Venus - venus; Vénus, Vénus
furs - fourrures; poil, pelage
"But the Almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman."
Almighty - tout-puissant; ; toutuissant
Lord - châtelain, seigneur, monsieur
struck - frappé; biffer, rayer, barrer, frapper, battre, frapper
delivered - livrée; accoucher, livrer, livrer, remettre
-The Vulgate, Judith, xvi. 7.
Vulgate - Vulgate
Judith - judith; Judith, Judith, Judith
My company was charming.
charming - charmant; (charm); charmant
Opposite me by the massive Renaissance fireplace sat Venus; she was not a casual woman of the half-world, who under this pseudonym wages war against the enemy sex, like Mademoiselle Cleopatra, but the real, true goddess of love.
massive - massive; ; massif
fireplace - âtre, foyer, cheminée
casual - fortuit, accidentel, de hasard, occasionnel, désinvolte, sport
pseudonym - nom de guerre, pseudonyme
wages - les salaires; s''engager dans
enemy - l'ennemi; ; ennemi, ennemie
sex - le sexe; sexe
Mademoiselle - mademoiselle
Cleopatra - cléopâtre; Cléopâtre
goddess - déesse
She sat in an armchair and had kindled a crackling fire, whose reflection ran in red flames over her pale face with its white eyes, and from time to time over her feet when she sought to warm them.
armchair - fauteuil, chaise bourrée
kindled - enflammé; allumer, enflammer
crackling - crépitement; ; couenne rissolee; (crackle); crépitement
reflection - réflexion, reflet, eaning 4
flames - flammes; flamme, polémique
pale - pâle; pâle, hâve
sought - recherchée; chercher
Her head was wonderful in spite of the dead stony eyes; it was all I could see of her. She had wrapped her marble-like body in a huge fur, and rolled herself up trembling like a cat.
spite - dépit; rancune
stony - pierreux; ; froid, sec
wrapped - enveloppé; enrouler (autour de)
marble - marbre, bille, grillot, marbrer
fur - fourrure; peau, fourrure
rolled - roulé; rouleau
"I don't understand it," I exclaimed, "It isn't really cold any longer. For two weeks past we have had perfect spring weather. You must be nervous."
I don't understand - Je ne comprends pas
exclaimed - s'est exclamé; exclamer
"Much obliged for your spring," she replied with a low stony voice, and immediately afterwards sneezed divinely, twice in succession. "I really can't stand it here much longer, and I am beginning to understand-"
obliged - obligée; imposer, obliger, rendre service
sneezed - éternué; éternuer, éternuement, atchoum
divinely - divinement
succession - succession
"What, dear lady?"
"I am beginning to believe the unbelievable and to understand the un-understandable. All of a sudden I understand the Germanic virtue of woman, and German philosophy, and I am no longer surprised that you of the North do not know how to love, haven't even an idea of what love is."
unbelievable - incroyable
understandable - compréhensible
sudden - soudain, soudaine, subit
Germanic - germanique
virtue - la vertu; ; vertu
Philosophy - philosophie
"But, madame," I replied flaring up, "I surely haven't given you any reason."
flaring up - s'enflammer
surely - surement; ; surement, assurément
"Oh, you-" The divinity sneezed for the third time, and shrugged her shoulders with inimitable grace. "that's why I have always been nice to you, and even come to see you now and then, although I catch a cold every time, in spite of all my furs. Do you remember the first time we met?"
divinity - la divinité; ; déité, divinité
shrugged - haussé les épaules; haussement d'épaules, hausser les épaules
inimitable - inimitable
grace - bénédicité, grâces, grâce, miséricorde
that's why - c'est pourquoi
"How could I forget it," I said. "You wore your abundant hair in brown curls, and you had brown eyes and a red mouth, but I recognized you immediately by the outline of your face and its marble-like pallor-you always wore a violet-blue velvet jacket edged with squirrel-skin."
abundant - abondante
curls - boucles; boucle, rotationnel, rotationnel, boucler
outline - les grandes lignes; ; contour, silhouette, esquisse, aperçu
pallor - pâleur
Violet - violet, violette
velvet - du velours; ; velours, duvet (on skin), velours (on antlers)
edged - bordé; bord, côté, arete, carre, bord, arete
squirrel - écureuil
"You were really in love with the costume, and awfully docile."
costume - costume, déguisement
awfully - terriblement
docile - docile
"You have taught me what love is. Your serene form of worship let me forget two thousand years."
serene - serein; serein, enjoué
worship - culte, adoration, vénération, vénérer, adorer
"And my faithfulness to you was without equal!"
faithfulness - fidélité
Equal - l'égalité; ; égal, égaler a, égal, égale
"Well, as far as faithfulness goes-"
ungrateful - ingrat
"I will not reproach you with anything. You are a divine woman, but nevertheless a woman, and like every woman cruel in love."
reproach - des reproches; ; reproche, opprobre, reprocher
divine - divine; divin
nevertheless - néanmoins, toutefois, pourtant, malgré tout
cruel - cruel; cruel
"What you call cruel," the goddess of love replied eagerly, "is simply the element of passion and of natural love, which is woman's nature and makes her give herself where she loves, and makes her love everything, that pleases her."
eagerly - avec empressement; ; avidement
Simply - tout simplement; ; simplement
element - élément, membre, point
passion - passion
"Can there be any greater cruelty for a lover than the unfaithfulness of the woman he loves?"
cruelty - la cruauté; ; cruauté
lover - amante, amant, maîtresse
unfaithfulness - l'infidélité; ; infidélité
"Indeed!" she replied. "We are faithful as long as we love, but you demand faithfulness of a woman without love, and the giving of herself without enjoyment. Who is cruel there-woman or man? You of the North in general take love too soberly and seriously. You talk of duties where there should be only a question of pleasure."
indeed - certainement, vraiment, en effet, bien sur, certes
faithful - fidele; ; fidele, loyal
demand - demande, exigence, exiger
enjoyment - jouissance, plaisir
soberly - prosaique
seriously - sérieusement, gravement, sérieux
duties - fonctions; devoir, obligation, service, travail, taxe
pleasure - plaisir, volupté, désir
"That is why our emotions are honorable and virtuous, and our relations permanent."
emotions - des émotions; émotion
honorable - honorable
virtuous - vertueux
relations - relations; relation, relation, parent, parente
permanent - permanent, permanente
"And yet a restless, always unsatisfied craving for the nudity of paganism," she interrupted, "but that love, which is the highest joy, which is divine simplicity itself, is not for you moderns, you children of reflection. It works only evil in you. As soon as you wish to be natural, you become common. To you nature seems something hostile; you have made devils out of the smiling gods of Greece, and out of me a demon. You can only exorcise and curse me, or slay yourselves in bacchantic madness before my altar. And if ever one of you has had the courage to kiss my red mouth, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome in penitential robes and expects flowers to grow from his withered staff, while under my feet roses, violets, and myrtles spring up every hour, but their fragrance does not agree with you.
restless - inquiet, agité, checkimpatient
unsatisfied - insatisfait
craving - envie; (crave); souhaiter, désirer, implorer
nudity - la nudité; ; nudité
paganism - le paganisme; ; paganisme
interrupted - interrompu; interrompre, couper
joy - joie; joie
simplicity - la simplicité; ; simplicité
hostile - hostile
devils - diables; Diable, Satan, diable, diable, diable, type, diable
Greece - la grece; Grece
demon - démon, diable
exorcise - exorciser
curse - malédiction; maudire, maudisent, maudisons, blasphémer
slay - tuer; tuer, dézinguer
bacchantic - bacchantique
madness - la folie; ; folie
altar - l'autel; ; autel
courage - bravoure, courage, cour, vaillance
kiss - baiser; baisent, biser, baisons, baisez, bécot, bise
barefoot - pieds nus
pilgrimage - pelerinage; ; pelerinage, peleriner
Rome - rome; Rome
penitential - pénitentiel
robes - robes; robe
withered - flétrie; (se) faner
staff - le personnel; personnelle
roses - des roses; Rose
violets - des violettes; violet, violette, violet
myrtles - myrtes; myrte
spring up - le printemps
fragrance - parfum, fragrance
Stay among your northern fogs and Christian incense; let us pagans remain under the debris, beneath the lava; do not disinter us. Pompeii was not built for you, nor our villas, our baths, our temples. You do not require gods. We are chilled in your world."
Northern - nord; ; septentrional, boréal, bise
fogs - les brouillards; brouillard
Christian - chrétien; chrétien, chrétienne, Christian, chrétien
incense - de l'encens; ; encens
pagans - paiens; paien, immoral, incivilisé, paien, paienne, paien
remain - reste, rester, demeurer
debris - débris
beneath - dessous
lava - lave
disinter - désintéresser; ; déterrer
Pompeii - Pompéi
villas - villas; villa
temples - temples; temple
require - exiger, demander, avoir besoin de, requérir, nécessiter
chilled - réfrigéré; froid
The beautiful marble woman coughed, and drew the dark sables still closer about her shoulders.
coughed - a toussé; tousser, tousser, toux, toux
sables - sables; zibeline, martre, sable, sable
"Much obliged for the classical lesson," I replied, "but you cannot deny, that man and woman are mortal enemies, in your serene sunlit world as well as in our foggy one. In love there is union into a single being for a short time only, capable of only one thought, one sensation, one will, in order to be then further disunited.
deny - refuser
mortal - mortel, mortel, mortelle
enemies - ennemis; ennemi, ennemie, ennemi
sunlit - ensoleillé
foggy - brumeux, embrumé, engourdi
Union - l'union; ; union, groupement, connexion, réunion
capable - capable
sensation - sensation
And you know this better than I; whichever of the two fails to subjugate will soon feel the feet of the other on his neck-"
whichever - quel qu'il soit; ; n'importe quel, n'importe lequel
subjugate - soumettre; ; assujettir
"And as a rule the man that of the woman," cried Madame Venus with proud mockery, "which you know better than I."
proud - fiers; ; fier, orgueilleux
"Of course, and that is why I don't have any illusions."
illusions - des illusions; illusion, illusion
"You mean you are now my slave without illusions, and for that reason you shall feel the weight of my foot without mercy."
slave - esclave, serf, serve, esclave
mercy - la pitié; ; miséricorde, pitié
"Don't you know me yet? Yes, I am cruel-since you take so much delight in that word-and am I not entitled to be so? Man is the one who desires, woman the one who is desired. This is woman's entire but decisive advantage. Through his passion nature has given man into woman's hands, and the woman who does not know how to make him her subject, her slave, her toy, and how to betray him with a smile in the end is not wise."
delight in - le plaisir
entitled - habilité; intituler
desires - désirs; désirer, désirer, désir, désir, désir
desired - souhaitée; désirer, désirer, désir, désir, désir
entire - entiere; ; entier, entiere
decisive - décisif
betray - trahir, livrer
wise - sage; sensé, genre, raisonnable
"Exactly your principles," I interrupted angrily.
principles - principes; principe, principe, principe, principe
"They are based on the experience of thousands of years," she replied ironically, while her white fingers played over the dark fur. "The more devoted a woman shows herself, the sooner the man sobers down and becomes domineering. The more cruelly she treats him and the more faithless she is, the worse she uses him, the more wantonly she plays with him, the less pity she shows him, by so much the more will she increase his desire, be loved, worshipped by him.
ironically - ironiquement
more devoted - plus dévoués
sobers - des boissons alcoolisées; sobre, sobre, sobre, sobre, cuver
cruelly - cruellement
treats - des friandises; négocier, traiter, traiter, régaler, traiter
more faithless - plus infidele
wantonly - a tort et a travers
pity - compassion, pitié, dommage, honte, plaindre, avoir pitié de
desire - désirer, désir
worshipped - vénéré; culte, adoration, vénération, culte, culte, vénérer
So it has always been, since the time of Helen and Delilah, down to Catherine the Second and Lola Montez."
Helen - helen; Hélene, Hélene
Delilah - delilah; Dalila
Catherine - catherine; Catherine
"I cannot deny," I said, "that nothing will attract a man more than the picture of a beautiful, passionate, cruel, and despotic woman who wantonly changes her favorites without scruple in accordance with her whim-"
deny - nier, démentir, refuser
attract - attirer
passionate - passionné
despotic - despotique
favorites - favoris; favori, préféré
scruple - scrupule
accordance - accord; ; accordance
whim - caprice; caprice
"And in addition wears furs," exclaimed the divinity.
Addition - addition, ajout
"What do you mean by that?"
"I know your predilection."
predilection - prédilection
"Do you know," I interrupted, "that, since we last saw each other, you have grown very coquettish."
coquettish - coquetterie
"In what way, may I ask?"
"In that there is no way of accentuating your white body to greater advantage than by these dark furs, and that-"
accentuating - accentuer; accentuer, accentuer, accentuer
The divinity laughed.
"You are dreaming," she cried, "wake up!" and she clasped my arm with her marble-white hand. "Do wake up," she repeated raucously with the low register of her voice. I opened my eyes with difficulty.
clasped - serré; fermoir, serrer
raucously - rauquement
register - s'inscrire; ; registre, inscription, niveau de langue
difficulty - difficulté
I saw the hand which shook me, and suddenly it was brown as bronze; the voice was the thick alcoholic voice of my cossack servant who stood before me at his full height of nearly six feet.
bronze - le bronze; ; bronze, airain, hâlé, bronzé, tanné (par le soleil)
alcoholic - alcoolique, alcoolisé
cossack - Cosaque f
servant - serviteur, domestique, servante, checkserviteur
"Do get up," continued the good fellow, "it is really disgraceful."
fellow - un camarade; ensemble, mâle
disgraceful - honteux
"What is disgraceful?"
"To fall asleep in your clothes and with a book besides." He snuffed the candles which had burned down, and picked up the volume which had fallen from my hand, "with a book by"-he looked at the title page- "by Hegel. Besides it is high time you were starting for Mr. Severin's who is expecting us for tea."
besides - d'ailleurs; aupres
snuffed - étouffé; tabac a priser
candles - bougies; bougie, chandelle
volume - volume, tome
"A curious dream," said Severin when I had finished. He supported his arms on his knees, resting his face in his delicate, finely veined hands, and fell to pondering.
Curious - vous etes curieux; curieux, intéressant, singulier
delicate - délicate; ; délicat, délicat (1, 2)
finely - finement
veined - veiné; veine
pondering - réfléchir; songer, réfléchir, interroger
I knew that he wouldn't move for a long time, hardly even breathe. This actually happened, but I didn't consider his behavior as in any way remarkable. I had been on terms of close friendship with him for nearly three years, and gotten used to his peculiarities. For it cannot be denied that he was peculiar, although he wasn't quite the dangerous madman that the neighborhood, or indeed the entire district of Kolomea, considered him to be. I found his personality not only interesting-and that is why many also regarded me a bit mad-but to a degree sympathetic. For a Galician nobleman and land-owner, and considering his age-he was hardly over thirty-he displayed surprising sobriety, a certain seriousness, even pedantry.
move for - pourquoi déménager
hardly - a peine; ; dur, durement, guere, a peine
breathe - respirer, inspirer, expirer, reprendre son souffle
behavior - comportement, conduite
remarkable - remarquable
friendship - l'amitié; ; amitié
gotten - obtenu
peculiarities - particularités; singularité, bizarrerie, étrangeté
denied - refusée; nier, démentir, refuser
wasn - n'était
madman - fou, insensé
neighborhood - voisinage, environs, quartier, checkvoisinage
district - district, district, checkrégion
regarded - considérée; considérer
sympathetic - sympathique
Galician - Galicien
nobleman - noble
displayed - affichée; représentation, spectacle, moniteur, écran
sobriety - la sobriété; ; sobriété
seriousness - sérieux; ; sériosité, gravité
pedantry - le pédantisme; ; pédantisme, pédanterie
He lived according to a minutely elaborated, half-philosophical, half-practical system, like clock-work; not this alone, but also by the thermometer, barometer, aerometer, hydrometer, Hippocrates, Hufeland, Plato, Kant, Knigge, and Lord Chesterfield. But at times he had violent attacks of sudden passion, and gave the impression of being about to run with his head right through a wall. At such times every one preferred to get out of his way.
minutely - minutieusement
elaborated - élaborée; approfondir
philosophical - philosophique
practical - pratique
thermometer - thermometre; ; thermometre
barometer - barometre; ; barometre
aerometer - l'aérometre; ; aérometre
hydrometer - hydrometre
Hippocrates - hippocrate; Hippocrate
Plato - platon; Platon
violent - violent, vif
impression - impression
While he remained silent, the fire sang in the chimney and the large venerable samovar sang; and the ancient chair in which I sat rocking to and fro smoking my cigar, and the cricket in the old walls sang too. I let my eyes glide over the curious apparatus, skeletons of animals, stuffed birds, globes, plaster-casts, with which his room was heaped full, until by chance my glance remained fixed on a picture which I had seen often enough before.
remained - est restée; reste, rester, demeurer, rester
silent - silencieux
chimney - cheminée
samovar - samovar
fro - fro
cigar - cigare
cricket - cricket; cricket
glide - glisser, planer
apparatus - l'appareil; ; appareil
skeletons - des squelettes; squelette
stuffed - empaillé; truc, truc, substance (1), frachin (2), fr
globes - globes; Terre, terre, globe
plaster - le plâtre; ; onguent, plâtre, enduit, enduire, plâtrer
casts - les plâtres; jeter, diriger, jeter, lancer, additionner, sommer
heaped - en tas; tas, pile, monceau, tas, tas, pile, tas
glance - regard; ; jeter un coup d’oil
But today, under the reflected red glow of the fire, it made an indescribable impression on me.
reflected - réfléchie; refléter, réfléchir, refléter, réfléchir, refléter
glow - l'éclat; ; briller, luire, irradier, lueur, éclat
indescribable - indescriptible
It was a large oil painting, done in the robust full-bodied manner of the Belgian school. Its subject was strange enough.
robust - robuste
Belgian - Belge
A beautiful woman with a radiant smile upon her face, with abundant hair tied into a classical knot, on which white powder lay like a soft hoarfrost, was resting on an ottoman, supported on her left arm. She was nude in her dark furs. Her right hand played with a lash, while her bare foot rested carelessly on a man, lying before her like a slave, like a dog.
upon - sur, a
knot - noud; nodale, noeud
powder - poudre, réduire en poudre, pulvériser, poudrer, pulvériser
lay - laique; pondre, pose
hoarfrost - gelée blanche, givre
ottoman - ottoman; ; divan, ottomane, pouf
nude - nue; ; nu
lash - cils; amarrons, amarrez, amarrent, fustiger
bare - a nu; dénudé, dégarnir, nu
carelessly - négligemment
In the sharply outlined, but well-formed linaments of this man lay brooding melancholy and passionate devotion; he looked up to her with the ecstatic burning eye of a martyr. This man, the footstool for her feet, was Severin, but beardless, and, it seemed, some ten years younger.
sharply - brusquement
outlined - esquissé; contour, silhouette, esquisse, aperçu, résumé
brooding - couvant; ; méditatif; (brood); couvée, couver, protéger
melancholy - mélancolie
devotion - la dévotion; ; dévouement, dévotion
ecstatic - extatique
martyr - martyr, martyre, chahîd, chahid
footstool - tabouret; ; reposeied
beardless - sans barbe; ; imberbe
"Venus in Furs," I cried, pointing to the picture. "That is the way I saw her in my dream."
"I, too," said Severin, "only I dreamed my dream with open eyes."
"It is a tiresome story."
tiresome - lassant
"Your picture apparently suggested my dream," I continued. "But do tell me what it means. I can imagine that it played a role in your life, and perhaps a very decisive one. But the details I can only get from you."
apparently - apparemment, évidemment, en apparence
"Look at its counterpart," replied my strange friend, without heeding my question.
counterpart - contreartie, homologue, duplicat, checkpendant, checkéquivalent
heeding - l'écoute; attention, observer, surveiller, preter attention
The counterpart was an excellent copy of Titian's well-known "Venus with the Mirror" in the Dresden Gallery.
Titian - rouge Titien
Dresden - dresde; Dresde
"And what is the significance?"
significance - importance (1), signification (2)
Severin rose and pointed with his finger at the fur with which
Titian garbed his goddess of love.
"It, too, is a 'Venus in Furs,'" he said with a slight smile. "I don't believe that the old Venetian had any secondary intention. He simply painted the portrait of some aristocratic Mesalina, and was tactful enough to let Cupid hold the mirror in which she tests her majestic allure with cold satisfaction. He looks as though his task were becoming burdensome enough. The picture is painted flattery.
Slight - insignifiant, léger
venetian - vénitien, Vénitien, Vénitienne
secondary - secondaire
intention - intention
portrait - portrait
aristocratic - aristocratique
tactful - avec tact; ; plein de tact, diplomatique
Cupid - cupidon; Cupidon, Cupidon
majestic - majestueux
allure - l'allure; charme
satisfaction - satisfaction, satisfaction
though - mais; ; néanmoins, cependant, malgré, bien que
burdensome - lourdes
flattery - la flatterie; ; flatterie
Later an 'expert'in the Rococo period baptized the lady with the name of Venus. The furs of the despot in which Titian's fair model wrapped herself, probably more for fear of a cold than out of modesty, have become a symbol of the tyranny and cruelty that constitute woman's essence and her beauty.
baptized - baptisés; baptiser, baptiser, baptiser, couper
despot - despote
modesty - la modestie; ; modestie
tyranny - la tyrannie; ; tyrannie
constitute - constituent; ; constituer
essence - essence
beauty - la beauté; ; beauté
"But enough of that. The picture, as it now exists, is a bitter satire on our love. Venus in this abstract North, in this icy Christian world, has to creep into huge black furs so as not to catch cold-"
Bitter - amere; amer, saumâtre
satire - satire
abstract - résumé, abstrait, abstrait, abstraire, distiller, se retirer
icy - glacé, glacial, gelé
creep - rampant; ; ramper, rampement, fatigue, fluage, reptation
Severin laughed, and lighted a fresh cigarette.
Just then the door opened and an attractive, stoutish, blonde girl entered. She had wise, kindly eyes, was dressed in black silk, and brought us cold meat and eggs with our tea. Severin took one of the latter, and decapitated it with his knife.
stoutish - robuste
silk - soie
cold meat - de la viande froide
decapitated - décapité; décapiter
"didn't I tell you that I want them soft-boiled?" he cried with a violence that made the young woman tremble.
didn't I - n'est-ce pas
violence - la violence; ; violence
tremble - trembler, vibrer, tremblement, vibration
"But my dear Sevtchu-" she said timidly.
timidly - timidement
"Sevtchu, nothing," he yelled, "you are to obey, obey, do you understand?" and he tore the kantchuk which was hanging beside the weapons from its hook.
yelled - hurlé; hurlement
obey - obéir, obtempérer
tore - a la déchirure
hanging - suspension; (hang) suspension
beside - a côté; ; aupres
weapons - des armes; arme
Hook - crochet, agrafe, hook, accrocher
The woman fled from the chamber quickly and timidly like a doe.
fled - fui; s'enfuir, prendre la fuite, fuir, échapper
chamber - chambre, piece, salle
doe - biche; biche, lapine, hase, femelle (de)
"Just wait, I'll get you yet," he called after her.
"But Severin," I said placing my hand on his arm, "how can you treat a pretty young woman thus?"
treat - négocier, traiter, régaler, guérir, soigner
thus - donc; ainsi, tellement, pour cette raison, également
"Look at the woman," he replied, blinking humorously with his eyes. "Had I flattered her, she would have cast the noose around my neck, but now, when I bring her up with the kantchuk, she adores me."
blinking - clignotant; ciller, cligner des yeux, clignoter
humorously - avec humour
flattered - flattée; flatter
cast - casting; ; jeter, diriger, lancer, additionner, sommer, muer
noose - noud coulant; ; noud coulant, lacs
adores - adore; adorer, adorer
nonsense - des absurdités; ; betise, absurdité, sottise (s)
"Nonsense, nothing, that is the way you have to break in women."
"Well, if you like it, live like a pasha in your harem, but don't lay down theories for me-"
pasha - pasha; ; pacha
harem - harem
theories - théories; théorie, théorie, théorie
"Why not," he said animatedly. "Goethe's 'you must be hammer or anvil'is absolutely appropriate to the relation between man and woman. Didn't Lady Venus in your dream prove that to you? Woman's power lies in man's passion, and she knows how to use it, if man doesn't understand himself.
animatedly - de façon animée
Goethe - goethe; Goethe
hammer - marteau, chien, malléus, marteler; (ham); marteau, chien
anvil - enclume, incus
absolutely - absolument
appropriate - approprié, idoine, approprier
relation - relation, relation, parent, parente
Prove - prouver; éprouvent, éprouvons, éprouvez, prouvent, prouver
He has only one choice: to be the tyrant over or the slave of woman. As soon as he gives in, his neck is under the yoke, and the lash will soon fall upon him."
tyrant - tyran, tyran
yoke - joug; joug
maxims - maximes; maxime
"Not maxims, but experiences," he replied, nodding his head, "I have actually felt the lash. I am cured. Do you care to know how?"
nodding - hochement de tete; (nod); dodeliner, hocher, hochement
cured - guérie; clébard, corniaud, roquet, clebs, chien, roquet
He rose, and got a small manuscript from his massive desk, and put it in front of me.
manuscript - manuscrit, manuscrit
"You have already asked about the picture. I have long owed you an explanation. Here-read!"
owed - du; devoir, devoir
Severin sat down by the chimney with his back toward me, and seemed to dream with open eyes. Silence had fallen again, and again the fire sang in the chimney, and the samovar and the cricket in the old walls. I opened the manuscript and read:
toward - vers, envers, pour, pres de
silence - le silence; ; silence
CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERSENSUAL MAN.
confessions - des aveux; confession, confession
The margin of the manuscript bore as motto a variation of the well-known lines from Faust:
margin - marge
motto - devise
variation - variation, variante, déclinaison
"Thou supersensual sensual wooer
thou - tu; tu
sensual - sensuel, voluptueux
A woman leads you by the nose."
leads - des pistes; conduire, mener
I turned the title-page and read: "What follows has been compiled from my diary of that period, because it is impossible ever frankly to write of one's past, but in this way everything retains its fresh colors, the colors of the present."
title-page - (title-page) la page de titre
compiled - compilés; compiler, compiler
frankly - franchement
retains - conserve; retenir, conserver, maintenir
Gogol, the Russian Moliere, says-where? well, somewhere-"the real comic muse is the one under whose laughing mask tears roll down."
Russian - russe, ruthénien, langue russe, langue de Tolstoi
comic - comique, cocasse, comédien, bande dessinée, BD
muse - muse
mask - masque; masque
Tears - des larmes; larme
roll - rouler; petit pain, enroulez, roulons, enroulent, roulez
A wonderful saying.
