Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/125

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"populars." Did not all three forfeit their social rank by wishing to partake in the aspirations of the mob? Truth to say, the mob was a different crowd for each of them. But for Puget the crowd, whatever it might be, was always wrong. The crowd was the enemy. The intellect should remain alone and follow its particular laws and found, apart from the vulgar crowd and the State, the small and closed kingdom of thought.

And Pierre, seated near the window, distractedly looked out of doors, and dreamed. Generally speaking, he mingled in these juvenile assaults with passion. But today it seemed to him a humming of idle words which he listened to from so far away, oh, so far away! in a bored and mocking demi-torpidity. Plunged in their discussions, the others were a long while in remarking his muteness. But at last Saisset, accustomed to find in Pierre an echo of his verbal bolshevisms, was astonished at failing to hear it reverberate any more and put the question to him.