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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/358

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

theft to take what she might have given; so he resigned himself with a melancholy satisfaction to love angelically, and the knowledge of his deformity imbued him with a proud purity of thought and action.

These happy creatures dwelt in the ideal world. They embraced and caressed each other only in spirit. They had always lived the same life; they knew themselves only in each other's society. The infancy of Dea had coincided with the youth of Gwynplaine; they had grown up side by side. For a long time they had slept in the same bed, for the sleeping accommodations of the van were limited. They slept on the chest; Ursus, on the floor,—that was the arrangement. One day, while Dea was still very young, Gwynplaine felt himself grown up; and it was now that a feeling of shame was first aroused in him. So he said to Ursus, "I too will sleep on the floor;" and at night he stretched himself on the bear-skin beside the old man. Then Dea cried for her bed-fellow; but Gwynplaine, become restless because he had begun to love, insisted upon remaining where he was. From that time he always in cold weather slept by Ursus on the floor. In the summer, when the nights were fine, he slept outside with Homo.