Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/402

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s in fame

and respectability. Edgar has gained for him that admission to uncompromising salons which he so long coveted. Through Edgar he has at last over- come the resistance of society to his race. At the club they talk of the famous " victory of the baron over England." The English have taken Egypt from us, but the baron has taken Edgar from the English, and that restores the equilibrium. If he had conquered the Indies, he vould not have been more loudly acclaimed. This admiration is accompanied, however, by deep jealousy. They would like to get Edgar away from him, and so there goes on around Edgar all sorts of intrigues, and corrupting conspiracies, and flirtations, like those that go on around a beautiful woman. As for the newspapers, they, in their respectful enthu- siasm, have reached a point where they are no longer able to tell exactly -which of the two, Edgar or the baron, is the admirable stud-groom, and which the admirable financier. ^ They confound the two in the mutual glories of one and the same apotheosis.

Provided you have been curious enough to cir- culate among aristocratic crowds, you certainly must have met Edgar, who is one of their most precious ornaments and one who is most commonly displayed. He is a man of average height, very ugly, — that comical English ugliness, — and having an immoderately long nose, with