So I have a very curious feeling as I am writing all this down. The atmosphere seems filled with a stimulating fragrance of flowers, which overcomes me and gives me a headache. The smoke of the fireplace curls and condenses into figures, small gray-bearded kokolds that mockingly point their finger at me. Chubby-cheeked cupids ride on the arms of my chair and on my knees. I have to smile involuntarily, even laugh aloud, as I am writing down my adventures.
atmosphere - atmosphere; ; atmosphere, ambience, ambiance
stimulating - stimulant; stimuler, stimuler
overcomes - surmonte; vaincre, surmonter, envahir
condenses - se condense; condenser, condenser, se condenser
Gray - gris
bearded - barbu; barbe
mockingly - en se moquant
Chubby - potelé, dodu
cheeked - joufflu; joue, fesse, culot, toupet, potence de bringuebale
cupids - des cupidons; Cupidon, Cupidon
involuntarily - involontairement
aloud - a haute voix; ; a voix haute, a haute voix, fort
Yet I am not writing with ordinary ink, but with red blood that drips from my heart. All its wounds long scarred over have opened and it throbs and hurts, and now and then a tear falls on the paper.
ink - encre
drips - gouttes; (é)goutter, dégouliner
scarred - cicatrisé; cicatrice
throbs - des palpitations; battre, palpiter, vibrer, résonner, battre
tear - déchirure; déchirer, fissure, larme, pleur
The days creep along sluggishly in the little Carpathian health-resort. You see no one, and no one sees you. It is boring enough to write idyls. I would have leisure here to supply a whole gallery of paintings, furnish a theater with new pieces for an entire season, a dozen virtuosos with concertos, trios, and duos, but-what am I saying-the upshot of it all is that I don't do much more than to stretch the canvas, smooth the bow, line the scores.
sluggishly - paresseusement
resort - station; avoir recours (a)
leisure - les loisirs; ; loisir, temps libre
supply - l'approvisionnement; livraison, fournir, pourvoir, provision
paintings - peintures; peinture, toile, peinture, art pictural
furnish - meubler, fournir, livrer
theater - théâtre
dozen - douzaine, dizaine
virtuosos - virtuoses; virtuose
concertos - concertos; concerto
trios - trios; (trio); trio
duos - duos; duo
upshot - le résultat; ; essentiel; (upshoot) le résultat; ; essentiel
stretch - étendre, s'étendre, s'étirer, étirement
canvas - toile; canevas
smooth - lisse, doux, facile, sophistiqué, naturel, souple, régulier
bow - l'arc; arc
For I am-no false modesty, Friend Severin; you can lie to others, but you don't quite succeed any longer in lying to yourself-I am nothing but a dilettante, a dilettante in painting, in poetry, in music, and several other of the so-called unprofitable arts, which, however, at present secure for their masters the income of a cabinet minister, or even that of a minor potentate. Above all else I am a dilettante in life.
dilettante - dilettante
poetry - de la poésie; ; poésie
unprofitable - non rentable
secure - sécurisé; ; sur, sécuriser
masters - maîtres; maître/-tresse
income - revenus; ; revenu, recette
cabinet - armoire, cabinet
minister - ministre; ministériel, ministre
minor - mineur, mineur
potentate - potentat, podestat
Up to the present I have lived as I have painted and written poetry. I never got far beyond the preparation, the plan, the first act, the first stanza. There are people like that who begin everything, and never finish anything. I am such a one.
beyond - au-dela; ; au-dela, par-dela
preparation - préparation, concoction
stanza - strophe, stance
But what am I saying?
To the business in hand.
I lie in my window, and the miserable little town, which fills me with despondency, really seems infinitely full of poetry. How wonderful the outlook upon the blue wall of high mountains interwoven with golden sunlight; mountain-torrents weave through them like ribbons of silver!
miserable - misérable
despondency - le découragement; ; désespoir, abattement
infinitely - a l'infini
outlook - perspectives; ; vue, point de vue
high mountains - des hautes montagnes
interwoven - entrelacés; entrelacer
sunlight - la lumiere du soleil; ; lumiere du soleil
torrents - torrents; torrent
weave - tisser; tissez, tissons, tissent, tramer
ribbons - rubans; ruban, ruban, ruban
How clear and blue the heavens into which snowcapped crags project; how green and fresh the forested slopes; the meadows on which small herds graze, down to the yellow billows of grain where reapers stand and bend over and rise up again.
heavens - les cieux; ciel, ciel, paradis, au-dela, cieux-p, paradis
snowcapped - enneigé
crags - les falaises; rocher escarpé
slopes - les pentes; pente, pente, inclinaison, pente, pente
meadows - prairies; pré
herds - troupeaux; troupeau
graze - pâturage; ; éraflure, faire paître, brouter, pâturer, grignoter
billows - des bouées; flot, ondoyer
grain - céréales; grain, graine
reapers - faucheurs; moissonneur, récolteur
bend - plier; ; courber, tordre, tourner
The house in which I live stands in a sort of park, or forest, or wilderness, whatever one wants to call it, and is very solitary.
wilderness - la nature sauvage; ; désert, naturalité, nature sauvage
whatever - quoi qu'il en soit; ; quel que soit, n'importe quel
solitary - solitaire; solitaire, seul, un a un
Its sole inhabitants are myself, a widow from Lemberg, and Madame Tartakovska, who runs the house, a little old woman, who grows older and smaller each day. There are also an old dog that limps on one leg, and a young cat that continually plays with a ball of yarn. This ball of yarn, I believe, belongs to the widow.
sole - unique; seul, semelle, plante, sole
inhabitants - habitants; habitant, habitante, résident, résidente
widow - veuve
limps - boite; mou, faible
yarn - le fil; ; fil, corde
Really the beautiful woman up there doesn't interest me very much, for I am in love with someone else, and terribly unhappy at that; far more unhappy than the Knight of Toggenburg or the Chevalier in Manon l'Escault, because the object of my adoration is of stone.
Terribly - terriblement
Knight - chevalier; chevalier
Toggenburg - Toggenburg
Chevalier - chevalier
adoration - l'adoration; ; adoration
In the garden, in the tiny wilderness, there is a graceful little meadow on which a couple of deer graze peacefully. On this meadow is a stone statue of Venus, the original of which, I believe, is in Florence. This Venus is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in all my life.
tiny - minuscule
graceful - gracieux
meadow - prairie; ; pré
deer - cerf, chevreuil
peacefully - pacifiquement
statue - statue
Florence - florence; Florence, Florence, Florence
That, however, does not signify much, for I have seen few beautiful women, or rather few women at all. In love too, I am a dilettante who never got beyond the preparation, the first act.
signify - signifier
But why talk in superlatives, as if something that is beautiful could be surpassed?
superlatives - des superlatifs; summum, superlatif, supreme, superlatif
surpassed - surpassé; surpasser, dépasser, excéder
It is sufficient to say that this Venus is beautiful. I love her passionately with a morbid intensity; madly as one can only love a woman who never responds to our love with anything but an eternally uniform, eternally calm, stony smile. I literally adore her.
sufficient - suffisante; ; suffisant
passionately - passionnément
morbid - morbide, checkmacabre, checkmalsain, checkpathologique
intensity - l'intensité; ; intensité
madly - a la folie; ; follement
eternally - éternellement
Calm - calme, tranquille, calme plat, calmer, apaiser
literally - littéralement
adore - adorer
I often lie reading under the leafy covering of a young birch when the sun broods over the forest. Often I visit that cold, cruel mistress of mine by night and lie on my knees before her, with the face pressed against the cold pedestal on which her feet rest, and my prayers go up to her.
leafy - feuillus; ; feuillu, feuilleté
birch - le bouleau; ; bouleau, badine, baguette, verge, verger
broods - couvées; couvée, couvée, couvée, couver, couver, protéger
Mistress - madame; ; maîtresse, amante
by night - la nuit
pressed - pressé; appuyer sur, presser
pedestal - piédestal
The rising moon, which just now is waning, produces an indescribable effect. It seems to hover among the trees and submerges the meadow in its gleam of silver. The goddess stands as if transfigured, and seems to bathe in the soft moonlight.
waning - s'affaiblir; (wan) s'affaiblir
hover - survol; ; éventiller, faire du surlace, hésiter
submerges - submerge; submerger, immerger
gleam - briller; luisent, luisez, brillant, luisons
bathe - prendre un bain, se baigner, faire prendre un bain, baignade
moonlight - le clair de lune; ; clair de lune, travailler au noir
Once when I was returning from my devotions by one of the walks leading to the house, I suddenly saw a woman's figure, white as stone, under the illumination of the moon and separated from me merely by a screen of trees. It seemed as if the beautiful woman of marble had taken pity on me, become alive, and followed me. I was seized by a nameless fear, my heart threatened to burst, and instead-
devotions - des dévotions; dévouement, dévotion
leading - dirigeante; (lead) dirigeante
illumination - l'éclairage; ; illumination, enluminure
merely - simplement, uniquement, seulement
seized - saisi; saisir, saisir
nameless - sans nom, innomé
threatened - menacé; menacer, menacer
burst - l'éclatement; ; éclater, faire éclater, rompre, briser
Well, I am a dilettante. As always, I broke down at the second stanza; rather, on the contrary, I did not break down, but ran away as fast as my legs would carry me.
contrary - contraire, contraire, contrepied
* * * * *
What an accident! Through a Jew, dealing in photographs I secured a picture of my ideal. It is a small reproduction of Titian's "Venus with the Mirror." What a woman! I want to write a poem, but instead, I take the reproduction, and write on it: Venus in Furs.
Jew - juif; juif, juive, Juif, Juive
secured - sécurisé; sur, sur, sur, sur, sur, sur, sécuriser
reproduction - reproduction
poem - poeme; ; poeme
You are cold, while you yourself fan flames. By all means wrap yourself in your despotic furs, there is no one to whom they are more appropriate, cruel goddess of love and of beauty!-After a while I add a few verses from Goethe, which I recently found in his paralipomena to Faust.
wrap - l'emballage; langer, envelopper
whom - que, qui
verses - versets; strophe
paralipomena - paralipomenes; paralipomenes-p
"The pair of wings a fiction are,
wings - des ailes; aile, aile, aile, aile, aile, aile, ailier
The arrows, they are naught but claws,
arrows - fleches; fleche
claws - griffes; griffe
The wreath conceals the little horns,
wreath - couronne, guirlande, tortil
conceals - dissimule; dissimuler, cacher
horns - des cornes; corne, corne, cor, klaxon, cuivres-p
For without any doubt he is
doubt - des doutes; ; douter, doute
Like all the gods of ancient Greece
Only a devil in disguise."
devil - Diable, Satan, type
in disguise - déguisé
Then I put the picture before me on my table, supporting it with a book, and looked at it.
I was enraptured and at the same time filled with a strange fear by the cold coquetry with which this magnificent woman draped her charms in her furs of dark sable; by the severity and hardness which lay in this cold marble-like face. Again I took my pen in hand, and wrote the following words:
coquetry - coquetterie, coquetisme
magnificent - magnifique
draped - drapé; draper
charms - des breloques; charme
sable - zibeline, martre, sable
severity - la sévérité; ; sévérité, gravité
hardness - dureté
"To love, to be loved, what happiness! And yet how the glamour of this pales in comparison with the tormenting bliss of worshipping a woman who makes a plaything out of us, of being the slave of a beautiful tyrant who treads us pitilessly underfoot. Even Samson, the hero, the giant, again put himself into the hands of Delilah, even after she had betrayed him, and again she betrayed him, and the Philistines bound him and put out his eyes which until the very end he kept fixed, drunken with rage and love, upon the beautiful betrayer.
Happiness - le bonheur; ; bonheur
glamour - glamour; ; charme
pales - pales; copain/-ine
comparison - comparaison, degré
tormenting - tourmenter; (torment); tourment, tourmenter
bliss - bonheur; ; béatitude, félicité
worshipping - culte; culte, adoration, vénération, culte, culte, vénérer
plaything - jouet; ; joujou
treads - bandes de roulement; marcher (sur)
pitilessly - sans pitié
underfoot - sous les pieds
giant - géant
betrayed - trahi; trahir, livrer, trahir, trahir
Philistines - philistins; Philistin, Philistine
bound - lié; entrain; (bind); lier, attacher, nouer, connecter, coupler
drunken - ivre
rage - rage, furie, fureur, courroux, rager, faire rage
betrayer - dénonciateur, indicateur, traître
I was breakfasting in my honey-suckle arbor, and reading in the Book of Judith. I envied the hero Holofernes because of the regal woman who cut off his head with a sword, and because of his beautiful sanguinary end.
honey - chérie; ; miel
suckle - allaiter, téter
arbor - longeron, tonnelle
envied - envié; envie, jalousie, convoitise, envier
regal - royal; royal
sword - l'épée; ; épée, glaive, épéiste
sanguinary - sanguinaire
"The almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman."
This sentence strangely impressed me.
strangely - étrangement
impressed - impressionné; impressionner
How ungallant these Jews are, I thought. And their God might choose more becoming expressions when he speaks of the fair sex.
ungallant - inélégant
Jews - les juifs; juif, juive, Juif, Juive
more becoming - plus devenir
"The almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman," I repeated to myself. What shall I do, so that He may punish me?
punish me - me punir
Heaven preserve us! Here comes the housekeeper, who has again diminished somewhat in size overnight. And up there among the green twinings and garlandings the white gown gleams again. Is it Venus, or the widow?
Heaven - le paradis; ; ciel, paradis, au-dela, cieux
preserve - confiture, conserve, réserve naturelle, domaine réservé
housekeeper - femme de ménage; ; gouvernante, ménagere
diminished - diminué; réduire, rétrécir, rapetisser, diminuer, amincir
somewhat - en quelque sorte; ; assez, quelque peu
overnight - pendant la nuit; ; du jour au lendemain, nocturne, nuitée
garlandings - guirlandes
gown - robe, toge (general term, especially Roman Antiquity)
gleams - des lueurs; luire
This time it happens to be the widow, for Madame Tartakovska makes a courtesy, and asks me in her name for something to read. I run to my room, and gather together a couple of volumes.
courtesy - courtoisie, politesse, indulgence
gather - rassembler, ramasser, recueillir, déduire
volumes - volumes; volume, volume, volume, volume, tome, volume, volume
Later I remember that my picture of Venus is in one of them, and now it and my effusions are in the hands of the white woman up there together. What will she say?
effusions - épanchements; effusion, effusion, effusion
I hear her laugh.
Is she laughing at me?
It is full moon. It is already peering over the tops of the low hemlocks that fringe the park. A silvery exhalation fills the terrace, the groups of trees, all the landscape, as far as the eye can reach; in the distance it gradually fades away, like trembling waters.
peering - peering; pair
hemlocks - les ciguës; ciguë, rench: -neededr, pruche
fringe - marginale; ; frange, périphérie, radicaux
silvery - argenté, argentin
terrace - toit-terrasse, terrasse, gradins
landscape - paysage, paysage
gradually - progressivement
fades away - s'efface
I cannot resist. I feel a strange urge and call within me. I put on my clothes again and go out into the garden.
resist - résister
urge - envie; ; pulsion, pousser, inciter, provoquer, insister
within - a l'intérieur; dedans, avant, d'ici
Some power draws me toward the meadow, toward her, who is my divinity and my beloved.
beloved - bien-aimé, chéri, amant, amante; (belove); bien-aimé, chéri
The night is cool. I feel a slight chill. The atmosphere is heavy with the odor of flowers and of the forest. It intoxicates.
chill - refroidissement; froid
odor - odeur
intoxicates - s'intoxiquer; intoxiquer
What solemnity! What music round about! A nightingale sobs. The stars quiver very faintly in the pale-blue glamour. The meadow seems smooth, like a mirror, like a covering of ice on a pond.
solemnity - solennité, solennité
round about - en rond
nightingale - rossignol; rossignol
sobs - sanglots; fdp-p
quiver - carquois; trembler
faintly - faiblement
pond - étang; étang, mare
The statue of Venus stands out august and luminous.
luminous - lumineux
But-what has happened? From the marble shoulders of the goddess a large dark fur flows down to her heels. I stand dumbfounded and stare at her in amazement; again an indescribable fear seizes hold of me and I take flight.
flows - flux; couler
heels - talons; talon
dumbfounded - abasourdi; abasourdir
stare - fixer; regarder (fixement), dévisager
amazement - l'étonnement; ; stupéfaction, stupeur
seizes - saisit; saisir, saisir
I hasten my steps, and notice that I have missed the main path. As I am about to turn aside into one of the green walks I see Venus sitting before me on a stone bench, not the beautiful woman of marble, but the goddess of love herself with warm blood and throbbing pulses. She has actually come to life for me, like the statue that began to breathe for her creator.
hasten - se hâter; ; dépecher
path - chemin; sentier
aside - a part; ; a côté, en passant, aparté
Bench - banc; banc, établi, banquette
throbbing - des palpitations; (throb); battre, palpiter, vibrer, résonner
pulses - impulsions; pouls
creator - créateur, créatrice, rench: t-needed r
Indeed, the miracle is only half completed. Her white hair seems still to be of stone, and her white gown shimmers like moonlight, or is it satin? From her shoulders the dark fur flows. But her lips are already reddening and her cheeks begin to take color. Two diabolical green rays out of her eyes fall upon me, and now she laughs.
miracle - miracle
shimmers - des miroirs; miroiter
satin - satin; satin, satiné
lips - levres; levre, levre
reddening - le rougissement; rougir, faire rougir
cheeks - joues; joue, fesse, culot, toupet, potence de bringuebale
diabolical - diabolique
rays - rayons; rayon
Her laughter is very mysterious, very-I don't know. It cannot be described, it takes my breath away. I flee further, and after every few steps I have to pause to take breath. The mocking laughter pursues me through the dark leafy paths, across light open spaces, through the thicket where only single moonbeams can pierce. I can no longer find my way, I wander about utterly confused, with cold drops of perspiration on the forehead.
mysterious - mystérieux
breath - respiration, souffle, haleine
flee - s'enfuir, prendre la fuite, échapper
pause - pauser, pause
mocking - se moquer; (moc) se moquer
pursues - poursuit; poursuivre, rechercher
paths - chemins; sentier
thicket - fourré, maquis
pierce - percer; perforage
wander about - errer
utterly - tout a fait
confused - confus; rendre perplexe, confondre, confondre
perspiration - la transpiration; ; transpiration
forehead - front
Finally I stand still, and engage in a short monologue.
stand still - rester immobile
engage - s'engager; ; attirer l'attention, engager, embrayer
monologue - monologue
It runs-well-one is either very polite to one's self or very rude.
polite to - poli a
self - soi; ; soi-meme
I say to myself:
donkey - l'âne; ; âne
This word exercises a remarkable effect, like a magic formula, which sets me free and makes me master of myself.
magic formula - formule magique
sets - des ensembles; Seth
Master - maître; patron, maîtriser, maître, maitre, maîtrisent
I am perfectly quiet in a moment.
perfectly - parfaitement
With considerable pleasure I repeat: "Donkey!"
considerable - considérable
Now everything is perfectly clear and distinct before my eyes again. There is the fountain, there the alley of box-wood, there the house which I am slowly approaching.
distinct - distinct, intelligible, reconnaissable
fountain - fontaine
alley - allée; ruelle
approaching - en approche; (s'')approcher (de)
Yet-suddenly the appearance is here again. Behind the green screen through which the moonlight gleams so that it seems embroidered with silver, I again see the white figure, the woman of stone whom I adore, whom I fear and flee.
embroidered - brodée; broder, broder
With a couple of leaps I am within the house and catch my breath and reflect.
leaps - des sauts; sauter, bondir
reflect - refléter, réfléchir, se refléter, suivre
What am I really, a little dilettante or a great big donkey?
A sultry morning, the atmosphere is dead, heavily laden with odors, yet stimulating. Again I am sitting in my honey-suckle arbor, reading in the Odyssey about the beautiful witch who transformed her admirers into beasts. A wonderful picture of antique love.
sultry - sulfureux; ; étouffant, torride
heavily laden - lourdement chargé
odors - odeurs; odeur
Odyssey - odyssée; odyssée
witch - sorciere; sorciere, ensorceleurse, sorcierere
transformed - transformé; transformer, transformer, transformée, transformée
admirers - admirateurs; admirateur, admiratrice
beasts - betes; bete, bete sauvage, bete
antique - ancien, antique, antique
There is a soft rustling in the twigs and blades and the pages of my book rustle and on the terrace likewise there is a rustling.
rustling - bruissement; (rustle); bruissement, froufrou, froufrouter
twigs - brindilles; brindille
blades - lames; lame, lame
rustle - bruissement, froufrou, froufrouter
likewise - de meme
A woman's dress-
She is there-Venus-but without furs-No, this time it is merely the widow-and yet-Venus-oh, what a woman!
As she stands there in her light white morning gown, looking at me, her slight figure seems full of poetry and grace. She is neither large, nor small; her head is alluring, piquant-in the sense of the period of the French marquises-rather than formally beautiful. What enchantment and softness, what roguish charm play about her none too small mouth! Her skin is so infinitely delicate, that the blue veins show through everywhere; even through the muslin covering her arms and bosom.
nor - ni; ; NON-OU
alluring - séduisante; charme
piquant - piquant
French - français; français, tlangue française, français, t+Français
formally - officiellement; ; formellement
enchantment - l'enchantement; ; enchantement, ensorcellement
softness - la douceur; ; douceur
charm - charme; excitation, grâce, charme
veins - veines; veine
show through - a travers
muslin - mousseline
bosom - poitrine; ; sein, intime
How abundant her red hair-it is red, not blonde or golden-yellow-how diabolically and yet tenderly it plays around her neck! Now her eyes meet mine like green lightnings-they are green, these eyes of hers, whose power is so indescribable-green, but as are precious stones, or deep unfathomable mountain lakes.
diabolically - diaboliquement
tenderly - tendrement
lightnings - des éclairs; éclair, éloise, foudre
precious - précieux
unfathomable - insondable
She observes my confusion, which has even made me discourteous, for I have remained seated and still have my cap on my head.
observes - observe; observer, remarquer, respecter, observer, garder
confusion - confusion, désordre, malentendu
discourteous - discourtois
cap - cap; bonnet, calotte, casquette, toque, képi
She smiles roguishly.
roguishly - de maniere espiegle
Finally I rise and bow to her. She comes closer, and bursts out into a loud, almost childlike laughter. I stammer, as only a little dilettante or great big donkey can do on such an occasion.
bow to - s'incliner devant
bursts - éclatements; éclater, faire éclater, rompre, briser, éclatement
stammer - balbutier, bégayer, bégaiement
Occasion - occasion
Thus our acquaintance began.
acquaintance - une connaissance; ; relation
The divinity asks for my name, and mentions her own.
Her name is Wanda von Dunajew.
And she is actually my Venus.
"But madame, what put the idea into your head?"
"The little picture in one of your books-"
"I had forgotten about it."
"The curious notes on its back-"
She looked at me.
"I have always wanted to know a real dreamer some time-for the sake of the change-and you seem one of the maddest of the tribe."
dreamer - reveur; ; reveur, reveuse
sake - du saké; dans l''intéret de qqn
maddest - le plus fou; fou, folle, fol
tribe - tribu
"Dear lady-in fact-" Again I fell victim to an odious, asinine stammering, and in addition blushed in a way that might have been appropriate for a youngster of sixteen, but not for me, who was almost a full ten years older-
victim - victime
odious - odieux
asinine - asynchrone
stammering - bafouillage, balbutiement, bégaiement; (stammer); balbutier
blushed - rougi; rougeur
youngster - jeune; ; ado, enfant
"You were afraid of me last night."
"Really-of course-but won't you sit down?"
She sat down, and enjoyed my embarrassment-for actually I was even more afraid of her now in the full light of day. A delightful expression of contempt hovered about her upper lip.
embarrassment - de l'embarras; ; embarras, (etre la) honte (de)
delightful - délicieux
contempt - le mépris; ; mépris, outrage
hovered - en vol stationnaire; éventiller, faire du sur-place, hésiter
upper lip - la levre supérieure
"You look at love, and especially woman," she began, "as something hostile, something against which you put up a defense, even if unsuccessfully. You feel that their power over you gives you a sensation of pleasurable torture, of pungent cruelty. This is a genuinely modern point of view."
defense - la défense; ; défense
unsuccessfully - sans succes
pleasurable - agréable
torture - la torture; ; torture, torturer
pungent - âcre, pointu, piquant
genuinely - véritablement
"You don't share it?"
"I do not share it," she said quickly and decisively, shaking her head, so that her curls flew up like red flames.
decisively - de maniere décisive
"The ideal which I strive to realize in my life is the serene sensuousness of the Greeks-pleasure without pain. I do not believe in the kind of love which is preached by Christianity, by the moderns, by the knights of the spirit. Yes, look at me, I am worse than a heretic, I am a pagan.
strive - s'efforcer; s''efforcer de
sensuousness - sensualité
Greeks - les grecs; grec, grec, grec, grecque, grecques
preached - preché; precher, proclamer, precher
Christianity - le christianisme; ; christianisme, chrétienté
Knights - chevaliers; chevalier
spirit - l'esprit; ; esprit, moral, élan, spiritueux
heretic - hérétique
pagan - paien; ; paien, immoral, incivilisé, paien, paienne
'Doest thou imagine long the goddess of love took counsel When in Ida's grove she was pleased with the hero Achilles?'
Doest - le fait-il; biche, lapine, hase, femelle (de)
counsel - conseil, expertise, plan, projet, conseiller
grove - bosquet
Achilles - achille; Achille
"These lines from Goethe's Roman Elegy have always delighted me.
Elegy - élégie
delighted - ravie; plaisir, délice, joie, enchanter, ravir
"In nature there is only the love of the heroic age, 'when gods and goddesses loved.'At that time 'desire followed the glance, enjoyment desire.'All else is factitious, affected, a lie. Christianity, whose cruel emblem, the cross, has always had for me an element of the monstrous, brought something alien and hostile into nature and its innocent instincts.
heroic - héroique; ; héroique
goddesses - déesses; déesse, déesse
factitious - factice
emblem - embleme; ; embleme
monstrous - monstrueux
alien - étranger, étrangere, extraterrestre, alien, extraterrestre
innocent - innocent
instincts - instincts; instinct
"The battle of the spirit with the senses is the gospel of modern man. I do not care to have a share in it."
battle - bataille; bataille, combat
gospel - l'évangile; ; évangile
"Yes, Mount Olympus would be the place for you, madame," I replied, "but we moderns can no longer support the antique serenity, least of all in love. The idea of sharing a woman, even if it were an Aspasia, with another revolts us. We are jealous as is our God. For example, we have made a term abuse out of the name of the glorious Phryne.
mount - monter; montent, montez, montons
Olympus - l'olympe; Olympe
serenity - la sérénité; ; sérénité, sérénité
revolts - révoltes; révolter
jealous - jaloux, jalouse, envieux, rench:
abuse - abus; défaut, abuser, insulter, tourmenter, abusons
glorious - glorieux, splendide
"We prefer one of Holbein's meagre, pallid virgins, which is wholly ours to an antique Venus, no matter how divinely beautiful she is, but who loves Anchises today, Paris tomorrow, Adonis the day after. And if nature triumphs in us so that we give our whole glowing, passionate devotion to such a woman, her serene joy of life appears to us as something demonic and cruel, and we read into our happiness a sin which we must expiate."
meagre - maigre; maigre
pallid - pâle, blafard
virgins - vierges; vierge, q
wholly - entierement
Adonis - adonis; Adonis
triumphs - triomphes; triomphe
glowing - rayonnante; briller, luire, irradier, briller, lueur, lueur
demonic - démoniaque
sin - péché; péché, mal
"So you too are one of those who rave about modern women, those miserable hysterical feminine creatures who don't appreciate a real man in their somnambulistic search for some dream-man and masculine ideal. Amid tears and convulsions they daily outrage their Christian duties; they cheat and are cheated; they always seek again and choose and reject; they are never happy, and never give happiness.
rave - rave; délirer
hysterical - hystérique
feminine - féminine; ; féminin, féminin, féminin (2)
creatures - créatures; créature, etre
appreciate - etre reconnaissant de, apprécier a sa juste valeur
somnambulistic - somnambule
masculine - masculin, masculin
amid - amid; au milieu de, parmi, entre
convulsions - des convulsions; convulsion
outrage - l'indignation; ; outrage, offense, colere, rage, indignation
cheated - trompé; tricher
seek - chercher
reject - rejeter
They accuse fate instead of calmly confessing that they want to love and live as Helen and Aspasia lived. Nature admits of no permanence in the relation between man and woman."
accuse - accuser
fate - le destin; ; destin, destinée, sort
calmly - calmement; ; paisiblement
confessing - confesser; avouer, confesser, confesser
admits - admet; admettre, admettre, avouer, reconnaître, admettre
permanence - permanence
"But, my dear lady-"
"Let me finish. It is only man's egoism which wants to keep woman like some buried treasure. All endeavors to introduce permanence in love, the most changeable thing in this changeable human existence, have gone shipwreck in spite of religious ceremonies, vows, and legalities. Can you deny that our Christian world has given itself over to corruption?"
egoism - l'égoisme; ; égoisme
buried - enterré; enterrer
treasure - trésor, garder précieusement
endeavors - des entreprises; effort, effort, entreprise, tenter, s’efforcer
most changeable - le plus changeant
existence - l'existence; ; existence
shipwreck - épave, naufrage, naufrager
religious - religieux
ceremonies - cérémonies; cérémonie, cérémonie
vows - voux; voeu, vou, jurer
legalities - les légalités; légalité
corruption - corruption, pourriture, concussion
"But you are about to say, the individual who rebels against the arrangements of society is ostracized, branded, stoned. So be it. I am willing to take the risk; my principles are very pagan. I will live my own life as it pleases me. I am willing to do without your hypocritical respect; I prefer to be happy. The inventors of the Christian marriage have done well, simultaneously to invent immortality. I, however, have no wish to live eternally. When with my last breath everything as far as Wanda von Dunajew is concerned comes to an end here below, what does it profit me whether my pure spirit joins the choirs of angels, or whether my dust goes into the formation of new beings?
rebels - rebelles; rebelle
ostracized - ostracisés; ostraciser, ostraciser, mettre au ban
branded - de marque; tison, marque, marque, marque, style, flétrir
Risk - risque
respect - respect, respecter
inventors - inventeurs; inventeur, inventrice
marriage - mariage, noces
simultaneously - simultanément
immortality - l'immortalité; ; immortalité
concerned - préoccupé; inquiétude, souci, soin, souci, préoccupation
profit - profit, gain, bénéfice, servir, profiter
whether - si, que, soit, si oui ou non
pure - pure; pur, pudique
choirs - chours; chour, chorale, chour, classe, chour
angels - anges; ange
dust - la poussiere; ; poussiere, épousseter, pulvériser
beings - etres; etre, créature, existence, etre
Shall I belong to one man whom I don't love, merely because I have once loved him? No, I do not renounce; I love everyone who pleases me, and give happiness to everyone who loves me. Is that ugly? No, it is more beautiful by far, than if cruelly I enjoy the tortures, which my beauty excites, and virtuously reject the poor fellow who is pining away for me. I am young, rich, and beautiful, and I live serenely for the sake of pleasure and enjoyment."
renounce - renoncer
ugly - laid, moche, vilain
tortures - tortures; torture, torturer
excites - excite; exciter, exciter, exciter
virtuously - vertueux; ; vertueusement
pining - se languir; pin
serenely - sereinement
While she was speaking her eyes sparkled roguishly, and I had taken hold of her hands without exactly knowing what to do with them, but being a genuine dilettante I hastily let go of them again.
sparkled - étincelait; étincellement
taken hold - s'est installé
genuine - authentique
hastily - hâtivement, précipitamment, a la hâte
"Your frankness," I said, "delights me, and not it alone-"
frankness - la franchise; ; franchise
delights - des délices; plaisir, délice, joie, enchanter, ravir
My confounded dilettantism again throttled me as though there were a rope around my neck.
dilettantism - le dilettantisme; ; dilettantisme
throttled - étranglé; accélérateur, arrivée de gaz
rope - corde; funiculaire, corde
"You were about to say-"
"I was about to say-I was-I am sorry-I interrupted you."
