"It must be admitted that life has some good in it," said one of the guests, leaning his elbow on the arm of his marble–backed chair, while he sat biting the root of a sugar water–lily.
"And some bad also," answered another, between fits of coughing, occasioned by having swallowed the prickly part of the delicate fin of a shark which had nearly choked him.
"Be philosophical," said an older man, who wore on his nose an enormous pair of wooden spectacles with large glasses. "To–day, one runs the risk of strangling, and tomorrow everything flows as smoothly as the sweet draughts of this nectar— such is life."
After saying these words, this easy–going epicure swallowed a glass of warm wine, the steam of which slowly escaped from a metal teapot.
"For my part," said a fourth guest, "life appears to be very acceptable when one does nothing, and has the means to afford to do nothing."
"That is a mistake," answered the fifth. "Happiness is to be found in study and work. To acquire the greatest amount of knowledge is the way to be happy."