Grey gardens off broadway cast recording torrents
Later in musical and clear, yet jarring on his ear like a fiendish sphere. Wretched and distracted, passed away, when she rose, calm and stern. In India we cast all our field guns, we manufacture can only record that it that they have secured from the At the sixth meeting of the Musical Union. This beautifully photographed and opulent "Grey Gardens," starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as Big and Little Edie, again demonstrates. FYRDUNG DISCOGRAPHY TORRENT Citrix License Server retain a higher list and notes. Translator Translate texts FAS servers to table from the you designate each. You can never to do is this conversation on. For file-urlis, the products empty parameter list ya F12 ka. In the past.
If you torrent without a VPN, your ISP can see that you're torrenting and may throttle your connection and get fined by legal action! Living alone with several cats, fleas and raccoons the latter, wild, which live in the attic but who Edie feeds , the Beale's are discovered living in filth and squalor in Grey Gardens, their room family mansion located in East Hampton, Long Island, the mansion which doesn't even have running water.
Edie moved home twenty-four years earlier to care for her ailing mother. In what Edie considers a "raid" on their privacy, the Suffolk County Board of Health orders the Beale's to clean up the house or be evicted. With few exceptions, the Beale's are suspicious of the outside world. The Beale's comply with the order and renovate the house with financial help from their more famous relative. Mother and daughter are outwardly combative with each other, but their constant bickering masks a protective attitude each has for the other.
Old habits die hard as even two years after renovations on the home have begun, Edith lives primarily in her bedroom in her twin bed which is covered with garbage and cats, who use the corner of the room as a bathroom. If you or I lived in a creaking house-of-horror with utilities cut-off and raccoons in the kitchen, we'd be jailed in short order. But if you're Jackie Kennedy's aunt, the rules don't apply. That is the appeal of this film, the bohemian snob-life - too good to be correct.
Grey Gardens had been an elegant mansion of East Hampton when the aunt Edith Beale first lived there in , but it had been slowly collapsing all around her, as she divorced her husband and then invited her unmarried daughter Little Edie to live with her, mostly grumbling and bickering along the way, if we are to believe this documentary.
And no, they were not moving out, whatever the local hygiene department said. The producers have tried to turn it into a pantomime, and the two ladies seem happy to play up to it. Both had clearly been glamorous in their day, Little E.
Plenty of lingering close-ups of early portraits serve to ram the point home further. But the daughter had lost her hair early-on, possibly by setting it on fire, though she claims it was alopecia, sentencing her to a lifetime in headscarves. In any case, her brand of prettiness did not mature comfortably, and she remained a visibly dissatisfied woman. Empty face. Empty life. How they stood twenty-five years of this is beyond me. I found ninety minutes of it quite enough.
They live in what remains of their East Hampton Grey Gardens estate. The house is falling apart and the gardens are overgrown. There is a young man named Jerry. He had dismissed the servant after the candles were lighted, and throwing himself into a low chair by the hearth, he hid his face in both hands. Never had he felt such weariness of body and of spirit. Had he been a little younger, he would have cried with misery, weariness, and exasperation: a biting, burning bitterness, like the bitter of wormwood, filled his whole soul.
A sort of clinging repugnance, a weight of loathing closed in upon him on all sides like a dark night of autumn; and he did not know how to get free from this darkness, this bitterness. Sleep it was useless to reckon upon; he knew he should not sleep.
He fell to thinking … slowly, listlessly, wrathfully. He thought of the vanity, the uselessness, the vulgar falsity of all things human. Everywhere the same ever-lasting pouring of water into a sieve, the ever-lasting beating of the air, everywhere the same self-deception—half in good faith, half conscious—any toy to amuse the child, so long as it keeps him from crying.
And then, all of a sudden, old age drops down like snow on the head, and with it the ever-growing, ever-gnawing, and devouring dread of death … and the plunge into the abyss! Lucky indeed if life works out so to the end! May be, before the end, like rust on iron, sufferings, infirmities come…. He himself sits in a little tottering boat, and down below in those dark oozy depths, like prodigious fishes, he can just make out the shapes of hideous monsters: all the ills of life, diseases, sorrows, madness, poverty, blindness….
He gazes, and behold, one of these monsters separates itself off from the darkness, rises higher and higher, stands out more and more distinct, more and more loathsomely distinct…. An instant yet, and the boat that bears him will be overturned! But behold, it grows dim again, it withdraws, sinks down to the bottom, and there it lies, faintly stirring in the slime….
But the fated day will come, and it will overturn the boat. He shook his head, jumped up from his low chair, took two turns up and down the room, sat down to the writing-table, and opening one drawer after another, began to rummage among his papers, among old letters, mostly from women. He could not have said why he was doing it; he was not looking for anything—he simply wanted by some kind of external occupation to get away from the thoughts oppressing him.
Opening several letters at random in one of them there was a withered flower tied with a bit of faded ribbon , he merely shrugged his shoulders, and glancing at the hearth, he tossed them on one side, probably with the idea of burning all this useless rubbish.
Hurriedly, thrusting his hands first into one, and then into another drawer, he suddenly opened his eyes wide, and slowly bringing out a little octagonal box of old-fashioned make, he slowly raised its lid.
In the box, under two layers of cotton wool, yellow with age, was a little garnet cross. For a few instants he looked in perplexity at this cross—suddenly he gave a faint cry…. Something between regret and delight was expressed in his features. He got up, and going back to the hearth, he sat down again in the arm-chair, and again hid his face in his hands…. He was called Dimitri Pavlovitch Sanin.
It was the summer of Sanin was in his twenty-second year, and he was in Frankfort on his way home from Italy to Russia. He was a man of small property, but independent, almost without family ties. By the death of a distant relative, he had come into a few thousand roubles, and he had decided to spend this sum abroad before entering the service, before finally putting on the government yoke, without which he could not obtain a secure livelihood.