A long pause. She is doubtless engaging in a monologue, which translated into my language would be comprised in the single word, "donkey."
doubtless - sans doute; ; sans aucun doute, sans nul doute, indubitablement
engaging - engageant; attirer l'attention, engager, engager, embrayer
translated - traduit; traduire, translater
comprised - compris; contenir, comprendre, comprendre, etre composé de
"If I may ask," I finally began, "how did you arrive at these-these conclusions?"
conclusions - conclusions; conclusion, fin, conclusion
"Quite simply, my father was an intelligent man. From my cradle onward I was surrounded by replicas of ancient art; at ten years of age I read Gil Blas, at twelve La Pucelle. Where others had Hop-o'-my-thumb, Bluebeard, Cinderella, as childhood friends, mine were Venus and Apollo, Hercules and Lackoon. My husband's personality was filled with serenity and sunlight. Not even the incurable illness which fell upon him soon after our marriage could long cloud his brow.
cradle - berceau, bers, bercer
onward - plus loin; ; en avant
surrounded - entouré; entourer, enceindre
replicas - des répliques; (replica); réplique, copie exacte
hop - hop; sauter a cloche-pied
thumb - pouce, feuilleter
Bluebeard - barbe bleue; ; Barbe-Bleue
Cinderella - cendrillon; Cendrillon, Cendrillon
childhood - l'enfance; ; enfance
Apollo - apollo; apollon
Hercules - hercule; Hercule, Hercule
incurable - incurable
brow - sourcils; ; andouiller d'oil, maître andouiller
On the very night of his death he took me in his arms, and during the many months when he lay dying in his wheel chair, he often said jokingly to me: 'Well, have you already picked out a lover?'I blushed with shame. 'Don't deceive me,'he added on one occasion, 'that would seem ugly to me, but pick out an attractive lover, or preferably several. You are a splendid woman, but still half a child, and you need toys.'
dying - teignant, mourant; (dye) teignant, mourant
jokingly - sur le ton de la plaisanterie
shame - la honte; honte, vergogne
deceive - tromper, leurrer, séduire
preferably - de préférence
splendid - splendide, fameux
"I suppose, I hardly need tell you that during his life time I had no lover; but it was through him that I have become what I am, a woman of Greece."
"A goddess," I interrupted.
"Which one," she smiled.
She threatened me with her finger and knitted her brows. "Perhaps, even a 'Venus in Furs.'Watch out, I have a large, very large fur, with which I could cover you up entirely, and I have a mind to catch you in it as in a net."
knitted - tricoté; tricoter, souder, unir, se souder
brows - les sourcils; (brow); andouiller d'oil, maître andouiller
entirely - entierement; ; entierement, entierement (1)
net - net; réseau, filet
"Do you believe," I said quickly, for an idea which seemed good, in spite of its conventionality and triteness, flashed into my head, "do you believe that your theories could be carried into execution at the present time, that Venus would be permitted to stray with impunity among our railroads and telegraphs in all her undraped beauty and serenity?"
conventionality - la conventionnalité
triteness - la banalité
flashed - flashé; éclair, lueur
execution - l'exécution; ; exécution
permitted - autorisé; permettre
stray - égaré; écartez, écartent, écartons, écarter
impunity - l'impunité; ; impunité
telegraphs - les télégraphes; télégraphe, télégraphier, dépecher
"Undraped, of course not, but in furs," she replied smiling, "would you care to see mine?"
"Beautiful, free, serene, and happy human beings, such as the Greeks were, are only possible when it is permitted to have slaves who will perform the prosaic tasks of every day for them and above all else labor for them."
slaves - esclaves; esclave, t+serf, t+serve, esclave
labor - travail; travail
"Of course," she replied playfully, "an Olympian divinity, such as
playfully - de façon ludique
Olympian - Olympien
I am, requires a whole army of slaves. Beware of me!"
requires - exige; exiger, demander, avoir besoin de, requérir, nécessiter
Beware - méfiez-vous !; faire attention
I myself was frightened at the hardiness with which I uttered this "why"; it did not startle her in the least.
frightened - effrayé; effrayer, redouter, terrifier
hardiness - la rusticité
uttered - prononcée; complet, total
startle - sursauter, surprendre
She drew back her lips a little so that her small white teeth became visible, and then said lightly, as if she were discussing some trifling matter, "Do you want to be my slave?"
visible - visible
lightly - légerement; ; légerement
trifling - insignifiant; ; futile; (trifle); bagatelle, broutille, babiole
"There is no equality in love," I replied solemnly. "Whenever it is a matter of choice for me of ruling or being ruled, it seems much more satisfactory to me to be the slave of a beautiful woman. But where shall I find the woman who knows how to rule, calmly, full of self-confidence, even harshly, and not seek to gain her power by means of petty nagging?"
equality - l'égalité; ; égalité
whenever - chaque fois que
satisfactory to - satisfaisant pour
confidence - assurance, confiance en soi, confiance, confidence
gain - gain; gagner, produit
petty - petit, insignifiant, mesquin
nagging - harcelement; harceler, houspiller
"Oh, that might not be so difficult."
"I-for instance-" she laughed and leaned far back-"I have a real talent for despotism-I also have the necessary furs-but last night you were really seriously afraid of me!"
instance - instance
leaned - penché; pencher
talent - talent
despotism - le despotisme; ; despotisme
"Now, I am more afraid of you than ever!"
We are together every day, I and-Venus; we are together a great deal. We breakfast in my honey-suckle arbor, and have tea in her little sitting-room. I have an opportunity to unfold all my small, very small talents. Of what use would have been my study of all the various sciences, my playing at all the arts, if I were unable in the case of a pretty, little woman-
have tea - prendre du thé
sitting-room - (sitting-room) le salon
unfold - se déployer; ; déplier, dérouler, checkdéplier
talents - talents; talent, talent, talent
various - divers
unable - incapable; inapte, inhabile
But this woman is by no means little; in fact she impresses me tremendously. I made a drawing of her today, and felt particularly clearly, how inappropriate the modern way of dressing is for a cameo-head like hers. The configuration of her face has little of the Roman, but much of the Greek.
impresses - impressionne; impressionner
tremendously - énormément
particularly - en particulier
inappropriate - inapproprié
cameo - camaieu, caméo
configuration - configuration
Greek - grec, grec, grecque, grecques
Sometimes I should like to paint her as Psyche, and then again as
Psyche - Psyché
Astarte. It depends upon the expression in her eyes, whether it is
Astarte - Astarte
vaguely dreamy, or half-consuming, filled with tired desire.
vaguely - vaguement
dreamy - reveuse
consuming - la consommation; consumant, consommant; (consume); consommer
She, however, insists that it be a portrait-likeness.
insists - insiste; insister
I shall make her a present of furs.
How could I have any doubts? If not for her, for whom would princely furs be suitable?
doubts - des doutes; douter, doute
princely - princier
be suitable - convient-il
* * * * *
I was with her yesterday evening, reading the Roman Elegies to her. Then I laid the book aside, and improvised something for her. She seemed pleased; rather more than that, she actually hung upon my words, and her bosom heaved.
Elegies - élégies; élégie
laid - posé; poser
improvised - improvisé; improviser
hung - accroché; suspendre, etre accroché
heaved - heaved; hisser
Or was I mistaken?
The rain beat in melancholy fashion on the window-panes, the fire crackled in the fireplace in wintery comfort. I felt quite at home with her, and for a moment lost all my fear of this beautiful woman; I kissed her hand, and she permitted it.
panes - vitres; vitre
crackled - crépité; crépitement, crépiter
wintery - hivernale
comfort - le confort; ; confort, consoler
kissed - embrassée; (s'')embrasser
Then I sat down at her feet and read a short poem I had written for her.
VENUS IN FURS.
"Place thy foot upon thy slave,
thy - de l'homme; ton/ta, tes
Oh thou, half of hell, half of dreams;
hell - l'enfer; enfer
Among the shadows, dark and grave,
shadows - ombres; ombre, ombre, prendre en filature, t+filer
grave - tombe; tombe
Thy extended body softly gleams."
extended - étendu; étendre, prolonger
softly - en douceur; ; doucement
And-so on. This time I really got beyond the first stanza. At her request I gave her the poem in the evening, keeping no copy. And now as I am writing this down in my diary I can only remember the first stanza.
I am filled with a very curious sensation. I don't believe that I am in love with Wanda; I am sure that at our first meeting, I felt nothing of the lightning-like flashes of passion. But I feel how her extraordinary, really divine beauty is gradually winding magic snares about me. It isn't any spiritual sympathy which is growing in me; it is a physical subjection, coming on slowly, but for that reason more absolutely.
lightning - la foudre; ; éclair, éloise, foudre
flashes - flashes; éclair, lueur
extraordinary - extraordinaire
winding - bobinage; (wind) bobinage
magic - la magie; ; magie, magique, sorcelerie, checkensorcelé
snares - des collets; collet, piege, caisse claire
spiritual - spirituel
sympathy - compassion, sympathie, condoléance
subjection - l'assujettissement; ; soumission
I suffer under it more and more each day, and she-she merely smiles.
suffer - souffrir, souffrir de, pâtir de, endurer, supporter, subir
under it - en dessous
* * * * *
Without any provocation she suddenly said to me today: "You interest me. Most men are very commonplace, without verve or poetry. In you there is a certain depth and capacity for enthusiasm and a deep seriousness, which delight me. I might learn to love you."
provocation - provocation
commonplace - ordinaire, banal, lieu commun
verve - verve
depth - profondeur, épaisseur
capacity - capacité
enthusiasm - l'enthousiasme; ; enthousiasme, passion
delight - plaisir, délice, joie, enchanter, ravir
After a short but severe shower we went out together to the meadow and the statue of Venus. All about us the earth steamed; mists rose up toward heaven like clouds of incense; a shattered rainbow still hovered in the air. The trees were still shedding drops, but sparrows and finches were already hopping from twig to twig. They are twittering gaily, as if very much pleased at something.
severe - sévere; ; grave, sévere
steamed - a la vapeur; vapeur d'eau, vapeur, vapeur, vapeur, cuisiner
mists - brumes; brume
shattered - brisé; fracasser, réduire en miettes, mettre en pieces, briser
rainbow - arc-en-ciel, iridescent, checkmulticolore, polychromer
shedding - la mue; (shed) la mue
sparrows - moineaux; moineau, bruant, piaf
finches - des pinsons; pinson
hopping - sauter; (hop) sauter
twig - brindille; ramille
twittering - twitter; (twitter) twitter
gaily - gaiement
Everything is filled with a fresh fragrance. We cannot cross the meadow for it is still wet. In the sunlight it looks like a small pool, and the goddess of love seems to rise from the undulations of its mirror-like surface. About her head a swarm of gnats is dancing, which, illuminated by the sun, seem to hover above her like an aureole.
surface - surface, faire surface
swarm - essaim (flying insects), grouillement (crawling insects), nuée
gnats - les moucherons; moucheron
illuminated - éclairé; illuminer
aureole - l'auréole; ; auréole
Wanda is enjoying the lovely scene. As all the benches along the walk are still wet, she supports herself on my arm to rest a while.
benches - des bancs; banc
A soft weariness permeates her whole being, her eyes are half closed;I feel the touch of her breath on my cheek.
permeates - impregne; s'infiltrer, s'insinuer, imprégner
cheek - joue, fesse, culot, toupet, potence de bringuebale
How I managed to get up courage enough I really don't know, but I took hold of her hand, asking,
"Could you love me?"
"Why not," she replied, letting her calm, clear look rest upon me, but not for long.
rest upon - repose sur
A moment later I am kneeling before her, pressing my burning face against the fragrant muslin of her gown.
kneeling - a genoux; (kneel)
pressing - pressant; pressant; (pres) pressant; pressant
fragrant - parfumée; ; odorant, aromatique
"But Severin-this isn't right," she cried.
But I take hold of her little foot, and press my lips upon it.
take hold - s'installer
little foot - petit pied
press - presse; pressons, presse, serre, pressent, pressez, serrer
"You are getting worse and worse!" she cried. She tore herself free, and fled rapidly toward the house, the while her adorable slipper remained in my hand.
rapidly - rapidement
adorable - adorable
slipper - chausson, pantoufle
Is it an omen?
omen - un mauvais présage; ; présage
* * * * *
All day long I didn't dare to go near her. Toward evening as I was sitting in my arbor her gay red head peered suddenly through the greenery of her balcony. "Why don't you come up?" she called down impatiently.
dare - oser; aventurer
gay - gay; gai
peered - regardé; pair
greenery - de la verdure
balcony - balcon
impatiently - avec impatience
I ran upstairs, and at the top lost courage again. I knocked very lightly. She didn't say come-in, but opened the door herself, and stood on the threshold.
threshold - seuil, seuil de tolérance
"Where is my slipper?"
"It is-I have-I want," I stammered.
stammered - balbutié; balbutier, bégayer, bégaiement
"Get it, and then we will have tea together, and chat."
When I returned, she was engaged in making tea. I ceremoniously placed the slipper on the table, and stood in the corner like a child awaiting punishment.
engaged - engagé; attirer l'attention, engager, engager, embrayer
ceremoniously - cérémonieusement
awaiting - en attente; attendre, s'attendre a, servir, guetter, attendre
punishment - punition, châtiment
I noticed that her brows were slightly contracted, and there was an expression of hardness and dominance about her lips which delighted me.
slightly - légerement; ; finement, délicatement, légerement
contracted - sous contrat; contracter
dominance - la domination; ; domination, dominance, autorité
All of a sudden she broke out laughing.
"So-you are really in love-with me?"
"Yes, and I suffer more from it than you can imagine?"
"You suffer?" she laughed again.
I was revolted, mortified, annihilated, but all this was quite useless.
revolted - révoltés; révolter
mortified - mortifié; mortifier, macérer, tuer
annihilated - anéantie; annihiler, anéantir
useless - inutile, inutilisable, bon a rien
"Why?" she continued, "I like you, with all my heart."
She gave me her hand, and looked at me in the friendliest fashion.
"And will you be my wife?"
Wanda looked at me-how did she look at me? I think first of all with surprise, and then with a tinge of irony.
tinge - teinte, touche, nuance, teindre
irony - l'ironie; ironie
"What has given you so much courage, all at once?"
"Yes courage, to ask anyone to be your wife, and me in particular?" She lifted up the slipper. "Was it through a sudden friendship with this? But Joking aside. Do you really wish to marry me?"
Joking aside - Blague a part
"Well, Severin, that is a serious matter. I believe, you love me, and I care for you too, and what is more important each of us finds the other interesting. There is no danger that we would soon get bored, but, you know, I am a fickle person, and just for that reason I take marriage seriously. If I assume obligations, I want to be able to meet them. But I am afraid-no-it would hurt you."
fickle - inconstant; inconstant
assume - supposer, présupposer, présumer, assumer, adopter, prendre
obligations - obligations; obligation, engagement, fr
"Please be perfectly frank with me," I replied.
frank - franche; franc
"Well then honestly, I don't believe I could love a man longer than-"
honestly - honnetement; ; honnetement, franchement
She inclined her head gracefully to one side and mused.
gracefully - gracieusement
mused - a réfléchi; muse, Muse
"What do you imagine-a month perhaps."
"Not even me?"
"Oh you-perhaps two."
"Two months!" I exclaimed.
"Two months is very long."
"You go beyond antiquity, madame."
antiquity - l'antiquité; ; Antiquité
"You see, you cannot stand the truth."
truth - la vérité; ; vérité
Wanda walked across the room and leaned back against the fireplace, watching me and resting one of her arms on the mantelpiece.
mantelpiece - tablette de cheminée
"What shall I do with you?" she began anew.
anew - a nouveau; ; a nouveau, derechef
"Whatever you wish," I replied with resignation, "whatever will give you pleasure."
resignation - démission, résignation
"How illogical!" she cried, "first you want to make me your wife, and then you offer yourself to me as something to toy with."
illogical - illogique
"Wanda-I love you."
"Now we are back to the place where we started. You love me, and want to make me your wife, but I don't want to enter into a new marriage, because I doubt the permanence of both my and your feelings."
feelings - sentiments
"But if I am willing to take the risk with you?" I replied.
"But it also depends on whether I am willing to risk it with you," she said quietly. "I can easily imagine belonging to one man for my entire life, but he would have to be a whole man, a man who would dominate me, who would subjugate me by his inate strength, do you understand? And every man-I know this very well-as soon as he falls in love becomes weak, pliable, ridiculous.
dominate - dominez, dominer, dominent, dominons, maîtriser
strength - la force; ; force, vigueur, effectif, point fort
pliable - malléable; ; pliable, pliant
ridiculous - ridicule
He puts himself into the woman's hands, kneels down before her. The only man whom I could love permanently would be he before whom I should have to kneel. I've gotten to like you so much, however, that I'll try it with you."
kneels - s'agenouille; agenouiller
permanently - de façon permanente; ; en permanence, en tous temps, toujours
I fell down at her feet.
"For heaven's sake, here you are kneeling already," she said mockingly. "You are making a good beginning." When I had risen again she continued, "I will give you a year's time to win me, to convince me that we are suited to each other, that we might live together.
For heaven's sake - Pour l'amour du ciel
convince - convaincre, persuader
If you succeed, I will become your wife, and a wife, Severin, who will conscientiously and strictly perform all her duties. During this year we will live as though we were married-"
conscientiously - consciencieusement
strictly - strictement
My blood rose to my head.
In her eyes too there was a sudden flame-
flame - flamme, polémique
"We will live together," she continued, "share our daily life, so that we may find out whether we are really fitted for each other. I grant you all the rights of a husband, of a lover, of a friend. Are you satisfied?"
Grant - la subvention; ; accorder, admettre
satisfied - satisfaits; satisfaire
"I suppose, I'll have to be?"
"You don't have to."
"Well then, I want to-"
"Splendid. That is how a man speaks. Here is my hand."
* * * * *
For ten days I have been with her every hour, except at night. All the time I was allowed to look into her eyes, hold her hands, listen to what she said, accompany her wherever she went.
accompany - accompagner
wherever - ou
My love seems to me like a deep, bottomless abyss, into which I subside deeper and deeper. There is nothing now which could save me from it.
bottomless - sans fond; ; insondable, cul-nu
abyss - l'abîme; ; abîme, précipice, abysse, gouffre
subside - s'atténuer; ; tomber, calmer
This afternoon we were resting on the meadow at the foot of the Venus-statue. I plucked flowers and tossed them into her lap; she wound them into wreaths with which we adorned our goddess.
plucked - plumé; tirer, pincer, plumer, voler, abats-p, persévérance
tossed - ballotté; jet, au pile ou face, tirage au sort, pile ou face
lap - tour; clapoter
wound - blessons, blessent, blessez, blessure, blesser
wreaths - couronnes; couronne, guirlande, tortil
adorned - orné; décorer, orner, parer
Suddenly Wanda looked at me so strangely that my senses became confused and passion swept over my head like a conflagration. Losing command over myself, I threw my arms about her and clung to her lips, and she-she drew me close to her heaving breast.
swept - balayé; balayer, balayer, balayage
conflagration - conflagration, incendie, rench: t-needed r
Command - commandement, ordre, maîtrise, commande, commander, ordonner
clung - s'est accroché; s''accrocher (a)
heaving - le déchaussement; (heave); hisser
breast - sein, poitrine, cour, poitrail, blanc
"Are you angry?" I then asked her.
"I am never angry at anything that is natural-" she replied, "but I am afraid you suffer."
"Oh, I am suffering frightfully."
suffering - la souffrance; ; souffrance, douleur, souffrance
frightfully - effrayante
"Poor friend!" she brushed my disordered hair back from my fore-head. "I hope it isn't through any fault of mine."
disordered - désordonné; désordre, trouble, trouble, désordre
fault - défaut, faute, faille
"No-" I replied,-"and yet my love for you has become a sort of madness. The thought that I might lose you, perhaps actually lose you, torments me day and night."
torments - tourments; tourment, tourmenter
"But you don't yet possess me," said Wanda, and again she looked at me with that vibrant, consuming expression, which had already once before carried me away. Then she rose, and with her small transparent hands placed a wreath of blue anemones upon the ringletted white head of Venus. Half against my will I threw my arm around her body.
possess - posséder, s'emparer de
anemones - anémones; anémone
ringletted - ringardisé
"I can no longer live without you, oh wonderful woman," I said. "Believe me, believe only this once, that this time it is not a phrase, not a thing of dreams. I feel deep down in my innermost soul, that my life belongs inseparably with yours. If you leave me, I shall perish, go to pieces."
innermost - le plus profond
soul - âme; âme
inseparably - inséparablement
perish - périr
"That will hardly be necessary, for I love you," she took hold of my chin, "you foolish man!"
chin - menton; menton
foolish - sot, stupide, bete, idiot
"But you will be mine only under conditions, while I belong to you unconditionally-"
unconditionally - sans condition
"That isn't wise, Severin," she replied almost with a start. "Don't you know me yet, do you absolutely refuse to know me? I am good when I am treated seriously and reasonably, but when you abandon yourself too absolutely to me, I grow arrogant-"
refuse - refuser; refusons, refusent, refuser, refusez
treated - traité; négocier, traiter, traiter, régaler, traiter, guérir
reasonably - raisonnablement
abandon - abandonner; renoncer, abandonnent, abandonnons, délaisser
"So be it, be arrogant, be despotic," I cried in the fulness of exaltation, "only be mine, mine forever." I lay at her feet, embracing her knees.
fulness - la plénitude
forever - a jamais, pour toujours, éternellement, checktoujours
embracing - embrasser; étreindre, embrasser, embrasser, accolade
"Things will end badly, my friend," she said soberly, without moving.
"It shall never end," I cried excitedly, almost violently. "Only death shall part us. If you cannot be mine, all mine and for always, then I want to be your slave, serve you, suffer everything from you, if only you won't drive me away."
excitedly - avec enthousiasme
violently - violemment
"Calm yourself," she said, bending down and kissing my forehead, "I am really very fond of you, but your way is not the way to win and hold me."
bending down - en se baissant
kissing - s'embrasser; (s'')embrasser
fond - fond; tendre, amoureux
"I want to do everything, absolutely everything, that you want, only not to lose you," I cried, "only not that, I cannot bear the thought."
"Do get up."
obeyed - obéi; obéir, obtempérer
"You are a strange person," continued Wanda. "You wish to possess me at any price?"
"Yes, at any price."
"But of what value, for instance, would that be?"-She pondered; a lurking uncanny expression entered her eyes-"If I no longer loved you, if I belonged to another."
value - valeur, valeur, évaluer, valoriser
pondered - réfléchi; songer, réfléchir, interroger
lurking - se cacher; (lurk); se cacher, s'embusquer, se dissimuler
uncanny - déroutant, déroutante, étrange, troublant
A shudder ran through me. I looked at her She stood firmly and confident before me, and her eyes disclosed a cold gleam.
shudder - frémir; ; tremblement, frisson, frissonner, trembler
confident - assuré, confiant
disclosed - divulguée; découvrir, laisser voir, révéler, divulguer
"You see," she continued, "the very thought frightens you." A beautiful smile suddenly illuminated her face.
frightens - effraie; effrayer, redouter, terrifier
"I feel a perfect horror, when I imagine, that the woman I love and who has responded to my love could give herself to another regardless of me. But have I still a choice? If I love such a woman, even unto madness, shall I turn my back to her and lose everything for the sake of a bit of boastful strength; shall I send a bullet through my brains? I have two ideals of woman. If I cannot obtain the one that is noble and simple, the woman who will faithfully and truly share my life, well then I don't want anything half-way or lukewarm.
horror - l'horreur; ; horreur, effroi, dégout, aversion
regardless - sans pour autant s'en préoccuper; ; malgré tout, malgré cela
unto - unto
boastful - vantard, fanfaron
bullet - balle; balle, projectile
obtain - obtenir, se procurer, réussir, avoir succes, s'établir
noble - noble, aristocrate, aristocratique
truly - vraiment
lukewarm - tiede
Then I would rather be subject to a woman without virtue, fidelity, or pity. Such a woman in her magnificent selfishness is likewise an ideal. If I am not permitted to enjoy the happiness of love, fully and wholly, I want to taste its pains and torments to the very dregs; I want to be maltreated and betrayed by the woman I love, and the more cruelly the better. This too is a luxury."
fidelity - fidélité
selfishness - l'égoisme; ; égocentrisme, égoisme
happiness of love - le bonheur de l'amour
fully - pleinement; ; entierement, completement
dregs - la lie; lie, lie
luxury - le luxe; ; luxe
"Have you lost your senses," cried Wanda.
"I love you with all my soul," I continued, "with all my senses, and your presence and personality are absolutely essential to me, if I am to go on living. Choose between my ideals. Do with me what you will, make of me your husband or your slave."
presence - présence
absolutely essential - absolument indispensable
"Very well," said Wanda, contracting her small but strongly arched brows, "it seems to me it would be rather entertaining to have a man, who interests me and loves me, completely in my power; at least I shall not lack pastime. You were imprudent enough to leave the choice to me. Therefore I choose; I want you to be my slave, I shall make a plaything for myself out of you!"
contracting - la contractualisation; contracter
strongly - fort, fortement
arched - en arc de cercle; voute, arche
entertaining - divertissant, distrayant; (entertain); divertir, recevoir
lack - manque; manque
pastime - passe-temps
therefore - par conséquent, en conséquence, donc, pour ça
"Oh, please do," I cried half-shuddering, half-enraptured. "If the foundation of marriage depends on equality and agreement, it is likewise true that the greatest passions rise out of opposites. We are such opposites, almost enemies. That is why my love is part hate, part fear.
shuddering - tremblant; (shudder); tremblement, frisson, frissonner, trembler
foundation - fondation, fondement, fond de teint
agreement - accord, entente, pacte, contrat
passions - passions; passion, Passion
In such a relation only one can be hammer and the other anvil. I wish to be the anvil. I cannot be happy when I look down upon the woman I love. I want to adore a woman, and this I can only do when she is cruel towards me."
"But, Severin," replied Wanda, almost angrily, "do you believe me capable of maltreating a man who loves me as you do, and whom I love?"
