Excerpt from Colomba: Edited With Notes Grammatical, Etymological, and Explanatory, and a Notice on Mérimée and His Works
One of the most celebrated French authors, well known to English people, Monsieur H. Taine,* de scribes him thus: Merimee was tall, upright, pale, and mig... ht have passed for an Englishman; at least, he had that cold, distant air which, at the very out set, checks all familiarity. Mépvneo dmereiv, 'remember never to trust anyone,' was his motto. He was master of Six languages - Italian, Greek, Latin, English, Spanish and Russian with their literature and their history. I think he knew something of German also. If we attempt to give a full idea of his character and his talents, we Shall find that, born with a very good heart, endowed with a superior intellect, having lived a gay life, having worked hard and brought out some works of the highest order, he neverthe less failed 'both in drawing from himself all the good service that he could have rendered, and in attaining all the happiness to which he might have aspired. Through fear Of being deceived and made a dupe Of, he was on his guard against everyone through life, in love, in science, and in art and he became the dupe of his own mistrust.
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