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the novel trilby


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Title:Trilby
Author:GeorgeDuMaurier
ReleaseDate:May29,2012[EBook#39858]
[Lastupdated:August21,2015]
Language:English

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(noteofetexttranscriber)
SPECIALLIMITEDEDITION


TRILBY
ANovel
By
GEORGEDUMAURIER
AUTHOROF
"PETERIBBETSON""THEMARTIAN"
"SOCIALPICTORIALSATIRE"
WITHILLUSTRATIONS
BYTHEAUTHOR

"Auxnouvellesquej'apporte,Vosbeauxyeuxvontpleurer!"
"Auxnouvellesquej'apporte,
Vosbeauxyeuxvontpleurer!"

NEWYORK
INTERNATIONALBOOKANDPUBLISHINGCOMPANY
1899

Thisvolumeisissuedforsalein
papercoversonly.

Copyright,1894,1899,byHARPER&BROTHERS.
———
Allrightsreserved.


CONTENTS
PartSecond,
PartThird,
PartFourth,
PartFifth,
PartSixth,
PartSeventh,
PartEighth
"ITWASTRILBY!"[Seepage317


"ITWASTRILBY!"[Seepage317
"Hélas!Jesaisunchantd'amour,
Tristeetgai,touràtour!"


ILLUSTRATIONS
[Certainoftheillustrationshavebeenmovedtothebeginningorendofthe
paragraphinwhichtheyappeartoeasethereadingflow.Alargerversionofthe
imagemaybeviewedbyclickingdirectlyontheimage.(noteofetext
transcriber)]
PAGE

"ITWASTRILBY!"
TAFFY,ALIASTALBOTWYNNE
"THELAIRDOFCOCKPEN"
"THETHIRDHEWAS'LITTLEBILLEE'"
"ITDIDONEGOODTOLOOKATHIM"
AMONGTHEOLDMASTERS
"WISTFULANDSWEET"
THE"ROSEMONDE"OFSCHUBERT
TRILBY'SLEFTFOOT
THEFLEXIBLEFLAGEOLET
THEBRIDGEOFARTS
"THREEMUSKETEERSOFTHEBRUSH"
TAFFYMAKESTHESALAD
"THEGLORYTHATWASGREECE"
TRILBY'SFOREBEARS
TAIL-PIECE
"ASBADASTHEYMAKE'EM"
"AVOICEHEDIDN'TUNDERSTAND"
"ANDSO,NOMORE"
"'TWOENGLANDERSINONEDAY'"
"'HIMMEL!THEROOFOFYOURMOUTH'"
"'ÇAFERAUNEFAMEUSECRAPULEDEMOINS!'"
"'AVYOUSEENMYFAHZER'SOLESHOES?'"
TAFFYÀL'ÉCHELLE!
"THEFOXANDTHECROW"
THELATINQUARTER
CUISINEBOURGEOISEENBOHÈME
"THESOFTEYES"
ILYSSUS
"'VOILÀL'ESPAYCEDEHOMKERJERSWEE!'"
TITFORTAT

Frontispiece
4
5
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34
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47
52
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59
63
67
70
73
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81
85
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92
95
98
101
105
111


THEHAPPYLIFE
"'LETMEGO,TAFFY...'"
"'QU'ESTCEQU'ILADONC,CELITREBILI?'"
REPENTANCE
CONFESSION
"ALLASITUSEDTOBE"
"TWINGRAYSTARS"
"ANINCUBUS"
THECAPITALISTANDTHESWELL
"'IWILLNOT!IWILLNOT!'"
DODORINHISGLORY
HÔTELDELAROCHEMARTEL
CHRISTMASEVE
"'ALLONSGLYCÈRE!ROUGISMONVERRE....'"
SOUVENIR
"MYSISTERDEAR"
ADUCALFRENCHFIGHTING-COCK
"'ANSWERME,TRILBY!'"
ACARYHATIDE
"'LESGLOUGLOUXDUVINÀQUAT'SOUS....'"
"'ISSHEALADY,MR.WYNNE?'"
"'FONDOFHIM?AREN'TYOU?'"
"SOLIKELITTLEBILLEE"
"'IMUSTTAKETHEBULLBYTHEHORNS'"
"'TRILBY!WHEREISSHE?'"
LASŒURDELITREBILI
"HEFELLA-WEEPING,QUITEDESPERATELY"
"THESWEETMELODICPHRASE"
"SORROWFULLY,ARMINARM"
DEMORALIZATION
FREDWALKER
PLATONICLOVE
"DARLINGS,OLDORYOUNG"
"THEMOON-DIAL"
THECHAIRMAN
AHAPPYDINNER
"A-SMOKIN'THEIRPOIPESANDCIGYARS"
"BONJOUR,SUZON!"
AHUMANNIGHTINGALE
CUP-AND-BALL
SWEETALICE
"MAYHEAVENGOWITHHER!"
"'SOMUCHFORALICE,TRAY'"

116
119
121
125
129
133
135
137
141
151
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155
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277


"'YOU'REATHIEF,SIR!'"

