PDA

View Full Version : vtntage erotica-2



indian aviator
08-08-2011, 05:23 PM
and so I multiplied my caresses incessantly.
The shades of evening were already falling when Therese—her eyes
heavy with voluptuous lassitude—cried for mercy.
52
CHAPTER VII
The bed had become moist through the perspiration from our bodies.
So we decided to install ourselves, for dinner, on the sofa near the
window. With the twilight the atmosphere turned somewhat cool. I
fetched a dressing-gown for Therese, who, seized with a tardy fit of
modesty, had again hidden herself under the sheet. When I returned,
bringing our provisions, she was up, closely enveloped in her gown, the
belt of which she attached with minute care,—adding a second knot,
and then a third. And while doing so she glanced at me from
underneath her eyelashes mockingly.
All that we had to eat were the remains from the day before,—a most
meagre repast, but, thanks to a little champagne forgotten in the
Thermos flask, appearances were kept up. The meal at an end, we
chatted and smoked. The sky-blue rectangle formed by the window
changed from royal to Prussian blue, and then became studded with
stars, more and more numerous. We were unaware of the exact hour.
But what did that matter to us?
When night came completely,—a summer night which was
astonishingly tardy,—we cast aside our cigarettes by tacit consent,
and Therese snuggled up towards me, with her mouth extended
towards mine. A long dialogue between our lips and our tongues
followed. I meditated on the fact that, under her dressing-gown,
Therese was nude; but I did not dare to slip my hand within her bosom,
fearing that she was weary of our orgy of caresses of the afternoon.
Prudently, I placed my hand on her knees, covered by her garment.
* * *
To tease her, I drew back a little, with a semblance of wanting to avoid
her lips; and in the movement she made to reach my mouth her knee
became uncovered. I experienced a lukewarm surprise at finding a
morsel of bare flesh under my hand. Prudently I advanced my fingers,
wishing, to extend this unexpected conquest, without awakening her
attention unduly. Only the dressing-gown suddenly slipped,
uncovering the whole of her thigh as far as the shady line of the groin;
53
whereupon my wife made the movement I feared, ready to drape
herself afresh and still more closely. However, she did not complete her
gesture; feverishly—and as though she herself were completely
dazed—she thrust her tongue into my mouth, while her legs parted in
my direction, accepting my caress.
Notwithstanding her acquiescence, I still hesitated. What I wanted
was, indeed, a more complete conquest, and the slightest piece of
clumsiness might compromise it. Timidly, my hand went further up,
lightly touching the interior portion of her thigh, the epidermis of
which was so immaterially soft that I was astounded. As I progressed
the muscles relaxed, the skin became still more soft and then, without
transition, I felt under my fingers the crease formed by her sex and its
aureole of silky hair. Suddenly, however, her legs closed and my hand
was arrested. Once more there was refusal: modesty's invincible reflex,
which every time forbid me the ultimate privacy of the flesh.
Exasperated—giving up the idea of continuing my deceptive
incursion— I sought to withdraw my imprisoned hand. But Therese
prevented me, exclaiming:
"No, remain where you are. Wait a bit!" Her thighs relaxed their grip,
then opened completely. Her sex being, at long last, offered to me, I
placed my entire hand on it, with the palm on the thickest part of her
fleece, and the fingers right on the red and blooming flower of her
flesh. For a long time, too, I made no attempt at a more active caress,
but gave myself up to the voluptuousness of that warm contact,— to
the intoxication of having conquered the secret home of love. Under
my inactive hand, the intimate nudity of that part of her person
became animated by a succession of ripples: long and passionate
waves which thrilled through my wife's body until they reached our
closely united lips. The dead silence of the night was disturbed merely
by the low sound of our kisses as we embraced and disembraced.
Therese's tremors at last became less frequent, less passionate,
whereupon my hand awakened. Momentarily abandoning the
satisfied flesh, my fingers strayed over her smooth stomach and
ascended, under the dressing-gown, in search of the nipples of her
54
breasts. But soon they descended,—to become, as it were, Will-o'-thewisps,
which no more than grazed her sex, without actually touching its
inner folds. Like a light flame, my fingers went hippety-hop on her
fleece, skirting its shady, downy edges, and then slipping to her hips,
along the secret line of which my fingers travelled. Then, most
delicately, they made the return journey to their point of departure;
and thus the backward and forward movement proceeded. Little by
little, however, my fingers became more insistent and more
penetrative. Parting the curls, which my vagabond fingers had
entangled, I resumed tactile contact with the most secret spot of her
whole body. And soon on the most tender parts of her sex my
caresses—more and more rhythmic—were centred.
Therese, wholly absorbed in the intensely voluptuous sensations which
were again thrilling her, ceased to kiss me. She tried to undo the triple
knot of her waist-belt; then tore it off impatiently; and, casting her
garment aside, offered me, in the sweet light of that clear night, her
wholly nude body. Under my agile fingers, whose caresses I still further
accelerated, the flesh of her flesh became moist with desire; her legs—
parted still more—stretched towards me her exasperated flesh; and
with both hands clasped to her breasts she threw herself back with
upturned eyes.
55
CHAPTER VIII
Friday morning.
Those good friends of ours who, already the day before yesterday,
calculated on our "lying in bed" at Dijon would have been greatly
astonished if they had been able to see us all alone in another bed at
Versailles. Moreover, with what a torrent of sarcastic remarks they
would have deluged me had they known that my wife—on the third
day of her honeymoon—was still a virgin!
However, I felt neither bitterness nor humiliation on that account.
Rather a certain pride. I imagined an audience capable of
understanding me,—one that would have applauded me for having
overcome stupid masculine prejudices. Together we should have
evoked a new world in which Man was no longer the slave of his
Phallus and thirsting for the bestial satisfying of his passion... But how
many people are there— perhaps one in a thousand?—who, raising
themselves above the primitive brute, can bridle their desire in view of
a less egoistic voluptuousness? Egoistic? But had I not displayed an
egoistic spirit towards Therese on the previous evening? Why provoke
her solitary orgasm and then, afterwards, merely carry her off
shivering to her bed and leave her there? I had made a mere pretence
of obtaining an explicit appeal from her,—that "Take me!" which
would have surrendered her flesh to mine. Had she not appealed to me,
with her whole body straining towards me, amidst the semi-darkness
of that warm summer night?... However, if I had resisted her
intoxicating appeal to give her pleasure,—if I had bridled my own
mad lust, it was because the trial through which I passed made me
more ambitious, and also stronger. What I wanted from Therese was
not merely her fleshly consent, so ardently confessed that night; but
the more conscious acquiescence of her whole being. And I knew full
well that—anxious for a more intimate union than the mere union of
the sexes—I was in the right.
Meanwhile, through too protracted an evocation, in the warmth of my
solitary bed, of the incidents of the preceding night, my lust was once
56
more quickly aroused. Strange duplication of one's personality! While
my mind formulated its arguments and approved of what I had done,
my imagination, summoning up recollections, disapproved. My loins
were wrung with poignant regret. Once more I saw Therese casting
aside her dressing-gown and, wholly unashamed, offering her whole
body to me; once more I felt the sweet, moist appeal under my fingers.
Had I not made a gull of myself by refusing the offered pleasure? I
closed my eyes the better to relish what my enjoyment might have
been... I should have thrown myself on my knees, between her open
thighs, and, amidst the double moisture of our dual lust, I should have
caressed her flesh for a long, long time with my penis before suddenly
penetrating her. Or, perhaps, Therese's hands, with an instinctive
movement, and amidst a paroxysm of pleasure, would have seized hold
of my sex, already stiff through the approaching spasm, so as to thrust it
within her... Suddenly I became very warm and uncovered myself,—
and in order to relieve the burning turgidity of my sex, I was forced to
undo a few buttons of my pyjamas.
* * *
The sound of Therese drumming on the door made me draw up the
sheet quickly. In a clear and comically shrill voice, she sang:
"Au clair de la lune, Monsieur mon epoux,
Venez au jardin, il y fait tres doux."
I welcomed these humorous lines with a whistle of admiration, and
then replied, in an octave lower:
"Au clair de la lune, Monsieur repondit:
Je ne puis sortir-re, je suis dans mon lit."
A ripple of laughter came from behind the door, accompanied by the
words:
"No! Really? Get along with you, lazy fellow. May I come in?"
57
"Yes, yes. Come in at once."
"I suppose you are decent?"
"Most certainly,—as I always am."
"If that's so you shall have a reward." So saying, she half-opened the
door and peeped in distrustfully. Tranquillised, she then came right in.
She was dressed in beach pyjamas: a jersey, a bolero and broad
trousers,—a white ensemble braided with blue. The particular shade
of that blue, in complete harmony with that of her eyes, increased their
brilliancy. Pushing aside the bolero, her breasts stretched the thin
material of the jersey and brought into prominence their twin nipples.
A large, supple straw hat shaded her blond hair, gathered up into a
heavy chignon. I found my wife adorably beautiful and youthful,—so
much so that my stiffened penis, throbbing with desire, rose to salute
her. Just for a moment I stopped her on the threshold. "Stop there a
moment, darling, so that I may admire your ensemble."
