The Marquis de Guercy (continued)
or Madame de Villeparisis' Legacy

   M. and Mme de Guermantes were very close to their aunt de Villeparisis. But their pleasure at the thought that they were her heirs was marred by the thought that she must have guessed their pleasure and imagined that all their kindness towards her was motivated by self-interest. They bristled at the slightest difficulties in her nature which they would probably have otherwise tolerated, so as not to appear to be tolerating them on account of the inheritance.
   Too intimate with the Guermantes not to be the ancient idol in a small select salon before whom the young women all bowed in passing but without stopping, Mme de Villeparisis never attended their receptions. But she was fiercely proud of them.  She said to a young man of letters with a knowing air: "I know they're having the Grande Duchesse de Parme this evening. That will be very splendid." And the next day when Mme de Guermantes came up to see her: "So, how was the party? Nobody can have been bored in any case, because I could still hear the carriages rolling by at two o'clock in the morning." But she had her little whims that the Guermantes would doubtlessly have tolerated patiently had she not previously led them to understand that they were to be her heirs. They found it agreeable when they took it into consideration but unbearable when they thought that Mme de Villeparisis was thinking to herself that they were taking it into consideration and every time that she was out of humour they imagined that she was thinking to herself: "I have no need to put myself out, they would never dare say anything because of the will." And then they bristled at her annoying little ways that they would probably have tolerated patiently had they not known they were to inherit from her.
   "My aunt was unbearable this evening," Mme de Guermantes told her husband. "If she thinks we're going to kowtow to her every whim simply because of the will she's wrong. After all we have absolutely no need of her fortune. She could easily leave it to whoever she wants."
   This attitude was aggravated even more by the affection Mme de Villeparisis had begun to show for the young Baronne de Villeparisis. The Guermantes conjectured that perhaps Mme de Villeparisis was displeased with their opposition to all her whims and wanted to leave her fortune to the young Mme de Villeparisis, and from then on they were colder and even more abrupt still, so as not to be seen to be striving to act kindly towards the young Baronne. Finally the day came when a true falling-out befell them, the Guermantes declaring that they would never again set foot in their aunt's house and that they would give up their place for Mme de Villeparisis; if the hope of an inheritance had, by an apparent but quite understandable contradiction, caused only a slight falling-out with their aunt, the certainty of it no longer being so made the falling-out complete. What use now was it giving themselves the humiliation of coming back, and paying their respects to an old woman who had always bored them, who did not even frequent the same society as themselves, who had nothing but criticism for everything, who it must be said had been involved in a scandalous and highly publicized affair etc. From that moment on and up until Mme de Villeparisis' death Mme de Guermantes contented herself with going to visit her aunt on the two or three occasions when she had been struck down by the attacks of illness that ought to have carried her off. As for M. de Guermantes he did not even want to go up. Mme de Guermantes who thought that he ought to have done so said: "Adolphe was very concerned to find out, Adolphe sent me." Mme de Villeparisis, who was indignant that M. de Guermantes was affecting not to put himself out, made as though not to hear, then on the fourth hint from her niece: "I'm leaving now but before then I'll go down and give the news. Adolphe who..." Mme de Villeparisis exclaimed: "Please don't ever mention the name of Adolphe in front of me again." This was spoken in such a tone that Mme de Guermantes never mentioned him again. One day when Mme de Villeparisis was in more pain than ever, somebody was sent to warn M. de Guercy who had remained very close to her, but as I have said never came out in the afternoon and he came to see her in the evening on his way to visit the Guermantes. As a rule Mme de Villeparisis did not like people coming to her house on the off chance. Like the gentleman who did not like to go to Sceaux when one was visiting Versailles, she insisted that one visited her expressly. To clearly demonstrate this she had chosen as the times it was permitted to visit her the exact times when her niece went out and at those times when her niece was receiving visitors her door was habitually closed because she was working on her Memoirs.  Any cards that were left for her between those hours counted for nothing. "You know perfectly well that I receive nobody at that time. Tomorrow there's a matinée at my niece's, I'll not be receiving." But in the case of M. de Guercy whose diligence touched her deeply and whose life she knew was regulated by long walks, cold showers, the club, to the extent that made it difficult for him to visit at any other time, she had him let in. In addition to which he stayed for a long time, chatted to her at length, so she knew that he had not come simply in passing. But on that particular day, as she was feeling unwell, somebody was sent to look for him. It was a very hot afternoon, he arrived by carriage which passed through the courtyard, then sent the carriage away. From the window Françoise asked after Mme de Villeparisis. Borniche who was just returning chatted to her for a moment, but on hearing this Mamma made a sign to Françoise not to talk at the window. I paused to look at the big sophora bush from behind the shutters. All around the sparse flowers came bees searching for pollen then carrying it off. It was the end of the afternoon, that lovely time of day when the air seems to possess a sort of invisible brilliance, so much so that everything that is steeped in it takes on something of the appearance of velvet. Looking at the slightest thing, the outer edge of the