"Why not, if I adore you the more on this account? It is possible to love really only that which stands above us, a woman, who through her beauty, temperament, intelligence, and strength of will subjugates us and becomes a despot over us."
account - compte; supputation, demande, compte
temperament - tempérament
intelligence - l'intelligence; ; intelligence, renseignements
subjugates - soumet; assujettir
"Then that which repels others, attracts you."
repels - repousse; rebuter, repousser, repousser
attracts - attire; attirer, attirer
"Yes. That is the strange part of me."
"Perhaps, after all, there isn't anything so very unique or strange in all your passions, for who doesn't love beautiful furs? And everyone knows and feels how closely sexual love and cruelty are related."
unique - unique
closely - de pres; ; étroitement, pres
sexual - sexuelle; ; sexuel
related - en rapport; raconter, relater
"But in my case all these elements are raised to their highest degree," I replied.
elements - éléments; élément, élément, élément, élément, élément, membre
"In other words, reason has little power over you, and you are by nature, soft, sensual, yielding."
yielding - rendant; (yield) rendant
"Were the martyrs also soft and sensual by nature?"
martyrs - martyrs; martyr, martyre, chahîd, chahid, martyr, martyr
"On the contrary, they were supersensual men, who found enjoyment in suffering. They sought out the most frightful tortures, even death itself, as others seek joy, and as they were, so am I-supersensual."
frightful - effrayante; ; effrayant
"Have a care that in being such, you do not become a martyr to love, the martyr of a woman."
We are sitting on Wanda's little balcony in the mellow fragrant summer night. A twofold roof is above us, first the green ceiling of climbing-plants, and then the vault of heaven sown with innumerable stars. The low wailing love-call of a cat rises from the park. I am sitting on footstool at the feet of my divinity, and am telling her of my childhood.
mellow - moelleux
twofold - double
ceiling - plafond; plafond; (ceil) plafond; plafond
climbing-plants - des plantes grimpantes
vault - chambre forte; voute, dôme
sown - semé; semer
innumerable - innombrables
wailing - gémissements; (wail) gémissements
"And even then all these strange tendencies were distinctly marked in you?" asked Wanda.
tendencies - tendances; tendance
distinctly - distinctement
"Of course, I can't remember a time when I didn't have them. Even in my cradle, so mother has told me, I was supersensual. I scorned the healthy breast of my nurse, and had to be brought up on goats'milk. As a little boy I was mysteriously shy before women, which really was only an expression of an inordinate interest in them.
scorned - bafouée; mépriser, dédaigner, mépriser, mépris, dédain
goats - chevres; chevre, bouc, bique
Shy - timide, gené, prudent, embarrassé
inordinate - démesuré
I was oppressed by the gray arches and half-darknesses of the church, and actually afraid of the glittering altars and images of the saints. Secretly, however, I sneaked as to a secret joy to a plaster-Venus which stood in my father's little library. I kneeled down before her, and to her I said the prayers I had been taught-the Paternoster, the Ave Maria, and the Credo.
oppressed - opprimés; opprimer, oppresser
arches - arcs; voute, arche
darknesses - les ténebres; obscurité, ténebres-p, qualifier
glittering - scintillant; ; étincelant; (glitter); étincellement, paillette
altars - les autels; autel
Saints - les saints; Saint
secretly - secretement; ; secretement, en cachette
sneaked - en cachette; resquilleur, faucher, piquer, resquiller, cacher
kneeled down - s'est agenouillé
Paternoster - paternoster; ; Notre Pere
ave - Ave
Credo - credo; ; crédo
"Once at night I left my bed to visit her. The sickle of the moon was my light and showed me the goddess in a pale-blue cold light. I prostrated myself before her and kissed her cold feet, as I had seen our peasants do when they kissed the feet of the dead Savior.
sickle - faucille, fauciller, falciforme, serpe
cold light - lumiere froide
prostrated - prosterné; prosterner
peasants - paysans; paysan, paysanne, paysan, paysanne, rustique
Savior - le sauveur; ; sauveur, sauveuse
"An irresistible yearning seized me.
irresistible - irrésistible
yearning - désir; (yearn) désir
"I got up and embraced the beautiful cold body and kissed the cold lips. A deep shudder fell upon me and I fled, and later in a dream, it seemed to me, as if the goddess stood beside my bed, threatening me with up-raised arm.
embraced - embrassée; étreindre, embrasser, embrasser, accolade
threatening - menaçante; ; menaçant; (threaten); menacer
"I was sent to school early and soon reached the gymnasium. I passionately grasped at everything which promised to make the world of antiquity accessible to me. Soon I was more familiar with the gods of Greece than with the religion of Jesus. I was with Paris when he gave the fateful apple to Venus, I saw Troy burn, and followed Ulysses on his wanderings.
gymnasium - gymnase, salle de gymnastique, lycée
grasped - saisi; saisir, agripper, comprendre, saisir
accessible - accessible
more familiar - plus familier
religion - religion
fateful - fatidique
wanderings - errances; errement, errance, errement, divagation, errement
The prototypes of all that is beautiful sank deep into my soul, and consequently at the time when other boys are coarse and obscene, I displayed an insurmountable aversion to everything base, vulgar, unbeautiful.
prototypes - prototypes; prototype
sank - a coulé; couler, s'enfoncer, couler, évier, lavabo
consequently - en conséquence
coarse - grossier, brut, vulgaire
obscene - obscene; ; obscene
insurmountable - insurmontable
aversion - l'aversion; ; aversion
base - base; base, baser, basent, socle, basez, Assise, basons
vulgar - vulgaire, obscene
unbeautiful - pas beau
"To me, the maturing youth, love for women seemed something especially base and unbeautiful, for it showed itself to me first in all its commonness. I avoided all contact with the fair sex; in short, I was supersensual to madness.
maturing - en cours de maturation; mur
youth - la jeunesse; ; jeunesse, jeune, jeune homme, les jeunes
commonness - commun
contact - contact, lentille, connaissance, toucher, contacter
"When I was about fourteen my mother had a charming chamber-maid, young, attractive, with a figure just budding into womanhood. I was sitting one day studying my Tacitus and growing enthusiastic over the virtues of the ancient Teutons, while she was sweeping my room. Suddenly she stopped, bent down over me, in the meantime holding fast to the broom, and a pair of fresh, full, adorable lips touched mine.
maid - femme de ménage; ; demoiselle, jeune fille, bonne
budding - en herbe; (bud); en herbe
womanhood - la féminité; ; féminité
enthusiastic - enthousiaste
virtues - vertus; vertu, vertu, vertu
Teutons - les teutons; Teuton, Teutonne
sweeping - balayage, balayage, a l'emporteiece, radical, complet
bent - plié; courba, courbai, courbés, courbé, cambrai
meantime - entre-temps; ; pendant ce temps
broom - balai; balai
The kiss of the enamoured little cat ran through me like a shudder, but I raised up my Germania, like a shield against the temptress, and indignantly left the room."
shield - bouclier; enseigne
temptress - tentatrice, séductrice
indignantly - avec indignation
Wanda broke out in loud laughter. "It would, indeed, be hard to find another man like you, but continue."
"There is another unforgetable incident belonging to that period," I continued my story. "Countess Sobol, a distant aunt of mine, was visiting my parents. She was a beautiful majestic woman with an attractive smile. I, however, hated her, for she was regarded by the family as a sort of Messalina. My behavior toward her was as rude, malicious, and awkward as possible.
unforgetable - inoubliable
incident - incident, checkfait-divers, checkaccident
Countess - comtesse
distant - distante; ; distant, lointain, éloigné
malicious - malveillante
awkward - maladroit, gauche, embarrassant, inconvenant
"One day my parents drove to the capital of the district. My aunt determined to take advantage of their absence, and to exercise judgment over me. She entered unexpectedly in her fur-lined kazabaika, followed by the cook, kitchen-maid, and the cat of a chamber-maid whom I had scorned. Without asking any questions, they seized me and bound me hand and foot, in spite of my violent resistance. Then my aunt, with an evil smile, rolled up her sleeve and began to whip me with a stout switch.
determined - déterminé; déterminer, déterminer
absence - absence, manque, absence du fer
judgment - jugement, sentence, verdict, jugement dernier
unexpectedly - de maniere inattendue; ; surprenamment
resistance - résistance
evil - le mal; mauvais, torve
sleeve - manche, chemise (inner), gaine (outer), manchon
whip - fouet, whip, fouetter, flageller, défaire, battre
stout - stout; solide
switch - interrupteur, aiguille, aiguillage, badine, commutateur
She whipped so hard that the blood flowed, and that, at last, notwithstanding my heroic spirit, I cried and wept and begged for mercy. She then had me untied, but I had to get down on my knees and thank her for the punishment and kiss her hand.
whipped - fouetté; fouet, whip, fouetter, flageller, défaire, battre
flowed - s'est écoulée; couler
notwithstanding - nonobstant
wept - pleuré; pleurer
begged - supplié; mendier
untied - détaché; détacher, délier, détacher, détacher
"Now you understand the supersensual fool! Under the lash of a beautiful woman my senses first realized the meaning of woman. In her fur-jacket she seemed to me like a wrathful queen, and from then on my aunt became the most desirable woman on God's earth.
fool - idiot; ; dinde, fou, bouffon, mat, duper, tromper
wrathful - courroucé
most desirable - le plus souhaitable
"My Cato-like austerity, my shyness before woman, was nothing but an excessive feeling for beauty. In my imagination sensuality became a sort of cult. I took an oath to myself that I would not squander its holy wealth upon any ordinary person, but I would reserve it for an ideal woman, if possible for the goddess of love herself.
austerity - l'austérité; ; austérité
shyness - timidité
excessive - excessif
imagination - l'imagination; ; imagination
sensuality - sensualité
cult - secte, culte
oath - serment, juron, jurer
squander - gâcher, gaspiller, dilapider
holy - saint, sacré, bénit, saint, checksainte
wealth - la richesse; ; richesse, profusion, abondance, checkfortune
reserve - réservation, réserve, réserves, remplaçant, réservation
"I went to the university at a very early age. It was in the capital where my aunt lived. My room looked at that time like Doctor Faustus's. Everything in it was in a wild confusion. There were huge closets stuffed full of books, which I bought for a song from a Jewish dealer on the Servanica; there were globes, atlases, flasks, charts of the heavens, skeletons of animals, skulls, the busts of eminent men.
closets - placards; placard
Jewish - juif, juif
atlases - atlas; atlas
flasks - flacons; flacon, flasque, flasque, fiole
skulls - des crânes; crâne
busts - des bustes; poitrine
It looked as though Mephistopheles might have stepped out from behind the huge green store as a wandering scholiast at any moment.
wandering - l'errance; ; errement, errance, divagation; (wander); errer
scholiast - scholiaste
"I studied everything in a jumble without system, without selection: chemistry, alchemy, history, astronomy, philosophy, law, anatomy, and literature; I read Homer, Virgil, Ossian, Schiller, Goethe, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Voltaire, Moliere, the Koran, the Kosmos, Casanova's Memoirs. I grew more confused each day, more fantastical, more supersensual. All the time a beautiful ideal woman hovered in my imagination.
jumble - pele-mele; mélanger, emmeler
selection - sélection
alchemy - l'alchimie; ; alchimie
astronomy - l'astronomie; ; astronomie
anatomy - l'anatomie; ; anatomie
literature - la littérature; ; littérature
Virgil - virgile; Virgile
Shakespeare - shakespeare; Shakespeare
Koran - Coran
Memoirs - mémoires; mémoires-p
more confused - plus confus
fantastical - fantastique
Every so and so often she appeared before me like a vision among my leather-bound books and dead bones, lying on a bed of roses, surrounded by cupids. Sometimes she appeared gowned like the Olympians with the stern white face of the plaster Venus; sometimes in braids of a rich brown, blue-eyes, in my aunt's red velvet kazabaika, trimmed with ermine.
vision - vision, vue, aspiration, apparition
leather - cuir, de cuir
gowned - gowned; robe, toge (general term, especially Roman Antiquity)
stern - sévere; poupe
braids - tresses; tresser
trimmed - rognée; tailler, compenser, compensation, compensateur, assiette
ermine - l'hermine; ; hermine
"One morning when she had again risen out of the golden mist of my imagination in all her smiling beauty, I went to see Countess Sobol, who received me in a friendly, even cordial manner. She gave me a kiss of welcome, which put all my senses in a turmoil. She was probably about forty years old, but like most well-preserved women of the world, still very attractive.
mist - brouillard; brouillard, brume
cordial - cordial; ; sirop
turmoil - des turbulences; ; chaos, désordre, tourmente, tumulte
preserved - préservée; confiture, conserve, réserve naturelle
She wore as always her fur-edged jacket. This time it was one of green velvet with brown marten. But nothing of the sternness which had so delighted me the other time was now discernable.
marten - martre
discernable - discernable
"On the contrary, there was so little of cruelty in her that without any more ado she let me adore her.
ado - ado; ; cérémonies, manieres, bruit, histoire
"Only too soon did she discover my supersensual folly and innocence, and it pleased her to make me happy. As for myself-I was as happy as a young god. What rapture for me to be allowed to lie before her on my knees, and to kiss her hands, those with which she had scourged me! What marvellous hands they were, of beautiful form, delicate, rounded, and white, with adorable dimples!
folly - folie, sottise, folie
innocence - l'innocence; ; innocence, candeur
rapture - le ravissement; ; ravissement, enlevement
scourged - flagellé; fléau, écourgée, fouet, fouetter
marvellous - merveilleux
dimples - des fossettes; alvéole, fossette
I really was in love with her hands only. I played with them, let them submerge and emerge in the dark fur, held them against the light, and was unable to satiate my eyes with them."
submerge - immerger; ; submerger
emerge - émerger, sortir
satiate - rassasier
Wanda involuntarily looked at her hand; I noticed it, and had to smile.
"From the way in which the supersensual predominated in me in those days you can see that I was in love only with the cruel lashes I received from my aunt; and about two years later when I paid court to a young actress only in the roles she played. Still later I became the admirer of a respectable woman. She acted the part of irreproachable virtue, only in the end to betray me with a rich Jew.
lashes - cils; cil
Court - la cour; ; cour, tribunal, court de tennis, court, courtiser
admirer - admirateur, admiratrice
respectable - respectable, convenable
irreproachable - irréprochable
You see, it is because I was betrayed, sold, by a woman who feigned the strictest principles and the highest ideals, that I hate that sort of poetical, sentimental virtue so intensely. Give me rather a woman who is honest enough to say to me: I am a Pompadour, a Lucretia Borgia, and I am ready to adore her."
feigned - feint; feindre
strictest - la plus stricte; strict, strict
poetical - poétique
intensely - intensément
honest - honnete; ; honnete; (hon) honnete; ; honnete
Pompadour - pompadour; ; banane
Wanda rose and opened the window.
"You have a curious way of arousing one's imagination, stimulating all one's nerves, and making one's pulses beat faster. You put an aureole on vice, provided only if it is honest. Your ideal is a daring courtesan of genius. Oh, you are the kind of man who will corrupt a woman to her very last fiber."
arousing - excitante; émoustiller, exciter
nerves - des nerfs; nerf, nervure, toupet, culot, cran, nerf
vice - vice; vice, vertu
daring - audacieux, courageux, checktéméraire, checkhardi
courtesan - courtisane
genius - génie
corrupt - corrompu, dévoyé, corrompre
fiber - fibre; fibre
* * * * *
In the middle of the night there was a knock at my window; I got up, opened it, and was startled. Without stood "Venus in Furs," just as she had appeared to me the first time.
knock at - frapper
startled - surpris; sursauter, surprendre
"You have disturbed me with your stories; I have been tossing about in bed, and can't go to sleep," she said. "Now come and stay with me."
disturbed - perturbé; déranger, perturber, gener, perturber, déranger
tossing - le lancer; (toss); jet, au pile ou face, tirage au sort, lancer
"In a moment."
As I entered Wanda was crouching by the fireplace where she had kindled a small fire.
crouching - accroupi; s''accroupir
"Autumn is coming," she began, "the nights are really quite cold already. I am afraid you may not like it, but I can't put off my furs until the room is sufficiently warm."
sufficiently - suffisamment
"Not like it-you are joking-you know-" I threw my arm around her, and kissed her.
"Of course, I know, but why this great fondness for furs?"
fondness - l'affection; ; affection
"I was born with it," I replied. "I already had it as a child. Furthermore furs have a stimulating effect on all highly organized natures. This is due both to general and natural laws. It is a physical stimulus which sets you tingling, and no one can wholly escape it. Science has recently shown a certain relationship between electricity and warmth; at any rate, their effects upon the human organism are related. The torrid zone produces more passionate characters, a heated atmosphere stimulation.
highly - hautement; ; extremement
due - due; ; du
stimulus - stimulus
tingling - picotements; ; picotement; (tingle); picoter, picotement
escape - échapper, s'échapper, éviter, échapper (a quelqu'un), évasion
warmth - chaleur
organism - organisme
torrid - torride
zone - zone
more passionate - plus passionné
stimulation - stimulation
Likewise with electricity. This is the reason why the presence of cats exercises such a magic influence upon highly-organized men of intellect. This is why these long-tailed Graces of the animal kingdom, these adorable, scintillating electric batteries have been the favorite animal of a Mahommed, Cardinal Richelieu, Crebillon, Rousseau, Wieland."
influence - influence, influencer, influer
tailed - a queue; queue
graces - Les grâces; (grace); bénédicité, grâces, grâce, miséricorde
animal kingdom - le royaume des animaux
scintillating - scintillant; scintiller
batteries - des piles; pile, coups et blessures, batterie, batterie
favorite - préféré; favori
cardinal - cardinal, rouge cardinal, cardinal
Rousseau - rousseau; Rousseau
"A woman wearing furs, then," cried Wanda, "is nothing else than a large cat, an augmented electric battery?"
augmented - augmentée; augmenter, accroître
Battery - pile, coups et blessures, batterie
"Certainly," I replied. "That is my explanation of the symbolic meaning which fur has acquired as the attribute of power and beauty. Monarchs and the dominant higher nobility in former times used it in this sense for their costume, exclusively; great painters used it only for queenly beauty.
symbolic - symbolique
acquired - acquis; acquérir, acquérir, acquérir
attribute - attribut, épithete or déterminant
Monarchs - les monarques; monarque
dominant - dominante; ; dominant
nobility - la noblesse; ; noblesse
former - ancien; ancienne, ancien, ci devant
exclusively - exclusivement, uniquement
queenly - reine
The most beautiful frame, which Raphael could find for the divine forms of Fornarina and Titian for the roseate body of his beloved, was dark furs."
frame - encadrer, cadre, armature, ossature, image, manche, frame, trame
roseate - rosé; ; rosâtre
"Thanks for the learned discourse on love," said Wanda, "but you haven't told me everything. You associate something entirely individual with furs."
discourse - discours, conversation, checkdiscussion, checkexposé
associate - associé; ; fréquenter, associer
"Certainly," I cried. "I have repeatedly told you that suffering has a peculiar attraction for me. Nothing can intensify my passion more than tyranny, cruelty, and especially the faithlessness of a beautiful woman. And I cannot imagine this woman, this strange ideal derived from an aesthetics of ugliness, this soul of Nero in the body of a Phryne, except in furs."
repeatedly - de façon répétée
peculiar - particulier, extraordinaire, bizarre, curieux
Attraction - attraction, attirance
intensify - intensifier, s'intensifier
faithlessness - l'incrédulité
derived - dérivés; tirer, trouver, déduire, conclure, dériver, dériver
aesthetics - l'esthétique; esthétique, esthétique
ugliness - la laideur; ; laideur
"I understand," Wanda interrupted. "It gives a dominant and imposing quality to a woman."
imposing - imposant; imposer, imposer
"Not only that," I continued. "You know I am supersensual. With me everything has its roots in the imagination, and thence it receives its nourishment. I was already pre-maturely developed and highly sensitive, when at about the age of ten the legends of the martyrs fell into my hands. I remember reading with a kind of horror, which really was rapture, of how they pined in prisons, were laid on the gridiron, pierced with arrows, boiled in pitch, thrown to wild animals, nailed to the cross, and suffered the most horrible torment with a kind of joy.
roots - des racines; racine
thence - d'ou; ; des lors
nourishment - l'alimentation; ; nourriture
pre - pré
maturely - avec maturité
highly sensitive - tres sensible
legends - légendes; légende, légende, légende
pined - piné; épingle
laid on - posée
gridiron - le terrain de jeu
pierced - percé; percer
pitch - de l'emplacement; dresser
nailed - cloué; ongle
suffered - souffert; souffrir, souffrir, souffrir de, pâtir de, endurer
most horrible - le plus horrible
torment - tourments; ; tourment, tourmenter
To suffer and endure cruel torture from then on seemed to me exquisite delight, especially when it was inflicted by a beautiful woman, for ever since I can remember all poetry and everything demonic was for me concentrated in woman. I literally carried the idea into a sort of cult.
endure - endurer, perdurer, supporter
exquisite - exquis
inflicted - infligé; infliger
concentrated - concentré; concentrer, concentrer, concentrer
"I felt there was something sacred in sex; in fact, it was the only sacred thing. In woman and her beauty I saw something divine, because the most important function of existence-the continuation of the species-is her vocation. To me woman represented a personification of nature, Isis, and man was her priest, her slave.
sacred - sacrée; sacré, saint
function - fonction, en fonction de, fonctionner, marcher
continuation - suite; ; continuation
vocation - vocation
represented - représentée; représenter
personification - personnification
priest - pretre; ; pretre, pretresse, sacrificateur
In contrast to him she was cruel like nature herself who tosses aside whatever has served her purposes as soon as she no longer has need for it. To him her cruelties, even death itself, still were sensual raptures.
contrast - contraste, contraster
tosses - des tosses; jet, au pile ou face, tirage au sort, pile ou face
cruelties - cruautés; cruauté, cruauté
raptures - les ravissements; ravissement, ravissement, enlevement
"I envied King Gunther whom the mighty Brunhilde fettered on the bridal night, and the poor troubadour whom his capricious mistress had sewed in the skins of wolves to have him hunted like game. I envied the Knight Ctirad whom the daring Amazon Scharka craftily ensnared in a forest near Prague, and carried to her castle Divin, where, after having amused herself a while with him, she had him broken on the wheel-"
mighty - puissant
fettered - entravé; entrave, fers-p, entrave, obstacle, entraver, entraver
troubadour - troubadour, trouvere, trobairitz, troubadouresse
capricious - capricieux
sewed - cousu; coudre
wolves - loups; loup, tombeur, loup, dévorer, engloutir
hunted - chassé; chasser, chercher, chasse
Amazon - amazon; amazone
craftily - de maniere astucieuse
ensnared - pris au piege; piéger, empetrer
Prague - prague; Prague
amused - amusé; amuser
"Disgusting," cried Wanda. "I almost wish you might fall into the hands of a woman of their savage race. In the wolf's skin, under the teeth of the dogs, or upon the wheel, you would lose the taste for your kind of poetry."
disgusting - dégoutant; dégouter, dégout
savage - barbare, féroce, sauvage
wolf - loup, tombeur, dévorer, engloutir
"Do you think so? I hardly do."
"Have you actually lost your senses."
"Possibly. But let me go on. I developed a perfect passion for reading stories in which the extremest cruelties were described. I loved especially to look at pictures and prints which represented them. All the sanguinary tyrants that ever occupied a throne; the inquisitors who had the heretics tortured, roasted, and butchered; all the woman whom the pages of history have recorded as lustful, beautiful, and violent women like Libussa, Lucretia Borgia, Agnes of Hungary, Queen Margot, Isabeau, the Sultana Roxolane, the Russian Czarinas of last century-all these I saw in furs or in robes bordered with ermine.
Possibly - peut-etre; ; possiblement, peut-etre
tyrants - des tyrans; tyran, tyran, tyran
occupied - occupée; occuper, occuper, occuper, occuper, habiter, occuper
throne - trône
inquisitors - inquisiteurs; inquisiteur
heretics - hérétiques; hérétique
tortured - torturé; torture, torturer
Roasted - rôti; rôtir, rôtir, incendier, rôti, bien-cuit, rôti
butchered - massacré; boucher/-ere
lustful - lubrique
Hungary - hongrie; Hongrie
Sultana - raisin de Smyrne, sultane
bordered - bordé; frontiere, bord, bordure, bordure, délimiter, border
"And so furs now rouse strange imaginings in you," said Wanda, and simultaneously she began to drape her magnificent fur-cloak coquettishly about her, so that the dark shining sable played beautifully around her bust and arms. "Well, how do you feel now, half broken on the wheel?"
rouse - rouse; ameutez, ameutent, évocation, irriter, ameutons
drape - drapé; ; draper
cloak - cape; ; pelisse, pelerine
coquettishly - coquettement
shining - brillant; briller, éclairer
beautifully - magnifique
bust - buste; buste
Her piercing green eyes rested on me with a peculiar mocking satisfaction. Overcome by desire, I flung myself down before her, and threw my arms about her.
piercing - piercing, perçant; (pierce); piercing, perçant
overcome - vaincre, surmonter, envahir
flung - jeté; lancer
"Yes-you have awakened my dearest dream," I cried. "It has slept long enough."
awakened - éveillé; réveiller, se réveiller
"And this is?" She put her hand on my neck.
I was seized with a sweet intoxication under the influence of this warm little hand and of her regard, which, tenderly searching, fell upon me through her half-closed lids.
seized with - saisi
intoxication - l'intoxication; ; intoxication
regard - regard; considérer, regard, égard, estime
lids - couvercles; couvercle
"To be the slave of a woman, a beautiful woman, whom I love, whom I worship."
"And who on that account maltreats you," interrupted Wanda, laughing.
"Yes, who fetters me and whips me, treads me underfoot, the while she gives herself to another."
fetters - des entraves; entrave, fers-p, entrave, obstacle, entraver
whips - des fouets; fouet, whip, fouetter, flageller, défaire, battre
"And who in her wantonness will go so far as to make a present of you to your successful rival when driven insane by jealousy you must meet him face to face, who will turn you over to his absolute mercy. Why not? This final tableau doesn't please you so well?"
make a present - faire un cadeau
rival - rival, rivale, rivaliser
insane - dérangé, délirant, fou, dément, dérangeant
jealousy - jalousie, envie
absolute - absolue; ; absolu, absolu
tableau - tableau
I looked at Wanda frightened.
"You surpass my dreams."
surpass - surpasser, dépasser, excéder
"Yes, we women are inventive," she said, "take heed, when you find your ideal, it might easily happen, that she will treat you more cruelly than you anticipate."
inventive - inventif
heed - attention, observer, surveiller, preter attention
anticipate - anticiper, prévoir
"I am afraid that I have already found my ideal!" I exclaimed, burying my burning face in her lap.
burying - l'enfouissement; enterrer
"Not I?" exclaimed Wanda, throwing off her furs and moving about the room laughing. She was still laughing as I went downstairs, and when I stood musing in the yard, I still heard her peals of laughter above.
went downstairs - est descendu en bas
musing - muser; ; songeur, pensif, pensée; (mus) muser; ; songeur
peals - peaux; carillon
* * * * *
"Do you really then expect me to embody your ideal?" Wanda asked archly, when we met in the park today.
embody - incarner, personnifier, représenter
archly - archaique; ; malicieusement
At first I could find no answer. The most antagonistic emotions were battling within me. In the meantime she sat down on one of the stone-benches, and played with a flower.
antagonistic - antagoniste
battling - la lutte; (battle) la lutte
I kneeled down and seized her hands.
kneeled - a genoux; agenouiller
"Once more I beg you to become my wife, my true and loyal wife; if you can't do that then become the embodiment of my ideal, absolutely, without reservation, without softness."
beg - mendier; implorer, mendier, prier
loyal - loyal, fidele
embodiment - l'incarnation; ; incarnation
reservation - réservation, réserve, terrelein central
"You know I am ready at the end of a year to give you my hand, if you prove to be the man I am seeking," Wanda replied very seriously, "but I think you would be more grateful to me if through me you realized your imaginings. Well, which do you prefer?"
seeking - a la recherche; chercher
more grateful - plus reconnaissant
"I believe that everything my imagination has dreamed lies latent in your personality."
latent - latent
"You are mistaken."
are mistaken - se trompent
"I believe," I continued, "that you enjoy having a man wholly in your power, torturing him-"
torturing - torturer; torturant; (torture); torture, torturer
"No, no," she exclaimed quickly, "or perhaps-." She pondered.
