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Teleny, or, The reverse of the medal : a physiological romance of to-day [volume 1] 1893

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j..mu     in   1. bui  i'.ji    mi THE REVERSE OF THE. MEDAL
A  PHYSIOLOGICAL ROMANCE OF TO-DAY
IN  TWO  VOLUMES
VOLUME I
COSMOPOLI
1893
TELENY
OR
<■■ BBl' in
■mm i* CHAPTER   I
" '"TpELL me your story from its very begin-
JL ning, Des Grieux," said he, interrupting
me; "and how you got to be acquainted with
him."
44 It was at a grand charity concert where he
was playing; for though amateur performances
are one of the many plagues of modern civilization, still, my mother being one of the lady
patronesses, I felt it incumbent to be present."
44 But he was not an amateur, was he ? |
44 Oh, no! Still at that time he was only
just beginning to make a name,"
44 Well, go on."
44 He had already sat down at the piano
when I got to my stalle d'orchestre.   The first thing
hi H
he played was a favourite gavotte of mine—one
of those slight, graceful, and easy melodies that
seem to smell of lavande ambree, and in some way
or other put you in mind of Lulli and Watteau,
of powdered ladies dressed in yellow satin gowns,
flirting with their fans."
44 And then ? "
44 As he reached the end of the piece, he cast
several sidelong glances towards—as I thought—
the lady patroness. When he was about to rise,
my mother—who was seated behind me—tapped
me on my shoulder with her fan, only to make
one of the many unseasonable remarks women
are for ever pestering you with, so that, by the
time I had turned round to applaud, he had disappeared."
44 And what happened afterwards ? "
44 Let   me   see.     I   think   there   was   some
singing."
44 But did he not play any more ? "
44 Oh, yes!    He came out again towards the
middle  of   the   concert.     As   he   bowed,  before
taking his place at the piano, his eyes seemed to
be looking out  for someone in the pit.    It was then—as I thought—that our glances met for the
first time."
44 What kind of a man was he ? "
44 He was a rather tall and slight young man
of twenty-four. His hair, short and curled—
after the fashion Bressan, the actor, had brought
into vogue—was of a peculiar ashy hue; but this
— as I knew afterwards—was due to its being
always imperceptibly powdered. Anyhow, the
fairness of his hair contrasted with his dark eyebrows and his short moustache. His complexion
was of that warm, healthy paleness which, I
believe, artists often have in their youth. His
eyes—though generally taken for black—were
of a deep blue colour; and although they ever
appeared so quiet and serene, still a close
observer would every now and then have seen
in them a scared and wistful look, as if he
were gazing at some dreadful dim and distant
vision. An expression of the deepest sorrow invariably succeeded this painful glamour."
44 And what was the reason of his sadness ? "
44 At first, whenever I asked him, he always
shrugged his shoulders, and answered laughingly, IO
4 Do you never see ghosts ?' When I got to
be on more intimate terms with him, his invariable reply was—4 My fate ; that horrible, horrible
fate of mine! ' But then, smiling and arching
his eyebrows, he always hummed, 4 Non ci
pensiam.' "
44 He was not of a gloomy or brooding disposition, was he ?"
44 No, not at all; he was only very superstitious."
44 As all artists, I believe."
44 Or rather, all persons like —well, like ourselves ; for nothing renders people so superstitious
as vice "
44 Or ignorance."
44 Oh! that is quite a different kind of superstition."
44 Was there any peculiar dynamic quality in
his eyes ? "
44 For myself of course there was; yet he
had not what you would call hypnotizing eyes;
his glances were far more dreamy than piercing,
or staring ; and still they had such penetrating
power that, from the very first  time I saw him,
- "c^L_^i: "v~Z-Aii_ I felt that he could dive deep into my heart;
and although his expression was anything but
sensual, still, every time he looked at me, I felt
all the blood within my veins was always set
aglow."
441 have often been told that he was very
handsome; is it true?"
44 Yes, he was remarkably good looking, and
still even more peculiar, than strikingly handsome. His dress, moreover, though always
faultless, was a trifle eccentric. That evening
for instance, he wore at his button-hole a bunch
of white heliotrope, although camellias and gardenias were then in fashion. His bearing was
most gentlemanly, but on the stage—as well
as with strangers—slightly supercilious."
44 Well, after your glances met ? "
44 He sat down and began to play. I looked
at the programme; it was a wild Hungarian
rhapsody by an unknown composer with a
crack-jaw name; its effect, however, was perfectly entrancing. In fact, in no music is the
sensuous element so powerful as in that of the
Tsiganes.   You see, from a minor scale—"
m II   u  —
12
44 Oh! please no technical terms, for I hardly
know one note from another."
44 Anyhow, if you have ever heard a tsardas,
you must have felt that, although the Hungarian
music is replete with rare rhythmical effects,
still, as it quite differs from our set rules of
harmony, it jars upon our ears. These melodies
begin by shocking us, then by degrees subdue,
until at last they enthrall us. The gorgeous
fioriture, for instance, with which they abound
are of a decided luxurious Arabic character,
and 1
44 Well, never mind about the fioriture of the
Hungarian music, and do go on with your
story."
44 That is just the difficult point, for you
cannot disconnect him from the music of his
country; nay, to understand him you must
begin by feeling the latent spell which pervades
every song of Tsigane. A nervous organization—
having once been impressed by the charm of a
tsardas—ever thrills in response to those magic
numbers. Those strains usually begin with a soft
and low   andante,  something  like   the   plaintive 13
wail of forlorn hope, then the ever changing
rhythm—increasing in swiftness—becomes 44 wild as
the accents of lovers' farewell," and without losing
any of its sweetness, but always acquiring new
vigour and solemnity, the prestissimo—syncopated
by sighs—reaches a paroxysm of mysterious
passion, now melting into a mournful dirge, then
bursting out into the brazen blast of a fiery
and warlike anthem.
44 He, in beauty, as well as in character, was
the very personification of this entrancing music.
44 As I listened to his playing I was spell-bound ;
yet I could hardly tell whether it was with the
composition, the execution, or the player himself.
At the same time the strangest visions began to
float before my eyes. First 1 saw the Alhambra
in all the luxuriant loveliness of its Moorish
masonry—those sumptuous symphonies of stones
and bricks—so like the flourishes of those quaint
Gipsy melodies. Then a smouldering unknown
fire began to kindle itself within my breast. I
longed to feel that mighty love which maddens one
to crime, to feel the blasting lust of men who live
beneath the scorching sun, to drink down deep n
from the cup of some satyrion philtre.
44 The vision changed ; instead of Spain, I saw a
barren land, the sun-lit sands of Egypt, wet by
the sluggish Nile; where Adrian stood wailing,
forlorn, disconsolate for he had lost for ever the
lad he loved so well. Spell bound by that soft
music, which sharpened every sense, I now began
to understand things hitherto so strange, the love
the mighty monarch felt for his fair Grecian slave,
Antinous, who—like unto Christ—died for his
master's sake. And thereupon my blood all
rushed from my heart into my head, then it
coursed down, through every vein, like waves of
molten lead.
44 The scene then changed, and shifted into the
gorgeous towns of Sodom and Gomorrah, weird,
beautiful and grand ; to me the pianist's notes just
then seemed murmuring in my ear with the panting
of an eager lust, the sound of thrilling kisses.
44 Then—in the very midst of my vision—the
pianist turned his head and cast one long,
lingering, slumberous look at me, and our glances
met again. But was he the pianist, was he
Antinous, or rather, was he not one of those two
«^J i5
angels   which   God sent to Lot ?   Anyhow,  the
irresistible charm of his beauty was such that I
was quite overcome  by it; and  the  music just
then seemed to whisper:
"' Could you not drink his gaze like wine,
Yet though its splendour swoon
In the silence languidly
As a tune into a tune?'
44 That thrilling longing I had felt grew more and
more intense, the craving so insatiable that it was
changed to pain; the burning fire had now been
fanned into a mighty flame, and my whole body
was convulsed and writhed with mad desire. My
lips were parched, I gasped for breath; my joints
were stiff, my veins were swollen, yet I sat still,
like all the crowd around me. But suddenly a heavy
hand seemed to be laid upon my lap, something
was hent and clasped and grasped, which made me
faint with lust. The hand was moved up and
down, slowly at first, then fast and faster it
went in rhythm with the song. My brain
began to reel as throughout every vein a burning lava coursed, and then, some drops even
gushed out 1 panted	
■tun
Nfl i6
44 All at once the pianist finished his piece with
a crash amidst the thundering applause of the
whole theatre. I myself heard nothing but the
din of thunder, I saw a fiery hail, a rain of rubies
and emeralds that was consuming the cities of the
plain, and he, the pianist, standing naked in the
lurid light, exposing himself to the thunderbolts
of heaven and to the flames of hell. As he stood
there, I saw him — in my madness — change all
at once into Anubis, the dog-headed God of
Egypt, then by degrees into a loathsome poodle.
I started, I shivered, felt sick, but speedily he
changed to his own form again.
441 was powerless to applaud, I sat there dumb,
motionless, nerveless, exhausted. My eyes were
fixed upon the artist who stood there bowing
listlessly, scornfully; while his own glances full
of 4 eager and impassioned tenderness,' seemed
to be seeking mine and mine alone. What a
feeling of exultation awakened within me ! But
could he love me, and me only ? For a trice the
exultation gave way to bitter jealousy. Was I
growing mad, I asked myself ?
44 As I looked at him, fiis features seemed to be i7
overshadowed by a deep melancholy, and—
horrible to behold—I saw a small dagger plunged
in his breast, with the blood flowing fast
from the wound. I not only shuddered, but
almost shrieked with fear, the vision was so real.
My head was spinning round, I was growing
faint and sick, I fell back exhausted in my
chair, covering my eyes with my hands."
44 What a strange hallucination, I wonder what
brought it about ? "
44 It was, indeed, something more than an
hallucination, as you will see hereafter. When
I lifted up my head again, the pianist was gone.
I then turned round, and my mother—seeing how
pale I was—asked me if I felt ill. I muttered
something about the heat  being very oppressive.
44 4 Go into the green room,' said she, 4 and
have a glass of water.'
44 4 No, I think I had better go home.'
441 felt, in fact, that I could not listen to
any more music that evening. My nerves
were so utterly unstrung that a maudlin song
would just then have exasperated me, whilst
another   intoxicating   melody might   have   made
;V
•V i8
me lose my senses.
44 As I got up I felt so weak and exhausted
that it seemed as if I were walking in a trance,
so, without exactly knowing whither I wended
my steps, I mechanically followed some persons
in front of me, and, a few moments afterwards,
I unexpectedly found myself in the green room.
" The saloon was almost empty. At the
further end a few dandies were grouped round a
young man in evening dress, whose back was
turned towards me. I recognized one of them
as Briancourt."
44 What, the General's son ? "
44 Precisely."
441 remember him. He always dressed in
such a conspicuous way."
44 Quite so. That evening, for instance, when
every gentleman was in black, he, on the contrary, wore a white flannel suit; as usual, a very
open Byron-like collar, and a red Lavalliere
cravat tied in a huge bow."
44 Yes, for he had a most lovely neck and
throat."
" He was very  handsome,  although  I,  for
2—2 *9
myself, had always tried to avoid him. He
had a way of ogling which made you feel quite
uncomfortable. You laugh, but it is quite true,
nere are some men who, when staring at a
woman, seem all the while to be undressing her.
Briancourt had that indecent way of looking at
everybody. I vaguely felt his eyes all over me,
and that made me shy."
44 But you were acquainted with him, were
you not ? "
44 Yes, we had been at some Kindergarten or
other together, but, being three years younger
than he, I was always in a lower class. Anyhow, that evening, upon perceiving him, I was
about to leave the room, when the gentleman in
the evening suit turned round. It was the
pianist. As our eyes met again, I felt a strange
flutter within me, and the fascination of his looks
was so powerful that I was hardly able to move.
Then, attracted onwards as I was, instead of
quitting the green room, I walked on slowly,
almost reluctantly, towards the group. The
musician, without staring, did not, however, turn
his eyes away from  me.     I was quivering from
i
3 20
m
head to foot. He seemed to be slowly drawing
me to him, and I must confess the feeling was
such a pleasant one that I yielded entirely to it.
44 Just then Briancourt, who had not seen
me, turned round, and recognizing me, nodded
in his off-hand way. As he did so, the pianist's
eyes brightened, and he whispered something to
him, whereupon the General's son, without giving
him any answer, turned towards me, and, taking
me by the hand, said :
44 4 Camille, allow me to introduce you to my
friend R6n6. M. R6n6 Teleny—M. Camille Des
Grieux.'
441 bowed, blushing. The pianist stretched
forth his ungloved hand. In my fit of nervousness I had pulled off both my gloves, so that I
now put my bare hand into his.
44 He had a perfect hand for a man, rather
large than small, strong yet soft, and with long,
tapering fingers, so that his grasp was firm and
steady.
44 Who has not been sentient of the manifold feelings produced by the touch of a hand ?
Many   persons   seem to bear a temperature   of 21
their own about them. They are hot and feverish
in mid-winter, while others are cold and icy in
the dog-days. Some hands are dry and parched, .
others continually moist, clammy, and slimy.
There are fleshy, pulpy, muscular, or thin, skeleton and bony hands. The grasp of some is like
that of an iron vice, others feel as limp as a bit
of rag. There is the artificial product of our
modern civilization, a deformity like a Chinese
lady's foot, always enclosed in a glove during
the day, often poulticed at night, tended by a
manicure ; they are as white as snow, if not as
chaste as ice. How that little useless hand
would shrink from the touch of the gaunt, horny,
clay-coloured, begrimed workman's hand, which
hard, unremitting labour has changed into a kind
of hoof. Some hands are coy, others paddle you
indecently; the grip of some is hypocritical, and
not what it pretends to be ; there is the velvety,
the unctuous, the priestly, the humbug's hand;
the open palm of the spendthrift, the usurer's
tight-fisted claw. There is, moreover, the magnetic hand, which seems to have a secret affinity
for your own; its simple touch thrills your whole 22
nervous system, and fills you with delight.
44 How can I express all that I felt from the
contact of Teleny's hand? It set me on fire;
and, strange to say, it soothed me at the same
time. How sweeter, softer, it was, than any
woman's kiss. I felt his grasp steal slowly over
all my body, caressing my lips, my throat, my
breast; my nerves quivered from head to foot
with delight, then it sank downwards into my
reins, and Priapus, re-awakened, uplifted his
head., I actually felt I was being taken possession of, and I was happy to belong to him.
441 should have liked to have said something
polite in acknowledgment for the pleasure he had
given me by his playing, still what unhackneyed
phrase could have expressed all the admiration I
felt for him ?
14 But, gentlemen,' said he, 41 am afraid I
am keeping you away from the music'
44 41, myself, was just going   away,'   quoth I.
1 4 The concert bores you then, does it ?'
444 No, on the contrary; but after having heard
you play,  I  cannot   listen to   any more   music
to-night.' 23
44 He smiled and looked pleased.
44 4 In fact, Rene, you have outdone yourself
this evening,' said Briancourt. 4I never heard
you play like that before.'
44 4 Do you know why ?'
44 4 No, unless it is that you had such a full
theatre.'
44 4 Oh, no! it is simply because, whilst I was
playing the gavotte, I felt that somebody was
listening to me.'
44 4 Oh! somebody !' echoed the young men,
laughing.
44 4 Amongst a French public, especially that of
a charity concert, do you really think that there
are many persons who listen ? I mean who listen
intently with all their heart and soul. The
young men are obliging the ladies, these are
scrutinizing each other's toilette; the fathers, who
are bored, are either thinking of the rise and fall
of the stocks, or else counting the number of
gas-lights, and reckoning how much the illumination will cost.'
44 * Still, among such a crowd there is surely more
than   one   attentive   listener,'   said    Odillot   the
T 41
HJI 24
lawyer.
44 4 Oh, yes ! I dare say ; as for instance the young
lady who has been thrumming the piece you have
just played, but there is hardly more than one,—
how can I express it ?—well more than one
sympathetic listener.'
44 4 What do you mean by a sympathetic listener ?'
asked Courtois, the stock-broker.
444 A person with whom a current seems to
establish itself; some one who feels, while listening,
exactly as I do whilst I am playing, who sees
perhaps the same visions as I do—'
444What! do you see visions when you play?'
asked one of the bystanders, astonished.
444 Not as a rule, but always when I have a
sympathetic listener?'
444 And do you often have such a listener ?' said
I, with a sharp pang of jealousy.
44 4 Often ? Oh, no! seldom, very seldom,
hardly ever in fact, and then '
444Then what?'
44 4 Never like the one of this evening.'
44 4 And when you have no listener ? ' asked
Courtois. Wvvfr*
25
44 4 Then I play mechanically, and in a humdrum
kind of way.'
444 Can you guess whom your listener was this
evening ? ' added Briancourt, smiling sardonically,
and then with a leer at me.
