The Aspirations of Jean Servien

The Aspirations of Jean Servien

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The Aspirations of Jean Servien by Anatole France

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The Aspirations of Jean Servien

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Jean Servien, son of a bookbinder, born in a backshop in the Rue Notre-Dame des Champs, began at an early age to live a most interesting life of adventure. As a character-sketch, this is one of Anatole france's masterpieces.

Book Excerpt

st thing... yes, the worst thing of all,' write it down... 'is an old woman with a spiteful temper.'"

And rising with the gracious dignity of a Prince of the Church, he bowed low to the aunt, gave the nephew's cheek a friendly tap, and marched out of the room.

However, beginning with the very next lesson, he lavished every mark of respect on the old lady, and treated her to all his choicest airs and graces, rounding his elbows, pursing his lips, strutting and swaggering. She would not relax a muscle, and sat there as silent and sulky as an owl.

But one day when she was hunting for her spectacles, as she was always doing, Monsieur Tudesco offered her his and persuaded her to try them; she found they suited her sight and felt a trifle less unamiable towards him. The Italian, pursuing his advantage, got into talk with her, and artfully turned the conversation upon the vices of the rich. The old lady approved his sentiments, and an exchange of petty confidences ensued. Tudesco knew a sovereig

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