She hesitates to answer; then, suddenly, with a sort of pride, she declares :
" Through Monsieur."
This time I came near bursting with laughter. Marianne, mistaking my laugh for one of admira- tion, begins to laugh, too.
"Yes, yes, through Monsieur," she repeats. ' ' I am going to see Madame Gouin to-morrow. ' '
I feel a real pity for this poor woman whose brain is so dark and whose ideas are so obscure. Oh! how melancholy and lamentable she is! And what is going to happen to her now? An extra- ordinary thing, â€” love has given her no radiance, no grace. She has not that halo of light with which voluptuousness surrounds the ugliest faces. She has remained the same, â€” heavy, flabby, lumpy.
I left her with a somewhat heavy heart. Now I laugh no more ; I will never laugh at Marianne again, and the pity that I feel for her turns into a real and almost painful emotion.
But I feel that my emotion especially concerns myself. On returning to my room, I am seized with a sort of shame and great discouragement. One should never reflect upon love. How sad love is at bottom! And what does it leave behind? Ridicule, bitterness, or nothing at all. . What re- mains to me now of Monsieur Jean, whose photo- graph is on parade on the mantel, in its r