"When is a door not a door?" was a conundrum of my childhood, and I think the answer was: "When it's ajar." But nowadays there is a better réplique: A door is not a door when it's a dug-out. It is then a hole, kept from falling in upon itself by a log of wood or anything handy. This time, the "anything handy" seemed to be part of an old wheelbarrow, and on top were some sandbags.
It is by no means inconsistent with the character of the man; never, in any instance, has he been known to value the lives of men, where either ambition or revenge instigated him. Tant mieux, replique Napoleon, cela me donne des soldats!!"
He laughed: "Vous avez toujours la replique," and stood there watching us with those peculiar eyes of his. I never received so many compliments on piano-playing as I did to-night. Black velvet, trimmed with braid, sable hat, sable tippet and muff. Brown cloth, trimmed with bands of sealskin, coat, hat, muff to match. Purple plush, trimmed with bands of pheasant feathers, coat, hat to match.
He stopped again, his white face and drawn nostrils giving him so much the look of an extremely distinguished actor in a fine part that, in spite of the vehemence of his emotion, his silence might have been the deliberate pause for a replique.
"Men, other men, are like actors to me. When I am on the stage, when I am playing Manon, do you think I see who is playing Des Grieux? Not at all. He is there, he gives me my replique, he excites my nerves, I say a thousand things under my breath, when I am in his arms I adore him, but when the curtain goes down, I go off the stage and don't even say good night to him."
"Allow us the pleasure of hearing you then. Madame Carré will give you the réplique," said Peter Sherringham. "Certainly, my child; I can say it without the book," Madame Carré responded. "Put yourself there move that chair a little away."
"But he, he doesn't know that." "Of course not; tenors never do. Well, that is just the way I have lived, that is just what men have meant to me. They give the replique to my moods, to my needs, and when I have no longer need of them, I go off tranquilly. That is all there is to it. I take from them what I want. Of course they will be around me, but they will be nothing to me.
This resolution produced an extended debate in the House, in the course of which Marshall defended the President in a speech of great force and eloquence. Judge Story has said of this speech, that "it was rêponse sans réplique an answer so irresistible that it admitted of no reply. It silenced opposition, and settled then and forever the points of national law upon which the controversy hinged."