Sacred and Profane Love eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 183 pages of information about Sacred and Profane Love.
the sun, and were lost there.  Smoke climbed up softly into the soft air from the houses and hotels on the level of the road.  The trams met and parted, silently widening the distance between them which previously they had narrowed.  And the sun rose and rose, bathing the blue sea and the rich verdure and the glaring white architecture in the very fluid of essential life.  The whole azure coast basked in it like an immense cat, commencing the day with a voluptuous savouring of the fact that it was alive.  The sun is the treacherous and tyrannical god of the South, and when he withdraws himself, arbitrary and cruel, the land and the people shiver and prepare to die.

It was such a morning as renders sharp and unmistakable the division between body and soul—­if the soul suffers.  The body exults; the body cries out that nothing on earth matters except climate.  Nothing can damp the glorious ecstasy of the body baptized in that air, caressed by that incomparable sun.  It laughs, and it laughs at the sorrow of the soul.  It imperiously bids the soul to choose the path of pleasure; it shouts aloud that sacrifice is vain and honour an empty word, full of inconveniences, and that to exist amply and vehemently, to listen to the blood as it beats strongly through the veins, is the end of the eternal purpose.  Ah! how easy it is to martyrize one’s self by some fatal decision made grandly in the exultation of a supreme moment!  And how difficult to endure the martyrdom without regret!  I regretted my renunciation.  My body rebelled against it, and even my soul rebelled.  I scorned myself for a fool, for a sentimental weakling—­yes, and for a moral coward.  Every argument that presented itself damaged the justice of my decision.  After all, we loved, and in my secret dreams had I not always put love first, as the most sacred?  The reality was that I had been afraid of what Mary would think.  True, my attitude had lied to her, but I could not have avoided that.  Decency would have forbidden me to use any other attitude; and more than decency—­kindness.  Ought the course of lives to be changed at the bidding of mere hazard?  It was a mere chance that Mary had called on me.  I bled for her grief, but nothing that I could do would assuage it.  I felt sure that, in the impossible case of me being able to state my position to her and argue in its defence, I could force her to see that in giving myself to Frank I was not being false to my own ideals.  What else could count?  What other consideration should guide the soul on its mysterious instinctive way?  Frank and I had a right to possess each other.  We had a right to be happy if we could.  And the one thing that had robbed us of that right was my lack of courage, caused partly by my feminine mentality (do we not realize sometimes how ignobly feminine we are?), and partly by the painful spectacle of Mary’s grief....  And her grief, her most intimate grief, sprang not from thwarted love, but from a base and narrow conventionality.

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Sacred and Profane Love from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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