Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/150

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be trod. The end which he has the feebleness to dread is really the dawn of the peaceful days which await him."

"And this garden, Father?"

"It is uncultivated as you see, Milady, it offers to the eyes only what is useful. The earth is a loan which God has given us to provide nourishment. Let's not abuse it in order to produce a surplus. Everything speaks here, Milady, and tells us of the feeling of wisdom and religion. This garden is the image of life; it is sown with thorns, and we find the fruit only by reaching through the thorns."

At that moment somebody came to warn Urbain that a nun was dying. Although he recommended to the abbess not to allow Adelaide to follow him, the latter insisted so much that the abbess let her go.

A cross of ashes traced at the foot of the altar received the body of the one who was giving up her soul. They stretched her out after having covered her with a shroud. Urbain, near her, spoke to her only of the happiness which she was going to receive in leaving a life so filled with thorns. This exhortation was so tender and spiritual that the dying woman cried out trying to rise:

"My Lord, deign to receive me promptly since I will find happiness only in your presence." And she died.

"You see, Milady," said Urbain, "she died happy. You don't have to show the navigator the perils of the ocean on which he has just crossed; it is the port which interests him. Let us cease to blame the happy hermits whose example I like to follow. Eternity frightens only those who do not look toward it during life."

The princess, extremely moved by all she had been seeing, was too young and too much under the influence of the passion which dominated her to profit as much from the wise words of the holy man as she should.

"I will think about all your words of wisdom, Father," she said in taking leave. "I feel that I must meditate a long time in order to be worthy of you."

Adelaide asked Urbain what she could do for the convent and for him when she would be on the throne again.

"Nothing, Milady," answered the director, "our bodies find