courtyard that the sun had not yet reached, the flowers that were in the shade and those that were in the sunlight, one felt a kind of exaltation, because the lesser colours rendered more intense by the hour of the day were given up to the senses with the sort of precision and unfailing harmony of the notes of a melody. One was astonished that the pink flowers of the sophora could be pink, so true was the appearance of their tones. In reality I think that this impression of rightness was brought about by a little excess and that the sunlight was steeping the pink of the flowers, the brown of the branches in a brighter pink and brown. And the flowers had the appearance of detaching themselves from the ambient air, as invisible velvet upon which they might have been placed and upon which they were exerting a gentle pressure. Up above the tiles of the neighbouring convent steeple seemed to be made of purple velvet and thrust back the sky that flowed back over its edges just as I had often seen the steeple at Combray. The sun was still striking the uppermost point of the tower that appeared even higher at that point by being indistinctly illuminated.  It was the time of day when one sits outdoors saying: "There's no air." And Borniche himself had not yet begun his work and was taking a little air in front of his door. I had sent for news of Mme de Villeparisis and was told that she was well and that it had been nothing.  And I saw M. de Guercy in the act of raising his eyes to a door that was banging as he was leaving the Guermantes' house. I watched him cross the courtyard. He had reached the extremity of Borniche's shop that he was probably seeing open for the first time since he never made any visits other than when the shops were closed, and as he passed I saw him stop sharply, look in the direction of the shop, continue on his way, only to come back with the look of somebody who has forgotten something, or rather of somebody who wants it to appear that he has forgotten something, and remained for a moment in the courtyard, taking out his watch, looking at it with an agitated, negligent, important, and in every sense ridiculous appearance, and humming a little tune. In the silence of that late afternoon I made out the refrain even though it was being hummed quietly and it was the very "Love's Star"1 that I had heard him singing to himself the first time I saw him at the beach. I am sure that he was not aware that he was humming it, but that when he was taken by a similar agitation, by an involuntary association that makes so many songs into the leitmotifs of certain states of mind and always return to us whenever we feel those states of mind, existing in a similar disposition, an identical mimicry, and the gesture of his cane against his trouser leg that had struck me that day, and the turning up of his moustache, the crumpling of his rose, had summoned up Delmet's song2. But my surprise was complete when at that very moment I saw in the face and mannerisms of Borniche an expression that I had never seen in him before. Borniche, who had seemed to be so proper, started to straighten his head, to assume the same businesslike and insolent look as M. de Guercy, thrust his hands into his pockets, began to whistle, performed a mimicry that was at pains to signify that in this courtyard he saw everything with the exception of M. de Guercy, then disappeared back into his shop. M. de Guercy left, but a moment later he came back, he must have thrown away his rose, because he no longer had it, on his return to Mme de Guermantes' I do not know if he asked the butler to point out a florist's to him but the butler pointed out Borniche's shop to him. I had to go out, I went down, I could see M. de Guercy and Borniche perfectly but they could not see me and in any case they were chatting together with too much animation to think about anybody else. On the brick flags that Mlle Borniche was polishing so assiduously the five o'clock daylight spread out like a pure and luminous bay. Borniche was standing in front of the doorway to the darker shop at the rear, everything velvety with that lovely unctuous penumbra of warm days where the kitchen utensils glowed in a semi-obscurity which was already night. M. de Guercy who had put his rose in his buttonhole was putting a coin back into his pocket that Borniche had gallantly declined to accept. M. de Guercy went out into the courtyard but stopped again for a moment to ask Borniche some information that I could not make out. I only heard the beginning of the phrase: "You who must know this neighbourhood well perhaps you could tell me" then he lowered his voice and I heard only the words pharmacy and chestnut vendor. Borniche who I saw full before me standing in the little golden bay, wore an offended, jealous and dignified look. He straightened himself up with the resentment of a great courtesan and in a glacial, pained and mannered tone he said: "You are clearly some hopeless romantic." Against the sun that struck his face, the circles of his eyes grew wider all of a sudden. Because a happy thought no longer fluttered on the pool of glances to which solitude had come in an instant to a degree of abandonment and untold devastation. But the intoxication of gossip soon drowned out the disappointment in his heart.
   From that day on M. de Guercy changed the hour of his visits to Mme de Villeparisis, and he never went there without buying a rose at Borniche's. And after all the good things he told them about him, the Guermantes took all their flowers from Borniche from then on. Françoise informed me that the Marquis had even found work for Borniche "for a few little things". And he went several times a week to arrange a few little jobs for him. "Oh! he's such a good man the Marquis," Françoise said, "so good, so good, and such a devout man, so very proper. Oh! if I had a daughter and if I had money, there's a gentleman I would give her to with my eyes closed."
   "But Françoise, then this famous daughter of yours would be a bigamist. Don't forget you've already promised her to Borniche."
   "Ah. Well, there you have it you see, there's another gentleman who could make a woman very happy. Him and the Marquis, they're people cut from the same cloth."


