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The novel was an awkward one to dramatize, there being very few elements in it capable of yielding situations for the stage. So the result was poor. A better thing was made in 1859 by de Keraniou out of the Sceaux Ball. On it he based an agreeable piece entitled Noblesse Oblige, with a delicately interpreted love scene in it which met with appreciative audiences at the Odeon.

He says, indeed, that "the whole French nation is to be given up to the hands of an irritated and revengeful noblesse"; and, judging of others by himself and his brethren, he says, "Whoever succeeds in a civil war will be cruel.

A peerage was an hereditary possession that, like the family land, concerned only the eldest sons of the house; it radiated no luster of noblesse oblige. The rest of the world were in law and practice common and all America was common.

Jealousy had been the cause of it all, of course; but, although I have always held, and will continue to believe, that the presence of that "green-eyed monster," as the passion is euphuistically termed, is inseparable from all cases of real, thorough, heart-felt, engrossing love still, jealousy is no excuse for ill-manners. "Noblesse oblige" always.

The monster Equality was swallowing down the last fragments of social distinction in the Restoration. Having made up his mind on this head, he immediately proceeded to try to win back his place with such dangerous, if blunted weapons, as the age left to the noblesse. It is an expensive matter to gain the attention of Paris. To this end, Victurnien adopted some of the ways then in vogue.

Truly it was a night when, as the English say, one would not turn out one's enemy's dog, and the road to Paris was far from safe; but the ranger's house was a wretched place for elderly men more used to comfort than even the noblesse, whose castles are often bare enough, and who are crowded and ill accommodated when in waiting at the palaces.

It is good for the little lads to play with their friends; they jostle, push, and wrestle, and simulate little, happy struggles with one another in harmless conflict. The young muscles are toughening. It is good. Boyish chivalry develops, enlarges, expands. The young learn quickly, intuitively, spontaneously. They perceive the obligations of noblesse oblige.

They were traitors to the people of course, all of them, men, women, and children, who happened to be descendants of the great men who since the Crusades had made the glory of France: her old NOBLESSE. Their ancestors had oppressed the people, had crushed them under the scarlet heels of their dainty buckled shoes, and now the people had become the rulers of France and crushed their former masters not beneath their heel, for they went shoeless mostly in these days but a more effectual weight, the knife of the guillotine.

"Beatrice," she said. "Your meaning is at last plain to me. Noblesse oblige. Ah, yes, that old saying comes true all the world over. You have not the advantage of good birth. I thought for a long time I thought that you were the exception that proved the rule. You were the lady made by nature's own hand. Your father could be a tradesman a draper and yet have a lady for his daughter.

In olden times the Noblesse had held their land by feudal tenure, and were liable to be ejected as soon as they did not fulfil their obligations to the State.

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