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Parisians, the — Volume 08 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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THE PARISIANS

By Edward Bulwer-Lytton


BOOK VIII.


CHAPTER I.

On the 8th of May the vote of the plebiscite was recorded,--between seven
and eight millions of Frenchmen in support of the Imperial programme--in
plain words, of the Emperor himself--against a minority of 1,500,000.
But among the 1,500,000 were the old throne-shakers-those who compose and
those who lead the mob of Paris. On the 14th, as Rameau was about to
quit the editorial bureau of his printing-office, a note was brought in
to him which strongly excited his nervous system. It contained a request
to see him forthwith, signed by those two distinguished foreign members
of the Secret Council of Ten, Thaddeus Loubinsky and Leonardo Raselli.

The meetings of that Council had been so long suspended that Rameau
had almost forgotten its existence. He gave orders to admit the
conspirators. The two men entered, the Pole, tall, stalwart, and with
martial stride--the Italian, small, emaciated, with skulking, noiseless,
cat-like step, both looking wondrous threadbare, and in that state called
"shabby genteel," which belongs to the man who cannot work for his
livelihood, and assumes a superiority over the man who can. Their
outward appearance was in notable discord with that of the poet-
politician--he all new in the last fashions of Parisian elegance, and
redolent of Parisian prosperity and _extrait de Mousseline_!