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J'ai Soif

Gerard de Nerval, noted as much for his periodic bouts of madness as for his literary work, once took to carrying an old apron string which he claimed had had a previous incarnation -- as the Queen of Sheba's garter.

Before dawn on January 26, 1855, the impoverished poet knocked upon a poorhouse door but was turned away on account of the cold. His body was soon discovered, hanged with the Queen of Sheba's supposed garter and watched over by a pet raven repeating the words: "J'ai soif! J'ai soif!" (I'm thirsty!)

[The apron string was also once said by Nerval to have served as Mme de Maintenon's corset-string.]

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