Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/33

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indulgent eyes of the examiners. Nor was he one to feel the despairing eagerness of the young man who sees death approaching and so takes double mouthfuls and devours the arts and sciences which he will never have a chance to test and verify in life. That perpetual feeling of emptiness at the end, emptiness that is underneath and everywhere hidden beneath the cruel and absurd illusion of the world—this it was that swept aside all his enthusiasms. He would throw himself on a book, on a thought—then he stopped, discouraged. Whither would that lead? What the use of learning? What is the point of getting riches if it be necessary to lose everything, leave everything, if nothing really belongs to you? In order that activity, in order that science should have any sense, it is necessary that life should have some. This sense no effort of the mind, no supplication from the heart had been able to produce for him.—And yet, lo and behold, all of itself, this sense had come. . . . Life had some sense. . . .

What then?—And seeking to find whence