"Since down here on earth every soul
Gives to someone
Its music, its flame
Or its perfume..."3

   And just as the flowers of the sophora in this courtyard could not prevent themselves from uniting with other sophora flowers blooming in some distant courtyard and which on the wings of bees, on the wings of the wind sought them out across all of Paris, finally encountering them against the old wall, the only one perhaps in this quarter where a sophora was growing and had entered resolutely into this courtyard, just as there existed similarly a creature just as rare as our sophora, for whom the dreamed of flower was a much older gentleman than him, stout, greying, with black moustaches. He was wasting away with grief in our courtyard. M. de Guercy came here every day like so many insects swarming around the flowers when the closed up calix was unable to sense them, and it had taken his encounter with Borniche on that that very day during Mme de Villeparisis' ill health for that painful and nuptial crisis to occur. From that day onwards M. de Guercy changed the hour of his visits to the Guermantes.4


   The diversion of seeing Léonie's aunt5 again caused me to return several times to the Verdurin's that year. It was the year they had rented a house in6 Chatou and7 I always took the last train so as not to have to travel with everybody else. But when it was a Saturday I had to avoid the pianist because since he was undergoing his military service that year as a bandsman, he did not arrive in Paris until fairly late and caught the last train to be in time for dinner. His aunt did not wait until then so as not to have to be in a rush and risk "being red in the face" on her arrival. I had just taken my lime tisane and was walking to the Chatou train when I noticed the Marquis de Guercy in the waiting room as he was talking animatedly to a military man whom I quickly recognized as the pianist. I got on the train. That evening they waited for the pianist until very late. He never came, but he sent a telegram saying that he had not been allowed leave. By an unfortunate accident the aunt was taking a later train, exactly the same one as me. She was upset by the telegram and gave every appearance of believing it to be true. But I knew perfectly well that she must have noticed her nephew, perhaps she must even have thought that I had seen him because I was struck that evening to observe in her, amid her Watteau pleats that she had never stopped wearing and which seemed to have been unexpectedly multiplied, a redoubling of her majesty and almost the onset of aphasia. Some weeks later she asked the Verdurins to bring along a patron of the arts and in particular of her nephew, the Marquis de Guercy. And from then on twice a week one could now observe at the Gare St. Lazare a portly, greying gentleman with a rose in his buttonhole and black moustache come waddling in and upon whom the heat of the station made run horribly the rouge that he now applied liberally to his [lips].
[Some text missing]
... good manners," the doctor was told, "let's sit down at table so as not to make the Marquis have to wait."
   "The Marquis? Who's that?" Doctor Cottard cried out in a loud voice, "Where's a Marquis?"
   "That always gets you," said the painter.
   Madame Verdurin who thought them both more vulgar than usual said in a theatrical voice: "The Marquis de Guercy," (with a gesture of the hand), "Doctor Cottard, who is good enough to come and dine with us without standing on ceremony."
   "Ah! Good, good yes, that's all fine," the doctor said in a conciliatory manner, but not quite knowing how he ought to address him, he twisted his words into a complicated and uncivil form so as not to have to say Monsieur, just as when we cannot remember whether or not we should address an old acquaintance familiarly, or in class during a Latin exercise when we are uncertain which conjugation to use, we "turn it around to the infinitive". From that day on every Saturday one could see M. de Guercy on the train, now very portly, waddling in with a rose in his buttonhole, and upon whom the rouge that he now applied without discretion to his lips was melting in the torrid heat of the waiting room, more visible in the harsh light of the glass-fronted hall. He asked the aunt in a falsetto, ironically paternal voice: "Is 'the child' coming today?" which grated a little because they had often been seen arriving at the station together and separating at the staircase so as not to appear to be arriving together. He liked to keep saying "child", saying to him at every turn, in an unctuous, over-shrill and ridiculous voice, "yes my child". And after a month no longer feeling any embarrassment at the Verdurin's, he arranged his necktie, brushed the dust off his jacket, saying: "Oh these children, really, they can't even put on their own ties." It must be said that M. de Guerchy's [sic] prestige plummeted immediately in the eyes of the little clan's faithful as soon as they knew who he was. A rather bizarre thing, this man who "within his own circle" had preserved the high position in society which his name carried with it, who had even known how to make that position still grander, by the exclusivity that he maintained in his relations, his severity during elections to his club, his refusal to be seen with commoners, Israelites, Americans, even those that frequented the Guermantes' and whose habits were little known in his circle and were never placed in doubt, this same man had the most terrible reputation within a bohemian circle that recognized the painter and the doctor. There his position in society, which was impossible to be either imagined or appreciated since it had no point of comparison, counted for nothing.  