The companionship of Dame Misery is difficult indeed to bear when she is unattended by her frequent hand maidens Love and Hope. During the Great War unhappy France would well nigh have perished saving their presence, although it occurred only in brief intervals. Such an interval Romain Holland has depicted in Pierre and Luce, an idyll of longing love which dares to exult despite the knowledge of certain disaster. In humble circumstances Pierre, a poor student, and Luce, artist of inferior merit, are imbued by Rolland with that sweet gentility which springs from humility and instinctive purity.
n against the mental condition of the herd they fell back into a kind of egotism, intellectual and artistic egotism, an idealistic sensualism, where the tracked and hunted ego vindicated its rights against human fellowship. Laughable fellowship, which made itself manifest to these adolescents only in the shape of finished murder, one undergone in common! A precocious experience had shriveled their illusions: they had seen how much those same illusions were worth in their elders and how those who did not believe in them paid for them with their lives. Even as to those of their own age and as to man in general their confidence was shaken. And besides, at such a time it cost something to confide in people! Every day one learned of some denunciation of thoughts and intimate conversations by a patriotic spy whose zeal the government honored and stimulated. So it was that these young people, through discouragement, through disdain, through prudence, through a stoical sense of their solitude in thought, gave themsel
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