The Secret of Gallic Esprit.
The French are essentially a happy people. Their cheerfulness, which strikes the foreigner the moment he sets foot on French soil, is due to a sound stomach. _ Dyspepsia is not known in France. Light bread, generous wine, dainty dishes productive of good humor, never bolted, always eaten in cool apartments or in the open air with leisure and jocularity, there lies the foundation of the Frenchman’s happiness. From the rich banker’s mansion in Champs Elysnes to the simple mechanic’s garret at Belleville, business cares are never allowed to interfere with the pleasures of the table. See the eyes sparkling with joy as the bottle fills the glasses, and the good-humored rebuke of the host, when a lady—as most French ladies will the bottle in lifting her glass to prevent iti being filled to the brim. “ Sapristi, madame; say that you won’t have any more, but, for goodness’ sake, don’t shake the bottle !” Or look how he frowns if he catches a guest in the act of adding water to his pet wine. “ Mix this wine with water ! My dear fellow, it’s a sacrilege ! God will never forgive you !” There is nothing irreverent in this exclamation. He is thoroughly convinced that good wine was given to man by God to rejoice his heart; and to spoil it by adding water to it is in his eyes nothing short of a sin. A Frenchman is very poor indeed who has not in the corner of a cellar a few bottles that he has carefully tended for years, and that he brings upstairs to welcome an old friend at his table or cheer a poor neighbor on a sick-bed. Every year the French bourgeois promotes some hundreds of bottles of wine that has improved by keeping. You should see him as he gently opens the door of his cellar, and almost walks on tiptoe, for fear of
shaking the ground. With very little inducement he would take off his hat. —M. O’RclL
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The Secret of Gallic Esprit., Evening Star, Issue 8030, 5 October 1889, Supplement
The Secret of Gallic Esprit. Evening Star, Issue 8030, 5 October 1889, Supplement
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