The old duchess was talking of the past, while behind her chair Le Glorieux was silently and joyously turning handsprings. I wish I might give him another name, for that one is certainly a mouthful, but as he really lived, and that was what he was called, we must manage it as best we can.
You may think, and with reason, that turning handsprings was not a respectful thing to do when a lady, and above all a duchess, was talking. But Le Glorieux was the court jester, the fool, who when Charles the Bold, son of the duchess, was living, was wont to make his master laugh. Therefore his conduct and conversation as a rule were not what one could expect of a sedate and dignified member of society.
In the presence of his late master, Le Glorieux could have turned handsprings in plain view, but the dowager duchess was old and querulous and resented such performances.
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