The Greatest Love of Don Juan
The Devils primest fare is innocence.
He is still alive then, that hoary old reprobate?
Still alive! I should rather think he wasby Gods grace, I took care to add, remembering Madames piety, and of the most distinguished and aristocratic parish of Sainte-ClotildeLe roi est mort! vive le roi! is what they used to say under the old monarchy, in the days when their fine old piece of Sèvres porcelain was yet unbroken. But Don Juan, in spite of all your democracies, is a monarch they will never break.
Yes! yes! no doubt the Devil is among the immortal! she returned in a self-approving tone.
As a matter of fact, he
Who? the Devil?
No! no! Don Juan. He supped, I say, only three days ago in pleasant company. Guess where.
At your horrid Maison dOr, of course.
My dear madame! Don Juan never goes there now theyve no fish fit to fry for his highnesss palate. The Señor Don Juan has always been a bit like Arnold of Brescias famous monk who, the chronicles tell us, lived only on the blood of souls. That is what he loves to colour his champagne with, and its many a long day since it was to be had at the rendezvous of the commonplace cocotte!
Youll be telling me next, she interrupted, in the ironic vein, he supped at the Benedictine nunnery with the holy ladies.
Yes! ladies of the Perpetual Adoration; why, certainly, madame. For indeed I do think the adoration he has once inspired, our redoubtable Lovelace, seems to last for good and all.
And I think that for a good Catholic you are a trifle profane, sir!this she said slowly, but not without a touch of irritationand I must beg you to spare me the details of your naughty suppers. I suppose this is a new way of telling me about your disreputable lady friends, this harping on Don Juan and his doings to-night.
I merely state the facts, madame. The disreputable persons present at the supper in question, if they are disreputable, are not my friends at all unfortunately
Forgive my modest disclaimer. They were
The mille e tre? she interrupted again, thinking better of it, and all but recovering her good temper under the stress of curiosity.
Oh! not all of them. A round dozen merely. With as many as that, nothing could be more respectable, you know.
Or more disreputable, she put in tartly.
Besides, you know as well as I do the Comtesse de Chiffrevass boudoir will not hold a crowd. Everything was done that could be done; but, after all, its only a small room, her boudoir.
What!raising her voice in astonishment. They had supper in the boudoir?
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