THE LARK OF CANDLEMAS-DAY
Thanks be to St. Martin, business is bad, so there is no use in breaking one's back; and Lord knows I have worked hard enough in my time to take a little rest and comfort here at my table, with a bottle of wine on my right hand, the ink-well on the left, and a new quire of paper before me.
"Your good health, old boy!" I say to myself, "I am to have a talk with you now." Downstairs I can hear my wife raging while the wind roars outside and I am told there are threatenings of war. Well, let them be!—How jolly it is to be alone face to face with the best fellow in the world (I am talking of course of my other self, of you, Colas, with your old red phiz, and queer grin, with your long Burgundian nose all askew like a hat on one ear). Tell me if you can why it is so good to see you like this, just our two selves; to look closely at your elderly countenance, touching lightly, as it were, on the wrinkles, and to drink a bumper of old