He took Jacquelin from his hand. Jacqueline tilted her blond-headed head against the man’s shoulder. Jacqueline was no longer trying to fight: he was defeated; and it made him so much!… They wept quietly, listening to the play, under the moving roof of heavy clouds, so low-running clouds that they seemed to be hollow trees. They thought of everything they had suffered – so they might all suffer. There are moments in which music conjures up the whole melancholy that has been woven into the fate of man…
After a while Jacqueline wiped her eyes and looked at Olivier, and suddenly they embraced each other. Oh infinite happiness! Religious luck. So sweet and deep it is that it produces pain!
– Did your sister look like you? Olivier was shocked. He said:
– Why are you talking to me about him? So you know him?
– Christophe has told it to me … You have suffered hard?
Olivier nodded his head. He was too moved to answer.
– I too have suffered very much, said Jacqueline.
He spoke of his past friend, his beloved aunt Martta; he told me, with a hunching heart, how he had cried, cried to stoop.
– Help me? said Jacqueline prayingly; you help me to live, be good, even a little like him? Martha’s wrath, do you love her too?
– We love them both as they loved us.
– Oh, when they’re here!
– They’re here.
They sat down, squeezing against each other; they can hardly breathe, their hearts blaze fiercely. It began to quietly rain drizzle. Jacquelinea shivered.
– Let’s go in, he said.
The shadow of the park was almost dark. Olivier kissed Jacquel’s wet hair; Jacqueline lifted her head to Olivier Jeannin, and Olivier felt the lips of her loved one’s lips for the first time on her lips; Throw a whirl.
Near the villa they stopped still:
– How alone we were before, said Olivier.
He had already forgotten Christophe.
They remembered him, Finally. The call was silent. They went in. Christophe sat in front of the harmonium, the head between his hands, and his dream, many past events. When he heard the door open, he woke up from his dreams and looked at them heartily; his face shone with a serious and affectionate smile. He saw their eyes, what had happened, squeezed both hands and said:
– Sit down there. I’ll call you something.
They sat, and he called them, this time on the piano, all he felt in his heart, his entire love for them. When he stopped, they were all three silent, not talking. Then Christophe got up and looked at them. He looked so good and so much older and stronger than them! For the first time, Jacqueline knew what she really was. Christophe closed them in his arms and said to Jacqueline:
– You love him, right? You love her greatly?
They were deeply grateful to Christoph. But Christophe stopped the thing. He laughed, went to the window and jumped down to the garden.
In the following days, Christophe insisted that Olivier had to ask Jacqueline’s hand from her parents. Olivier wasn’t allowed to, because he was afraid of the ban he’d certainly got. Christophe also hastened him to get a place for himself. If Mr. and Mrs Langeais accepted her, she would not think that Jacqueline was rich unless she could earn her own bread, Christophe thought. Olivier agreed as though he did not agree with his disdainful, somewhat comical suspicion of monetary marriages. Christophe’s head was now struck by the idea that wealth is a percussion of the soul. He would have agreed with the opinion of the beggar of the former wolf, who stumbled upon an old lady who was caring for his hermit’s fate:
– Well, Miss, you have millions of money; Do you still have to be an immortal soul on the trade?
– Watch out for the woman, Christophe said to her friend half-play, half serious; – Watch out for the woman, and ten times the rich woman. A woman may love art, but she kills the artist. And the rich woman poisoned both of them. Wealth is a disease that a woman lasts worse than a man. Every rich is an abnormal creature… Do you laugh? Do you like my words spoiled? Listen, does the rich know what life is? Does he remain firmly in contact with the harsh reality? Does he feel the cold breath of poverty, his own hand-earned bread and the smell of custom earth? Can he understand and see objects and things as they are? Before ancient times, when I was a little boy, I was sometimes driven to the Grand Duke’s trolleys. The wagons wandered through the meadows, where I felt like I was just a crow, and through the woods, where I ran as a boy-figurine and I was godly. But I never saw anything about the trolleys. All those graceful landscapes had come to me as dead and foolish as those who drove me. Between nature and my heart, there was not a mere curtain of those same souls; I was alone with the bottom of my carriages under my feet, that moving party in the middle of nature. In order to feel my mother’s mother, I must keep my feet so as to be pushed into the womb, just like a newborn baby who gets into the light of the day. Wealth cuts across a bond that connects man to the earth and connects all the children of the earth. And how could it be an artist anymore? The artist is the voice of the earth. The rich cannot be a great artist. In such unfavorable circumstances, he would need ten times more genius to remain a true artist. Even if it succeeds, the job is always the fruit of the ansar. Only a man like a big Goethe can struggle: his soul already has atrocious organs, he has no essential organs, because the wealth has destroyed them. You who do not have Goethe’s juice would be filled with wealth by the non-existent, and especially by the rich wife whom Goethe certainly did. The man may still stand alone with this scourge. He has such an innate brutal power; he has been gathered with so much power and power of healthy instincts that draws him to the ground, that he alone has the potential to be saved. But the woman is prone to poisoning, and she infects it with others. He is attracted by the perfume perfume of wealth, he can no longer come without it. A woman who keeps her heart healthy in the midst of wealth is just as rare a prodigy as an ingenious millionaire… And besides: for me, I do not admire miracles or abominations. The man who has more than his own part to live with is an abomination and a monster, – the cancer of mankind, which slips into other people. Olivier laughed:
– What to do then? he said. Of course I can’t love Jacquel because he’s not poor, and I don’t force him to run out of love for me.