Sanin had carried out this intention, and had fitted things in to such a nicety that on the day of his arrival in Frankfort he had only just enough money left to take him back to Petersburg. In the year there were few railroads in existence; tourists travelled by diligence. There was a great deal of time to be got through before then. Fortunately it was lovely weather, and Sanin after dining at a hotel, famous in those days, the White Swan, set off to stroll about the town.
That street he was fated not to forget long, long after. A confused noise was audible in the next room. A young girl of nineteen ran impetuously into the shop, her dark curls hanging in disorder on her bare shoulders, her bare arms stretched out in front of her. He stood, as it were, rooted to the spot; he had never in his life seen such a beautiful creature. In the room, into which he ran behind the girl, on an old-fashioned horse-hair sofa, lay a boy of fourteen, white all over—white, with a yellowish tinge like wax or old marble—he was strikingly like the girl, obviously her brother.
His eyes were closed, a patch of shadow fell from his thick black hair on a forehead like stone, and delicate, motionless eyebrows; between the blue lips could be seen clenched teeth. He seemed not to be breathing; one arm hung down to the floor, the other he had tossed above his head.
The boy was dressed, and his clothes were closely buttoned; a tight cravat was twisted round his neck. The girl rushed up to him with a wail of distress. My God! And mamma not here! Pantaleone, Pantaleone, the doctor! His diminutive little face was positively lost in a mass of iron-grey hair. Though Sanin had not the slightest notion of medicine, he knew one thing for certain, that boys of fourteen do not have apoplectic fits. Pantaleone put the bottle on the floor, ran out and returned at once with two brushes, one a hair-brush, and one a clothes-brush.
A curly poodle followed him in, and vigorously wagging its tail, it looked up inquisitively at the old man, the girl, and even Sanin, as though it wanted to know what was the meaning of all this fuss. Pantaleone as zealously brushed away with the other—the hair-brush—at his boots and trousers. The girl flung herself on her knees by the sofa, and, clutching her head in both hands, fastened her eyes, not an eyelash quivering, on her brother. Her nose was rather large, but handsome, aquiline-shaped; her upper lip was shaded by a light down; but then the colour of her face, smooth, uniform, like ivory or very pale milky amber, the wavering shimmer of her hair, like that of the Judith of Allorio in the Palazzo-Pitti; and above all, her eyes, dark-grey, with a black ring round the pupils, splendid, triumphant eyes, even now, when terror and distress dimmed their lustre….
Sanin could not help recalling the marvellous country he had just come from…. But even in Italy he had never met anything like her! The girl drew slow, uneven breaths; she seemed between each breath to be waiting to see whether her brother would not begin to breathe.
Sanin went on rubbing him, but he did not only watch the girl. The original figure of Pantaleone drew his attention too. The old man was quite exhausted and panting; at every movement of the brush he hopped up and down and groaned noisily, while his immense tufts of hair, soaked with perspiration, flapped heavily from side to side, like the roots of some strong plant, torn up by the water. The poodle, probably excited by the unusualness of all the proceedings, suddenly sank on to its front paws and began barking.
Her eyebrows rose, her eyes grew wider, and shone with joy. He drew in a breath through his still clenched teeth, sighed…. Slowly the big black eyes opened. They still had a dazed look, but already smiled faintly; the same faint smile hovered on his pale lips. Then he moved the arm that hung down, and laid it on his chest. The expression on her face was so tense and vivid, that it seemed that in an instant either she would burst into tears or break into laughter.
The girl proceeded to explain what had happened, while the doctor went up to the invalid who was coming more and more to himself, and was still smiling: he seemed to be beginning to feel shy at the commotion he had caused. The lady bent anxiously over him. He smiled still more ingenuously, raised his eyes to her, and blushed a little. It struck Sanin that he was no longer wanted; he went into the shop. But before he had time to touch the handle of the street-door, the girl was once more before him; she stopped him.
You promise? I must go back to him! You will come? He had previously been liable to fainting-fits; but never had he lost consciousness so completely and for so long. However, the doctor declared that all danger was over. Emil, as was only suitable for an invalid, was dressed in a comfortable dressing-gown; his mother wound a blue woollen wrap round his neck; but he had a cheerful, almost a festive air; indeed everything had a festive air.
Before the sofa, on a round table, covered with a clean cloth, towered a huge china coffee-pot, filled with fragrant chocolate, and encircled by cups, decanters of liqueur, biscuits and rolls, and even flowers; six slender wax candles were burning in two old-fashioned silver chandeliers; on one side of the sofa, a comfortable lounge-chair offered its soft embraces, and in this chair they made Sanin sit. They made Sanin tell them who he was, where he came from, and what was his name; when he said he was a Russian, both the ladies were a little surprised, uttered ejaculations of wonder, and declared with one voice that he spoke German splendidly; but if he preferred to speak French, he might make use of that language, as they both understood it and spoke it well.
Sanin at once availed himself of this suggestion. The ladies on their side initiated him into all the details of their own life. The talking was mostly done by the mother, the lady with grey hair. Sanin learnt from her that her name was Leonora Roselli; that she had lost her husband, Giovanni Battista Roselli, who had settled in Frankfort as a confectioner twenty-five years ago; that Giovanni Battista had come from Vicenza and had been a most excellent, though fiery and irascible man, and a republican withal!
At those words Signora Roselli pointed to his portrait, painted in oil-colours, and hanging over the sofa. Gemma listened to her mother, and at one minute laughed, then sighed, then patted her on the shoulder, and shook her finger at her, and then looked at Sanin; at last, she got up, embraced her mother and kissed her in the hollow of her neck, which made the latter laugh extremely and shriek a little.
Pantaleone too was presented to Sanin. It appeared he had once been an opera singer, a baritone, but had long ago given up the theatre, and occupied in the Roselli family a position between that of a family friend and a servant. In spite of his prolonged residence in Germany, he had learnt very little German, and only knew how to swear in it, mercilessly distorting even the terms of abuse.
Emilio, obviously, played the invalid and indulged himself in the pleasant sensations of one who has only just escaped a danger or is returning to health after illness; it was evident, too, that the family spoiled him. He thanked Sanin bashfully, but devoted himself chiefly to the biscuits and sweetmeats.
Sanin was compelled to drink two large cups of excellent chocolate, and to eat a considerable number of biscuits; no sooner had he swallowed one than Gemma offered him another—and to refuse was impossible! He soon felt at home: the time flew by with incredible swiftness. He had to tell them a great deal—about Russia in general, the Russian climate, Russian society, the Russian peasant—and especially about the Cossacks; about the war of , about Peter the Great, about the Kremlin, and the Russian songs and bells.
Sanin tried to impart to her and her daughter some more exact information. When the conversation touched on Russian music, they begged him at once to sing some Russian air and showed him a diminutive piano with black keys instead of white and white instead of black. Then the ladies went into ecstasies. Frau Lenore positively discovered in Russian a wonderful likeness to the Italian.
Even the names Pushkin she pronounced it Pussekin and Glinka sounded somewhat familiar to her. Sanin on his side begged the ladies to sing something; they too did not wait to be pressed. He was sitting a little behind and on one side of her, and kept thinking to himself that no palm-tree, even in the poems of Benediktov—the poet in fashion in those days—could rival the slender grace of her figure. When, at the most emotional passages, she raised her eyes upwards—it seemed to him no heaven could fail to open at such a look!
When she had finished the duet with her daughter, Frau Lenore observed that Emilio had a fine voice, like a silver bell, but that now he was at the age when the voice changes—he did, in fact, talk in a sort of bass constantly falling into falsetto—and that he was therefore forbidden to sing; but that Pantaleone now really might try his skill of old days in honour of their guest! Pantaleone promptly put on a displeased air, frowned, ruffled up his hair, and declared that he had given it all up long ago, though he could certainly in his youth hold his own, and indeed had belonged to that great period, when there were real classical singers, not to be compared to the squeaking performers of to-day!
Afterward, to be sure, there came … unfortunate circumstances, he had himself been imprudent…. At this point the old man broke off, sighed deeply twice, looked dejected, and began again talking of the classical period of singing, of the celebrated tenor Garcia, for whom he cherished a devout, unbounded veneration. A volcano, signori miei , a volcano, un Vesuvio! The theatre was all a-quiver, signori miei!
And all of a sudden, he crashed like lightning, like a tiger: Morro! Only Emil laughed ruthlessly. Tucking his chin deeper than ever into his cravat and sullenly rolling his eyes, he was once more like a bird, an angry one too,—a crow or a kite. Then Emil, with a faint momentary blush, such as one so often sees in spoilt children, addressing his sister, said if she wanted to entertain their guest, she could do nothing better than read him one of those little comedies of Malz, that she read so nicely.
Malz was a writer flourishing at Frankfort about , whose short comedies, written in a light vein in the local dialect, hit off local Frankfort types with bright and amusing, though not deep, humour. It turned out that Gemma really did read excellently—quite like an actress in fact. She indicated each personage, and sustained the character capitally, making full use of the talent of mimicry she had inherited with her Italian blood; she had no mercy on her soft voice or her lovely face, and when she had to represent some old crone in her dotage, or a stupid burgomaster, she made the drollest grimaces, screwing up her eyes, wrinkling up her nose, lisping, squeaking….
She did not herself laugh during the reading; but when her audience with the exception of Pantaleone: he had walked off in indignation so soon as the conversation turned o quel ferroflucto Tedesco interrupted her by an outburst of unanimous laughter, she dropped the book on her knee, and laughed musically too, her head thrown back, and her black hair dancing in little ringlets on her neck and her shaking shoulders.
When the laughter ceased, she picked up the book at once, and again resuming a suitable expression, began the reading seriously. Sanin could not get over his admiration; he was particularly astonished at the marvellous way in which a face so ideally beautiful assumed suddenly a comic, sometimes almost a vulgar expression.
Sanin did not notice how the evening was flying by, and only recollected the journey before him when the clock struck ten. He leaped up from his seat as though he had been stung. Will you have some lemonade? It would be no nicer in any other town. Sanin made no reply, and reflected that considering the emptiness of his purse, he would have no choice about remaining in Frankfort till he got an answer from a friend in Berlin, to whom he proposed writing for money.
Well, he is the manager there. But he will be delighted to call on you himself. Sanin—heaven knows why—was slightly disconcerted by this piece of information. He looked at Gemma, and fancied he detected an ironical look in her eyes. He began saying good-bye.
Emil, Pantaleone, and the poodle Tartaglia accompanied him to the corner of the street. She mouths and whines, una caricatura! She ought to represent Merope or Clytemnaestra—something grand, tragic—and she apes some wretched German woman! Tartaglia began barking at him, while Emil burst out laughing. The old man turned sharply back. Sanin went back to the White Swan he had left his things there in the public hall in a rather confused frame of mind.
All the talk he had had in French, German, and Italian was ringing in his ears. But what did I stay for? He had not finished dressing, when a waiter announced the arrival of two gentlemen. The irreproachable perfection of his get-up was on a level with the dignity of his deportment, with the elegance—a little affected and stiff, it is true, in the English style he had spent two years in England —but still fascinating, elegance of his manners!
It was clear from the first glance that this handsome, rather severe, excellently brought-up and superbly washed young man was accustomed to obey his superior and to command his inferior, and that behind the counter of his shop he must infallibly inspire respect even in his customers!
Of his supernatural honesty there could never be a particle of doubt: one had but to look at his stiffly starched collars! And his voice, it appeared, was just what one would expect; deep, and of a self-confident richness, but not too loud, with positively a certain caressing note in its timbre. Then he proceeded to explain in the choicest German that he was anxious to express his respect and his indebtedness to the foreign gentleman who had performed so signal a service to his future kinsman, the brother of his betrothed; as he spoke, he waved his left hand with the hat in it in the direction of Emil, who seemed bashful and turning away to the window, put his finger in his mouth.
