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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/21

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

 


 

PART I.

 

THE SEA AND THE NIGHT.

 
 

I.

TWO PRELIMINARY CHAPTERS.

URSUS.


I.

URSUS and Homo were fast friends. Ursus was a man, Homo a wolf. Their dispositions corresponded. It was the man who had christened the wolf: probably he had also chosen his own name. Having found "Ursus" fit for himself, he had found "Homo" fit for the beast. Man and wolf turned their partnership to account at fairs, at village fêtes, at the corners of streets where passers-by throng, and out of the desire which people seem to feel to listen to idle nonsense, and to buy quack medicine. The wolf, gentle and courteously subordinate, diverted the crowd. It is a pleasant thing to behold the tameness of animals. Our greatest delight is to see all the varieties capable of domestication parade before us. It is this feeling that brings so many people out to view a royal cortége.

VOL. XIX.—1