"In such a get-up as this, you find me grotesque, don't you? The
Carnival of Nice on tour."
"Oh! not at all,—the Cortege of Venus. Or rather Venus herself
descended on Earth."
She rushed towards me, her bosom thrust forward and hands in a
threatening attitude, and, in a voice imitative of the Ogre, declaimed:
"C'est Venus tout entiere a sa proie attached."
Then, throwing herself on my bed, she covered my face and neck with
kisses. Soon her hands were drawing down the sheet ("To see if I'd not
told her a fib!") and this preliminary inspection was satisfactory, since
the top of my pyjamas was chastely buttoned up. But after a while she
was on the verge of discovering something most indecent: the ruddy
extremity of my bare penis.
58
I was bound, however, to stop that and save her eyes from the brutal
revelation of the ruttish condition in which I was, for that might have
been most repugnant to her. I know that others would have consented,
without making the slightest fuss; but those are the people who make
women passively subject to their lust, or else those prostitutes whose
venality surmounts all feeling of disgust. If, on the other hand, I wanted
my wife, some day, to be as enamoured over the violence of my sex as
full of tender pity for a penis exhausted by the love-act,—if I wished
to awaken in her a confiding and caressing passion for my very flesh,
other precautions were called for. I must first of all explain and guide
her hand before surrendering myself to her visual caresses. But my
will-power had broken down completely: mighty waves of lust flowed
from my loins to my brain and overwhelmed me.
As when in a state of dizziness, it was the very sense of danger which
attracted me,—the Sadistic expectation of Therese's astonishment. At
other moments, however, the waves of desire calmed down to a silent
prayer. I wanted to say to Therese:
"You still know hardly anything about my body. Look at it! Be gentle
with my impatient sex, as I was gentle last night with your so
intimately excited flesh. Fear not!—all that I want is to surrender
myself into your hands. And should you excite me to the point of
orgasm, I will tenderly draw a veil over your eyes."
Meanwhile, the hand which had drawn down the sheet had descended
below my waist and reached the point where my pyjamas began to be
half-open. Therese caught sight of a triangular morsel of flesh, and, in
its close proximity to my sex, already hairy. Her breathing quickened.
Her arm made a lascivious movement and then she clenched her hand.
But she immediately recovered herself. So as not to have to recognize a
fault on my part, she quickly drew the sheet over the fleshly triangle.
Again what she saw of my attire was perfectly decent and she
congratulated me on it. "That is quite all right: you are indeed most
proper." She had not understood—or did not want to notice—the too
apparent erection of my Phallus, a little lower down, under the sheet.
59
With feigned gravity, she then proclaimed:
"Under the terms of the powers conferred upon me, as much by the
Deputy Mayor as by Monsieur l'Cure, I will now bestow a reward upon
you."
Suiting the action to the word, she stripped my shoulders and body to
the waist, to repeat upon me the entire varied gamut of her caresses.
But this disturbing interlude lasted barely a quarter of an hour,—an
abnormally brief period of time, compared to the customary duration
of our love-feasts. Suddenly Therese stopped: her hand returned to the
triangular piece of flesh she had glimpsed a short time before; she
found it and slightly enlarged it, fumbling about on my stomach in
search of my navel. When she had found it she hid her tongue in it for a
few seconds. Finally, with a quick movement, she pulled the sheet right
up to my chin and rose to her feet.
"You don't really imagine, my dear Lord and Master," she proclaimed,
"that you are going to be decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order
of Caresses, because you have been fairly decent? Nay!... You have
merited only a decoration of the 3rd Class. The ceremony is concluded.
So get up at once, you bad lot!"
"Right-o! Right-o! I obey."
I made a movement as though to jump out of bed, notwithstanding
what she might be able to guess as regards the disorder of my attire.
But she screamed out:
"Stop! Stop!—Rascal! Let me get out first."
She took to her heels, laughing the while. A few moments later, the
sound of her voice came from the garden:
"I'll await you under the lindens, where I shall be reading. But I like to
read you better than a book."
60
"Thank you!"
"Only, you're a naughty book, and I hesitate to turn over the pages."
"Ah! I know a pretty little book the whole of whose pages I've turned
over."
"Silence!—ungrateful monster!"
And in order to drown my voice she began, with a "Tralala, la, la!" to
sing the revolutionary air from Louise.
How cheerful she was! I thought that recollections of the previous
night would have made her more serious that morning. If, momentarily,
she was almost sorrowfully dazed by the revelation of intense pleasure,
the recollection of it had calmed down to a feeling of confident
surrender. For I had been able to guide her (without either offending
her delicacy or ravaging her flesh) to the very threshold of the
intoxicating kingdom of voluptuousness. And at last, rid of all fear, she
was now vibrating with joyous impatience, similar to a child who, on
coming to the end of an unknown road, suddenly discovers the blue
expanse of the sea, glittering in the morning sun.
61
CHAPTER IX
I descended into the garden and, with the intention of surprising her,
advanced with the precautions of a Red Indian. The gravel crunched
under my feet treacherously. Therese, with her back turned to the
house, pretended not to hear me; yet she kept her blond head bent
down: a victim presenting her neck to the executioner. So upon it I
deposited a long and greedy kiss. Therese thrilled with joy and burst
into a ripple of laughter.
Seeing that the book upon her knees was closed, I asked her:
"Have you read much?"
"Much? No. But very conscientiously. I've read the same half-page ten
times."
"You have been learning it by heart?"
"I tried merely to understand. But I never got to the end of the
sentence."
"Absent-minded?—because of me?"
"By no means, conceited man! My absent-mindedness was the fruitful
one of great thinkers. I'm Thomas Aquinus, Newton, Einstein—
whoever you like. I've made a great discovery."
"Bless my soul! And what may you have discovered?"
"That the Almighty is marvellously intelligent and that his Creation is
not so badly managed. Moreover, I've told Him so while you left me to
my solitude. And I've presented humble apologies to Him for having
believed that the world consisted of my silly life as a young girl."
"Not so silly as that."
62
"Oh! yes,—it was stupid. Do you know what I resembled, without
knowing it? I was like those idiotic tourists who, in their Pullman cars,
read their newspapers, or snooze,—wholly unaware that, behind the
lowered blinds, there lies the whole of Provence singing in the sun."
"Yet, more knowing than the old gentleman of the Pullman, you
divined beforehand the sunlit countryside?"
"I divined it incompletely; and hoped, sometimes, that the blind would
not be raised too soon."
"The landscape didn't interest you?" "I feared to see, in its place, only
other railway carriages, stupidly similar to mine. Or else I feared that
the blind would be brutally raised to reveal some vulgar landscape,
the crude light of which would have blinded me." "You have that fear
no longer?" "Do you still dare to ask me that, hypocrite?" Her eyes,
fixed upon me, suddenly became sad. I guessed the reason: the shadows
cast by the unconfessed procession of fleshly thoughts, suddenly
awakened. Momentarily, she remained silent, and then solicited an
encouragement: "You promise not to make fun of me?" Without
uttering a single word, I pressed her to me.
"It's difficult to explain," she said. "Because I would ask for your
pardon, but pardon for something over which I feel no remorse".
Suddenly growing bolder, she added, "You understand, I regret
nothing,—nothing as regards that night on which I surrendered myself
wholly to your caresses. Not a single action do I regret,— not a single
one of my attitudes the most..."
She hesitated, so I sought to help her by attenuating her thought:
"The most amorous?"
"No. How can I express it?"
Turning her head away a little, she became more explicit:
63
"The most indecent. I'm a little ashamed of them, but I feel not the
slightest remorse."
"In that case, darling, what have I to pardon?"
"Why, precisely that,—for having so totally surrendered myself."
"You regret it?"
"I regret nothing, as I've just told you. But now I understand the
madness which I read in your eyes when we arrived here. And I should
like you, in your turn, to pardon me, if I appeared to you to have been...
I don't know how to put it... well, bestial... nay, perhaps repulsive."
"Oh! Be silent! Be silent! Do not profane the ecstasy which your
quivering body gave me,— so intensely quivering under my caresses."
But that imprudently evoked scene now stood out in my recollections
with intense and cruel clearness. The doubts which had assailed me
that morning reawakened with my desire; and once more I reproached
myself for not having possessed my wife during the acute crisis of my
lust. A bitter regret—compounded of humiliation, self-contempt, and
a dim feeling of rancour against Therese—came over me. To the more
rapid rhythm of my temples (the throbbing of which had several times
already almost precipitated my defeat) the saraband of my thoughts
was accelerated and whirled around a fixed idea. This idea became
more and more distinct and hallucinating,—there, on the thick,
sunbathed grass I saw the spot where I would throw Therese on to her
back and have her, after the fashion of the animals, without fear of the
huge expanse of sky above them, and without needless caresses.