444 One of the many beautiful ladies of course,'
quoth Odillot, 4 you are a lucky fellow.'
44 4 Yes,' said another, 41 wish I were your
neighbour at that table d'hote, so that you might
pass me the dish after you have helped yourself.'
44 4 Was it some beautiful girl?' said Courtois
questioningly. Teleny looked deep into my eyes,
smiled faintly, and replied :
44 4 Perhaps.'
44 4 Do you think you will ever know your
listener ? ' enquired Briancourt.
44 Teleny again fixed his eyes on mine, and
added faintly :
44 4 Perhaps.'
44 4 But what clue have you to lead to this
discovery ?' asked Odillot.
444 His visions must coincide with mine.'
44 41 know what my vision would be if I had
any,' quoth Odillot.
V4 0>
26
44 4 What would it be?' enquired   Courtois.
44 4 Two lily-white breasts with nipples like two
pink rosebuds, and lower down, two moist lips like
those pink shells which opening with awakening
lust, reveal a pulpy luxurious world, only of a
deep coralline hue, and then these two pouting
lips must be surrounded by a slight golden or
black down '
44 4 Enough, enough, Odillot, my mouth waters
at your vision, and my tongue longs to taste the
flavour of those lips,' said the stock-broker, his
eyes gleaming like those of a satyr, and evidently
in a state of priapism.
44 4 Is not that your vision, Teleny ?'
44 The pianist smiled enigmatically: .
44 4 Perhaps.'
44 4 As for me,' said one of the young men who
had not yet spoken, 4 a vision evoked by a
Hungarian rhapsody would be either of vast
plains, of bands of gipsies, or of men with round
hats, wide trousers and short jackets, riding on
fiery horses.'
" * Or of booted and laced soldiers dancing with
black eyed girls,' added another. 27
441 smiled, thinking how different my vision had
been from these. Teleny, who was watching me,
noticed the movement of my lips.
44 4 Gentlemen,' said the musician, 4 Odillot's
vision was provoked not by my playing, but by
some good-looking young girl he had been ogling;
as for yours they are simply reminiscences of
some pictures or ballets.'
44 4 What was your vision, then ?' asked
Briancourt.
44 41 was just going to put you the same
question,' retorted the pianist.
44 4 My vision was something like Odillot's,
though not exactly the same.'
44 4 Then it must have been le revers de la
medaille—the back side,' quoth the lawyer, laughing ; 4 that is, two snow-clad lovely hillocks and
deep in the valley below, a well, a tiny hole with
a dark margin, or rather a brown halo around
it.'
44 4 Well, let us have your vision now,' insisted
Briancourt.
44 4 My visions are so vague and indistinct,
they  fade  away  so   quickly,  that   I  can   hardly
$nH yt
28
remember them,' he answered, evasively.
44 4 But they are beautiful, are they not ?'
44 4 And horrible withal,' quoth he.
444 Like the god-like corpse of Antinous, seen
by the silvery light of the opaline moon, floating
on the lurid waters of the Nile,' I said.
44 All the young men looked astonished at me.
Briancourt laughed in a jarring way.
44f You are a poet or a painter,' said Teleny,
gazing at me with half-shut eyes. Then, after
a pause: 4 Anyhow you are right to quiz me, but
you must not mind my visionary speeches, for
there is always so much of the madman in the
composition of every artist.' Then, darting a dim
ray from his sad eyes deep into mine, 4 When
you are better acquainted with me, you will know
that there is so much more of the madman than
of the artist in me.'
44 Thereupon he took out a strongly-scented
fine lawn handkerchief, and wiped the perspiration from his forehead.
44 c And now,' added he, 41 must not keep
you here a minute longer with my idle talk,
otherwise   the   lady   patronesses will   be   angry, m
I
29
and I really cannot afford to displease the
ladies;' and with a stealthy glance at Briancourt,
4 Can I ?' he added.
44 4 No, that would be a crime against the
fair sex,' replied one.
44 4 Moreover, the other musicians would say
I did it out of spite; for no one is gifted with
such strong feelings of jealousy as amateurs, be
they actors, singers, or instrumentalists, so au
revoir.1
44 Then, with a deeper bow than he had
vouchsafed to the public, he was about to leave
the room, when he stopped again: 4 But you,
M. Des Grieux, you said you were not going
to stay, may I request the pleasure of your
company ? '
44 4 Most willingly,' said I, eagerly.
44 Briancourt again smiled ironically — why, I
could not understand. Then he hummed a snatch
of 44 Madame Angot," which operetta was then
in fashion, the only words which caught my ears
being—
11j II est, dit-on, le favori,'
and these were marked purposely.
•W 3°
w\
44 Teleny, who had heard them as well as I
had, shrugged his shoulders, and muttered something between his teeth.
44 4 A carriage is waiting for me at the back
door,' said he, slipping his arm under mine.
4 Still, if you prefer walking '
44 4 Very much so, for it has been so stiflingly
hot in the theatre.'
44 4 Yes, very hot,' added he, repeating my
words, and evidently thinking of something else.
Then all at once, as if struck by a sudden thought,
4 Are you superstitious ?' said he.
44 4 Superstitious ?' I was rather struck by the
quaintness of his question. 4 Well—yes, rather,
I believe.'
44 41 am very much so. I suppose it is my
nature, for you see the Gipsy element is strong
in me. They say that educated people are not
superstitious. Well, first I have had a wretched
education; and then I think that if we really
knew the mysteries of nature, we could probably
explain all those strange coincidences that are
ever happening.' Then, stopping abruptly, 4 Do
you  believe in the   transmission  of   thought,  of J*Mfi
31
feelings, of sensations ? '
44 4 Well, I really do not know—I '
44 4 You must believe,' added he, authoritatively. 4 You see we have had the same vision
at once. The first thing you saw was the
Alhambra, blazing in the fiery light of the sun,
was it not ?'
44 4 It was,' said I, astonished.
44 4 And you thought you would like to feel that
powerful withering love  that  shatters both   the
body and the soul ?    You do not answer.    Then .
afterwards   came  Egypt,   Antinous   and  Adrian.
You were the Emperor, I was the slave.'
44 Then, musingly, he added, almost to himself:
4 Who knows, perhaps I shall die for you one
day!' And his features assumed that sweet
resigned look which is seen on the demi-god's
statues.
441 looked at him bewildered.
44 4 Oh! you think I am mad, but I am not,
I am only stating facts. You did not feel that you
were Adrian, simply because you are not
accustomed to such visions; doubtless all this will
be clearer to you some day; as for me, there is,
.Jit 32
you    must   know,   Asiatic   blood   in   my   veins,
and '
44 But he did not finish his phrase, and we
walked on for a while in silence, then :
Did you not see me turn round during the
gavotte, and look for you ? I began to feel you
just then, but I could not find you out; you
remember, don't you ? |
44 4 Yes,  I  did see  you look  towards  my  side,
and '
And you were jealous !'
44 4 Yes,' said I, almost inaudibly.
44 He pressed my arms strongly against his
body for all answer, then after a pause, he added
hurriedly, and in a whisper:
44 4 You must know that I do not care for a
single girl in this world, I never did. I could
never love a woman.'
44 My heart was beating strongly, I felt a
choking feeling as if something was griping my
throat.
44 4 Why should he be telling me this ? ' said I
to myself.
44 4 Did you not smell a scent just then ?' IS*
33
44 4 A scent,—when ? *
44 4 When I was playing the gavotte; you have
forgotten perhaps."
444 Let me see, you are right, what scent
was it ?'
44 4 Lavande ambvee»
444 Exactly.'
44 4 Which you do not care for, and which I
dislike; tell me, which is your favourite scent ? '
44 4 Heliotrope blanc,1
44 Without giving me an answer, he pulled out
his handkerchief and gave it to me to smell.
44 4 All our tastes are exactly the same, are
they not ?' And saying this, he looked at me
with such a passionate and voluptuous longing,
that the carnal hunger depicted in his eyes
made me feel faint.
44 4 You see, I always wear a bunch of white
heliotrope; let me give this to you, that its smell
may remind you of me to-night, and perhaps
make you dream of me.'
44 And taking the flowers from his button-hole,
he put them into mine with one hand, whilst he
slipped his left arm round my waist and clasped
3
■im
XL
11 34
me tightly, pressing me against his whole body
for a few seconds. That short space of time
seemed to me an eternity.
441 could feel his hot and panting breath
against my lips. Below, our knees touched, and
I Jfelt something hard press and move! against my
thigh.
44 My emotion just then was such that I
could hardly stand; for a moment I thought he
would kiss me—nay, the crisp hair of his moustache was slightly tickling my lips, producing a
most delightful sensation. However, he only
looked deep into my eyes with a demoniac
fascination.
441 felt the fire of his glances sink deep
into my breast, and far below. My blood began
to boil and bubble like a burning fluid, so that
I felt my- , (what the Italians call a 4 birdie,'
and what they have portrayed as a winged cherub)
struggle within its prison, lift up its head, open
its tiny lips, and again spout one or two drops
of that creamy, life-giving fluid.
44 But those few tears—far from being a
soothing balm — seemed to be drops of caustic,
3—2
, 35
burning me, and  producing a strong, unbearable
irritation.
I was tortured. My mind was a hell. My
body was on fire.
44 4 Is he suffering as much as I am ? ' said I
to myself.
44 Just then he unclasped his arm from round
my waist, and it fell lifeless of its own weight
like that of a man asleep.
44 He stepped back, and shuddered as if he had
received a strong electric shock. He seemed faint
for a moment, then wiped his damp forehead, and
sighed loudly. All the colour had fled from his
face, and he became deathly pale.
44 4 Do you think me mad ?' said he. Then,
without waiting for a reply: 4 but who is sane
and who is mad ? Who is virtuous and who is
vicious in this world of ours ? Do you know ?
I don't.'
44 The thought of my father came to my
mind, and I asked myself, shuddering, whether
my senses, too, were leaving me.
44 There was a pause. Neither of us spoke
for  some   time.     He  had   entwined   his  fingers
II
s 36
within mine, and we walked on for a while in
silence.
44 All the blood vessels of my member were
still strongly extended and the nerves stiff, the
spermatic ducts full to overflowing ; therefore, the erection continuing, I felt a dull pain
spread over and near all the organs of generation,
whilst the remainder of my body was in a state
of prostration, and still—notwithstanding the pain
and languor—it was a most pleasurable feeling to
walk on quietly with our hands clasped, his head
almost leaning on my shoulder.
44 4 When did you first feel my eyes on yours ? '
asked he in a low hushed tone, after some
time.
44 4 When you came out for the second time.'
44 4 Exactly; then our glances met, and then
there was a current between us, like a spark of
electricity running along a wire, was it not ?'
44 4 Yes, an uninterrupted current.'
44 4 But you really felt me just before I went
out, is it not true ?'
44 For all answer I pressed his fingers tightly.
4441 never knew a man whose feelings coin- ,f\\»*
37
cided so well with mine. Tell me, do you think
any woman could feel so intensely ? 5
44 My head sank down, I could not give him
any answer.
"'We shall be friends?' said he, taking hold
of both my hands.
44 4 Yes,' said I shyly.
44 4 Yes, but great friends, bosom friends, as the
English say.'
444 Yes.'
44 Thereupon he clasped me again to his
breast and muttered in my ear some words of an
unknown tongue, so low and musical, that they
almost seemed like a spell.
44 4 Do you know what that means ?' quoth he.
444 No.'
44 4 Oh, friend ! my heart doth yearn for thee."
S fa CHAPTER   II
44 /T*H AT whole night I was excited and feverish,
JL I tossed about on my bed unable to find
any rest; and when at last I fell asleep it was only
to be haunted by the most lascivious and erotic
dreams.
44 Once, for instance, it seemed to me that
Teleny was not a man, but a woman; moreover,
he was my own sister.
44 4 But you never had a sister, had you ? '
44 4 No, of course not. Some day I shall tell
you the reason why I am an only son. In this
hallucination, I—like Amon the son of David,—
loved my sister, and I was so vexed that I fell
sick, for I thought it not only hard—but a most
heinous act—'to do something to her*    I therefore
\w
1 %m
4o
struggled hard to crush my love; but one night,
unable to overcome the maddening passion that
was consuming me, I yielded to it and stealthily
crept into her room.
44 By the rosy light of her night-lamp, I saw her
lying, or rather, stretched across her bed. I shivered
with lust at the sight of that pearly-white flesh.
I should have liked to have been a beast of prey
to devour it.
44 Her loose and dishevelled golden hair was
scattered in locks all over the pillow. Her lawn
chemise scarcely veiled part of her nakedness,
whilst it enhanced the beauty of what was left
bare. The ribbons with which this garment had
been tied on her shoulder had come undone, and
thus exhibited her right breast to my hungry,
greedy glances. It stood up firm and plump, for
she was a very young virgin, and its dainty shape
was no bigger than a large-sized champagne bowl,
and as Symonds says :
I Her breasts shone like pinks that lilies wreath."
As her right arm was uplifted and bent under her
head, I could see a bushy mass of dark auburn 4i
hair under her arm-pit.
She was lying in the enticing position of
Danae at the moment when she was deflowered by
Jupiter in the shape of a golden shower; that is,
lier knees were drawn up, and her thighs widely
apart. Although she was fast asleep, and her
chest barely heaved as she drew her breath, still
her flesh seemed to creep as if under the spell
of an eager amorous desire, and her half-opened
lips pouted forth ready to be kissed.'
441 quietly drew near the bed on the tip of my
toes, just like a cat about to spring on a mouse,
and then slowly crawled between her legs. My
heart was beating fast, I was eager to gaze upon
the sight I so longed to see. As I approached on
all fours, head foremost, a strong smell of white
heliotrope mounted up to my head, intoxicating
me.
44 Trembling with excitement, opening my
eyes wide and straining my sight, my glances
dived between her thighs. At first nothing could
be seen but a mass of crisp auburn hair, all curling in tiny ringlets, and growing there as if to
hide the entrance of that well of pleasure.    First I
i
in,
II 42
lightly lifted up her chemise, then I gently brushed
the hair aside, and parted the two lovely lips
which opened by themselves at the touch of my
fingers as if to afford me entrance.
44 This done, I fed my greedy eyes upon that
dainty pink flesh that looked like the ripe and
luscious pulp of some savoury fruit appetizing to
behold, and within those cherry lips there nestled
a tiny bud—a living flower of flesh and blood.
441 had evidently tickled it with the tip of
my finger, for, as I looked upon it, it shivered
as if endowed with a life of its own, and it protruded itself out towards me. At its beck I
longed to taste it, to fondle it, and therefore, unable to resist, I bent down and pressed my tongue
upon it, over it, within it, seeking every nook and
corner around it, darting into every chink and
cranny, whilst she, evidently enjoying the little
game, helped me in my work, shaking her buttocks
with a lusty delight in such a way that after a
few minutes the tiny flower began to expand its
petals and shed forth its ambrosial dew, not a
drop of which did my tongue allow to escape.
44 In the meanwhile she panted and screamed, 43-W
43
and seemed to swoon away with joy. Excited as
I was, I hardly allowed her time enough to come
to herself; but, rising over her, and taking in
my hand my phallus—which, as you know, is a
good-sized one—I introduced the glans into the
entrance.
44 The slit was a very tiny one, but the lips
were moist, and I pressed down with all my
strength. Little by little I felt it bursting all
the side tissues, and tearing away and battering
down every obstacle in its way. She bravely
helped me on with my work of destruction, opening her thighs to her utmost, pushing herself
against me, and struggling to get the whole column
within her, screaming at the same time both
with pleasure and with pain. I plunged and re-
plunged with eager rapture, shoving and driving
it further in at every stroke, till, having at last
burst every barrier, I felt it touch the innermost
recesses of the womb, where the tip of my rod
seemed to be tickled and sucked by innumerable
tiny lips.
44 What an overpowering pleasure I felt.
I   seemed to float  between   heaven   and   earth,
iS'fi i£
44
I groaned, I shrieked with delight.
44 Tightly wedged as my prickle was, I tried
to pull it out slowly, when all at once I heard a
noise in the room. I saw a stronger light than
that of the night lamp, then a hand was placed
on my back. I heard my name being uttered
aloud.
44 Imagine my shame, my confusion, my horror.
It was my mother, and I was over my sister.
444 Camille, what is the matter, are you ill?'
said she.
441 awoke, shivering with fear and consternation, asking myself where I was, if I had defiled
my sister, or what had happened ?
44 Alas! it was but too true, the last drops of
that shattering fluid were still oozing from me.
My mother was standing by my bedside, in
flesh and blood. Mine, then, had not been a
dream!
44 But, where was my sister, or the girl I had
enjoyed ? Moreover, was this stiff rod I was
holding in my hand, mine or Teleny's ?
44 Surely I was alone and in my bed. Then
what did my mother want with me ?    And how iJWWi
45
did that loathsome poodle, standing there on its
hind legs leering at me, get into my room?