"I don't understand myself any longer," she continued, "but I have a confession to make to you. You have corrupted my imagination and inflamed my blood. I am beginning to like the things you speak of. The enthusiasm with which you speak of a Pompadour, a Catherine the Second, and all the other selfish, frivolous, cruel women, carries me away and takes hold of my soul.
confession - confession
corrupted - corrompu; corrompu, dévoyé, corrompre
inflamed - enflammée; allumer
Selfish - égoiste; ; égoiste
frivolous - frivole
It urges me on to become like those women, who in spite of their vileness were slavishly adored during their lifetime and still exert a miraculous power from their graves.
urges - des envies; pulsion, pousser, inciter, inciter, provoquer
slavishly - servilement
adored - adorée; adorer, adorer
lifetime - a vie; ; durée de vie (objects), vie (persons), éternité
exert - exercer
miraculous - miraculeux
graves - tombes; tombe
"You will end by making of me a despot in miniature, a domestic
miniature - miniature, enluminure, figurine
domestic - domestique, amily, intérieur
"Well then," I said in agitation, "if all this is inherent in you, give way to this trend of your nature. Nothing half-way. If you can't be a true and loyal wife to me, be a demon."
agitation - l'agitation; ; agitation
inherent - inhérente
give way - céder le passage
trend - tendance; inclinaison
I was nervous from loss of sleep, and the proximity of the beautiful woman affected me like a fever. I no longer recall what I said, but I remember that I kissed her feet, and finally raised her foot and put my neck under it. She withdrew it quickly, and rose almost angrily.
Loss - perte; perte, déperdition, perdition, déchet, coulage
proximity - proximité
fever - de la fievre; ; fievre
recall - rappeler, rappeler
withdrew - s'est retiré; (se) retirer
"If you love me, Severin," she said quickly, and her voice sounded sharp and commanding, "never speak to me of those things again. Understand, never! Otherwise I might really-" She smiled and sat down again.
sharp - pointu; ; affilé, coupant, affuté, tranchant
commanding - commander; commandement, ordre, maîtrise, commandement
otherwise - autrement
"I am entirely serious," I exclaimed, half-raving. "I adore you so infinitely that I am willing to suffer anything from you, for the sake of spending my whole life near you."
raving - divagations
"Severin, once more I warn you."
warn - avertir, alerter, prévenir
"Your warning is vain. Do with me what you will, as long as you don't drive me away."
warning - l'avertissement; ; avertissement, attention; (warn); avertir
vain - vaine; ; rench: vaniteux, frivole, vain, futile
"Severin," replied Wanda, "I am a frivolous young woman; it is dangerous for you to put yourself so completely in my power. You will end by actually becoming a plaything to me. Who will give warrant that I shall not abuse your insane desire?"
warrant - garantie, mandat, mandat de conformité
"Your own nobility of character."
"Power makes people over-bearing."
"Be it," I cried, "tread me underfoot."
tread - la bande de roulement; piétiner, escabeau
Wanda threw her arms around my neck, looked into my eyes, and shook her head.
"I am afraid I can't, but I will try, for your sake, for I love you
Severin, as I have loved no other man."
* * * * *
today she suddenly took her hat and shawl, and I had to go shopping with her. She looked at whips, long whips with a short handle, the kind that are used on dogs.
shawl - châle
go shopping - faire du shopping
handle - poignée; crosse, manions, poignée, traiter, manient, maniez
"Are these satisfactory?" said the shopkeeper.
satisfactory - satisfaisante; ; satisfaisant
shopkeeper - commerçant; ; détaillant, détaillante, magasinier, magasiniere
"No, they are much too small," replied Wanda, with a side-glance at me. "I need a large-"
side-glance - (side-glance) un regard de côté
"For a bull-dog, I suppose?" opined the merchant.
Bull - le taureau; taureau
merchant - marchand, marchande
"Yes," she exclaimed, "of the kind that are used in Russia for intractable slaves."
Russia - la russie; Russie
intractable - ingouvernable, insoluble, intraitable, buté
She looked further and finally selected a whip, at whose sight I felt a strange creeping sensation.
selected - sélectionné; sélect, choisir, sélectionner
sight - vue, quelque chose a voir, truc a voir, mire, viseur
creeping - rampant; ramper, rampement, fatigue, fluage, reptation
"Now good-by, Severin," she said. "I have some other purchases to make, but you can't go along."
good-by - (good-by) bien par
purchases - achats; achat, acquisition, achat, acquisition, acheter
I left her and took a walk. On the way back I saw Wanda coming out at a furrier's. She beckoned me.
furrier - fourrure; fourreur/-euse; (furry); poilu, velu, furry
beckoned - fait signe; faire signe
"Consider it well," she began in good spirits, "I have never made a secret of how deeply your serious, dreamy character has fascinated me. The idea of seeing this serious man wholly in my power, actually lying enraptured at my feet, of course, stimulates me-but will this attraction last? Woman loves a man; she maltreats a slave, and ends by kicking him aside."
spirits - les esprits; esprit, esprit, esprit, moral, élan, esprit
deeply - profondément
fascinated - fasciné; fasciner, fasciner, fasciner
stimulates - stimule; stimuler, stimuler
kicking - coups de pied; donner un coup de pied (a, dans)
"Very well then, kick me aside," I replied, "when you are tired of me. I want to be your slave."
kick - coup de pied; bottons, bottent, escabeau, bottez, botter
"Dangerous forces lie within me," said Wanda, after we had gone a few steps further.
forces - forces; force
"You awaken them, and not to your advantage. You know how to paint pleasure, cruelty, arrogance in glowing colors. What would you say should I try my hand at them, and make you the first object of my experiments. I would be like Dionysius who had the inventor of the iron ox roasted within it in order to see whether his wails and groans really resembled the bellowing of an ox.
awaken - réveiller, se réveiller
arrogance - l'arrogance; ; arrogance
inventor - inventeur, inventrice
iron - le fer; ; fer, repasser
ox - ox; boeuf
wails - se lamente; se lamenter
groans - gémissements; râle, râlement, gémissement, grognement
resembled - ressemblait; ressembler
bellowing - mugissement; mugir, beugler
"Perhaps I am a female Dionysius?"
"Be it," I exclaimed, "and my dreams will be fulfilled. I am yours for good or evil, choose. The destiny that lies concealed within my breast drives me on-demoniacally-relentlessly."
fulfilled - satisfaits; accomplir
destiny - destin; destin, destinée, sort
concealed - dissimulée; dissimuler, cacher
demoniacally - démoniaque
relentlessly - sans relâche
I do not care to see you today or tomorrow, and not until evening the day after tomorrow, and then as my slave.
"As my slave" was underlined. I read the note which I received early in the morning a second time. Then I had a donkey saddled, an animal symbolic of learned professors, and rode into the mountains. I wanted to numb my desire, my yearning, with the magnificent scenery of the Carpathians. I am back, tired, hungry, thirsty, and more in love than ever. I quickly change my clothes, and a few moments later knock at her door.
underlined - souligné; soulignement, souligner, souligner, attention
saddled - sellé; selle
numb - gourd, engourdi, engourdir, endormir, anesthésier
scenery - décor naturel, paysage, décor
I enter. She is standing in the center of the room, dressed in a gown of white satin which floods down her body like light. Over it she wears a scarlet kazabaika, richly edged with ermine. Upon her powdered, snowy hair is a little diadem of diamonds. She stands with her arms folded across her breast, and with her brows contracted.
center - centre, milieu, centre de masse, foyer, sujet, pivot, central
floods - inondations; inondation, inonder, inonder, submerger, noyer
scarlet - écarlate
powdered - en poudre; poudre, réduire en poudre, pulvériser, poudrer
snowy - enneigée; ; neigeux
diadem - diademe; ; diademe, couronne
Diamonds - des diamants; (de/en) diamant
folded - plié; plier
"Wanda!" I run toward her, and am about to throw my arm about her to kiss her. She retreats a step, measuring me from top to bottom.
retreats - retraites; battre en retraite
measuring - mesurer; mesurant; (measure); mesure, mesure, mesurer
"Mistress!" I kneel down, and kiss the hem of her garment.
kneel - s'agenouiller
hem - l'ourlet; ourlet
garment - de l'habillement; ; vetement
"That is as it should be."
"Oh, how beautiful you are."
"Do I please you?" She stepped before the mirror, and looked at herself with proud satisfaction.
"I shall become mad!"
mad - fou, folle, fol, fâché, en colere
Her lower lip twitched derisively, and she looked at me mockingly from behind half-closed lids.
lower lip - la levre inférieure
twitched - a tressailli; donner, avoir un mouvement convulsif
derisively - par dérision
"Give me the whip."
I looked about the room.
"No," she exclaimed, "stay as you are, kneeling." She went over to the fire-place, took the whip from the mantle-piece, and, watching me with a smile, let it hiss through the air; then she slowly rolled up the sleeve of her fur-jacket.
mantle - manteau, les renes, manchon
hiss - sifflement, siffler
"Marvellous woman!" I exclaimed.
"Silence, slave!" She suddenly scowled, looked savage, and struck me with the whip. A moment later she threw her arm tenderly about me, and pityingly bent down to me. "Did I hurt you?" she asked, half-shyly, half-timidly.
scowled - s'est renfrogné; froncer les sourcils
pityingly - avec pitié
shyly - timidement
"No," I replied, "and even if you had, pains that come through you are a joy. Strike again, if it gives you pleasure."
strike - greve; ; biffer, rayer, barrer, frapper, battre, faire greve
"But it doesn't give me pleasure."
Again I was seized with that strange intoxication.
"Whip me," I begged, "whip me without mercy."
Wanda swung the whip, and hit me twice. "Are you satisfied now?"
swung - balancé; osciller, se balancer, balancer, swinguer, balancer
"Whip me, I beg you, it is a joy to me."
"Yes, because you know very well that it isn't serious," she replied, "because I haven't the heart to hurt you. This brutal game goes against my grain. Were I really the woman who beats her slaves you would be horrified."
brutal - brutal
"No, Wanda," I replied, "I love you more than myself; I am devoted to you for death and life. In all seriousness, you can do with me whatever you will, whatever your caprice suggests."
devoted - dévouée; consacrer, vouer
caprice - caprice
"Tread me underfoot!" I exclaimed, and flung myself face to the floor before her.
"I hate all this play-acting," said Wanda impatiently.
play-acting - (play-acting) jouer la comédie
"Well, then maltreat me seriously."
An uncanny pause.
"Severin, I warn you for the last time," began Wanda.
"If you love me, be cruel towards me," I pleaded with upraised eyes.
pleaded - plaidée; plaider
"If I love you," repeated Wanda. "Very well!" She stepped back and looked at me with a sombre smile. "Be then my slave, and know what it means to be delivered into the hands of a woman." And at the same moment she gave me a kick.
sombre - sombre
"How do you like that, slave?"
Then she flourished the whip.
flourished - a prospéré; fleurir, fleurir, fleurir, brandir, gesticulation
I was about to rise.
"Not that way," she commanded, "on your knees."
commanded - commandée; commandement, ordre, maîtrise, commandement
I obeyed, and she began to apply the lash.
The blows fell rapidly and powerfully on my back and arms. Each one cut into my flesh and burned there, but the pains enraptured me. They came from her whom I adored, and for whom I was ready at any hour to lay down my life.
powerfully - puissamment
flesh - de la chair; ; chair, peau, chair, viande, corps, pulpe
She stopped. "I am beginning to enjoy it," she said, "but enough for today. I am beginning to feel a demonic curiosity to see how far your strength goes. I take a cruel joy in seeing you tremble and writhe beneath my whip, and in hearing your groans and wails; I want to go on whipping without pity until you beg for mercy, until you lose your senses. You have awakened dangerous elements in my being. But now get up."
curiosity - curiosité, curiosité
writhe - se tordre; ; se débattre, se démener, se tortiller
beg for - mendier
I seized her hand to press it to my lips.
impudence - l'impudence; ; impudence
She shoved me away with her foot.
shoved - poussé; enfoncer, pousser
"Out of my sight, slave!"
* * * * *
After having spent a feverish night filled with confused dreams, I awoke. Dawn was just beginning to break.
feverish - fébrile; ; fiévreux
awoke - s'est réveillé; (se) réveiller; (s'')éveiller
dawn - l'aube; ; se lever, naître, aube, lever du soleil, aurore
How much of what was hovering in my memory was true; what had I actually experienced and what had I dreamed? That I had been whipped was certain. I can still feel each blow, and count the burning red stripes on my body. And she whipped me. Now I know everything.
hovering - en vol stationnaire; éventiller, faire du sur-place, hésiter
stripes - des rayures; rayure, galon, rayer
My dream has become truth. How does it make me feel? Am I disappointed in the realization of my dream?
disappointed - déçue; décevoir, désappointer
realization - connaissance, réalisation
No, I am merely somewhat tired, but her cruelty has enraptured me. Oh, how I love her, adore her! All this cannot express in the remotest way my feeling for her, my complete devotion to her. What happiness to be her slave!
remotest - le plus éloigné; distant, éloigné, télécommande
* * * * *
She calls to me from her balcony. I hurry upstairs. She is standing on the threshold, holding out her hand in friendly fashion. "I am ashamed of myself," she says, while I embrace her, and she hides her head against my breast.
hurry - se dépecher; ; précipitation, hâte
ashamed - honteux
Embrace - étreindre, embrasser, accolade, embrassement, embrassade
"Please try to forget the ugly scene of yesterday," she said with quivering voice, "I have fulfilled your mad wish, now let us be reasonable and happy and love each other, and in a year I will be your wife."
quivering - tremblant; frémir
fulfilled - satisfaits; combler, satisfaire
be reasonable - etre raisonnable
"My mistress," I exclaimed, "and I your slave!"
"Not another word of slavery, cruelty, or the whip," interrupted Wanda. "I shall not grant you any of those favors, none except wearing my fur-jacket; come and help me into it."
slavery - asservissement, esclavage
Favors - des faveurs; faveur, favoriser
* * * * *
The little bronze clock on which stood a cupid who had just shot his bolt struck midnight.
shot - tir; tirai, tiré, tirâmes, tirerent, tira
bolt - boulon; verrouiller, boulon, pene
I rose, and wanted to leave.
Wanda said nothing, but embraced me and drew me back on the ottoman. She began to kiss me anew, and this silent language was so comprehensible, so convincing-
comprehensible - compréhensible
convincing - convaincante; convaincre, persuader
And it told me more than I dared to understand.
dared - osé; oser
A languid abandonment pervaded Wanda's entire being. What a voluptuous softness there was in the gloaming of her half-closed eyes, in the red flood of her hair which shimmered faintly under the white powder, in the red and white satin which crackled about her with every movement, in the swelling ermine of the kazabaika in which she carelessly nestled.
languid - langoureux; languissant
abandonment - l'abandon; ; désertion, abandon
pervaded - imprégné; saturer, pénétrer, envahir
voluptuous - voluptueux
gloaming - l'obscurité; crepecrépuscule
flood - inondation, inonder, submerger, noyer
shimmered - chatoyante; miroiter
swelling - gonflement; (swell); gonflement
nestled - niché; se pelotonner, se nicher, se pelotonner
"Please," I stammered, "but you will be angry with me."
"Do with me what you will," she whispered.
whispered - chuchoté; chuchotement, chuchoter, susurrer, murmurer
"Well, then whip me, or I shall go mad."
go mad - devenir fou
"Haven't I forbidden you," said Wanda sternly, "but you are incorrigible."
forbidden - interdites; interdire, nier, dénier
sternly - séverement
incorrigible - incorrigible, incorrigible
"Oh, I am so terribly in love." I had sunken on my knees, and was burying my glowing face in her lap.
"I really believe," said Wanda thoughtfully, "that your madness is nothing but a demonic, unsatisfied sensuality. Our unnatural way of life must generate such illnesses. Were you less virtuous, you would be completely sane."
thoughtfully - de maniere réfléchie
unnatural - contre nature
generate - générer, engendrer
sane - sain, sain d'esprit
"Well then, make me sane," I murmured. My hands were running through her hair and playing tremblingly with the gleaming fur, which rose and fell like a moonlit wave upon her heaving bosom, and drove all my senses into confusion.
murmured - murmuré; murmure, rumeur, souffle, rumeur, murmure, murmurer
tremblingly - en tremblant
gleaming - étincelante; ; brillant; (gleam) étincelante; ; brillant
And I kissed her. No, she kissed me savagely, pitilessly, as if she wanted to slay me with her kisses. I was as in a delirium, and had long since lost my reason, but now I, too, was breathless. I sought to free myself.
savagely - sauvagement
kisses - des baisers; (s'')embrasser
delirium - le délire; ; délire
"What is the matter?" asked Wanda.
"I am suffering agonies."
agonies - agonies; agonie, angoisse, agonie, agonie
"You are suffering-" she broke out into a loud amused laughter.
"You laugh!" I moaned, "have you no idea-"
moaned - gémi; gémissement, se plaindre, geindre, gémir, mugir
She was serious all of a sudden. She raised my head in her hands, and with a violent gesture drew me to her breast.
gesture - geste, signe
"Wanda," I stammered.
"Of course, you enjoy suffering," she said, and laughed again, "but wait, I'll bring you to your senses."
"No, I will no longer ask," I exclaimed, "whether you want to belong to me for always or for only a brief moment of intoxication. I want to drain my happiness to the full. You are mine now, and I would rather lose you than never to have had you."
brief - bref, court
drain - vidange; ; drain, bonde, hémorragie, gouffre, drainer
"Now you are sensible," she said. She kissed me again with her murderous lips. I tore the ermine apart and the covering of lace and her naked breast surged against mine.
sensible - sensible, sensé, raisonnable
murderous - meurtriere
apart - a part; ; séparé, séparément, a part, en morceaux, en pieces
lace - dentelle; dentelle, pointue
naked - nue; nu, a poil, dénudé
surged - a surgi; montée, poussée, vague, afflux, montée, houle, pompage
Then my senses left me-
The first thing I remember is the moment when I saw blood dripping from my hand, and she asked apathetically: "Did you scratch me?"
dripping - goutte a goutte; dégoulinade
apathetically - de maniere apathique
scratch - gratter, égratigner, piquer, rayer, biffer, oblitérer
"No, I believe, I have bitten you."
bitten - mordu; mordre, mordre, mordre, maintenir, garder, mordre
* * * * *
It is strange how every relation in life assumes a different face as soon as a new person enters.
assumes - suppose; supposer, présupposer, présumer, assumer, adopter
We spent marvellous days together; we visited the mountains and lakes, we read together, and I completed Wanda's portrait. And how we loved one another, how beautiful her smiling face was!
Then a friend of hers arrived, a divorced woman somewhat older, more experienced, and less scrupulous than Wanda. Her influence is already making itself felt in every direction.
scrupulous - scrupuleux
Wanda wrinkles her brows, and displays a certain impatience with me.
wrinkles - rides; ride
displays - affichages; représentation, spectacle, moniteur, écran
Impatience - impatience
Has she ceased loving me?
ceased - cessé; cesser, s'arreter, cesser de + ''infinitive''
* * * * *
For almost a fortnight this unbearable restraint has lain upon us. Her friend lives with her, and we are never alone. A circle of men surrounds the young women. With my seriousness and melancholy I am playing an absurd role as lover. Wanda treats me like a stranger.
fortnight - quinze jours, deux semaines, quinzaine
unbearable - insupportable
restraint - la retenue; ; contention, frein, retenue
surrounds - les environs; entourer, enceindre
absurd - absurde
today, while out walking, she staid behind with me. I saw that this was done intentionally, and I rejoiced. But what did she tell me?
intentionally - intentionnellement
rejoiced - s'est réjoui; réjouir
"My friend doesn't understand how I can love you. She doesn't think you either handsome or particularly attractive otherwise. She is telling me from morning till night about the glamour of the frivolous life in the capital, hinting at the advantages to which I could lay claim, the large parties which I would find there, and the distinguished and handsome admirers which I would attract.
handsome - beau
hinting at - fait allusion
claim - réclamation, titre, affirmation, revendication, demande
distinguished - distingué; distinguer, distinguer, distinguer
But of what use is all this, since it happens that I love you."
For a moment I lost my breath, then I said: "I have no wish to stand in the way of your happiness, Wanda. Do not consider me." Then I raised my hat, and let her go ahead. She looked at me surprised, but did not answer a syllable.
ahead - a l'avance; ; devant
syllable - syllabe
When by chance I happened to be close to her on the way back, she secretly pressed my hand. Her glance was so radiant, so full of promised happiness, that in a moment all the torments of these days were forgotten and all their wounds healed.
healed - guéri; guérir, (se) cicatriser
I now am aware again of how much I love her.
aware - conscient; ; attentif, vigilant, en éveil, en alerte
* * * * *
"My friend has complained about you," said Wanda today.
"Perhaps she feels that I despise her."
despise - mépriser, dédaigner
"But why do you despise her, you foolish young man?" exclaimed
Wanda, pulling my ears with both hands.
"Because she is a hypocrite," I said. "I respect only a woman who is actually virtuous, or who openly lives for pleasure's sake."
hypocrite - hypocrite, pharisien, pharisienne, tartufe
openly - ouvertement
"Like me, for instance," replied Wanda jestingly, "but you see, child, a woman can only do that in the rarest cases. She can neither be as gaily sensual, nor as spiritually free as man; her state is always a mixture of the sensual and spiritual. Her heart desires to enchain man permanently, while she herself is ever subject to the desire for change. The result is a conflict, and thus usually against her wishes lies and deception enter into her actions and personality and corrupt her character.
jestingly - en plaisantant
rarest - le plus rare; rare
spiritually - spirituellement
mixture - mélange, mixture
enchain - enchainer
conflict - conflit, incompatibilité
deception - supercherie, tromperie
"Certainly that is true," I said. "The transcendental character with which woman wants to stamp love leads her to deception."
"But the world likewise demands it," Wanda interrupted. "Look at this woman. She has a husband and a lover in Lemberg and has found a new admirer here. She deceives all three and yet is honored by all and respected by the world."
demands - demandes; demande, demande, exigence, exiger
deceives - trompe; tromper, leurrer, séduire
honored - honoré; honneur, honorer
respected - respecté; respect, respecter
"I don't care," I exclaimed, "but she is to leave you alone; she treats you like an article of commerce."
commerce - le commerce; ; commerce, rapports
"Why not?" the beautiful woman interrupted vivaciously. "Every woman has the instinct or desire to draw advantage out of her attractions, and much is to be said for giving one's self without love or pleasure because if you do it in cold blood, you can reap profit to best advantage."
vivaciously - avec vivacité
instinct - l'instinct; ; instinct
attractions - des attractions; attraction, attirance
reap - récolter
"Wanda, what are you saying?"
"Why not?" she said, "and take note of what I am about to say to you. Never feel secure with the woman you love, for there are more dangers in woman's nature than you imagine. Women are neither as good as their admirers and defenders maintain, nor as bad as their enemies make them out to be. Woman's character is characterlessness. The best woman will momentarily go down into the mire, and the worst unexpectedly rises to deeds of greatness and goodness and puts to shame those that despise her. No woman is so good or so bad, but that at any moment she is capable of the most diabolical as well as of the most divine, of the filthiest as well as of the purest, thoughts, emotions, and actions.
defenders - défenseurs; défenseur, défenseuse, défenseur
maintain - entretenir, maintenir
characterlessness - l'absence de caractere
momentarily - momentanément
mire - fange
deeds - des actes; acte, action, ouvre, exploit, haut fait, prouesse
greatness - la grandeur; ; grandeur
goodness - la bonté; ; bonté, bonté divine, corbleu, crebleu, jarnibleu
filthiest - le plus sale; crasseux
purest - le plus pur; pur
thoughts - réflexions; idée, pensée, pensée
In spite of all the advances of civilization, woman has remained as she came out of the hand of nature. She has the nature of a savage, who is faithful or faithless, magnanimous or cruel, according to the impulse that dominates at the moment. Throughout history it has always been a serious deep culture which has produced moral character. Man even when he is selfish or evil always follows principles, woman never follows anything but impulses. Don't ever forget that, and never feel secure with the woman you love."
advances - des avancées; élever, avancer, avancer, avancée, progression
civilization - la civilisation; ; civilisation
faithless - sans foi ni loi
magnanimous - magnanime
throughout - tout au long de l'année; ; tout au long de, durant
moral - moral, moral, moralité, morale
impulses - des impulsions; impulsion
* * * * *
Her friend has left. At last an evening alone with her again. It seems as if Wanda had saved up all the love, which had been kept from her, for this superlative evening; never had she been so kind, so near, so full of tenderness.
superlative - summum, superlatif, supreme
tenderness - tendresse
What happiness to cling to her lips, and to die away in her arms! In a state of relaxation and wholly mine, her head rests against my breast, and with drunken rapture our eyes seek each other.
cling - s'accrocher; s''accrocher (a)
die away - s'éteindre
relaxation - la détente; ; relaxation, détente, relaxation (1, 5)
I cannot yet believe, comprehend, that this woman is mine, wholly mine.
comprehend - comprendre
"She is right on one point," Wanda began, without moving, without opening her eyes, as if she were asleep.
She remained silent.
She nodded. "Yes, she is right, you are not a man, you are a dreamer, a charming cavalier, and you certainly would be a priceless slave, but I cannot imagine you as husband."
nodded - hoché la tete; dodeliner, hocher, dodeliner, hochement
cavalier - nonchalant, cavalier, chevalier
priceless - inestimable
I was frightened.
"What is the matter? You are trembling?"
"I tremble at the thought of how easily I might lose you," I replied.
"Are you made less happy now, because of this?" she replied. "Does it rob you of any of your joys, that I have belonged to another before I did to you, that others after you will possess me, and would you enjoy less if another were made happy simultaneously with you?"
rob - rob; ravir, piller
joys - joies; joie
"You see," she continued, "that would be a way out. You won't ever lose me then. I care deeply for you and intellectually we are harmonious, and I should like to live with you always, if in addition to you I might have-"
intellectually - intellectuellement
harmonious - harmonieux
"What an idea," I cried. "You fill me with a sort of horror."
"Do you love me any the less?"
"On the contrary."
Wanda had raised herself on her left arm. "I believe," she said, "that to hold a man permanently, it is vitally important not to be faithful to him. What honest woman has ever been as devotedly loved as a hetaira?"
vitally - vitalement
devotedly - avec dévouement
hetaira - hetaira
"There is a painful stimulus in the unfaithfulness of a beloved woman. It is the highest kind of ecstacy."
painful - douloureux, laborieux
"For you, too?" Wanda asked quickly.
"For me, too."
"And if I should give you that pleasure," Wanda exclaimed mockingly.
"I shall suffer terrible agonies, but I shall adore you the more," I replied. "But you would never deceive me, you would have the daemonic greatness of saying to me: I shall love no one but you, but I shall make happy whoever pleases me."
daemonic - démoniaque
Whoever - quiconque, qui que ce soit qui
Wanda shook her head. "I don't like deception, I am honest, but what man exists who can support the burden of truth. Were I say to you: this serene, sensual life, this paganism is my ideal, would you be strong enough to bear it?"
burden - charge; accablement, alourdissons, alourdir, alourdissez
"Certainly. I could endure anything so as not to lose you. I feel how little I really mean to you."
"But it is so," said I, "and just for that reason-"
"For that reason you would-" she smiled roguishly-"have I guessed it?"
"Be your slave!" I exclaimed. "Be your unrestricted property, without a will of my own, of which you could dispose as you wished, and which would therefore never be a burden to you. While you drink life at its fullness, while surrounded by luxury, you enjoy the serene happiness and Olympian love, I want to be your servant, put on and take off your shoes."
unrestricted - sans restriction
property - propriété, accessoire
dispose - débarrasser
fullness - la plénitude; ; plénitude
"You really aren't so far from wrong," replied Wanda, "for only as my slave could you endure my loving others. Furthermore the freedom of enjoyment of the ancient world is unthinkable without slavery. It must give one a feeling of like unto a god to see a man kneel before one and tremble. I want a slave, do you hear, Severin?"
freedom - la liberté; ; liberté
unthinkable - incroyable, inconcevable, impensable, inimaginable
"Am I not your slave?"
"Then listen to me," said Wanda excitedly, seizing my hand. "I want to be yours, as long as I love you."
seizing - la saisie; emparant; (seize); saisir, emparer
"Perhaps, even two."
"Then you become my slave."
"I? Why do you ask? I am a goddess and sometimes I descend from my
descend from - descendre de
Olympian heights to you, softly, very softly, and secretly.
