Charles Baudelaire

About a Bore Who Claimed His Acquaintance

To M. Eugene Fromentin

He told me just how rich he was, But nervous of the cholera; - That he took good care where the money goes, But he liked a seat at the Opera. - That he was simply wild about nature, Monsieur Corot being quite an old chum; - That a carriage was still a missing feature Among his goods - but it would come; - That marble and brick divided his fancy, Along with ebony and gilded wood; - That there were in his factory Three foremen who had been decorated; - That, not to mention all the rest, He had twenty thousand shares in the - That he'd found some picture-frames for next To nothing, and all by Oppenord. - That he'd go as far even as Luzarches To steep himself in bric-a-brac; - That the Marche des Patriarches Had more than once proved his collector's knack; That he didn't care much for his wife Nor for his mother, but - theirs apart — He believed in the soul's immortal life, Niboyet's works he by heart! - That he quite approved of physical passion, And once, on a tedious stay in Rome, A consumptive lady, much in fashion, Had died away for love of him. - For three solid hours and a half, This chatterer, born in Tournai, Dished up to me the whole of his life, Until my brain almost fainted away. If I had to tell you all I suffered I would never be able to give up. I sat in helpless hate, and muttered "If only I could lie down and sleep!" Like someone whose seat can give no rest But who cannot get up and make his escape, I squirmed and brooded on all the best Methods of torturing the ape. Bastogne this monstrosity's called; He was running away from the infection. I would drown myself, or take the road To Gascony, or in any direction If, when everybody gets back To the Paris he's so much afraid of, I should happen to cross the track Of this pest that Tournai bore - and got rid of! Translated by - David Paul

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