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Chapter 4. Box Five (continued)
Of course, when I use these words, I do not mean to apply them to La Carlotta, who sings like a squirt and who ought never to have been allowed to leave the Ambassadeurs and the Cafe Jacquin; nor to La Sorelli, who owes her success mainly to the coach-builders; nor to little Jammes, who dances like a calf in a field. And I am not speaking of Christine Daae either, though her genius is certain, whereas your jealousy prevents her from creating any important part. When all is said, you are free to conduct your little business as you think best, are you not?
All the same, I should like to take advantage of the fact that you have not yet turned Christine Daae out of doors by hearing her this evening in the part of Siebel, as that of Margarita has been forbidden her since her triumph of the other evening; and I will ask you not to dispose of my box to-day nor on the FOLLOWING DAYS, for I can not end this letter without telling you how disagreeably surprised I have been once or twice, to hear, on arriving at the Opera, that my box had been sold, at the box-office, by your orders.
I did not protest, first, because I dislike scandal, and, second, because I thought that your predecessors, MM. Debienne and Poligny, who were always charming to me, had neglected, before leaving, to mention my little fads to you. I have now received a reply from those gentlemen to my letter asking for an explanation, and this reply proves that you know all about my Memorandum-Book and, consequently, that you are treating me with outrageous contempt. IF YOU WISH TO LIVE IN PEACE, YOU MUST NOT BEGIN BY TAKING AWAY MY PRIVATE BOX.
Believe me to be, dear Mr. Manager, without prejudice to these little observations, Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant, OPERA GHOST.
The letter was accompanied by a cutting from the agony-column of the Revue Theatrale, which ran:
O. G.--There is no excuse for R. and M. We told them and left your memorandum-book in their hands. Kind regards.
M. Firmin Richard had hardly finished reading this letter when M. Armand Moncharmin entered, carrying one exactly similar. They looked at each other and burst out laughing.
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