"But what does all this mean," said Wanda, resting her head in both hands with her gaze lost in the distance, "a golden fancy which never can become true." An uncanny brooding melancholy seemed shed over her entire being; I have never seen her like that.
gaze - regard; ; fixer
fancy - fantaisie; imaginer, songer
shed - hangar; hangar, verser, stand, kiosque, échoppe
"Why unachievable?" I began.
unachievable - irréalisable
"Because slavery doesn't exist any longer."
"Then we will go to a country where it still exists, to the Orient, to Turkey," I said eagerly.
Orient - orientent, orientons, orientez
turkey - la dinde; ; dinde, dindon, viande de dinde
"You would-Severin-in all seriousness," Wanda replied. Her eyes burned.
"Yes, in all seriousness, I want to be your slave," I continued. "I want your power over me to be sanctified by law; I want my life to be in your hands, I want nothing that could protect or save me from you. Oh, what a voluptuous joy when once I feel myself entirely dependent upon your absolute will, your whim, at your beck and call.
sanctified - sanctifié; consacrer, sanctifier
dependent - dépendant, dépendant, dépendante
beck - beck; au doigt et a l''oeil
And then what happiness, when at some time you deign to be gracious, and the slave may kiss the lips which mean life and death to him." I knelt down, and leaned my burning forehead against her knee.
deign - deign; ; daigner, condescendre
knelt - a genoux; agenouiller
"You are talking as in a fever," said Wanda agitatedly, "and you really love me so endlessly." She held me to her breast, and covered me with kisses.
agitatedly - avec agitation
endlessly - sans fin; ; indéfiniment
"You really want it?"
"I swear to you now by God and my honor, that I shall be your slave, wherever and whenever you wish it, as soon as you command," I exclaimed, hardly master of myself.
swear - jurer; jurer, blasphémer, jurez, jurons, jurent
honor - l'honneur; ; honneur, honorer
"And if I take you at your word?" said Wanda.
"All this appeals to me," she said then. "It is different from anything else-to know that a man who worships me, and whom I love with all my heart, is so wholly mine, dependent on my will and caprice, my possession and slave, while I-"
appeals - des appels; en appeler (a), supplier
worships - vénere; culte, adoration, vénération, culte, culte, vénérer
She looked strangely at me.
"If I should become frightfully frivolous you are to blame," she continued. "It almost seems as if you were afraid of me already, but you have sworn."
blame - blâme; blâme, gronder, blâment, blâmons, blâmez, blâmer
sworn - assermenté; jurer
"And I shall keep my oath."
"I shall see to that," she replied. "I am beginning to enjoy it, and, heaven help me, we won't stick to fancies now. You shall become my slave, and I-I shall try to be Venus in Furs."
stick - bâton; bâton, canne, stick
fancies - des fantaisies; envie, caprice
* * * * *
I thought that at last I knew this woman, understood her, and now I see I have to begin at the very beginning again. Only a little while ago her reaction to my dreams was violently hostile, and now she tries to carry them into execution with the soberest seriousness.
reaction - réaction
soberest - plus sobre; sobre, sobre, sobre, sobre, cuver
She has drawn up a contract according to which I give my word of honor and agree under oath to be her slave, as long as she wishes.
contract - contrat; contractez, contractent, contrat, contractons
With her arm around my neck she reads this, unprecedented, incredible document to me. The end of each sentence she punctuates with a kiss.
unprecedented - sans précédent
punctuates - ponctue; ponctuer
"But all the obligations in the contract are on my side," I said, teasing her.
teasing - taquineries; (teas) taquineries
"Of course," she replied with great seriousness, "you cease to be my lover, and consequently I am released from all duties and obligations towards you. You will have to look upon my favors as pure benevolence. You no longer have any rights, and no longer can lay claim to any. There can be no limit to my power over you.
cease - cesser, s'arreter, cesser de + ''infinitive''
released - libéré; libérer
benevolence - la bienveillance; ; bienveillance, bénévolence
limit - limite; circonscrivez, limitons, circonscrivons, limitez
Remember, that you won't be much better than a dog, or some inanimate object. You will be mine, my plaything, which I can break to pieces, whenever I want an hour's amusement. You are nothing, I am everything. Do you understand?" She laughed and kissed me again, and yet a sort of cold shiver ran through me.
inanimate - inanimé; inanimé
break to pieces - se briser en morceaux
amusement - l'amusement; ; amusement
shiver - frisson; trembler, frissonner
"Won't you allow me a few conditions-" I began.
"Conditions?" She contracted her forehead. "Ah! You are afraid already, or perhaps you regret, but it is too late now. You have sworn, I have your word of honor. But let me hear them."
regret - regretter, regret
"First of all I should like to have it included in our contract, that you will never completely leave me, and then that you will never give me over to the mercies of any of your admirers-"
mercies - des miséricordes; miséricorde, pitié, miséricorde, miséricorde
"But Severin," exclaimed Wanda with her voice full of emotion and with tears in her eyes, "how can you imagine that I-and you, a man who loves me so absolutely, who puts himself so entirely in my power-" She halted.
emotion - l'émotion; ; émotion
halted - arreté; (s'')arreter
"No, no!" I said, covering her hands with kisses. "I don't fear anything from you that might dishonor me. Forgive me the ugly thought."
dishonor - déshonneur; déshonneur
forgive - pardonner
Wanda smiled happily, leaned her cheek against mine, and seemed to reflect.
"You have forgotten something," she whispered coquettishly, "the most important thing!"
"Yes, that I must always wear my furs," exclaimed Wanda. "But I promise you I'll do that anyhow because they give me a despotic feeling. And I shall be very cruel to you, do you understand?"
anyhow - d'une maniere ou d'une autre; ; de toute maniere
"Shall I sign the contract?" I asked.
"Not yet," said Wanda. "I shall first add your conditions, and the actual signing won't occur until the proper time and place."
actual - réel, effectif, checkeffectif, checkprésent
occur - se produisent; ; produire
proper - appropriée; ; approprié, convenable, exact, juste, propre
Constantinople - Constantinople
"No. I have thought things over. What special value would there be in owning a slave where everyone owns slaves. What I want is to have a slave, I alone, here in our civilized sober, Philistine world, and a slave who submits helplessly to my power solely on account of my beauty and personality, not because of law, of property rights, or compulsions. This attracts me. But at any rate we will go to a country where we are not known and where you can appear before the world as my servant without embarrassment. Perhaps to Italy, to Rome or Naples.
civilized - civilisé; civiliser
sober - sobre, cuver
Philistine - Philistin, Philistine
submits - se soumet; soumettre
solely - uniquement, exclusivement, seulement
Italy - l'italie; Italie
Naples - naples; Naples, Naples
* * * * *
We were sitting on Wanda's ottoman. She wore her ermine jacket, her hair was loose and fell like a lion's mane down her back. She clung to my lips, drawing my soul from my body. My head whirled, my blood began to seethe, my heart beat violently against hers.
loose - en vrac; ample, desserré
lion's mane - la criniere du lion
whirled - tourbillonné; tourbillonner
seethe - seethe; ; bouillonner, bouillir
"I want to be absolutely in your power, Wanda," I exclaimed suddenly, seized by that frenzy of passion when I can scarcely think clearly or decide freely. "I want to put myself absolutely at your mercy for good or evil without any condition, without any limit to your power."
frenzy - frénésie
scarcely - a peine; ; a peine, guere
freely - librement
While saying this I had slipped from the ottoman, and lay at her feet looking up at her with drunken eyes.
slipped - a glissé; glisser
"How beautiful you now are," she exclaimed, "your eyes half-broken in ecstacy fill me with joy, carry me away. How wonderful your look would be if you were being beaten to death, in the extreme agony. You have the eye of a martyr."
agony - l'agonie; ; agonie, angoisse
* * * * *
Sometimes, nevertheless, I have an uneasy feeling about placing myself so absolutely, so unconditionally into a woman's hands. Suppose she did abuse my passion, her power?
uneasy - mal a l'aise; inquiet
Well, then I would experience what has occupied my imagination since my childhood, what has always given me the feeling of seductive terror. A foolish apprehension! It will be a wanton game she will play with me, nothing more. She loves me, and she is good, a noble personality, incapable of a breach of faith. But it lies in her hands -if she wants to she can. What a temptation in this doubt, this fear!
seductive - séduisante
terror - la terreur; ; terreur, effroi, terrorisme
wanton - indiscipliné, lascif, lubrique, dévergondé, licencieux, gratuit
incapable - incapable
breach - infraction, violation, breche, brouille
Faith - la foi; ; foi, rench:, confiance
temptation - la tentation; ; tentation
Now I understand Manon l'Escault and the poor chevalier, who, even in the pillory, while she was another man's mistress, still adored her.
pillory - pilori, mettre au pilori, clouer au pilori
Love knows no virtue, no profit; it loves and forgives and suffers everything, because it must. It is not our judgment that leads us; it is neither the advantages nor the faults which we discover, that make us abandon ourselves, or that repel us.
forgives - pardonne; pardonner
suffers - souffre; souffrir, souffrir, souffrir de, pâtir de, endurer
faults - défauts; défaut, faute, faute, faille, faute
repel - rebuter, repousser
It is a sweet, soft, enigmatic power that drives us on. We cease to think, to feel, to will; we let ourselves be carried away by it, and ask not whither?
enigmatic - énigmatique
whither - ou; ou
* * * * *
A Russian prince made his first appearance today on the promenade. He aroused general interest on account of his athletic figure, magnificent face, and splendid bearing. The women particularly gaped at him as though he were a wild animal, but he went his way gloomily without paying attention to any one. He was accompanied by two servants, one a negro, completely dressed in red satin, and the other a Circassian in his full gleaming uniform.
prince - prince
promenade - promenade; ; promenoir, promener
aroused - excité; émoustiller, exciter
athletic - athlétique, sportif
gaped at - bafoué
accompanied - accompagné; accompagner, accompagner
servants - serviteurs; serviteur, domestique, servante, domestique, fr
negro - negre; ; negre, negre
Suddenly he saw Wanda, and fixed his cold piercing look upon her; he even turned his head after her, and when she had passed, he stood still and followed her with his eyes.
And she-she veritably devoured him with her radiant green eyes-and did everything possible to meet him again.
veritably - véritablement
devoured - dévorée; dévorer, dévorer, dévorer
The cunning coquetry with which she walked, moved, and looked at him, almost stifled me. On the way home I remarked about it. She knit her brows.
cunning - astucieux; rusé
stifled - étouffé; étouffer
remarked - remarqué; remarque
knit - tricot; ; tricoter, souder, unir, se souder
"What do you want," she said, "the prince is a man whom I might like, who even dazzles me, and I am free. I can do what I please-"
dazzles - éblouit; éblouir, éblouir
"Don't you love me any longer-" I stammered, frightened.
"I love only you," she replied, "but I shall have the prince pay court to me."
"Aren't you my slave?" she said calmly. "Am I not Venus, the cruel northern Venus in Furs?"
I was silent. I felt literally crushed by her words; her cold look entered my heart like a dagger.
crushed - écrasé; barricade, béguin, amourette, faible, coup de cour
dagger - poignard; surin
"You will find out immediately the prince's name, residence, and circumstances," she continued. "Do you understand?"
residence - résidence, siege social
circumstances - circonstances; circonstance
"No argument, obey!" exclaimed Wanda, more sternly than I would have thought possible for her, "and don't dare to enter my sight until you can answer my questions."
It was not till afternoon that I could obtain the desired information for Wanda. She let me stand before her like a servant, while she leaned back in her arm-chair and listened to me, smiling. Then she nodded; she seemed to be satisfied.
not till - pas avant
arm-chair - (arm-chair) fauteuil
"Bring me my footstool," she commanded shortly.
shortly - dans peu de temps; ; rapidement, brievement
I obeyed, and after having put it before her and having put her feet on it, I remained kneeling.
"How will this end?" I asked sadly after a short pause.
She broke into playful laughter. "Why things haven't even begun yet."
playful - ludique; ; folâtre, enjoué, joueur
"You are more heartless than I imagined," I replied, hurt.
more heartless - plus sans cour
"Severin," Wanda began earnestly. "I haven't done anything yet, not the slightest thing, and you are already calling me heartless. What will happen when I begin to carry your dreams to their realization, when I shall lead a gay, free life and have a circle of admirers about me, when I shall actually fulfil your ideal, tread you underfoot and apply the lash?"
earnestly - sincerement; ; sérieusement
slightest - le moins du monde; insignifiant, léger
heartless - sans cour; ; sans-cour
lead - du plomb
fulfil - remplir; accomplir
"You take my dreams too seriously."
"Too seriously? I can't stop at make-believe, when once I begin," she replied. "You know I hate all play-acting and comedy. You have wished it. Was it my idea or yours? Did I persuade you or did you inflame my imagination? I am taking things seriously now."
make-believe - (make-believe) faire semblant
persuade - persuader
inflame - s'enflammer; ; allumer
"Wanda," I replied, caressingly, "listen quietly to me. We love each other infinitely, we are very happy, will you sacrifice our entire future to a whim?"
caressingly - caressant
sacrifice - sacrifier, sacrifice, offrande
"It is no longer a whim," she exclaimed.
"What is it?" I asked frightened.
"Something that was probably latent in me," she said quietly and thoughtfully. "Perhaps it would never have come to light, if you had not called it to life, and made it grow. Now that it has become a powerful impulse, fills my whole being, now that I enjoy it, now that I cannot and do not want to do otherwise, now you want to back out- you-are you a man?"
powerful - puissant
impulse - impulsion
"Dear, sweet Wanda!" I began to caress her, kiss her.
caress - caresse; ; caresser
"Don't-you are not a man-"
"And you," I flared up.
flared up - s'est enflammé
"I am stubborn," she said, "you know that. I haven't a strong imagination, and like you I am weak in execution. But when I make up my mind to do something, I carry it through, and the more certainly, the more opposition I meet. Leave me alone!"
stubborn - tetu; ; tetu, enteté, borné
opposition - l'opposition; ; opposition
She pushed me away, and got up.
"Wanda!" I likewise rose, and stood facing her.
"Now you know what I am," she continued. "Once more I warn you. You still have the choice. I am not compelling you to be my slave."
"Wanda," I replied with emotion and tears filling my eyes, "don't you know how I love you?"
Her lips quivered contemptuously.
quivered - a tremblé; frémir
contemptuously - avec mépris
"You are mistaken, you make yourself out worse than you are; you are good and noble by nature-"
"What do you know about my nature," she interrupted vehemently, "you will get to know me as I am."
vehemently - avec véhémence
"Decide, will you submit, unconditionally?"
submit - se soumettre
"And if I say no."
She stepped close up to me, cold and contemptuous. As she stood before me now, the arms folded across her breast, with an evil smile about her lips, she was in fact the despotic woman of my dreams. Her expression seemed hard, and nothing lay in her eyes that promised kindness or mercy.
contemptuous - méprisante; ; méprisant, dédaigneux, contempteur
kindness - la gentillesse; ; bonté
"Well-" she said at last.
"You are angry," I cried, "you will punish me."
punish - punir, châtier
"Oh no!" she replied, "I shall let you go. You are free. I am not holding you."
"Wanda-I, who love you so-"
"Yes, you, my dear sir, you who adore me," she exclaimed contemptuously, "but who are a coward, a liar, and a breaker of promises. Leave me instantly-"
coward - lâche; ; couard, couarde, poltron, poltronne
liar - menteur, menteuse
breaker - briseur
instantly - instantanément, instamment
wretch - malheureux; malheureux/-euse
My blood rose in my heart. I threw myself down at her feet and began to cry.
"Tears, too!" She began to laugh. Oh, this laughter was frightful.
"Leave me-I don't want to see you again."
"Oh my God!" I cried, beside myself. "I will do whatever you command, be your slave, a mere object with which you can do what you will-only don't send me away-I can't bear it-I cannot live without you." I embraced her knees, and covered her hand with kisses.
mere - simple; simple
"Yes, you must be a slave, and feel the lash, for you are not a man," she said calmly. She said this to me with perfect composure, not angrily, not even excitedly, and it was what hurt most. "Now I know you, your dog-like nature, that adores where it is kicked, and the more, the more it is maltreated. Now I know you, and now you shall come to know me."
composure - le sang-froid; ; calme, quiétude
kicked - botté; donner un coup de pied (a, dans)
She walked up and down with long strides, while I remained crushed on my knees; my head was hanging supine, tears flowed from my eyes.
strides - foulées; marcher a grands pas
supine - en décubitus dorsal; ; supinal, supin
"Come here," Wanda commanded harshly, sitting down on the ottoman. I obeyed her command, and sat down beside her. She looked at me sombrely, and then a light suddenly seemed to illuminate the interior of her eye. Smiling, she drew me toward her breast, and began to kiss the tears out of my eyes.
sombrely - sombrement
illuminate - éclairer; ; illuminer
interior - intérieur, intérieur
* * * * *
The odd part of my situation is that I am like the bear in Lily's park. I can escape and don't want to; I am ready to endure everything as soon as she threatens to set me free.
odd - rench: t-needed r, bizarre, étrange, impair, a peu pres
Lily - lily; ; lys
Threatens - menace; menacer, menacer
set - set; ; Seth
* * * * *
If only she would use the whip again. There is something uncanny in the kindness with which she treats me. I seem like a little captive mouse with which a beautiful cat prettily plays. She is ready at any moment to tear it to pieces, and my heart of a mouse threatens to burst.
captive - captif, captive
prettily - joliment
What are her intentions? What does she purpose to do with me?
intentions - intentions; intention
* * * * *
It seems she has completely forgotten the contract, my slavehood. Or was it actually only stubbornness? And she gave up her whole plan as soon as I no longer opposed her and submitted to her imperial whim?
slavehood - l'esclavage
stubbornness - l'entetement; ; entetement
opposed - opposée; s'opposer a, opposer
submitted - soumis; soumettre
Imperial - impérial, royal
How kind she is to me, how tender, how loving! We are spending marvellously happy days.
tender - l'appel d'offres; doux, adjudication, affectieux
marvellously - merveilleusement
today she had me read to her the scene between Faust and
Mephistopheles, in which the latter appears as a wandering scholar.
scholar - étudiant, expert, savant, érudit
Her glance hung on me with strange pleasure.
"I don't understand," she said when I had finished, "how a man who can read such great and beautiful thoughts with such expression, and interpret them so clearly, concisely, and intelligently, can at the same time be such a visionary and supersensual ninny as you are."
Interpret - interpréter, traduire
concisely - de maniere concise
intelligently - intelligemment
visionary - visionnaire, illusoire, imaginaire, prophétique, utopique
"Were you pleased," said I, and kissed her forehead.
She gently stroked my brow. "I love you, Severin," she whispered. "I don't believe I could ever love any one more than you. Let us be sensible, what do you say?"
stroked - caressé; coup
Instead of replying I folded her in my arms; a deep inward, yet vaguely sad happiness filled my breast, my eyes grew moist, and a tear fell upon her hand.
inward - vers l'intérieur; ; intérieur
moist - humide; moite, humide
"How can you cry!" she exclaimed, "you are a child!"
* * * * *
On a pleasure drive we met the Russian prince in his carriage. He seemed to be unpleasantly surprised to see me by Wanda's side, and looked as if he wanted to pierce her through and through with his electric gray eyes. She, however, did not seem to notice him.
carriage - transport; ; rench: t-needed r, carrosse, port, chariot
unpleasantly - désagréable
I felt at that moment like kneeling down before her and kissing her feet. She let her glance glide over him indifferently as though he were an inanimate object, a tree, for instance, and turned to me with her gracious smile.
indifferently - avec indifférence
* * * * *
When I said good-night to her today she seemed suddenly unaccountably distracted and moody. What was occupying her?
unaccountably - de façon inexplicable
distracted - distraits; distraire
moody - de mauvaise humeur; ; lunatique, mélancolique, lugubre
occupying - l'occupation; occuper, occuper, occuper, occuper, habiter
"I am sorry you are going," she said when I was already standing on the threshold.
"It is entirely in your hands to shorten the hard period of my trial, to cease tormenting me-" I pleaded.
shorten - raccourcir, écourter
trial - proces; manipulation
"Do you imagine that this compulsion isn't a torment for me, too,"
interjected - s'est interposé; intervenir
"Then end it," I exclaimed, embracing her, "be my wife."
"Never, Severin," she said gently, but with great firmness.
firmness - la fermeté; ; fermeté
"What do you mean?"
I was frightened in my innermost soul.
"You are not the man for me."
I looked at her, and slowly withdrew my arm which was still about her waist; then I left the room, and she-she did not call me back.
waist - taille, ceinture
* * * * *
A sleepless night; I made countless decisions, only to toss them aside again. In the morning I wrote her a letter in which I declared our relationship dissolved. My hand trembled when I put on the seal, and I burned my fingers.
sleepless - l'insomnie; ; insomniaque
countless - innombrables; ; incalculable, innombrable
toss - de la balle; ; jet, au pile ou face, tirage au sort, lancer
declared - déclarée; expliquer, déclarer, déclarer, déclarer, déclarer
Dissolved - dissous; dissoudre, dissoudre, dissoudre
trembled - tremblait; trembler, vibrer, trembler, tremblement, vibration
seal - sceau
As I went upstairs to hand it to the maid, my knees threatened to give way.
The door opened, and Wanda thrust forth her head full of curling-papers.
thrust - estocade, poussée, propulser
forth - avant; en avant
curling - le curling; ; curling; (curl); boucle, rotationnel, boucler
"I haven't had my hair dressed yet," she said, smiling. "What have you there?"
"Ah, you want to break with me," she exclaimed, mockingly.
"Didn't you tell me yesterday that I wasn't the man for you?"
"I repeat it now!"
"Very well, then." My whole body was trembling, my voice failed me, and I handed her the letter.
"Keep it," she said, measuring me coldly. "You forget that is no longer a question as to whether you satisfy me as a man; as a slave you will doubtless do well enough."
coldly - froidement
satisfy - satisfaire
"Madame!" I exclaimed, aghast.
aghast - consterné; ; effaré, stupéfait, épouvanté, paniqué
"That is what you will call me in the future," replied Wanda, throwing back her head with a movement of unutterable contempt. "Put your affairs in order within the next twenty-four hours. The day after tomorrow I shall start for Italy, and you will accompany me as my servant."
throwing back - en jetant en arriere
unutterable - indicible
affairs - affaires; aventure, liaison
start for - pour commencer
"I forbid any sort of familiarity," she said, cutting my words short, "likewise you are not to come in unless I call or ring for you, and you are not to speak to me until you are spoken to. From now on your name is no longer Severin, but Gregor."
forbid - interdire, nier, dénier
familiarity - familiarité
Unless - a moins que; ; a moins que, sauf si
ring - anneau; cerne, ring, anneau, tinter
I trembled with rage, and yet, unfortunately, I cannot deny it, I also felt a strange pleasure and stimulation.
"But, madame, you know my circumstances," I began in my confusion. "I am dependent on my father, and I doubt whether he will give me the large sum of money needed for this journey-"
sum - somme; somme
"That means you have no money, Gregor," said Wanda, delightedly, "so much the better, you are then entirely dependent on me, and in fact my slave."
delightedly - avec plaisir
"You don't consider," I tried to object, "that as man of honor it is impossible for me-"
"I have indeed considered it," she replied almost with a tone of command. "As a man of honor you must keep your oath and redeem your promise to follow me as slave whithersoever I demand and to obey whatever I command. Now leave me, Gregor!"
tone - ton; tonalité, ton, tonale
redeem - racheter, libérer, secourir, soulager, liquider, réparer
whithersoever - ou que ce soit
I turned toward the door.
"Not yet-you may first kiss my hand." She held it out to me with a certain proud indifference, and I the dilettante, the donkey, the miserable slave pressed it with intense tenderness against my lips which were dry and hot with excitement.
indifference - l'indifférence; ; indifférence
intense - intense
excitement - l'excitation; ; excitation
There was another gracious nod of the head.
nod - hochement de tete; ; dodeliner, hocher, hochement
Then I was dismissed.
dismissed - licencié; renvoyer, limoger, licencier, démettre, renvoyer
* * * * *
Though it was late in the evening my light was still lit, and a fire was burning in the large green stove. There were still many things among my letters and documents to be put in order. Autumn, as is usually the case with us, had fallen with all its power.
stove - poele; fourneau, poele, cuisiniere; (stave); douve, fuseau
put in order - mis en ordre
Suddenly she knocked at my window with the handle of her whip.
knocked at - frappé
I opened and saw her standing outside in her ermine-lined jacket and in a high round Cossack cap of ermine of the kind which the great Catherine favored.
favored - favorisé; faveur, favoriser
"Are you ready, Gregor?" she asked darkly.
darkly - sombrement
"Not yet, mistress," I replied.
"I like that word," she said then, "you are always to call me mistress, do you understand? We leave here tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. As far as the district capital you will be my companion and friend, but from the moment that we enter the railway-coach you are my slave, my servant. Now close the window, and open the door."
companion - compagnon, compagne
After I had done as she had demanded, and after she had entered, she asked, contracting her brows ironically, "well, how do you like me."
demanded - demandée; demande, demande, exigence, exiger
"Who gave you permission?" She gave me a blow with the whip.
"You are very beautiful, mistress."
Wanda smiled and sat down in the arm-chair. "Kneel down-here beside my chair."
"Kiss my hand."
I seized her small cold hand and kissed it.
"And the mouth-"
In a surge of passion I threw my arms around the beautiful cruel woman, and covered her face, arms, and breast with glowing kisses. She returned them with equal fervor-the eyelids closed as in a dream. It was after midnight when she left.
surge - sursaut; ; montée, poussée, vague, afflux, houle, pompage
fervor - ferveur, ferveur (f), checkémoi (m)
eyelids - paupieres; paupiere
* * * * *
At nine o'clock sharp in the morning everything was ready for departure, as she had ordered. We left the little Carpathian health-resort in a comfortable light carriage. The most interesting drama of my life had reached a point of development whose denouement it was then impossible to foretell.
departure - départ, déviation
development - développement
denouement - dénouement
foretell - prédire
So far everything went well. I sat beside Wanda, and she chatted very graciously and intelligently with me, as with a good friend, concerning Italy, Pisemski's new novel, and Wagner's music. She wore a sort of Amazonesque travelling-dress of black cloth with a short jacket of the same material, set with dark fur. It fitted closely and showed her figure to best advantage. Over it she wore dark furs. Her hair wound into an antique knot, lay beneath a small dark fur-hat from which a black veil hung.
graciously - gracieusement
concerning - concernant; inquiétude, souci, soin, souci, préoccupation
cloth - tissu, étoffe, tenue
black veil - voile noir
Wanda was in very good humor; she fed me candies, played with my hair, loosened my neck cloth and made a pretty cockade of it; she covered my knees with her furs and stealthily pressed the fingers of my hand. When our Jewish driver persistently went on nodding to himself, she even gave me a kiss, and her cold lips had the fresh frosty fragrance of a young autumnal rose, which blossoms alone amid bare stalks and yellow leaves and upon whose calyx the first frost has hung tiny diamonds of ice.
humor - l'humour; humour, humeur
candies - des bonbons; bonbon(s)
loosened - desserré; desserrer
cockade - cocarde
stealthily - furtivement
persistently - de façon persistante
nodding to - en faisant un signe de tete
frosty - froid, gelé, givré, glacial
autumnal - automnale
blossoms - fleurs; fleur, floraison, fleurir, s'épanouir
stalks - tiges; tige
calyx - calice
* * * * *
We are at the district capital. We get out at the railway station. Wanda throws off her furs and places them over my arm, and goes to secure the tickets.
railway station - la gare ferroviaire
When she returns she has completely changed.
"Here is your ticket, Gregor," she says in a tone which supercilious ladies use to their servants.
supercilious - hautain
"A third-class ticket," I reply with comic horror.
