24 April 2013

An Exquisite Mistress

George Moore, Memoirs of My Dead Life (London: Heinemann, 1906), p. 45:
[By] acquiring a fatherland more ideal than the one birth had arrogantly imposed, because deliberately chosen, I have doubled my span of life. Do I not exist in two countries? Have I not furnished myself with two sets of thoughts and sensations? Ah! the delicate delight of owning un pays ami — a country where you may go when you are weary to madness of the routine of life, sure of finding there all the sensations of home, plus those of irresponsible caprice. The pleasure of a literature that is yours without being wholly your own, a literature that is like an exquisite mistress, in whom you find consolation for all the commonplaces of life!
Illustration from the Gazette du bon ton (April 1914)