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Lot n° 46

VERLAINE Paul (1844-1896).

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Autograph manuscript signed, entitled "La Goutte" (s.l.n.d.) [1885?], 2 pp. in-4. Numbered pages. This short story was originally entitled "La bonne Goutte" (The Good Drop), and was published in the Pleiade, Œuvres en prose complètes (pages 209 and pages 2010 in "Les œuvres autobiographiques"). Story of a young man who returns to his village, practically without money, good people to whom he had done a service accommodate him and lend him money, a tramp invites him to drink gout, and he goes to a notary who owes him money, meanwhile Victor Hugo is buried in the Pantheon (June 1, 1885). "He was back from Paris, returning to the village he had lived in for a few years, spending more on evil than on good, although the latter had, it must be admitted, a large share in his budget. To tell the truth, his return was somewhat dictated by a vice, o a vice! Too big a word, vice, in many cases. Anyway, after two days his pocket was visibly empty, so he was refused any credit. In this country that his prodigality, good and bad, had in sum if not enriched, put at ease. A poor man whom he had obliged gave him a night's shelter in the car where he lived with his family, a car made by himself of debris and which the husband and wife pulled when the breaking of heaps of stones, the harvesting of wicker, the sale of baskets and brooms and the opportunities for a small photographic enterprise required travel. Good people lent him ten francs, and other good people, needy innkeepers at whom he had eaten a lot of cash without counting too much, fifteen. This would allow him to go to a county town where a notary had money of his own. But would this notary relinquish it? (...) Halfway there, as he could hardly stand it any longer, he was accosted by a beggar he knew in a village. This man said to him, "How are you? Thirsty. Will you pay for something? - But I don't have a rattan. Without that you know well. I'm even going to J... to get the money I'm owed. - I'll take the liberty of offering you a drop upstairs at Chose. Would you like to? - How so! (...) The brandy of Aisne, marc of low champagne / bluish in the big small glass, one shocks, one drinks, and it is parbleu! the best drop that I lampée of my life (...) "

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