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  • Oiseaux encagés

    Miss Flite est très assidue à son procès. Il dure depuis des lustres, embrassant plusieurs générations de plaideurs. Mais la vieille dame ne   manque pas une seule séance de la cour et attend fermement "le jour du jugement". Ce jour-là, dit-elle, la verra octroyer des établissements et libérer ses oiseaux. Elle les garde dans sa chambre derrière un rideau, dans l'embrasure d'un chien-assis :

    She partly drew aside the curtain of the long, low garret window and called our attention to a number of bird-cages hanging there, some containing several birds.  There were larks, linnets, and goldfinches--I should think at least twenty.

    "I began to keep the little creatures," she said, "with an object that the wards will readily comprehend.  With the intention of restoring them to liberty.  When my judgment should be given.  Ye-es!  They die in prison, though.  Their lives, poor silly things, are so short in comparison with Chancery proceedings that, one by one, the whole collection has died over and over again.

    Elle ne dit pas le nom des oiseaux. Pourtant chacun a le sien ; un jour Krook, son logeur, le révèle à ses invités.

    "It's one of her strange ways that she'll never tell the names of these birds if she can help it, though she named 'em all."  This was in a whisper.  "Shall I run 'em over, Flite?" he asked aloud, winking at us and pointing at her as she turned away, affecting to sweep the grate.

    "If you like," she answered hurriedly.

    The old man, looking up at the cages after another look at us, went through the list.

    "Hope, Joy, Youth, Peace, Rest, Life, Dust, Ashes, Waste, Want, Ruin, Despair, Madness, Death, Cunning, Folly, Words, Wigs, Rags, Sheepskin, Plunder, Precedent, Jargon, Gammon, and Spinach.  That's the whole collection," said the old man, "all cooped up together, by my noble and learned brother."

    (Dickens - Bleak House)