– Well, if you can’t save him, save yourself. And that’s the best way to save him too. Protect yourself clean. Do the work.
Christophen would not have had to express his doubts to his friend. Olivier was even more sensitive than Christophe. Not that he had understood these Christophe teachings seriously: he was himself rich, he did not bother the riches, and he was perfectly suited to Jacqueline’s beauty. But it was unbearable for him to be able to confuse his beliefs with his own interests when criticizing his love. So Olivier went back to university. But at the moment, he could not hope for anything other than a mediocre place in a countryside. It was a lousy wedding gift to Jacquelin. Olivier talked about him submissively to him. Jacqueline was at first difficult to understand her thoughts and agree to her decision. He thought this was due to excessive self-love, which Christophe had driven on his head and which Jacqueline considered ridiculous: is it not natural to take his loved ones with the same luck that hard fortune once he loves him, and is it not too low to refuse to take his own good from him? : That’s what it was harsh and a little amusing, that Jacqueline made it; it offered him the opportunity to satisfy his longing for heroism. In pride in his rebellion against the people around him, in the threat that his grief had ignited in him and which his love now accelerated, he eventually had to deny everything that was in his nature against that mystical passion; he sincerely excited his entire being as a spring, clean, for the ideal of a difficult and happily radiant life… The mischief, the trivial future, all was joy for him now. How good and beautiful that life was!
Mrs Langeais took too good care of herself to find out exactly what happened around her. Recently, he hadn’t remembered anything but his health; he spent his time caring for his supposed diseases, testing for any medication: each of them was alternately his salvation, namely for a couple of weeks; then another turn came again. He traveled away for months, and so in very expensive rest homes, following all kind of childcare guidelines there. She had forgotten her daughter and husband.
Mr. Langeais, who was not as indifferent as his wife, finally began to think of something dreadful. His fatherly jealousy made him alert. In his heart Jacqueline lived the same dull and pure affection as many other fathers, just his daughters, the affection they did not admit; undefined feeling, mystical, flimsy, and almost religious sacred curiosity, the desire to continue to live in beings who are father themselves, but still female. In this heart riddle there are lights and shadows that are probably the most healthy to be without knowing. Until then, she had been curious to see her daughter get young boys to fall in love with her: she loved Jacqueline as such, as a cocktail, romantic, and yet intelligent – (as she was). – But when he noticed, that the play threatened to become serious, he became restless. At first, he lowered Olivier Jeannin’s spoiling in consultation with Jacqueline; then he criticized him quite anxiously. Jacqueline laughed first and said:
– Do not complain about it, father; you might be embarrassed if I marry her.
Lord Langeais exclaimed with astonishment; he said Jacqueline was crazy. An excellent way to make a girl really crazy. He declared that Jacqueline would never marry Jeannin. But Jacqueline then claimed he was going. The cheating curtain was pulled out completely. The father noticed that the girl had no trust at all. In his paternal selfishness, he had never thought of it, and now he was angry about learning. He swore that Olivier and Christophe would no longer go over his threshold. It annoyed the girl; and when Olivier one morning went to open the door to someone who came, the girl flew to her as shot, pale and determined and said:
– Get out with me and take me! My parents don’t want to. But I want. There must be a scandal.
Olivier was frightened, but was moved and tried not to argue against Jacqueline. Fortunately, Christophe was home then. Usually it was harder for him to stay aloof than Olivier. But now he advised others to make sense. He explained what kind of scandal it would really be and what suffering it would bring to them. Jacqueline Puri hated her lips and said:
– Then we’ll kill ourselves, for good.
Olivier was not afraid of this, but, on the contrary, got a new reason for accepting the proposal for escaping. With great effort, Christophe succeeded in persuading those whimsical minds to think a little bit: before desperate means had to be tried by others; Jacqueline had to go home now; he, Christophe, would go to his father to speak for them.
Excellent President! He could hardly say a few words, so Mr. Langeais was going to show him the way out of the door; then put the scene to the ridiculous side of his eye and it amused him. Gradually, the speaker’s seriousness, the integrity of his tone, and his unconditional conviction were made effective by him; but he did not yet want to bend; he still stumbled upon Christoph pimples. Christophe wasn’t listening to him: when he got a very stingy injection, he was inside and he stopped; but still he continued. Then he began to punch his fist at the table and said:
– I ask you to assure that this visit, which I have come, not at all in my mind; I must restrain myself from giving you some words back with the same measure. But it is my duty to speak to you, and I will do it now. Forget me myself as I forget myself, and consider what I’m talking about.