44 I finally came to my senses, and saw that the
poodle was only my shirt, which I had thrown
on a chair, before going to bed. Being now
thoroughly awake, my mother made me understand that hearing me groan and shriek, she had
come in to see if I were unwell. Of course I
hastened to assure her that I was in perfect
health, and had only been the prey of a frightful
nightmare. She thereupon put her fresh hand
upon my hot forehead. The soothing touch of
her soft hand, cooled the fire burning within my
brain, and allayed the fever raging in my
blood.
44 When I was quietened, she made me drink
a bumper of sugared water flavoured with essence
of orange-flowers, and then left me. I once more
dropped off to sleep. I awoke, however, several
times, and always to see the pianist before me.
44 On the morrow likewise, when I came to myself, his name was ringing in my ears, my lips were
muttering it, and my first thoughts reverted to
him.     I  saw him—in my mind's eye—standing
fl
I
i
m\ 46
k\
there on the stage, bowing before the public, his
burning glances rivet ted on mine.
441 lay for some time in my bed, drowsily
contemplating that sweet vision, so vague and
indefinite, trying to recall his features which had
got mixed up with those of the several statues of
Antinous which I had seen.
44 Analyzing my feelings, I was now conscious
that a new sensation had come over me — a
vague feeling of uneasiness and unrest. There
was an emptiness in me, still I could not understand if the void was in my heart or in my head.
I had lost nothing and yet I felt lonely, forlorn,
nay almost bereaved. I tried to fathom my
morbid state, and all I could find out was that
my feelings were akin to those of being home-sick
or mother-sick, with this simple difference, that
the exile knows what his cravings are, but I did
not. It was something indefinite like the Sehnsuckt
of which the Germans speak so much, and which
they really feel so little.
44 The image of Teleny haunted me, the name
of Ren6 was ever on my lips. I kept repeating
it over and over for dozens of times.    What a 47
sweet name it was! At its sound my heart was
beating faster. My blood seemed to have become warmer and thicker. I got up slowly.
I loitered over my dress. I stared at myself
within the looking-glass, and I saw Teleny in
it instead of myself; and behind him arose our
blended shadows, as I had seen them on the
pavement the evening before.
44 Presently the servant tapped at the door;
this recalled me to self-consciousness. I saw
myself in the glass, and found myself hideous,
and for the first time in my life I wished myself
good-looking—nay, entrancingly handsome.
44 The servant who had knocked at the door
informed me that my mother was in the breakfast-
room, and had sent to see if I were unwell. The
name of my mother recalled my dream to my
mind, and for the first time I almost preferred
not meeting her."
44 Still, you were then on good terms with
your mother, were you not ? "
44 Certainly. Whatever faults she might have
had, no one could have been more affectionate;
and though she was said to be somewhat light
i ^
w
A
48
and fond of pleasure, she had never neglected
rne."
44 She struck me, indeed, as a talented person,
when I knew her."
44 Quite so ; in other circumstances she might
have proved even a superior woman. Very orderly
and practical in all her household arrangements,
she always found plenty of time for everything.
If her life was not according to what we generally
call 4the principles of morality,' or rather, Christian hypocrisy, the fault was my father's, not hers,
as I shall perhaps tell you some other time.
44 As I entered the breakfast-room, my mother
was struck with the change in my appearance, and
she asked me if I was feeling unwell.
44 41 must have a little fever,' I replied;
4 besides, the weather is so sultry and oppressive.'
44 4 Oppressive ? ' quoth she, smiling.
44 4 Is it not ?'
44 4 No ; on the contrary, it is quite bracing.
See, the barometer has risen considerably.'
44 4 Well, then, it must have been your concert that upset my nerves.' 49
44 4 My concert!' said my mother, smiling,
and handing me some coffee.
44 It was useless for me to try to taste it, the
very sight of it turned me sick.
44 My mother looked at me rather anxiously.
*4 4 It is nothing, only for some time back I
have been getting sick of coffee.'
44 4 Sick of coffee ?   yon never said so before.'
44 4 Did I not ?' said I, absently.
44 4 Will you have some chocolate, or some
tea?'
444 Can Inot fast for once?'
444 Yes, if you are ill—or if you have some
great sin to atone for.'
441 looked at her and shuddered. Could she be
reading my thoughts better than myself ?
44 4 A sin ? ' quoth I, with an astonished look.
44 4 Well, you know even the righteous '
44 4 And what then ?' said I, interrupting her
snappishly; but to make up for my supercilious
way of speaking,  I added in gentler tones:
44 41 do not feel hungry; still, to please you,
I'll have a glass of champagne and a biscuit.'
44 4 Champagne, did you say ? ' I
50
44 4 Yes.'
44 * So early in the morning, and on an empty
stomach.'
444 Well, then I'll have nothing at all,' I
answered pettishly. 41 see you are afraid I'm
going to turn  drunkard.'
44 My mother said nothing, she only looked at
me wistfully for a few*minutes, an expression of
deep sorrow was seen in her face, then—without
adding another word—she rang the bell and
ordered the wine to be brought."
44 But what made her so sad ? "
44 Later on, I understood that she was frightened
that I was already getting to be like my father."
44 And your father—? "
44 I'll tell you his story another time.
44 After I had gulped down a glass or two of
champagne, I felt revived by the exhilarating
wine : our conversation then turned on the concert,
and although I longed to ask my mother if she
knew anything about Teleny, still I durst not
utter the name which was foremost on my lips,
nay I had even to restrain myself not to repeat it
aloud every now and then.
4—2
NV 5i
44 At last my mother spoke of him herself, commending first his playing and then his beauty.
444 What, do you find him good-looking?' I
asked abruptly.
44 41 should think so,' replied she, arching her
eyebrows in an astonished way, 4 is there anybody
who does not ? Every woman finds him an
Adonis; but then you men differ so much from us
in your admiration for your own sex, that you
sometimes find insipid those whom we are
taken up with. Anyhow, he is sure to succeed
as an artist, as all the ladies will be falling in love
with him.'
441 tried not to wince upon hearing these last
words, but do what I could, if was impossible to
keep my features quite motionless.
44 My mother seeing me frown, added,
smilingly :
44 4 What, Camille, are you going to become as
vain as some acknowledged belle, who cannot hear
anybody made much of without feeling that any
praise given to another woman is so much subtracted from what is due to her ?'
44 4 All women are free to fall in love with him
\m
ivil NJrf i
m
m
52
if they choose,' I answered snappishly, 4 you know
quite well that I never piqued myself either on
my good looks or upon my conquests.'
44 4 Sfo, it is true, still to-day you are like the
dog in the manger, for what is it to you whether
the women are taken up with him or not, especially
if it is such a help to him in his career ?'
444 But cannot an artist rise to eminence by
his talent alone ? '
44 4 Sometimes,' added she with an incredulous
smile, 4 though seldom, and only with that
superhuman perseverance which gifted persons
often lack, and Teleny—'
44 My mother did not finish her phrase in words,
but the expression of her face, and above all of
the corners of her mouth, revealed her thoughts.
44 4 And you think that this young man is such
a degraded being as to allow himself to be kept by
a woman, like a—'
44 4 Well, it is not exactly being kept — at
least, he would not consider it in that light. He
might, moreover, allow himself to be helped
in a thousand ways otherwise than by money,
but his piano would be his gagne-pain*'
m 53
44 4 Just like the stage is for most ballet-girls ;
then I should not like to be an artist.'
444Oh! they are not the only men who owe
their success to a mistress, or to a wife. Read 44 Bel
Ami," and you will see that many a successful
man, and even more than one celebrated personage, owes his greatness to '
44 4 A woman ?'
44 4 Exactly; it is always : Chevchez la femme.'
44 4 Then this is a disgusting world.'
c*4 Having to live in it, we must make the best
of it we can, and not take matters quite so
tragically as you do.'
444 Anyhow, he plays well. In fact, I never
heard anyone play like he did last night.'
44 4 Yes, I grant that last night he did play
brilliantly, or, rather, sensationally; but it also
must be admitted that you were in a rather
morbid state of health and mind, so that music
must have had an uncommon effect upon your
nerves.'
44 4 Oh! you think there was an evil spirit
within me troubling me, and that a cunning
player — as the Bible has it — was alone able to
^l
It*
f&
Iff]
>3
1
-----    :„ 54
f Wi
w
quiet my nerves.'
44 My mother smiled.
44 4 Well, now-a-days, we are all of us more
or less like Saul; that is to say, we are all occasionally troubled with an evil spirit.'
44 Thereupon her brow grew clouded, and she
interrupted herself, for evidently the remembrance
of my late father came to her mind; then she
added, musingly—
44 4 And Saul was really to be pitied.'
441 did not give her an answer. I was only
thinking why David had found favour in Saul's
sight. Was it because 4 he was ruddy, and withal
of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look
to' ? Was it also for this reason that, as soon
as Jonathan had seen him, 4 the soul of Jonathan
was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan
loved him as his own soul' ?
44 Was Teleny's soul knit with my own ?
Was I to love and hate him, as Saul loved and
hated David? Anyhow, I despised myself and
my folly. I felt a grudge against the musician
who had bewitched me; above all, I loathed the
whole womankind, the curse of the world. 44 All at once my mother drew me from my
gloomy thoughts.
44 4 You are not going to the office to-day, if
you do not feel well,' said she, after a while."
" What! you were in trade then, were
you ? 1
44 Yes, my father had left me a very profitable
business, and a most trustworthy and excellent
manager who for years had been the soul of the
house. I was then twenty-two, and my part in
the concern was to pocket the lion's share of the
profits. Still, I must say I not only had never
been lazy, but, moreover, was rather serious for a
young man of my age, and, above all, in my
circumstances. I had but one hobby—a most
harmless one. I was fond of old majolica, old
fans, and old lace, of which I have now a rather
fine collection."
"The finest one I ever saw."
44 Well, I went to the office as usual, but do
what I could it was quite impossible- for me to
settle down to any kind of work.
"Teleny's vision was mixing itself up with
whatever I happened to be doing, muddling every- is
56
thing up. Moreover, my mother's words were
ever present to my mind. Every woman was in
love with him, and their love was necessary to
him. I thereupon tried hard to banish him from
my thoughts. 4 Where there is a will there is
a way,' said I to myself, 4 so I shall soon get rid
of this foolish, maudlin infatuation.'"
44 But you did not succeed, did you ? "
44 No! the more I tried not to think of him,
the more I did think. Have you in fact ever
*heard some snatches of a half-remembered tune
ringing in your ears ? Go where you will, listen
to whatever you like, that tune is ever tantalizing
you You can no more recollect the whole of it
than you can get rid of it. If you go to bed it
keeps you from falling asleep; you slumber and
you hear it in your dreams; you wake, and it is
the very first thing you hear. So it was with
Teleny; he actually haunted me, his voice—so
sweet and low—was ever repeating in those
unknown accents: Oh! friend, my heart doth
yearn for thee.
44 And now his lovely image never left my eyes,
the touch of his soft hand was still on mine, I even 57
felt his scented breath upon my lips; thus in that
eager longing, every now and then I stretched my
arms to seize and to strain him to my breast, and
the hallucination was so strong in me that soon
I fancied I could feel his body on my own.
44 A strong erection thereupon took place,
which stiffened every nerve and almost made me
mad; but though I suffered, still the pain I felt
was sweet."
44 Excuse my interrupting you, but had you
never been in love before you had met Teleny?"
44 Never."
44 Strange."
44 Why so ? "
44 At two-and-twenty ? |
44 Well, you see I was predisposed to love men
and not women, and without knowing it I had
always struggled against the inclinations of my
nature. It is true that several times I thought
I had already been in love, still it was only upon
knowing Teleny that I understood what real love
was. Like all boys I had believed myself bound
to feel spoony, and I had done my best to
persuade   myself   that   I   was   deeply   smitten.
II
l\w
K 58
Having once casually come across a youg girl
with laughing eyes, I had concluded that she was
just what an ideal Dulcinea ought to be; I therefore
followed her about, every time I met her, and
sometimes even tried to think of her at odd
moments, when I had nothing to do."
44 And how did the affair end ? "
44 In a most ridiculous way. The thing happened
I think, about a year or two before I left the
Lycee; yes, I remember, it was during the midsummer holidays, and the very first time I had
ever travelled alone.
44 Being of a rather shy disposition, I was
Somewhat flurried and nervous at having to elbow
my way through the crowd, to hurry and push
about to get my ticket, to take care so as not to
get into a train going in the wrong direction.
44 The upshot of all this was that, before
being thoroughly aware of it, I found myself seated
in front of the girl I believed myself in love with,
and moreover in a carriage reserved for the fair
sex.
'«Unfortunately, in the same carriage there
was a creature who surely could not go under that denomination; for, although I cannot swear
as to her sex, I can take my oath she was not
fair. In fact, as far as I can remember her, she
was a real specimen of the wandering English old
maid, clad in a waterproof coat something like
an ulster. One of those heterogenous creatures
continually met with on the Continent, and I
think everywhere else except in England; for
I have come to the conclusion that Great Britain
manufactures them especially for exportation.
Anyhow, I had hardly taken my place, when—
44 4 Monseer,' says she, in a snarling, barking
way, 4 cette compartement est reserved for dames
soules.'
441 suppose she meant 4 settles,' but at that
moment, confused as I was, I took her at her
word.
44 4 Dames soules!'—4 drunken ladies !' said I,
terrified, looking around at all the ladies.
44 My neighbours began to titter.
44 4 Madame says that this carriage is reserved
for ladies,' added the mother of my girl, 4of
course a young man is riot—well, not expected to
smoke here, but—' 6o
44 4 Oh! if that is the only objection I certainly
shall not allow myself to smoke.'
" 4 No, no!' said the old maid evidently much
shocked, 4 vous exit, go out, ou moi crier! \
* Garde,' she shouted out of the window, 4 faites
go out cette monseer!'    »|
44 The guard appeared at the door, and not only
ordered, but ignominously turned me out of that
carriage, just as if I had been a second Col. Baker.
441 was so ashamed of myself, so mortified,
that my stomach — which had always been
delicate—was actually quite upset by the shock
I had received, therefore no sooner had the
train started than I began to be, first uncomfortable, then to feel a rumbling pain, and at
last a pressing want, so much so that I could
hardly sit down on my seat, squeeze as much as
I could, and I dared not move for fear of the
consequences.
44 After some time the train stopped for a few
minutes, no guard came to open the carriage
door, I managed to get up, no guard was to be
seen, no place where I could ease myself. I was
debating what to do wher| the train started off. u
44 The only occupant of the carriage was an old
gentleman, who—having told me to make myself
comfortable, or rather to put myself at my ease—
went off to sleep and snored like a top; I might as
well have been alone.
441 formed several plans for unburdening my
stomach, which was growing more unruly every
moment, but only one or two seemed to answer;
and yet I could not put them into execution, for
my lady-love only a few carriages off was every
now and then looking out of the window, so it
would never have done if, instead of my face, she
all at once saw—my full moon. I could not for
the same reason use my hat as what the Italians
call—a comodina, especially as the wind was blowing strongly towards her.
44 The train stopped again, but only for three
minutes. What could one do in three minutes,
especially with a stomach-ache like mine ?
Another stoppage; two minutes. By dint of
squeezing I now felt that I could wait a little
longer. The train moved and then once more
came to a standstill. Six minutes. Now was my
chance, or never.   I jumped out*
-Mm) s
I
62
" It was a kind of country station, apparently
a junction, and everybody was getting out.
44 The guard bawled out: 4 Les voyageurs pour
 jj en voiture.*
44 Where is the lavatory ? ' I enquired of him.
44 He wished to shove me into the train.
I broke loose, and asked the same question of
another official,
44 4 There,' said he, pointing to the water-
closet, 4 but be quick.'
441 ran towards it, I rushed into it without
looking where I went. I violently pushed open
the door.
441 heard first a groan of ease and of comfort,
followed by a splash and a waterfall, then a
screech, and I saw my English damsel, not
sitting, but perched upon the closet seat.
44 The engine whistled, the bell rang, the
guard blew his horn, the train was moving.
441 ran back as fast as I could, regardless of
consequences, holding my falling trousers in my
hands, and followed by the wrathful screeching
English old maid, very much like a wee chicken
running away from an old hen." 63
<And-
44 Everyone was at the carriage windows laughing at my misadventure.
44 A few days afterwards I was with my
parents at the Pension Bellevue, at the baths of
N , when, on going down to the table d'hote
dinner, I was surprised to find the young lady in
question seated with her mother, almost opposite
to the place usually occupied by my parents.
Upon seeing her, I, of course, blushed scarlet, I
sat down, and she and the elderly lady exchanged
glances and smiled. I wriggled on my chair in
a most uncomfortable way, and I dropped the
spoon which I had taken up.
44 4 What is the matter with you, Camille ?'
asked my mother, seeing me grow red and pale.
44 4 Oh, nothing ! Only I—I—that is to say,
my—my stomach is rather out of order,' said I,
in a whisper, finding no better excuse on the spur
of the moment.
