Автор: O'Rell Max
Издательство: Public Domain
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Жанр произведения: Зарубежная классика
Год издания: 0
isbn: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34684
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the opera "Les Huguenots" was played at the Grand Opera. The singer who took the part of Marcel was out of sorts, and sang flat. An old gentleman, seated in an orchestra stall, was observed to be restless and uncomfortable during the performance. At the end of the last act, Marcel passes before the church, just at the moment when the Duke of Nevers and his partisans come out of it.

      "Qui vive?" cries the Duke.

      "Huguenot," answers Marcel, and he falls, shot dead by the followers of the Duke.

      This part of the opera had no sooner been acted, than the old gentleman, who now looked radiant, rose from his seat, put on his hat, and, shaking his fist at the dead hero, to the great amusement of the public, cried at the top of his voice:

      "You donkey, it serves you right, you have been singing out of tune the whole evening."

      And indignantly he left the theater.

      In a beautifully appointed English house, afternoon tea, served in costly china, had just been brought to the drawing-room, when the mistress of the house inadvertently overturned the tea-table. Without the slightest show of vexation, without oh! or ah! Lady R – calmly touched the bell, and, on the appearance of the domestic, merely said:

      "Take this away, and bring more tea."

      "My dear," whispered Lady P – to a friend, "she won't match that china for $500."

      Another illustration of the latter:

      A fearful railway accident has taken place. The first car, with its human contents, is reduced to atoms.

      An Englishman, who was in one of the first-class cars at the rear, examines the débris.

      "Oh!" he says to an official, pointing to a piece of flesh wrapped up in a piece of tweed cloth. "Pick that up, that's the piece of my butler that has got the keys of my trunks."

      CHAPTER VIII.

      ENGLISH PHARISEES AND FRENCH CROCODILES

      The French and the English have this very characteristic feature in common: they can stand any amount of incense; you may burn all the perfumes of Arabia under their noses, without incommoding them in the slightest degree.

      With this difference, however, in the extremes.

      The French boaster is noisy and talkative. With his mustache twirled defiantly upward, his hat on one side, he will shout at you, at the top of his voice that,1 "La France, Monsieur, sera toujours la Fr-r-rance, les Français seront toujours les Fr-r-rançais." As you listen to him, you are almost tempted to believe, with Thackeray, "that the poor fellow has a lurking doubt in his own mind that he is not the wonder he professes to be."

      But allow me to say that the British specimen is far more provoking. He is so sure that all his geese are swans; so thoroughly persuaded of his superiority over the rest of the human race; it is, in his eyes, such an incontested and incontestable fact, that he does not think it worth his while to raise his voice in asserting it, and that is what makes him so awfully irritating, "don't you know?" He has not a doubt that the whole world was made for him; not only this one, but the next. In the meantime – for he is in no hurry to put on the angel plumage that awaits him – he congratulates himself on his position here below. Everything is done to add to his comfort and happiness: the Italians give him concerts, the French dig the Suez Canal for him, the Germans sweep out his offices and do his errands in the City of London for $200 a year, the Greeks grow the principal ingredient in his plum pudding. The Americans supply his aristocracy with rich heiresses, so that they may get their coats of arms out of pawn. His face beams with gratitude and complacency, as he quietly rubs his hands together, and calmly thanks Heaven that he is not as other men are. And it is true enough; he is not.

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1

If my memory serves me, it was one of our wittiest vaudevillists who once laid a wager that he would get an encore, at one of our popular theaters on the Boulevard, for the following patriotic quatrain:

"La lâcheté ne vaut pas la vaillance,Mille revers ne font pas un succès;La France, amis, sera toujours la France,Les Français seront toujours les Français."

He won the bet.

The London badauds are at present nightly applauding, at the Empire Theater, a patriotic song which begins by the following words:

"What though the powers the world doth holdWere all against us met,We have the might they felt of old,And England's England yet."

Is it not strange that music-hall jingoism and chauvinisme should not only be expressed in the same manner, but by the very same words?


<p>1</p>

If my memory serves me, it was one of our wittiest vaudevillists who once laid a wager that he would get an encore, at one of our popular theaters on the Boulevard, for the following patriotic quatrain:

"La lâcheté ne vaut pas la vaillance,Mille revers ne font pas un succès;La France, amis, sera toujours la France,Les Français seront toujours les Français."

He won the bet.

The London badauds are at present nightly applauding, at the Empire Theater, a patriotic song which begins by the following words:

"What though the powers the world doth holdWere all against us met,We have the might they felt of old,And England's England yet."

Is it not strange that music-hall jingoism and chauvinisme should not only be expressed in the same manner, but by the very same words?