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with anything that was real, or with lives passed in travelling by
any straight road to any true earthly end, were no less abundant.
Doctors who made great fortunes out of dainty remedies for
imaginary disorders that never existed, smiled upon their courtly
patients in the ante-chambers of Monseigneur. Projectors who had
discovered every kind of remedy for the little evils with which the
State was touched, except the remedy of setting to work in earnest
to root out a single sin, poured their distracting babble into any
ears they could lay hold of, at the reception of Monseigneur.
Unbelieving Philosophers who were remodelling the world with
words, and making card-towers of Babel to scale the skies with,
talked with Unbelieving Chemists who had an eye on the
transmutation of metals, at this wonderful gathering accumulated
by Monseigneur. Exquisite gentlemen of the finest breeding, which
was at that remarkable time-and has been since-to be known by
its fruits of indifference to every natural subject of human interest,
were in the most exemplary state of exhaustion, at the hotel of
Monseigneur. Such homes had these various notabilities left
behind them in the fine world of Paris, that the spies among the
assembled devotees of Monseigneurforming a goodly half of the
polite company-would have found it hard to discover among the
angels of that sphere one solitary wife, who, in her manners and
appearance, owned to being a Mother. Indeed, except for the mere
act of bringing a troublesome creature into this world-which does
not go far towards the realisation of the name of mother-there was
no such thing known to the fashion. Peasant women kept the
unfashionable babies close, and brought them up, and charming
grandmammas of sixty dressed and supped as at twenty.

The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in
attendance upon Monseigneur. In the outermost room were half a
dozen exceptional people who had had, for a few years, some
vague misgiving in them that things in general were going rather
wrong. As a promising way of setting them right, half of the half-
dozen had become members of a fantastic sect of Convulsionists,
and were even then considering within themselves whether they
should foam, rage, roar, and turn cataleptic on the spot-thereby
setting up a highly intelligible finger-post to the Future, for
Monseigneur’s guidance. Besides these Dervishes, were other three
who had rushed into another sect, which mended matters with a
jargon about “the Centre of Truth:” holding that Man had got out
of the Centre of Truthwhich did not need much demonstration-but
had not got out of the Circumference, and that he was to be kept
from flying out of the Circumference, and was even to be shoved
back into the Centre, by fasting and seeing of spirits. Among these,
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