44 4 Your stomach again ? ' said my mother, in
an under-tone.
44 4 What, Camille ! have you the belly-ache ?'
said my father, in his off-hand way, and with his
tfikmm 64
stentorian voice.
441 was so ashamed of myself and so upset,
that, hungry &s I was, my stomach began to
make the most fearful rumbling noises.
44 Everyone at table, I think, was giggling,
when all at once I heard a well-known snarling,
barking, shrill voice say—
44 4 Gaason, demandez that monseer not to
parler cochonneries at table.'
441 cast a glance towards the side whence
the voice proceeded, and, sure enough, that
horrible, wandering English old maid was there.
441 felt as if I could have sunk under the
table for shame, seeing everyone stare at me.
Anyhow, I had to bear it; and at last the
lengthy meal came to an end. I went up to my
room, and, for that day, I saw nothing more of
my acquaintances.
44 On the morrow 1 met the young girl out
with her mother. When she saw me, her laughing eyes had a merrier twinkle than ever.
I durst not look at her, much less follow her
about as I was wont to do.
" There were several other girls at the pension,
.^.mmmmmm
mSsm 65
and she soon got to be on friendly terms with
them, for she was in fact an universal favourite.
I, on the contrary, kept aloof from everyone, feeling sure that my mishap was not only known
but had become a general topic of conversation.
44 One afternoon, a few days afterwards, I
was in the vast garden of the pension, hidden behind
some ilex shrubs, brooding over my ill luck,
when all at once I saw Rita—for her name was
Marguerite — walking in a neighbouring alley,
together with several other girls.
441 had no sooner perceived her when she told
her friends to go on, whilst she began to lag
behind.
44 She stopped, turned her back upon her
companions, lifted up her dress far above her
knee, and displayed a very pretty though
rather thin leg incased in a close-fitting, black
silk stocking. The string which attached the
stocking to her unmentionables had got undone,
and she began to tie it.
44 By bending low I might quietly have peeped
between her legs, and seen what the slit of her 66
pantaloons afforded to the view ; but it never came
into my head to do so. The fact is, I had really
never cared for her or for any other woman. I only
thought now is my time to find her alone and to
bow to her, without having all the other girls to
giggle at me. So I quietly got out of my hiding-
place, and advanced towards the next alley.
44 As I turned the corner, what a sight did I
see!     There  was the  object of   my sentimental
admiration,   squatted   on   the   ground,   her   legs
widely opened apart, her skirts all carefully tucked.
up."
44 So at last you saw "
44 A faint glimpse of pinkish flesh, and a
stream of yellow liquid pouring down and flowing on the gravel, bubbling with much froth,
accompanied by the rushing sound of many
waters, whilst, as if to greet my appearance, a
rumbling noise like that of an unctuous cannonade came from behind."
44 And what did you do ? "
"Don't you know we always do the things
which ought not to be done, and leave undone the
things which ought to be  done, as  I  think the
5~2 4i   m
67
Prayer Book says ? So, instead of slipping away
unperceived, and hiding behind a bush to try and
have a glimpse at the mouth from which the rill
escaped, I foolishly remained stock still—speechless, dumbfoundered. It was only when she lifted
up her eyes that I recovered the use of my
tongue.
44 4 Oh, mademoiselle ! pardon ! ' said I; 4 but
really I did not know that you were here—that
is to say that '
44 4 Sot—stupide—imbecile—bete—animal! " quoth
she, with quite a French volubility, rising and
getting as red as a peony. Then she turned her
back upon me, but only to face the wandering old
maid, who appeared at the other end of the avenue,
and who greeted her with a prolonged 4 Oh! ' that
sounded like the blast of a fog-trumpet."
» And—"
44 And the only love I ever had for a woman
thus came to an end."
f
rfl u
fp^g
■BBSS CHAPTER   III
44 'T^HEN you had never loved before you
•*■ made Teleny's acquaintance ? "
44Never; that is the reason why—for some
time—I did not quite understand what I felt.
Thinking it over, however, I afterwards came
to the conclusion that I had felt the first
faint stimulus of love already long before, but as
it had always been with my own sex, I was
unconscious that this was love."
44 Was it for some boy of your age ? "
44 No, always for grown up men, for strong
muscular specimens of manhood. I had from
childhood a hankering for males of the prizefighter's type, with huge limbs, rippling muscles,
mighty thews; for brutal strength in fact. Tl
70
44 My first infatuation was for a young Hercules
of a butcher, who came a-courting our maid—a
pretty girl, as far as I can remember. He was a
stout athletic fellow with sinewy arms, who looked
as if he could have felled an ox with a blow of
his fist.
441 often used to sit and watch him unawares,
noting every expression of his face whilst he was
making love, almost feeling the lust he felt
himself.
44 How I did wish he would speak to me
instead of joking with my stupid maid. I felt
jealous of her although I liked her very much.
Sometimes he used to take me up and fondle me,
but that was very seldom; one day, however,
when—apparently excited—he had tried hard to
kiss her, and had not succeeded, he took me up
and greedily pressed his lips against mine, kissing
me as if he were parched with thirst.
44 Although I was but a very little child, still
I think this act must have brought about an
erection, for I remember every pulse of mine was
fluttering. I still remember the pleasure I felt
when—like a cat—I could rub myself against his 7i
legs, nestle  between his  thighs, sniff him like a
dog,   or   pat   and  paddle   him;  but,   alas!    he
seldom heeded me.
44 My greatest delight in my boyhood was to see
men bathing.. I could hardly keep myself from
rushing up to them; I should have liked to handle
and kiss them all over. I was quite beyond
myself when I saw one of them naked.
44 A phallus acted upon me, as—I suppose—it
does upon a very hot woman ; my mouth actually
watered -at its sight, especially if it was a good-
sized, full-blooded one, with an unhooded thick
and fleshy glans.
44 Withal, I never understood that I loved men
and not women. What I felt was that convulsion
of the brain that kindles the eyes with a fire full
of madness, an eager bestial delight, a fierce
sensual desire. Love I thought was a quiet
chaffy drawing-room flirtation, something soft,
maudlin and aesthetic, quite different from that
passion full of rage and hatred which was burning
within me. In a word, much more of a sedative
than an aphrodisiac.'
44 Then   I   suppose   you   had   never   had  a
i
1
I 72
woman ? "
44 Oh, yes! several; though by chance, rather
than by choice. Nevertheless, for a Frenchman
of my age, I had begun life rather late. My
mother—although considered a very light person,
much given to pleasnre—had taken more care of
my bringing up than many serious, prosy, fussy
women would have done; for she always had a
great deal of tact and observation. Therefore I
had never been put as a boarder into any school,
for she knew that such places of education areas a rule—only hot-beds of vice. Who is the
interne of either sex who has not begun life by
tribadism, onanism, or sodomy.
44 My mother, besides, was frightened lest I
might have inherited my father's sensual disposition, and she, therefore, did her best to withhold me from all early temptations, and in fact
she really succeeded in keeping me out of
mischief.
441 was therefore at fifteen and sixteen far
more innocent than any of my school fellows, yet
I managed to hide my utter ignorance by pretending to be more profligate and blast* 44 Whenever they spoke of women—and they
did so every day—I smiled knowingly, so that
they soon came to the conclusion that 4 still
waters run deep.'"
44And you knew absolutely nothing?"
441 only knew that there was something about
putting it in and pulling it out.
44 At fifteen, I was one day in our garden,
strolling listlessly about in a little meadow by the
roadside at the back of the house.
441 was walking on the mossy grass, as soft
as a velvety carpet, so that my footsteps were not
heard. All at once I stopped by an old disused
kennel, which often served me as a seat.
44 When I got there I heard a voice within it.
I bent down my ear, and listened without moving, j
Thereupon I heard a young girl's voice say,—
44 4 Put it in and then pull it out; then put it
in again, and pull it out; and so on for some
time.'
44 4 But I can't put it in,' was the reply.
44 4 Now,' said the first. 41 open my hole
widely with both my hands. Push it in; stick it
in—more—much more—as much as you can.' ; Well—but take away your fingers.'
444 There—it's all out again; try and push it
44 4 But I can't. Your hole is shut,' mutters
the boy's voice.
44 4 Press down.'
44 4 But why have I to put it in ? '
"•'•Well, you see my sister has a soldier for
her good friend; and they always do like that
when they are alone together. Haven't you seen
the cocks jump on the hens, and peck at them ?
Well, they also do like that, only my sister and
the soldier kiss and kiss; so that it takes them
a long time to do it.'
44 4 And he always puts it in and pulls it
out?'
44 4 Of course; only just at the end my sister
always tells him to mind and not finish it in
her, so that he may not make her a child. So
now, if you wish to be my good friend—as you
say you want — push it in—with your fingers,
if you can't otherwise; but pay attention and
don't finish in me* because you may make me
a child.' 75
44 Thereupon  I  peeped   in,   and   I  saw   our
gardener's youngest daughter — a girl of ten or
twelve—stretched on her back, whilst a little
vagrant of about seven was sprawling over her,
trying his best to put her instructions into
practice.
44 That was my first lesson, and I had
thereby a faint inkling of what men and women
do when they are lovers."
44 And you were not curious to know more
about the matter ? "
44 Oh, yes! Many a time I should have
yielded to the temptation, and have accompanied
my friends in their visit to some wenches—whose
charms they always extolled in a peculiar low,
nasal, goatish voice, and with an unexplainable
shivering of the whole body—had I not been
kept back by the fear of being laughed at by
them and by the girls themselves; for I should
still have been as inexperienced in knowing what
to do with a woman as Daphnis himself, before
Lycenion had slipped under him, and thus initiated him into the mysteries of love;, and yet
hardly more initiation is required in the matter J
1
1
76
than for the new-born babe to take to the
breast."
44 But when did your first visit to a brothel
take place ? "
44 Upon leaving college, when the mystic
laurel and bays had wreathed our brows.
According to tradition we were to partake of a
farewell supper and make jolly together, before
separating in our divers paths in life."
44 Yes, I remember those merry suppers of the
Quartier Latin."
44 When the supper was over—"
44 And everyone more or less tipsy—"
44 Precisely; it was agreed that we should pass
the evening in visiting some of the houses of
nightly entertainment. Although I was myself
rather merry, and usually up to any kind of joke,
still I felt somewhat shy, and would willingly
have given my friends the slip, rather than expose
myself to their ridicule and to all the horrors of
syphilis ; but do what I could it was impossible to
get rid of them.
44 They called me a sneak, they imagined
that  I wanted to spend the evening with some »j
ka*-
77
mistress, a pretty grisette, or a fashionable cocotte, for
the term horizontale had not yet come into fashion.
Another hinted that I was tied to my mammy's
apron-strings, that my dad had not allowed me
to take the latch-key. A third said that I wanted
to go and lmenarmi la villa' as Aretino crudely
expresses it.
44 Seeing that it was impossible to escape, I
consented with a good grace to accompany them.
44 A certain Biou, young in years, but old in
craft, who—like an elderly tom-cat—had, at
sixteen, already lost an eye in a battle of love,
(having got some syphilitic virus into it), proposed to shew us life in the unknown parts of
the real Quartier Latin.
444 First,' said he, 4 I'll take you to a place
where we'll spend little and have some jolly fun;
it '11 just put us 4 en train' and from there we'll
go to another house, to fire off our pistols, or I
should rather say our revolvers, for mine is a
seven shot barrel.'
44 His single eye twinkled with delight, and
his trousers were stirred from within as he said
this.    We all agreed to his proposal, I especially
m *
78
feeling quite glad that I might at first remain
only a spectator. I wondered, however, what the
sight would be like.
44 We had an endless drive through the
narrow straggling streets, alleys, and by-ways,
where painted women appeared in gorgeous
dresses at the fjlthy windows of some wretched
houses.
44 As it was getting late, all the shops were
now shut, except the fruiterers, who sold fried
fish, mussels, and potatoes. These disgorged an
offensive smell of dirt, grease, and hot oil, which
mixed itself up with the stench of the gutters
and that of the cesspools in the middle of the
streets.
44 In the darkness of the ill-lighted thoroughfares more than one cafe chantant and beer-house
flared with red gas-lights, and as we passed them
we felt the puffs of warm, close air reeking with
alcohol, tobacco, and sour beer.
" All those streets were thronged with a
motley crowd. There were tipsy men with scowling, ugly faces, slip-shod vixens, and pale, precociously withered children all tattered   and torn,
111 wfcsae
79
singing obscene songs.
44 At last we came to a kind of slum, where
the carriages stopped before a low, beetling-
browed house which seemed to have suffered
from water on the brain when a child. It had
a crazy look; and being, moreover, painted in
yellowish-red, its many excoriations gave it the
appearance of having some loathsome, scabby,
skin disease. This place of infamous resort
seemed to forewarn the visitor of the illness festering within its walls.
44 We went in at a small door, up a winding, greasy, slippery staircase, lighted by an
asthmatic, flickering gas-light. Although I was
loth to lay my hand on the bannisters, it was
almost impossible to mount those muddy stairs
without doing so.
44 On the first landing we were greeted by a
grey-haired old hag, with a bloated yet bloodless
face. I really do not know what made her so
repulsive to me — perhaps it was her sore and
lashless eyes, her mean expression, or her trade
—but the fact is, I had never in all my life seen
such a ghoul-like creature.    Her mouth with its
1 8o
toothless gums and its hanging lips seemed like
the sucker of some polypus; it was so foul and
slimy.
" She welcomed us with many low courtesies
and fawning words of endearment, and ushered
us into a low and tawdry room, where a flaring
petroleum light shed its crude sheen all around.
44 Some frowsy curtains at the windows, a few
old arm-chairs, and a long, battered, and much-
stained divan completed the furniture of this
room, which had a mixed stench of musk and
onions; but, as I was just then gifted with a
rather strong imagination, I at times detected—
or I thought I did—a smell of carbolic acid and
of iodine; albeit the loathsome smell of musk
overpowered all other odours.
44 In this den, several—what shall I call
them ?—syrens ? no, harpies! were crouched or
lolled about.
44 Although I tried to put on a most indifferent, blast look, still my face must have expressed all the horror I felt. This is then, said I to
myself, one of those delightful houses of pleasure,
of which I have heard so many glowing tales ? 44 These painted-up Jezebels, cadaverous or
bloated, are the Paphian maids, the splendid
votaresses of Venus, whose magic charms make
the senses thrill with delight, the houris on whose
breasts you swoon away and are ravished into
paradise.
44 My friends seeing my utter bewilderment
began to laugh at me. I thereupon sat down and
tried stupidly to smile.
44 Three of those creatures at once came up
to me, one of them putting her arms round my
neck kissed me, and wanted to dart her filthy
tongue into my mouth; the others began to handle
me most indecently. The more I resisted, the
more bent they seemed on making a Laocoon
of me."
44 But why were you singled out as their
victim ? "
441 really do not know, but it must have been
because I looked so innocently scared, or because
my friends were all laughing at my horror-
stricken face.
44 One of those poor women—a tall dark girl,
an  Italian,  I believe—was evidently in the very
6 82
last stage of consumption. She was in fact a
mere skeleton, and still—had it not been for the
mask of chalk and red with which her face was
covered—traces of a former beauty might still
have been discerned in her; seeing her now,
anyone not inured to such sights could not but
feel a sense of the deepest pity.
44 The second was red-haired, gaunt, pockmarked, goggle-eyed and repulsive.
44The third: old, short, squat and obese;
quite a bladder of fat. She went by the name of
the cantiniere.
44 The first was dresssed in grass-green, or
prassino; the red-haired strumpet wore a robe
which once must have been blue; the old slut
was clad in yellow.
44 All these dresses, however, were stained
and very much the worse for wear. Besides, some
slimy viscid fluid which had left large spots
everywhere, made them seem as if all the snails
of Burgundy had been crawling over them.
441 managed to get rid of the two younger
ones, but I was not so successful with the
cantiniere.
6—2 83
44 Having seen that her charms, and all her
little endearments, had no effect upon me, she
tried to rouse my sluggish senses by more
desperate means.
44 As I said before, I was sitting upon the low
divan; she thereupon stood in front of me and
pulled her dress up to her waist, thus exhibiting
all her hitherto hidden attractions. It was the
first time I had seen a naked woman, and this
one was positively loathsome. And yet, now
that I think of it, her beauty might well be compared with that of the Shulamite, for her neck
was like the tower of David, her navel resembled
a round goblet, her belly a huge heap of blighted
wheat. Her hair, beginning from her waist and
falling down to her knees, was not exactly like
a flock of goats—as the hair of Solomon's
bride—but in quantity it surely was like that of
a good-sized black sheep-skin.
44 Her legs—similar to those described in the
biblical song—were two massive columns straight
up and down, without any sign of calf or ankle
about them. Her whole body, in fact, was one
bulky mass of quivering fat.    If her smell was not
1 84
quite that of Lebanon it was surely of musk,
patchouli, stale fish and perspiration ; but as my
nose came in closer contact with the fleece, the
smell of stale fish predominated.
