Full text: The little review (12 (1926), 1)

Truly, it is not so bad to live. The eyes of the women are full 
of shadow, but their hearts are soft and turn toward you. Calm 
night, neither thy grandeur nor thy silence affright us, so well 
dost thou know to soften them with graces and delights when 
there will be nothing but the velvet birds that promenade under 
the savant stars. Indulgent night, human night, thou hast laid 
thyself upon our souls with such softness that they bow gently 
and respond likewise with a gesture of welcome. It is this 
moment which I have chosen to approach myself, and like a 
neighbor with unbottoned vest, and dragging slippers, who from 
behind his hedge bids you good evening,—it is thus that I want 
to approach you and I know that you will not repulse me. 
Do not mind that I speak to you of my little ambitions and 
my petty chagrins. For the moment it will be a pleasant grotes- 
querie. You know quite well that I wish to speak about all of 
us tonight. I regarded you before coming, and each of us with 
his mannerisms, his dreams, his habitual tom-tom, seemed like 
some monster engulfed in his eternal solitude. But here we are 
come together again, and how much it seems to me that we have 
created in common a richness of which we certainly did not 
know ourselves the depositaries. 
God knows, however, how all of us (You and I, I say 
naively) are ridiculous, trivial and miserable. Regard this crea 
ture who is always disoriented, who wails over himself, who 
adores himself, who abuses himself, and who truly lives neither 
for heaven nor earth. He eats, he gesticulates, he makes love, 
he sleeps. The worst of it is that he thinks. And what does he 
think, the wretch. He thinks of himself incessantly, he thinks 
that he thinks; and his thought appears so capital to him that he 
desires to disseminate it about him as I am doing now. By good 
luck this farce comes to an end, and your nice gentleman is 
stretched out, his limbs nicely arranged, his mouth still bab 
bling with fear, in this bit of earth that dared to soil his shoes. 
Let him repose in peace! He had not been very happy. 
Let him rest in peace. There about the fresh earth that has 
just been disturbed, I remark a puff of wind, and the agitation 
of confused presences. What! Isn’t it all over! Are not six 
feet of earth enough to hide a human animal up to the time of 
his final destruction! I hesitate to recognize you, I recognize 
you, I rediscover you, with a desire to laugh and console myself, 
—thoughts of this man believed dead. Smiles and tears, dis 
quietudes, struggles, hopes, defeats, you who subsist, imponder 
able riches, you whom we receive as our patrimony, whom we 
shall keep, whom we shall develope with whatever power we 
have, whom we shall transmit in our turn, and who will live the 
precarious life of the living.

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