Page:Pierre.djvu/274

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260 PIERRE

philosopher would denominate such conduct as nothing short of temporary madness ; and perhaps it is, since, in the inexorable and inhuman eye of mere undiluted reason, all grief, whether on our own account, or that of others, is the sheerest unreason and insanity. The note now written was the following :—

' For that Fine Old Fellow, Dates.

'Dates, my old boy, bestir thyself now. Go to my room, Dates, and bring me down my mahogany strongbox and lock-up, the thing covered with blue chintz ; strap it very carefully, my sweet Dates, it is rather heavy, and set it just without the postern. Then back and bring me down my writing-desk, and set that, too, just without the postern. Then back yet again, and bring me down the old camp-bed (see that all the parts be there), and bind the case well with a cord. Then go to the left corner little drawer in my wardrobe, and thou wilt find my visiting-cards. Tack one on the chest, and the desk, and the camp-bed case. Then get all my clothes together, and pack them in trunks (not forgetting the two old military cloaks, my boy), and tack cards on them also, my good Dates. Then fly round three times indefinitely, my good Dates, and wipe a little of the perspiration off. And then—let me see—then, my good Dates—why, what then ? Why, this much. Pick up all papers of all sorts that may be lying round my chamber, and see them burned. And then have old White Hoof put to the lightest farm-wagon, and send the chest, and the desk, and the camp-bed, and the trunks to the " Black Swan," where I shall call for them, when I am ready, and not before, sweet Dates. So God bless thee, my fine, old, imperturbable Dates, and adieu ! Thy old, young master,

PIERRE.

' Nota bene.—Mark well, though; Dates. Should my