44 She stood for a minute in front of me;
then, coming nearer by a step or two, put one
foot on the divan, and opening her legs as she
did so, she took my head between her fat,
clammy hands.
44 4 Viens mon cheri, fais minette a ton petit chat.'
44 As she said this I saw the black mass of
hair part itself; two huge dark lips first appeared,
then opened, and within those bulgy lips—which
inside had the colour and the look of stale
butcher's meat — I saw something like the tip of
a dog's penis when in a state of erection, protrude itself towards my lips.
44 All my schoolfellows burst out laughing—
why, I did not exactly understand ; for I had not
the slightest idea of what minette was, or what the
old whore wanted of me; nor could I see that
anything so loathsome could be turned into a
joke."
44 Well, and how did that jolly evening come to an end ? "
44 Drinks had been ordered—beer, spirits, and
some bottles of frothy stuff, yclept champagne,
which surely was not the produce of the sunny
vines of France, but of which the women imbibed
copiously.
44 After this, not wishing us to leave the
house without having been entertained in some
way or other, and to get a few more francs out
of our pockets, they proposed to shew us some
tricks that they could do amongst themselves.
44 It was apparently a rare sight, and the
one for which we had come to this house. My
friends acquiesced unanimously. Thereupon the
old bladder of fat undressed herself stark naked,
and shook her buttocks in a kind of poor imitation of the Eastern Dance of the Wasp. The poor
consumptive wretch followed her example, and
slipped off her dress by a simple shake of her
body.
44 At the sight of that huge mass of flabby
hog's lard flapping on either side of the rump,
the thin whore.lifted up her hand, and gave her
friend a smart slap on the buttocks, but the hand 86
i
seemed to sink in it, as into a mass of butter.
44 4 Ah !' said the cantiniere ; 4 this is the little
game you like, is it ?'
44 And she answered the blow by a smarter
one .on her friend's backside.
44 Thereupon the consumptive girl began to
run round the room, and the cantiniere toddled after
her in the most provoking attitude, each trying to
slap the other.
44 As the old prostitute passed Biou, he gave
her a loud smack with his open palm, and soon
after, most of the other students followed suit,
evidently much excited by this little game of
flagellation, until the buttocks of the two women
were of a crimson red.
u The cantiniere having at last managed to seize
her friend, she sat down, and laid her across her
knees, saying, 4 Now, my friend, you will get it to
your heart's content.'
44 And suiting the action to the words, she
belaboured her soundly; that is, striking her as
strongly as her chubby little hands allowed her.
44 The young woman having at last succeeded
in getting up, both the women thereupon began to 87
kiss and fondle each other. Then, with thighs
against thighs and breasts against breasts, they
stood a moment in that position ; after which, they
brushed aside the bushy hair that covered the
lower part of the so-called Mount of Venus, and
opening their thick brown and bulgy lips, they
placed one clitoris in contact with the other,
and these as they touched wagged with delight;
then, encircling their arms round each other's
backs, with their mouths close together, breathing
each other's fetid breath, the one sucking alternately the other's tongue, they began to rub
mightily together. They twisted, they writhed,
and they shook, putting themselves into all kinds
of contortions for some time, yet hardly able to
stand on account of the intensity of the rapture
they felt.
44 At last, the consumptive girl, clasping with
her hands the backside of the other one, and thus
opening the huge pulpy buttocks, called out,—
44 4 Une feuille de rose,1
44 Of course I greatly wondered what she
meant, and I asked myself where she could find
a rose-leaf, for there was not a flower to be seen ' jFP
^22
88
in the house ; and then I said to myself,—having
got one what will she do with it ?
441 was not left to wonder long, for the
cantiniere did to her friend what she had done to
her. Thereupon two other whores came and
knelt down before the backsides that were thus
held open for them, put their tongues in the little
black holes of the anuses, and began to lick them,
to the pleasure of the active and passive prostitutes, and to that of all the lookers-on.
44 Moreover, the kneeling women, thrusting
their forefingers between the legs of the standing
strumpets and on the lower extremity of the lips,
began to rub vigorously.
44 The consumptive girl thus masturbated,
kissed, rubbed, and licked, began to writhe
furiously, to pant, to sob and to scream with joy,
delight, and almost pain, until half fainting.
" * A'ie, la, la, assez, ate, c'est fait,' followed
by cries, screams, monosyllables, and utterances
of keen delight and unbearable pleasure.
44 4 Now it is my turn,' said the cantiniere, arid
stretching herself on the low couch, she opened
her legs widely so that  the two thick dark lips 89
gaped widely, and disclosed a clitoris which in
its erection was of such a size, that in my
ignorance I concluded this woman to be an
hermaphrodite.
44 Her friend the other gougnotte,—this was
the first time I had heard the expression—though
hardly recovered, went and placed her head
between the cantiniere's legs, lips against lips, and
her tongue on the stiff, red, moist, and wagging
clitoris, she too being in such a position that
her own middle parts were in the reach of the
other whore's mouth.
44 They wriggled and moved, they rubbed
and bumped each other, and their dishevelled
hair spread itself not only on the couch but also
on the floor; they clasped each other, thrust their
fingers into the holes of the other's backside,
squeezed the nipples of their breasts, and dug their
nails into the fleshy parts of their bodies, for in
their erotic fury they were like two wild Maenads,
and only smothered their cries in the fury of
their kisses.
44 Though their lust seemed to grow ever
stronger,   still   it   did   not  overcome them, and
:Mi go
the fat and tough old strumpet in her eagerness to enjoy was now pressing down her lover's
head with both her hands and with all her
might, as if she were actually trying to get it
all in her womb.
44 The sight was really loathsome, and I
turned my head aside so as not to see it, but the
view that offered itself all around was, if anything, more disgusting.
44 The whores had unbuttoned all the young
men's trousers, some were handling their organs,
caressing their testicles or licking their backsides;
one was kneeling before a young student and
greedily sucking his huge and fleshy phallus,
another girl was sitting a-straddle on a young
man's knees, springing up and coming down
again as if she had been in a baby-jumper—
evidently running a Paphian race, and (perhaps
there were not enough prostitutes, or it was
done for the fun of the thing) one woman was
being had by two men at the same time, one in
front, the other behind. There were also other
enormities,  but   I  had not  time enough   to   see 9i
everything.
44 Moreover, many of the young men who were
already tipsy when they came here, having drunk
champagne, absinthe and beer, began now to
feel squeamish, to be quite sick, to hiccough, and
finally to throw up.
44 In the midst of this nauseous scene,
the consumptive whore went off into a fit of
hysterics, crying and sobbing at the same time,
whilst the fat one who was now thoroughly
excited, would not allow her to lift up her head;
and having got her nose where the tongue had
hitherto been, she was rubbing herself against it
with all her might, screaming:
444 Lick on, lick stronger, don't take away
your tongue now that I am about to enjoy it;
there, I am finishing, lick on, suck me, bite
me.'
44 But the poor cadaverous wretch in the
paroxysm of her delirium had managed to slip
away her head.
44 4 Regarde done quel con,1 said Biou, pointing
to that mass of quivering flesh amidst the black
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92
and froth-covered viscid hair. 41 shall just get
my knee into it, and rub her soundly. Now,
you'll see!'
44 He pulled off his trousers, and was about
to suit the action to the words, when a slight
cough was heard. It was at once followed by a
piercing cry; and before we could understand
what was the matter, the body of the tough old
prostitute was bathed in blood. The cadaverous
wretch had in a fit of lubricity broken a blood
vessel, and was dying—dying—dead !
"'Ah I la sale bougre!' said the ghoul-like
woman with the bloodless face. 4 It's all over
with the slut now, and she owes me . . . .'
441 do not remember the sum she mentioned.
In the meanwhile, however, the cantiniere continued
to writhe in her senseless and ungovernable rage,
twisting and distorting herself; but at last, feeling
the warm blood flow in her womb, and bathe her
inflamed parts, she began to pant, to scream, and
to leap with delight, for the ejaculation was at
length taking place.
" Thus it happened that the death-rattle of it ■Tm.
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93
the one mixed   itself  up with the panting and
gurgling of the other.
44 In that confusion I slipped away, cured for
ever of the temptation of again visiting such a
house of nightly entertainment."
fill
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>».-■?
£E2 CHAPTER IV
f     ET us now go back to our story."
J--/    44 When  was   it   that  you met   Teleny
again ? "
44 Not for some time afterwards. The fact
is that although I continued to feel irresistibly
attracted towards him, drawn as it were by an
impelling power the strength of which I could
at times hardly withstand, still I continued to
avoid him.
44 Whenever he played in public I always
went to hear him—or rather, to look at him; and
I only lived during those short moments when he
was on the stage. My glasses would then be
rivetted upon  him;   my eyes  gloated   upon   his &
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96
heavenly figure, so full of youth, life, and manhood.
44 The longing that I felt to press my mouth
on his beautiful mouth and parted lips was so
intense that it always made my penis water.
44 At times the space between us seemed to
lessen and dwindle in such a way that I felt as
though I could breathe his warm and scented
breath—nay, I actually seemed to feel the contact
of his body against my own.
44 The sensation produced by the mere thought
that his skin was touching mine excited my
nervous system in such a way that the intensity
of this barren pleasure produced at first a pleasant
numbness over my whole body, which being prolonged, soon turned into a dull pain.
44 He himself always appeared to feel my presence in the theatre, for his eyes invariably looked
for me until they pierced the densest crowd to
find me out. I knew, however, that he could not
really see me in the corner where I was ensconced,
either in the pit, the gallery, or at the bottom of
some box. Still, go whithersoever I would, his
glances were always  directed towards me.     Ah, AH
97
those eyes! as unfathomable as the dim water of
a well. Even now, as I remember them after
these many years, my heart beats, and I feel my
head grow giddy thinking of them. If you had
seen those eyes, you would know what that burning languor which poets are always writing about
really is.
44 Of one thing I was justly proud. Since
that famous evening of the charity concert, he
played — if not in a more theoretically correct
way—far more brilliantly and more sensationally
than he had ever done before.
44 His whole heart now poured itself out in
those voluptuous Hungarian melodies, and all
those whose blood was not frozen with envy and
age were entranced by that music.
44 His name, therefore, began to atract large
audiences, and although musical critics were
aivided in their opinions, the papers always had
long articles about him."
44 And—being so much in love with him—you
had the fortitude to suffer, and yet to resist the
temptation of seeing him."
" I was  young and  inexperienced, therefore
7
ftf 98
moral; for what is morality but prejudice ? "
44 Prejudice?"
44 Well, is nature moral ? Does the dog that
smells and licks with evident gusto the first bitch
that he meets, trouble his unsophisticated brains
with morality ? Does the poodle that endeavours
to. sodomize that little cur coming across the
street care what a canine Mrs. Grundy will say
about him ?
44 No, unlike poodles, or young Arabs, I had
been inculcated with all kinds of wrong ideas, so
when I understood what my natural feelings for
Teleny were, I was staggered, horrified; and
filled with dismay, I resolved to stifle them.
44 Indeed, had I known human nature better,
I should have left France, gone to the antipodes,
placed the Himalayas as a barrier between us."
44 Only to yield to your natural tastes with
someone else, or with him, had you happened to
meet unexpectedly after many years*"
44 You are quite right; physiologists tell us
that the body of man changes after seven years;
a man's passions, however, remain always the
same; though smouldering in a latent state, they
7—2 99
are in his bosom all the same; his nature is surely
no better because he has not given vent to them.
He is only humbugging himself and cheating
everybody by pretending to be what he is not;
I know that I was born a sodomite, the fault is my
constitution's, not mine own.
441 read all I could find about the love of one
man for another, that loathsome crime against
nature taught to us not only by the very gods
themselves, but by all the greatest men of olden
times, for even Minos himself seems to have
sodomized Theseus.
441, of course, looked upon it as a monstrosity, a sin — as Origen says — far worse than
idolatry. And yet I had to admit that the
world—even after the cities of the plain had been
destroyed — throve well enough notwithstanding
this aberration, for Paphian girls in the great
days of Rome were but too often discarded for
pretty little boys.
44 It was but time for Christianity to come and
sweep away all the monstrous vices of this world
with its brand new broom. Catholicism later
on   burnt   those  men   who   sowed   in   a   sterile
i 3*
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IOO
field—in effigy.
44 The popes had their catamites, the kings
had their mignons, and if all the host of priests,
monks, friars and caluyers were forgiven, they—
it must be admitted—did not always commit
buggery, or cast away their seed on rocky soil,
although religion did not intend their implements to be baby-making tools.
44 As for the Templars, if they were burnt, it
surely could not have been on account of their
paederasty, for it had been winked at long
enough.
44 What amused me, however, was to see
that every writer impeached all his neighbours of
indulging in this abomination; his own people
alone were free from this shocking vice.
44 The Jews accused the Gentiles, and the
Gentiles the Jews, and — like »syphiHs — all the
black sheep who had this perverted taste had
always imported it from abroad. I also read in a
modern medical book, how the penis of a sodomite
becomes thin and pointed like a dog's, and how
the human mouth gets distorted when used for
vile purposes, and I shuddered with horror and disgust. Even the sight of that book blanched
my cheek!
44 It is true that since then, experience has
taught me quite another lesson, for I must confess
that I have known scores of whores, and many
other women besides, who have used their mouths
not only for praying and for kissing their confessor's
hand, and yet I have never perceived that their
mouths were crooked, have you ?
44 As for my cock, or yours, its bulky head
—but you blush at the compliment, so we will
drop this subject.
44 At that time I tortured my brain, fearing
to have committed this heinous sin morally, if
not materially.
44 Mosaic religion, rendered stricter by the
Talmudic law, has invented a cowl to be
used in the act of copulation. It wraps up
the whole body of the husband, leaving in the
middle of the gown but a tiny hole—like that in
a little boy's pants—to pass the penis through, and
thus enable him to squirt his sperm into his wife's
ovaries, fecundating her in this way, but preventing as much as possible all carnal pleasure.   Ah, 102
yes! but people have long since taken French
leave of the cowl, hoodwinking the whole affair
by hooding their falcon with a " French letter."
44 Yes, but are we not born with a leaden
cowl—namely, this Mosaic religion of ours, improved upon by Christ's mystic precepts, and
rendered impossibly perfect by Protestant hypocrisy; for if a man commit adultery with a
woman every time he looks at her, did I not
commit sodomy with Teleny every time I saw
him or even thought of him ?
44 There were moments however when,
nature being stronger than prejudice, I should
right willingly have given up my soul to perdition—nay, yielded my body to suffer in eternal
hell-fire—if in the meanwhile I could have fled
somewhere on the confines of this earth, on some
lonely island, where in perfect nakedness I could
have lived for some years in deadly sin with him,
feasting upon his fascinating beauty.
44 Still I resolved to keep aloof from him, to
be his motive power, his guiding spirit, to make
of him a great, a famous, artist. As for the fire
of lewdness burning within me — well, if I could 103
not extinguish it, I could at least subdue it.
441 suffered. My thoughts, night and day,
were with him. My brain was always aglow; my
blood was over-heated; my body ever shivering
with excitement. I daily read all the newspapers
to see what they said about him; and whenever
his name met my eyes the paper shook in my
trembling hands. If my mother or anybody else
mentioned his name I blushed and then grew
pale.
441 remember what a shock of pleasure, not
unmingled with jealousy, I felt, when for the first
time I saw his likeness in a window amongst
those of other celebrities. I went and bought it
at once, not simply to treasure and doat upon it,
but also that other people might not look at it."
44 What!  you were so very jealous ? "
44 Foolishly so. Unseen and at a distance I
used to follow him about, after every concert he
played.
44 Usually he was alone. Once, however, I
saw him enter a cab waiting at the back door of
the theatre. It had seemed to me as if someone
else was within the vehicle—a woman, if I had
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not been mistaken. I hailed another cab, and
followed them. Their carriage stopped at Teleny's
house.    I at once bade my Jehu do the same.
441 saw Teleny alight. As he did so, he
offered his hand to a lady, thickly veiled, who
tripped out of the carriage and darted into the
open doorway.    The cab then went off.
441 bade my driver wait there the whole
night. At dawn the carriage of the evening
before came and stopped. My driver looked up.
A few minutes afterwards the door was again
opened. The lady hurried out, was handed into
her carriage by her lover. I followed her, and
stopped where she alighted.
44 A few days afterwards I knew whom she
was."
" And who was she ?"
44 A lady of an unblemished reputation with
whom Teleny had played some duets.
44 In the cab, that night, my mind was so
intently fixed upon Teleny that my inward self
seemed to disintegrate itself from my body and to
follow like his own shadow the man I loved.
I unconsciously threw myself into a kind of trance mmm
"2*~
105
and I had a most vivid hallucination, which,
strange as it might appear, coincided with all
that my friend did and felt.
