Fall 1988 • Vol. X No. 4 FictionOctober 1, 1988 |

Sicilian Vespers

The thirteenth of July, 1789, twilight. Weary of the way people breeze past him in the streets without tipping their hats respectfully, Corviello the mushroom-king decides it's time to call a general Characters' meeting ostensibly for the purpose of electing a suitable consort for Scaramouche (but really to attract a little attention as a doer of remarkable deeds) before the artisans throw open the Bastille (as it's rumored they will first thing in the morning changing all of history and incidentally making it impossible for at least eleven years to hear yourself think). Listen, one can't have seen anyone uglier, smarmier, more contemptible, more unapproachable, on the face of this earth, than the invidious Scaramouche, to whom we finally consider it appropriate, if not merely convenient, to deliver some measure of happiness. But why, alors, since long it's been well known his blandishments are more tortuous than Marie Antoinette's? ❦ Because he's pathetic. He's got his sal

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