287

"ANATMOSPHEREOFBANK-NOTESANDGOLD"
"ALITTLEPICTUREOFTHETHAMES"
"'AH!THEBEAUTIFULINTERMENT,MESSIEURS!'"
"PAUVRETRILBY".
"'JEPRONG!'"
"'OONPAIRDEGONGBLONG'"
GECKO
"AUCLAIRDELALUNE"
"OUVRE-MOITAPORTEPOURL'AMOURDEDIEU!"
"MALBROUCKS'ENVA-T'ENGUERRE"
"AUXNOUVELLESQUEJ'APPORTE,VOSBEAUXYEUXVONTPLEURER!".
UNIMPROMPTUDECHOPIN
"ANDTHEREMEMBRANCEOFTHEM—HANDINHAND"
"'IBELIEVEYOU,MYBOY!'"
"MAMANDUCHESSE"
THECUTDIRECT
"PETITENFANT,J'AIMAISD'UNAMOURTENDRE...."
"'VITE!VITE!UNCOMMISSAIREDEPOLICE!'"
"ISUPPOSEYOUDOALLTHISKINDOFTHINGFORMEREAMUSEMENT,MR.
WYNNE?"
THEFIRSTVIOLINLOSESHISTEMPER
"HASTTHOUFOUNDME,OMINEENEMY?"
"'OH,DON'TYOUREMEMBERSWEETALICE,BENBOLT?'"
"THELASTTHEYSAWOFSVENGALI"
"'THREENICECLEANENGLISHMEN'"
"PŒNAPEDECLAUDO"
"THEOLDSTUDIO"
"'ETMAINTENANTDORS,MAMIGNONNE!'"
"TAFFYWASALLOWEDTOSEEGECKO"
AFAIRBLANCHISSEUSEDEFIN
ATHRONEINBOHEMIA
"'OH,MYPOORGIRL!MYPOORGIRL!'"
"'AH,POORMAMMA!SHEWASEVERSOMUCHPRETTIERTHANTHAT!'"
"'TOSINGLIKETHATISTOPRAY!'"
"'THEREMEMBRANCEOFTHATPALMSUNDAY!'"
FORGECKO
"OUTOFTHEMYSTERIOUSEAST"
"'SVENGALI!...SVENGALI!...SVENGALI!...'"
"TOUTVIENTÀPOINT,POURQUISAITATTENDRE!"
"I,PETECOELESTES...."
"PETITSBONHEURSDECONTREBANDE"

293
296
301
303
307
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315
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416
422
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431
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437
439
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447


ENTERGECKO
"'WETOOKHERVOICENOTEBYNOTE'"

451
455

THENIGHTINGALE'SFIRSTSONG
"'ICHHABEGELIEBTUNDGELEBET!'"
TAIL-PIECE

459
461
464


TRILBY


PartFirst
"MimiPinsonestuneblonde,
Uneblondequel'onconnaît;
Ellen'aqu'unerobeaumonde,
Landérirette!etqu'unbonnet!"

ITwasafine,sunny,showerydayinApril.
Thebigstudiowindowwasopenatthetop,andletinapleasantbreezefrom
thenorthwest.Thingswerebeginningtolookshipshapeatlast.Thebigpiano,a
semi-grandbyBroadwood,hadarrivedfromEnglandby"theLittleQuickness"
(laPetiteVitesse,asthegoodstrainsarecalledinFrance),andlay,freshlytuned,
alongsidetheeasternwall;onthewalloppositewasapanoplyoffoils,masks,
andboxing-gloves.
A trapeze, a knotted rope, and two parallel cords, supporting each a ring,
dependedfromahugebeamintheceiling.Thewallswereoftheusualdullred,
relievedbyplastercastsofarmsandlegsandhandsandfeet;andDante'smask,
andMichaelAngelo'saltorilievoofLedaandtheswan,andacentaurandLapith
fromtheElginmarbles—onnoneofthesehadthedustasyethadtimetosettle.
There were also studies in oil from the nude; copies of Titian, Rembrandt,
Velasquez, Rubens, Tintoret, Leonardo da Vinci—none of the school of
Botticelli,Mantegna,andCo.—afirmwhosemeritshadnotasyetbeenrevealed
tothemany.
Along the walls, at a great height, ran a broad shelf, on which were other
casts in plaster, terra-cotta, imitation bronze; a little Theseus, a little Venus of
Milo,alittlediscobolus;alittleflayedmanthreateninghighheaven(anactthat
seemed almost pardonable under the circumstances!); a lion and a boar by
Barye; an anatomical figure of a horse with only one leg left and no ears; a
horse's head from the pediment of the Parthenon, earless also; and the bust of
Clytie, with her beautiful low brow, her sweet wan gaze, and the ineffable
forwardshrugofherdearshouldersthatmakesherbosomanest,arest,apillow,
arefuge—tobelovedanddesiredforeverbygenerationaftergenerationofthe
sonsofmen.
Near the stove hung a gridiron, a frying-pan, a toasting-fork, and a pair of
bellows.Inanadjoiningglazedcornercupboardwereplatesandglasses,blackhandled knives, pewter spoons, and three-pronged steel forks; a salad-bowl,
vinegar cruets, an oil-flask, two mustard-pots (English and French), and such


like things—all scrupulously clean. On the floor, which had been stained and
waxedatconsiderablecost,laytwochetah-skinsandalargePersianpraying-rug.
One-half of it, however (under the trapeze and at the farthest end from the
window, beyond the model throne), was covered with coarse matting, that one
mightfenceorboxwithoutslippingdownandsplittingone'sselfintwo,orfall
withoutbreakinganybones.
Two other windows of the usual French size and pattern, with shutters to
themandheavycurtainsofbaize,openedeastandwest,toletindawnorsunset,
asthecasemightbe,orhaplykeepthemout.Andtherewerealcoves,recesses,
irregularities,oddlittlenooksandcorners,tobefilledupastimeworeonwith
endless personal knick-knacks, bibelots, private properties and acquisitions—
thingsthatmakeaplacegenial,homelike,andgoodtoremember,andsweetto
museupon(withfondregret)inafter-years.
And an immense divan spread itself in width and length and delightful
thicknessjustbeneaththebignorthwindow,thebusinesswindow—adivanso
immense that three well-fed, well-contented Englishmen could all lie lazily
smoking their pipes on it at once without being in each other's way, and very
oftendid!
At present one of these Englishmen—a Yorkshireman, by-the-way, called
Taffy (and also the Man of Blood, because he was supposed to be distantly
related toa baronet)—was moreenergetically engaged. Bare-armed, andinhis
shirtandtrousers,hewastwirlingapairofIndianclubsroundhishead.Hisface
wasflushed,andhewasperspiringfreelyandlookedfierce.Hewasaverybig
youngman,fair,withkindbutcholericblueeyes,andthemusclesofhisbrawny
armwerestrongasironbands.
ForthreeyearshehadborneherMajesty'scommission,andhadbeenthrough
theCrimeancampaignwithoutascratch.Hewouldhavebeenoneofthefamous
sixhundredinthefamouschargeatBalaklavabutforasprainedankle(caught
playingleapfroginthetrenches),whichkepthiminhospitalonthatmomentous
day. So that he lost his chance of glory or the grave, and this humiliating
misadventurehadsickenedhimofsoldieringforlife,andheneverquitegotover
it.Then,feelingwithinhimselfanirresistiblevocationforart,hehadsoldout;
andherehewasinParis,hardatwork,aswesee.
TAFFY,ALIASTALBOTWYNNE
TAFFY,ALIASTALBOTWYNNE

Hewasgood-looking,withstraightfeatures;butIregrettosaythat,besides


his heavy plunger's mustache, he wore an immense pair of drooping auburn
whiskers, of the kind that used to be called Piccadilly weepers, and were
afterwardsaffectedbyMr.SotherninLordDundreary.Itwasafashiontodoso
then for such of our gilded youth as could afford the time (and the hair); the
bigger and fairer the whiskers, the more beautiful was thought the youth! It
seems incredible in these days, when even her Majesty's household brigade go
aboutwithsmoothcheeksandlips,likepriestsorplay-actors.
"What'sbecomeofallthegold
Usedtohangandbrushtheirbosoms...?"

"THELAIRDOFCOCKPEN"
"THELAIRDOFCOCKPEN"

Another inmate of this blissful abode—Sandy, the Laird of Cockpen, as he
wascalled—satinsimilarlysimpleattireathiseasel,paintingatalifelikelittle
picture of a Spanish toreador serenading a lady of high degree (in broad
daylight).HehadneverbeentoSpain,buthehadacompletetoreador'skit—a
bargainwhichhehadpickedupforameresongintheBoulevardduTemple—
andhehadhiredtheguitar.Hispipewasinhismouth—reversed;forithadgone
out, and the ashes were spilled all over his trousers, where holes were often
burnedinthisway.
Quitegratuitously,andwithapleasingScotchaccent,hebegantodeclaim:
"AstreetthereisinParisfamous
Forwhichnorhymeourlanguageyields;
RooNervedayPettyShongitsnameis—
TheNewStreetoftheLittleFields...."

And then, in his keen appreciation of the immortal stanza, he chuckled
audibly,withafacesoblitheandmerryandwellpleasedthatitdidonegoodto
lookathim.
Healsohadenteredlifebyanotherdoor.Hisparents(good,piouspeoplein
Dundee)hadintendedthatheshouldbeasolicitor,ashisfatherandgrandfather
hadbeenbeforehim.AndherehewasinParisfamous,paintingtoreadors,and
spouting the "Ballad of the Bouillabaisse," as he would often do out of sheer
lightnessofheart—muchoftener,indeed,thanhewouldsayhisprayers.
Kneeling on the divan, with his elbow on the window-sill, was a third and
muchyoungeryouth.Thethirdhewas"LittleBillee."Hehadpulleddownthe
greenbaizeblind,andwaslookingovertheroofsandchimney-potsofParisand
all about with all his eyes, munching the while a roll and a savory saveloy, in


which there was evidence of much garlic. He ate with great relish, for he was
very hungry; he had been all the morning at Carrel's studio, drawing from the
life.
Little Billee was small and slender, about twenty or twenty-one, and had a
straightwhiteforeheadveinedwithblue,largedark-blueeyes,delicate,regular
features,andcoal-blackhair.Hewasalsoverygracefulandwellbuilt,withvery
smallhandsandfeet,andmuchbetterdressedthanhisfriends,whowentoutof
their way to outdo the denizens of the quartier latin in careless eccentricity of
garb, and succeeded. And in his winning and handsome face there was just a
faintsuggestion of somepossiblevery remoteJewishancestor—justatingeof
that strong, sturdy, irrepressible, indomitable, indelible blood which is of such
priceless value in diluted homœopathic doses, like the dry white Spanish wine
called montijo, which is not meant to be taken pure; but without a judicious
admixtureofwhichnosherrycangoroundtheworldandkeepitsflavorintact;
orlikethefamousbull-dogstrain,whichisnotbeautifulinitself;andyetjustfor
lackingalittleofthesamenogreyhoundcaneverhopetobeachampion.So,at
least,Ihavebeentoldbywine-merchantsanddog-fanciers—themostveracious
personsthatcanbe.Fortunatelyfortheworld,andespeciallyforourselves,most
ofushaveinourveinsatleastaminimofthatpreciousfluid,whetherweknow
itorshowitornot.Tantpispourlesautres!
AsLittle Billeemunchedhealsogazedatthebusyplacebelow—thePlace
St. Anatole des Arts—at the old houses opposite, some of which were being
pulleddown,nodoubtlesttheyshouldfalloftheirownsweetwill.Inthegaps
between he would see discolored, old, cracked, dingy walls, with mysterious
windows and rusty iron balconies of great antiquity—sights that set him
dreaming dreams of mediæval French love and wickedness and crime, bygone
mysteriesofParis!
"THETHIRDHEWAS'LITTLEBILLEE'"
"THETHIRDHEWAS'LITTLEBILLEE'"

Onegapwentrightthroughtheblock,andgavehimaglimpseoftheriver,
the"Cité,"andtheominousoldMorgue;alittletotherightrosethegraytowers
ofNotreDamedeParisintothecheckeredAprilsky.Indeed,thetopofnearlyall
Parislaybeforehim,withalittlestretchoftheimaginationonhispart;andhe
gazedwithasenseofnovelty,aninterestandapleasureforwhichhecouldnot
havefoundanyexpressioninmerelanguage.
Paris!Paris!!Paris!!!


Theverynamehadalwaysbeenonetoconjurewith,whetherhethoughtofit
as a mere sound on the lips and in the ear, or as a magical written or printed
word for the eye. And here was the thing itself at last, and he, he himself,
ipsissimus, in the very midst of it, to live there and learn there as long as he
liked,andmakehimselfthegreatartisthelongedtobe.
Then, his meal finished, he lit a pipe, and flung himself on the divan and
sigheddeeply,outoftheover-fullcontentmentofhisheart.
He felt he had never known happiness like this, never even dreamed its
possibility.Andyethislifehadbeenahappyone.Hewasyoungandtender,was
LittleBillee;hehadneverbeentoanyschool,andwasinnocentoftheworldand
its wicked ways; innocent of French especially, and the ways of Paris and its
Latin quarter. He had been brought up and educated at home, had spent his
boyhoodinLondonwithhismotherandsister,whonowlivedinDevonshireon
somewhat straitened means. His father, who was dead, had been a clerk in the
Treasury.
He and his two friends, Taffy and the Laird, had taken this studio together.
TheLairdsleptthere,inasmallbedroomoffthestudio.Taffyhadabedroomat
theHôteldeSeine,inthestreetofthatname. Little Billee lodged at the Hôtel
Corneille,inthePlacedel'Odéon.
He looked at his two friends, and wondered if any one, living or dead, had
everhadsuchagloriouspairofchumsasthese.
Whatevertheydid,whatevertheysaid,wassimplyperfectinhiseyes;they
werehisguidesandphilosophersaswellashischums.Ontheotherhand,Taffy
andtheLairdwereasfondoftheboyastheycouldbe.
His absolute belief in all they said and did touched them none the less that
theywereconsciousofitsbeingsomewhatinexcessoftheirdeserts.Hisalmost
girlishpurityofmindamusedandcharmedthem,andtheydidalltheycouldto
preserveit,eveninthequartierlatin,wherepurityisapttogobadifitbekept
toolong.
"ITDIDONEGOODTOLOOKATHIM"
"ITDIDONEGOODTOLOOKATHIM"

Theylovedhimforhisaffectionatedisposition,hislivelyandcaressingways;
andtheyadmiredhimfarmorethanheeverknew,fortheyrecognizedinhima
quickness,akeenness,adelicacyofperception,inmattersofformandcolor,a
mysterious facility and felicity of execution, a sense of all that was sweet and
beautiful in nature, and a ready power of expressing it, that had not been


vouchsafed to them in any such generous profusion, and which, as they
ungrudginglyadmittedtothemselvesandeachother,amountedtotruegenius.
And when one within the immediate circle of our intimates is gifted in this
abnormalfashion,weeitherhateorlovehimforit,inproportiontothegreatness
ofhisgift;accordingtothewaywearebuilt.
SoTaffyandtheLairdlovedLittleBillee—lovedhimverymuchindeed.Not
butwhatLittleBilleehadhisfaults.Forinstance,hedidn'tinteresthimselfvery
warmlyinotherpeople'spictures.Hedidn'tseemtocarefortheLaird'sguitarplaying toreador, nor for his serenaded lady—at all events, he never said
anythingaboutthem,eitherinpraiseorblame.HelookedatTaffy'srealisms(for
Taffy was a realist) in silence, and nothing tries true friendship so much as
silenceofthiskind.
But,then,tomakeupforit,whentheyallthreewenttotheLouvre,hedidn't
seemtotroublemuchaboutTitianeither,orRembrandt,orVelasquez,Rubens,
Veronese, or Leonardo. He looked at the people who looked at the pictures,
insteadofatthepicturesthemselves;especiallyatthepeoplewhocopiedthem,
the sometimes charming young lady painters—and these seemed to him even
more charming than they really were—and he looked a great deal out of the
Louvrewindows,wheretherewasmuchtobeseen:moreParis,forinstance—
Paris,ofwhichhecouldneverhaveenough.
But when, surfeited with classical beauty, they all three went and dined
together,andTaffyandtheLairdsaidbeautifulthingsabouttheoldmasters,and
quarrelled about them, he listened with deference and rapt attention, and
reverentiallyagreedwithalltheysaid,andafterwardsmadethemostdelightfully
funny little pen-and-ink sketches of them, saying all these beautiful things
(which he sent to his mother and sister at home); so life-like, so real, that you
could almost hear the beautiful things they said; so beautifully drawn that you
felt the old masters couldn't have drawn them better themselves; and so
irresistiblydrollthatyoufeltthattheoldmasterscouldnothavedrawnthemat
all—any more than Milton could have described the quarrel between Sairey
GampandBetsyPrig;noone,inshort,butLittleBillee.
Little Billee took up the "Ballad of the Bouillabaisse" where the Laird had
left it off, and speculated on the future of himself and his friends, when he
shouldhavegottofortyyears—analmostimpossiblyremotefuture.
These speculations were interrupted by a loud knock at the door, and two
mencamein.
First, a tall, bony individual of any age between thirty and forty-five, of


Jewishaspect,well-featuredbutsinister.Hewasveryshabbyanddirty,andwore
aredbéretandalargevelveteencloak,withabigmetalclaspatthecollar.His
thick, heavy, languid, lustreless black hair fell down behind his ears on to his
shoulders, in that musicianlike way that is so offensive to the normal
Englishman. He had bold, brilliant black eyes, with long, heavy lids, a thin,
sallow face, and a beard of burnt-up black which grew almost from his under
eyelids;andoverithismustache,ashadelighter,fellintwolongspiraltwists.
He went by the name of Svengali, and spoke fluent French with a German
accent, and humorous German twists and idioms, and his voice was very thin
andmeanandharsh,andoftenbrokeintoadisagreeablefalsetto.
His companion was a little swarthy young man—a gypsy, possibly—much
pittedwiththesmall-pox,andalsoveryshabby.Hehadlarge,soft,affectionate
brown eyes, like a King Charles spaniel. He had small, nervous, veiny hands,
withnailsbittendowntothequick,andcarriedafiddleandafiddlestickunder
hisarm,withoutacase,asthoughhehadbeenplayinginthestreet.
"Ponchour,mesenfants,"saidSvengali."ChevousamènemonamiChecko,
quichouedufiolongommeunanche!"
Little Billee, who adored all "sweet musicianers," jumped up and made
GeckoaswarmlywelcomeashecouldinhisearlyFrench.
"Ha!lebiâno!"exclaimedSvengali,flinginghisredbéretonit,andhiscloak
ontheground."Ch'espèrequ'ilestpon,etpient'accord!"
Andsittingdownonthemusic-stool,heranupanddownthescaleswiththat
easypower,thatsmooth,evencrispnessoftouch,whichrevealthemaster.
AMONGTHEOLDMASTERS
AMONGTHEOLDMASTERS

Then he fell to playing Chopin's impromptu in A flat, so beautifully that
LittleBillee'sheartwentnightoburstingwithsuppressedemotionanddelight.
HehadneverheardanymusicofChopin'sbefore,nothingbutBritishprovincial
home-made music—melodies with variations, "Annie Laurie," "The Last Rose
ofSummer,""TheBlueBellsofScotland;"innocentlittlemotherlyandsisterly
tinklings, invented to set the company at their ease on festive evenings, and
make all-round conversation possible for shy people; who fear the
unaccompanied sound of their own voices, and whose genial chatter always
leavesoffdirectlythemusicceases.
Heneverforgotthatimpromptu,whichhewasdestinedtohearagainoneday
instrangecircumstances.


ThenSvengaliandGeckomademusictogether,divinely.Littlefragmentary
things,sometimesconsistingbutofafewbars,butthesebarsofsuchbeautyand
meaning! Scraps, snatches, short melodies, meant to fetch, to charm
immediately,ortomeltorsaddenormaddenjustforamoment,andthatknew
just when to leave off—czardas, gypsy dances, Hungarian love-plaints, things
littleknownoutofeasternEuropeinthefiftiesofthiscentury,tilltheLairdand
Taffy were almost as wild in their enthusiasm as Little Billee—a silent
enthusiasm too deep for speech. And when these two great artists left off to
smoke,thethreeBritishersweretoomuchmovedevenforthat,andtherewasa
stillness....
Suddenly there came a loud knuckle-rapping at the outer door, and a
portentous voice of great volume, and that might almost have belonged to any
sex (even an angel's), uttered the British milkman's yodel,"Milk below!" and
before any one could say "Entrez," a strange figure appeared, framed by the
gloomofthelittleantechamber.
Itwasthefigureofaverytallandfullydevelopedyoungfemale,cladinthe
gray overcoat of a French infantry soldier, continued netherwards by a short
stripedpetticoat,beneathwhichwerevisibleherbarewhiteanklesandinsteps,
andslim,straight, rosyheels, cleancutandsmoothasthebackofarazor;her
toeslostthemselvesinahugepairofmalelistslippers,whichmadeherdragher
feetasshewalked.
Sheboreherselfwitheasy,unembarrassedgrace,likeapersonwhosenerves
andmusclesarewellintune,whosespiritsarehigh,whohaslivedmuchinthe
atmosphereofFrenchstudios,andfeelsathomeinit.
Thisstrangemedleyofgarmentswassurmountedbyasmallbareheadwith
short, thick, wavy brown hair, and a very healthy young face, which could
scarcely be called quite beautiful at first sight, since the eyes were too wide
apart, the mouth too large, the chin too massive, the complexion a mass of
freckles.Besides,youcannevertellhowbeautiful(orhowugly)afacemaybe
tillyouhavetriedtodrawit.
Butasmallportionofherneck,downbythecollar-bone,whichjustshowed
itselfbetweentheunbuttonedlapelsofhermilitarycoatcollar,wasofadelicate
privetlikewhitenessthatisnevertobefoundonanyFrenchneck,andveryfew
English ones. Also, she had a very fine brow, broad and low, with thick level
eyebrowsmuchdarkerthanherhair,abroad,bony,highbridgetohershortnose,
and her full, broad cheeks were beautifully modelled. She would have made a
singularlyhandsomeboy.
Asthecreaturelookedroundattheassembledcompanyandflashedherbig


white teeth at them in an all-embracing smile of uncommon width and quite
irresistiblesweetness,simplicity,andfriendlytrust,onesawataglancethatshe
wasoutofthecommonclever,simple,humorous,honest,brave,andkind,and
accustomedtobegeniallywelcomedwherevershewent.Thensuddenlyclosing
thedoorbehindher,droppinghersmile,andlookingwistfulandsweet,withher
headononesideandherarmsakimbo,"Ye'reallEnglish,now,aren'tye?"she
exclaimed."Iheardthemusic,andthoughtI'djustcomeinforabit,andpassthe
timeofday:youdon'tmind?Trilby,that'smyname—TrilbyO'Ferrall."
She said this in English, with an accent half Scotch and certain French
intonations, and in a voice so rich and deep and full as almost to suggest an
incipient tenore robusto; and one felt instinctively that it was a real pity she
wasn'taboy,shewouldhavemadesuchajollyone.
"We'redelighted,onthecontrary,"saidLittleBillee,andadvancedachairfor
her.
But she said, "Oh, don't mind me; go on with the music," and sat herself
downcross-leggedonthemodel-thronenearthepiano.
Astheystilllookedather,curiousandhalfembarrassed,shepulledapaper
parcelcontainingfoodoutofoneofthecoat-pockets,andexclaimed:
"WISTFULANDSWEET"
"WISTFULANDSWEET"

