But the next day, when they read in the "Figaro" an article in which their dinner, their elegance, their taste, their wit, and their social connections were pompously celebrated, they forgot everything, and talked of nothing but their great success. And their soul set sail for more illustrious conquests and more sumptuous snobberies.
"What a charming woman is the Countess Fergus!" said Madame, at lunch, as they were finishing the leavings of the dinner.
"And what a soul!" said Monsieur, in confirmation.
"And Kimberly, would you believe it? There's an astonishing talker for you! And so exquisite in his manners!"
"It is a mistake to make sport of him. After all, his vice concerns no one but himself; it is none of our business."
And she added, indulgently:
"Ah! if it were necessary to pick everybody to pieces!"
All day long, in the linen-room, I have amused myself in calling up the queer things that happened in that house,—the passion for notoriety with which, from that time, Madame was so filled that she would prostitute herself to all the dirty journalists who would promise her an article on her husband's books or a word about her costumes and her