GEORGE BURNHAM IVES
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
IN TWO VOLUMES
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY
By Little, Brown, and Company.
All rights reserved.
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.
||A Day of Spleen
||Memoirs of a Clerk.—In the Reception-Room
||A Public Man
||The Jenkins Pearls
||Memoirs of a Clerk.—Last Sheets
||The First Night of "Révolte"
|The Duc, the Duchesse, and the Doctor
|"'Don't be afraid. I have no evil designs on you'"
|The First Night of "Revolté"
From drawings by Lucius Rossi.
A DAY OF SPLEEN.
Five o'clock in the afternoon. Rain ever since the morning, a gray sky, so low that one can touch it with one's umbrella, dirty weather, puddles, mud, nothing but mud, in thick pools, in gleaming streaks along the edge of the sidewalks, driven back in vain by automatic sweepers, sweepers with handkerchiefs tied over their heads, and carted away on enormous tumbrils which carry it slowly and in triumph through the streets toward Montreuil; removed and ever reappearing, oozing between the pavements, splashing carriage panels, horses' breasts, the clothing of the passers-by, soiling windows, thresholds, shop-fronts, until one would think that all Paris was about to plunge in and disappear beneath that depressing expanse of miry earth in which all things are jumbled together and lose their identity. And it is a pitiable thing to see how that filth invades the spotless precincts of new houses, the copings of the quays, the colonnades of stone balconies. There is some one, however, whom this spectacle rejoices, a poor, ill, disheartened creature, who, stretched out at full length on the embroidered silk covering of a divan, her head resting on her clenched fists, gazes gleefully out through the streaming window-panes and gloats over all these ugly details:
"You see, my Fairy, this is just the kind of weather I wanted to-day. See them splash along. Aren't they hideous, aren't they filthy? What mud! It's everywhere, in the streets, on the quays, even in the Seine, even in the sky. Ah! mud is a fine thing when you're downhearted. I would like to dabble in it, to mould a statue with it, a statue one hundred feet high, and call it, 'My Ennui.'"
"But why do you suffer from ennui, my darling?" mildly inquires the ex-ballet-dancer, good-natured and rosy, from her armchair, in which she sits very erect for fear of damage to her hair, which is even more carefully arranged than usual. "Haven't you all that any one can need to be