Bel-Ami ~ Mirror

Maupaussaunt, chapter II

”Where does M. Forestier live?”

”Third floor on the left,” said the porter pleasantly, on learning Duroy’s destination.

Georges ascended the staircase. He was somewhat embarrassed and ill- at-ease. He had on a new suit but hewas uncomfortable. He felt that it was defective; his boots were not glossy, he had bought his shirt that sameevening at the Louvre for four francs fifty, his trousers were too wide and betrayed their cheapness in their fit,or rather, misfit, and his coat was too tight.

Slowly he ascended the stairs, his heart beating, his mind anxious. Suddenly before him stood a well-dressedgentleman staring at him. The person resembled Duroy so close that the latter retreated, then stopped, and sawthat it was his own image reflected in a pier- glass! Not having anything but a small mirror at home, he hadnot been able to see himself entirely, and had exaggerated the imperfections of his toilette. When he saw hisreflection in the glass, he did not even recognize himself; he took himself for some one else, for aman-of-the-world, and was really satisfied with his general appearance. Smiling to himself, Duroy extendedhis hand and expressed his astonishment, pleasure, and approbation. A door opened on the staircase, He wasafraid of being surprised and began to ascend more rapidly, fearing that he might have been seen posing thereby some of his friend’s invited guests.

On reaching the second floor, he saw another mirror, and once more slackened his pace to look at himself. Helikewise paused before the third glass, twirled his mustache, took off his hat to arrange his hair, and murmuredhalf aloud, a habit of his: ”Hall mirrors are most convenient.”

Then he rang the bell. The door opened almost immediately, and before him stood a servant in a black coat,with a grave, shaven face, so perfect in his appearance that Duroy again became confused as he compared thecut of their garments.

The lackey asked: ”Whom shall I announce, Monsieur?”

He raised a portiere and pronounced the name.



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