 the draughtsman Constantin Guys, Baudelaire's friend, gave evidence, in his most animated water-colour drawings, of a curious vision of nervous elegance and of expressive skill quite in accord with the ideas of the day. Impressionism, and also the revelation of the Japanese colour prints, gave an incredible vigour to these intuitive glimpses.

Baudelaire's translation of Poe, and Hugo's translation of Shakespeare, are marvellous in this respect; a pun or joke that is untranslatable is explained in a note. But that is the way young ladies translate word for word! No; 'tis just what they don't do; they think they are translating word for word, but they aren't.

According to him, until Baudelaire's advent in literature, writers had limited themselves to exploring the surfaces of the soul or to penetrating into the accessible and illuminated caverns, restoring here and there the layers of capital sins, studying their veins, their growths, and noting, like Balzac for example, the layers of strata in the soul possessed by the monomania of a passion, by ambition, by avarice, by paternal stupidity, or by senile love.

After Baudelaire's works, the number of French books given place in his shelves was strictly limited. He was completely indifferent to those works which it is fashionable to praise.

Baudelaire's translation of Poe, and Hugo's translation of Shakespeare, are marvellous in this respect; a pun or joke that is untranslatable is explained in a note. But that is the way young ladies translate word for word! No; 'tis just what they don't do; they think they are translating word for word, but they aren't.

I think of these facts and think of Baudelaire's prose poem, that poem in which he tells how a dog will run away howling if you hold to him a bottle of choice scent, but if you offer him some putrid morsel picked out of some gutter hole, he will sniff round it joyfully, and will seek to lick your hand for gratitude. Baudelaire compared that dog to the public. Baudelaire was wrong: that dog was a .

George Borrow was a rover, a difficult man to keep as a friend, happy only when thinking of the gipsies and quarrelling when with them. Would Baudelaire's magic verse and prose sound its faint, acrid, sinister music if the French poet had led a sensible life? Cruel question of the dilettante for whom the world, all its splendor, all its art, is but a spectacle.

He seemingly improvised his aquarelles; his colour, sober, delicate, was broadly washed in; his line, graceful and modulated, does not suggest the swiftness of his execution. He could be rank and vulgar, and he was gentle as a refined child that sees the spectacle of life for the first time. The bitterness of Baudelaire's flowers of evil he escaped until he was in senile decadence.

Another, with its savage eye it is a profile and big beaver head-covering, recalls Walt Whitman's "I wear my hat as I please, indoors or out." A giant egoist, and as human, all too human, a fellow as Spain ever begot, Goya is only hinted at in Baudelaire's searching quatrain beginning: "Goya, cauchemar plein de choses inconnues."