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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/306

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

you could hear the bells of St. Marylebone. Corleone Lodge was a Florentine palace of brick and stone, with a marble colonnade, built on pilework, at Windsor, near the head of the wooden bridge, and having one of the finest courts in England. In this last palace, near Windsor Castle, Josiana was within the queen's reach. Nevertheless, Josiana liked it.

Barkilphedro's influence over the queen, though apparently so insignificant, was deeply rooted. To exterminate these noxious weeds from a court is extremely difficult, for though they have taken a deep root, they offer no hold above the surface. To root out a Roquelaure, a Triboulet, or a Brummel, is almost impossible.

From day to day, and more and more, did the queen take Barkilphedro into her good graces. Sarah Jennings is famous; Barkilphedro is unknown,—his existence remains ignored; the name of Barkilphedro has not reached as far as history. All the moles are not caught by the mole-trapper. Barkilphedro, having once been a candidate for orders, had studied a little of everything. Skimming all things results in naught. One may be a victim of the omnis res scibilis. Having the vessel of the Danaïdes in one's head is the misfortune of a legion of learned men, who may be termed the sterile. What Barkilphedro had put into his brain had left it empty.

The mind, like Nature, abhors a vacuum. Into emptiness, where Nature puts love, the mind often puts hate. There is such a thing as hating merely for the sake of hating. A man hates because he must do something. Gratuitous hatred,—what a strange expression! It means hate which is in itself its own reward. The bear lives by licking his claws,—not indefinitely, of course; the claws must be revictualled,—something must be put into them. A hatred of mankind in general is sweet, and suffices for a time; but one must eventually have a