The most ardent of them in these later days is a certain Zakurdalo-Skubrinikov, a retired guardsman, a full-bearded man of thirty-eight, of exceptionally vigorous physique. The French habitues of Madame Lavretsky's salon call him "le gros taureau de l'Ukraine;" Varvara Pavlovna never invites him to her fashionable evening reunions, but he is in the fullest enjoyment of her favours.
As we go swiftly on we realize the appropriateness of the epithet ever applied to the Rhone. Truly in Michelet's phrase, 'C'est un taureau furieux descendu des Alpes, et qui court a la mer. If we are in haste to reach our destination in the heart of the Cevennes, the Rhone seems still more in haste to reach the sea.
Her extremities, which are strongly depressed in the upperworks, and the excessive inclination of her sides, give the boat as a whole a certain resemblance to the rams of our navy, such as the Taureau and Tigre. A transverse section of the Poti approaches an ellipse in shape. Her water lines are exceedingly fine, and, in point of elegance, in no wise cede to those of the most renowned yachts.
He laughed when Herter's mountain men began to sing "Le taureau d'Uri" and "La vache d'Unterwald," to remind the proud Burgundian of his defeats at Granson and Morat. Then came the crash of armour against armour, blade against blade, and the day ended for Nancy according to René's prayers.
Toward the last began the ether inhalations, the chloroform, hasheesh, the absinthe, cocaine, and the "odour symphonies" Huysmans's des Esseintes, and his symphonic perfume sprays were not altogether the result of invention. On his yacht Bel Ami Guy never ceased his daily travail. It was Taine who called him un taureau triste.
A beaming-machine for cotton warps, red, white and yellow, stands solitary in its section, and next to it is a model of a cirque de taureau, composed of nineteen thousand pieces of tin laboriously put together without solder, as if that were a merit, and stated to be the work of two years.
He translated Voltaire's Taureau Blanc a story which used to 'convulse him with laughter. A reference to it will show that Bentham by this time took the Voltairean view of the Old Testament. Bentham, however, was still on the side of the Tories.
The most ardent of them in recent times has been a certain Zakurdalo-Skubyrnikof, a retired officer of the guard, a man of about thirty-eight years of age, wearing long mustaches, and possessing a singularly vigorous frame. The Frenchmen who frequent Madame Lavretsky's drawing-room call him le gros taureau de l'Ukraine.
"L'histoire se repete." With the exception of these two excursions, and one to Poestum; our travellers passed their mornings sight-seeing in Naples, and chiefly at the Studio, whose grand attraction is the thrilling group of the Taureau Farnese.
Here we get another Maupassant, not the taureau triste of Taine, but a delightful, sweet-tempered, unselfish, and altogether lovable fellow. What was the cause of his downfall? Dissipation? Mental overwork which is the same thing? Disease? Maynial, Lumbroso, and Thomas offer us such a variety of documents that there can be no doubt as to the determining element.