Three fragments and two portraits


   Just now on walking through the Tuileries, caressed by a wind so gentle, seeing far above me a sky so magnificent, trees so mighty and so much sunshine, so many flowers, I was saddened at the regret at having not yet taken any pleasure in this summer. Suddenly I was totally inflamed by a feeling of ardent happiness: at last I would find it possible to become intoxicated with all this glory and to relish all this joy. In the meantime it was as if for the last few moments the sound of my footsteps had been deadened. The silence was pleasant but even before I had noticed its cause I felt the mortal sadness of its sweetness. I lowered my eyes and it was then I understood that in spite of the splendid summer I was already walking on dead leaves. And yet summer could not be over already; the still warm sun was piercing the dead leaves with its arrows of gold. But they had come to shatter their dazzling points and the summer succeeded in merely transfiguring this sad littering by colouring it with an unreal and marvellous light, by passing between them and my eyes the trembling lie of its rays, the whole mirage of Imagination, Regret and Memory.


   Three quarters of people in society find a person intelligent because she passes for intelligent. And because she passes for intelligent the other quarter find her stupid. So that in reality she is overlooked by everybody.
   An absurdity is more boastful, more powerful, more intractable, more difficult to prevail upon than a political opinion or a religious belief. It has much more chance to attract more adherents.


   Friendship alone is able to inspire and shape into its own image a discussion on Friendship. Then he (the friend) is courageous, confident, attentive, unselfish, sincere and kind. Like the Plane tree, it spreads far and wide its winged seeds so that the rising winds lift it up and carry to the exact spot where there waits to grow from it a brother tree and in such care everybody recognizes the august image of friendship in which we have effectively invested and consecrated a friend, at least of that that we protect buried between the relics at the foot even of the altars for that which being presented will recognize its right. When this veritable divine right that it has for all eternity on our heart makes itself known, nothing could any longer resist that which had made our friend sacred and it is the Holy Ghost that will take to its wings.


   Body lean and supple, mind agile and gracious, heart sentimental and indifferent, he pleases and engages without being able to satisfy. Good singer, good talker, good wrestler, good fencer, he is the modern Aspasia who gives all the nuances of voluptuousness and knows how to take hold of them and describe them. But his indifference prevents him from putting himself in the place of others and feeling the pricking of little stings that he brushes away from himself if he feels he can be hurt by them.
   Yet the seductions of his exquisite mind, of his charming body, of his sensibility, gracious actress, draws you to him and compensates a little for the thoughtless wounds we suffer from him.


   A fine head and oddly driven by the voluptuary and the artist, a lovely brown skin, an imprudent vivacity of the ill-tempered and wilful child, the voice of a singer and the sensibility of an actress, a dream of sentimentality on a lake of indifference, teeth that laugh out loud beneath eyes that show nothing but boredom, a dash of vivacity showing some piquancy but no real animation to a foundation of nonchalance, the mettle of a horseman, the softness of a woman and the disdain of the indifferent.

Probably written about the period of Les Plaisirs et les jours but not used.

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