Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Reader's Diary (Week 21)

Without knowing exactly the state of my financial affairs, i felt that ruin was ahead of me. i had paid out considerable sums of money, debts were accumulating and, far from decreasing, Juliette’s whims became even more numerous and more expensive; money flowed like water from Her hands, like a fountain, in one continuous stream. She evidently thinks me richer than i am, i thought to myself, in an effort to deceive myself. i ought to warn Her, perhaps show myself a little more reserved in yielding to Her desires. The truth was that i deliberately dismissed from my mind every notion of this kind, that i dreaded the probable consequences of such a challenge even more than the greatest possible misfortune in the world.

In my rare moments of clear-mindedness, of frankness with myself, i understood that beneath Her air of sweetness, beneath Her naïveté of a spoiled child, beneath the robust and vibrant passions of Her flesh, Juliette concealed a powerful desire to be always beautiful, adored, paid court to, concealed a fierce selfishness which would not flinch before any cruelty, before any moral crime! i realised that She loved me less than the last piece of cloth, that She would have sacrificed me for a cloak or a cravat or a pair of gloves. Once drawn into such a life She could not stop. And then what? Cold shivers passed up and down my frame from head to heels. That She should leave me, no, no, that i did not want!

(Mirbeau, 1886)

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