Sufficient lucidity to calculate the stupid brutality of such an act still
remained. Yet with terrifying certitude I knew that my instinct was the
stronger. Intoxicated by the excess of my lust,—dazzled by lascivious
images, I staggered to my feet and drew Therese towards the sunny
lawn where I was to crush her body and satiate myself in her flesh. She
64
made no resistance; but her voice, which at first appeared to come to
me from far, far away, seemed to come nearer all of a sudden, and
dragged me from my hallucination.
"Darling—oh! my darling! Are you suffering? Come back and sit
down. There now, my little one, rest your head on my shoulder."
With childish words, she calmed me down,— those tender, simple
words the sweet reasonableness of which is understood only by lovers.
Yet she bore upon her own shoulders the accusation for my troubled
state:
"I am taking a cowardly advantage of your generosity, my poor dear. I
am unworthy of the delicacy you show me,—unworthy of all the
precautions inspired by your tenderness. This is too cruel a trial for you.
and it must not be protracted. And yet..."
"And yet... you prefer to wait?".
"'Yes' and 'no'. When my desire, born last night under your caresses,
again responds to your appeal, my whole body will revolt against the
attack. But when I am in a more lucid state of mind it seems to me that I
ought still to resist against my instinct, just as you knew how to combat
yours. For we are, as yet, only half way on our journey."
"Why? Because you don't love me sufficiently yet?"
"Don't love you sufficiently?"
She shook her head sadly, without refuting an idea which I myself felt
was an absurdity.
"No, but I don't know you sufficiently well yet. You—you know me
through and through; there is not a corner of my body whose reaction
to your caresses you do not know. But what do I know about you, my
darling?"
65
We remained silent, without stating precisely a barely formulated
thought, yet one which reverberated, in a series of ominous echoes, in
our flesh. However, no temptation to profit by the regret expressed by
Therese and to guide her hand to the discovery of my own body
overcame me. Assuredly I had many times imagined that exploration
and anticipated the pleasure of its exciting stages. But I was now
afraid of Therese's ignorance,—afraid of the possibility of arousing in
her a feeling of disgust. Was this an instance of ridiculous timidity on
my part?... It was, I think, a much more complex feeling, heavily dosed
with self-centredness. For, wishing to make my wife the caressing
worshipper of my virility, I was fearful (through a lack of patience) of
turning her merely into the passive and disgusting slave of my lust.
66
CHAPTER X
In the course of this voyage towards fleshly happiness, it seemed to me
to be necessary to take my bearings. It was a voyage whose charms
resided in the very slowness of its evolutions amidst the isles of
voluptuousness; but whose route—after centuries of erotic
speculations—was still inadequately charted. So many over-hasty
travellers had thought of going merely by the shortest route.
In order to give myself time to reflect and also, during a few hours, to
enable both of us to escape from the complete solitude which
exasperated our feelings, I proposed to Therese that we go a joy-ride in
the car. With lowered capote and wind-screen raised, our car tore
along mile after mile of road, the rapidity of our progress being
marked by the speed with which the trees, as they echoed past us,
flashed in an apparently never-ending succession. Tunnels of verdure
succeeded veritable orgies of brilliant sunlight. With faces alternately
scorched and fanned by the fresh breeze, all conversation was
impossible; but it stimulated my thought, carried away my hesitations
and doubts. I felt that I should return with strengthened nerves,—with
renewed certainty, and, as regards my will-power, infinitely more
patient.
I slackened the pace, so as to question Therese. Her thoughts had
progressed parallel with my own and also ended in a feeling of greater
certainty. But our conclusions were totally opposed and clashed.
"The trial has lasted far too long, darling."
"But you said, this very morning, that it appeared to you wiser to defer
our union."
"That is not exactly what I told you. When you asked me if I preferred
to wait, I replied: "Yes and No.' But in the possible 'yes' there was above
all a feeling of disquietude."
67
Still timid when face to face with precise details of a fleshly nature, she
stopped.
"What feeling of disquietude?"
"The fear of not being able to commune sufficiently intensely with
your body, through not having known it better before belonging to it
wholly. It was for that reason that, to your question as to the
opportuneness of still deferring it, I replied—'Yes... perhaps.' But now it
is definitely—' No.' No longer do I wish—no longer is it possible for
me—to wait; because I realize the useless cruelty of that delay, in
which my egoism alone is concerned."
Her egoism? I could not help smiling, because I hesitated to undeceive
her, fearing to be misunderstood, or shock her modesty. Then I grew
bolder and explained to her that she was not the only one who wished
it,—that preliminary knowledge of my body. Like herself, I awaited
it— voluptuously expectant; it was a delicate yet essential stage of our
progress, in which my sensuality would bask in the very naiveté of the
first caresses received. Through wishing to cover that stage at top
speed, Therese was depriving both of us of some most delicious
hours,—those hours of tender initiation, and the most certain-pledge
for the future of the most perfect union of our bodies.
Certainly I knew that she wished to shorten the trial of unsatisfied
desire, the painful acuteness of which she had measured on the
preceding night. And I knew—without daring to tell her —that her
tenderness would be still more affected when the burning tension of
my Phallus, throbbing for her flesh, was revealed to her. But I begged
her not to give way prematurely to a feeling compound more of pity
for me than desire.
* * *
On our return journey we stopped for dinner, tete-a-tete, in a quiet
orchard, on the edge of an already dark wood. In its semi-somnolent
state, the inn had the air of dreaming of the rush of automobilists which
68
the week-end would scatter along the roads. However, we received a
hearty welcome there.
After the meal we lounged about. We had, in fact, decided to wait
until complete darkness came before starting again; and beforehand
we relished the freshness of that nocturnal ride in the keener air. But
the summer night tarried and already we were filled with uneasiness.
Therese momentarily pressed her clasped hands between her knees,
expressive of chilliness, and a twinge responded to her movement from
my loins and explained it to me.
I questioned her as to what she knew exactly regarding the physiology
of marriage. In brief, very little, since she had voluntarily repressed all
sexual curiosity.
"Clearly I know," she said, "that children are not born among the
cabbages. Moreover, after my bachot, I wished to acquire a few more
precise notions on the subject of woman and maternity. Naturally I
didn't want to limit myself to stupid lyrism or the superstitious
nonsense of boarding-school girls."
"Your grandmother's prudery was not offended?"
"I didn't consult her. What I considered as a duty—one of intellectual
probity—she would have construed into a piece of unhealthy
curiosity. A senior friend guided my studies. Besides, you know her,—
Mathilde D..."
"The elegant doctoress? I can believe, indeed, that life has no secrets
for her. She has certainly had some adventures."
"Yes, I, too, believe that that is so, although she said nothing to me
about them. More tears, however, than happiness, if I am to judge by
the sorrowful face she sometimes had. But that very experience made
her more understandable and more to be respected by the young girl
who had remained intact. And by a tacit agreement we eliminated
69
man's role in marriage. We set out from the ovary and followed its
evolutions without asking..."
Here she hesitated for a moment and, as she continued, began to laugh.
"You know, as in cosmography, when one starts with the primitive
nebulous system, without asking whether the initial impulsion came
from God, the devil, or chance."
"And you had no suspicion of anything?"
"Oh! All the same! One would really have been a goose not to have
made certain comparisons. The biology course, with its precise details
regarding the reproduction of plants, clearly made me reflect."
"And what did you conclude from that?" "That woman, in order to give
birth to children, must be impregnated by man. Moreover, all novels
make it quite clear that it's a matter of physical possession. I know—
how could a young woman of my age be in ignorance of the fact?—
that this possession is at first painful to the woman, and I'm not ignorant
of the change which takes place in us. But I can only dimly imagine—
how can I put it?—the details of things,—the exact part played by
man."
Yet she knew the difference between the sexes, at any rate as it
appears in the case of children. But she had not sought for an
explanation of the mystery, because she was ignorant of man's strange
physiological metamorphosis under the impulse of desire. So I
revealed to her, in the simplest words, what that change was, avoiding
all needless crudity, and still more careful not to make use of ridiculous
metaphors. The seriousness with which she listened would have
prevented me—had such a banal temptation overcome me—from
indulging in the slightest pleasantry. I explained to her how the male
organ, transformed with a view to carnal union, became capable of
penetration and impregnation; then the abatement of desire; and how
70
the impatient male became like a somewhat sad child in the arms of
his beloved wife.
Therese, with her head resting on my shoulder, listened to me without
uttering a single word. Her prolonged silence ended by disquieting
me. I raised her face, but, in the already intense darkness of the night,
could only very badly distinguish her features. On the fringe of her
closed eye-lids I was inclined to detect the bitterness of a tear.
"Have I grieved you, darling?"
Astonished at my question, she opened her eyes.
"Grieved me? Oh! no... It's just beautiful.— so much more beautiful
than I should ever have imagined."
Twenty minutes later we were at home.
71
CHAPTER XI
I accompanied Therese to the threshold of her room and took leave of
her.
She protested: "Ah! no."
"What? You don't want to say good-night to me?"
"I shall say good-night to you in my bed". She became more precise: "In
our bed. Why do you still want to abandon me?"
"But I do so on your account, dearie; so as not to be indiscreet." This
appeared to me to be rather a feeble argument; but I was so little of a
mind to be in the right. "Yesterday and the day before I acted in the
same..."
