Sunday, November 9, 2014


Les plaisirs nous suivront désormais ;
Nous allons voir nos désirs satisfaits.
Vivons sans alarmes,
Vivons tous en paix.
Revenez, reprenez tous vos charmes,
Jeux innocents, revenez pour jamais.
Il est temps que l'aurore vermeille
Cède au soleil, qui marche sur ses pas ;
Tout brille ici-bas.
Il est temps que chacun se réveille ;
L'amour ne dort pas,
Tout sent ses appas.
L'aimable Zéphire
Pour Flore soupire ;
Dans un si beau jour,
Tout parle d'amour.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Emile Zola

The sad, solemn atmosphere, which he had breathed from childhood, gave Silvere a strong heart, in which gathered every form of enthusiasm. He early became a serious, thoughtful little man, seeking instruction with a kind of stubbornness. He only learnt a little spelling and arithmetic at the school of the Christian Brothers, which he was compelled to leave when he was but twelve years old, on account of his apprenticeship. He never acquired the first rudiments of knowledge. However, he read all the odd volumes which fell into his hands, and thus provided himself with strange equipment; he had some notions of a multitude of subjects, ill-digested notions, which he could never classify distinctly in his head. When he was quite young, he had been in the habit of playing in the workshop of a master wheelwright, a worthy man named Vian, who lived at the entrance of the blind-alley in front of the Aire Saint-Mittre where he stored his timber. Silvere used to jump up on the wheels of the tilted carts undergoing repair, and amuse himself by dragging about the heavy tools which his tiny hands could scarcely lift. One of his greatest pleasures, too, was to assist the workmen by holding some piece of wood for them, or bringing them the iron-work which they required. When he had grown older he naturally became apprenticed to Vian. The latter had taken a liking to the little fellow who was always kicking about his heels, and asked Adelaide to let him come, refusing to take anything for his board and lodging. Silvere eagerly accepted, already foreseeing the time when he would be able to make his poor aunt Dide some return for all she had spent upon him.

In a short time he became an excellent workman. He cherished, however, much higher ambitions. Having once seen, at a coachbuilder's at Plassans, a fine new carriage, shining with varnish, he vowed that he would one day build carriages himself. He remembered this carriage as a rare and unique work of art, an ideal towards which his aspirations should tend. The tilted carts at which he worked in Vian's shop, those carts which he had lovingly cherished, now seemed unworthy of his affections. He began to attend the local drawing-school, where he formed a connection with a youngster who had left college, and who lent him an old treatise on geometry. He plunged into this study without a guide, racking his brains for weeks together in order to grasp the simplest problem in the world. In this matter he gradually became one of those learned workmen who can hardly sign their name and yet talk about algebra as though it were an intimate friend.

Nothing unsettles the mind so much as this desultory kind of education, which reposes on no firm basis. Most frequently such scraps of knowledge convey an absolutely false idea of the highest truths, and render persons of limited intellect insufferably stupid. In Silvere's case, however, his scraps of stolen knowledge only augmented his liberal aspirations. He was conscious of horizons which at present remained closed to him. He formed for himself divine conceptions of things beyond his reach, and lived on, regarding in a deep, innocent, religious way the noble thoughts and grand conceptions towards which he was raising himself, but which he could not as yet comprehend. He was one of the simple-minded, one whose simplicity was divine, and who had remained on the threshold of the temple, kneeling before the tapers which from a distance he took for stars.