And his poor reputation spread for some unknown reason and never held in check the impression of the people who knew about his courage, his delicacy, his wit, who could hardly believe there was any foundation in it or that it was compatible with all of that, had taken on the character of certainty and infamy that those reputations have in the world of artists' studios, the theatre, where all things ignominious concerning men and women in fashionable society were readily believed, wrongly perhaps, but across the board. In the mind of Cottard, in the mind of the painter, he was a degenerate. They could not possibly suspect his true position. So it was that when he arrived at the station Cottard hesitated to allow his wife to get into the same carriage as Guercy. And his eyes bulged wide as he looked over at the painter with a smile of misgiving. But the painter and the several intellectuals, professors, etc. who frequented the Verdurin's enjoyed travelling with Guercy, because he was intelligent but above all because the idea that they were exposing themselves to his scandalous behaviour afforded them a certain savour of strangeness in his every remark. The prejudice that in their moral judgement they felt against him had quite naturally, on the other hand, a sort of bias that to a certain extent they were gaining a degree of profit from his intelligence. On the slightest general occasion when he said anything about love, about jealousy, the thought of the singular experiences through which he had tasted them, appeared to them as travestied, as far removed and in short as recreated anew as the maxims of a general truth when we hear them expressed in a Japanese play by actors in pink robes and paper slippers. (?) It was enough that he said "I was worried about missing the train because I was entertaining a visitor", nobody thought it was a woman of course, but they would have loved to question him about it. The outcome being that in the end everybody got into the carriage where a stout gentleman with painted lips had settled himself, with a mixture of unease, curiosity, repugnance and almost of charm to be travelling next to a mysterious case of exotic and suspect provenance and who across his redundant form and his harsh colours let slip the curious odour of unknown fruits the thought of which lifted the heart.  So on the day on which the Verdurins had Forcheville for whom M. de Guercy was... what he was in society, in the eyes of someone who was hardly part of it but who understood its nuances and its hierarchies, everybody was so astonished by the deference he showed him that they thought they must have been mistaken, or that there must have been some particular reason for it. Guercy was standing up, Forcheville, who was sitting in an armchair, got up, moved away from the armchair and with a bow offered it to Guerchy [sic], who with much grace but as if it were something completely natural, refused and sat him back down with a motion of pressing down on his shoulders saying: "But of course my dear chap." Walking to the table Mme Verdurin took Forcheville's arm, but he protested wishing to leave her arm for Guerchy [sic], but had to yield before the insistence of Mme Verdurin who thought that this was the correct way of doing things. Nevertheless Forcheville's protestation caused a certain unease to form in her mind to the extent that after dinner she let it be known to her husband that she was having some doubts. Interpreting her wishes M. Verdurin turned roundly to M. de Guercy and said to him with no little pleasure and an air of finality: "I put him on the right because he's a Marquis. And as you are a Count..."
   "But I am also Prince de Laon, Monsieur," M. de Guercy replied. "But that's of no importance... here! I could see quite well that you weren't accustomed to all that." As for the Princesse8, if she had written that she was ill on the day M. de Guercy came for the first time, it was in the hope that perhaps he would not come back, and thinking that he knew just as well who she was as she knew who he was, she was afraid he might "gossip" and had preferred not to show herself.  But now that Guercy came regularly she could not escape from encountering him. She remained in the corner she usually guarded, but now to the hundredth power.  She now arrived twenty five minutes before the train's departure and to her usual newspaper she added an arsenal of periodicals. When Guercy greeted her, she responded with a bow whose lowness demonstrated that she knew his rank and that she had decided to abdicate her own so that he would not know hers. She immediately straightened up sharply but elegantly, the feather in her hat trembling lightly against the padded seat of the railway carriage, just where the word Ouest9 was detailed in guipure lace. After two months travelling to Chatou they still retained their respective places, she ignored him to such an extent that he did not approach her, she bowed when he bowed to her, straightened herself up and like some acutely sensitive antenna the feather in her hat seemed to seek out by some mysterious sense of equilibrium the exact position that the Princesse was occupying previously, a gesture that sometimes completed the one of pushing back into her glove the first-class ticket that she had already pushed down to the fingers, or placing a book-mark in the periodical that she had not yet started to read.
   He is like a priest.


