Bolivar the Liberator

By Michel Vaucaire; Margaret Reed | Go to book overview

II

BOLIVAR flung his money about. In Vienna, in London, in Madrid, and in Lisbon he led the life of an aristocrat. He was lavish. He wanted at all costs to distract his mind, and was ready to squander his money at the first hint of pleasure. Naturally he at once became the prey of a circle of adventurers and lick-platters who flattered him and called him Prince. Bolivar let himself drift and grew bored. He played faro, and lost a hundred thousand crowns in an evening. His tutor remonstrated, and Simon excused himself by saying that he had not been prepared for wealth and that so much money at once had gone to his head.

He came back to Paris, bought thoroughbred horses, expensive furniture and trinkets, and took a flat in the rue Vivienne; he went into society, never missed a good play at the Francais or the Comédie Italienne, learned the catchwords of the day, made the acquaintance of a set of young Creoles who thought of nothing but amusement, ordered fashionable clothes, had several mistresses, and got himself talked about.

One night, as he was strolling in the Palais-Royal, he was accosted by a pretty, well-dressed girl who took him home with her to the rue des Bons Enfants. Simon did not try to resist. In the morning she said to him: 'You are Spanish?'

-6-

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