Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
his chamber there!And burn Monsieur my nephew in his bed, if
you will,” he added to himself, before he rang his little bell again,
and summoned his valet to his own bedroom.
The valet come and gone, Monsieur the Marquis walked to and fro
in his loose chamber-robe, to prepare himself gently for sleep, that
hot still night.
Rustling about the room, his softly-slippered feet making no noise
on the floor, he moved like a refined tiger:- looked like some
enchanted marquis of the impenitently wicked sort, in story, whose
periodical change into tiger form was either just going off, or just
He moved from end to end of his voluptuous bedroom, looking
again at the scraps of the day’s journey that came unbidden into his
mind; the slow toil up the hill at sunset, the setting sun, the
descent, the mill, the prison on the crag, the lit-tle village in the
hollow, the peasants at the fountain, and the mender of roads with
his blue cap pointing out the chain under the carriage. That
fountain suggested the Paris fountain, the little bundle lying on the
step, the women bending over it, and the tall man with his arms
up, crying, “Dead!” “I am cool now,” said Monsieur the Marquis,
“and may go to bed.” So, leaving only one light burning on the
large hearth, he let his thin gauze curtains fall around him, and
heard the night break its silence with a long sigh as he composed
himself to sleep.
The stone faces on the outer walls stared blindly at the black night
for three heavy hours; for three heavy hours, the horses in the
stables rattled at their racks, the dogs barked, and the owl made a
noise with very little resemblance in it to the noise conventionally
assigned to the owl by men-poets. But it is the obstinate custom of
such creatures hardly ever to say what is set down for them.
For three heavy hours, the stone faces of the chateau, lion and
human, stared blindly at the night. Dead darkness lay on all the
landscape, dead darkness added its own hush to the hushing dust
on all the roads. The burial-place had got to the pass that its little
heaps of poor grass were undistinguishable from one another; the
figure on the Cross might have come down, for anything that could
be seen of it. In the village, taxers and taxed were fast asleep.
Dreaming, perhaps, of banquets, as the starved usually do, and of
ease and rest, as the driven slave and the yoked ox may, its lean
inhabitants slept soundly, and were fed and freed.
The fountain in the village flowed unseen and unheard, and the
fountain at the chateau dropped unseen and unheard-both melting
away, like the minutes that were falling from the spring of Time-
through three dark hours. Then, the grey water of both began to be