This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1899 edition. Excerpt: ...all preached to more effectively than we could have been by seven priests from one pulpit. Or, at any rate, that was my feeling; every note she uttered was melodiously kind, but every sentence was an arrow sent home. "You make me," she said, "you make me sink of se aunt of my musser, vhat she said to my musser vhen my musser iss getting married. 'Senda, ' she said, 2vonce in a vhile2--is sat right, 2 vonce in a vhile? '--so?--2 vonce in a vhile your Rudolph going to see a voman he better had married san you. Sen he going to fall a little vay--maybe a good vay--in love viss her; and sen if Rudolph iss a scoundtrel, or if you iss a fool, sare be trouble. But if Rudolph don't be a scoundtrel and you don't be a fool he vill pretty soon straight' up himself and say, One man can't ever'sing have, and mine Senda she is enough '... Sat vas my Aunt Senda." "Your mother was named for her?" "Yes, my musser, and me; I am name Senda, se same. She vas se Countess von (Something)--sat aunt of my musser. She vas a fine voman." "Still," said our joker, "you know she was only about half right in that advice." "No," she replied, putting on a drowsy tone, " I don't know; and I sink you don't know eeser." "I reckon I do," he insisted. "We're all made of inflammable stuff. Any man knows that. We couldn't, any of us, pull through life decently if we didn't let each other be each other's keeper; could we, Fontenette?" No sound from Fontenette. "Hmm " hummed the little woman, in such soft derision that only he and I heard it; and after a moment she said, "Yes, it is so. But, you know who is se only good keeper? Sat is love." "And jealousy," suggested Bulk; "the blindfold boy and the green-eyed monster." "Se creen-eyedt--no, I sink not. Chalousie have destroyed--is sat...
In this novel, the author provides a realistic portrait of race and class relations in New Orleans immediately following the Louisiana Purchase (1803). It chronicles the adventures and romances of various members of the Grandissime family, black, white, mixed race, rich and poor alike. The story begins when Honore Grandissime, the scion of the white branch of this powerful New Orleans clan, takes in Joseph Frowenfeld, a young man from Philadelphia whose entire family has died from yellow fever. Honore's conversations with Joseph about the New Orleans caste system shed light on the dilemmas at the center of the novel. Honore finds himself caught between an idealistic Joseph, who advocates sweeping social reforms that would end slavery but essentially erase Creole culture, and his prideful uncle Agricola Fusilier, who ostensibly holds onto a racist past in order to preserve the Grandissime way of life, one built on the foundations of slavery. Honore wants to establish a business partnership with his quadroon half brother (also called Honore) and do right by Aurora Nancanou, who was widowed and rendered destitute when Agricola murdered her husband over a gambling dispute. Yet his decisions regarding this tarnished family history are further complicated by his secret love for Aurora. The story of Bras Coupe, retold several times, connects the novel's divergent strands and is suggestive of Honore's struggle against his past and a vibrant New Orleans society that remains tainted by slavery's atrocities. Bras Coupe, an enslaved African prince on a Spanish Creole plantation, is engaged to Palmyre, Aurora's maid. Inspired by the indignity of his plight, Bras Coupe attacks his white overseer, and is soon viciously pursued by a mob of Creole aristocrats, among them Agricola, through the New Orleans swamps. Honore tries to prevent the African prince's punishment but to no avail. Upon his capture, Bras Coupe issues a curse on both his master and his plantation. He is summarily beaten to death, though only after his ears are cut off and his hamstrings slashed. Bras Coupe, literally meaning "arm cut off" in French, personifies the cruelty of slavery and the degeneracy that lies at the heart of a so called genteel southern society. The author's devotion to Creole society, rendered in romantic terms throughout the novel, is counterbalanced by the haunting presence of Bras Coupe's fate, which illustrates that a world of such charm and privilege comes at great human cost.
A few steps from the St. Charles Hotel, in New Orleans, brings you to and across Canal street, the central avenue of the city, and to that corner where the flower-women sit at the inner and outer edges of the arcaded sidewalk, and make the air sweet with their fragrant merchandise. The crowd-and if it is near the time of the carnival it will be great-will follow Canal street.But you turn, instead, into the quiet, narrow way which a lover of Creole antiquity, in fondness for a romantic past, is still prone to call the Rue Royale. You will pass a few restaurants, a few auction rooms, a few furniture warehouses, and will hardly realize that you have left behind you the activity and clatter of a city of merchants before you find yourself in a region of architectural decrepitude, where an ancient and foreign-seeming domestic life, in second stories, overhangs the ruins of a former commercial prosperity, and upon everything has settled down a long Sabbath of decay.
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