This imposing creation treats of the career of a young woman who wanted to be better than her nature allowed her to be. She was concurrently endowed with extreme feminine softness and ardent amatory passions, which, taken advantage of by calculating and unrelenting male pursuers, led to her frequent downfalls. Lilly Czepanek struggled and strove against her fatal weakness, for she had yearnings toward a high though perhaps vague ideal. But under lasting temptation the very goodness and sweetness of this lovable girl would turn into flabby laxity and temptation seemed foreordained by those characteristics whose born victim she was. Although "The Song of Songs" might dismay through its stark, unclad candor, even to the degree of evoking denunciation thereby, it must none the less be ranked among the very prime achievements in fiction thus far in the twentieth century.
that she knew. Of the nameless misfortune bound to come she had not the least presentiment; and when it came she took it without complaint; she loved him so very much, she regarded it as the natural indemnity for the unnatural gift of having possessed him.
Yet he would come back in spite of all. Whether he wished to or not, he would come. She had in her possession a pledge which chained him to her for all time, and which, sooner or later, must force him to cross her threshold.
It was not Lilly. True, he loved his child, loved her with a tenderness strangely compounded of pleasure in a toy for idle hours, and of aesthetic delight in her inner and outer loveliness. But for a real father's love, she knew, there was no room in his gypsy heart. Even in hours when he would feel himself most alone and abandoned, the thought would never occur to him to seek solace and comfort with a child of his.
But the wife had something else in her keeping which gave her a far stronger hold upon him--a roll of
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