"And you did quite right, darling. I should have loved you less had you
thrust yourself upon me on the very first night. I should have been
vexed with you—a little—if you had been a brutal husband, too sure
of your rights and incapable of realizing certain differences of
meaning. But to-night, dearie, I should suffer if I were left alone."
"You would be as wretched as that?"
"Yes, yes. Your little girl would weep all night. And at dawn she would
come to you and slip into your bed."
"Suppose I drove her away?"
"Oh! she would be all a-tremble with cold... and humiliation. You
could never resist clasping her in your arms. And since you would be
eaten up with remorse, you would have forgotten all your fine
resolutions before the cock crowed thrice."
"Well, now I'm forewarned!"
72
She threw her arms around my neck.
"Come, darling! Should you fear our folly, we will place a sword
between us,—like Tristan and Yseult, you know, in the Forest of
Morvis. Come, and I will tell you that beautiful story, which I have
read so often."
She made me sit down on the edge of the big, low bed, And, standing
before me, she recited Bedier's prose, more poetic than so many poems:
"Under the protection of the green boughs, and on ground prettily
carpeted with grass, Yseult was the first to stretch herself. Tristan lay
down by her side and placed his sword between their bodies..." Therese
told me—without a lapse of memory—of the old King's visit, the
awakening, and the lovers' flight.
Then she remained silent, with her hands stretched towards me, as
though awaiting her reward. Amidst her disordered hair, two long
golden tresses were hanging, enframing her face. I remained in a state
of ecstasy in the presence of so mediaeval and so pure a figure,
expectant of my desire.
With infinite precautions—and putting a check on the growing
feverishness of my hands—I undressed her. Still motionless and with
half-closed eyes, my beloved Yseult was gradually transformed into a
Pagan goddess... Soon, from amidst the clothes scattered around her,
her snow-white body appeared,—like Botticelli's Venus from her
shell. Once she was stark naked, my arms were entwined around her
waist, and my hands were pressed upon her buttocks passionately,
while I placed a long, long kiss on the silky triangle which her nudity
offered to me. Finally, I overturned her on to the bed, where she
surrendered herself—panting the while—to my caresses.
For a hundred times, already, my lips traversed her body,—for a
hundred times my hands felt and caressed her, turning her over this
way and that. But I could not satisfy my passion for her beauty. Many,
many details, hardly perceived before, intoxicated me with their
73
perfection: the immaculate whiteness of her slender stomach, the
lissom plenitude of her haunches, the clear curve of her thighs, and the
elegant length of her legs. It was towards these sweet novelties that,
first of all, the whole ardour of my lips and tongue was directed. But
they also tarried in the neighbourhood of the fleshy roundness of her
rump, and amidst its warm shadows,—spots which up to then my
hands alone had explored. I amused myself by tickling with my tongue
the two adorable dimples which emphasized that rump. Comparable
to two indiscreet arrows which a roguish hand might have traced there
as sign-posts towards the most secret of voluptuous pleasures! Then I
turned her lovely body (which bent between my arms voluptuously)
over again, to enter on a voyage with my lips along her supple thighs
and smooth belly. Meanwhile. Therese's breasts, pointing their tiny,
rosy nipples, transmitted towards me a silent yet provocative appeal;
they gave me the impression that they reproached me for having
abandoned them. So I responded to their appeal. And the repetition of
a multitude of caresses, which I had taught them on the previous night,
was hardly sufficient to make them forget the impatience of too long a
wait.
Therese thrilled ardently; and at the same time with absolute sincerity,
incapable as she was of feigning an inexperienced sensation. Some
particular caress which I imagined was the quintessence of
voluptuousness remained without an echo; whereas another, inspired
by an almost unconscious reflex, made her quiver like an asp. At times
her whole supple body writhed on the bed, as though maddened with
the impossible desire to offer herself, wholly and simultaneously, to the
pressure of my hands and lips. Meanwhile, if my fingers or tongue,
descending the whole length of her belly, sought to surprise and
penetrate the most shady and private nook of her sex, she refused to
submit, by suddenly pressing her thighs together. Doubtless she feared
that a spasm of desire, similar to that of the preceding night, would
drag from her an irresistible appeal to my body, to that body which,
however, she wished to know before the supreme gift of her flesh.
74
Divining her thought, I resisted the temptation to force open her legs
and crush her sex under the pressure of my lips. I resumed my
incursions towards other regions of her body. But soon I returned to the
attack, thirsting still more to refresh my lips with the forbidden,
voluptuous moistness; once more my mouth was placed on the golden
fleece which attracted it; and once more Therese's legs came together,
preventing my going any further. Gradually, however, I felt her
resistance grow weaker; and then, rapidly, with a great thrill, Therese
confessed that she was defeated. Her legs slowly opened, still
hesitative, yet docile to the pressure of my caresses; then they
suddenly spread wide apart, presenting the ruddy nudity of the flesh
to my eager lips.
Indifferent to Therese's modesty, which too long a resistance had,
moreover, weakened, I let her body slip to the very edge of the bed, in
more immediate proximity to my mouth. Then, amidst my vertiginous
and tender folly, I began to mould that still virginal flesh. The
prolonged suctions with my lips alternated with multitudinous teasing
touches from my tongue. Or else, I covered it entirely with my mouth,
which, starting from the dimples on her rump and delicately touching
the whole of her sex, finally blossomed on her stomach.
At last I was forced to stop, so tired had my loins become through the
irritating tension of my Phallus; while Therese stretched herself, as
though she were dragging herself from a dream. But, all of a sudden,
her consciousness returned. With a quick movement she covered her
sex with one of her hands and with the other gently pushed me away,
saying that "we were really too crazy." She sat on the edge of the bed,
with her hand pressed, shiveringly, between her closed legs; and,
gathering up a piece of clothing from the heap on the carpet, she
sought to veil her nudity with it. But she succeeded very badly. Still
dazed through her state of prolonged voluptuousness, she was
touchingly, comically awkward; so that, indocile to her efforts,
sometimes it was a breast that re-appeared, sometimes the blonde tuft
adorning her sex. Meanwhile, I felt sorry for her and the re-awakening
75
of her sense of shame. Raising her in my arms, I stretched her on the bed
and covered her up.
A travelling time-piece on a bed-side table gave forth its rapid tictac.
It was already one o'clock in the morning—time indeed to
interrupt our gambols.
My wish was at least to obtain a momentary respite for both of us. But,
involuntarily, I went off into a dose in my bath. From the adjoining
room came my wife's voice, calling out to me:
"You have forgotten me, naughty man!"
Hastily slipping on a dressing-gown, I returned to her.
She had switched off all the lights. From the sofa, near the open
window, a childish voice directed me thither: "Cuckoo! darling. This
way!" There was less luminosity than on the previous night,—nothing
of that phosphorescence with which that feminine body, straining
towards the awakening of her flesh, was surrounded. For the stars,
under the tread of many clouds, had been crushed one by one.
Nevertheless, their luminous soul still exhaled in the form of diffused
light, so that the whiteness of her neck, through the opening in the
dark dressing-gown she was wearing, stood out. I placed my hand
there: a movement rather of tenderness than of lust, since my Phallus
was dormant. But Therese stopped me immediately.
"No, my darling! No more to-night. Do you realize the state into which
you have thrown me? Moreover..." Leaving her sentence unfinished,
she merely added: "Snuggle up to me,— quite close to me, dearie."
Seated on my right, she placed her head on my shoulder with a
movement already familiar to her, and one I loved. Her hand, lightly
touching my chest, sought for the opening in the garment, and she
trembled slightly on coming into contact with my skin. Then she
remained absolutely motionless. Around us was no other movement
76
than the distant scud of the clouds. Therese would soon fall asleep.
Sorrow for her lassitude came over me, and I decided that, after a little
while, I would carry her, as though she had been a child, to her bed,—
carry her with infinite precautions, so as not to frighten her.
But the hand resting on me began to awaken and finger me. Then, with
a slow and very delicate progression, it descended along my body.
Mighty waves of voluptuousness were awakened by its contact and
rippled down to my loins, while my Phallus, in its turn, was aroused
from its slumbers and came to life in a series of rapid pulsations.
Despite myself, I held my breath; and one might almost say that, of our
two bodies, only her hand and my penis were alive, in the double
expectation with which they trembled. Under the light material of my
dressing-gown, her hand continued to advance. Now it slid along my
stomach, and appeared to be astonished when it came into contact
with a fleece similar to her own, only rougher. Divining the nearness of
my penis, Therese's fingers began to grope about, feverishly. But when
she suddenly touched it she momentarily hesitated—astonished by its
burning hardness. Uncertainly and somewhat timorously, she began to
finger it,—to ascend to the point where my desire was concentrated;
and then her hand closed and became immobile around its delicateskinned
prey. In a grave and far-away voice,—an infinitely tender
voice,—Therese murmured words of ardent love in my ear. Amidst a
strange relativist complex, Time and the fleeting clouds became
confounded: neither of us could have said whether they were quartersof-
an-hour or Eternity.