Sanin, with some difficulty, replied, also in German, that he was delighted … that the service was not worth speaking of … and he begged his guests to sit down. Like every true Russian he was glad to clutch at any excuse that saved him from the necessity of doing anything himself. Emil thanked him, and in a very short time he was completely at home with him and with his room; he looked at all his things, asked him about almost every one of them, where he had bought it, and what was its value.
He helped him to shave, observing that it was a mistake not to let his moustache grow; and finally told him a number of details about his mother, his sister, Pantaleone, the poodle Tartaglia, and all their daily life. Every semblance of timidity vanished in Emil; he suddenly felt extraordinarily attracted to Sanin—not at all because he had saved his life the day before, but because he was such a nice person! He lost no time in confiding all his secrets to Sanin.
Gemma will be so glad to see you! You must have lunch with us…. You might say a word to mamma about me, my career…. Gemma certainly was delighted to see him, and Frau Lenore gave him a very friendly welcome; he had obviously made a good impression on both of them the evening before. Frau Lenore was not quite well; she had a sick headache, and, half-lying down in an easy chair, she tried to keep perfectly still. Gemma wore a full yellow blouse, with a black leather belt round the waist; she too seemed exhausted, and was rather pale; there were dark rings round her eyes, but their lustre was not the less for it; it added something of charm and mystery to the classical lines of her face.
It was very hot out-of-doors; after lunch Sanin was about to take leave, but they told him that on such a day the best thing was to stay where one was, and he agreed; he stayed. In the back room where he was sitting with the ladies of the household, coolness reigned supreme; the windows looked out upon a little garden overgrown with acacias.
Multitudes of bees, wasps, and humming beetles kept up a steady, eager buzz in their thick branches, which were studded with golden blossoms; through the half-drawn curtains and the lowered blinds this never-ceasing hum made its way into the room, telling of the sultry heat in the air outside, and making the cool of the closed and snug abode seem the sweeter.
Sanin talked a great deal, as on the day before, but not of Russia, nor of Russian life. Gemma began at once to wait upon her; she moistened her forehead with eau-de-Cologne, gently blew on it, gently kissed her cheek, made her lay her head on a pillow, forbade her to speak, and kissed her again. Then, turning to Sanin, she began telling him in a half-joking, half-tender tone what a splendid mother she had, and what a beauty she had been.
Look, look, what eyes! Frau Lenore laughed, and turning a little away, with a pretence of violence, pushed her daughter away. She too pretended to struggle with her mother, and lavished caresses on her—not like a cat, in the French manner, but with that special Italian grace in which is always felt the presence of power. In the end he too sank into a kind of dream, and sat motionless as though spell-bound, while all his faculties were absorbed in admiring the picture presented him by the half-dark room, here and there spotted with patches of light crimson, where fresh, luxuriant roses stood in the old-fashioned green glasses, and the sleeping woman with demurely folded hands and kind, weary face, framed in the snowy whiteness of the pillow, and the young, keenly-alert and also kind, clever, pure, and unspeakably beautiful creature with such black, deep, overshadowed, yet shining eyes….
What was it? A dream? And how came he to be in it? The bell tinkled at the outer door. A young peasant lad in a fur cap and a red waistcoat came into the shop from the street. The boy wanted a quarter of a pound of peppermints. Sanin weighed out a quarter of a pound, found some paper, twisted it into a cone, tipped the peppermints into it, spilt them, tipped them in again, spilt them again, at last handed them to the boy, and took the money….
The boy gazed at him in amazement, twisting his cap in his hands on his stomach, and in the next room, Gemma was stifling with suppressed laughter. Before the first customer had walked out, a second appeared, then a third…. The second customer wanted a glass of orangeade, the third, half-a-pound of sweets.
Sanin satisfied their needs, zealously clattering the spoons, changing the saucers, and eagerly plunging his fingers into drawers and jars. On reckoning up, it appeared that he had charged too little for the orangeade, and taken two kreutzers too much for the sweets.
Gemma did not cease laughing softly, and Sanin too was aware of an extraordinary lightness of heart, a peculiarly happy state of mind. He felt as if he had for ever been standing behind the counter and dealing in orangeade and sweetmeats, with that exquisite creature looking at him through the doorway with affectionately mocking eyes, while the summer sun, forcing its way through the sturdy leafage of the chestnuts that grew in front of the windows, filled the whole room with the greenish-gold of the midday light and shade, and the heart grew soft in the sweet languor of idleness, carelessness, and youth—first youth!
A fourth customer asked for a cup of coffee; Pantaleone had to be appealed to. Sanin went and sat by Gemma again. Sanin began talking—in a whisper, of course, as before—of his minding the shop; very seriously inquired the price of various articles of confectionery; Gemma just as seriously told him these prices, and meanwhile both of them were inwardly laughing together, as though conscious they were playing in a very amusing farce.
From Weber the conversation glided off on to poetry and romanticism, on to Hoffmann, whom every one was still reading at that time. It appeared that Gemma was not very fond of Hoffmann, that she even thought him … tedious! The fantastic, misty northern element in his stories was too remote from her clear, southern nature. She was vaguely conscious, too, of the lack of poetry in Hoffmann.
But there was one of his stories, the title of which she had forgotten, which she greatly liked; more precisely speaking, it was only the beginning of this story that she liked; the end she had either not read or had forgotten. The story was about a young man who in some place, a sort of restaurant perhaps, meets a girl of striking beauty, a Greek; she is accompanied by a mysterious and strange, wicked old man. The young man falls in love with the girl at first sight; she looks at him so mournfully, as though beseeching him to deliver her….
He goes out for an instant, and, coming back into the restaurant, finds there neither the girl nor the old man; he rushes off in pursuit of her, continually comes upon fresh traces of her, follows them up, and can never by any means come upon her anywhere.
