I bent over him; his breath had the raucous ardor of a forge.
"It is horrible, horrible!"
"A kiss from you,—why! that meant my resurrection, my complete restoration to life. Oh! you have believed seriously in your baths, in your port wine, in your hair-glove. Poor little one! It is in your love that I have bathed, it is the wine of your love that I have drunk, it is the revulsion of your life that has set a new blood flowing beneath my skin. It is because I have so hoped and longed and waited for your kiss that I have begun to live again, to be strong,—for I am strong now. But I am not angry with you for refusing me; you are right in refusing. I understand; I understand. You are a timid little soul, without courage; a little bird that sings on one branch, and then on another, and flies away at the slightest noise … frroutt! "
"These are frightful things which you are saying. Monsieur Georges."
He still went on, while I wrung my hands:
"Why are they frightful? No, indeed, they are not frightful; they are true. You think me sick. You think that one is sick when one has love. You do not know that love is life,—eternal life. Yes, yes, I understand, since your kiss, which is life for me, might, you fancy, be death for you. Let us say no more about it."