Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rainy day hijinks at the casino

"If it rained, although the weather had no power to daunt Albertine, who was often to be seen in her waterproof spinning on her bicycle through the showers, we would spend the day at the casino, where on such days it would have seemed to me impossible not to go. I had the greatest contempt for the Ambresac sisters, who had never set foot in it. And I willingly joined my new friends in playing tricks on the dancing master. As a rule we had to listen to admonitions from the manager, or from some of his staff usurping directorial powers because my friends — even AndrĂ©e whom on that account I had regarded when I first saw her as so Dionysiac a creature whereas in reality she was delicate, intellectual and this year far from well, in spite of which her actions were responsive less to the state of her health than to the spirit of that age which sweeps everything aside and mingles in a general gaiety the weak with the strong — could not go from the hall to the ball-room without breaking into a run, jumping over all the chairs, and sliding along the floor, their balance maintained by a graceful poise of their outstretched arms, singing the while, mingling all the arts, in that first bloom of youth, in the manner of those poets of old for whom the different genres were not yet separate, so that in an epic poem they would mix agricultural precepts with theological doctrine."


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