THE WOOD FIRE AND ITS FRIENDS
they became a regular article of trade, these marmots, and there is still a street in Paris called ‘The Marmouset.’ So popular were they that Charles VI is said to have had a ministry composed of five of these little rascals. So, when you first showed me your clay sketch of your African, I said—‘Ah! here is the spirit of Bethencourt! This Monsieur Herbert is Norman, not English; he has brought the savage of old to light, the same savage that Bethencourt saw—the savage that lived and fought and died before our cultivated moderns vulgarized him.’ That was a glorious thing to do, messieurs, if you will think about it”—and he looked around the circle, his eyes sparkling, his small body alive with enthusiasm.
Herbert extended his palms in protest, muttering something about parts of the statue not satisfying him and its being pretty bad in spots, if Lemois did but know it, thanking him at the same time for comparing him to so great a man as Bethencourt; but his undaunted admirer kept on without a pause, his voice quivering with pride: “The primitive man demanding of civilization his right to live! Ah! that is a new motive in art, my friends!”
“Hear him go on!” cried Louis, settling