I had loved her madly!
Yesterday I returned to Paris, and when I saw my room again--our room, our bed, our furniture, everything that remains of the life of a human being after death--I was seized by such a violent attack of fresh grief, that I felt like opening the window and throwing myself out into the street. I could not remain any longer among these things, between these walls which had enclosed and sheltered her, which retained a thousand atoms of her, of her skin and of her breath. I took up my hat to make my escape, and just as I reached the door, I passed the large glass in the hall, which she had put there so that she might look at herself every day from head to foot as she went out, from her little boots to her bonnet. I stopped short in front of that looking-glass in which she had so often been reflected--so often, so often, that it must have retained her reflection. I was standing there. trembling, with my eyes fixed on the glass--on that flat, profound, empty glass--which had contained her entirely, and had possessed her as much as I, as my passionate looks had. I felt as if I loved that glass. I touched it; it was cold. Sorrowful mirror, burning mirror, horrible mirror, to make men suffer such torments! Happy is the man whose heart forgets everything that it has contained. I went out without knowing it, without wishing it, and toward the cemetery. I found her simple grave, a white marble cross, with these few words: ‘'She loved, was loved, and died.'
She is there, below. I sobbed with my forehead on the ground, and I stopped there for a long time. Then I saw that it was getting dark, and a strange, mad wish, the wish of a despairing lover, seized me. I wished to pass the night, the last night, in weeping on her grave. But I should be seen and driven out. How was I to manage? I was cunning, and got up and began to roam about in that city of the dead. I walked and walked. How small this city is, in comparison with the city in which we live. And...
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