Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/122

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served as a screen against exacting instincts too long suppressed and to a need for action and adventure, which was no less sincere.

Antoine Naudé, he too, was for the war. But that was because he could not do otherwise. This big honest young bourgeois, with his rosy cheeks, placid and keen, who had a short breath and rolled his r with the pretty grace of the provinces of the Centre, contemplated with a quiet smile the enthusiastic transports of his friend Sée; or else he knew how on occasion to make him climb a tree with a careless word;—but the big, lazy fellow took precious care not to follow him up! What is the use of getting in a sweat for or against what does not depend upon ourselves? It is only in the tragedies that one finds the heroic and loquacious conflict between duty and one's pleasure. When we have no choice, we do our duty without wasting words. It was no jollier on that account. Naudé neither admired nor recriminated. His good sense told him that, once the train started and the war in motion, it was necessary to roll along with it; there was no other