The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

By Anatole France | Paperback / softback
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Excerpt: ...ruins of Carthage on the mantlepiece. It was Monsieur de Lessay's hour. A few moments later he entered the parlour with his daughter. The ordinary evening chat began. Clementine sat down and began to work on some embroidery beside the lamp, whose shade left her pretty head in a soft shadow, and threw down upon her fingers a radiance that made them seem almost self- luminous. Monsieur de Lessay spoke of a comet announced by the astronomers, and developed some theories in relation to the subject, which, however audacious, betrayed at least a certain degree of intellectual culture. My father, who knew a good deal about astronomy, advanced some sound ideas of his own, which he ended up with his eternal, 'But what do we know about it, after all?' In my turn I cited the opinion of our neighbour of the Observatory- the great Arago. My Uncle Victor declared that comets had a peculiar influence on the quality of wines, and related in support of this view a jolly tavern-story. I was so delighted with the turn the conversation had taken that I did all in my power to maintain it in the same groove, with the help of my most recent studies, by a long exposition of the chemical composition of those nebulous bodies which, although extending over a length of billions of leagues, could be contained in a small bottle. My father, a little surprised at my unusual eloquence, watched me with his peculiar, placid, ironical smile. But one cannot always remain in heaven. I spoke, as I looked at Clementine, of a certain comete of diamonds, which I had been admiring in a jeweller's window the evening before. It was a most unfortunate inspiration of mine. "'Ah! my nephew, ' cried Uncle Victor, that "comete" of yours was nothing to the one which the Empress Josephine wore in her hair when she came to Strasburg to distribute crosses to the army.' "'That little Josephine was very fond of finery and display, ' observed Monsieur de Lessay, between two sips of coffee. 'I do not blame... 


FormatPaperback / softback 
Dimensions246mm x 189mm x 4mm 
Release Date1 Aug 2012 

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Book Cover - The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

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