44 For instance, as soon as the door was shut
behind them, the lady caught Teleny in her arms,
and gave him a long kiss. Their entrance would
have lasted several seconds more, had Teleny not
lost his breath.
44 You smile ; yes, I suppose you yourself are
aware how easily people lose their breath in
kissing, when the lips do not feel that blissful
intoxicating lust in all its intensity. She would
have given him another kiss, but Teleny whispered to her: 4 Let us go up to my room; there we
shall be far safer than here.'
44 Soon they were in his apartment,
44 She looked timidly around, and seeing
herself in that young man's room alone with
him, she blushed and seemed thoroughly ashamed
of herself.
44 4Oh! Rene,' said she, 4what must you think
of me ?'
44 4 That you love me dearly,' quoth he; 4do you
not?'
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106
"' Yes, indeed; not wisely, but too well.*
44 Thereupon, taking off her wrappers, she
rushed up and clasped her lover in her arms,
showering her warm kisses on his head, his eyes,
his cheeks and then upon his mouth. That mouth
I so longed to kiss!
44 With lips pressed together, she remained
for some time inhaling his breath, and—almost
frightened at her boldness—she touched his lips
with the tip of her tongue. Then, taking courage,
soon afterwards she slipped it in his mouth, and
then after a while, she thrust it in and out, as
if she were enticing him to try the act of nature
by it; she was so convulsed with lust by this
kiss that she had to clasp herself to him not to
fall, for the blood was rushing to her head,
and her knees were almost giving way beneath
her. At last, taking his right hand, after
squeezingfy it hesitatingly for a moment, she
placed it within her breasts, giving him her
nipple to pinch, and as he did so, the pleasure
she felt was so great that she was swooning
away for joy.
" ' Oh, Teleny!' said she; 41 can't!    I can't io7
any more.'
44 And she rubbed herself as strongly as she
could against him, protruding her middle parts
against his."
44 And Teleny ? "
44 Well, jealous as I was, I could not help
feeling how different his manner was now from
the rapturous way with which he had clung to
me that evening, when he had taken the bunch of
heliotrope from his button-hole and had put it in
mine.
44 He accepted rather than returned her
caresses. Anyhow, she seemed pleased, for she
thought him shy;
44 She was now hanging on him. One of
her arms was clasped around his waist, the other
one around his neck. Her dainty, tapering bejewelled fingers were playing with his curly hair,
and paddling his neck.
44 He was squeezing her breasts, and, as I
said before, slightly fingering her nipples.
44 She   gazed deep into his   eyes,  and   then
sighed.
444 You do not   love  me,'  at last she   said.
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108
41 can see it in your eyes.   You are not thinking
of me, but of somebody else.'
44 And it was true. At that moment he was
thinking of me—fondly, longingly; and then, as
he did so, he got more excited, and he caught her
in his arms, and hugged and kissed her with'fiB
more eagerness than he had hitherto done—nay,
he began to suck her tongue as if it had been
mine, and then began to thrust his own into
her mouth.
44 After a few moments of rapture she, this
time, stopped to take breath.
44 4 Yes, I am wrong. You love me. I see it
now. You do not despise me because I am here,
do you ?'
44 4 Ah! if you could only read in my heart,
and see how madly I love you, darling!'
44 And she looked at him with longing,
passionate eyes.
44 .' Still you think me light, don't you ? I am
an adulteress!'
44 And thereupon she shuddered, and hid her
face in her hands.
"He looked at her for a moment pitifully, *Pm
109
then he took down her hands gently, and kissed
her.
44 4 You do not know how I have tried to resist
you, but I could not. I am on fire. My blood is
no longer blood, but some burning love-philtre.
I cannot help myself,' said she, lifting up her head
defiantly as if she were facing the whole world,
4 here I am, do with me what you like, only tell me
that you love me, that you love no other woman
but me, swear it.'
44 41 swear,' said he, languidly, 4 that I love no
other woman.'
44 She did not understand the meaning of his
words.
44 4 But tell it to me again, say it often, it is so
sweet to hear it repeated from the lips of those we
doat on,' said she, with passionate eagerness.
44 41 assure you that I have never cared for
any woman so much as I do for you.'
44 4 Cared ?' said she, disappointed.
44 4 Loved, I mean.'
44 4 And you can swear it ? '
44 4 On the cross if you like,' added he,
smiling. i
no
"4 And you do not think badly of me because^
I  am  here ?     Well,   you   are the   only one  for
whom I have ever been unfaithful to my husband ;
though God knows if he be faithful to me.    Still
my love does not atone for my sin, does it ?'
44 Teleny did not give her any answer for an
instant, he looked at her with dreamy eyes, then
shuddered as if awaking from a trance.
44 4 Sin,' he said, 4 is the only thing worth
living for.'
44 She looked at him rather astonished, but
then she kissed him again and again and answered:
4 Well, yes, you are perhaps right; it is so, the
fruit of the forbidden tree was pleasant to the
sight, to the taste, and to the smell."
44 They sat   down on a divan.   When they
were clasped again in each other's arms he slipped
his  hand  somewhat timidly  and  almost unwill- s
ingly under her skirts.
44 She caught hold of his hand, and arrested it.
44 4 No, R6n6, I beg of you! Could we not
love each other with a Platonic love ? Is that not
enough ?' £ij[V
44 4 Is it  enough for you ?'  said  he,  almost
fcjftm^ Ill
superciliously.
44 She pressed her lips again upon his, and
almost relinquished her grasp. The hand went
stealthily up along the leg, stopped a moment on
the knees, caressing them; but the legs closely
pressed together prevented it from slipping
between them, and thus reaching the higher
storey. It crept slowly up, nevertheless, caressing the thighs through the fine linen underclothing, and thus, by stolen marches, it reached
its aim. The hand then slipped between the
opening of the drawers, and began to feel the
soft skin.     She tried to stop him.
44 4 No, no ! ' said she ; 4 please dont; you are
tickling me.'
44 He then took courage, and plunged his
fingers boldly in the fine curly locks of the fleece
that covered all her middle parts.
44 She continued to hold her thighs tightly
closed together, especially when the naughty fingers
began to graze the edge of the moist lips. At that
touch, however, her strength gave way ; the nerves
relaxed, and allowed the tip of a finger to worm its
way within the slit—nay, the tiny berry protruded
ut %
112
out to welcome it.
44 After a few moments she breathed more
strongly. She encircled his breast with her
arms, kissed him, and then hid her head on his
shoulder.
44 4 Oh, what a rapture I feel!' she cried.
' What a magnetic fluid you possess to make
me feel I as do !'
44 He did not give her any answer; but,
unbuttoning his trousers, he took hold of her
dainty little hand. He endeavoured to introduce
it within the gap. She tried to resist, but weakly,
and as if asking but to yield. She soon gave
way, and boldly caught hold of his phallus, now
stiff and hard, moving lustily by its own inward
strength.
44 After a few moments of pleasant manipulation, their lips pressed together, he lightly, and
almost against her knowledge, pressed her down
on the couch, lifted up her legs, pulled up her skirts
without for a moment taking his tongue out of
her mouth or stopping his tickling of her tingling
clitoris already wet with its own tears. Then—
sustaining his weight on his elbows — he got his legs between her thighs* That her excitement
increased could be visibly seen by the shivering of
the lips which he had no need to open as he
pressed down upon her, for they parted of themselves to give entrance to the little blind God of
Love.
44 With one thrust he introduced himself
within the precincts of Love's temple; with
another, the rod was halfway in; with the third,
he reached the very bottom of the den of pleasure;
for, though she was no longer in the first days of
earliest youth, still she had hardly reached her
prime, and her flesh was not only firm, but she was
so tight that he was fairly clasped and sucked
by those pulpy lips; so, after moving up and
down a few times, thrusting himself always further, he crushed her down with his full
weight; for both his hands were either handling
her breasts, or else, having slipped them under
her, he was opening her buttocks ; and then, lifting
her firmly upon him, he thrust a finger in her
backside hole, thus wedging her on both sides,
making her feel a more intense pleasure by thus
sodomizing her.
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114
44 After a few seconds of this little game he
began to breathe strongly—to pant. The milky
fluid that had for days accumulated itself now
rushed out in thick jets, coursing up into her
very womb. She, thus flooded, shewed her hysteric
enjoyment by her screams, her tears, her sighs.
Finally, all strength gave way; arms and legs
stiffened themselves; she fell lifeless on the couch ;
whilst he remained stretched over her at the risk
of giving the Count, her husband, an heir of
gipsy blood.
44 He soon recovered his strength, and rose.
She was then recalled to her senses, but only to
melt into a flood of tears.
44 A bumper of champagne brought them both,
however, to a less gloomy sense of life. A few
partridge sandwiches, some lobster patties, a
caviare salad, with a few more glasses of champagne, together with many marrons glacis, and a
punch made of maraschino, pineapple juice and
whisky, drunk out of the same goblet soon finished
by dispelling their gloominess.
Why should we not put ourselves  at our
ease,   my   dear ?'   said   he.     4 I'll   set   you   the
2 H5
example, shall I ? '
44 4 By all means.'
44 Thereupon Teleny took off his white tie,
that stiff and uncomfortable useless appendage
invented by fashion only to torture mankind,
yclept a shirt collar, then his coat and waistcoat, and he remained only in his shirt and
trousers.
44 4 Now, my dear, allow me to act as your
maid.'
44 The beautiful woman at first refused, but
yielded after some kisses; and, little by little,
nothing was left of all her clothing but an almost
transparent crepe de Chine chemise, dark steel-
blue silk stockings, and satin slippers.
44 Teleny covered her bare neck and arms with
kisses, pressed his cheeks against the thick, black
hair of her arm-pits, and tickled her as he did
so. This little titillation was felt all over her body,
and the slit between her legs opened again in
such a way that the delicate little clitoris, like
a red hawthorn berry, peeped out as if to see
what was going on. He held her for a moment
crushed   against   his   chest,  and   his  4 merle'—as
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the Italians call it—flying out of his cage, he
thrust it into the opening ready to receive it.
44 She pushed lustily against him, but he had
to keep her up, for her legs were almost giving way,
so great was the pleasure she felt. He therefore
stretched her down on the panther rug at his
feet, without unclasping her.
44 All sense of shyness was now overcome. He
pulled off his clothes, and pressed down with all
his strength. She—to receive his instrument far
deep in her sheath—clasped him with her legs in
such a way that he could hardly move. He was,
therefore, only able to rub himself against her;
but that was more than enough, for after a few
violent shakes of their buttocks, legs pressed, and
breasts crushed, the burning liquid which he
injected within her body gave her a spasmodic
pleasure, and she fell senseless on the panther
skin whilst he rolled, motionless, by her side.
44 Till then I felt that my image had always
been present before his eyes, although he was
enjoying this handsome woman — so beautiful,
for she had hardly yet reached the bloom of ripe
womanhood; but now the pleasure she had given
^%fe
MF7.3r»3 him had made him quite forget me. I therefore
hated him. For a moment I felt that I should
like to be a wild beast—to drive my nails into his
flesh, to torture him like a cat does a mouse,
and to tear him into pieces.
44 What right had he to love anybody but
myself? Did I love a single being in this world
as I loved him ? Could I feel pleasure with anyone
else ?
44 No, my love was not a maudlin sentimentality, it was the maddening passion that overpowers
the body and shatters the brain !
44 If he could love women, why did he then
make love to me, obliging me to love him, making
me a contemptible being in my own eyes ?
44 In the paroxysm of my excitement I writhed,
I bit my lips till they bled. I dug my nails into
my flesh; I cried out with jealousy and shame.
It wanted but little to have made me jump out
of the cab, and go and ring at the door of his
house.
44 This state of things lasted for a few
moments, and then I began to wonder what
he was doing, and  the fit of hallucination earns
I over me again. I saw him awakening from the
slumber into which he had fallen when overpowered by enjoyment.
44 As he awoke he looked at her. Now I
could see her plainly, for I believe that she was
only visible to me through his medium."
44 But you fell asleep, and dreamt all this
whilst you were in the cab, did you not ? "
44 Oh, no ! All happened as I am telling you.
I related my whole vision to him some time afterwards, and he acknowledged that everything had
occurred exactly as I had seen it."
44 But how could this be ? "
44 There was, as I told you before, a strong
transmission of thoughts between us. This is by
no means a remarkable coincidence. You smile
and look incredulous; well, follow the doings of
the Psychical Society, and this vision will certainly not astonish you any more."
44 Well, never mind, go on."
44 As Teleny awoke, he looked at his mistress
lying on the panther-skin at his side.
44 She was as sound asleep as anyone would
be after a banquet, intoxicated by strong drink; ii9
or as a baby, that having sucked its fill, stretches
itself glutted by the side of its mother's breast.
It was the heavy sleep of lusty life, not the placid
stillness of cold death. The blood—like the sap
of a young tree in spring—mounted to her parted,
pouting lips, through which a warm scented
breath escaped at cadenced intervals, emitting
that slight murmur which the child hears as he
listens in a shell—the sound of slumbering life.
44 The breasts — as if swollen with milk —
stood up, and the nipples erect seemed to be
asking for those caresses she was so fond of;
over all her body there was a shivering of insatiable desire.
44 Her thighs were bare, and the thick curly
hair that covered her middle parts, as black as
jet, was sprinkled over with pearly drops of
milky dew.
44 Such a sight would have awakened an
eager, irrepressible desire in Joseph himself, the
only chaste Israelite of whom we have ever heard;
and yet Teleny, leaning on his elbow, was gazing
at her with all the loathsomeness we feel when
we look at a kitchen table covered with the offal £ll$
120
of the meat, the hashed scraps, the dregs of the
wines which have supplied the banquet that has
just glutted us.
44 He looked at her with the scorn which a man
has for the woman who has just administered to
his pleasure, and who has degraded herself and
him. Moreover, as he felt unjust towards her, he
hated her, and not himself.
441 felt again that he did not love her, but
me, though she had made him for a few moments
forget me.
44 She seemed to feel his cold glances upon
her, for she shivered, and, thinking she was asleep
in bed, she tried to cover herself up; and her
hand, fumbling for the sheet, pulled up her
chemise, only uncovering herself more by that
action. She woke as she did so, and caught
Teleny's reproachful glances.
44 She looked around, frightened. She tried
to cover herself as much as she could; and then,
entwining one of her arms round the young man's
neck—
44 4 Do not look at me like that,' she said.
' Am I so loathsome to you ?    Oh ! I see it.   You despise me.' And her eyes filled with tears.
* You are right. Why did I yield ? Why did I
not resist the love that was torturing me ? Alas !
it was not you; but I who sought you, who made
love to you; and now you feel for me nothing
but disgust. Tell me, is it so ? You love another
woman !     No !—tell me you don't!'
44 41 don't,' said Teleny, earnestly.
44 4 Yes, but swear.'
44 4 I have already sworn before, or at least
offered to do so ? What is the use of swearing,
if you don't believe me ?'
44 Though all lust was gone, Teleny felt a
heartfelt pity for that handsome young woman,
who, maddened by love for him, had put into
jeopardy her whole existence to throw herself
into his arms.
44 Who is the man that is not flattered by the
love he inspires in a high-born, wealthy, and
handsome young woman, who forgets her marriage
vows to enjoy a few moments' bliss in his arms ?
But, then, why do women generally love men
who often care so little for them ?
44 Teleny did his best to comfort her, to tell her
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over and over again that he cared for no woman,
to assure her that he would be eternally faithful
to her for her sacrifice; but pity is not love, nor
is affection the eagerness of desire.
44 Nature was more than satisfied ; her beauty
had lost all its attraction ; they kissed again and
again ; he languidly passed his hands all over her
body, from the nape of the neck to the deep dent
between those round hills, which seemed covered
with fallen snow, giving her a most delightful
sensation as he did so; he caressed her breasts,
suckled and bit the tiny protruding nipples, whilst
his fingers were often thrust far within the warm
flesh hidden under that mass of jet-black hair.
She glowed, she breathed, she shivered with
pleasure; but Teleny, though performing his
work with masterly skill, remained cold at her
side.
44 4 No, I see that you don't love me ; for it is
not possible that you—a young man—►—'
44 She did not finish. Teleny felt the sting
of her reproaches, but remained passive; for the
phallus is not stiffened by taunts.
" She took the lifeless object in her delicate
H fingers. She rubbed and manipulated it. She
even rolled it between her two soft hands. It
remained like a piece of dough. She sighed as
piteously as Ovid's mistress must have done on
a like occasion. She did like this woman did
some hundreds of years before. She bent down ;
she took the tip of that inert piece of flesh between
her lips—the pulpy lips which looked like a tiny
apricot—so round, sappy, and luscious. Soon it
was all in her mouth. She sucked it with as much
evident pleasure as if she were a famished baby
taking her nurse's breast. As it went in and out,
she tickled the prepuce with her expert tongue,
touched the tiny lips on her palate.
