' The poor may be miserable,' said Dunne, ' but
their unhappiness is not the sordid despair of the
country. Even the most poverty-stricken have your
pure air, your bright sun, your palaces—open to all—
your works of art, your glistening statues, so different
from the hideous filthy marbles of London. The
poorest in Paris have their gleams of forgetfulness,
nay, even of mirth, and there is always something
in which all are interested, which is talked about in
every class. The misery of a man in Paris is happi¬
ness compared with the squalid, hopeless melancholy
of provincial poverty.'
' And at the worst,' said Aramis, * one can always
hope for a revolution.'
' Yes,' said Athos, ' a revolution is good—there
should be one every ten years. When we have been
quiet for a time confidence shrivels up. The storm
is brewing; everyone is afraid to venture in com¬
mercial affairs; money is tight. Then comes the
revolution. We breathe again. The thunder is
past; we know we are safe for some time to come.
Money is made, and we can present Oriental gems
to those we admire.'
'Good, good!' said Estelle; 'you, Athos, are a
profound politician. Alas! I have never seen a
revolution. How I ^vish for one—the excitement,
the whirlpool of events ! I would sing the Mar¬
seillaise, like Rachel, with a red cap and a standard.
The house would go wild. I should have a mountain
of bouquets—perhaps one with a jewel attached ; I