Meanwhile, Therese was touched by the marked pulsations of my
Phallus, and as though to calm them her hand, with instinctive, tender
movements, became caressing: still unskilfully, yet infinitely delicate.
Then she resumed her course, curious to know me better. Momentarily
she strayed amidst the curly swell which surrounded my sex and
advanced between my legs; but there —on coming, unexpectedly, in
contact with the proofs of my virility—she stopped immediately.
Therese questioned me in a low voice. She "caught on" at once as to the
delicate physiology of these organs,—and was astonished at their
77
fragility, which contrasted so strangely with the proud rigidity of the
penis. And then her fingers, ever so lightly, began to envelop my
testicles with a long caress, as though she wished to be pardoned for a
piece of awkwardness, due to her ignorance.
Again her hand began to wander about, less timid than before,—nay,
impatient to traverse in all directions the living kingdom she had just
conquered. Already she knew where to find, once more, such or such a
fleshly nook whose softness she had liked; already she recalled the
itineraries marked out by the more striking reactions of my
voluptuousness. But her backward and forward movements, at one and
the same time quicker and more delicate were too often impeded by
the garment which still covered me, so I threw it off and at last gave
myself up to the sensual delight of being entirely nude in the presence
of the woman I loved.
Accustomed to the semi-darkness, her eyes now divined every detail
of my body and followed the convulsive movements of my penis, which
was athirst for tenderness. Having ceased her caresses, she now looked
at me most eagerly and I could hear her murmur, repeatedly: "My
beautiful body! My beautiful, beloved body!" Then she rose, in her turn
cast aside her garment, and came to crouch at my feet,—amorously
hiding her nudity between my parted legs. Her gaze was centred on
my Phallus, quite close to her; she wreathed it with her smiles,
enveloped it with these tender words: "You fill me, still, with a little
fear, yet I shall adore you 1" At last her lips advanced towards me and,
in the expectation of a caress which I had not the strength to refuse, my
desire made me wince. But at the supreme moment her timid hand
thrust aside my penis and she buried her face in the bushy hollow of
my groin. She was still a timorous neophyte in the presence of the idol
which she did not dare to touch ever so lightly with her lips, but of
which, some day, she would be the ardent priestess.
A gust of wind, portending a storm, banged to the window and made
Therese shiver.
78
"Get up, darling," I said. "You'll catch cold. Besides, it will soon be
dawn, and you must really rest."
A pale light was appearing on the horizon: dawn which, since the War,
I have never been able to behold without sadness, at the recollection of
the anxiety we experienced on the occasion of day-break attacks.
Suddenly filled with something approaching shame at our nudity, we
hurried towards the bed and, shiveringly, pressed one against the
other.
Therese curled herself up with her back to me. With breast, belly and
thighs I enveloped her closely,—moulded my body to hers. My still
unappeased sex found a refuge—a warm and dangerous refuge—
between her legs. Again Therese became aware of its throbbing,
whereupon her hand placed it in the most secret hollow of her flesh
with a movement which, at first, she wished to be expressive of pity and
appeasement. But she was surprised by such softness in that contact
between my flesh and hers. So she increased her pressure,—repeated
and increased it, without knowing that she exasperated my lust to the
verge of paroxysm...
I closed her hand again upon me—that hand which she now refused to
open,—the jealous guardian of the warm and abundant offering
which my love poured forth before her.
79
CHAPTER XII
Still torpid through my heavy slumbers, I had great difficulty in
waking up. Yet it must have been already late, judging by the
indiscreet insistence of the light on my eye-brows. With closed eyes, I
let myself be lulled by the monotonous sound of a shower, pattering on
the foliage of the chestnut-trees. My thoughts were still scattered,—
ravelled out,—similar to the light clouds stretched out, far far above in
the morning sky; and my vision of Therese was still reduced to the
vague recollection of a happy event, with which Fate had recently
gratified me.
Then followed a sensation of chilliness. The coverlet must have slipped
off the bed. Mechanically I sought to draw it over me, but a hand
stopped me and woke me up completely. Enveloped in her dressinggown,
Therese was stretched flat on her stomach across the bed, with
her face on a level with my haunches, and her eyes fixed on my body.
Doubtless she had intentionally denuded me, for the sheet was only
partially raised and uncovered me with a most precise indecency.
Therese appeared to disapprove of my awakening; she looked upon it
as premature, and when I became obstinate she said:
"Come now, darling. Pretend to be still asleep, just to please me."
I wanted to be obedient to her; I wanted to defer the awakening of my
desire, without fear of confessing to a loving woman the frail humility
of my dormant Phallus. But the immaterial touch of her look already
disturbed me,—that look which travelled over my flesh and lovingly
took in all its details. Intractable to my will, my sex began to elongate
under the tenderly amused eyes centred upon it,—and its throbbing,
at first hesitative, soon quickened. Then, suddenly,— and at the same
moment Therese was provoked to laughter,—it stood erect. Somewhat
timorously she started back, letting her head fall on my bosom. I could
see nothing more than her half-undone hair; but I could divine that her
eyes were still fixed on my penis. And soon she returned to it. Her
cheek, gliding along my body, already grazed my stomach with a
prolonged caress. And suddenly, through the indescribably sweet
80
contact of that warm caress enveloping the extreme nudity of my flesh,
I was thrilled.
It was an intense yet only too brief sensation of voluptuousness, an
involuntary movement having detached me from it. Yet I did not dare
to provoke its renewal. So, seeking a diversion, I raised Therese's
dressing-gown, uncovering the slender curve of her legs and the
adorable profile of her buttocks. There was not the suspicion of a
refusal on her part; nor did she react when my hand strayed between
her legs and reached her most secret spot. But, as though in response to
my provocation, the already experienced warm caress once more
enveloped my own flesh.
Meanwhile, under the hypertension of my sex, I became aware of the
imperious appeal of an approaching spasm. Suddenly becoming more
lucid, I sensed the danger of an unpardonable profanation: one that
nothing could have excused. So, with a sudden movement, I detached
myself from my wife's excessively voluptuous tenderness, to throw
myself upon her, with my face buried in the shady crossroads where
her garden bloomed.
* * *
Did she realize the cause of my anguish? What matter! In a few days
all thoughts passing between us would be clarified. However, I did not
wish to let her fear that she herself had caused me pain. And in order
to calm her possible disquietude I amused myself, with the tip of my
tongue, in exploring all the nooks and corners of her flesh. This game,
against which she defended herself by pressing her legs together,
distracted us from the paroxysm of our desire; and soon Therese began
to laugh, tickled by my incursions and amused by the resistance she
succeeded in opposing to them. I feigned fatigue; whereupon her
muscles relaxed; and before she had time to collect her wits, I
separated with both hands the double rotundity of her buttocks and
clove them with a mighty and indiscreet lick... Quickly turning
away—and all the same somewhat annoyed—she drove me off; but
81
she soon returned, laughingly, and raised a threatening finger, with
the words:
"You are the limit! First of all, hide yourself under the sheets. You are
far too improper."
"Whose fault is that? I was sleeping very soberly this morning..."
For a few moments we quarrelled: each seeking to absolve herself or
himself from all responsibility. Therese called me "Bluebeard" and a
"woman-eater"; while I stigmatised her gluttony,—that of an ogress,
who lies in wait for children at their awakening. To put an end to the
dispute, we took refuge in our respective bathrooms.
The rain-storm that morning barely cooled the atmosphere, so by tacit
consent we remained in the very simple attire of our dressing-gowns.
Having sent the gardener for provisions, we found our food in the
pantry turning-box and had a gay little luncheon. Afterwards, we
spent the greater part of the afternoon on a sofa in the drawing-room,
Therese reading verses to me, hap-hazard, from an anthology. I listened
to her; but, deaf to her protests, I had partly opened her dressing-gown,
so as to lay my cheek against the delicate whiteness of her stomach.
She again protested, but without further convincing me when, at
dinner-time, I took her on my knees; for, opening my garment and
raising hers, I wanted her buttocks to rest in direct contact with my
thighs. However, I respected the condition of apparent indecency
which, as a last resource, she insisted on laying down,—chastely I drew
down her dressing-gown over our dual nudity. And during the whole
of the dinner we pretended to ignore the persistent swelling of my sex
under the delicious weight of her loins.
Before the door of what was "her" room I no longer proposed, as on the
previous day, to separate. However, Therese expressed a wish that we
should be "very good". The day's programme appeared, indeed,
honourable, our morning's frolics having been prolonged beyond noon,
82
and the remainder of the day having been only relatively chaste. But
as soon as the light was switched off, our bodies—still thirsting for
tenderness—sought for each other. Night becoming our accomplice,
our bodies were enlaced in the maddest manner; innumerable caresses
were alternated with hands, mouths, and flesh.