"I'lljusttakeabite,ifyoudon'tobject;I'mamodel,youknow,andit'sjust
rungtwelve—'therest.' I'm posing for Durien the sculptor, on the next floor. I
posetohimforthealtogether."
"Thealtogether?"askedLittleBillee.
"Yes—l'ensemble, you know—head, hands, and feet—everything—
especially feet. That's my foot," she said, kicking off her big slipper and
stretchingoutthelimb."It'sthehandsomestfootinallParis.There'sonlyonein
allParistomatchit,andhereitis,"andshelaughedheartily(likeamerrypealof
bells),andstuckouttheother.
Andintruththeywereastonishinglybeautifulfeet,suchasoneonlyseesin
pictures and statues—a true inspiration of shape and color, all made up of
delicatelengthsandsubtlymodulatedcurvesandnoblestraightnessesandhappy
littledimpledarrangementsininnocentyoungpinkandwhite.
SothatLittleBillee,whohadthequick,prehensile,æstheticeye,andknew
bythegraceofHeavenwhattheshapesandsizesandcolorsofalmosteverybit
ofman,woman,orchildshouldbe(andsoseldomare),wasquitebewilderedto


findthatareal,bare,livehumanfootcouldbesuchacharmingobjecttolookat,
andfeltthatsuchabaseorpedestallentquiteanantiqueandOlympiandignity
toafigurethatseemedjustthenrathergrotesqueinitsmixedattireofmilitary
overcoatandfemalepetticoat,andnothingelse!
PoorTrilby!
Theshapeofthoselovelyslenderfeet(thatwereneitherlargenorsmall),facsimiledindusty,paleplasterofParis,survivesontheshelvesandwallsofmany
astudiothroughouttheworld,andmanyasculptoryetunbornhasyettomarvel
attheirstrangeperfection,instudiousdespair.
ForwhenDameNaturetakesitintoherheadtodoherverybest,andbestow
herminutestattentiononameredetail,ashappensnowandthen—onceinablue
moon,perhaps—shemakesituphillworkforpoorhumanarttokeeppacewith
her.
Itisawondrousthing,thehumanfoot—likethehumanhand;evenmoreso,
perhaps;but,unlikethehand,withwhichwearesofamiliar,itisseldomathing
ofbeautyincivilizedadultswhogoaboutinleatherbootsorshoes.
So that it is hidden away in disgrace, a thing to be thrust out of sight and
forgotten.Itcansometimesbeveryugly,indeed—theugliestthingthereis,even
inthefairestandhighestandmostgiftedofhersex;andthenitisofanugliness
tochillandkillromance,andscatteryounglove'sdream,andalmostbreakthe
heart.
And all for the sake of a high heel and a ridiculously pointed toe—mean
things,atthebest!
Conversely,whenMotherNaturehastakenextrapainsinthebuildingofit,
and proper care or happy chance has kept it free of lamentable deformations,
indurations,anddiscolorations—allthosegrewsomeboot-begottenabominations
whichhavemadeitsogenerallyunpopular—thesuddensightofit,uncovered,
comesasaveryrareandsingularlypleasingsurprisetotheeyethathaslearned
howtosee!
NothingelsethatMotherNaturehastoshow,noteventhehumanfacedivine,
hasmoresubtlepowertosuggesthighphysicaldistinction,happyevolution,and
supremedevelopment;thelordshipofmanoverbeast,thelordshipofmanover
man,thelordshipofwomanoverall!
En,voilà,del'éloquence—àproposdebottes!
TrilbyhadrespectedMotherNature'sspecialgifttoherself—hadneverworn
aleatherbootorshoe,hadalwaystakenasmuchcareofherfeetasmanyafine
ladytakesofherhands.Itwasheronecoquetry,theonlyrealvanityshehad.


Gecko,hisfiddleinonehandandhisbowintheother,staredatherinopenmouthedadmirationanddelight,assheatehersandwichofsoldier'sbreadand
fromageàlacrèmequiteunconcerned.
Whenshehadfinishedshelickedthetipsofherfingerscleanofcheese,and
producedasmalltobacco-pouchfromanothermilitarypocket,andmadeherself
acigarette,andlititandsmokedit,inhalingthesmokeinlargewhiffs,fillingher
lungs with it, and sending it back through her nostrils, with a look of great
beatitude.
Svengali played Schubert's "Rosemonde," and flashed a pair of languishing
blackeyesatherwithintenttokill.
Butshedidn'tevenlookhisway.ShelookedatLittleBillee,atbigTaffy,at
theLaird,atthecastsandstudies,atthesky,thechimney-potsovertheway,the
towersofNotreDame,justvisiblefromwhereshesat.
Onlywhenhefinishedsheexclaimed:"Maïe,aïe!c'estrudementbientapé,
c'temusique-là!Seulement,c'estpasgai,voussavez!Commentq'ças'appelle?"
"Itiscalledthe'Rosemonde'ofSchubert,matemoiselle,"repliedSvengali.(I
willtranslate.)
THE"ROSEMONDE"OFSCHUBERT
THE"ROSEMONDE"OFSCHUBERT

"Andwhat'sthat—Rosemonde?"saidshe.
"Rosemonde was a princess of Cyprus, matemoiselle, and Cyprus is an
island."
"Ah,andSchubert,then—where'sthat?"
"Schubertisnotanisland,matemoiselle.Schubertwasacompatriotofmine,
andmademusic,andplayedthepiano,justlikeme."
"Ah,Schubertwasamonsieur,then.Don'tknowhim;neverheardhisname."
"That is a pity, matemoiselle. He had some talent. You like this better,
perhaps,"andhestrummed,


"Messieurslesétudiants,
S'envontàlachaumière
Pourydanserlecancan,"

striking wrong notes, and banging out a bass in a different key—a hideously
grotesqueperformance.
"Yes, I like that better. It's gayer, you know. Is that also composed by a
compatriotofyours?"askedthelady.
"Heavenforbid,matemoiselle."
AndthelaughwasagainstSvengali.
But the real fun of it all (if there was any) lay in the fact that she was
perfectlysincere.
"Areyoufondofmusic?"askedLittleBillee.
"Oh, ain't I, just!" she replied. "My father sang like a bird. He was a
gentleman and a scholar, my father was. His name was Patrick Michael
O'Ferrall,fellowofTrinity,Cambridge.Heusedtosing'BenBolt.'Doyouknow
'BenBolt'?"
"Ohyes,Iknowitwell,"saidLittleBillee."It'saveryprettysong."
"Icansingit,"saidMissO'Ferrall."ShallI?"
"Oh,certainly,ifyouwillbesokind."
Miss O'Ferrall threw away the end of her cigarette, put her hands on her
kneesasshesatcross-leggedonthemodel-throne,andstickingherelbowswell
out,shelookeduptotheceilingwithatender,sentimentalsmile,andsangthe
touchingsong,
"Oh,don'tyouremembersweetAlice,BenBolt?
SweetAlice,withhairsobrown?"etc.,etc.