Mr. Langeais listened; and when he heard about the suicidal intentions, he shrugged and was laughing, but he was very shocked; he was too intelligent to keep that threat merely as a play; he knew that this was the madness of the girl in love with the question. Before his ancestors had a mistress, a joyful and spoiled girl whom she did not believe could take such boasting, fired in front of her with her revolver; he had not died of it, namely immediately there; Mr. Langeais always remembered the whole scene with a fervent smile … No, there were no guarantees for the hoods. His heart crouched… “Jacqueline wants it? Well, will you, miss her, hood!…” She would have preferred anything to force her daughter to the last emergency. Of course he could have intelligently resorted to diplomacy, to be complacent; that way he would have won time, and maybe Jacqueline could quietly quit Olivier Jeannin. But it would have required more effort than the father could or wanted to surrender. And he was also weak; and the mere fact that he had first said to Jacqueline, “No!” now bent him to say, “You get.” What is clear about our basic soul life? Maybe the girl was right. However, the most important thing is to love each other. Yes, Mr Langeais knew that Olivier was a serious boy, maybe a gift box… As he said, he agreed. But it would have required more effort than the father could or wanted to surrender. And he was also weak; and the mere fact that he had first said to Jacqueline, “No!” now bent him to say, “You get.” What is clear about our basic soul life? Maybe the girl was right. However, the most important thing is to love each other. Yes, Mr Langeais knew that Olivier was a serious boy, maybe a gift box… As he said, he agreed. But it would have required more effort than the father could or wanted to surrender. And he was also weak; and the mere fact that he had first said to Jacqueline, “No!” now bent him to say, “You get.” What is clear about our basic soul life? Maybe the girl was right. However, the most important thing is to love each other. Yes, Mr Langeais knew that Olivier was a serious boy, maybe a gift box… As he said, he agreed.
On the eve of the wedding, the friends sat together, watching late into the night. They did not want to miss the whims of the last moments of their beloved past. – But it was as if it was a thing of the past, together with the sad farewell to the railway bridge waiting for the train to leave: we still want to stay, watch each other, talk. But the heart is no longer involved; a friend has already left… Christophe tried to chat. He was silent in the middle of the sentence, seeing Olivier’s distracted eyes, and said with a smile:
– How are you far away.
Olivier apologized, embarrassed. He was sad to think that he allowed himself to be so distracted in the last few moments with his friend. But Christophe squeezed his hand and said:
– Do not worry. I’m happy. Dreaming you, my son.
They were still sitting by the window, next to each other, watching the night garden. A moment later, Christophe said to his friend:
– You’re mapping me? You think I can get out of my hands? You think of Jacqueline. But I’m gonna catch you. I also think of him.
– Dear friend, I thought of you, Olivier replied. And you still…
Christophe stopped his sentence, laughing:
– And I still – I made it so bad, so!
Christophe had been dressed in a very fine, almost elegant wedding ceremony. The weddings were not ecclesiastical: neither Olivier, indifferent to religion, nor did Jacquelina, the rebel, want to consecrate the priest himself. Christophe had written a symphonic composition for the Civil War; but at the last moment he gave up his intention to present it there when he discovered what the civil marriage wedding is like: those festivities were ridiculous for him. In order to believe in the holiness of the people, one must be completely devoid of both faith and freedom, both simultaneously. When a decent Catholic takes the trouble to become a free thinker, he does not do it to think of a religious character for the civilian office. There is no place between God and free conscience with state religion. State registers, it does not combine.
The wedding of Olivier Jeannin and Jacqueline was not conducive to bringing Christoph to repentance that he had revoked his recent decision. Olivier listened in a rather distracted and slightly ironic manner to the mayor, who flattered clumsily a young couple, a wealthy family, and honorable witnesses. Jacqueline didn’t listen; and he secretly showed his tongue to Simone Adam, who kept his eyes on him; he had bet with that girl, “not getting married,” and now he was really winning it: he hardly even thinks he’s married now; that thought amused him. Others appeared to the audience; and the audience bounced. Mr. Langeais handsome; as sincerely as she liked her daughter, she felt it was most important to watch who was stranger and think about Didn’t he forget the list from anyone. Christophe alone was moved, was an exception to the parents, the inaugurating, the wizards; he was always looking at his friend who never once made his eyes on him.
In the evening, a young couple traveled to Italy. Christophe and Mr. Langeais brought them to the station. They saw them as happy, careless, seeing that they didn’t hide their desire to get out of here already. Olivier looked almost young, and Jacqueline’s little girl… Breathless and gentle adorable are such a difference! The father was a little sad about the fact that the guest takes his little loved ones and where? But the young do not feel anything but the joy of liberation. There are no more obstacles in life; nothing stops them anymore; it feels like they’ve got it all: now you can die, nothing is missing, nothing fears… Then we find that it was just a stopover along the way. Heaven begins again and turns up the mountain; and there are a few,