The total obscurity—humouring her modesty— let loose in Therese's
imagination a perfect tornado of erotism. There and then I foresaw in
her an inventive mistress who, after many years of married life, would
continue to renew and diversify our pleasure. I gave myself wholly up
to her fancies,—fancies sometimes naive, rarely clumsy, more often
most precise in their sensual intuition. But I avoided all contact (of
however slight a duration) between my flesh and hers. The very
persistence which Therese displayed in provoking such contacts and
binding me to them put me on my guard against their inevitable
evolution. Fatally and of common accord, they would have ended in
total possession". Now, this appeared to me to be still premature.
Why I should have had a difficulty in explaining. Was it a desire to
prolong the disturbing charm of that virginity of hers? A yearning
after those hours of initiation, the end of which would be marred by the
act of possession? Hesitation to cause suffering to an already overbeloved
flesh? Perhaps... Certainly and above all a fear that, through a
brutal action, I might spoil a memorable date in our fleshly history. For
that was indeed the very first day on which our bodies, having
completed their reciprocal discoveries, were at last able to surrender
themselves, without restraint, to a complete orgy of caresses... My most
ardent wish was that the recollection of that day should remain
impregnated with voluptuous tenderness, in a most unique manner,
and without that discordant note which an act of violence, even
accepted, would have produced.
Whether my reasons were sound or unsound, Therese accepted them.
Moreover, we knew instinctively that that night marked the extreme
possibility of our expectations; on the morrow our dual desire would
result in the union of our bodies, willy nilly. Filled with more
83
confidence by the very certainty of that abdication, now so near, we
dared to commit a piece of supreme imprudence. In the middle of the
night, Therese, with legs apart, offered me her full-blown nudity; and
with the moist extremity of my sex— though I stiffened my will
against the temptation to penetrate her violently—I touched her sex
ever so lightly. At first very slowly, my caress soon became more
persistent, more rapid; then entered on the path of that supreme
voluptuousness with which my whole body was vibrating. A cry came
from Therese's lips,—"Have me!" but on her palpitating stomach I had
already offered a sacrifice to my lust. Therese brought her hand down,
eager to retain that ephemeral pledge of our love; and soon, with our
legs still entwined, we both fell sound asleep.
84
CHAPTER XIII
Having made most accurate prognostications regarding the brightness
of that Sunday morning, our programme had been drawn up on the
previous evening. We were to walk to church and rise at an early hour.
Better to be ahead of the hour when the sun was pouring down upon
the road and making it unbearable. However, projects of the day
before have a strange habit of being changed on awakening the next
morning. Therese moaned that she was sleepy; she threw her arms
around my neck and sought to keep me in bed. And when I tried to
disengage myself, she slid her hand with great rapidity towards the
middle of my body and treacherously seized hold of me. Laughing at
her roguishness, she exclaimed: "Tenio lupum auribus!"
"You're a deep one! Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"
"But it's in the Latin Grammar, darling."
"I'm not talking to you about the Latin Grammar."
Meanwhile she showed great concern over the fragile flabbiness of my
sex, which was still somnolent in her hand. Stopping her laughter, she
pressed me to her tenderly and murmured caressing words in my ear.
Then, once more, the azure of her eyes lit up with an amused look; for,
beneath her imprisoning fingers, she began to feel my sex awaken from
its torpor. Having relinquished the idea of getting out of bed, I already
accepted defeat and anticipated the voluptuous reward for my
cowardice. But Therese, doubtless, only wanted to make sure of my
power over her. Satisfied with the experiment, she threw back the
sheet and, at a glance, noted her triumph; then, after bestowing a rapid
kiss on the Phallus, standing at attention in her hand, she escaped in
the direction of the bath-room and doubly locked herself in.
After the monotony of the extensive walls skirting our deserted
avenue, the road towards the church suddenly opened out into the
country. It meandered between two thick-set hedges,—a true roadway
of former times, when roads were not yet saddened beneath a
85
black livery of tar. In the distance—as though from a past century— a
light cart jolted towards us,—a veritable cart of former days with a
piebald horse, its hood swaying backwards and forwards, and little
spurts of dust rising under each wheel.
Therese had armed herself with a Japanese parasol (probably all that
remained of some gallant fete) which had been left hanging about in
the vestibule; and when she twirled this multicoloured omhrelle on her
shoulder a kaleidoscopic effect aureoled the tranquil happiness of her
face. It was certainly, on that day, going to be particularly hot; the
shadows were already gathering together and taking refuge, as
though in fear, at the base of the trees. But Therese's wish was to
pardon the sun, because of the gaiety of the birds, the provocative red
of the poppies, the snowy-whiteness of the washing hanging in the
orchards. And when, in advance, I made my excuses to her for a return
journey which was bound to be irksome, she began to declaim a hymn
to Light:
"Salut! car avant toi les choses n'etaient pas.
Salut! douce; salut! Puissante
Lumiere, c'est par toi que les femmes sont belles." (1).
(i) "Hail! for before Thy birth all things were void.
Most sweet and powerful Light—
Hail land once more Hail.
'Tis through Thee, O Light, that women are beautiful."
On coming to the end of these lines, she asked: "Who wrote that? Now,
guess." Uncertain, I named a number of authors, haphazard. She smiled
at the name of Victor Hugo, burst into laughter when I mentioned
Arthur Rimbaud, and clapped her hands joyfully when I attributed
the poem to "some illustrious unknown writer." Then, triumphantly, she
named the "unknown one":
"Anatole France, my dear sir."
86
Whereupon, without transition, she stopped in the middle of the road
and kissed me on the lips. Looking at me in a humble manner, she said:
"Don't think that I'm filled with stupid vanity for having learnt a few
verses by heart. I am well aware that a vast scientific and professional
world exists,—one in which you, my darling, evolve at your ease. And
when I think of that I feel shamefully ignorant."
* * *
During the whole of the service, Therese, with her face in her hands,
remained kneeling at her prie-dieu and appeared to ignore me
completely. I felt rather annoyed at this. I envied the turbulent crowd
of youngsters of the catechism class who were playing sly little tricks
on each other; I envied their stifled laughter when they beheld a
choir-boy, in too short a surplice, revealing his chubby, rubicund
calves. And when we got outside I remained for a short time in the
sulks.
"You are saying nothing, darling."
"I don't dare to speak a word. I'm still intimidated by your recent
meditation."
"Meditation?" She shook her head. "Rather my attempt to meditate. I
was more distracted than Margaret after her fall; and doubtless some
Mephistopheles near to me was inspiring impure thoughts in my
brain."
"Who was it? The stout gentleman who was sitting on your right?"
"Oh! I say! I didn't even notice him. No, you, in all probability, were the
Tempter."
"If I may say so, I was sitting most quietly in my corner—yawning, and
had no other distraction than to caress your legs with my eyes."
87
"But that was very naughty of you, sir. I don't want you to have the air
of being a libertine, or one who makes a show of his incredulity. What
must the poor devout folks have thought of you?"
She concluded in a more serious tone:
"You must not shock them!"
"Are you yourself such a firm believer?"
"A believer? No: at any rate not sufficiently one. On the other hand, I
am incapable of turning other peoples' beliefs to derision. If there's one
piece of vulgarity which exasperates me, it's that which ridicules
mystic preoccupations,—the stupid sufficiency of Monsieur Homais."
"Is that meant as a reproach?"
"Oh! not at all, darling. I know quite well that, as regards so-called
religion, you think as I do. Had I been a more firm believer—even a
little more devout—you would have been respectful of my faith."
Pressing herself against me, she added in a lower voice:
"Just as you have been respectful—so tenderly respectful of my fears,
of my first feelings of shame as a young wife."
She repeated to me what her letters had already revealed regarding
the evolution of her soul: her religious aspirations, the anguish aroused
by her early doubts, the revival of faith in consequence of a "retreat",
and then, once more, a spiritual downfall. I admired her mental
seriousness, her intellectual probity, and the precision of her own
psychological diagnosis.
"I have not confessed to you... But I am afraid you will make fun of me."
"No, no. Tell me, dearie."
88
"For a time I went into training with Loyola's Spiritual Exercises."
"Seriously?"
"Indeed so. And with every bit as great a conviction as is shown to-day
when training for a final in a foot-ball contest... However, I didn't
succeed. But sometimes I was transported by mighty mystic
aspirations, yet without succeeding in coming to any clear conception
of my ideal. Perhaps it was towards you that, unconsciously, I aspired."
* * *
As soon as we got back, we separated for a short time, in order to put on
what we called our "garden costumes",—in her case, ample beach
pyjamas, a light jersey, and a very short bolero; in mine, a flannel suit,
worn next the skin. But I made out that her jersey was superfluous.
"Take it off, Therese. It's getting scorching hot outside."
"But you see quite well that that's an impossibility. This is a
ridiculously short bolero and it would be terribly open on my bosom. I
should be a most indecent object."
"Nobody will see us under the arbour."
"What about the gardeners?"
"I have granted them, most royally, the day off. They are at Evreux, or
somewhere in the neighbourhood. In this six to seven acre park we are
as much alone as Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden."
She accused me of criminal premeditation; and then, without further
protest, allowed me to bare her bosom. She was so calm, amidst the
Olympian indifference of her semi-nudity, that I did not dare—
despite the temptation—to kiss her breasts. So that, when I replaced
her bolero and fastened it as well as possible around her breasts, she
began to reproach me.
