Once I had not the power to keep back my tears ; they were choking me. M. Xavier became angry at once:
'<h! no, you know, that is the most tiresome thing of all. Tears, scenes? You must stop that, my dear; or else, good evening! I have supped on all that nonsense."
For my part I feel an immense and imperative need of that pure embrace, of that chaste kiss, which is no longer the savage bite of the flesh, but the ideal caress of the soul. I need to rise from the hell of love to the paradise of ecstasy, to the fullness, the delicious and candid silence, of ecstasy. But M. Xavier had supped on ecstasy.
Nothing pained me so much as to see that I had not left the slightest trace of affection, not the smallest tenderness, in his heart. Yet I believe that I could have loved the little scoundrel, â€” that I could have devoted myself to him, in spite of everything, like a beast. Even to-day I think re- gretfully of his impudent, cruel, and pretty phiz, and of his perfumed skin. And I have often on my lips, from which, since then, so many lips ought to have effaced it, the acid taste, the burning sensa- tion of his kiss. Oh! Monsieur Xavier! Monsieur Xavier !
One evening, before dinner, when he had re- turned to dress, â€” my! but how nice he