   Guercy invites the Verdurins etc. to his house, and some friends who if he does not invite them think that it is more elegant to be invited to them and say: me, I'm not one for those little entertainments.

   The Marquis de Guercy's son bore the attractive title of Prince d'Agrigente which always gave the impression that he was just passing back and forth between states, that in the transparent and sealed glass surface of his name one saw set in tiers above the blue sea the citadel of its pink mansions struck laterally by a golden sun. But known by it as he was, the man himself bore no resemblance to his name. In one sense he clearly was Prince d'Agrigente; but if to be so necessitated an intellectual occupancy of his name nobody had less claim on it than he did. His name carried a delicacy, an antiquity, a luminosity that was entirely distinct from the man himself, placed on a distant shelf, where certainly neither his appearance, his great featherbrained head, nor his hand perpetually stretched out high in front of him in greeting, the whole length of his arm jutting out while he pirouetted around to stretch out his hand all about him, thinking himself divine and elegant, his name had never even been noticed by him. One might say that his name had brought with it, absorbed within it, agreeably crystallized, laid out beneath the glass surface everything that, as with all other men, might be made prisoner, so much so that nothing of it remained to him. When speaking about him one might say that he is Prince d'Agrigente so that people knew who you were talking about but otherwise it was impossible to establish the slightest reconciliation any more than one could between Venice and the pestiferous street in Paris that bears the same name.