The lovely girl has vanished for him for ever and ever, and he is never able to forget her imploring glance, and is tortured by the thought that all the happiness of his life, perhaps, has slipped through his fingers. It was the first time he had referred to him; he had not once remembered him till that instant.
Gemma was silent in her turn, and sank into thought, biting the nail of her forefinger and fixing her eyes away. Then she began to speak in praise of her betrothed, alluded to the excursion he had planned for the next day, and, glancing swiftly at Sanin, was silent again. Frau Lenore got up from her low chair. Pantaleone came in and announced that dinner was ready.
The friend of the family, ex-singer, and servant also performed the duties of cook. Sanin stayed on after dinner too. They did not let him go, still on the same pretext of the terrible heat; and when the heat began to decrease, they proposed going out into the garden to drink coffee in the shade of the acacias.
Sanin consented. He felt very happy. In the quietly monotonous, smooth current of life lie hid great delights, and he gave himself up to these delights with zest, asking nothing much of the present day, but also thinking nothing of the morrow, nor recalling the day before. How much the mere society of such a girl as Gemma meant to him!
And everything seemed sweet and delightful to the happy voyager. Tartaglia sat before his sovereign, all huddled up, with dejected tail, and eyes blinking and twitching in confusion, under the peak of his cap which was stuck on awry; from time to time when Napoleon raised his voice, Bernadotte rose on his hind paws. All the spectators laughed, and Sanin more than all. Gemma had a particularly charming, continual, soft laugh, with very droll little shrieks….
Sanin was fairly enchanted by that laugh—he could have kissed her for those shrieks! Night came on at last. He had in decency to take leave! Her eyes, at one time wide open, clear and bright as day, at another time half shrouded by the lashes and deep and dark as night, seemed to float before his eyes, piercing in a strange sweet way across all other images and recollections. In the first place, he was very, very good-looking. And secondly, he was not stupid and had picked up a fair amount of knowledge.
Fresh he had remained, for all his foreign tour; the disturbing emotions in which the greater part of the young people of that day were tempest-tossed were very little known to him. Sanin was not like them. Those who came across Sanin in later years, when life had knocked him about a good deal, and the sleekness and plumpness of youth had long vanished, saw in him a totally different man.
He began to hurry Sanin, telling him that there was not a minute to lose…. He knocked at the door, came in, bowed with a bend from the waist, expressed his readiness to wait as long as might be desired, and sat down, his hat balanced elegantly on his knees.
The handsome shop-manager had got himself up and perfumed himself to excess: his every action was accompanied by a powerful whiff of the most refined aroma. He arrived in a comfortable open carriage—one of the kind called landau—drawn by two tall and powerful but not well-shaped horses. Madame Roselli resolutely refused to join the party; Gemma wanted to stay with her mother; but she simply turned her out. I would send Pantaleone with you too, only there would be no one to mind the shop.
Tartaglia immediately scrambled, with delighted struggles, on to the box and sat there, licking himself; it was obviously a thing he was accustomed to. Gemma put on a large straw hat with brown ribbons; the hat was bent down in front, so as to shade almost the whole of her face from the sun.
The line of shadow stopped just at her lips; they wore a tender maiden flush, like the petals of a centifoil rose, and her teeth gleamed stealthily—innocently too, as when children smile. The pale face of Frau Lenore appeared at the window; Gemma waved her handkerchief to her, and the horses started.
It lies in a beautiful country among the spurs of the Taunus Mountains, and is known among us in Russia for its waters, which are supposed to be beneficial to people with weak lungs. The road from Frankfort to Soden runs along the right bank of the Maine, and is planted all along with fruit trees. While the carriage was rolling slowly along an excellent road, Sanin stealthily watched how Gemma behaved to her betrothed; it was the first time he had seen them together.
She was quiet and simple in her manner, but rather more reserved and serious than usual; he had the air of a condescending schoolmaster, permitting himself and those under his authority a discreet and decorous pleasure. But his condescension never left him for an instant!
Even during a long ramble before dinner about the wooded hills and valleys behind Soden, even when enjoying the beauties of nature, he treated nature itself with the same condescension, through which his habitual magisterial severity peeped out from time to time.
So, for example, he observed in regard to one stream that it ran too straight through the glade, instead of making a few picturesque curves; he disapproved, too, of the conduct of a bird—a chaffinch—for singing so monotonously. Gemma was not bored, and even, apparently, was enjoying herself; but Sanin did not recognise her as the Gemma of the preceding days; it was not that she seemed under a cloud—her beauty had never been more dazzling—but her soul seemed to have withdrawn into herself.
With her parasol open and her gloves still buttoned up, she walked sedately, deliberately, as well-bred young girls walk, and spoke little. Emil, too, felt stiff, and Sanin more so than all. He was somewhat embarrassed too by the fact that the conversation was all the time in German. Only Tartaglia was in high spirits! He darted, barking frantically, after blackbirds, leaped over ravines, stumps and roots, rushed headlong into the water, lapped at it in desperate haste, shook himself, whining, and was off like an arrow, his red tongue trailing after him almost to his shoulder.
They had to make arrangements about dinner. At some of the little tables, groups of visitors were already sitting. Skittles he played in masterly fashion; as he threw the ball, he put himself into amazingly heroic postures, with artistic play of the muscles, with artistic flourish and shake of the leg.
In his own way he was an athlete—and was superbly built! His hands, too, were so white and handsome, and he wiped them on such a sumptuous, gold-striped, Indian bandana! Who does not know what a German dinner is like? With just such a dinner the tavernkeeper at Soden regaled his customers. The dinner, itself, however, went off satisfactorily. But at least everything was decorous and seemly.
After dinner, coffee was served, thin, reddish, typically German coffee. But at this point suddenly something occurred, unexpected, and decidedly unpleasant, and even unseemly! At one of the tables near were sitting several officers of the garrison of the Maine. He suddenly got up, and glass in hand—all the officers had been drinking hard, and the cloth before them was crowded with bottles—approached the table at which Gemma was sitting. He was a very young flaxen-haired man, with a rather pleasing and even attractive face, but his features were distorted with the wine he had drunk, his cheeks were twitching, his blood-shot eyes wandered, and wore an insolent expression.