As some things are too sad and too deep for tears, so some things are too
grotesque and too funny for laughter. Of such a kind was Miss O'Ferrall's
performanceof"BenBolt."
From that capacious mouth and through that high-bridged bony nose there
rolled a volume of breathy sound, not loud, but so immense that it seemed to
come from all round, to be reverberated from every surface in the studio. She
followed more or less the shape of the tune, going up when it rose and down
when it fell, but with such immense intervals between the notes as were never
dreamedofinanymortalmelody.Itwasasthoughshecouldneveroncehave
deviated into tune, never once have hit upon a true note, even by a fluke—in


fact,asthoughshewereabsolutelytone-deafandwithoutear,althoughshestuck
tothetimecorrectlyenough.
She finished her song amid an embarrassing silence. The audience didn't
quiteknowwhetheritweremeantforfunorseriously.Onewonderedifshewere
not paying out Svengali for his impertinent performance of "Messieurs les
étudiants."Ifso,itwasacapitalpieceofimpromptutit-for-tatadmirablyacted,
andaveryuglygleamyellowedthetawnyblackofSvengali'sbigeyes.Hewas
sofondofmakingfunofothersthatheparticularlyresentedbeingmadefunof
himself—couldn'tendurethatanyoneshouldeverhavethelaughofhim.
AtlengthLittleBilleesaid:"Thankyousomuch.Itisacapitalsong."
"Yes," said Miss O'Ferrall. "It's the only song I know, unfortunately. My
fatherusedtosingit,justlikethat,whenhefeltjollyafterhotrumandwater.It
usedtomakepeoplecry;heusedtocryoverithimself.Ineverdo.Somepeople
thinkIcan'tsingabit.AllIcansayisthatI'veoftenhadtosingitsixorseven
timesrunninginlotsofstudios.Ivaryit,youknow—notthewords,butthetune.
YoumustrememberthatI'veonlytakentoitlately.DoyouknowLitolff?Well,
he's a great composer, and he came to Durien's the other day, and I sang 'Ben
Bolt,'andwhatdoyouthinkhesaid?Why,hesaidMadameAlbonicouldn'tgo
nearly so high or so low as I did, and that her voice wasn't half so strong. He
gavemehiswordofhonor.HesaidIbreathedasnaturalandstraightasababy,
andallIwantistogetmyvoicealittlemoreundercontrol.That'swhathesaid."
"Qu'est-cequ'elledit?"askedSvengali.Andshesaiditalloveragaintohim
in French—quite French French—of the most colloquial kind. Her accent was
notthatoftheComédieFrançaise,noryetthatoftheFaubourgSt.Germain,nor
yet that of the pavement. It was quaint and expressive—"funny without being
vulgar."
"Barpleu!hewasright,Litolff,"saidSvengali."Iassureyou,matemoiselle,
that I have never heard a voice that can equal yours; you have a talent quite
exceptional."
She blushed with pleasure, and the others thought him a "beastly cad" for
poking fun at the poor girl in such a way. And they thought Monsieur Litolff
another.
Shethengotupandshookthecrumbsoffhercoat,andslippedherfeetinto
Durien'sslippers,saying,inEnglish:"Well,I'vegottogoback.Lifeain'tallbeer
andskittles,andmore'sthepity;butwhat'stheodds,solongasyou'rehappy?"
On her way out she stopped before Taffy's picture—a chiffonnier with his
lanternbendingoveradustheap.ForTaffywas,orthoughthimself,apassionate


realistinthosedays.Hehaschanged,andnowpaintsnothingbutKingArthurs
andGuineveresandLancelotsandElainesandfloatingLadiesofShalott.
"That chiffonnier's basket isn't hitched high enough," she remarked. "How
couldhetaphispickagainsttherimandmaketheragfallintoitifit'shitched
only half-way up his back? And he's got the wrong sabots, and the wrong
lantern;it'sallwrong."
"Dearme!"saidTaffy,turningveryred;"youseemtoknowalotaboutit.It's
apityyoudon'tpaint,yourself."
"Ah!nowyou'recross!"saidMissO'Ferrall."Oh,maïe,aïe!"
She wentto thedoorand paused,lookingroundbenignly."Whatniceteeth
you've all three got. That's because you're Englishmen, I suppose, and clean
themtwiceaday.Idotoo.TrilbyO'Ferrall,that'smyname,48RuedesPousseCailloux!—posepourl'ensemble,quandçal'amuse!va-t-enville,etfaittoutce
quiconcernesonétat!Don'tforget.Thanksall,andgood-bye."
"Env'làuneorichinale,"saidSvengali.
"Ithinkshe'slovely,"saidLittleBillee,theyoungandtender."Oh,heavens,
whatangel'sfeet!Itmakesmesicktothinkshesitsforthefigure.I'msureshe's
quitealady."
Andinfiveminutesorso,withthepointofanoldcompass,hescratchedin
white on the dark red wall a three-quarter profile outline of Trilby's left foot,
whichwasperhapsthemoreperfectpoemofthetwo.
Slightasitwas,thislittlepieceofimpromptuetching,initssenseofbeauty,
initsquickseizingofapeculiarindividuality,itssubtlerenderingofastrongly
receivedimpression,wasalreadytheworkofamaster.ItwasTrilby'sfoot,and
nobodyelse's,norcouldhavebeen,andnobodyelsebutLittleBilleecouldhave
drawnitinjustthatinspiredway.
"Qu'est-cequec'est,'BenBolt'?"inquiredGecko.
UponwhichLittleBilleewasmadebyTaffytositdowntothepianoandsing
it.HesangitverynicelywithhispleasantlittlethroatyEnglishbarytone.
TRILBY'SLEFTFOOT
TRILBY'SLEFTFOOT

ItwassolelyinorderthatLittleBilleeshouldhaveopportunitiesofpractising
thisgracefulaccomplishmentofhis,forhisownandhisfriends'delectation,that
thepianohadbeensentoverfromLondon,atgreatcosttoTaffyandtheLaird.It
hadbelongedtoTaffy'smother,whowasdead.