89
"Naughty man!"
"What's the matter?"
"You don't love me any more. You didn't even give them a kiss."
Only too happy to make amends, I bent towards her. But she crossed
her arms over her bubbies and with well-feigned indignation
exclaimed:
"No, sir. They are very annoyed with you. They will let everybody kiss
them, save you."
* * *
As on preceding days, we took refuge under the cool shade of a clump
of lindens, which were almost completely encircled by a thick hedge
of privet, leaving, in that sunlit garden, only a narrow and discreet
glimpse of the distance. The wooden seat was already familiar to us,—
a common wood bench, made of green strips, such as one can see in
every garden. But its curved back (doubtless designed by some
sensually-minded constructor) fitted to the body most softly. Seated on
my right, Therese removed her large straw hat, with an excellent
imitation of Cyrano's manner: "Gracefully I fling aside my felt...", at the
same time, in a comical voice, imitating the nasal drawl of certain old
actors. Then she stopped for a few moments, fell into a dreamy state,
and, with a sigh, let her head droop on to my shoulder.
"Are you sad, Therese?"
"No, most happy. Only a little tired."
Under her wide-open bolero I could perceive the curve of a breast, its
pure line emphasized by a ruddy spot. My wish was to be able to
admire it peaceably, but already my loins became affected: that
indocile parasite, my penis, awakened and began to lengthen itself
out. Encircling Therese's shoulders with one arm and advancing my
90
free hand towards the beautiful, semi-bare breast, I bestowed upon it
the softest of caresses. Therese laid her hand on mine to immobilize it.
"Darling,—leave your hand where it is, but don't move it. You know
quite well that if you caress me, I shall at once become frightfully
excited. I want to rest a little. It is so delightfully shady here after the
sunny road."
I obeyed her, enclosing the throbbing globe with my hand; and it was a
novel, delicious pleasure to note that this somewhat tiny portion of her
bosom coincided exactly with the measurements of my fingers. My
conversion to the thesis of final causes was then an easy matter. The
rosy nipple—unhardened by voluptuousness—slumbered, as it were,
under my palm.
Therese had placed a hand on my knee. I drew it very gently towards
me. Immediately responding to this impulse, her hand travelled along
my thigh, came into contact with my stiffened member, under the thin
flannel of my trousers. And then her fingers clutched it. But this
contact was too indistinct a one to give either of us satisfaction, so her
hand again moved, searching for the opening in my garment.
"Help me a little, darling," she whispered. "I'm still much of a novice."
Feverishly unbuttoning, until my "fly" was wide-open, I could not help
feeling somewhat ashamed when my dark fleece was suddenly
disclosed and Therese's eyes were fixed upon me. But she smiled and
snuggled up tenderly in the hollow of my shoulder. Her hand was soon
busy amusing itself with the untangling of the little curls, or losing
itself in the hairy labyrinth; but soon she seized hold of the burning rod
and fingered it,—though still with a little uncertainty, And on coming
to the extreme point where my desire was centred, she stopped there
for a short time before starting again. This time her hand slipped
between my legs to caress, ever so lightly, those organs with whose
timorous fragility her fingers were already acquainted. With her
fingers she made a little nest for them and became wholly motionless.
91
The dense foliage of the linden-trees completely isolated our love. But
the shrill cries from the swallows, wheeling in the sky, and the
confused concert of the church-bells, reminded us of the infinite
stretch of blue sky on that Sunday in July. With closed eyes, Therese
appeared to have dozed off to sleep on my shoulder. Nevertheless, her
fingers—still holding me prisoner— were animated by a strange
tremor; it was a barely perceptible caress, yet my hypersensitive flesh
responded at once. My hand, still encircling her breast, then
momentarily contracted. Therese strained towards me and, amidst a
sigh, said:
"I love you,—I love you, darling. How intensely I love you. Oh! that I
could explain... So many things."
"Is it so difficult to put them into words?"
"Yes,—alas! And yet I feel that the immensity of the love which
disturbs me is so full of life. My heart overflows with it,—rises, one
might think, straight to my lips and escapes in the form of ardent
words. But lips, you know, possess only one language when they are
amorous,—that of kisses. And when you ask them to express
themselves verbally, they are incapable of accurate translation."
After a short silence, she continued: "Moreover, I should fear to give
you an analysis of myself in your presence. You would find me so
terribly complicated."
"Do you still mistrust me? That's hardly nice. Do you think that I should
love you more if, instead of being complicated, as you say you are, you
gave way to your instinct, without reflecting? On the contrary, I love
the adorable diversity of your being, infinitely. My love for you,
darling,—my love, so intensely fleshly, has its birth in that very
diversity; it is compound of admiration for the clarity of your
intelligence, the limpidity of your soul, almost as much as of the desire
for your body. And our caresses the most... the most tenderly bold
92
appear to be legitimate because, despite everything, I love in you
something more than your body."
Somewhat reticent (apparently so at any rate) but above all coquettish
and playful, Therese pouted. She protested:
"Nevertheless, you must not disdain my body; even when it surrenders
itself too madly. You must not be ashamed of loving it."
"Ah! yes, indeed it looks as though I did so. But, seriously, dearie, the
veneration I feel for your intellectual and moral soul must not disturb
you. It does not make my desire more timorous. On the contrary, it
provokes it, makes it more exacting, more audacious. It allows it
greater freedom, because there is thus an excuse for its very folly. And
it will make my desire still more durable."
Therese did not reply. But her hand, nestling between my legs,
enveloped me at one and the same time with a persistent and fluidlike
sensation. There was a fluidity in her touch which aroused a keen
sense of voluptuousness and positively electrified me. Suddenly
indifferent to our discussion, Therese took no further interest save in
the prolonged echoes of that caress throughout my sensual frame. She
kept on the alert for those vibrations,—nay, provoked them time after
time; and finally let them die down altogether. Then she smiled,—with
a rather troubled expression, and appeared to make an effort to
recover the thread of her ideas.
"What were we talking about?"
"Of ourselves, dearie. And of your love, which you regarded as so
complicated."
"Ah! yes. What appeared to me to be complicated, you know,—what I
wanted to be able to explain to you, was,—-how can I express it?—
the multiplicity of my love. Doubtless it has grown too quickly; it
contains a little of everything. But in what a state of disorder! A
93
veritable bric-a-brac shop. Remnants of religious mysticism, mingled
with a paganistic adoration of yourself; a profound admiration for your
intelligence, at the same time as a crazy tenderness for certain details
of your body; an almost material need to coddle you and then, all of a
sudden, an ardent desire for your caresses. All that I perceive quite
clearly, especially when I am against you, fascinated by the depth of
your looks and yet disturbed by your sex, which vibrates so intensely in
my hand. But I express myself so badly and fear that you will not
understand to what extent I love you."
"Yet you are not downcast, are you?"
"Downcast? What for, indeed?"
"Owing to the long wait I have imposed on you. Later, perhaps, you
will be doubtful of my desire—of my love for you?"
"Oh! darling. But I have seen, I have touched your sex and felt it falter
through the excess of our caresses. And don't you understand that I
love you all the more for having known the whole of you before my
own surrender? Don't you realize my gratitude—and also my pride—
for not having had to surrender myself blindly?"
Nevertheless her words troubled me. It was with a feeling of
apprehension that I asked her:
"Do you think that it would be better to wait still longer?"
"Oh! no, no. Really I couldn't. You know quite well that I am now
longing to belong to you,—body and soul. But it is thanks to you that I
have passed a few days amidst a miraculous dream, which will ever
illuminate our love; a dream that would have been impossible, I know
full well, with any other person than you."
Her hand, which held me prisoner with tender precautions,
recommenced its wanderings on my body. Over the hard stiffness of
94
my sex she became compassionate, and the moist confession of my
desire moved her.
"I understand what it must have cost you," said Therese. "I understand
to how severe a trial I have put your tenderness—your infinite
delicacy. What I admire in you, above all, is precisely the contrast
between your terribly imperious desire and your indulgence towards
my fears—those of a little girl. At one and the same time I love you for
the violence you displayed the first day, to my very great fear, and for
your patience since then."
Within the corolla of her closed fingers, she amorously pressed the
ardent extremity of my penis, and concluded as follows:
"I adore Thee,—I adore Thee because Thou art... as He is, most powerful
and yet most tender."
Her voice grew fainter and seemed to hesitate, as though weary of
everything that words could not express. But her fingers became more
caressing, more inquisitive of the details of my flesh, more skilful in
provoking my sensual vibrations. And under my own hand I felt that
Therese's breast was swelling—was protruding its nipple towards me.
With a painful and dull hammering on my temples, I rose.
"My beloved wife," said I, "come with me.
95
CHAPTER XIV
A few yards away from our arbour there stood a little wooden house,
used as a shed for the garden-furniture, or as a shelter for promenaders
in case of an unexpected shower. Thither I led Therese and closed the
door.
