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.

Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:11