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Monsieur Beaucaire

Booth Tarkington

Book Overview: 

A madcap Frenchman posing as an ambassador's barber blackmails a dishonest duke to introduce him as a nobleman to a wealthy belle of Bath. Since the duke himself hopes to mend his fortunes by wedding this very woman, he attempts to murder Beaucaire, and failing that to discredit him. To test the lady's mettle, Beaucaire allows his deception to be exposed--up to a point--and there we must draw the curtain to preserve the surprise ending.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .as nothing for you to ruin, to-morrow you have got a noble of France—your own protege—to besiege and sack. And you are to lose, because you think such ruin easy, and because you understand nothing—far less—of divinity. How could you know? You have not the fiber; the heart of a lady is a blank to you; you know nothing of the vibration. There are some words that were made only to tell of Lady Mary, for her alone—bellissima, divine, glorieuse! Ah, how I have watch' her! It is sad to me when I see her surround' by your yo'ng captains, your nobles, your rattles, your beaux—ha, ha!—and I mus' hol' far aloof. It is sad for me—but oh, jus' to watch her and to wonder! Strange it is, but I have almos' cry out with rapture at a look I have see' her give another man, so beautiful it was, so tender, so dazzling of the eyes and so mirthful of the lips. Ah, divine coquetry! A look for another, ah-i-me! for many others; and even to you, one . . . Read More