"Of course," she continues, "but now be careful. You won't get on until I am settled in my compartment and don't need you any longer. At each station you will hurry to my car and ask for my orders. Don't forget. And now give me my furs."
settled - réglée; (s'')installer
compartment - compartiment, terrasse
After I had helped her into them, humbly like a slave, she went to find an empty first-class coupe. I followed. Supporting herself on my shoulder, she got on and I wrapped her feet in bear-skins and placed them on the warming bottle.
humbly - humblement
coupe - coupé
Then she nodded to me, and dismissed me. I slowly ascended a third-class carriage, which was filled with abominable tobacco-smoke that seemed like the fogs of Acheron at the entrance to Hades. I now had the leisure to muse about the riddle of human existence, and about its greatest riddle of all-woman.
nodded to - fait un signe de tete
ascended - ascensionné; monter
abominable - abominable
tobacco-smoke - (tobacco-smoke) la fumée de tabac
entrance - entrée; cochere
Hades - hades; Hades, Hades, (hade) hades; Hades, Hades
riddle - énigme; énigme
* * * * *
Whenever the train stops, I jump off, run to her carriage, and with drawn cap await her orders. She wants coffee and then a glass of water, at another time a bowl of warm water to wash her hands, and thus it goes on. She lets several men who have entered her compartment pay court to her. I am dying of jealousy and have to leap about like an antelope so as to secure what she wants quickly and not miss the train.
jump off - sauter
await - attendre, s'attendre a, servir, guetter
leap - saut; sauter
antelope - antilope
miss the train - manquer le train
In this way the night passes. I haven't had time to eat a mouthful and I can't sleep, I have to breathe the same oniony air with Polish peasants, Jewish peddlers, and common soldiers.
mouthful - bouchée
oniony - aux oignons
polish - polish; ; polonais, polonais
peddlers - colporteurs; colporteur, marchand ambulant
When I mount the steps of her coupe, she is lying stretched out on cushions in her comfortable furs, covered up with the skins of animals. She is like an oriental despot, and the men sit like Indian deities, straight upright against the walls and scarcely dare to breathe.
stretched - étiré; étendre, s'étendre, s'étirer, étirement
cushions - coussins; coussin, amortir
covered up - couvert
Indian - indien; indien, amérindien, indien, Indien, Indienne
deities - divinités; déité, divinité
upright - debout; ; integre, montant
* * * * *
She stops over in Vienna for a day to go shopping, and particularly to buy series of luxurious gowns. She continues to treat me as her servant. I follow her at the respectful distance of ten paces. She hands me her packages without so much as even deigning a kind look, and laden down like a donkey I pant along behind.
Vienna - Vienne
luxurious - luxueux, de luxe
gowns - robes; robe, toge (general term, especially Roman Antiquity)
respectful - respectueux
paces - des allures; pas
packages - paquets; paquet, paquetage, paquet, paquet, empaqueter, emballer
deigning - daigner; daigner, condescendre
laden - laden; ; chargé, chargée; (lade) laden; ; chargé, chargée
pant - pant; haleter
Before leaving she takes all my clothes and gives them to the hotel waiters. I am ordered to put on her livery. It is a Cracovian costume in her colors, light-blue with red facings, and red quadrangular cap, ornamented with peacock-feathers. The costume is rather becoming to me.
livery - la livrée
light-blue - (light-blue) bleu clair
facings - les façades; en face de
quadrangular - quadrangulaire
ornamented - orné; ornement, ornement musical
peacock - paon, paonne
feathers - plumes; plume, fanon, mettre en drapeau, emplumer, fr
The silver buttons bear her coat of arms. I have the feeling of having been sold or of having bonded myself to the devil. My fair demon leads me from Vienna to Florence. Instead of linen-garbed Mazovians and greasy-haired Jews, my companions now are curly-haired Contadini, a magnificent sergeant of the first Italian Grenadiers, and a poor German painter. The tobacco smoke no longer smells of onions, but of salami and cheese.
bonded - lié; lien
linen - le linge; ; toile, lin, linge, linge
haired - cheveux
Companions - compagnons; compagnon, compagne
sergeant - sergent
Grenadiers - grenadiers; grenadier
German - Allemand, Allemande, Germain, Germaine
tobacco - le tabac; ; tabac
salami - salami
Night has fallen again. I lie on my wooden bed as on a rack; my arms and legs seem broken. But there nevertheless is an element of poetry in the affair. The stars sparkle round about, the Italian sergeant has a face like Apollo Belvedere, and the German painter sings a lovely German song.
rack - rack; bâti
affair - affaire; ; aventure, liaison
sparkle - étincelle; brillons, brillez, brillent
Belvedere - belvédere; ; belvédere, belveder
"Now that all the shadows gather
And endless stars grow light,
endless - sans fin; ; infini, interminable, perpétuel
Deep yearning on me falls
And softly fills the night."
"Through the sea of dreams
Sailing without cease,
Sailing goes my soul
In thine to find release."
thine - ton, ta, tes, le tien, la tienne
release - libération; lâcher, libération, laisser, acquitement, libérent
And I am thinking of the beautiful woman who is sleeping in regal comfort among her soft furs.
* * * * *
Florence! Crowds, cries, importunate porters and cab-drivers. Wanda chooses a carriage, and dismisses the porters.
importunate - importun
porters - les porteurs; porteur/-euse
cab - cab; fiacre
dismisses - rejette; renvoyer, limoger, licencier, démettre, renvoyer
"What have I a servant for," she says, "Gregor-here is the ticket- get the luggage."
luggage - bagages; ; bagage
She wraps herself in her furs and sits quietly in the carriage while I drag the heavy trunks hither, one after another. I break down for a moment under the last one; a good-natured carabiniere with an intelligent face comes to my assistance. She laughs.
wraps - enveloppes; enrouler (autour de)
drag - draguer; transbahuter, traîner
trunks - troncs d'arbre; tronc, malle, coffre, trompe
hither - ici, ça
good-natured - (good-natured) de bonne nature
carabiniere - carabinier
assistance - l'assistance; ; assistance
"It must be heavy," said she, "all my furs are in it."
I get up on the driver's seat, wiping drops of perspiration from my brow. She gives the name of the hotel, and the driver urges on his horse. In a few minutes we halt at the brilliantly illuminated entrance.
wiping - essuyant; (wipe) essuyant
halt - halte; s'arreter, stop, stopper
"Have you any rooms?" she asks the portier.
"Two for me, one for my servant, all with stoves."
stoves - poeles; cuisiniere, poele
"Two first-class rooms for you, madame, both with stoves," replied the waiter who had hastily come up, "and one without heat for your servant."
She looked at them, and then abruptly said: "they are satisfactory, have fires built at once; my servant can sleep in the unheated room."
abruptly - brusquement; ; abruptement, tout d'un coup, précipitamment
unheated - non chauffé
I merely looked at her.
"Bring up the trunks, Gregor," she commands, paying no attention to my looks. "In the meantime I'll be dressing, and then will go down to the dining-room, and you can eat something for supper."
commands - des commandes; commandement, ordre, maîtrise, commandement
dining - dîner; vacarme
supper - dîner; souper
As she goes into the adjoining room, I drag the trunks upstairs and help the waiter build a fire in her bedroom. He tries to question me in bad French about my employer. With a brief glance I see the blazing fire, the fragrant white poster-bed, and the rugs which cover the floor. Tired and hungry I then descend the stairs, and ask for something to eat.
adjoining room - la chambre attenante
blazing - flamboyant; feu, embrasement
rugs - tapis; tapis, couverture
descend - descendre
A good-natured waiter, who used to be in the Austrian army and takes all sorts of pains to entertain me in German, shows me the dining-room and waits on me. I have just had the first fresh drink in thirty-six hours and the first bite of warm food on my fork, when she enters.
Austrian - autrichien, Autrichien, Autrichienne
entertain - divertir
dining - dîner; dîner
bite - mordre, maintenir, garder, tomber dans le panneau, marcher
"What do you mean by taking me into a dining-room in which my servant is eating," she snaps at the waiter, flaring with anger. She turns around and leaves.
snaps - des boutons-pression; claquer, claquement de doigts
flaring - torche; fusée lumineuse, feu de Bengale, feu de bengale
anger - la colere; ; colere, ire, courroux, rage
Meanwhile I thank heaven that I am permitted to go on eating. Later I climb the four flights upstairs to my room. My small trunk is already there, and a miserable little oil-lamp is burning. It is a narrow room without fire-place, without a window, but with a small air-hole. If it weren't so beastly cold, it would remind me of one of the Venetian piombi.
Meanwhile - pendant ce temps
trunk - tronc, malle, coffre, trompe, coffre (de voiture), valise
weren - n'était
remind - rappeler
Involuntarily I have to laugh out aloud, so that it re-echoes, and I am startled by my own laughter.
Echoes - les échos; écho
Suddenly the door is pulled open and the waiter with a theatrical Italian gesture calls "You are to come down to madame, at once." I pick up my cap, stumble down the first few steps, but finally arrive in front of her door on the first floor and knock.
theatrical - théâtrale; ; théâtral
stumble - chute, faux pas, bourde, trébucher
I enter, shut the door, and stand attention.
Wanda has made herself comfortable. She is sitting in a neglige of white muslin and laces on a small red divan with her feet on a footstool that matches. She has thrown her fur-cloak about her. It is the identical cloak in which she appeared to me for the first time, as goddess of love.
neglige - négligence
laces - lacets; lacet
divan - divan, canapé
identical - identique, meme
The yellow lights of the candelabra which stand on projections, their reflections in the large mirrors, and the red flames from the open fireplace play beautifully on the green velvet, the dark-brown sable of the cloak, the smooth white skin, and the red, flaming hair of the beautiful woman. Her clear, but cold face is turned toward me, and her cold green eyes rest upon me.
candelabra - candélabre; (candelabrum); candélabre
projections - des projections; saillie, projection, projection, projection
reflections - réflexions; réflexion, reflet, reflet, qualifiereaning 4
dark-brown - (dark-brown) brun foncé
flaming - flammes; ; enflammé, flambant; (flame); flamme, polémique
"I am satisfied with you, Gregor," she began.
bowed - incliné; (s'')incliner devant, saluer d''un signe de tete
"Still closer," she looked down, and stroked the sable with her hand. "Venus in Furs receives her slave. I can see that you are more than an ordinary dreamer, you don't remain far in arrears of your dreams; you are the sort of man who is ready to carry his dreams into effect, no matter how mad they are. I confess, I like this; it impresses me. There is strength in this, and strength is the only thing one respects. I actually believe that under unusual circumstances, in a period of great deeds, what seems to be your weakness would reveal itself as extraordinary power. Under the early emperors you would have been a martyr, at the time of the Reformation an anabaptist, during the French Revolution one of those inspired Girondists who mounted the guillotine with the marseillaise on their lips.
arrears - des arriérés; arriéré, arriéré
confess - avouer, confesser
respects - respecte; respect, respecter
weakness - faiblesse, point faible
reveal - révéler, laisser voir
emperors - empereurs; empereur
reformation - la réforme; ; réformation, Réforme, réforme protestante
anabaptist - anabaptiste
revolution - révolution, coup d'état, tour
inspired - inspirée; inspirer, inspirer, inspirer
mounted - monté; monter
guillotine - guillotine; guillotine
marseillaise - marseillaise
But you are my slave, my-"
She suddenly leaped up; the furs slipped down, and she threw her arms with soft pressure about my neck.
leaped - a sauté; sauter, bondir
pressure - pression
"My beloved slave, Severin, oh, how I love you, how I adore you, how handsome you are in your Cracovian costume! You will be cold to-night up in your wretched room without a fire. Shall I give you one of my furs, dear heart, the large one there-"
be cold - etre froid
wretched - misérable
She quickly picked it up, throwing it over my shoulders, and before
I knew what had happened I was completely wrapped up in it.
"How wonderfully becoming furs are to your face, they bring out your noble lines. As soon as you cease being my slave, you must wear a velvet coat with sable, do you understand? Otherwise I shall never put on my fur-jacket again."
wonderfully - a merveille
And again she began to caress me and kiss me; finally she drew me down on the little divan.
"You seem to be pleased with yourself in furs," she said. "Quick, quick, give them to me, or I will lose all sense of dignity."
dignity - dignité, forme, rang
I placed the furs about her, and Wanda slipped her right arm into the sleeve.
"This is the pose in Titian's picture. But now enough of joking. Don't always look so solemn, it makes me feel sad. As far as the world is concerned you are still merely my servant; you are not yet my slave, for you have not yet signed the contract.
pose - poser; posez, posent, posons
solemn - solennel
You are still free, and can leave me any moment. You have played your part magnificently. I have been delighted, but aren't you tired of it already, and don't you think I am abominable? Well, say something-I command it."
magnificently - magnifiquement
"Must I confess to you, Wanda?" I began.
"Yes, you must."
"Even it you take advantage of it," I continued, "I shall love you the more deeply, adore you the more fanatically, the worse you treat me. What you have just done inflames my blood and intoxicates all my senses." I held her close to me and clung for several moments to her moist lips.
fanatically - fanatiquement
inflames - s'enflamme; allumer
"Oh, you beautiful woman," I then exclaimed, looking at her. In my enthusiasm I tore the sable from her shoulders and pressed my mouth against her neck.
"You love me even when I am cruel," said Wanda, "now go!-you bore me-don't you hear?"
She boxed my ears so that I saw stars and bells rang in my ears.
bells - cloches; cloche
"Help me into my furs, slave."
I helped her, as well as I could.
"How awkward," she exclaimed, and was scarcely in it before she struck me in the face again. I felt myself growing pale.
"Did I hurt you?" she asked, softly touching me with her hand.
"No, no," I exclaimed.
"At any rate you have no reason to complain, you want it thus; now kiss me again."
I threw my arms about her, and her lips clung closely to mine. As she lay against my breast in her large heavy furs, I had a curiously oppressive sensation. It was as if a wild beast, a she-bear, were embracing me. It seemed as if I were about to feel her claws in my flesh. But this time the she-bear let me off easily.
curiously - curieusement
oppressive - oppressif
beast - bete; ; bete, bete sauvage
she-bear - (she-bear) qu'elle porte
With my heart filled with smiling hopes, I went up to my miserable servant's room, and threw myself down on my hard couch.
couch - canapé; canapé, divan
"Life is really amazingly droll," I thought. "A short time ago the most beautiful woman, Venus herself, rested against your breast, and now you have an opportunity for studying the Chinese hell. Unlike us, they don't hurl the damned into flames, but they have devils chasing them out into fields of ice.
amazingly - étonnamment
droll - drolatique; ; fantaisiste
unlike - contrairement a; différent
hurl - hurler; ; projeter, débecter, débecqueter
damned - foutu, maudit, condamné; (damn); condamner, réprouver, foutu
chasing - chassant; (chas) chassant
"Very likely the founders of their religion also slept in unheated rooms."
* * * * *
During the night I startled out of my sleep with a scream. I had been dreaming of an icefield in which I had lost my way; I had been looking in vain for a way out. Suddenly an eskimo drove up in a sleigh harnessed with reindeer; he had the face of the waiter who had shown me to the unheated room.
scream - cri, crier
icefield - champ de glace
eskimo - Esquimaux, esquimau, eskimo
sleigh - traîneau; patiner, luge
harnessed - harnaché; harnais, harnacher
reindeer - des rennes; ; renne, caribou
"What are you looking for here, my dear sir?" he exclaimed. "This is the North Pole."
North Pole - Le pôle Nord
A moment later he had disappeared, and Wanda flew over the smooth ice on tiny skates. Her white satin skirt fluttered and crackled; the ermine of her jacket and cap, but especially her face, gleamed whiter than the snow. She shot toward me, inclosed me in her arms, and began to kiss me. Suddenly I felt my blood running warm down my side.
flew over - a survolé
skates - patins; patin
fluttered - flotté; faséyer, voleter, voltiger, battement
gleamed - brillait; luire
warm down - duvet chaud
"What are you doing?" I asked horror-stricken.
She laughed, and as I looked at her now, it was no longer Wanda, but a huge, white she-bear, who was digging her paws into my body.
digging - creusant; (dig) creusant
paws - pattes; patte
I cried out in despair, and still heard her diabolical laughter when
despair - le désespoir; ; désespérer, désespoir
I awoke, and looked about the room in surprise.
Early in the morning I stood at Wanda's door, and the waiter brought the coffee. I took it from him, and served it to my beautiful mistress. She had already dressed, and looked magnificent, all fresh and roseate. She smiled graciously at me and called me back, when I was about to withdraw respectfully.
withdraw - se retirer; dégarnir, claustrer
respectfully - respectueusement
"Come, Gregor, have your breakfast quickly too," she said, "then we will go house-hunting. I don't want to stay in the hotel any longer than I have to. It is very embarassing here. If I chat with you for more than a minute, people will immediately say: 'The fair Russian is having an affair with her servant, you see, the race of Catherines isn't extinct yet.'"
house-hunting - (house-hunting) Vous cherchez une maison
embarassing - genant
Catherines - catherines; Catherine
extinct - éteinte; ; éteint, disparu
Half an hour later we went out; Wanda was in her cloth-gown with the Russian cap, and I in my Cracovian costume. We created quite a stir. I walked about ten paces behind, looking very solemn, but expected momentarily to have to break out into loud laughter. There was scarcely a street in which one or the other of the attractive houses did not bear the sign camere ammobiliate.
stir - remuer; affecter
ammobiliate - ammobiliate
Wanda always sent me upstairs, and only when the apartment seemed to answer her requirements did she herself ascend. By noon I was as tired as a stag-hound after the hunt.
requirements - exigences; exigence, besoin, demande, contrainte, exigence
ascend - s'élever; ; monter
noon - midi; midi
stag - cerf, bouf
hound - chien de chasse; chien (de chasse)
hunt - chasser, chercher, chasse
We entered a new house and left it again without having found a suitable habitation. Wanda was already somewhat out of humor. Suddenly she said to me: "Severin, the seriousness with which you play your part is charming, and the restrictions, which we have placed upon each other are really annoying me. I can't stand it any longer, I do love you, I must kiss you. let's go into one of the houses."
suitable - adapté; ; approprié, convenable, opportun, idoine
restrictions - restrictions; restriction
annoying - ennuyeux; gener, ennuyer, embeter, agacer, asticoter
I can't stand it any longer - Je n'en peux plus
let's go - On y va
"But, my lady-" I interposed.
interposed - interposée; interposer, intercaler, interrompre, couper
"Gregor?" She entered the next open corridor and ascended a few steps of the dark stair-way; then she threw her arms about me with passionate tenderness and kissed me.
corridor - couloir, corridor, couloir aérien
"Oh, Severin, you were very wise. You are much more dangerous as slave than I would have imagined; you are positively irrestible, and I am afraid I shall have to fall in love with you again."
positively - positivement
irrestible - irrésistible
"Don't you love me any longer then," I asked seized by a sudden fright.
fright - d'effroi; anxiété, peur, frayeur
She solemnly shook her head, but kissed me again with her swelling, adorable lips.
We returned to the hotel. Wanda had luncheon, and ordered me also quickly to get something to eat.
Of course, I wasn't served as quickly as she, and so it happened that just as I was carrying the second bite of my steak to my mouth, the waiter entered and called out with his theatrical gesture: "Madame wants you, at once."
steak - bifteck, steak
I took a rapid and painful leave of my food, and, tired and hungry, hurried toward Wanda, who was already on the street.
rapid - rapide, rapides
hurried - pressé; précipitation, hâte, dépecher
"I wouldn't have imagined you could be so cruel," I said reproachfully. "With all these, fatiguing duties you don't even leave me time to eat in peace."
reproachfully - des reproches
fatiguing - fatiguant; fatigue, épuisement, corvée, fatiguer, fatiguer
eat in - manger a l'intérieur
Wanda laughed gaily. "I thought you had finished," she said, "but never mind. Man was born to suffer, and you in particular. The martyrs didn't have any beefsteaks either."
beefsteaks - beefsteaks; bifteck
I followed her resentfully, gnawing at my hunger.
resentfully - avec ressentiment
gnawing - ronger; tenaillant; (gnaw); ronger, harceler, préoccuper
hunger - la faim; faim
"I have given up the idea of finding a place in the city," Wanda continued. "It will be difficult to find an entire floor which is shut off and where you can do as you please. In such a strange, mad relationship as ours there must be no jarring note.
jarring note - une note discordante
I shall rent an entire villa-and you will be surprised. You have my permission now to satisfy your hunger, and look about a bit in Florence. I won't be home till evening. If I need you then, I will have you called."
rent - loyer; louez, loyer, louons, arrentez, accensons
villa - villa
I looked at the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Logia di Lanzi, and then I stood for a long time on the banks of the Arno. Again and again I let my eyes rest on the magnificent ancient Florence, whose round cupolas and towers were drawn in soft lines against the blue, cloudless sky.
Duomo - duomo
Palazzo - palazzo
cupolas - des coupoles; coupole, dôme
I watched its splendid bridges beneath whose wide arches the lively waves of the beautiful, yellow river ran, and the green hills which surrounded the city, bearing slender cypresses and extensive buildings, palaces and monasteries.
lively - fringant, spirituel
slender - svelte, mince
cypresses - les cypres; cypres
extensive - étendu
monasteries - monasteres; monastere
It is a different world, this one in which we are-a gay, sensuous, smiling world. The landscape too has nothing of the seriousness and somberness of ours. It is a long ways off to the last white villas scattered among the pale green of the mountains, and yet there isn't a spot that isn't bright with sunlight. The people are less serious than we; perhaps, they think less, but they all look as though they were happy.
somberness - la morosité
scattered - dispersé; disperser, se disperser, éparpiller, parsemer
spot - spot; ; tache, bouton, peu, endroit, zone, détecter, trouver
It is also maintained that death is easier in the South.
maintained - maintenue; entretenir, maintenir
I have a vague feeling now that such a thing as beauty without thorn and love of the senses without torment does exist.
vague - vague
thorn - épine, thorn
Wanda has discovered a delightful little villa and rented it for the winter. It is situated on a charming hill on the left bank of the Arno, opposite the Cascine.
rented - loué; loyer
situated - situé; situer
It is surrounded by an attractive garden with lovely paths, grass plots, and magnificent meadow of camelias. It is only two stories high, quadrangular in the Italian fashion. An open gallery runs along one side, a sort of loggia with plaster-casts of antique statues; stone steps lead from it down into the garden. From the gallery you enter a bath with a magnificent marble basin, from which winding stairs lead to my mistress'bed-chamber.
plots - des complots; intrigue, lopin, diagramme, graphique, complot
statues - statues; statue
lead - plomb; guider, plomb, conduire, mener
basin - bassin; cuvette, bassine, lavabo, bassin, bassin
Wanda occupies the second story by herself.
occupies - occupe; occuper, occuper, occuper, occuper, habiter, occuper
A room on the ground floor has been assigned to me; it is very attractive, and even has a fireplace.
ground floor - le rez-de-chaussée
assigned - assigné; désigner, assigner, attribuer, assigner, assigner
I have roamed through the garden. On a round hillock I discovered a little temple, but I found its door locked. However, there is a chink in the door and when I glue my eye to it, I see the goddess of love on a white pedestal.
roamed - a erré; errer
hillock - colline; ; monticule, tertre, mondrain, mamelon
Temple - le temple; tempe, temple
chink - chink; interstice, cliquetis
glue - colle, coller
A slight shudder passes over me. It seems to me as if she were smiling at me saying: "Are you there? I have been expecting you."
passes over - passe
* * * * *
It is evening. An attractive maid brings me orders to appear before my mistress. I ascend the wide marble stairs, pass through the anteroom, a large salon furnished with extravagant magnificence, and knock at the door of the bedroom. I knock very softly for the luxury displayed everywhere intimidates me. Consequently no one hears me, and I stand for some time in front of the door.
anteroom - attente
salon - salon, salon de coiffure, salon de beauté, institut de beauté
furnished - meublé; meubler, fournir, livrer
magnificence - magnificence
intimidates - intimide; intimider
I have a feeling as if I were standing before the bedroom of the great Catherine, and it seems as if at any moment she might come out in her green sleeping furs, with the red ribbon and decoration on her bare breast, and with her little white powdered curls.
ribbon - ruban
decoration - la décoration; ; décoration
I knocked again. Wanda impatiently pulls the door open.
"Why so late?" she asks.
"I was standing in front of the door, but you didn't hear me knock," I reply timidly. She closes the door, and clinging to me, she leads me to the red damask ottoman on which she had been resting. The entire arrangement of the room is in red damask-wall-paper, curtains, portieres, hangings of the bed. A magnificent painting of Samson and Delilah forms the ceiling.
clinging - s'accrocher; s''accrocher (a)
damask - damas, lie-de-vin
curtains - rideaux; rideau, rideau
Wanda receives me in an intoxicating dishabille. Her white satin dress flows gracefully and picturesquely down her slender body, leaving her arms and breast bare, and carelessly they nestle amid the dark hair of the great fur of sable, lined with green velvet. Her red hair falls down her back as far as the hips, only half held by strings of black pearls.
intoxicating - enivrant; intoxiquer
dishabille - dishabille
picturesquely - pittoresque
nestle - nestle; ; se pelotonner, se nicher
hips - hanches; hanche
strings - cordes; corde, corde, suite, série, chaîne de caracteres, corde
pearls - perles; perle, perle, joyau, perlure, parisienne, sédanoise
"Venus in Furs," I whisper, while she draws me to her breast and threatens to stifle me with her kisses. Then I no longer speak and neither do I think; everything is drowned out in an ocean of unimagined bliss.
whisper - chuchotement, chuchoter, susurrer, murmurer
stifle - étouffer; étouffer
is drowned - est noyé
unimagined - inimaginable
"Do you still love me?" she asks, her eye softening in passionate tenderness.
softening - l'adoucissement; adoucissant, amollissant
"You ask!" I exclaimed.
"You still remember your oath," she continued with an alluring smile, "now that everything is prepared, everything in readiness, I ask you once more, is it still your serious wish to become my slave?"
readiness - l'état de préparation; ; préparation
"Am I not ready?" I asked in surprise.
"You have not yet signed the papers."
"Oh, I see, you want to give it up," she said, "well then, we will let it go."
"But Wanda," I said, "you know that nothing gives me greater happiness than to serve you, to be your slave. I would give everything for the sake of feeling myself wholly in your power, even unto death-"
"How beautiful you are," she whispered, "when you speak so enthusiastically, so passionately. I am more in love with you than ever and you want me to be dominant, stern, and cruel. I am afraid, it will be impossible for me to be so."
enthusiastically - avec enthousiasme
"I am not afraid," I replied smiling, "where are the papers?'"
"So that you may know what it means to be absolutely in my power, I have drafted a second agreement in which you declare that you have decided to kill yourself. In that way I can even kill you, if I so desire."
drafted - rédigé; courant d'air, gorgée, biere a la pression, pression
declare - expliquer, déclarer
"Give them to me."
While I was unfolding the documents and reading them, Wanda got pen and ink. She then sat down beside me with her arm about my neck, and looked over my shoulder at the paper.
unfolding - en cours; (unfold); déplier, dérouler, checkdéplier
The first one read:
AGREEMENT BETWEEN MME. VON DUNAJEW AND SEVERIN VON KUSIEMSKI
"Severin von Kusiemski ceases with the present day being the affianced of Mme. Wanda von Dunajew, and renounces all the rights appertaining thereunto; he on the contrary binds himself on his word of honor as a man and nobleman, that hereafter he will be her slave until such time that she herself sets him at liberty again.
ceases - cesse; cesser, s'arreter, cesser de + ''infinitive''
renounces - renonce; renoncer a
appertaining - en rapport; appartenir
thereunto - a cet effet
binds - lie; lier, attacher, nouer, lier, connecter, coupler, lier
liberty - liberté
"As the slave of Mme. von Dunajew he is to bear the name Gregor, and he is unconditionally to comply with every one of her wishes, and to obey every one of her commands; he is always to be submissive to his mistress, and is to consider her every sign of favor as an extraordinary mercy.
comply - se conformer, respecter, acquiescer
submissive - soumis
favor - favorable; ; faveur, favoriser
"Mme. von Dunajew is entitled not only to punish her slave as she deems best, even for the slightest inadvertence or fault, but also is herewith given the right to torture him as the mood may seize her or merely for the sake of whiling away the time. Should she so desire, she may kill him whenever she wishes; in short, he is her unrestricted property.
deems - estime; estimer, croire, considérer, croire
inadvertence - par inadvertance
mood - l'humeur; humeur, changeant, ambiance, diapason
seize - saisir, emparer
"Should Mme. von Dunajew ever set her slave at liberty, Severin von Kusiemski agrees to forget everything that he has experienced or suffered as her slave, and promises never under any circumstances and in no wise to think of vengeance or retaliation.
vengeance - vengeance
retaliation - des représailles; ; représailles
"Mme. von Dunajew on her behalf agrees as his mistress to appear as often as possible in her furs, especially when she purposes some cruelty toward her slave."
