Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/131

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

A Sentimental Cellar

By George Saintsbury

[It would appear from the reference to a "Queen" that the following piece was written in or with a view to the reign of Queen Anne, though an anachronism or two (such as a reference to the '45 and a quotation from Adam Smith) may be noted. On the other hand, an occasional mixture of "you" and "thou" seems to argue a date before Johnson. It must at any rate have been composed for, or in imitation of the style of, one or other of the eighteenth-century collections of Essays.]

I t chanced the other day that I had a mind to visit my old friend Falernianus. The maid who opened the door to me showed me into his study, and apologised for her master's absence by saying that he was in the cellar. He soon appeared, and I rallied him a little on the gravity of his occupation. Falernianus, I must tell you, is neither a drunkard nor a man of fortune. But he has a pretty taste in wine, indulges it rather in collection than in consumption, and arranges his cellar (or, as he sometimes calls it, "cellaret") himself, having no butler or other man-servant. He took my pleasantry very good-humouredly; and when I asked him further if I might behold this temple of his devotions he complied at once. "Tis rather a chantry than a temple,