Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/200

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them; they feel hundreds of inquisitive looks upon them; are conscious of them. No; I would prefer to see animals that didn't know one observed them; shy creatures that nestle in their lair, and lie with sluggish green eyes, and lick their claws, and muse, eh?

Yes; I was certainly right in that.

It was only animals in all their peculiar fearfulness and peculiar savagery that possessed a charm. The soundless, stealthy tread in the total darkness of night; the hidden monsters of the woods; the shrieks of a bird flying past; the wind, the smell of blood, the rumbling in space; in short, the reigning spirit of the kingdom of savage creatures hovering over savagery . . . the unconscious poetry! . . . But I was afraid this bored her. The consciousness of my great poverty seized me anew, and crushed me. If I had only been in any way well-enough dressed to have given her the pleasure of this little tour in the Tivoli! I could not make out this creature, who could find pleasure in letting herself be accompanied up the whole of Carl Johann Street by a half-naked beggar. What, in the name of God, was she thinking of? And why was I walking there, giving myself airs, and