44 The phallus, though somewhat harder, remained always limp and nerveless.
44 You know our ignorant forefathers believed
in the practice called 4 nouer les aiguillettes '—that
is, rendering the male incapable of performing the
pleasant work for which Nature has destined
him. We, the enlightened generation, have discarded such gross superstitions, and still our
ignorant forefathers were sometimes right."
44 What!   you do not mean to say that you
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124
believe in such tomfoolery ? "
44 It might be tomfoolery, as you say; but
still it is a fact. Hypnotize a person, and then
you will see if you can get the mastery over him
or not."
44 Still, you had not hypnotized Teleny ? "
44 No, but our natures seemed to be bound
to one another by a secret affinity,"
44 At that moment I felt a secret shame for
Teleny. Not being able to understand the working of his brain, she seemed to regard him in the
light of a young cock, who, having crowed lustily
once or twice at early dawn, has strained his
neck to such a pitch that he can only emit hoarse,
feeble, gurgling sounds out of it after that.
44 Moreover, I almost felt sorry for that
woman; and I thought, if I were only in her
place, how disappointed I should be. And I
sighed, repeating almost audibly,—4 Were I but
in her stead.'
44 The image which had formed itself within
my mind so vividly was all at once reverberated
within R6n6's brain ; and he thought, if instead of
this lady's mouth those lips were my lips;   and 125
his phallus at once stiffened and awoke into life;
the glands swelled with blood ; not only an erection took place, but it almost ejaculated. The
Countess—for she was a Countess—was herself
surprised at this sudden change, and stopped, for
she had now obtained what she wanted ; and she
knew that—4 Depasser le but, c'est manquer la
chose.'
44 Teleny, however, began to fear that if he
had his mistress's face before his eyes, my image
might entirely vanish; and that—beautiful as she
was — he would never be able to accomplish his
work to the end. So he began by covering her
with kisses; then deftly turned her on her back.
She yielded without understanding what was required of her. He bent her pliant body on her
knees, so that she presented a most beautiful
sight to his view.
44 This splendid sight ravished him to such an
extent that by looking at it his hitherto limp tool
acquired its full size and stiffness, and in its lusty
vigour leapt in such a way that it knocked against
his navel.
44 He was even tempted for a moment to intro-
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126
duce it within the small dot of a hole, which if
not exactly the den of life is surely that of
pleasure; but he forbore. He even resisted the
temptation of kissing it, or of darting his tongue
into it; but bending over her, and placing himself between her legs, he tried to introduce the
glans within the aperture of her two lips, now
thick and swollen by dint of much rubbing.
44 Wide apart as her legs were, he first had
to open the lips with his fingers on account of the
mass of bushy hair that grew all around them;
for now the tiny curls had entangled themselves
together like tendrils, as if to bar the entrance ;
therefore, when he had brushed the hair aside,
he pressed his tool in it, but the turgid dry flesh
arrested him. The clitoris thus pressed danced
with delight, so that he took it in his hand, and
rubbed and shook it softly and gently on the top
part of her lips.
44 She began to shake, to rub herself with delight ; she groaned, she sobbed hysterically; and
when he felt himself bathed with delicious tears
he thrust his instrument far within her body,
clasping her tightly around the neck.     So,  after
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127
a few bold strokes, he managed to get in the
whole of the rod down to the very root of the
column, crushing his hair against hers, so far in
the utmost recesses of the womb that it gave
her a pleasurable pain as it touched the neck of
the vagina.
44 For about ten minutes—which to her felt
an eternity—she continued panting, throbbing,
gasping, groaning, shrieking, roaring, laughing,
and crying in the vehemence of her delight.
44 4 Oh ! Oh ! I am feeling it again ! In—in
—quick — quicker ! There ! there! — enough! —
stop! '
44 But he did not listen to her, and he went
on plunging and re-plunging with increasing vigour.
Having vainly begged for a truce, she began to
move again with renewed life.
44 Having her a retro, his whole thoughts were
thus concentrated upon me ; and the tightness of
the orifice in which the penis was sheathed, added
to the titillation produced by the lips of the
womb, gave him such an overpowering sensation
that he redoubled his strength, and shoved his
muscular   instrument   with   such   mighty  strokes u*»*«,
128
that the frail woman shook under the repeated
thumps. Her knees were almost giving way under
the brutal force he displayed. When again, all
at once, the flood-gates of the seminal ducts were
open, and he squirted a jet of molten liquid down
into the innermost recesses of her womb.
44 A moment of delirium followed; the contraction of all her muscles gripped him and sucked
him up eagerly, greedily; and after a short spasmodic convulsion, they both fell senseless side by
side, still tightly wedged in one another."
44 And so ends the Epistle ! "
44 Not quite so, for nine months afterwards
the Countess gave birth to a fine boy Sjj
44 Who, of course, looked like his father ?
Doesn't every child look like its father ? "
44 Still this one happened to look neither like
the Count nor like Teleny."
44 Who the deuce did it look like then ? "
44 Like myself."
"Bosh!"
44 Bosh as much as you like. Anyhow, the
rickety old count is very proud of this son of his,
having discovered a certain likeness between his
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only heir and the portrait of one of his ancestors.
He is always pointing out this atavism to all his
visitors; but whenever he struts about, and begins
to expound learnedly over the matter, I am told
that the Countess shrugs her shoulders and puckers
down her lips contemptuously, as if she was not
quite convinced of the fact."
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CHAPTER   V
1  y/'OU have not yet told me when you met
Teleny,   or    how   your     meeting   was
brought about."
44 Just have a little patience, and you will
know all. You can understand that after I had
seen the Countess leave his house at dawn, bearing on her face the expression of the emotions
she had felt, I was anxious to get rid of my
criminal infatuation.
44 At times I even persuaded myself that I
did not care for Rene any more. Only when I
thought that all my love had vanished, he had
but to look at me, and I felt it gush back
stronger than ever, filling my heart and bereaving
me of my reason. 132
441 could find no rest either night or day.
441 thereupon made up my mind not to see
Teleny again, nor to attend any of his concerts;
but lovers' resolutions are like April showers, and
at the last minute the slightest excuse was good
enough to make me waver and change my
decision.
441 was, moreover, curious and anxious to
know if the Countess or anybody else would go
to meet him again, and pass the night with
him."
44 Well, and were these visits repeated ? "
44 No, the Count returned unexpectedly; and
then both he and the Countess started for Nice.
44 A short time afterwards, however, as I was
always on the watch, I saw Teleny leave the
theatre with Briancourt.
44 There was nothing strange in that. They
walked arm-in-arm, and wended their way
towards Teleny's lodgings.
441 lingered behind, following them step by
step at some distance. I had been jealous of
the Countess; I was ten times more so of
Briancourt. 44 If he is going to pass every night with  a:
new   bed-fellow,   said  I  to  myself,  why  did   he
tell me that his heart was yearning for mine ?
44 And still within my soul I felt sure that
he loved me; that all these other loves were
caprices; that his feelings for me were something
more than the pleasure of the senses ; that it was
real, heart-sprung, genuine love.
44 Having reached the door of Teleny's house,
both the young men stopped and began to
talk.
44 The street was a solitary one. Only some
belated home-goers were every now and then to
be seen, trudging sleepily onward. I had stopped
at the corner of the street, pretending to read an
advertisement, but in reality to follow the movements of the two young men.
44 All at once 1 thought they were about to
part, for I saw Briancourt stretch out both his
hands and grasp Teleny's. I shivered with gladness. After all, I have wronged Briancourt, was
the thought that came into my mind ; must every
man and woman be in love with the pianist ?
44 My joy, however, was not of long duration,
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for Briancourt had pulled Teleny towards him,
and their lips met in a long kiss, a kiss which for
me was gall and wormwood; then, after a few words,
the door of Teleny's house was opened and the
two young men went in.
44 When I had seen them disappear, tears of
rage, of anguish, of disappointment started to my
eyes, I ground my teeth, I bit my lips to the
blood, I stamped my feet, I ran on like a madman,
I stopped for a moment before the closed door,
and vented my anger in thumping the feelingless
wood. At last, hearing footsteps approaching,
I went on. I walked about the streets for half
the night, then fagged out mentally and bodily,
I returned home at early dawn."
44 And ydur mother ? "
44 My mother was not in town just then, she
was at , where I shall tell you her adventures
some other time, for I can assure you they are
worth hearing."
44 On the morrow, I took a firm resolution not
to go to Teleny's concerts any more, not to follow
him about, but to forget him entirely. I should
have left the town, but I thought I had found out
«-«*>#,; ^ •    i 135
another means of getting rid of this horrible
infatuation.
44 Our chamber-maid having lately got married,
my mother had taken into her service—for reasons
best known to herself—a country wench of sixteen
or thereabout, but who, strange to say, looked far
younger than she really was, for as a rule those
village girls look far older than their years.
Although I did not find her good looking,
still everybody seemed smitten by her charms.
I cannot say she had anything rustic or countrified
about her, for that would awake at once in your
mind a vague idea of something awkward or
ungainly, whilst she was as pert as a sparrow,
and as graceful as a kitten; still she had a strong
country freshness, — nay, I might almost say,
tartness,—about her like that of a strawberry or a
raspberry that grows in mossy thickets.
44 Seeing her in her town-dress you always
fancied you had once met her in picturesque
rags, with a bit of red kerchief on her shoulders,
and with the savage grace of a young roe standing
under leafy boughs, surrounded by eglantine and
briers, ready to dart off at the slightest sound.
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136
44 She had the slender lithesomeness of a
young boy, and might well have been taken for
one, had it not been for the budding, round, and
firm breasts, that swelled out her dress.
44 Although she seemed slily conscious that
not one of her movements was lost on the
bystanders, still she not only seemed heedless of
anyone's admiration, but was even quite vexed
if it were expressed either by words  or by signs,
44 Woe to the poor fellow who could not
keep his feelings within bounds; she soon made
him feel that if she had the beauty and freshness
of the dog-rose, she also had its sharp thorns.
44 Of all the men she had ever known, I was
the only one that had never taken the slightest
notice of her. For my part, she simply—like all
women — left me perfectly indifferent. I was
therefore the only man she liked. Her cat-like
grace, however, her slightly hoydenish ways,
which gave her the appearance of a Ganymede,
pleased me, and although I knew very well that
I felt no love nor even the slightest attraction for
her, still I believed that I might learn to like and
perhaps be fond of her.    Could I but  have felt Mmi
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137
some sensuality towards her, I think I would even
have gone so far as to marry her, rather than
become a sodomite, and have an unfaithful man
who did not care for me, as my lover.
44 Anyhow, I asked myself, might I not feel
some slight pleasure with her, just enough to
quiet my senses, to lull my maddened brain to
rest?
44 And yet which was the greater evil of the
two, the one of seducing a poor girl to ruin her,
and making her the mother of a poor unhappy
child, or that of yielding to the passion which was
shattering my body and my mind ?
44 Our honourable society winks at the first
peccadillo, and shudders with horror at the second,
and as our society is composed of honourable
men, I suppose the honourable men which make
up our virtuous society are right.
44 What private reasons they have to make
them  think in  this  way, I really  do  not know.
44 In the exasperated state in which I was, life
was intolerable, I could not bear it any longer.
44 Weary and worn out by a sleepless night,
with   my  blood   parched by  excitement  and by
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absinthe, I returned home, took a cold bath,
dressed, and called the girl into my room.
44 When she saw my jaded look, my pale
face, my hollow eyes, she stared at me, then—
44 4 Are you ill, sir ?' she asked.
444Yes; I am not well.'
44 4 And where were you last night ? '
44 4 Where ?' I asked, scornfully.
44 4 Yes; you did not come home,' said she,
defiantly.
441 answered her with a nervous laugh.
441 understood that a nature like hers had to
be mastered all of a sudden rather than tamed
by degrees. I therefore caught her within my
arms and pressed my lips upon hers. She tried
to free herself, but rather like a defenceless bird
fluttering with its wings than like a cat thrusting out its claws from inside its velvet paws.
44 She writhed within my arms, rubbing
her breasts against my chest, her thighs against
my legs. Nevertheless, I kept her crushed against
my body, kissing her mouth, pressing my burning
lips against her own, breathing her fresh and
healthy breath. 44 It was the first time she had ever been
kissed on her mouth, and, as she told me afterwards, the sensation shook her whole frame like
a strong electric current.
441 saw, in fact, that her head was reeling,
and her eyes swimming with the emotion which
my kisses produced on her nervous constitution.
44 When I wanted to thrust my tongue into
her mouth, her maidenly coyness revolted; she
resisted and would not have it. It seemed, said
she, as if a piece of burning iron had been thrust
into her mouth, and it made her feel as though
she was committing a most heinous crime.
44 4 No, no,' cried she, 4you are smothering
me. You are killing me, leave me, I cannot
breathe, leave me or I'll call for help.'
44 But I persisted and soon my tongue down
to its very root was in her mouth. I then lifted
her up in my arms, for she was as light as a
feather, and I stretched her upon the bed. There
the fluttering bird was no longer a defenceless dove,
but rather a falcon with claws and sharp beak,
struggling with might and main, scratching and
biting my hands, threatening to pull out my eyes, §m
140
thumping me with all her strength.
44 Nothing is a greater incentive to pleasure than a fight. A short tussle with some
tingling slaps and a few cuffs will set any man
aglow, whilst a sound flagellation will rouse the
blood of the most sluggish old man, better than
any aphrodisiac.
44 The struggle excited her as much as it did
me, and yet no sooner had I stretched her down,
than she managed forthwith to roll down all
in a bundle on the floor; but I was up to her
tricks and over her. She managed, however, to
slip like an eel from under me, and with a bound
like a young kid, made for the door. I had,
however, locked it.
44 A new scuffle ensued, I was now bent upon
having her. Had she yielded tamely, I should
have ordered her out of the room, but resistance
rendered her desirable.
441 clasped her within my arms, she writhed
and sighed, and every part of our bodies came
into strong contact. Then I thrust my leg
between her's, our arms were entwined and her
breasts   were    palpitating    against    my    chest. I4I
During all this time she belaboured me with
blows, and each one as it fell seemed to set
both her blood and mine on fire.
441 had thrown off my coat. The buttons
of my waistcoat and trousers were all giving way,
my shirt-collar had been torn off, my shirt was
soon in rags, my arms were bleeding in several
places. Her eyes were glistering like those of
a lynx, her lips were pouted with lust, she now
seemed to struggle not to defend her maidenhood, but rather for the pleasure the fight gave
her.
44 As I pressed my mouth on her's, I felt her
whole body quiver with delight, nay once—and
once only — I felt the tip of her tongue thrust
slightly within my mouth, and then she seemed
maddened with pleasure. She was in fact like
a young Maenad in her first initiation.
f^h " I • actually began to desire her, and yet I
felt sorry to sacrifice her at once on love's altar,
for this little game was worth being rehearsed
more than once.
44 I lifted her again in my arms and put her
on the.bed.
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142
44 How pretty she looked as I held her down.
Her curly and wavy hair dishevelled by the
fight was strewed in locks all over the pillows.
Her dark lively eyes, with their short but thick
lashes, were twinkling with an almost phosphorescent fire, her face all aglow was bedabbled
with my blood, her parted, panting lips would
have made the soft phallus of some old worn-
out monsignore leap with renewed life.
441 had pinioned her down and for a moment
stood over her, admiring her. My glances seemed
to irritate her, and she struggled once more to be
free.
44 The hooks and eyes of her dress had given
way, so that there was just a glimpse of fair flesh,
gilt by many a glowing harvest sun, and of two
swelling breasts, to be seen; and you know how
much more exciting this glimpse is than the
exhibition of all the flesh exhibited at balls,
theatres, and brothels.
441 tore away all obstacles. I thrust one
hand into her bosom, and I tried to slip the
other one under her dress ; but her skirts were
so tightly twisted between   her legs, and   these H3
were so firmly entwined together, that there was
no getting them apart.
44 After many stifled cries, that seemed more
like the twittering of some wounded bird, after
much tugging and tearing on my side, scratching
and biting on her's, my hand finally reached her
naked knees; then it slipped up to the thighs.
She was not stout, but as firm and as muscular
as an acrobat. My hand reached the parting of
the two legs; finally, I felt the slight down that
covers Venus's Mount.
44 It was useless to try and thrust my forefinger between the lips. I rubbed her a little.
She screamed for mercy. The lips parted slightly.
I tried to get my finger in.
44 4 You are hurting me; you are scratching
me,' she cried.
44 Finally her legs relaxed, her dress was up,
and she burst into tears — tears of fear, shame,
and vexation !
44 My finger then stopped ; and as I withdrew
it I felt that it was also wet with tears—tears
which were by no means briny ones.
44 4 Come, don't be frightened !' said I, taking
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her head between my hands, and kissing her
repeatedly. 4 I was only joking. I do not mean
to harm you. There, you can get up! You can
go, if you like. I surely will not detain you
against your free will.'
44 And thereupon I thrust my hand within
her breasts, and began to pinch the tiny nipple,
in size no bigger than a luscious wild strawberry,
of which she seemed to have all the fragrance.