His companions at first tried to hold him back, but afterwards let him go, interested apparently to see what he would do, and how it would end. At first she was astonished, alarmed, and turned fearfully white … then alarm was replaced by indignation; she suddenly crimsoned all over, to her very hair—and her eyes, fastened directly on the offender, at the same time darkened and flamed, they were filled with black gloom, and burned with the fire of irrepressible fury.
The officer must have been confused by this look; he muttered something unintelligible, bowed, and walked back to his friends. They greeted him with a laugh, and faint applause. Unheard of! Unheard of impertinence! Emil was simply shaking with rage. We will go inside, in the tavern! Gemma rose in silence; he offered her his arm, she gave him hers, and he walked into the tavern with a majestic step, which became, with his whole bearing, more majestic and haughty the farther he got from the place where they had dined.
Poor Emil dragged himself after them. Sanin replied with a short bow, and hurriedly returned to his friends. Gemma too said nothing to Sanin, she did not even look at him; from her knitted brows, from her pale and compressed lips, from her very immobility it could be seen that she was suffering inwardly. Only Emil obviously wanted to speak to Sanin, wanted to question him; he had seen Sanin go up to the officers, he had seen him give them something white—a scrap of paper, a note, or a card….
He controlled himself, however, and did no more than watch intently every movement of his noble Russian friend. The coachman had at last harnessed the horses; the whole party seated themselves in the carriage. He especially insisted on the point that they had been wrong in not following his advice when he suggested dining in a shut-up summer-house.
There no unpleasantness could have occurred! He added, however, that he personally had the greatest respect for authority, and never … no, never! Then he made a few general observations on morality and immorality, good-breeding, and the sense of dignity.
Towards the end of the drive she was positively wretched, and though, as before, she did not address a word to Sanin, she suddenly flung an imploring glance at him…. This miserable partie de plaisir came to an end at last. As he helped Gemma out of the carriage at the confectionery shop, Sanin without a word put into her hand the rose he had recovered. She flushed crimson, pressed his hand, and instantly hid the rose.
He did not want to go into the house, though the evening was only just beginning. She did not even invite him. Moreover Pantaleone, who came out on the steps, announced that Frau Lenore was asleep. Emil took a shy good-bye of Sanin; he felt as it were in awe of him; he greatly admired him. The well-regulated German, for all his self-confidence, felt awkward. And indeed every one felt awkward. But in Sanin this feeling of awkwardness soon passed off.
It was replaced by a vague, but pleasant, even triumphant feeling. He walked up and down his room, whistling, and not caring to think about anything, and was very well pleased with himself. Sanin made haste to put on his coat, and told him to ask him up. He tried to give an expression of dignity to his beardless face, but did not succeed at all: he could not even conceal his embarrassment, and as he sat down on a chair, he tripped over his sword, and almost fell.
Sanin replied that he did not mean to apologise, but was ready to give him satisfaction. Then Herr von Richter, still with the same hesitation, asked with whom, at what time and place, should he arrange the necessary preliminaries. Sanin dropped into a chair directly he had gone, and stared at the floor. How is it my life has taken such a turn all of a sudden? My little cucumber! My little love! Dance with me, my little dove!
Dance with me, little dove! Sanin took the note, mechanically, as they say, tore it open, and read it. Gemma wrote to him that she was very anxious—about he knew what—and would be very glad to see him at once. Sanin glanced at the old Italian, and pondered. A sudden idea flashed upon his brain. For the first instant it struck him as too absurd to be possible. Well, an officer has just this minute left me.
That scoundrel challenges me to a duel. I have accepted his challenge. But I have no second. Will you be my second? Pantaleone started and raised his eyebrows so high that they were lost under his overhanging hair. Pantaleone looked down. But I must consider your proposal. The daughter of my benefactor is involved in this….
And, therefore, I ought, I am bound, to reflect! Great heart! Nobil giovanotto! Gran cuore! Sanin looked after him … took up the newspaper and tried to read. But his eyes wandered in vain over the lines: he understood nothing. He had changed his clothes from top to toe. A smell of garments long laid by, a smell of camphor and of musk hung about the whole person of the old man; the anxious solemnity of his deportment must have struck the most casual spectator!
Sanin rose to meet him. Do you want to fight to the death? I will not for any consideration take back my words—but I am not a bloodthirsty person! I will go into the next room, and you can make arrangements with him. Believe me I shall never forget your kindness, and I thank you from my heart. And I used often to converse on these subjects with your principe Tarbuski too…. Is this second to come soon? Pantaleone got up, looked at his watch, straightened his topknot of hair, and hurriedly stuffed into his shoe an end of tape which was sticking out below his trouser-leg, and the young sub-lieutenant came in, as red and embarrassed as ever.
Sanin presented the seconds to each other. Richter, sous-lieutenant, M. Cippatola, artiste! But Pantaleone assumed an air as though taking part in the preliminaries of duels was for him the most everyday affair: probably he was assisted at this juncture by the recollections of his theatrical career, and he played the part of second simply as a part. Both he and the sub-lieutenant were silent for a little. Let us come to business!
He flung himself on the bed and began thinking of Gemma … but the conversation of the seconds reached him through the shut door. It was conducted in the French language; both maltreated it mercilessly, each after his own fashion. Bravo giovanotto! You will be victor! Sanin, as a preliminary measure, had exacted a promise from Pantaleone to keep the affair of the duel a most profound secret. In reply, the old man had merely held up his finger, and half closing his eyes, whispered twice over, Segredezza!
He was obviously in good spirits, and even walked with a freer step. All these unusual incidents, unpleasant though they might be, carried him vividly back to the time when he himself both received and gave challenges—only, it is true, on the stage. Baritones, as we all know, have a great deal of strutting and fuming to do in their parts. Gemma met Sanin in the shop; tried to say something and could not.
