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The Cat is presented, half dead, to the Countess.

dogs life

Dear me, how homely he is!" said Madame de la Grenouillère, after finishing her examination. At the moment she stepped into the carriage, the cat fixed his great sea-green eyes upon her and gave her a look, strange, indefinable, full at the same time of gratitude and reproach, and so expressive that the good lady was instantly fascinated. She read in this glance a discourse of great eloquence. The look seemed to wish to say,— "You have obeyed a generous impulse; you saw me feeble, suffering, oppressed, and you took pity on me. Now that your benevolence is satisfied, my deformity inspires you with contempt. I thought you were good, but you are not good;

you have the instinct of kindness, but you are not kind. If you were really charitable you would continue to interest yourself in me for the very reason that I am homely; you would reflect that my misfortunes are owing to my ugly appearance, and that the same cause,—should you leave me there in the street, at the mercy of the wicked boys,—the same cause, I say, would produce the same effects. Go! you needn’t pride yourself on your half-way benevolence!—you have not done me a service; you have only prolonged my agony. I am an outcast, the whole world is against me, I am condemned to die; let my destiny be accomplished!" Madame de la Grenouillère was moved to tears. The cat seemed to her superhuman—no,

it was a cat; it seemed to her superanimal! She thought of the mysteries of transformation, and imagined that the cat, before assuming his present form, had been a great orator and a person of standing. She said to her maid, Mother Michel, who was in the carriage,

Take the cat and carry him." "What, you will bring him with you, madame?" cried Mother Michel. "Certainly. As long as I live that animal shall have a place at my fireside and at my table. If you wish to please me, you will treat him with the same zeal and affection you show to myself." "Madame shall be obeyed." "That is well,—and now for home!"

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