Before he had finished the second verse, Svengali exclaimed: "Mais c'est
tout-à-faitchentil!Allons,Gecko,chouez-nousça!"
Andheputhisbighandsonthepiano,overLittleBillee's,pushedhimoffthe
music-stool with his great gaunt body, and, sitting on it himself, he played a
masterlyprelude.Itwasimpressivetohearthecomplicatedrichnessandvolume
ofthesoundsheevokedafterLittleBillee'sgentle"tink-a-tink."
And Gecko, cuddling lovingly his violin and closing his upturned eyes,
played that simple melody as it had probably never been played before—such
passion,suchpathos,suchatone!—andtheyturneditandtwistedit,andwent
from one key to another, playing into each other's hands, Svengali taking the
lead; and fugued and canoned and counterpointed and battle-doored and
shuttlecocked it, high and low, soft and loud, in minor, in pizzicato, and in
sordino—adagio,andante,allegretto,scherzo—andexhaustedallitspossibilities
ofbeauty;tilltheirsusceptibleaudienceofthreewasallbutcrazedwithdelight
andwonder;andthemasterfulBenBolt,andhisover-tenderAlice,andhistoo
submissive friend, and his old schoolmaster so kind and so true, and his longdead schoolmates, and the rustic porch and the mill, and the slab of granite so
gray,
"Andthedearlittlenook
Bytheclearrunningbrook,"

wereallmagnifiedintoastrange,almostholypoeticdignityandsplendorquite
undreamed of by whoever wrote the words and music of that unsophisticated
littlesong,whichhastouchedsomanysimpleBritishheartsthatdon'tknowany
better—andamongthem,once,thatofthepresentscribe—long,longago!
"Sacrepleu! il choue pien, le Checko, hein?" said Svengali, when they had
broughtthiswonderfuldoubleimprovisationtoaclimaxandaclose."C'estmon
élèfe!chelefaischantersursonfiolon,c'estcommesic'étaitmoiquichantais!
ach!sich'afaispourteuxsousdevoix,cheseraislebremierchanteurdumonte!
I cannot sing!" he continued. (I will translate him into English, without
attempting to translate his accent, which is a mere matter of judiciously
transposingp'sandb's,andt'sandd's,andf'sandv's,andg'sandk's,andturning
thesoftFrenchjintosch,andaprettylanguageintoanuglyone.)
"Icannotsingmyself,Icannotplaytheviolin,butIcanteach—hein,Gecko?
AndIhaveapupil—hein,Gecko?—labetiteHonorine;"andhereheleeredall
round with a leer that was not engaging. "The world shall hear of la betite
Honorine some day—hein, Gecko? Listen all—this is how I teach la betite
Honorine!Gecko,playmealittleaccompanimentinpizzicato."


Andhepulledoutofhispocketakindoflittleflexibleflageolet(ofhisown
invention,itseems),whichhescrewedtogetherandputtohislips,andonthis
humbleinstrumentheplayed"BenBolt,"whileGeckoaccompaniedhim,using
hisfiddleasaguitar,hisadoringeyesfixedinreverenceonhismaster.
And it would be impossible to render in any words the deftness, the
distinction, the grace, power, pathos, and passion with which this truly
phenomenal artist executed the poor old twopenny tune on his elastic penny
whistle—for it was little more—such thrilling, vibrating, piercing tenderness,
now loud and full, a shrill scream of anguish, now soft as a whisper, a mere
melodic breath, more human almost than the human voice itself, a perfection
unattainable even by Gecko, a master, on an instrument which is the
acknowledgedkingofall!
So that the tear which had been so close to the brink of Little Billee's eye
while Gecko was playing now rose and trembled under his eyelid and spilled
itselfdownhisnose;andhehadtodissembleandsurreptitiouslymopitupwith
his little finger as he leaned his chin on his hand, and cough a little husky,
unnaturalcough—poursedonnerunecontenance!
He had never heard such music as this, never dreamed such music was
possible.Hewasconscious,whileitlasted,thathesawdeeperintothebeauty,
thesadnessofthings,theveryheartofthem,andtheirpatheticevanescence,as
with a new, inner eye—even into eternity itself, beyond the veil—a vague
cosmic vision that faded when the music was over, but left an unfading
reminiscenceofitshavingbeen,andapassionatedesiretoexpressthelikesome
daythroughtheplasticmediumofhisownbeautifulart.
THEFLEXIBLEFLAGEOLET
THEFLEXIBLEFLAGEOLET

WhenSvengaliended,heleeredagainonhisdumb-struckaudience,andsaid:
"ThatishowIteachlabetiteHonorinetosing;thatishowIteachGeckotoplay;
thatishowIteach'ilbelcanto'!Itwaslost,thebelcanto—butIfoundit,ina
dream—I, and nobody else—I—Svengali—I—I—I! But that is enough of
music;letusplayatsomethingelse—letusplayatthis!"hecried,jumpingup
andseizingafoilandbendingitagainstthewall...."Comealong,LittlePillee,
andIwillshowyousomethingmoreyoudon'tknow...."
So Little Billee took off coat and waistcoat, donned mask and glove and
fencing-shoes,andtheyhadan"assaultofarms,"asitisnoblycalledinFrench,
and in which poor Little Billee came off very badly. The German Pole fenced
wildly,butwell.


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