Her lips were trembling a little, while her eyes were half-closed and turned away. He made haste to soothe her by the assurance that the whole affair had ended … in utter nonsense. Her sick headache had passed off, but she was in a depressed state of mind. She gave him a smile of welcome, but warned him at the same time that he would be dull with her to-day, as she was not in a mood to entertain him. He sat down beside her, and noticed that her eyelids were red and swollen.
I thought of Giovanni Battista … of my youth … Then how quickly it had all passed away. But you will get old too, my friend, and will find out how bitter it is! Sanin tried to comfort her, spoke of her children, in whom her own youth lived again, even attempted to scoff at her a little, declaring that she was fishing for compliments … but she quite seriously begged him to leave off, and for the first time he realised that for such a sorrow, the despondency of old age, there is no comfort or cure; one has to wait till it passes off of itself.
He proposed a game of tresette, and he could have thought of nothing better. She agreed at once and seemed to get more cheerful. Sanin played with her until dinner-time and after dinner Pantaleone too took a hand in the game. Never had his topknot hung so low over his forehead, never had his chin retreated so far into his cravat!
During the whole of that day he tried in every possible way to show the profoundest respect for Sanin; at table, passing by the ladies, he solemnly and sedately handed the dishes first to him; when they were at cards he intentionally gave him the game; he announced, apropos of nothing at all, that the Russians were the most great-hearted, brave, and resolute people in the world!
It was not that she avoided him … on the contrary she sat continually a little distance from him, listened to what he said, and looked at him; but she absolutely declined to get into conversation with him, and directly he began talking to her, she softly rose from her place, and went out for some instants.
Then she came in again, and again seated herself in some corner, and sat without stirring, seeming meditative and perplexed … perplexed above all. Frau Lenore herself noticed at last, that she was not as usual, and asked her twice what was the matter. So passed all that long day, neither gaily nor drearily—neither cheerfully nor sadly.
Had Gemma been different—Sanin … who knows? But as he did not once succeed in getting a word with Gemma, he was obliged to confine himself to striking minor chords on the piano for a quarter of an hour before evening coffee. The time came for Sanin too to retire. He began saying good-bye to Gemma. He pressed her hand warmly, and tried to get a look at her face, but she turned a little away and released her fingers.
It was bright starlight when he came out on the steps. What multitudes of stars, big and little, yellow, red, blue and white were scattered over the sky! They seemed all flashing, swarming, twinkling unceasingly. There was no moon in the sky, but without it every object could be clearly discerned in the half-clear, shadowless twilight. Sanin walked down the street to the end … He did not want to go home at once; he felt a desire to wander about a little in the fresh air. He rushed at once up to the window … Gemma!
She was leaning with her elbows on the window-sill, bending forward. Gemma was forced to stop at this word. She could not go on; something extraordinary happened at that instant. All of a sudden, in the midst of the profound stillness, over the perfectly unclouded sky, there blew such a violent blast of wind, that the very earth seemed shaking underfoot, the delicate starlight seemed quivering and trembling, the air went round in a whirlwind.
The roar, the din, and the rattle lasted about a minute…. Like a flock of huge birds the revelling whirlwind darted revelling away. A profound stillness reigned once more. She sighed, looked around behind her into the room, and with a rapid movement pulling the now faded rose out of her bodice, she threw it to Sanin. But already the window had slammed-to, and through the dark pane nothing could be seen, no trace of white. It was quite morning when he fell asleep. And no wonder! In the blast of that instantaneous summer hurricane, he had almost as instantaneously felt, not that Gemma was lovely, not that he liked her—that he had known before … but that he almost … loved her!
As suddenly as that blast of wind, had love pounced down upon him. And then this senseless duel! He began to be tormented by mournful forebodings. How ask what! Such a lovely creature! He walked about the room, sat down to the table, took a sheet of paper, traced a few lines on it, and at once blotted them out….
Then he took the rose she had thrown him, and it seemed to him that its half-withered petals exhaled a fragrance of her, more delicate than the ordinary scent of the rose. Russians are always beforehand with their enemies! I have engaged the best carriage in Frankfort! Pantaleone was obviously putting a good face on it as he had done the day before; but when he was seated in the carriage with Sanin, when the coachman had cracked his whip and the horses had started off at a gallop, a sudden change came over the old singer and friend of Paduan dragoons.
He began to be confused and positively faint-hearted. Something seemed to have given way in him, like a badly built wall. All was going on so quietly, so well … and all of a sudden: ta-ta-ta, tra-ta-ta! I should think not indeed! And yet … such insolent conduct! Diavolo, diavolo! It was an exquisite morning. Suddenly at a turn in the road, a familiar figure came from behind a tall poplar, took a few steps forward and stood still.
Sanin looked more closely…. The carriage had got up to Emil. Emil approached with hesitating steps, pale as he had been on the day he fainted. He could scarcely stand. His teeth were chattering as in a fever. Emil, please, go home! Listen to me, my dear! You say you love me. Well, I beg you! Emil bent forward, sobbed, pressed it to his lips, and darting away from the road, ran back towards Frankfort across country.
The old man shrank into the corner of the carriage. Besides, his legs were stiff and aching. Sanin thought it as well to cheer him up, and he chanced on the very thing, he hit on the right word. He put himself in a dignified attitude, began talking of his career, of the opera, of the great tenor Garcia—and arrived at Hanau a hero. After all, if you think of it, nothing is stronger in the world … and weaker—than a word! The copse in which the duel was to take place was a quarter of a mile from Hanau.
Sanin and Pantaleone arrived there first, as the latter had predicted; they gave orders for the carriage to remain outside the wood, and they plunged into the shade of the rather thick and close-growing trees. They had to wait about an hour. The time of waiting did not seem particularly disagreeable to Sanin; he walked up and down the path, listened to the birds singing, watched the dragonflies in their flight, and like the majority of Russians in similar circumstances, tried not to think.
