By Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen)
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Extra resources for Babette's Feast
The lemonade agreed with their exalted state of mind and seemed to lift them off the ground, into a higher and purer sphere. ’ His neighbor looked at him kindly, smiled at him and made a remark about the weather. Babette’s boy had his instructions; he filled the glasses of the Brotherhood only once, but he refilled the General’s glass as soon as it was emptied. The General emptied it quickly time after time. For how is a man of sense to behave when he cannot trust his senses? It is better to be drunk than mad.
But within a week Babette cooked a split cod and an ale-and-bread-soup as well as anybody born and bred in Berlevaag. The idea of French luxury and extravagance next had alarmed and dismayed the Dean’s daughters. The first day after Babette had entered their service they took her before them and explained to her that they were poor and that to them luxurious fare was sinful. Their own food must be as plain as possible; it was the soup-pails and baskets for their poor that signified. Babette nodded her head; as a girl, she informed her ladies, she had been cook to an old priest who was a saint.
Old Mrs Loewenhielm was the first to leave. Her nephew accompanied her, and their hostesses lighted them out. While Philippa was helping the old lady into her many wraps, the General seized Martine’s hand and held it for a long time without a word. At last he said: ‘I have been with you every day of my life. ’ ‘And,’ he continued, ‘I shall be with you every day that is left to me. Every evening I shall sit down, if not in the flesh, which means nothing, in spirit, which is all, to dine with you, just like tonight.
Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen)