The Red Lily

The Red Lily
(Le Lys rouge)

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The Red Lily by Anatole France

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1894

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The Red Lily
(Le Lys rouge)

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Book Excerpt

Madame de Morlaine shouted at him:

"Your article on bimetallism is a pearl, a jewel! Especially the end of it."

Standing in the rear of the room, young clubmen, very grave, lisped among themselves:

"What did he do to get the button from the Prince?"

"He, nothing. His wife, everything."

They had their own cynical philosophy. One of them had no faith in promises of men.

"They are types that do not suit me. They wear their hearts on their hands and on their mouths. You present yourself for admission to a club. They say, 'I promise to give you a white ball. It will be an alabaster ball--a snowball! They vote. It's a black ball. Life seems a vile affair when I think of it."

"Then don't think of it."

Daniel Salomon, who had joined them, whispered in their ears spicy stories in a lowered voice. And at every strange revelation concerning Madame Raymond, or Madame Berthier, or Princess Seniavine, he added, negligently:

"Everybody knows it."

Then, l

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