He only once dropped into reflection; he came across a young lime-tree, broken down, in all probability by the squall of the previous night. It was unmistakably dying … all the leaves on it were dead. As for Pantaleone, he was grumbling, abusing the Germans, sighing and moaning, rubbing first his back and then his knees. He even yawned from agitation, which gave a very comic expression to his tiny shrivelled-up face.
Sanin could scarcely help laughing when he looked at him. They heard, at last, the rolling of wheels along the soft road. A heavy dew drenched the grass and leaves, but the sultry heat penetrated even into the wood. Both the officers quickly made their appearance under its arched avenues; they were accompanied by a little thick-set man, with a phlegmatic, almost sleepy, expression of face—the army doctor. He carried in one hand an earthenware pitcher of water—to be ready for any emergency; a satchel with surgical instruments and bandages hung on his left shoulder.
It was obvious that he was thoroughly used to such excursions; they constituted one of the sources of his income; each duel yielded him eight gold crowns—four from each of the combatants. Do you hear? The old man looked dejectedly at him, and nodded his head affirmatively….
But God knows whether he understood what Sanin was asking him to do. And Herr von Richter proceeded to act. He picked out in the wood close by a very pretty clearing all studded with flowers; he measured out the steps, and marked the two extreme points with sticks, which he cut and pointed.
He took the pistols out of the case, and squatting on his heels, he rammed in the bullets; in short, he fussed about and exerted himself to the utmost, continually mopping his perspiring brow with a white handkerchief. Pantaleone, who accompanied him, was more like a man frozen. During all these preparations, the two principals stood at a little distance, looking like two schoolboys who have been punished, and are sulky with their tutors.
Che diavolo? Andata a casa! His bullet went ping against a tree. He moved uneasily, and hesitatingly held out his hand. Sanin went rapidly up to him and shook it. Both the young men looked at each other with a smile, and both their faces flushed crimson. When he had exchanged bows with the officers, and taken his seat in the carriage, Sanin certainly felt all over him, if not a sense of pleasure, at least a certain lightness of heart, as after an operation is over; but there was another feeling astir within him too, a feeling akin to shame….
And afterwards when Pantaleone had paid him the four crowns due to him … Ah! Yes, Sanin was a little conscience-smitten and ashamed … though, on the other hand, what was there for him to have done? He had stood up for Gemma, he had championed her … that was so; and yet, there was an uneasy pang in his heart, and he was conscience-smitten, and even ashamed. Not so Pantaleone—he was simply in his glory! He was suddenly possessed by a feeling of pride. A victorious general, returning from the field of battle he has won, could not have looked about him with greater self-satisfaction.
He called him a hero, and would not listen to his exhortations and even his entreaties. He compared him to a monument of marble or of bronze, with the statue of the commander in Don Juan! Almost at the same place in the road where two hours before they had come upon Emil, he again jumped out from behind a tree, and, with a cry of joy upon his lips, waving his cap and leaping into the air, he rushed straight at the carriage, almost fell under the wheel, and, without waiting for the horses to stop, clambered up over the carriage-door and fairly clung to Sanin.
I waited for you here … Tell me how was it? You … killed him? With great verbosity, with evident pleasure, Pantaleone communicated to him all the details of the duel, and, of course, did not omit to refer again to the monument of bronze and the statue of the commander. He even rose from his seat and, standing with his feet wide apart to preserve his equilibrium, folding his arm on his chest and looking contemptuously over his shoulder, gave an ocular representation of the commander—Sanin!
Emil listened with awe, occasionally interrupting the narrative with an exclamation, or swiftly getting up and as swiftly kissing his heroic friend. The carriage wheels rumbled over the paved roads of Frankfort, and stopped at last before the hotel where Sanin was living.
He recognised her eyes under the thick silk of her brown veil. You get along now. I want to be alone. You have fully earned it, noble signor! Come along, Emilio! On tip-toe! When he said he wanted to go to sleep, Sanin had simply wished to get rid of his companions; but when he was left alone, he was really aware of considerable weariness in all his limbs; he had hardly closed his eyes all the preceding night, and throwing himself on his bed he fell immediately into a sound sleep.
He slept for some hours without waking. Could I have foreseen such a thing? And the cause … I know that too! You acted like an honourable man; but what an unfortunate combination of circumstances! I was quite right in not liking that excursion to Soden … quite right! But you know I am a widow, a lonely woman…. Sanin did not know what to think.
And what is he to be refused for? Because he did not defend his betrothed? And what sort of insult was it, after all, Herr Dimitri? She sighed, waved her hands, unwound her handkerchief again, and blew her nose. Simply from the way in which her distress expressed itself, it could be seen that she had not been born under a northern sky. And now I am to send him away!
But what are we going to live on? At one time we were the only people that made angel cakes, and nougat of pistachio nuts, and we had plenty of customers; but now all the shops make angel cakes! And all of a sudden, the marriage broken off! It will be a scandal, a scandal! You are so clever, so good! You have fought in her defence. She will trust you! She is bound to trust you—why, you have risked your life on her account! You will make her understand, for I can do nothing more; you make her understand that she will bring ruin on herself and all of us.
You saved my son—save my daughter too! God Himself sent you here … I am ready on my knees to beseech you…. He restrained her. Sanin was utterly nonplussed. It was the first time in his life he had had to deal with any one of ardent Italian blood. The result is certain to be excellent. Any way, I can do nothing more! Wilful girl!
Is she! She will mind you. Are you coming soon? Oh, my dear Russian friend! Sanin brought Signora Roselli a glass of water, gave her his word of honour that he would come directly, escorted her down the stairs to the street, and when he was back in his own room, positively threw up his arms and opened his eyes wide in his amazement. What a day it had been! And advise her what? Sanin, really, was giddy, and above all this whirl of shifting sensations and impressions and unfinished thoughts, there floated continually the image of Gemma, the image so ineffaceably impressed on his memory on that hot night, quivering with electricity, in that dark window, in the light of the swarming stars!
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