Very solid scamps. Several have
exploited your worlds. Without needs, and little pressed to put
to work their brilliant faculties and their experience of your
consciences. What mature men! Dazed eyes in the fashion of summer
night, red and black, tricolored, steel pricked with golden
stars; features deformed, leaden, pallid, afire; frisky
hoarsenesses! The cruel gait of rags!there are some
younghow would they regard Cherubim?provided with
frightening voices and some dangerous resources. They are sent
buggering in town, rigged out in disgusting luxury.
O the most violent Paradise of
enraged grimace! No comparison with your Fakirs and the other
scenic buffooneries. In improvised costumes, with the taste of a
bad dream, they perform complaints, tragedies of bandits and
demigods spiritual as history and religion have never been.
Chinese, Hottentots, bohemians, simpletons, hyenas, Molochs, old
dementias, sinister demons, they mix popular turns, maternal,
with beastly poses and tendernesses. They would interpret new
plays and "nice girl" songs. Master jugglers, they
transform place and persons and use magnetic comedy. Eyes burn,
blood sings, bones stretch, red tears and dribbles flow. Their
raillery or their terror lasts a minute, or whole months.
I only have the key to this wild
Graceful son of Pan! About thy brow with
bays and flowerets crowned thine eyes, precious balls, bestir.
Stained with brown lees, thy cheeks pucker. Thy fangs glisten.
Thy breast is like unto a kithara, tinklings round thy blond
arms. Thine heart beats, in that belly where the double sex
sleeps. Betake thyself, by night, gently moving that thigh, that
second thigh and that left leg.
Before a snow, a Being of Beauty very
tall. Whistlings of death and circles of mute music cause to
rise, grow and tremble like a specter that adored body; scarlet
and black wounds burst in the superb fleshlife's own colors
deepen, dance, and emerge around the Vision, in progressand
the shivers ascend and the frenzied savor of these effects
loading up on the mortal whistlings and raucous music that the
world, far behind us, hurls at our mother of beautyshe
recoils, she rises. Oh! our bones are clad in a new amorous body.
O the ashen face, escutcheon of hair, crystal arms! the cannon
upon which I must fall across the melee of trees and light air!
O the enormous avenues of the Holy Land,
the terraces of the temple! What has become of the Brahman who
explained Proverbs to me? Of then, of there, I still see even the
old women! I remember hours of silver and sun around the rivers,
the hand of the countryside on my shoulder, and our caresses standing in the
peppery plains—a flight of scarlet pigeons thunders about my thought—exiled here, I had a stage on
which to play the dramatic masterpieces of all literatures. I
would point out to you unheard-of riches . I observe the story of
the treasures you found. I see the result! My wisdom is as
disdained as chaos. What is my nothingness, compared with the
stupor that awaits you?
I am an inventor quite otherwise deserving
than all those who have preceded me; a musician even, who has
discovered something like the key of love. At present, a
gentleman of a harsh countryside with a sober sky, I try to rouse
myself with the memory of a beggarly childhood, of apprenticeship
or arrival in sabots, of polemics, of five or six widowerhoods,
and of weddings where my fine head prevented me from rising to
the diapason of my comrades. I do not regret my old part in
divine gaiety: the sober air of this harsh countryside feeds most
actively my atrocious skepticism. But as this skepticism cannot
henceforth be brought into play, and moreover I am dedicated to a
new troubleI expect to become a very nasty fool.
In a garret where I was shut in at twelve
years of age I knew the world, I illustrated the human comedy. In a storeroom I learned history. At some night feast, in a
Northern city, I met all the women of the old painters. In an old
passage in Paris I was taught the classical sciences. In a
magnificent dwelling ringed by the entire Orient, I accomplished
my immense work and spent my illustrious retreat. I stirred my
blood. My duty is remitted. It is not even necessary to dream of
that. I am really from beyond the grave, and no commissions.