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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/370

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

stone, but it enriches a caravan; and year by year, from city to city, with the increased growth of Gwynplaine's stature and ugliness, the good fortune predicted by Ursus had come.

"What a good turn they did you after all, my boy," said Ursus.

This good fortune enabled Ursus, who acted as business manager to have the chariot of his dreams constructed,—that is to say, a caravan large enough to carry a theatre, and thus sow science and art in the highways. Moreover, Ursus had been able to add to the troupe composed of himself, Homo, Gwynplaine, and Dea, two horses and two women, who were the goddesses of the troupe, as we have just said, and also its servants. A mythological frontispiece was, in those days, of great service to a travelling show.

"We are a wandering temple," said Ursus.

These two gipsies, picked up by the philosopher from among the vagabondage of cities and suburbs, were ugly and young, and were called, by order of Ursus, one Phœbe, and the other Venus. For these read Fibi and Vinos, that we may conform to English pronunciation. Phœbe cooked; Venus scrubbed the temple. Moreover, on days of performance they dressed Dea. Mountebanks have to appear in public as well as princes; and on these occasions Dea was arrayed, like Fibi, and Vinos, in a Florentine petticoat of flowered stuff, and a woman's jacket, which, having no sleeves, left the arms bare. Ursus and Gwynplaine wore men's jackets and long loose trousers, like sailors on board a man-of-war. Gwynplaine had, besides, for his work and for his feats of strength, round his neck and over his shoulders, a leather esclavine. He took care of the horses. Ursus and Homo took care of each other.

Dea, being used to the Green Box, moved about the