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MY FIRST VENUS.

and she pushed me out of the door and thinking it better in view of the future, I went.

The truth is, I was glad to get away: novelty is the soul of passion. There's an old English proverb: "fresh cunt, fresh courage". On my way home I thought oftener of the slim, dark figure of Lily than of the woman every hill and valley of whose body was now familiar to me, whereas Lily with her narrow hips and straight flanks must have a tiny sex I thought;—"D . . . . n Lily" and I hastened to Smith.

We went down to supper together and I introduced Smith to Kate: they were just polite; but when she turned to me she scanned me curiously, her brows lifting in a gesture of "I know what I know" which was to become familiar to me in the sequel.

After supper I had a long talk with Smith in his room, a heart to heart talk which altered our relations.

I have already mentioned that Smith got ill every fortnight or so. I had no inkling of the cause, no notion of the scope of the malady. This evening he grew reminiscent and told me everything.

He had thought himself very strong, it appeared, till he went to Athens to study. There he worked prodigiously and almost at the beginning of his stay came to know a Greek girl of a good class who talked Greek with him and finally gave herself to him passionately. Being full of youthful vigor always quickened by vivid imaginings, he told me that he usually came the first time almost as soon as he entered and that in order to give his partner pleasure, he had to come two or three times and this drained and exhausted him. He admitted that he had abandoned himself to this fierce love-play day after day in and out of season. When he returned to the United States, he tried to put his Greek girl out of