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instruments of correction, these gentle aids to the power and
honour of families, these slight favours that might so incommode
you, are only to be obtained now by interest and importunity. They
are sought by so many, and they are granted (comparatively) to so
few! It used not to be so, but France in all such things is changed
for the worse.

Our not remote ancestors held the right of life and death over the
surrounding vulgar. From this room, many such dogs have been
taken out to be hanged; in the next room (my bedroom), one
fellow, to our knowledge, was poniarded on the spot for professing
some insolent delicacy respecting his daughter-his daughter? We
have lost many privileges; a new philosophy has become the mode;
and the assertion of our station, in these days, might (I do not go so
far as to say would, but might) cause us real inconvenience. All
very bad, very bad!” The Marquis took a gentle little pinch of
snuff, and shook his head; as elegantly despondent as he could
becomingly be of a country still containing himself, that great
means of regeneration.

“We have so asserted our station, both in the old time and in the
modern time also,” said the nephew, gloomily, “that I believe our
name to be more detested than any name in France.”

“Let us hope so,” said the uncle. “Detestation of the high is the
involuntary homage of the low.” “There is not,” pursued the
nephew, in his former tone, “a face I can look at, in all this country
round about us, which looks at me with any deference on it but the
dark deference of fear and slavery.” “A compliment,” said the
Marquis, “to the grandeur of the family, merited by the manner in
which the family has sustained its grandeur. Hah!” And he took
another gentle little pinch of snuff, and lightly crossed his legs.
But, when his nephew, leaning an elbow on the table, covered his
eyes thoughtfully and dejectedly with his hand, the fine mask
looked at him sideways with a stronger concentration of keenness,
closeness, and dislike, than was comportable with its wearer’s
assumption of indifference.

“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of
fear and slavery, my friend,” observed the Marquis, “will keep the
dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof,” looking up to it,
“shuts out the sky.” That might not be so long as the Marquis
supposed. If a picture of the chateau as it was to be a very few
years hence, and of fifty like it as they too were to be a very few
years hence, could have been shown to him that night, he might
have been at a loss to claim his own from the ghastly, fire-charred,
plunder-wrecked ruins. As for the roof he vaunted, he might have
found that shutting out the sky in a new way-to wit, for ever,
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