PARIS I have selected this piece: 1) because it comes from my main work, Men of Good Will; 2) because it presents, facing each other, two of my principal characters, Jerphanion and Paris; 3) because some of the important topics of my work are indicated there. JULES ROMAINS
"LET'S GO along here. I don't know whether it's the best way; but it's one way."
"We're not going to break our necks, eh?"
"No. I gather that nobody ever has broken his neck, as far back as the records go. There must be a special dispensation of Providence for us--considering what a lot of Collegers, like myself, are just clumsy clodhoppers and no acrobats. I told you I believed in the God of Voltaire and Victor Hugo, didn't I? This window is blasted hard to open. A Deist--that's what I am. In other words, the kind of fellow a 'thala' regards as the worst of errors. I've marked down an attic not far from here, carefully locked up, where the Pot keeps his stock of classical books. We ought to be able to get into it without much trouble through a window. I'll see about that."
"Tell me," demanded Jerphanion. "A grammarian like you--"
"I?" Caulet made a gesture of protest, which cocked up the skirt of his cape solemnly.
"Don't you get wrong ideas into your head. I've chosen grammar because they say that the grammar fellowship is the easiest. If there were an alphabet fellowship, I should have chosen the alphabet fellowship."