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-4. PARLOUR COMEDY. 4& A-JL The Counter Flavin Aadorni was chixming, Iterenty-eight years of age 10,000 lire of in- i«oiae as her dowry, md sh« did not take a (feasbend Everv now and then she refused 'OOP- Count,e-* Fiavia rt «i a great deal, ?Lc ipv&ntfed ttie fj»<tiioiis which tie elegant woieaai imitated, she jfeki not attend tir«t repr- v litotioTki at the theatre, bet preferred ••cood p«nonrtaflr«s she did not (»*(-, for (feasbend Everv now and then she refused unte4; Fiavia rt «i a great neal, be ipv&ntfed ttie fj»<tiioiis which tie elegant woieaai imitated, she jfeki not attend tir«t repr- v litotioTki at the theatre, bet preferred ••cood p«nonrtaflr«s she did not (2a.r for f pctArr. did uoi use pains or powder, never was fll. journeved vtxy often, allowed herself t **». courted wp to a certain limit, never poutios liked tht conversation of better than th-u'5 oi womtn, iiad grey I i#jws» dirk eot.iplexi'i'v. -irei brown ba-ir. k Thasafore. siie was ceiled—ri;ftH,ly or k Thasafore. siie was ceiled—ri;ftH,ly or JVt'OIijÇly--I Lave nothing to say about tiiati — -a woaian of ê¡rit. j ? Th* M aromas Ernesto Carata thirty-two I jretirs frM, Had a hu-ndsonw head, with "I L lawsv Mond mane, a short, aristocratic- | *wnv beard, 60 000 hr, 0f income and not h s%fn of a wife. Ho pai,t court to ai! 'lit :1' J 1f'¡.t a certain graceful nondiaianc?. j| <jar:e»d while others were playing cards, did ft »»* cultivate the acquaintance of the eoi os J. & ballet. drove bis hordes himself, did not j £ "*ea.r flower in hi? buttonhole, did nc t I r flower in hi" buttonhole, did nc t j gMironise the fine art, aid not care for music. Oont money to his intimate friends, did not 'Piti' to be elected deputy to Rome. i-o ed ,j„ -the mountains like a platonic member of the ,i -Alpine dlJb. h&d no J,rt" iry proclivipes never wrote love letters, is alwavs in love, r* never in love, L. -.btly or wror.giy Hmesto Ca-raf^ w*ks caliv u a mart of esprit. These two exceptions I beings bsgan, vuaturaulv. like oth" their -!ko aajntHnee. •gopae friend of FJavi-i said to her: iliai "C-arafa is realiv a brilliant man; wbv iou have "him present«vi to you?' And rnesto'a friends Do vol' know the Countess 1 Afiaoritii A brilliant woman. nv dear jfcUow." And this thrice four tiines,'twenty} -tinies, ao ttat Flavia was bored c-nd Ki-nesto annoyed bv it. They tutw each other on | jMogienjj^e, and looked at each other with (ed curiosity rk(, two rare be-ts-s tit Coontess dieepvsred nothing extracr- ^jftary. aid the M-tniuoss shrugged his «^K>ukiKTS jor the Wile re,\sOH. Ujw evnuntr at the-. &.u CArk. the i,-tar, iui-" 4%" pct«ent»td to tfio eountess, in her tw, bv a friend. Few ods w-re exehaugod, ar> 1 those of the «inn>!est, of the kind that are not in the vocabulary of people of esprit. ISflaestp went pny w on, miling ronioativ -upon nmiufacvured f and Fiavia if sha must add another name to the category of focJish a n,.t useless brings alren/iy so large among her ;ieq mi intances. So wlien tfcev met—at the theatre, in society, at festivals, on th* prooaenade—t-hev ex-^hanged A ratJier disdainful how, without ^ekiog to ^pproadi each other or to become better .acqu, ti-u* <«hanc«—that, far from ing a person I d. it, has obstinacies which are ouitei stirpia—made them meet and rermin near each other, tierloree. ?t t<lie mam-tgo of a of Flana. ".rith » frienri of fjrno,<fc(i Hfcaisraoil thdDiaelves to endure e|oh •Otjier mntuarflv. Each one thought now to -sustain the eh^r^ter attributed to her and tM ixim- in not t-o make a, poor figure; and Chere enswed a o-,nnver"tion of paradoxes, ivtorfe*, bizarre CJ (xl. JtlLS »V ?.l S slu- I jendous absurdities, .a ihupky of (iusvr rks tliat endei bv b^wiltiering the two pyro-I te-Sanaiaiis aod pitting tbem into a state cf «rv«isae» fi>r<*ign to their hy.bifcs. Wiuit 't » and diw^r&eahla una! but I kept Bp .vith him," said Fkvia when she was siona. "A wittv and (Msagreeable woman i cut I was not left behind her," .uurmured I tba Tn&rTaess;. Yet tlve marquess n.jit with OO}e fre- ■^Tieiifly to the Louse of the countess, and the counter received him v ;h polite ^ordi*lhr. Both perofttved thl't tl. pe.»ple ,Mud thep. enjoyed the relations that united the most wlttv ffiië. and woman in tha citv; 1.Ly .