BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


Amours of great men

by Albert Dresden Vandam

Excerpt:

GEEAT MEN.

THE PREFACE,

A MISGUIDED PARENT.

" Tout est nu sur la terre, hormis l'hypoorisie."

Alfred De Musset, Namouna.

preface to a book is like the entrance- hall to a house ; the first is scarcely ever read; the second little noticed in the visitor's transit to the inner apartments. Yet we may gather from the one the taste of the owner of the dwelling, from the other the intention of the author.

The nature of my subject, in its present treatment, requiring a deal of metaphor and fafon de parler, I have elected to substitute a story for the ordinary prefatorial remarks, as a hint of the course I mean to pursue.

There was once a milliner who had an unnatural child ; I say unnatural advisedly, in vindication of the spotless honour of the mother, of the unsullied pedigree of the babe which was born in holy wedlock.

The mother doated on her offspring, loved to dress it as handsomely as she could—a ribbon here, a frill there, now of sober, then of more showy hue and pattern. The adornment of the child seemed to be the mother's only joy.

Though many people objected to the glaring colours, the extravagant shape and costly material of the clothes, though they cavilled at the want of simplicity displayed by the milliner, no one ever questioned the careful mother's affection for her babe.

The milliner's name was Parabole.

Poietes was the father's.

And the tiny girl upon whom the mother lavished so much of her time and substance was called Truth.

One day Parabole showed Miss Truth to a friend, and as she held her up to admiration, her mute glance asked more plainly than words—

"How do you like my darling, my treasure, my all ? Did you notice her colour "

" These yeDow spots are very pretty." '

" Yellow !" screamed the mother, loud enough this time. " My child's cheeks yellow! They are pink, not yellow."

" I was talking of her little frock," was the answer.

Another time the baby was again displayed, the eloquent though mute appeal coming as usual—

" How do you like my darling, my treasure, my all ? Look how white, how like marble "

"Too stiff; too much starch?"

"Starch in the arms of my daughter?" screamed Parabole.

" I was talking of her little frock," came the reply.

On a third occasion the infant was exhibited, the mute glance again craving for approbation—

" How do you like my darling, my treasure, my all ? Did you notice how shapely, how nicely rounded "

" Too short in the body."

" My pet too short in the body!" gasped Parabole.

" I was talking of the little frock," said the friend drily.

Then the mother grew wroth. It made her angry to think that people would not or could not see her daughter. Fond as she was of dressing her, it grieved her to think that the dress absorbed the criticism, and left the child unheeded.

Sorrow often makes us unreasonable. Para- bole quarrelled with Poietes—who was not to blame. They made up their minds to separate, and she reassumed her maiden name, Ameleia.

She stripped the child of the treacherous frock that diverted people's attention. After which she showed the babe to twelve persons, interrogating mutely as of old.

" How do you like my darling, my treasure, my all?"

One of the twelve said—

" Indecent."

The other eleven vouchsafed no answer at all. They had not understood the question, had not even seen the child.

Ameleia fretted still more.

She made it up with Poietes, who was but too willing, and again called herself Parabole. If anything, she dressed the babe more gorgeously than ever.


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