MONSIEUR DUMAS AND HIS BEASTS
Most people have heard of Alexandre Dumas, the great French novelist who wrote ' The Three Musketeers' and many other delightful historical romances. Besides being a great novelist, M. Dumas was a most kind and generous man — kind both to human beings and to animals. He had a great many pets, of which he gives us the history in one of his books. Here are some of the stories about them in his own words.
I was living, he says, at Monte Cristo (this was the name of his villa at St.-Germains) ; I lived there alone, except for the visitors I received. I love solitude, for solitude is necessary to anyone who works much. However, I do not like complete loneliness; what I love is that of the Garden of Eden, a solitude peopled with animals. Therefore, in my wilderness at Monte Cristo, without being quite like Adam in every way, I had a kind of small earthly paradise.
This is the list of my animals. I had a number of dogs, of which the chief was Pritchard. I had a vulture named Diogenes; three monkeys, one of which bore the name of a celebrated translator, another that of a famous novelist, and the third, wliich was a female, that of a charming actress. We will call the writer Potich, the novelist the Last of the Laidmanoirs, and the lady Mademoiselle Desgarcins. I had a great blue and yellow macaw called Buvat, a green and yellow parroquet called Papa Everard, a cat called Mysouff a golden pheasant called