œiv"l th« slight smiles, the cu-irus Jdttentiou, with which others sought to take part ia thair collating; the care with which wo* reported n witti(S»i said by Fiavia to 3Eraesto, or vjoe wm in short, tit. > per- J ceived that ther weie treated hv t,;te public i B8 staf actors. YV tro they conscious uf pk. v- *»,« » f*rt or of faking truth? That fr cårk point which I shall not illumi- A¡¡,t. but -1 7 ttat the little comedy continued. record with I.ive",am- nnet much interest. B-loagin^ h. rhe far from nurne- IDt ohm of teiliiant peop-c, the two sought rto do precisely tho opposite of whatever all ¡4tJlk "titers did. Ef"-Rto had at the vuy t1r,.t declared! that he would never, never pay court to • «e oomntem. st)d the countess iiad addtd that she forbade him to fail in love with J her, which is quite the reverse of paving1 ,.Court. E."Ue-tf) never sent flowers to via ioiIM1 she never asked him for contiden as t* cugtonmwy bet ween fnVnds. The marquess .7. never felt h D oblige to praiae the Anui'gfmen^ the hair, the ev*»s, or the 0 £ m^t of the counts, and th. counter avoided speaking of him whh her friends. On tbt snbieci of love they wero in accord • tl tv #r«k» eqmllv ill and well of it, skimming the topic light.lv, of course making wdti- octw. Upon matrimony it was the liinie. • T^Sv never b?c<wi8 tender, n.^ver weTe meVn- Choly or pensive. They always feared" to «ntiment after the manner of the crowd 1 bay never hazarded artistic discussions,! never discoursed of poetry. All r?-adv-ma.ie phr»/»es were ban.aued—«111 ijonventioaaaj.ros. axioms, sentence. C. ,a4gsic quotations, lines of poetry, newspaper diction, v.' 'ii^\Ta't\ ev-rv',y1^y i"t-;>eat^ because everv- oedy has rv^ar. l,y saving tliem. I do not *#f piovwrbr- they wei- rigorou^iy pro- At first_ for awhile th-v amused by c:t:ng proverlc- upside do^-n, •* the oosft of causing a uhudeke to the mighty 8r.lon>mt and all other ccdleotovs of proverbial philosophy: out it wua a lest- that sooa be- came common «nd they let it go. Th-' x>»a>iutt8 was aJwavs upon gu-rd. fearing to see a smfls of scorn appear upon the beautiful mouth of the counter tot some involuntary offanoe against esprit on his part. And, on i»iUi other hand the counte;ss was wary as to her words, blushing to be caught in a moment of weakness in which she should Tesemwc too m-udh any other woman. nut bv too craat subservience to tlieir wintation, Fiavia and Ei'nesto began to I btcooie rather tirwomf.that is to say, not to themselves, but toO the peoole who fr-, g qaented them. It ia natural that brill ianr- | have manv exactions, it is natural i> iv 'jV6 a hfe different, from that of tt.at they live a hfe different, from that of th« multitude. For example, when they met » ^rrHSto saluted the counted and st><jSe vriifcn her for on« moment, then took ft irfctlo tun, a.n-1 came back to say something to tier without even stoppn^ long, aut re- taming often, and people around mid that M was right to ao so. heciu:^e she alore v ucder^t%nd him. Thev frwiufcatl'v t together for the same reason—and thi> s ether amnirers of the w-;y counted were t left badjv off, dasappo nte<l of tihe na/urki or quadrille hoped for in vain. When Fbvrt went awav the marquess abt.