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That Mighty City

That Mighty City

1325 руб.
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Excerpt from That Mighty City: A Study in Contemporary Manners

Our colleague Ashmore Wingate, in La Famille Leclercq, has tried to reconstitute certain contemporary events. Historical romance is always difficult of execution, especially when it applies to facts which have been witnessed by many of the readers and concerning which their opinion is clearly made up.

He has tried to paint the existence of a family of French financiers: I do not think he has found a model anywhere. It is a work which shows the power of his imagination. Although he concentrated into the bounds of the year 1859 a certain number of events which do not belong to it, yet concentration is a rhetorical method which leads to a greater effect.

His personages pass through a quantity of events, of institutions, so numerous, that really one questions whether the period through which we lived was so varied: and indeed it was infinitely so, and he might even yet have multiplied facts, if it had not been necessary to limit the pages of his book. He meritoriously stirred up a number of questions, and awoke a crowd of persons more or less known and extraordinary, including Arthur Rimbaud.

One day (1868?) he arrived in Paris from Charleville, by train, but without a ticket, so he was arrested at once. He applied to Verlaine, Cros and other poets who delivered him, by paying the fare. They took him to a dinner called "le Diner des Vilains Bonhommes" which was attended by young poets and writers: I was present on that occasion. Arthur Rimbaud recited several of his pieces, among others, "Une Tempete," on hearing which my neighbour at the table said, "the most admirable part of all this is that he never even saw the sea."

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