   Some time ago I had heard that Mme de Villeparisis had died, that M. de Guercy was seriously ill; I was going through the Bois when I saw an open carriage pass by. A man with eyes fixed straight ahead, his figure bent, and having difficulty holding himself upright, like a child one has told to sit up straight, was sitting at the back, with a forest of silver white hair, a grey moustache, and a beard as white as those that the snow bedecks on the statues of river gods in public gardens before the thaw. It was M. de Guercy. He had had two strokes. It seemed as though some sort of cataclysm at the same time both Shakespearean and chemical had given his face the thunderstruck majesty of King Lear and had created out of the substance of his grey hair, his black moustache, his glabrous chin, a sort of metallic precipitation analogous to that which a geyser of saturated silver might have diffused in waves on his head and face and which has abruptly solidified. Beneath this metallurgical convulsion of his face, his lively and impertinent eyes had become expressionless and more than anything, in him the most proud, the most haughty of men, had taken on the timidity, the politeness, the willingness of a child. He saw that I was wanting to greet him, and with great difficulty, for he had recognized me perfectly, he gave me a greeting that still showed great elegance and as profound as he might have delivered to the king of France. No doubt in this greeting was to be found the desire that invalids feel to show that they can still give the appearance of somebody who is in good health, employing an exaggeration that cannot help but move the one to whom it is addressed; we do a thing with attention, with extravagance when we know it has become something important, difficult to do, meritorious, flattering. There was also a little incoordination, a little exaggeration of movement and also that meekness towards one's fellow creature that we see in very weak invalids, just as we have with our dentist when we think that if we are obliging to him he will not hurt us so much. But most of all he showed signs, more astonishing still, of a laying bare of metallurgic strata on his face, of some deep internal convulsion, a change in his entire make-up, a worldly humility that inverted social relations and degrading his own position, utterly destroyed in one stroke any possible snobbishness! Indeed what foundation could have maintained his snobbishness towards an American lady who might have seen M. de Guercy, he who would not have consented to dine with her, now bowing deeply before her, while maintaining his claim. To be presented to her, that was his goal, that was his snobbishness. So that precious ideal, that rare and inaccessible essence that he displayed for her, he destroyed at a stroke. He said this is for you, this is beneath you. So in the imposed timidity and the excessive deference with which he raised his hat by the best maker from which streamed the metalliferous waves in silvery torrents, the majestic greeting of such a thunderstruck prince came down upon me with the eloquence and the emotion of a funeral oration. Next to him on his left, dressed in clothes made by Hammond's10, clothes that had previously belonged to the Marquis, was Borniche, now become his secretary and his sick nurse. The carriage drove away at a brisk trot. But an hour later on a gravelled avenue I caught sight of the Count11 and Borniche who had got out to walk a little with the carriage following far behind. I bowed and the Count seemed to bow without wishing to make me stop because his expressionless eyes conveyed nothing. But at the same time he spoke to me in a barely perceptible voice and leaning towards him I understood that he was asking me to take a few paces with him. The impassibility of his face had prevented me from guessing that he wanted to stop me. It must have been owing to a little paralysis of the face and introduced a curious discord between the words that escaped his lips in a whisper, and the absence of any expression on his face, and the absence of any expression in his words. But his intelligence was still intact, his memory quite precise. He certainly put an arduous care and an appearance of naturalness into clinging to any memories that might demonstrate how untouched his mind still was. Without moving his head, or his eyes and without putting any inflection into his voice: "There's a noticeboard over there with a poster like the one we had before us the first time I saw you with Madame your grandmother at Étilly12." And indeed it was exactly the same advertisement for Liebig!13 He was a little tired and asked to sit down on a seat while Borniche and I took a few paces. And with a thousand difficult movements he took out a missal and a rosary from his pocket. We took a few steps with Borniche. He told me that Mme de Villeparisis' entire fortune had gone to the Guermantes. Once again she had shown that she always stuck to what she had once said, and that she always did what it was her duty to do and which accorded with the greatness of the family. She had never had any other intention and the Guermantes had never been able to understand that. We came back but no longer with M. de Guercy, when we caught sight of him at the edge of the avenue chatting to a street urchin. He left him when he noticed us but not before taking a silver coin from his pocket. Borniche seemed acutely put out. "You know perfectly well what the doctor told you, Monsieur le Comte," he told him severely in a low voice when he had rejoined him, but not low enough for me not to hear him. And speaking to me later about M. de Guercy's health he told me: "There are some things, Monsieur, that you don't know and that you could never understand." I think actually that he was upset that I had guessed the nature of his life. And yet he said it to me with an involuntary smile of mystery, of pride, almost of conceit, the sort of totally intellectual conceit that a historian might show when he is in possession of documents that are unknown to others, that shed light on events that have been wrongly understood, and out of pity for all those who, not knowing of their existence, can never understand in their truest sense certain situations in life. His melancholy eyes had an unpleasant lustre, even a look as if to say: I am what I am, and you don't know anything about it.


1. L'Étoile d'amour.

2. Paul Delmet, (1862-1904), French singer and pupil of Massenet.

3. Verse by Victor Hugo, set to music by Gabriel Fauré.

4. After this Proust wrote "Digitalis in the vale". Possibly another flower for the same comparison.

5. "Celia" crossed out. Léonie's aunt is the aunt of Baronne Putbus's chambermaid, and also the aunt of the Verdurin's pianist.

6. "Chatou" crossed out and replaced by "Vésinet" then "Vésinet" is crossed out and Proust, perhaps remembering that Le Vésinet is the residence of Montesquiou, goes back to "Chatou".

7. A few lines are crossed out which are not used later: "and having wanted to profit from it by seeing again the wonderful church by Maurice Denis I left by a much earlier train than the one I usually took".

8. It is not clear who the Princesse is. More than likely the Princesse Sherbatoff.

9. The Ouest railway company.

10. Hammond's, fashionable tailors.

11. Here M. de Guercy is Comte. Earlier, at the meeting with Borniche he is M. de Guercy, then at the Verdurin's at Chatou he becomes Marquis de Guercy.

12. Étilly is an invented name found nowhere else in la Recherche. But apparently it is one of the early names for Balbec.

13. Liebig products (preserves and alimentary powders) were already well-known.

From Matinée chez la Princesse de Guermantes; Cahiers du Temps retrouvé, Gallimard 1982. Cahier 51 (1909), NAF 16691.


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Created 16.02.16