Camille HTML version

Chapter 18
It would be difficult to give you all the details of our new life. It was made up of a
series of little childish events, charming for us but insignificant to any one else.
You know what it is to be in love with a woman, you know how it cuts short the
days, and with what loving listlessness one drifts into the morrow. You know that
forgetfulness of everything which comes of a violent confident, reciprocated love.
Every being who is not the beloved one seems a useless being in creation. One
regrets having cast scraps of one's heart to other women, and one can not
believe in the possibility of ever pressing another hand than that which one holds
between one's hands. The mind admits neither work nor remembrance; nothing,
in short, which can distract it from the one thought in which it is ceaselessly
absorbed. Every day one discovers in one's mistress a new charm and unknown
delights. Existence itself is but the unceasing accomplishment of an unchanging
desire; the soul is but the vestal charged to feed the sacred fire of love.
We often went at night-time to sit in the little wood above the house; there we
listened to the cheerful harmonies of evening, both of us thinking of the coming
hours which should leave us to one another till the dawn of day. At other times
we did not get up all day; we did not even let the sunlight enter our room.
The curtains were hermetically closed, and for a moment the external world did
not exist for us. Nanine alone had the right to open our door, but only to bring in
our meals and even these we took without getting up, interrupting them with
laughter and gaiety. To that succeeded a brief sleep, for, disappearing into the
depths of our love, we were like two divers who only come to the surface to take
Nevertheless, I surprised moments of sadness, even tears, in Marguerite; I asked
her the cause of her trouble, and she answered:
"Our love is not like other loves, my Armand. You love me as if I had never
belonged to another, and I tremble lest later on, repenting of your love, and
accusing me of my past, you should let me fall back into that life from which you
have taken me. I think that now that I have tasted of another life, I should die if I
went back to the old one. Tell me that you will never leave me!"
"I swear it!"
At these words she looked at me as if to read in my eyes whether my oath was
sincere; then flung herself into my arms, and, hiding her head in my bosom, said
to me: "You don't know how much I love you!"
One evening, seated on the balcony outside the window, we looked at the moon
which seemed to rise with difficulty out of its bed of clouds, and we listened to the