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"L’oiseau Bleu": A Painting On Silk By Charles Conder
by [?]

Over them, ever over them, floats the Blue Bird; and they, the ennuye’es and the ennuyants, the ennuyantes and the ennuye’s, these Parisians of 1830, are lolling in a charmed, charming circle, whilst two of their order, the young Duc de Belhabit et Profil-Perdu with the girl to whom he has but recently been married, move hither or thither vaguely, their faces upturned, making vain efforts to lure down the elusive creature. The haze of very early morning pervades the garden which is the scene of their faint aspiration. One cannot see very clearly there. The ladies’ furbelows are blurred against the foliage, and the lilac-bushes loom through the air as though they were white clouds full of rain. One cannot see the ladies’ faces very clearly. One guesses them, though, to be supercilious and smiling, all with the curved lips and the raised eyebrows of Experience. For, in their time, all these ladies, and all their lovers with them, have tried to catch this same Blue Bird, and have been full of hope that it would come fluttering down to them at last. Now they are tired of trying, knowing that to try were foolish and of no avail. Yet it is pleasant for them to see, as here, others intent on the old pastime. Perhaps–who knows?–some day the bird will be trapped… Ah, look! Monsieur Le Duc almost touched its wing! Well for him, after all, that he did not more than that! Had he caught it and caged it, and hung the gilt cage in the boudoir of Madame la Duchesse, doubtless the bird would have turned out to be but a moping, drooping, moulting creature, with not a song to its little throat; doubtless the blue colour is but dye, and would soon have faded from wings and breast. And see! Madame la Duchesse looks a shade fatigued. She must not exert herself too much. Also, the magic hour is all but over. Soon there will be sunbeams to dispel the dawn’s vapour; and the Blue Bird, with the sun sparkling on its wings, will have soared away out of sight. Allons! The little rogue is still at large.