Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/259

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


Adrian, and I laughed at those historians who pretend that glasses are a modern invention.

I saw pass along the Boulevards two young men, dressed in the very height of fashion, mounted on fine horses, and trotting at a rate which made everyone turn to look at them. A middle-aged man, who was leaning on his cane, watching them, cried as they passed him,—in the tone which an uncle or a father would have used—"Very pretty indeed,—but the debts!" They both laughed, and so did I. I knew them, and the reproof was not undeserved, as regards one of them at least.

Another time I saw in a fine carriage,—and there were not many such at Paris at that time,—a face that I recognized by its ineptitude. He was a virtuoso whom I remembered as making his debut at a concert, and with the greatest possible success, when he was a beardless boy. I had not forgotten that he said to me, as we came out, "Did I not play like an angel? I must confess that he must have had some talent in his fingers, for this young fool