Inside, the atmosphere was that of a greenhouse and it vibrated with a
strange luminosity: reflections of the sun which the surrounding field
stained green and projected through the openings in the closed
shutters on to the ceiling. The furniture looked so poverty-stricken that
I was disappointed: a half-open croquet box with its rows of painted
balls; in a corner, some folded sun-shades in the centre, a pile of iron
tables and chairs. However, against the back wall was a large grey
cloth which appeared to hide other pieces of furniture. With a certain
distrust, we raised one corner of this covering, and then—joyfully
surprised—threw it wholly on one side. A profusion of multicoloured
cushions appeared, spread out on the floor, and from their disorderly
billowy midst there emerged a sofa, luxuriously upholstered in red
velvet. I pushed Therese on to it, impatient to undress her; and as I did
so I anticipated the pearly whiteness of her nudity, when contrasted
with the crimson material. However, she resisted, exclaiming: "No, it's
my turn. Let me do what I want." Seated on the edge of the sofa, she
held me in front of her, imprisoning my legs between hers. My clothes,
since our recent caresses, had remained unbuttoned and displayed the
attachment of my penis. Therese deposited a kiss on the bushy fleece
and greedily inhaled the perspiration from my skin. Then she began to
undress me. She first of all removed my jacket, busied herself for a few
moments over the buckle of my waist-belt, and finally succeeded in
undoing it. Then her two hands glided down my haunches and caused
my final garment to fall to the ground. I stood stark-naked before her,
with my sex—still vibrating through having been suddenly
released—stretched out.
As though she had discovered my body for the first time, Therese
contemplated it with an astonished smile. With the lightest of touches
she stroked me all over,—rained upon me a multitude of rapid kisses.
96
Long did she hold me in that manner, without getting tired of looking
at me, feeling me, or licking me. Then, still pressing me to her, upright
and between her legs, she made me turn round so that I was in profile.
She began to follow the double contour of my body passionately,
caressing it with both hands,— one sliding along my back and passing
round my loins; the other, with a parallel movement, straying to my
stomach and my penis.
Gradually, however, her caresses became more precise and reflective;
they sought for the most sensitive spots of all; they returned there,
again and again. I besought Therese to interrupt a pleasure (the
danger of which I foresaw) so exquisite as that. But she only smiled at
an excessive pleasure in which her inventive tenderness took a pride;
and the confession of my weakness, far from appeasing it, made it still
more ardent. I felt the intoxicating wave of an irrepressible
voluptuousness rising within me; I knew that, soon, no sense of modesty
would be able to restrain it,—not even the shame of the final spasm
under the greedy curiosity of that look of hers. Meanwhile a brief fit of
dizziness came to the aid of my failing will-power. In that excessively
heavy atmosphere the walls seemed to totter around me, and I
collapsed on to the cushions scattered on the ground, thus escaping,
despite myself, from Therese's too madly amorous hands. A look of
disappointment darted from her eyes. But, noticing my pallor, she
threw her arms around my neck and hid my head against her stomach,
which the too narrow bolero had left bare.
My sensual hypertension, so near the point of orgasm, was slow in
becoming appeased. In vain did I seek—motionless and with closed
eyes—to escape from it. A recollection sufficed to awaken it; my sex
began to swell as a wave of voluptuousness passed through it. The
agonizing pulsation was, however, attenuated, then broke out afresh,
and was again lessened. At last it disappeared, but only to leave my
desire keener, more ravenous than ever, and reach once more that state
of dizziness whose satisfaction it awaited.
97
Squatting down, in a state of nudity, between Therese's legs, I wanted
to denude her also: the pyjamas she still wore had become physically
intolerable to me. With a movement of her loins, she assisted me in
uncovering her haunches and slipping off her garments. She let me
part her legs; she let me unravel the blond locks on her pubes; she let
me half-open the most secret spot of her body. Leaning backwards on
the sofa, with open thighs and arched body, she made an offering of
her panting sex, and greedily surrendered it to the multitudinous
caresses of my lips and tongue, which were positively intoxicated by
her moist and ever-increasing desire.
At last, in order to take breath, I drew myself up, and thus, kneeling
between her legs, our sexes came together again. Then, with my flesh I
touched ever so lightly that offering of hers,—as lightly and as slowly
as the burning tension of my lust permitted. It was a prolonged caress
which first of all availed itself of the hollows of my wife's loins, then
ascended all along the fleshly crimson valley, setting in vibration her
most subtle sensibility, and finally ending where her fleece was the
thickest. As I stimulated her pleasure, Therese's breasts trembled with
greater and greater rapidity. Straining towards me, her body rose and
fell rhythmically, in obedience to an instinctive desire to intensify and
increase the light rubbing together of our moist flesh. And then a cry
came from her:
"Oh! Take me,—have me now for good and all!"
However I hesitated. Dominating the tumult of my feelings, a scruple
still held me back: the fear of lacerating that flesh whose fragile
sweetness I knew so well, and compassion for the sensitiveness of that
virginal body which wished to surrender itself to the brutal
satisfaction of my lust. Astonished at my hesitation and perhaps
somewhat disappointed, Therese remained at first motionless,
subsiding on the sofa. But soon she half-raised herself, encircled me
with her arms, and clutched my thighs. And at the very moment when
my penis began once more to caress and re-ascend the folds of her
98
flesh, she pulled me towards her with such a passionate movement that
I was suddenly buried in her.
On her features I read the extraordinarily rapid succession of her
emotions: first of all a wince of pain on her face; then a tearful and
troubled look in her eyes; and finally a flash of joyous pride. For yet
another moment she smiled at me,—a rather dolorous yet infinitely
tender smile. Then, closing her eyes, she fell backwards without any
other protest than a cry of love:
"My husband! My beloved husband!"
99
CHAPTER XV
"That's all!" I murmured by way of conclusion. I was somewhat
embarrassed by my uncle's stubborn silence and feared that I had said
too much. Without uttering a word, and with closed eyes, he persisted
in drawing imaginary puffs of smoke from his pipe, although it had
gone out a long time ago. At last, looking at me so mildly that I was
astonished, he said:
"You don't regret having followed my advice?"
"No, certainly not."
"Well then, don't keep your recipe all to yourself, egoistically. Let
others profit as well as yourself."
"In what way?"
"Relate your experiences to them."
"Never! In your case it's granted. You inspired the experiment and
therefore I owed you an accurate account of it. But can you picture me
making bed-room disclosures at a public lecture?"
"Write your story under a pseudonym. But do so very objectively,
without any literary complications. Just a simple 'experimental
subject', to use the language of physiologists."
"To make them really convincing, my experiences would have to be
described in strict chronological order, and without any fear of going
into details as regards the multitudinous reactions of desire. But how
could one do it without raising a storm of indignation?"
"Let the Pharisees shout as loud as they like. What they want to read
about are adulterous women and inverts and enormities in general,
suggested in ambiguous words; for the rule of the game consists in
100
evoking scabrous situations by means of a vocabulary with a double
meaning."
"They would therefore accuse me of trickery if I evoked merely
healthy conjugal love, and called things by their proper names."
"On the other hand, other people would be grateful to you. They
would approve of you for having frankly and without mock modesty
approached that essential problem,—perhaps the most important of
all social problems: sexual harmony in marriage."
"Nevertheless they would object to the needlessness of too many
details. Our fathers were content with points of suspension... and the
rest was left to the imagination."
"Carnal imagination? Let's talk about that. You are well aware that
the 'average man'—whether he be a banker or an engineer—is totally
devoid of it. Others find a substitute either in maniacal vices or a string
of brutal obscenities; and as regards a household understanding that
serves hardly any better purpose. But can one, without hypocrisy,
reproach those primary pupils in the art of love with their
unskilfulness? Who has ever thought of awakening or correcting their
conjugal psychology?"
"Your primary pupils in erotism will always know enough to enable
them to caress a woman and bring her to the pitch of their desire."
"Not at all! The virtuoso in conjugal love is as rare as the true poet. All
the others with their big clumsy paws are lamentable,— capable,
perhaps, of the beginning of a caress, but soon short of breath for want
of inspiration. And it is for their sake (to prevent their wives going
elsewhere to slake their thirst for fleshly tenderness) that you ought to
publish your 'experimental subject'."
"Others have done it before me."
101
"They have only done it by half. They didn't dare to stoop to that
humble minuteness as regards details for which the contented egoism
of an unimaginative husband is in no way a substitute."
Without waiting for further objections on my part, my uncle
continued:
"Many times when, during the War, we were 'in the blues', young
officers confided their amorous exploits to me,—and often with
splendid vigour. But, in almost every case, what a lack of light and
shade there was!—what lamentable ignorance as regards the reflexes
of a virgin!— what brutality on the occasion of the initiation! And
when I reproached one of them for having celebrated the first night of
his marriage cavalierly, without waiting for a few days necessary for
his young wife's fleshly awakening, he looked at me nonplussed and
exclaimed: 'Well, that's a good joke! We were absolutely alone in my
bachelor's quarters, and I was bursting to have her. Wait a few days
before possessing my wife! What should we have done all that time?' "
"It is to that question that my narrative ought to be an answer."
THE END