were soon convinced that he had made a most foolish marriage, and that henceforth his life must prove a failure. On the other hand, Madame Heurtebise appeared to us, after two years of married life, exactly the same as we had beheld her in the vestry on her wedding day. She wore the same calm and simpering smile, she had as much as ever the air of a shopwoman in her Sunday clothes, only she had gained self-possession. She talked now. In the midst of artistic discussions into which Heurtebise passionately threw himself, with arbitrary assertions, brutal contempt, or blind enthusiasm, the false and honeyed voice of his wife would suddenly make irruption, forcing him to listen to some idle reasoning or foolish observation invariably outside of the subject of discussion. Embarrassed and worried, he would cast us an imploring glance, and strive to resume the interrupted conversation. Then at last, wearied out by her familiar and constant contradiction, by the silliness of her birdlike brain, inflated and empty as
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