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A Love Episode - Emile Zola

A Love Episode - Emile Zola

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Originally UPLOADED by SATHEESH BALACHANDRAN/ Guruvayur/ /LIBRARY OF BABEL/ {in the process of "being built"} Contact: satheeshgvr@gmail.com, to DOWNLOAD this eBook. Thank You.
Originally UPLOADED by SATHEESH BALACHANDRAN/ Guruvayur/ /LIBRARY OF BABEL/ {in the process of "being built"} Contact: satheeshgvr@gmail.com, to DOWNLOAD this eBook. Thank You.

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Published by: Satheesh Balachandran on Jun 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/03/2013

room, this dreary, lifeless nook, devoid of air? Hastily she threw open a window, and leaned out to gaze on
Paris.

The rain had ceased, and the clouds were trooping off like some herd of monsters hurrying in disorderly array
into the gloom of the horizon. A blue gap, that grew larger by degrees, had opened up above the city. But
Helene, her elbows trembling on the window-rail, still breathless from her hasty ascent, saw nothing, and
merely heard her heart beating against her swelling breast. She drew a long breath, but it seemed to her that
the spreading valley with its river, its two millions of people, its immense city, its distant hills, could not hold
air enough to enable her to breathe peacefully and regularly again.

For some minutes she remained there distracted by the fever of passion which possessed her. It seemed as
though a torrent of sensations and confused ideas were pouring down on her, their roar preventing her from
hearing her own voice or understanding aught. There was a buzzing in her ears, and large spots of light swam
slowly before her eyes. Then she suddenly found herself examining her gloved hands, and remembering that
she had omitted to sew on a button that had come off the left-hand glove. And afterwards she spoke aloud,
repeating several times, in tones that grew fainter and fainter: "I love you! I love you! oh, how I love you!"

Instinctively she buried her face in her hands, and pressed her fingers to her eyelids as though to intensify the
darkness in which she sought to plunge. It was a wish to annihilate herself, to see no more, to be utterly alone,
girt in by the gloom of night. Her breathing grew calmer. Paris blew its mighty breath upon her face; she knew
it lay before her, and though she had no wish to look on it, she felt full of terror at the thought of leaving the
window, and of no longer having beneath her that city whose vastness lulled her to rest.

Ere long she grew unmindful of all around her. The love-scene and confession, despite her efforts, again woke
to life in her mind. In the inky darkness Henri appeared to her, every feature so distinct and vivid that she
could perceive the nervous twitching of his lips. He came nearer and hung over her. And then she wildly
darted back. But, nevertheless, she felt a burning breath on her shoulders and a voice exclaimed: "I love you! I
love you!" With a mighty effort she put the phantom to flight, but it again took shape in the distance, and
slowly swelled to its whilom proportions; it was Henri once more following her into the dining-room, and still
murmuring: "I love you! I love you!" These words rang within her breast with the sonorous clang of a bell;
she no longer heard anything but them, pealing their loudest throughout her frame. Nevertheless, she desired
to reflect, and again strove to escape from the apparition. He had spoken; never would she dare to look on his
face again. The brutal passion of the man had tainted the tenderness of their love. She conjured up past hours,
in which he had loved her without being so cruel as to say it; hours spent in the garden amidst the tranquillity
of the budding springtime God! he had spoken--the thought clung to her so stubbornly, lowered on her in such
immensity and with such weight, that the instant destruction of Paris by a thunderbolt before her eyes would
have seemed a trivial matter. Her heart was rent by feelings of indignant protest and haughty anger,
commingling with a secret and unconquerable pleasure, which ascended from her inner being and bereft her
of her senses. He had spoken, and was speaking still, he sprang up unceasingly before her, uttering those
passionate words: "I love you! I love you!"--words that swept into oblivion all her past life as wife and
mother.

In spite of her brooding over this vision, she retained some consciousness of the vast expanse which stretched
beneath her, beyond the darkness that curtained her sight. A loud rumbling arose, and waves of life seemed to
surge up and circle around her. Echoes, odors, and even light streamed against her face, though her hands
were still nervously pressed to it. At times sudden gleams appeared to pierce her closed eyelids, and amidst
the radiance she imagined she saw monuments, steeples, and domes standing out in the diffuse light of
dreamland. Then she lowered her hands and, opening her eyes, was dazzled. The vault of heaven expanded
before her, and Henri had vanished.

A line of clouds, a seeming mass of crumbling chalk-hills, now barred the horizon far away. Across the pure,
deep blue heavens overhead, merely a few light, fleecy cloudlets were slowly drifting, like a flotilla of vessels

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