Madame Chrysanthème, by Pierre Loti

Chapter 6

My New Menage

In our home, everything looks like a Japanese picture: we have folding-screens, little odd-shaped stools bearing vases full of flowers, and at the farther end of the apartment, in a nook forming a kind of altar, a large gilded Buddha sits enthroned in a lotus.

The house is just as I had fancied it should be in the many dreams of Japan I had had before my arrival, during the long night watches: perched on high, in a peaceful suburb, in the midst of green gardens; made up of paper panels, and taken to pieces according to one’s fancy, like a child’s toy. Whole families of cicalas chirp day and night under our old resounding roof. From our veranda we have a bewildering bird’s-eye view of Nagasaki, of its streets, its junks, and its great pagodas, which, at certain hours, is illuminated at our feet like some scene in fairyland.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 22:36