-it roonu for j, httlt while longer with a bored! j #If; DU. on his overcoat and departed j cccause he had no iongei' invone to talk v-ith. At the theatre Emexto remained mtic-li longer tkm was his duty her box, for it v; vary common to make ;h.nt visits to ladies If some poor mortal, in forn. of a <bik youth t dress coat, rnarnorea.'ly poitshed" jhut front, and the relative crush hat. presented -.JiunseH to the Counfcvss Fiavia—^f tina un- >V.p|»y, but contempt;bio young ilall dared V'-nture the eugtomary compliments—aa iTn- pertinent litfc}*> kugh stirred the lips of the jv-v<rqufcss and a catting reply came from the Tf?f m>:¡th of the c<-»uutess. The result was ths precipitate flight of the young man. Tl:erc was a rumour that, the V-arqness Krttf 2to had paid assiduous court to the young SBncbws Ce»ra (i.-ilbi^u, a v^ry !>eauuful v-mng womun. tall, with sta^ue^que outlines, grnat JcBOBiap exes long goi-den hair, a ^iijwer of womanhood, but. a the way of ifi^iligftnc:. a !l'ÜOS of the ingenious and con^ientioas sort: well, it vf.-m supposed that thb Countess Flaria had exploded than one epigram at the for he 'traseii to hover around the Duchess Ces;M. Assin, the corn teas and marouess had re- vrved to then-elvee the pnviitje of many, *try, ffkany strange ideas, which they never failed 1e |^ni in to e^eeution When all tiie stevwn of carciag-'s was at the Rivien rli ÐMAi Ttavia midr hers turn by the comerr oi Pi^iigotta and go bv the Gorso Vitrorio Kl: ^xr,ftpl; Kr'r^sto <ic_?cri he^J a circle, went bv v,al of tfec Toledo and the SaJvator Rosa and to Tar-^t her. In the wintar seaeon, in mfist (;f t#»e j.«3, fj st'V9 Is, balls, fWf .way ali alone to Sorrerrto, and three <h*9 T?rr;csrto appeared there, bored IV Vh» Crvty. tr fir?* Fiavia had a recep- three <h*9 T?rr;csrto appeared there, bored bw q- Crvty. tr tir a-via had a recep- ilta Juy, fc^en i ill tIp, ot,iaw women, her- f ri-Inds, W w% and heeauee tke majiqueas made fun of day*. The marquess had lost his inveterate hibit of going to hunt every year in Calabria. So, little by little, a certain isolation was made around them the world confessed aloud that in those two was contained the entire wit of Naples, but added, eotto voce, that it was better to leave tne two models of wit to fight it out between themselves. Fiavia and Er- nesto dud not perceive this, ajad when the tardy moment came, in whiøh they found themselves alone, one facing the other, it seemed to them a very simple thing. The public had withdrawn itself-but not in vain was the invention of a.rt for art's sake. i One evening, be it known, in autumn the' conversation, between those two lan<<uished, exhausted!. Not that tfcey found nothing more to say, but a certain fr-er.se of wearinesw more to say, but a certain fr-er.se of wearinesw descended upon them. All the evening their J wit hud sparkled brilliantly, and the eharm- litg episrnun, delicate ironies, courteous im- plications. biting amja-bifetie* had shoirerwl unk"tterniittpntly. Now they were silent. The <x>nnt«(5s extended herself slightly m her arm- chair she WM adorahfe under the quiet lamp- light but the marouess, while i-eoognising this fact, had ths good taste not to speak of it. He was playing with a mother of pearl pen handle. "Marriage is a very fine thing," he mur- mured, with a pretended air of conviction. "For the unmarried, yes," the coxntess quietly retorted. And -she adjusted her lace cravat. Ernesto took a book from the table, read the title, and laid it down again. "Do yon know what they say down there I about us?" "1 do not know. And I do not care to knew." "Then 'tis a sf^n that I ought to tell von. Many- of our mutual friends are agreed in the eipmion that we two are persons of too much wit, ever to marry each other." "Bah the countess, shrujrgino her shoulders. 6 ° i "Ir in order to proye ourselves witty we siiould do just the contrary. What do vou say counters? Tfc would be charming!" ani he cP ene-d the Pungolo newspaper to read the locals. Charming, indeed," she replied, putting out her hand to take the fan. s

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