Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/36

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singular ignorances conceal themselves under the free talk of some young worldly girl or of some student who knows everything and understands nothing! In the heart of Paris there are provinces most naïve, little gardens as of cloisters, pure existences as of springs. Paris permits herself to be betrayed by her literature. Those who speak in her name are the most soiled of all. And besides, one only knows too well that a false human consideration often prevents the pure from avowing their innocence.—Pierre did not yet understand love; and he was delivered up to the first appeal love made.

This also added to the enchantment of his thought: that love had been born under the wing of death. In that moment of emotion when they felt the menace of the bombs pass over their heads, when the bloodstained apparition of the wounded man contracted their hearts, then it was their fingers groped toward each other; and both of them had read therein, at the same time with the quivering of the flesh that was frightened, the loving consolation of an unknown