woman who is scornful, and yet more the woman who is reputed
dangerous, excites curiosity, as spices add flavor to good food.
Indeed, the disdain so cleverly acted by Valerie was a novelty to
Wenceslas, after three years of too easy enjoyment. Hortense was a
wife; Valerie a mistress.
Many men desire to have two editions of the same work, though it is in
fact a proof of inferiority when a man cannot make his mistress of his
wife. Variety in this particular is a sign of weakness. Constancy will
always be the real genius of love, the evidence of immense power–the
power that makes the poet! A man ought to find every woman in his
wife, as the squalid poets of the seventeenth century made their
Manons figure as Iris and Chloe.
“Well,” said Lisbeth to the Pole, as she beheld him fascinated, “what
do you think of Valerie?”
“She is too charming,” replied Wenceslas.