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Parisians, the — Volume 07 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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THE PARISIANS

By Edward Bulwer-Lytton


BOOK VII.


CHAPTER I.

It is the first week in the month of May, 1870. Celebrities are of rapid
growth in the salons of Paris. Gustave Rameau has gained the position
for which he sighed. The journal he edits has increased its hold on the
public, and his share of the profits has been liberally augmented by the
secret proprietor. Rameau is acknowledged as a power in literary
circles. And as critics belonging to the same clique praise each other
in Paris, whatever they may do in communities more rigidly virtuous, his
poetry has been declared by authorities in the press to be superior to
that of Alfred de Musset in vigour--to that of Victor Hugo in refinement;
neither of which assertions would much, perhaps, shock a cultivated
understanding.

It is true that it (Gustave's poetry) has not gained a wide audience
among the public. But with regard to poetry nowadays, there are plenty
of persons who say as Dr. Johnson said of the verse of Spratt, "I would
rather praise it than read."

At all events, Rameau was courted in gay and brilliant circles, and,
following the general example of French _litterateurs_ in fashion, lived
well up to the income he received, had a delightful bachelor's apartment,