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The doors of the Taverne Gabrielle, in the Rue des Franc Bourgeois in the Marais, stood open to all passers-by, and also to the cool wind blowing from the south-east. This evening, perhaps because it was summer-time, and perhaps, also, because it was supper-time for all in Paris from his Splendid Majesty down to the lowest who had any supper to eat, the appropriately named tavern--since directly opposite to it was the hôtel which Henri IV. had built for the fair Gabrielle d'Estrées--was not so full as it would be later on. Indeed, it was by no means full, and the landlord, with his family, was occupying the time during which he scarcely ever had a demand for a pint of wine, or even a pigeolet, to have his own supper. There were, however, some customers present--since when was there ever a time that the doors of a cabaret which is also an eating-house, and that one of good fame in a populous neighbourhood, did not have some customers beneath its roof at every hour of the day from the moment the doors opened until they closed? And the Taverne Gabrielle was no exception to this almost indisputable fact. In one corner of the great, square room there sat an ancient bourgeois with his cronies sipping a flask of Arbois; in another a young man in the uniform of the Régiment de Perche was discussing a savoury ragout with a demoiselle who was masked; close by the open door, with the tables drawn out in front of it, though not too near to it to prevent free ingress and egress, were two men who, in an earlier period than that of Le Dieudonné, might have been termed marauds, swashbucklers, bretteurs, or heaven knows what. Now--even in the days which seemed to those who lived in them to be degenerate ones with all the flame and excitement of life departed, and which seem to those who have lived after them to have been so full of a strong, masterfully pulsating, full-blooded existence, perfumed with all that goes to make life one long romance--these men might have appeared to be anything except sober citizens or honest bourgeois carrying on steady, reputable callings. For, on their faces, in their garb, even in their wicked-looking side-weapons which now hung peacefully on the wall close by where they sat, there was an indescribable something which proclaimed that they were not men bringing up families decently and honestly. Not men content with small gains obtained by honest labour, by taking down their shutters at dawn and putting them up again long after nightfall; not men who walked side by side with their wives to Saint Eustache or Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois on Sabbath mornings while leading their children by the hand. Men, indeed, to judge by their appearance, their words and exclamations--which would not have graced the salons of St. Germain or Versailles!--and also by their looks and gestures, more fitted, more suitable to, and better acquainted with a huge fortress-prison close at hand, termed the Bastille, than any place of worship.


Generi Storia e Biografie » Storia: opere generali » Storia: specifici argomenti , Romanzi e Letterature » Romanzi contemporanei , Salute Benessere Self Help » Mente, corpo, spirito

Editore Library Of Alexandria

Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM

Pubblicato 08/03/2015

Lingua Inglese

EAN-13 9781465609274

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