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      He himself, in a very different way, was well worthy of observation. He was small and spare, probably not more than sixty years of age, but looking much older. He had that parched and wizened look, oftenest the work of circumstances rather than years, which makes it difficult to realize that the possessor was ever young. His hair and complexion had once been light; the one was now gray, the other sallow, except for a faint suggestion of red at the tip of an otherwise handsome nose. His breath exhaled a perceptible odor of strong drink, surrounding him as with an atmosphere of inflammable gas. His dress was made up of divers ill-fitting garments that had doubtless accrued to him from cast-off wardrobes; not one of them bearing any relation to the other, but all being in an advanced stage of seediness well suited to the wearer. Something of the same fusing of special incongruities into general fitness also characterized his manner; wherein the mean and furtive air of the shiftless old vagabond was curiously blended with the pathetic dignity of the decayed gentleman.One night, at a masked ball, a young man accidentally in a crowd pushed against a woman, who cried out.

      Paul Delaroche

      Their first house in Paris was a sort of imitation cottage, after the execrable taste of the day, in the Champs-Elyses, from which they moved into a h?tel in the rue de la Victoire, which was for some time the resort of all the chiefs of their political party, and the scene of constant contention between the Thermidoriens and the remnants of the Montagne. The discussions were generally political, and often violent; they would have been abhorrent to the well-bred society of former days.

      General Schmettau had in Dresden a garrison of but three thousand seven hundred men. It will be remembered that he would doubtless be compelled to capitulate, and to do so on the best terms he could. But his Prussian majesty, being now a little more hopeful, wrote to him again, urging him to hold out to the last extremity, and informing him that he had dispatched to his aid General Wunsch, with a re-enforcement of eight thousand men, and General Finck with six thousand. The courier was cut off. General Schmettau, entirely unconscious that relief was coming, closely besieged, and threatened with the massacre of his whole garrison should the place be taken by storm, on Tuesday evening, the 4th of September, surrendered the city.



      How thankful I was to find myself alone in the room occupied first by my brother, then by Buonaparte, to which I came back after so long an absence: absolute solitude was a necessity to my mind. I prayed and groaned without interruption, which relieved me; then I resolved irrevocably to act in such a manner as never to expose France or my family to the Revolution which had just ended.... I lay down in the bed of Buonaparte, it had also been that of the martyr king, and at first I could not sleep ... like Richard III. I saw in a vision those I had lost, and in the distance enveloped in a sanguinary cloud I seemed to see menacing phantoms.Sire, it would be cheap at a hundred ducats.


      On the 6th of July, the trunk having arrived, the volume of poems was recovered and Voltaire was allowed to go on his way. His pen, dipped in gall, was an instrument which even a monarch might fear. It inflicted wounds upon the reputation of Frederick which will probably never be healed. Four years passed away, during which Voltaire and Frederick were almost entirely strangers to each other.