By Georges Simenon

Restored to print for the 1st time in additional than 40 years, The President used to be hailed through the New York Times as a “tour de force”

At eighty two, the previous most excellent lives in alert and suspicious retirement—self exile—on the Normandy coast, writing his anxiously expected memoirs and receiving visits from statesman and biographers. In his library is the self-condemning, handwritten confession of the premier’s former attaché, Chalamont, hidden among the pages of a sumptuously produced paintings of privately revealed pornography—a confession that the leading himself had dictated and compelled Chalamont to signal. Now the long-thwarted Chalamont has been summoned to shape a brand new coalition within the wake of the government’s cave in. The superior by myself possesses the key of Chalamont’s guilt, of his precise character—and has publicly vowed: “He’ll by no means be ultimate so long as I’m alive... Nor while I’m useless, either.” encouraged through French most excellent Georges Clemenceau, The President is a masterpiece of mental suspense and a probing account of the decline of strength.

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If that is so, used to be he thinking about what the superior may very well be as much as within the semidarkness of the fourth room? Had Chalamont attempted to phone from Paris? Had he set out, along with his chauffeur? if so, inspite of the undesirable climate, it'll rarely take him greater than 3 hours. “Young Marie desires to be aware of if she will visit the village. ” He responded indifferently: “Let her pass. ” “She says her mother’s going to have a toddler in the course of the evening. ” Young Marie already had six or seven brothers and sisters, he wasn’t rather convinced what percentage, and it didn’t subject in any case. yet an idea did ensue to him. “How will they permit the health practitioner recognize? ” The nearest healthcare professional used to be at Etretat, and it is going to no longer be attainable to cell to him. “It’s now not the general practitioner who’s supplying her, it’s previous Babette. . . . ” He didn’t ask who Babette used to be. He’d in simple terms intended to provide the automobile. but when they didn’t desire it . . . “Will you be going to mattress as ordinary? ” “Yes, at ten o’clock. ” He had no cause of making any switch within the development of his lifestyles. He consistently went to mattress at ten o’clock, even if drained or no longer, and constantly bought up, wintry weather and summer season alike, at part previous 5 within the morning. the one member of the loved ones who’d protested by contrast timetable were younger Marie, even supposing sooner than coming to paintings for him she’d been a farm-hand and used to wake up at 4 to exploit the cows. “Shall I make up the hearth? ” The premiere used to be edgy, impatient, and this made him indignant with himself, for he thought of it humiliating to be affected, despite the fact that a bit of, via different people’s activities or critiques. If on the age of eighty-two he nonetheless was once now not safe from outdoor impacts, what desire was once there that he ever will be? This reminded him, for a moment, of the dying of 1 of his neighbors, additionally an ex-Premier, the main ferocious anticlerical of the 3rd Republic, who to everyone’s astonishment had despatched for a clergyman on the final second. . . . He sat down in his traditional position and opened Sully’s memoirs, whereas Emile went again to the kitchen, whence he may go back sooner or later to place him to mattress. He didn’t learn, despite the fact that. He felt obliged to run over the Chalamont company back, as if looking his personal moral sense. He continuously considered that bankruptcy as entitled “the luncheon at Melun,” and there have been at the very least 3 humans, except himself, for whom these phrases had an analogous sinister ring. It had occurred in June. the elements was once vivid and sizzling. autos have been speeding out of Paris, 3 abreast, towards the woodland of Fontainebleau. The Parisians have been off for an afternoon within the nation, all blind to the drama in development, in any other case telling themselves, out of behavior or from laziness, that these whom they'd elected for the aim might carry it appropriately to an finish. The monetary difficulty used to be most likely the blackest the rustic were via because the assignats of the Revolution. each expedient have been tried they usually had long gone virtually hat in hand to beg the aid of international governments. on a daily basis the rustic was once being tired of its substance, like a physique bleeding to dying, because the newspapers positioned it, and the outlook may hardly ever were gloomier.

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