There may be something, after all, in the condition of Paris life which fosters the development of this peeky, rodential countenance. Perfumery, and what it implies? There are scent-shops galore in the fashionable boulevards, whereas I defy you to show me a single stationer. Maupassant knew them fairly well, and one thinks of that story of his: "Le parfum de Monsieur?" "La verveine...."
When M. Renan comes to detail he is as strangely insensible to what seem at first sight the simplest demands of probability. As it were by a sort of reaction to the minute realising of particulars which has been in vogue among some Roman Catholic writers, M. Renan realises too realises with no less force and vividness, and, according to his point of view, with no less affectionate and tender interest. He popularises the Gospels; but not for a religious set of readers nor, we must add, for readers of thought and sense, whether interested for or against Christianity, but for a public who study life in the subtle and highly wrought novels of modern times. He appeals from what is probable to those representations of human nature which aspire to pass beyond the conventional and commonplace, and especially he dwells on neglected and unnoticed examples of what is sweet and soft and winning. But it is hard to recognise the picture he has drawn in the materials out of which he has composed it. The world is tolerably familiar with them. If there is a characteristic, consciously or unconsciously acknowledged in the Gospel records, it is that of the gravity, the plain downright seriousness, the laborious earnestness, impressed from first to last on the story. When we turn from these to his pages it is difficult to exaggerate the astounding impression which his epithets and descriptions have on the mind. We are told that there is a broad distinction between the early Galilean days of hope in our Lord's ministry, and the later days of disappointment and conflict; and that if we look, we shall find in Galilee the "fin et joyeux moraliste," full of a "conversation pleine de gaieté et de charme," of "douce gaieté et aimables plaisanteries," with a "prédication suave et douce, toute pleine de la nature et du parfum des champs," creating out of his originality of mind his "innocents aphorismes," and the "genre d'élicieux" of parabolic teaching; "le charmant docteur qui pardonnait
J'ai vu sous le soleil tomber bien d'autres choses Que les feuilles des bois, et l'écume des eaux, Bien d'autres s'en aller que le parfum des roses Et le chant des oiseaux. That wind meant more snow. Involuntarily she laid down her book and listened to it. How like the sound of the wind was to wandering footsteps, slowly drawing near, creeping round the house.
She caught my eye and burst out laughing. Mrs. Mac had her hand clasped firmly over her mouth and on her face was an expression of horror and deathly nausea. Although I am a great lover of antelope steak, I will admit that when accompanied by parfum de chameau, especially when it is a very dead chameau, there are other things more attractive.
Avril, la grace, et le ris De Cypris, Le flair et la douce haleine; Avril, le parfum des dieux, Qui, des cieux, Sentent l'odeur de la plaine; C'est toy, courteis et gentil, Qui, d'exil Retire ces passageres, Ces arondelles qui vont, Et qui sont Du printemps les messageres. That is not by Ronsard, but by Remy Belleau, for Ronsard soon came to have a school.
The only reason it lasted so long is, that it brought in a revenue to the members of the board. To begin with, they filled the inn they kept under the title of "Lazaretto" by force, and then they sold the disinfectants. "Gentlemen," the sanitary officer would say, with his provencal accent "Nous allons faire le parfum."
Garde ton charme si puissant! Ton parfum de plante sauvage! Laisse les bijoux, O Passant, A celles que le temps ravage! Avec ta guitare a ton cou, Va, par la France et par l'Espagne! Suis ton chemin; je ne sais ou.... Par la plaine et par la montagne! Passe, comme la plume au vent! Comme le son de ta mandore! Comme un flot qui baise en revant, Les flancs d'une barque sonore!
Galbe, gonfle, goulu: parfum, peau, pervers, potele, pudeur: vertu, volupte. But he really must find that word. Curves curves...Those little valleys had the lines of a cup moulded round a woman's breast; they seemed the dinted imprints of some huge divine body that had rested on these hills. Cumbrous locutions, these; but through them he seemed to be getting nearer to what he wanted.
From out the bowl there was stealing a perfume which overmastered his will and led him captive to the lugubrious glade of the Druids.... Comme d'autres esprits voguent sur la musique, Le míen, ô mon amour! nage sur ton parfum. He was not dreaming, for he saw the woman at the bowl, saw her apartment. But the interior of his brain was as melancholy as a lighted cathedral.
Humant l'acre parfum des Ears opened to the shores' grands bois odorants, harmonious tunes, Rasant les îlots verts et les Following in their dreams and dunes d'opale, voices mellow, De méandre en méandre, au fil To wander and wander in the l'onde pâle, thread of the pale billow, Suivre le cours des flots Past islands hushed and errants. . . . opalescent dunes.