The large French window which led to the garden had just been opened by Marechal, and the mild odors of a lovely spring night perfumed the drawing-room. They all went out on the lawn. Thousands of stars were twinkling in the sky, and the eyes of Micheline and Pierre were lifted toward the dark blue heavens seeking vaguely for the star which presided over their destiny. She, to know whether her life would be the long poem of love of which she dreamed; he, to ask whether glory, that exacting mistress for whom he had made so many sacrifices, would at least comfort him for his lost love.
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A man weeps with difficulty
before a woman
Antagonism to plutocracy and hatred of aristocrats
Enough to be nobody’s unless I belong to him
Even those who do not love her desire to know her
Flayed and roasted alive by the critics
Hard workers are pitiful lovers
He lost his time, his money, his hair, his illusions
He was very unhappy at being misunderstood
I thought the best means of being loved were to deserve it
Men of pleasure remain all their lives mediocre workers
My aunt is jealous of me because I am a man of ideas
Negroes, all but monkeys!
Patience, should he encounter a dull page here or there
Romanticism still ferments beneath the varnish of Naturalism
Sacrifice his artistic leanings to popular caprice
Unqualified for happiness
You are talking too much about it to be sincere
By GEORGES OHNET
In the drawing-room Jeanne and Serge remained standing, facing each other. The mask had fallen from their faces; the forced smile had disappeared. They looked at each other attentively, like two duellists seeking to read each other’s game, so that they may ward off the fatal stroke and prepare the decisive parry.
“Why did you leave for England three weeks ago, without seeing me and without speaking to me?”
“What could I have said to you?” replied the Prince, with an air of fatigue and dejection.
Jeanne flashed a glance brilliant as lightning:
“You could have told me that you had just asked for Micheline’s hand!”
“That would have been brutal!”
“It would have been honest! But it would have necessitated an explanation, and you don’t like explaining. You have preferred leaving me to guess this news from the acts of those around me, and the talk of strangers.”
All these words had been spoken by Jeanne with feverish vivacity. The sentences were as cutting as strokes from a whip. The young girl’s agitation was violent; her cheeks were red, and her breathing was hard and stifled with emotion. She stopped for a moment; then, turning toward the Prince, and looking him full in the face, she said: