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Gabrielle de Bergerac

By James, Henry

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Book Id: WPLBN0000628966
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 97.28 KB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Gabrielle de Bergerac  
Author: James, Henry
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Blackmask Online Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Blackmask Online


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James, H. (n.d.). Gabrielle de Bergerac. Retrieved from

Excerpt: Part 1. MY good old friend, in his white flannel dressing?gown, with his wig ?removed,? as they say of the dinner?service, by a crimson nightcap, sat for some moments gazing into the fire. At last he looked up. I knew what was coming. ?Apropos, that little debt of mine?? Not that the debt was really very little. But M. de Bergerac was a man of honor, and I knew I should receive my dues. He told me frankly that he saw no way, either in the present or the future, to reimburse me in cash. His only treasures were his paintings; would I choose one of them? Now I had not spent an hour in M. de Bergerac?s little parlor twice a week for three winters, without learning that the Baron?s paintings were, with a single exception, of very indifferent merit. On the other hand, I had taken a great fancy to the picture thus excepted. Yet, as I knew it was a family portrait, I hesitated to claim it. I refused to make a choice. M. de Bergerac, however, insisted, and I finally laid my finger on the charming image of my friend?s aunt. I of course insisted, on my side, that M. de Bergerac should retain it during the remainder of his life, and so it was only after his decease that I came into possession of it. It hangs above my table as I write, and I have only to glance up at the face of my heroine to feel how vain it is to attempt to describe it. The portrait represents, in dimensions several degrees below those of nature, the head and shoulders of a young girl of two?and?twenty. The execution of the work is not especially strong, but it is thoroughly respectable, and one may easily see that the painter deeply appreciated the character of the face. The countenance is interesting rather than beautiful,? the forehead broad and open, the eyes slightly prominent, all the features full and firm and yet replete with gentleness. The head is slightly thrown back, as if in movement, and the lips are parted in a half?smile. And yet, in spite of this tender smile, I always fancy that the eyes are sad. The hair, dressed without powder, is rolled back over a high cushion (as I suppose), and adorned just above the left ear with a single white rose; while, on the other side, a heavy tress from behind hangs upon the neck with a sort of pastoral freedom.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents: Gabrielle de Bergerac, 1 -- Henry James, 1 -- PART I, 1 -- PART II, 18 -- PART III, 29


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