The news are going round that the Circus Malicorne has just arrived in Foix. Great-uncle Cartou will therefore leave in clogs (twice seventeen kilometers, there and back) in order to go and see there the entertainment which is much to his taste : the elephants, the crocodiles, the rhinoceros, the onagers, the giraffes, the elks, the leopards, the hyenas, all animals who are found in the company of a thousand gladiators and gladiatoresses (who, on occasion, undo their strips in order to moisten the sand of the arena), of a hundred amazones, of forty prisoners from twenty nations, just like the festivals given by Nero for his Mother, and this at the time where Egypt supplied to Rome the most annoying courtesans.
Everybody will be there, from the Tribune to the Senator whose black shoe carries the golden crescent and also the Young people from the Champ de Mars, the ones who gather together every day, and also every summer night in order to stop with an imperative blow of the whistle the motorists who are on their way to lands more saintly hospitable ; this naturally in perfect defiance of the laws of the most chivalresque courtesy, not to say in the name of uncouthness belonging to another age. Why indeed do they not take their inspiration from serious matters, from the willingness to labour, from the pride of serving, as demonstrated by their congeners of the “Colline inspirée”, that is to say the ones of the Ecole Normale de Montgauzy (of which the father of Gabriel Fauré was formerly the Director) or else and very simply, from the system applied to this child of a fair stallholder, little tot disguized as a cow-boy, whom a cord prevents from reaching the road, thus giving to the old Juvenal and his host ample leisure to take off their toga in order to better expose to the spring air their iniquitously wrinkled skin.
Claude d’Esplas (Le Parcellaire)
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Translation : Dagmar Coward Kuschke (Tübingen)