" Then he rose, ate his supper in silence, after putting aside the portion for the poor, and then returned to his books. That was all his life.
On Sunday, if the weather was fine, he took his breviary, and walked with slow steps along the high-road.
The children would stop their games and run forward to meet him in order to receive a caress from him, while the young girls whispered together and seemed to avoid him. The bolder ones met his gaze with a blush: perhaps they too would have liked, just as the little children, to receive a caress from the handsome Curé of Althausen. But he passed on without ever stopping, answering their timid salutations with an almost frigid gravity.
He acted wisely. He was full of distrust of himself, and kept himself in prudent reserve in face of the enemy. For he knew full well that the enemy was there, in these sweet woman's eyes and those smiles which wished him welcome.
Then the pagan intoxications of the Catholic rites were no more surroun
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