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My Double Life


EDIE FRANC¸ A ISE RE TURNS TO PARIS–SARA H BERN-
HARDT’S COMMENTS
ON ACTORS A ND ACTRESSES OF THE DAY
XXX. MY DEPA RTURE FROM THE COM ´
EDIE FRANC¸ A ISE–PREPA RA TIONS
FOR MY FIRS T
AMERICAN TOUR–A NOTHE R VISIT TO LONDON
XXXI. A TOUR IN DENMA RK–ROYAL FAMILIES–THE ”TWENTY-
EIGHT DAYS” OF
SARAH BERNHA RDT
XXXII. E XPE RIE NCES AND REFLE CTIONS ON BOA RD SHIP FROM
HAVRE TO NEW YORK
2
XXXIII. ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK–AME RICA N REPORTERS–THE CUS -
TOM
HOUSE–PERFORMANCES IN NEW YORK–A V ISIT TO EDIS ON A T MENLO
PARK
XXXIV. A T BOS TON–S TORY OF THE WHALE
XXXV. MONTREAL’S GRAND RECEPTION–THE POE T FR ´
ECHE TTE–
AN ESCAPADE ON THE
ST. LAWRE NCE RIVE R
XXXVI. SPRINGFIELD–BALTIMORE–PHILA DELP HIA–CHICA GO–A DVENTURES
BETWEEN
ST. LOUIS AND CINCINNA TI–CAP ITAL P UNIS HMENT
XXXVII. NEW ORLEANS AND OTHER AME RICAN CITIES–A V ISIT
TO THE FALLS OF
NIA GARA
XXXVIII. THE RE TURN TO FRANCE–THE WELCOME AT HAVRE
INDE X
I
CHILDHOOD
My mother was fond of travelling: she would go from Spain to England,
from London to Paris, from Paris to Berlin, and from there to
Christiania; then she would come back, embrace me, and set out again for
Holland, her native country. She used to send my nurse clothing for
herself and cakes for me. To one of my aunts she would write: ”Look
after little Sarah; I shall return in a month’s time.” A month later she
would write to another of her sisters: ”Go and see the child at her
nurse’s; I shall be back in a couple of weeks.”
My mother’s age was nineteen; I was three years old, and my two aunts
were seventeen and twenty years of age; another aunt was ?fteen, and
the eldest was twenty-eight; but the last one lived at Martinique, and
was the mother of six children. My grandmother was blind, my grandfat her
dead, and my father had been in China for the last two years. I have no
idea why he had gone there.
My youthful aunts always promised to come to see me, but rarely kept
their word. My nurse hailed from Brittany, and lived near Quimperl´e, in
a little white house with a low thatched roof, on which wild
gilly-?owers grew. That was the ?rst ?ower which charmed my eyes as a
child, and I have loved it ever since. Its leaves are heavy and
sad-looking, and its petals are made of the setting sun.
3
Brittany is a long way o?, even in our epoch of velocity! In thos e days
it was the end of the world. Fort unately my nurse was, it appears, a
good, kind woman, and, as her own child had died, she had only me to
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