She shook with excitement and delight as I
did so. r
44 4 No,' said she, without attempting to get
up, 41 am in your power. You can do with me
what you like. I can't help myself any longer.
Only remember, if you ruin me I shall kill
myself.'
44 There was such an earnestness in her eyes
as she said this that I shivered, and let her go.
Could I ever forgive myself, if I were the cause
of her committing self-murder ?
44 And still the poor girl looked at me with
such loving, longing eyes, that it was plain she
was unable to bear the scathing fire that consumed- her.    Was it not my duty, then, to make *45
her feel that soothing ecstacy of bliss she evidently
longed to taste ?
44' I swear to you,' said I, 4 that I shall do
you no harm; so do not be afraid, only keep
quiet.'
441 pulled up her thick linen chemise, and I
perceived the tiniest slit that could be seen, with
two lips of a coralline hue, shaded by a soft, silky,
black down. They had the colour, the gloss,
the freshness of those pink shells so plentiful on
Eastern strands.
44 Leda's charms, which made Jupiter turn
into a swan, or Danae's, when she opened her
thighs to receive far into her womb the burning
golden shower, could not have been more tempting than the lips of this young girl.
44 They parted of their own inward life, displaying, as they did so, a tiny berry, fresh with
healthy life—a drop of dew incarnadined within
the crimson petals of a budding rose.
44 My tongue pressed it closely for a second,
and the girl was madly convulsed with that burning pleasure she had never dreamt of before.
A   moment   afterwards  we were  again  in each
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146
other's arms.
"4 Oh, Camille,' said she, ' you do not know
how I love youl'
44 She waited for an answer. I closed her
mouth with a kiss.
44 4 But tell me. Do you love me ? Can you
love me only a little ? j
44 4 Yes,' said I, faintly; for even in such a
moment I could not bring myself to tell a lie.
44 She looked at me for a second.
444 No, you don't.'
44 4 Why not ?'
44 41 don't know. I feel that you do not care
a straw for me.     Tell me, is it not so ?'
44 4 Well, if you think so, how can I convince
you to the contrary ? '
44 41 don't ask you to marry me. I would
not be any man's kept mistress, but if you really
love me '
44 She did not finish her phrase.
44 4 Well!'
44 4 Can you not understand ? ' said she, hiding
her face behind my ear, and nestling closer to
me.
iq—2
Mil! H7
44 4 No.'
44 4 Well, if you love me, I am yours.'
44 What was I to do?
441 felt loath to have a girl who offered herself
so unconditionally, and yet would it not have been
more than foolish to let her go without satisfying her craving and my own desire ?"
44 And then you know as for committing
suicide it's all nonsense."
44 Not quite so much as you think."
44 Well, well, what did you do ? "
441 ?    Well, I went halfway.
44 Kissing her, I laid her on her side, I
opened the tiny lips, I pressed the tip of my
phallus between them. They parted, and little
by little, half of the glans, then the whole
head, went in.
441 pushed gently, but it seemed caught on
each side, and especially in front it found an
almost insurmountable obstacle. Just as when
driving a nail in a wall, the point meets a
stone, and hammering away, the tip gets blunt,
then turns on itself, so as I pressed harder, the
point   of  my   tool   was  crushed   and   strangled.
N 148
I wriggled to find a way out of this blind alley.
44 She groaned, but more with pain than with
pleasure. I groped my way in the dark and gave
another thrust, but my battering ram only crushed
its head the more against the stronghold. I was
in doubt whether I had not better put her on
her back and force my entrance in real battle
array, but as I pulled back I felt that I was
almost overcome—no, not almost—but quite so, fw
I squirted her all over with my creamy, life-giving
fluid. She, poor thing, felt nothing, or very little,
whilst I, unnerved as I had been till then, and
exhausted by my nightly rambles, fell almost
senseless by her side. She looked at me for a
moment, then sprang up like a cat, caught up
the key that had fallen out of my pocket, and
with a bound—was out of the door.
44 Being too jaded to follow her, I was, a few
moments afterwards, fast asleep; the first sound
rest I had had for a long time.
44 For a few days I was somewhat quieted,
I even gave up attending the concerts and
haunts where I could see Rene ; I almost began
to think that in time I might get indifferent, and
A *49
forget him.
441 was too eager, I endeavoured so hard to
blot him at once from my mind, that my very
anxiety prevented me from succeeding in doing
so; I was so frightened not to be able to forget
him, that that fear itself always brought his
image to my mind."
44 And your girl ? "
44 If I am not mistaken she felt for me what
I felt for Teleny. She deemed it her bounden
duty to avoid me, she even tried to despise me,
to hate me, but she could not succeed in
doing so."
44 But why to hate you ? "
44 She seemed to understand that if she was
still a virgin, it was simply because I cared so
little for her; I had felt some pleasure with her,
and that was more than enough for me.
44 Had I -loved and deflowered her, she
would only have loved me more tenderly for the
wound I had inflicted upon her.
44 When I asked her if she was not grateful
to me for having respected her maidenhood, she
simply  answered,   4 No!'   and   it   was   a   very
VI 150
decided 4 no ' indeed. 4 Besides,' added she, 4 you
did nothing, simply because you could do
nothing.'
44 41 could not ? '
444 No.'
44 A scuffle ensued again. She was once more
locked within my arms and we were wrestling
like two prize fighters, with as much eagerness
though surely with less skill. She was a muscular
little vixen, by no means weak; moreover she
had begun to understand the zest which fighting
gives to the victory.
44 It was a real pleasure to feel her body palpitating against mine; and though she was longing
to yield, it was only after much ado that I could
get my mouth on her's.
44 With no little difficulty I put her on my
bed, and managed to get my head under her
skirts.
44 Women are silly creatures, full of absurd
prejudices ; and this unsophisticated country
wench considered the compliment I was about to
pay to her sexual organ as something like
buggery. i5i
44 She called me a dirty beast, a pig, and other
such pleasing epithets. She began by writhing
and wriggling, and trying to slip away from me,
but she thus only added to the pleasure I was
giving her.
44 Finally, she wedged my head between her
thighs and pressed the nape of my neck with both
her hands, so that even if I had wanted to take
my tongue away from her burning lips, I could
only have done so with an effort.
441, however, remained there, darting, licking,
scraping the little clitoris, till it cried for mercy,
and its tears convinced her that this was a pleasure
not to be disdained, for this I have found is the
only argument with which to convince a woman.
44 When all the inner parts were thoroughly
lubricated by my tongue, and moistened by
the soothing overflowings of unbearable pleasure;
when she had tasted that ecstatic joy which one
virgin can give to another without inflicting any
pain or breaking the seal of her innocence, then
the sight of her rapture made my own cock crow
lustily. I therefore let it out of its dim dungeon,
to drive it into the dark den.
i
. \m 152
" My acorn went in merrily, and then it was
stopped in its career. Another mighty thrust
gave me more pain than pleasure, for the resistance was so great that my ramrod seemed sprained
in the action; the narrow and firm walls of the
vagina dilated, and my piston was jammed in as
though in a tight glove, and yet the hymeneal
tissue was not reached.
441 asked myself why foolish nature has
thus barred the way of pleasure ? Is it to make
the vain-glorious bridegroom believe that he is
the pioneer of the unexplored regions, but does
he not know that midwives are always artfully
repairing the locks that adulterine keys have
opened ? Is it to make a religious ceremony out
of it, and to give the plucking of this bud to
some father confessor, this having long been
among the many perquisites of the priestcraft ?
44 The poor girl felt as if a knife was being
plunged within her, still she did not scream,
nor moan, although her eyes filled with tears.
44 Another thrust, one more effort, and the
veil of the temple would be rent in twain.
441 stopped in time, however.
1 444Can I, or can I not have you?'
44 4 You have ruined me already,' she replied,
quietly.
44 41 have not; you are still a virgin, simply
because I am not a rascal. Only tell me, can I
have you or not ? '
44 4 If you love me, you can have me, but
if you only do so for a moment's pleasure ....
still, do what you like, but I swear that I'll kill
myself afterwards, if you don't care for me.'
44 4 These are things that are said and not
done.'
44 4 You'll see.'
441 pulled my phallus out of the den, but
before allowing her to rise, I tickled her gently
with the tip, making her feel ample satisfaction
for the pain I had inflicted on her.
444 Could I or could I not have had you?'
said I.
44 4 Imbecile,' she hissed like a snake, as she
slipped out of my arms and was beyond my
reach.
44 4 Wait till next time, and you will then see
who is the imbecile,' said I, but she was already
wm
,
r! 154
out of hearing."
441 must own you were somewhat of a greenhorn ; I suppose, however, that you had your
revenge, next time."
44 My revenge, if it can be called by that
name, was a fearful one.
44 Our coachman, a young, stalwart, broad-
shouldered and brawny fellow, whose fondness
had hitherto expended itself on his horses, had
fallen in love with this slight girl, who looked
as sapless as a holly twig.
44 He had tried to woo her in honourable
fashion in every possible way. His former
continence and his newly-born passion had
softened all that was boorish in him, he had
plied her with flowers, ribbons and trinkets, but she
had scornfully refused all his presents.
44 He had offered to marry her at once; he
had gone so far as to make her a free gift of a
cottage and a bit of land he possessed in his
country.
44 She exasperated him by treating him almost
with scorn, resenting his love as an insult. An
irresistible longing  was in  his eyes, in her's a *55 /
vacant stare.
44 Goaded to madness by her indifference, he
had tried by strength what he could not obtain
by love, and had had to understand that the
fairer  sex is not always the weaker one.
44 After his attempt and failure she tantalized him all the more. Whenever she met him
she would put her thumb-nail up to her top teeth
and emit a slight sound.
44 The cook, who had a latent fondness for
this strong and sinewy young fellow, and who
must have had an inkling that something had
taken place between this girl and myself, evidently
informed him of the fact, arousing thereby in him
an ungovernable fit of jealousy.
44 Stung to the quick, he hardly knew whether
he loved or hated this girl most, and he cared
but little what became of him provided he could
satisfy his craving for her. All the softness which
love had awakened gave way to the sexual energy
of the male.
44 Unperceived, or probably let in by the cook,
he stealthily secreted himself in her room, and
ensconced himself behind an old screen,   which, 156
together with other lumber, had been stowed
away there.
44 His intention was to remain hidden till she
was fast asleep, and then to get into her bed,
and, nolens volens, to pass the night with her.
44 After waiting there some time in mortal
anxiety—for every minute was like an hour to
him—he finally saw her come in.
44 As she did so, she shut and locked the door
behind her. His whole frame shook with joy at
that slight act. First she clearly did not expect
anyone, then she was in his possession.
44 Two holes which he had made in the paper
of the screen enabled him to see everything perfectly. Little by little she prepared herself for
the night. She undid her hair, then did it up
again in a loose knot. After which she took
off her dress, her stays, her skirts, and all her
under-garments.    At last she was in her chemise..
44 She then, with a deep sigh, took a rosary,
and began to pray. He himself was a religious
man, and would fain have repeated his prayers
after her, but he vainly tried to mumble a few
words.     All his thoughts were on her. 157
44 The moon was now in its full, and flooded
the room with its mellow light, falling on her
naked arms, on her rounded shoulders and small
protruding breasts, shedding upon them all kinds
of opaline tints, giving them the delicate gloss of
satin and the sheen of amber, while the linen
chemise fell in folds on her nether parts with the
softness of flannel.
44 He remained there motionless, almost awe-
stricken, with his eyes fastened upon her, holding
his thick, feverish breath, gloating on her with
that fixed eagerness with which the cat watches
the mouse, or the hunter the game. All the
powers of his body seemed concentrated in the
sense of vision.
44 At last she finished her prayers, crossed
herself, and rose. She lifted her right foot
to get into her rather high bed, shewing the
coachman her slender though well-shaped legs,
her small but rounded buttocks, and, as she bent
forward, the nether part of the two lips gaped, as
one knee was already on the bed.
44 The coachman, however, had not time
enough to see this, for with a cat-like bound he
m
f
iy 158
was already on her.
44 She uttered the faintest of cries, but he had
already clasped her in his arms.
44 4 Leave me! leave me! or I'll call for
help.'
44 4 Call as much as you like, darling; but no
one can or will come to your help before I have
had you, for I swear by the Virgin Mary that
I'll not leave this room before I've enjoyed you.
If that bougre can use you for his pleasure, so
shall I. If he has not—well, after all it is better
to be a poor man's wife than a rich man's whore;
and you know whether I have been wanting to
marry you or not.'
44 Saying these words, holding her with one
hand clasped as in a vice, her back against him,
he tried with the other to twist her head round
so as to get to her lips; but, seeing that he could
not, he pressed her down on the bed. Holding
her by the nape of the neck, he thrust his other
hand between her legs and gripped her middle
part in his brawny palm.
44 Being ready before-hand, thrusting himself
between her parted legs, he  began to press his ■■*.siMmm*mmp<
159
instrument against the lower part of the half-
opened lips.
44 Swollen and dry as they had remained
after my attempt, his good-sized turgid phallus
slipped, and the tip lodged itself at the upper
corner. Then, like a heavy laden stamen when
kissed by the deflowering wind scatters its pollen
on the open ovaries around it, so, hardly had
the turgid and overflowing phallus touched
the tiny clitoris when it jutted forth its sappy
seed not only on it, but it squirted over all the
surrounding parts. As she felt her stomach and
thighs bathed by the warm fluid, it seemed to
her that she was burnt by some scalding
corrosive poison, and she writhed as if in
pain.
44 But the more she struggled, the greater
was the pleasure he felt, and his groans and
the gurgling that seemed to mount from his
middle parts up to his throat, testified the
rapture in which he was. He rested for a
moment but his organ lost none of its strength
or stiffness, her contortions only excited him the
more.    Putting  his huge hand  between her legs,
m
y 160
he uplifted her on the bed, higher than she was,
and brutally holding her down, he pressed the
fleshy extremity of the glans against her, and the
lips bathed in the slimy fluid parted asunder
easily.
44 It was hardly a question with him now of
pleasure given or received, it was the wild overpowering eagerness which the male brute
displays in possessing the female, for you might
have killed him, but he would not have left go
his hold. He thrust at her with all the mighty
heaviness of a bull; with another effort, the glans
was lodged between the lips, another one more,
half the column was already in, when it was
stopped by the as yet unperforated but highly
dilated virginal membrane. Feeling himself thus
stopped at the outer orifice of the vagina he
felt a moment of exultation.
44 He kissed her head with rapture.
44 4 You are mine,' he cried with joy; 4 mine
for life and death, mine for ever and ever.'
44 She evidently must have compared his
wild delight with my cold indifference, and yet
she tried to scream, but   his  hand  stopped her i6i
mouth.    She bit him, still he did not heed it.
44 Then, regardless of the pain he was causing,
heedless of the strain he was giving the prisoner
lodged in its narrow cage, he clasped her with all
his strength, and with a last powerful thrust
the vulva was not only reached but crossed ; the
membrane—so strong in the poor girl—was slit,
his priapus was lodged deep into the vagina, and
it slid up to the neck of the womb.
44 She uttered a loud, shrill, piercing cry
of pain and anguish, and the scream vibrating
through the stillness of the night was heard all
over the house. Regardless of any consequences
of the noises already heard in answer to the
scream, regardless of the blood gushing forth,
he rapturously plunged and re-plunged his lance
in the wound he had made, and his groans of
pleasure were mixed with her plaintive wail.
44 Finally he pulled his limber weapon out of
her; she was free, but senseless and faint.
441 was just upon the steps, when I heard
the cry. Although I was not thinking of the
poor girl, still at once it seemed to me as if I
recognized  her   voice,  I   flew   up   the   steps,   I
m.
I
I ri
162
rushed into the house, and I found the cook pale
and trembling in the passage.
44' Where is Catherine ? '
44' In her room—I—I think.'
44 4 Then, who screamed ?'
14 But—but I don't know. Perhaps she
did.'
" 4 And why don't you go to her help ?'
44 4 The door is locked,' said she, looking
aghast.
441 rushed to the door. I shook it with all
my strength.
44 4 Catherine, open I    What's the matter ?'
44 At the sound of my voice the poor girl
came back to life.
44 With another mighty shake I burst the
lock.    The door opened.
" I had just time enough to catch sight of
the girl in her blood-stained chemise.
44 Her loose hair was all dishevelled. Her
eyes were gleaming with a wild fire. Her face
was contorted by pain, shame, and madness.
She looked like Cassandra after she had been
violated by Ajax's soldiers. i63
"As she stood, not far from the window,
her glances from the coachman fell upon me with
loathing and scorn.
44 She now knew what the love of men was.
She rushed to the casement. I bounded towards
her, but forestalling me, she leapt out before the
coachman or myself could prevent her; and
although I caught the end of her garment, her
weight tore it, and I was left with a rag in my
hand.
44 We heard a heavy thud, a scream, a few
groans, then silence.
The girl had been true to her word.
m
m
End of Volume I    m I'M
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