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He saw it at last, that unique flower, which he was to see once and no more.

The Black Tulip

He saw it at the distance of six paces, and was delighted with its perfection and gracefulness; he saw it surrounded by young and beautiful girls, who formed, as it were, a guard of honour for this queen of excellence and purity. And yet, the more he ascertained with his own eyes the perfection of the flower, the more wretched and miserable he felt. He looked all around for some one to whom he might address only one question, but his eyes everywhere met strange faces, and the attention of all was directed towards the chair of state, on which the Stadtholder had seated himself.

William rose, casting a tranquil glance over the enthusiastic crowd, and his keen eyes rested by turns on the three extremities of a triangle formed opposite to him by three persons of very different interests and feelings. At one of the angles, Boxtel, trembling with impatience, and quite absorbed in watching the Prince, the guilders, the black tulip, and the crowd. At the other, Cornelius, panting for breath, silent, and his attention, his eyes, his life, his heart, his love, quite concentrated on the black tulip.

And thirdly, standing on a raised step among the maidens of Haarlem, a beautiful Frisian girl, dressed in fine scarlet woollen cloth, embroidered with silver, and covered with a lace veil, which fell in rich folds from her head-dress of gold brocade; in one word, Rosa, who, faint and with swimming eyes, was leaning on the arm of one of the officers of William. The Prince then slowly unfolded the parchment, and said, with a calm clear voice, which, although low, made itself perfectly heard amidst the respectful silence, which all at once arrested the breath of fifty thousand spectators.

The Black Tulip - Wikipedia

In pronouncing these words, the Prince, to judge of the effect they produced, surveyed with his eagle eye the three extremities of the triangle. He saw Boxtel rushing forward. He saw Cornelius make an involuntary movement; and lastly he saw the officer who was taking care of Rosa lead, or rather push her forward towards him. At the sight of Rosa, a double cry arose on the right and left of the Prince.

Boxtel, thunderstruck, and Cornelius, in joyful amazement, both exclaimed, And at the same time William took Rosa's hand, and placed it in that of a young man, who rushed forth, pale and beyond himself with joy, to the foot of the throne saluting alternately the Prince and his bride; and who with a grateful look to heaven, returned his thanks to the Giver of all this happiness.

At the same moment there fell at the feet of the President van Systens another man, struck down by a very different emotion. Boxtel, crushed by the failure of his hopes, lay senseless on the ground. When they raised him, and examined his pulse and his heart, he was quite dead. This incident did not much disturb the festival, as neither the Prince nor the President seemed to mind it much.

Cornelius started back in dismay, when in the thief, in the pretended Jacob, he recognised his neighbour, Isaac Boxtel, whom, in the innocence of his heart, he had not for one instant suspected of such a wicked action. Then, to the sound of trumpets, the procession marched back without any change in its order, except that Boxtel was now dead, and that Cornelius and Rosa were walking triumphantly side by side and hand in hand. On their arriving at the Hotel de Ville, the Prince, pointing with his finger to the purse with the hundred thousand guilders, said to Cornelius, It would therefore be unjust to consider it as her dowry; it is the gift of the town of Haarlem to the tulip.

Cornelius wondered what the Prince was driving at. The latter continued, They are the reward of her love, her courage, and her honesty.

The Black Tulip

As to you, Sir -- thanks to Rosa again, who has furnished the proofs of your innocence ". And, saying these words, the Prince handed to Cornelius that fly-leaf of the Bible on which was written the letter of Cornelius de Witt, and in which the third bulb had been wrapped, This means, that you are not only free, but that your property will be restored to you; as the property of an innocent man cannot be confiscated. Dec 09, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: 19th-century-literature , catching-up-classics , classics , historical-fiction , gutenberg-download.

Nothing makes me feel like a youngster again quite like reading Dumas. He is a consummate storyteller and when you are reading the story is everything, you are immersed in it, you are suffering the confinement and the injustice and the suspense.


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Nobody watched Errol Flynn movies to see the fainting heroine This 3. This degree of fervor over a tulip might seem extreme, but it is, in fact, based on the history of the time. Holland had tulip fever that amounted to a mania. Dumas certainly put this to good use in his plot development and the creation of the fanatic, Boxtel. A fun read for me and just right for reading between tasks at this time of year.

View all 4 comments. Dec 07, Gabrielle Dubois rated it it was amazing Shelves: 19th-century.

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The only thing that he misses is the knowledge of women. Add to this passages which shows the great writer like: Dumas, in a simple writing, explains us the progression of the thought of a jealous man. Henceforth all his thoughts ran only upon the injury which his neighbour would cause him, and thus his favourite occupation was changed into a constant source of misery to him.

But this is not a treatise upon tulips in general; it is the story of one particular tulip which we have undertaken to write, and to that we limit ourselves, however alluring the subject which is so closely allied to ours. This makes me smile! Dumas travelled, had mistresses, gave parties, but he always worked a lot. I also recognize Dumas the hunter: "Sometimes, whilst covering Van Baerle with his telescope, he deluded himself into a belief that he was levelling a never-failing musket at him; and then he would seek with his finger for the trigger to fire the shot which was to have killed his neighbour.

Ask him! My dream is to visit Roma. Could you please lend me some money for my trip there and back to Germany? And on chapter 11, how brillant is the judges deliberation! And how, once again, in their conclusion, I find Alexandre Dumas and the little regard he has for the "little chiefs": those who are incapable of taking a decision by themselves, who always refer to a superior and hide behind orders, timidly. A little example in the last sentence of chapter "… in addition to having his clothes torn, his back bruised, and his hands scratched, he inflicted upon himself the further punishment of tearing out his hair by handfuls, as an offering to that goddess of envy who, as mythology teaches us, wears a head-dress of serpents.

I answer, yes, maybe! And think about that: Dumas wrote this novel when he was maybe 46 or 48? Ah, Dumas, if I had been told that I would enjoy watching a flower grow, I wouldn't have believed it! There is so much in your simple tulip: love, suspense, jealousy, intrigue.

balmoralcampestre.com/invierno-y-primavera.php And Rosa! I apologize for having first thought she would be insignificant. She leads the adventure as she leads Cornelius… This poor Cornelius is prisoner for so many weeks. Touch it gently, Rosa. Perhaps she touches with her lips its expanding chalice. Touch it cautiously, Rosa, your lips are burning. Yes, perhaps at this moment the two objects of my dearest love caress each other under the eye of Heaven.

Readers, don't tell me there aren't two degrees of reading! But luck is against me now. The file would get dull, the rope would break, or my wings would melt in the sun; I should surely kill myself, I should be picked up maimed and crippled; I should be labelled, and put on exhibition in the museum at the Hague between the blood-stained doublet of William the Taciturn and the female walrus captured at Stavesen, and the only result of my enterprise will have been to procure me a place among the curiosities of Holland.

And I find it delicious to hear the voice of Dumas two centuries apart! And I tell him: Dear master, come and speak to my ear again and again. View all 9 comments. Dec 05, Donna rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , classics , humorous.

Alexandre Dumas was best known for his historical novels of adventure and romance which blended fact and fiction with real and imagined characters. The Black Tulip wasn't as popular among his critics as his better known works such as The Count of Monte Cristo , but his readers were happy with it when it was first published back in My book club chose to read it for February, to discuss a classic with some romance, in honor of Valentines Day. And it was a good choice for an entertaining read Alexandre Dumas was best known for his historical novels of adventure and romance which blended fact and fiction with real and imagined characters.

And it was a good choice for an entertaining read that was also informative.


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This was a story of passion and obsession, love and hatred, fidelity and duplicity, regret and redemption. And it all began with the political atmosphere of that time in Holland during , when Cornelius de Witt, accused of treason and sent into exile, was brutally assassinated along with his brother, an event which truly occurred under unthinkable circumstances. Against this historical backdrop of political unrest, flowers the fictional story in this book of de Witt's godson, Cornelius Van Baerle, as told by an omniscient narrator who at times addressees the reader with quips and asides.

Cornelius Van Baerle, 28, an independently wealthy doctor and painter, in reaction to the madness in the world around him, decides to devote his life to cultivating beauty in the face of such ugliness as what befell his godfather. And so, when a contest with a large prestigious award arises, calling for the discovery of the elusive black tulip, it's just the thing to absorb Cornelius for years.

Unfortunately, unknown to him, his neighbor, Boxtel, a less talented horticulturist, also covets the prize and will do anything to obtain it, consequences to himself or others be damned. So when Boxtel learns Cornelius might be on the verge of cultivating a black tulip, stealing the prize out from under him, he hatches a plan which lands the unsuspecting Cornelius in the same shoes and same jail cell as his godfather, accused of treason and facing execution.

But unlike his godfather, he is to spend his life imprisoned for what remains of it. What follows is an increasingly farcical story centering on Cornelius continuing his cultivation in prison of what might be the first black tulip in history. He is aided by his jailer's daughter, Rosa, a possible rival when it comes to the love of his tulip. Will Cornelius succeed or fail, both in tulip growing and in love?

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas - AudioBook Classic

Will he forever lose his freedom or end up losing his life instead? Or will he just lose his lust for life when things take a turn for the worse? And what of Boxtel?

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Will he succeed in winning the coveted prize for himself by means fair or foul, and at what cost to himself and to others? These are questions you'll find answered in this humorous, but dark story, of both the breaking and the making of the human spirit. Along the way, you'll learn some political history concerning Holland and the craze known as tulipmania which peaked during that time. You'll also learn some fascinating facts about tulip cultivation and how it takes six years for a tulip to journey from seed to flower. And in case you're wondering if such a thing as a black tulip ever existed, my research says no, though people have come very close with cultivating the darkest of purples.

Come on board for this unusual story and take a trip through much zaniness amongst the more serious elements to find out how it ends. View all 10 comments. May 02, Veronique rated it liked it Shelves: french , , stars The Black Tulip takes place in Holland, not France, and is on a much smaller scale than expected. Dumas usually paints on a huge canvas but not this time.

The first few chapters do deal with exploding events, but very soon, the narration zooms in on the burgeoning love between an obsessed tulip grower and a courageous and intelligent girl, and a mythical flower. I loved the langua 3. I loved the language, often over the top, extoling the obsession felt by so many characters over the Black Tulip, and the mocking tone of the narration.

The couple is endearing but it is Rosa who shines through the whole story.