My Literary Life

Cover of book My Literary Life
Categories: Nonfiction

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FRIENDS JNE fine day who should come to see me but Arles-Dufour and Lambert-Bey, delegated by the Pere Enfantin, to ask me to preside at a banquet which the heads of the Saint-Simonian School proposed to give in my honour. I hesitated to accept it in spite of the spontaneous sympathy with which Arles-Dufour inspired me. I have never met any one for whom I felt such a sudden filial inclination. The first time he called me " my child," I wished to answer him " Father." He had a noble and beautiful face. Very simple in his speech and manner, he impressed one as possessing great kindness and much dignity. This came, perhaps, from the fact that he had always thought and acted with perfect freedom. His dominant passion, he said, " was liberty under all its forms, even eccentric ones." Arles-Dufour was one of the rare Saint-Simo- nians who had remained convinced of the integral truth of the school's principles. All his life he had felt an intense desire to raise woman from the state of inferiority in which he found her in France. It was through him, at Lyons, that the first woman was made a Bachelor of Letters; he took great interest in governesses and women doctors. He was very generous. He devoted a certain portion of his earnings to gifts under the form of loans. It was the bank that lent, not himself. When a debtor reimbursed his loan, it went to the bank. When there were good returns, it lent a great deal; when the bank was exhausted, nothing was given. Arles-Dufour insisted upon my accepting his " brothers' " and friends' banquet. Lambert-Bey invited me especially in the Pere Enfantin's name, who saw in me, as Saint-Simon had seen in Madame de Stael?fancy, how flattering it was!?the woman hoped for since the school's foundation, the legislative woma...

My Literary Life
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