Appended at the bottom of the agreement was the date of the present day.
appended - annexé; appendre, suspendre, ajouter, ajouter
The second document contained only a few words.
"Having since many years become weary of existence and its illusions, I have of my own free will put an end to my worthless life."
weary - fatigué; ; las, lasser
worthless - sans valeur, ne vaut rien, misérable, nul
I was seized with a deep horror when I had finished. There was still time, I could still withdraw, but the madness of passion and the sight of the beautiful woman that lay all relaxed against my shoulder carried me away.
"This one you will have to copy, Severin," said Wanda, indicating the second document. "It has to be entirely in your own handwriting; this, of course, isn't necessary in the case of the agreement."
indicating - indiquant; indiquer, signaler, indiquer
handwriting - l'écriture; ; écriture de main
I quickly copied the few lines in which I designated myself a suicide, and handed them to Wanda. She read them, and put them on the table with a smile.
designated - désignée; désigner
suicide - le suicide; ; suicide, suicidé, suicidée, suicidant, suicidante
"Now have you the courage to sign it?" she asked with a crafty smile, inclining her head.
crafty - artisanal; ; rusé, madré
inclining - l'inclinaison; inclinant; (incline) l'inclinaison; inclinant
I took the pen.
"Let me sign first," said Wanda, "your hand is trembling, are you afraid of the happiness that is to be yours?"
She took the agreement and pen. While engaging in my internal struggle, I looked upward for a moment. It occurred to me that the painting on the ceiling, like many of those of the Italian and Dutch schools, was utterly unhistorical, but this very fact gave it a strange mood which had an almost uncanny effect on me. Delilah, an opulent woman with flaming red hair, lay extended, half-disrobed, in a dark fur-cloak, upon a red ottoman, and bent smiling over Samson who had been overthrown and bound by the Philistines.
internal - interne
Struggle - lutte, lutter, s'efforcer, combattre
upward - a la hausse
occurred - s'est produite; produire
Dutch - néerlandais, hollandais, néerlandais, hollandais
unhistorical - non historique
opulent - opulent
disrobed - déshabillé; déshabiller, dévetir, déshabiller
overthrown - renversé; renverser
Her smile in its mocking coquetry was full of a diabolical cruelty; her eyes, half-closed, met Samson's, and his with a last look of insane passion cling to hers, for already one of his enemies is kneeling on his breast with the red-hot iron to blind him.
blind - aveugle, mal-voyant, mal-voyante, store, blind, aveugler
"Now-" said Wanda. "Why you are all lost in thought. What is the matter with you, everything will remain just as it was, even after you have signed, don't you know me yet, dear heart?"
I looked at the agreement. Her name was written there in bold letters. I peered once more into her eyes with their potent magic, then I took the pen and quickly signed the agreement.
bold - audacieux; gros, épais
potent - puissant
"You are trembling," said Wanda calmly, "shall I help you?"
She gently took hold of my hand, and my name appeared at the bottom of the second paper. Wanda looked once more at the two documents, and then locked them in the desk which stood at the head of the ottoman.
"now then, give me your passport and money."
now then - maintenant alors
I took out my wallet and handed it to her. She inspected it, nodded, and put it with other things while in a sweet drunkenness I kneeled before her leaning my head against her breast.
wallet - portefeuille, portemonnaie
drunkenness - l'ivresse; ; ébriété, ivresse
leaning - penchant, adossant; (lean) penchant, adossant
Suddenly she thrusts me away with her foot, leaps up, and pulls the bell-rope. In answer to its sound three young, slender negresses enter; they are as if carved of ebony, and are dressed from head to foot in red satin; each one has a rope in her hand.
thrusts - poussées; estocade, poussée, propulser
bell - cloche; sonnette, cloche
negresses - les négresses; négresse, noire
ebony - ébene; ; ébene, bois d'ébene, ébénier
"Give me the whip, Haydee," commands Wanda, with unearthly calm.
unearthly - non terrestre; inquiétant
The negress hands it to her mistress, kneeling.
negress - négresse, noire
"And now take off my heavy furs," she continues, "they impede me."
impede - entraver
The negress obeyed.
"The jacket there!" Wanda commanded.
Haydee quickly brought her the kazabaika, set with ermine, which lay on the bed, and Wanda slipped into it with two inimitably graceful movements.
inimitably - inimitablement
"Now tie him to the pillar here!"
pillar - pilier, pile
The negresses lifted me up, and twisting a heavy rope around my body, tied me standing against one of the massive pillars which supported the top of the wide Italian bed.
twisting - torsion; (twist); twist, torsion, entortiller, tordre
pillars - piliers; pilier, pile
Then they suddenly disappeared, as if the earth had swallowed them.
swallowed - avalé; avaler
Wanda swiftly approached me. Her white satin dress flowed behind her in a long train, like silver, like moonlight; her hair flared like flames against the white fur of her jacket. Now she stood in front of me with her left hand firmly planted on her hips, in her right hand she held the whip. She uttered an abrupt laugh.
approached - approché; (s'')approcher (de)
flared - évasé; fusée lumineuse, feu de Bengale, feu de bengale, arrondi
abrupt - abrupt, brusque, precipité
"Now play has come to an end between us," she said with heartless coldness. "Now we will begin in dead earnest. You fool, I laugh at you and despise you; you who in your insane infatuation have given yourself as a plaything to me, the frivolous and capricious woman. You are no longer the man I love, but my slave, at my mercy even unto life and death.
coldness - froideur, froid
in dead earnest - en toute sincérité
infatuation - l'engouement; ; engouement, béguin, amourette
"You shall know me!
"First of all you shall have a taste of the whip in all seriousness, without having done anything to deserve it, so that you may understand what to expect, if you are awkward, disobedient, or refractory."
deserve - mériter
disobedient - désobéissant
refractory - réfractaire
With a wild grace she rolled back her fur-lined sleeve, and struck me across the back.
I winced, for the whip cut like a knife into my flesh.
winced - a fait un clin d'oil; grimacer
"Well, how do you like that?" she exclaimed.
I was silent.
"Just wait, you will yet whine like a dog beneath my whip," she threatened, and simultaneously began to strike me again.
whine - se plaindre; ; pleurnicherie, geignement, couiner, geindre
The blows fell quickly, in rapid succession, with terrific force upon my back, arms, and neck; I had to grit my teeth not to scream aloud. Now she struck me in the face, warm blood ran down, but she laughed, and continued her blows.
terrific - formidable, fantastique
force - force; forcez, contrainte, forçons, contraindre, forcent
Grit - le courage; gravier
"It is only now I understand you," she exclaimed. "It really is a joy to have some one so completely in one's power, and a man at that, who loves you-you do love me?-No-Oh! I'll tear you to shreds yet, and with each blow my pleasure will grow. Now, twist like a worm, scream, whine! You will find no mercy in me!"
shreds - en lambeaux; lambeau
twist - twist, torsion, entortiller, tordre
worm - ver, vermine, scarabée, vis sans fin, dragon, remords, ramper
Finally she seemed tired.
She tossed the whip aside, stretched out on the ottoman, and rang.
The negresses entered.
Untie - détacher, délier
As they loosened the rope, I fell to the floor like a lump of wood.
lump - lump; ; masse, tas, protubérance, renflement
The black women grinned, showing their white teeth.
grinned - ricané; avoir un grand sourire
"Untie the rope around his feet."
They did it, but I was unable to rise.
"Come over here, Gregor."
I approached the beautiful woman. Never did she seem more seductive to me than today in spite of all her cruelty and contempt.
more seductive - plus séduisante
"One step further," Wanda commanded. "Now kneel down, and kiss my foot."
She extended her foot beyond the hem of white satin, and I, the supersensual fool, pressed my lips upon it.
"Now, you won't lay eyes on me for an entire month, Gregor," she said seriously. "I want to become a stranger to you, so you will more easily adjust yourself to our new relationship. In the meantime you will work in the garden, and await my orders. Now, off with you, slave!"
adjust - ajuster
* * * * *
A month has passed with monotonous regularity, heavy work, and a melancholy hunger, hunger for her, who is inflicting all these torments on me.
monotonous - monotone
regularity - régularité
inflicting - infliger; infliger
I am under the gardener's orders; I help him lop the trees and prune the hedges, transplant flowers, turn over the flower beds, sweep the gravel paths; I share his coarse food and his hard cot; I rise and go to bed with the chickens. Now and then I hear that our mistress is amusing herself, surrounded by admirers. Once I heard her gay laughter even down here in the garden.
gardener - jardinier, jardiniere
lop - lop; tailler, couper
prune - pruneau; pruneau
hedges - des haies; haie
transplant - transplanter, déplacer, greffer, transplantation, greffe
sweep - balayer, balayage
gravel - graviers, gravillons, gravier
cot - lit d'enfant; couchette
amusing - amusant; amuser
I seem awfully stupid to myself. Was it the result of my present life, or was I so before? The month is drawing to a close-the day after tomorrow. What will she do with me now, or has she forgotten me, and left me to trim hedges and bind bouquets till my dying day?
trim - de l'habillage; ; tailler, compenser, compensation
bind - lier, attacher, nouer, connecter, coupler
bouquets - bouquets; bouquet, bouquet
A written order.
"The slave Gregor is herewith ordered to my personal service.
With a beating heart I draw aside the damask curtain on the following morning, and enter the bedroom of my divinity. It is still filled with a pleasant half darkness.
curtain - rideau
pleasant - agréable, plaisant
darkness - l'obscurité; ; obscurité, ténebres
"Is it you, Gregor?" she asks, while I kneel before the fire-place, building a fire. I tremble at the sound of the beloved voice. I cannot see her herself; she is invisible behind the curtains of the four-poster bed.
invisible - invisible, caché
four-poster bed - Un lit a baldaquin
"Yes, my mistress," I reply.
"How late is it?"
"Past nine o'clock."
I hasten to get it, and then kneel down with the tray beside her bed.
hasten to - se hâter
tray - plateau; plateau
"Here is breakfast, my mistress."
Wanda draws back the curtains, and curiously enough at the first glance when I see her among the pillows with loosened flowing hair, she seems an absolute stranger, a beautiful woman, but the beloved soft lines are gone. This face is hard and has an expression of weariness and satiety.
pillows - oreillers; oreiller, tetiere
flowing - en cours d'exécution; couler
satiety - satiété
Or is it simply that formerly my eye did not see this?
Formerly - auparavant, autrefois, anciennement
She fixes her green eyes upon me, more with curiosity than with menace, perhaps even somewhat pityingly, and lazily pulls the dark sleeping fur on which she lies over the bared shoulder.
menace - menace; menacer
lazily - paresseusement
At this moment she is very charming, very maddening, and I feel my blood rising to my head and heart. The tray in my hands begins to sway. She notices it and reached out for the whip which is lying on the toilet-table.
sway - se balancer; ; autorité, poids, influence, prépondérance
toilet-table - (toilet-table) table de toilette
"You are awkward, slave," she says furrowing her brow.
furrowing - sillonner; sillon, rigole, sillon, ride, sillonner, froncer
I lower my looks to the ground, and hold the tray as steadily as possible. She eats her breakfast, yawns, and stretches her opulent limbs in the magnificent furs.
steadily - régulierement
yawns - bâillements; bâiller, béer, bâillement
stretches - étirements; étendre, s'étendre, s'étirer, étirement
limbs - membres; membre
She has rung. I enter.
rung - s'est arreté; marche; (ring) s'est arreté; marche
"Take this letter to Prince Corsini."
I hurry into the city, and hand the letter to the Prince. He is a handsome young man with glowing black eyes. Consumed with jealousy, I take his answer to her.
consumed - consommée; consommer, consommer, consumer, rench: -neededr
"What is the matter with you?" she asks with lurking spitefulness.
"You are very pale."
"Nothing, mistress, I merely walked rather fast."
At luncheon the prince is at her side, and I am condemned to serve both her and him. They joke, and I am, as if non-existent, for both. For a brief moment I see black; I was just pouring some Bordeaux into his glass, and spilled it over the table-cloth and her gown.
condemned - condamnée; condamner, déclarer coupable, condamner, condamner
non - non
existent - existent; ; existant
pouring - versant; (pour) versant
Bordeaux - bordeaux; Bordeaux
spilled - déversé; déverser, répandre, renverser, déversement
table-cloth - (table-cloth) une nappe
"How awkward," Wanda exclaimed and slapped my face. The prince laughed, and she also, but I felt the blood rising to my face.
slapped - giflé; claque, gifler
After luncheon she drove in the Cascine. She has a little carriage with a handsome, brown English horse, and holds the reins herself. I sit behind and notice how coquettishly she acts, and nods with a smile when one of the distinguished gentlemen bows to her.
reins - les renes; rene
nods - hochements de tete; dodeliner, hocher, dodeliner, hochement
gentlemen - messieurs; gentilhomme, monsieur, messieurs-p
bows - arcs; (bow) arcs
As I help her out of the carriage, she leans lightly on my arm; the contact runs through me like an electric shock. She is a wonderful woman, and I love her more than ever.
leans - s'appuie; pencher
electric shock - un choc électrique
* * * * *
For dinner at six she has invited a small group of men and women. I serve, but this time I do not spill any wine over the table-cloth.
spill - déverser, répandre, renverser, déversement
A slap in the face is more effective than ten lectures. It makes you understand very quickly, especially when the instruction is by the way of a small woman's hand.
slap - gifle; ; claque, gifler
effective - efficace, décisif, en vigueur
* * * * *
After dinner she drives to the Pergola Theater. As she descends the stairs in her black velvet dress with its large collar of ermine and with a diadem of white roses on her hair, she is literally stunning. I open the carriage-door, and help her in. In front of the theater I leap from the driver's seat, and in alighting she leaned on my arm, which trembled under the sweet burden.
Pergola - pergola
Descends - descend; descendre, descendre, descendre
collar - col, collier
stunning - époustouflant; étourdir, étourdir, étonner, époustoufler
alighting - descendre (de)
I open the door of her box, and then wait in the vestibule. The performance lasts four hours; she receives visits from her cavaliers, the while I grit my teeth with rage.
vestibule - vestibule
performance - exécution, performance, représentation, prestation
cavaliers - les cavaliers; nonchalant, cavalier, chevalier, cavalier
It is way beyond midnight when my mistress's bell sounds for the last time.
"Fire!" she orders abruptly, and when the fire-place crackles, "Tea!"
crackles - des grésillements; crépitement, crépiter
When I return with the samovar, she has already undressed, and with the aid of the negress slipped into a white negligee.
undressed - déshabillé; déshabiller
aid - l'aide; aider, aide, assister, secourir
negligee - négligé
Haydee thereupon leaves.
thereupon - a ce sujet; ; sur ce, la-dessus
"Hand me the sleeping-furs," says Wanda, sleepily stretching her lovely limbs. I take them from the arm-chair, and hold them while she slowly and lazily slides into the sleeves. She then throws herself down on the cushions of the ottoman.
sleepily - en dormant
stretching - l'étirement; étendre, s'étendre, s'étirer, étirement
slides - diapositives; glisser, glisser, glisser, glisser, déraper
sleeves - manches; manche, chemise (inner), gaine (outer), manchon
"Take off my shoes, and put on my velvet slippers."
slippers - des pantoufles; chausson, pantoufle
I kneel down and tug at the little shoe which resists my efforts. "Hurry, hurry!" Wanda exclaims, "you are hurting me! just you wait-I will teach you." She strikes me with the whip, but now the shoe is off.
tug - tirer, remorquer, tirement
resists - résiste; résister, résister, s'opposer, rejeter, dégouter
efforts - efforts; effort
exclaims - s'exclame; exclamer
strikes - greves; biffer, rayer, barrer, frapper, battre, frapper
"Now get out!" Still a kick-and then I can go to bed.
* * * * *
To-night I accompanied her to a soiree. In the entrance-hall she ordered me to help her out of her furs; then with a proud smile, confident of victory, she entered the brilliantly illuminated room. I again waited with gloomy and monotonous thoughts, watching hour after hour run by.
soiree - soirée
entrance-hall - (entrance-hall) le hall d'entrée
victory - victoire
gloomy - morose; ; lugubre, sombre, terne, maussade
From time to time the sounds of music reached me, when the door remained open for a moment. Several servants tried to start a conversation with me, but soon desisted, since I knew only a few words of Italian.
Finally I fell asleep, and dreamed that I murdered Wanda in a violent attack of jealousy. I was condemned to death, and saw myself strapped on the board; the knife fell, I felt it on my neck, but I was still alive-
murdered - assassiné; meurtre, homicide, meurtre, assassinat, occire
strapped - sanglé; sangle, courroie, laniere, bandouliere
Then the executioner slapped my face.
executioner - exécuteur des hautes ouvres, bourreau
No, it wasn't the executioner; it was Wanda who stood wrathfully before me demanding her furs. I am at her side in a moment, and help her on with it.
wrathfully - avec colere
demanding - exigeant; demande, demande, exigence, exiger
There is a deep joy in wrapping a beautiful woman into her furs, and in seeing and feeling how her neck and magnificent limbs nestle in the precious soft furs, and to lift the flowing hair over the collar. When she throws it off a soft warmth and a faint fragrance of her body still clings to the ends of the hairs of sable. It is enough to drive one mad.
wrapping - l'emballage; (wrap) l'emballage
faint - évanouissement; s'évanouir, défailles, défaillez, défaillir
clings to - s'accroche
* * * * *
Finally a day came when there were neither guests, nor theater, nor other company. I breathed a sigh of relief. Wanda sat in the gallery, reading, and apparently had no orders for me. At dusk when the silvery evening mists fell she withdrew. I served her at dinner, she ate by herself, but had not a look, not a syllable for me, not even a slap in the face.
breathed - respiré; respirer, inspirer, expirer, respirer
sigh - soupir; soupir
relief - secours; allégement, relief, soulagement
dusk - crépuscule
I actually desire a slap from her hand. Tears fill my eyes, and I feel that she has humiliated me so deeply, that she doesn't even find it worth while to torture or maltreat me any further.
humiliated - humilié; humilier
worth - valeur; valeur
Before she goes to bed, her bell calls me.
"You will sleep here to-night, I had horrible dreams last night, and am afraid of being alone. Take one of the cushions from the ottoman, and lie down on the bearskin at my feet."
horrible - horrible, affreux, épouvantable
Then Wanda put out the lights. The only illumination in the room was from a small lamp suspended from the ceiling. She herself got into bed. "Don't stir, so as not to wake me."
suspended - suspendue; suspendre, suspendre, suspendre
I did as she had commanded, but could not fall asleep for a long time. I saw the beautiful woman, beautiful as a goddess, lying on her back on the dark sleeping-furs; her arms beneath her neck, with a flood of red hair over them. I heard her magnificent breast rise in deep regular breathing, and whenever she moved ever so slightly. I woke up and listened to see whether she needed me.
breathing - respirer; ; respiration; (breath); respiration, souffle, haleine
But she did not require me.
No task was required of me; I meant no more to her than a night-lamp, or a revolver which one places under one's pillow.
required - nécessaires; exiger, demander, avoir besoin de, requérir
revolver - revolver
pillow - oreiller, tetiere
* * * * *
Am I mad or is she? Does all this arise out of an inventive, wanton woman's brain with the intention of surpassing my supersensual fantasies, or is this woman really one of those Neronian characters who take a diabolical pleasure in treading underfoot, like a worm, human beings, who have thoughts and feelings and a will like theirs?
arise - se lever, surgir, apparaitre, naitre
surpassing - surpassant; surpasser, dépasser, excéder
fantasies - fantasmes; fantaisie, imaginaire, fantasme, fantaisie, fantasy
treading - le piétinement; (tread) le piétinement
What have I experienced?
When I knelt with the coffee-tray beside her bed, Wanda suddenly placed her hand on my shoulder and her eyes plunged deep into mine.
plunged - plongé; plonger
"What beautiful eyes you have," she said softly, "and especially now since you suffer. Are you very unhappy?"
I bowed my head, and kept silent.
kept silent - gardé le silence
"Severin, do you still love me," she suddenly exclaimed passionately, "can you still love me?"
She drew me close with such vehemence that the coffee-tray upset, the can and cups fell to the floor, and the coffee ran over the carpet.
upset - fâché, dérangé, perturbé, bouleversé, remué, énerver
ran over - s'est écrasé
"Wanda-my Wanda," I cried out and held her passionately against me;
I covered her mouth, face, and breast with kisses.
"It is my unhappiness that I love you more and more madly the worse you treat me, the more frequently you betray me. Oh, I shall die of pain and love and jealousy."
unhappiness - le malheur; ; tristesse, malheur
frequently - fréquemment
"But I haven't betrayed you, as yet, Severin," replied Wanda smiling.
"Not? Wanda! Don't jest so mercilessly with me," I cried. "Haven't
jest - jest; plaisanter
mercilessly - sans pitié
I myself taken the letter to the Prince-"
"Of course, it was an invitation for luncheon."
"You have, since we have been in Florence-"
"I have been absolutely faithful to you," replied Wanda, "I swear it by all that is holy to me. All that I have done was merely to fulfill your dream and it was done for your sake.
fulfill - remplir; ; combler, satisfaire
"However, I shall take a lover, otherwise things will be only half accomplished, and in the end you will yet reproach me with not having treated you cruelly enough, my dear beautiful slave! But today you shall be Severin again, the only one I love. I haven't given away your clothes. They are here in the chest. Go and dress as you used to in the little Carpathian health-resort when our love was so intimate. Forget everything that has happened since; oh, you will forget it easily in my arms; I shall kiss away all your sorrows.
accomplished - accompli; accomplir, accomplir, accomplir
given away - donné
chest - poitrine; sein, poitrine, commode, coffre
intimate - intime; ; intime
sorrows - chagrins; peine, chagrin
She began to treat me tenderly like a child, to kiss me and caress me. Finally she said with a gracious smile, "Go now and dress, I too will dress. Shall I put on my fur-jacket? Oh yes, I know, now run along!"
When I returned she was standing in the center of the room in her white satin dress, and the red kazabaika edged with ermine; her hair was white with powder and over her forehead she wore a small diamond diadem. For a moment she reminded me in an uncanny way of Catherine the Second, but she did not give me much time for reminiscences. She drew me down on the ottoman beside her and we enjoyed two blissful hours. She was no longer the stern capricious mistress, she was entirely a fine lady, a tender sweetheart.
diamond - diamant; diamant
reminded - rappelée; rappeler
reminiscences - des réminiscences; réminiscence
blissful - bienheureux
sweetheart - chéri, amante, chérie, amour
She showed me photographs and books which had just appeared, and talked about them with so much intelligence, clarity, and good taste, that I more than once carried her hand to my lips, enraptured. She then had me recite several of Lermontov's poems, and when I was all afire with enthusiasm, she placed her small hand gently on mine. Her expression was soft, and her eyes were filled with tender pleasure.
clarity - clarté
recite - réciter
poems - poemes; poeme, poeme, poeme
afire - feu; ; ardent
"Are you happy?"
She then leaned back on the cushions, and slowly opened her kazabaika.
But I quickly covered the half-bared breast again with the ermine.
"You are driving me mad." I stammered.
I was already lying in her arms, and like a serpent she was kissing me with her tongue, when again she whispered, "Are you happy?"
serpent - serpent
tongue - langue, languette
"Infinitely!" I exclaimed.
She laughed aloud. It was an evil, shrill laugh which made cold shivers run down by back.
shrill - strident, criard
shivers - des frissons; frissonner
"You used to dream of being the slave, the plaything of a beautiful woman, and now you imagine you are a free human being, a man, my lover-you fool! A sign from me, and you are a slave again. Down on your knees!"
I sank down from the ottoman to her feet, but my eye still clung doubtingly on hers.
doubtingly - en doutant
"You can't believe it," she said, looking at me with her arms folded across her breast. "I am bored, and you will just do to while away a couple of hours of time. Don't look at me that way-"
She kicked me with her foot.
"You are just what I want, a human being, a thing, an animal-"
She rang. The three negresses entered.
"Tie his hands behind his back."
I remained kneeling and unresistingly let them do this. They led me into the garden, down to the little vineyard, which forms the southern boundary. Corn had been planted between the espaliers, and here and there a few dead stalks still stood. To one side was a plough.
unresistingly - sans résistance
led - dirigé; ; DEL, LED; (lead) dirigé; ; DEL, LED
vineyard - vignoble, vigne
southern - méridionale; ; méridional, sud, austral, sudiste
boundary - frontiere; ; frontiere, limite, limites
corn - mais; mais
plough - charrue, araire, labourer, pilonner
The negresses tied me to a post, and amused themselves sticking me with their golden hair-needles. But this did not last long, before Wanda appeared with her ermine cap on her head, and with her hands in the pockets of her jacket. She had me untied, and then my hands were fastened together on my back. She finally had a yoke put around my neck, and harnessed me to the plough.
sticking - coller; (stick) coller
needles - aiguilles; aiguille, aiguille, saphir, aiguille, coudre
fastened - fixé; attacher, fixer
Then her black demons drove me out into the field. One of them held the plough, the other one led me by a line, the third applied the whip, and Venus in Furs stood to one side and looked on.
demons - démons; démon, diable
* * * * *
When I was serving dinner on the following day Wanda said: "Bring another cover, I want you to dine with me today," and when I was about to sit down opposite her, she added, "No, over here, close by my side."
dine - dîner
She is in the best of humors, gives me soup with her spoon, feeds me with her fork, and places her head on the table like a playful kitten and flirts with me. I have the misfortune of looking at Haydee, who serves in my place, perhaps a little longer than is necessary. It is only now that I noticed her noble, almost European cast of countenance and her magnificent statuesque bust, which is as if hewn out of black marble.
humors - les humeurs; humour
kitten - chaton, blaireautin
flirts - flirt; flirt, draguer, flirter
misfortune - malchance, mésaventure, malheur
countenance - visage, approuver
statuesque - statuesque
hewn - taillé; (hew) taillé
The black devil observes that she pleases me, and, grinning, shows her teeth. She has hardly left the room, before Wanda leaps up in a rage.
grinning - sourire; avoir un grand sourire
"What, you dare to look at another woman besides me! Perhaps you like her even better than you do me, she is even more demonic!"
I am frightened; I have never seen her like this before; she is suddenly pale even to the lips and her whole body trembles. Venus in Furs is jealous of her slave. She snatches the whip from its hook and strikes me in the face; then she calls her black servants, who bind me, and carry me down into the cellar, where they throw me into a dark, dank, subterranean compartment, a veritable prison-cell.
trembles - tremble; trembler, vibrer, trembler, tremblement, vibration
snatches - des arrachages de dents; empoigner, happer, saisir, arracher
cellar - cave; cave
dank - dank
subterranean - souterraine; ; souterrain
veritable - véritable
Then the lock of the door clicks, the bolts are drawn, a key sings in the lock. I am a prisoner, buried.
clicks - des clics; clic, bruit sec
bolts - boulons; verrou
prisoner - prisonnier, prisonniere
I have been lying here for I don't know how long, bound like a calf about to be hauled to the slaughter, on a bundle of damp straw, without any light, without food, without drink, without sleep. It would be like her to let me starve to death, if I don't freeze to death before then. I am shaking with cold. Or is it fever? I believe I am beginning to hate this woman.
calf - veau; mollet
hauled - transporté; haler, trainer, butin, magot
slaughter - l'abattage; ; abattage, carnage, tuerie, massacre, massacrer
bundle - bundle; ; faisceau, fagot, paquet, ballot (of goods)
damp - humide, moite, mouillé, humidité, grisou, amortir
straw - paille, fétu, jaune paille
starve - mourir de faim, crever de faim, crever la dalle, affamer
freeze - geler; congeler, gelez, gelent, gelons, gelent, geler
* * * * *
A red streak, like blood, floods across the floor; it is a light falling through the door which is now thrust open.
streak - de l'histoire; ; raie, chésias du genet
Wanda appears on the threshold, wrapped in her sables, holding a lighted torch.
torch - torche, flambeau, incendier
"Are you still alive?" she asks.
"Are you coming to kill me?" I reply with a low, hoarse voice.
hoarse - rauque; rauque, rugueux
With two rapid strides Wanda reaches my side, she kneels down beside me, and places my head in her lap. "Are you ill? Your eyes glow so, do you love me? I want you to love me."
She draws forth a short dagger. I start with fright when its blade gleams in front of my eyes. I actually believe that she is about to kill me. She laughs, and cuts the ropes that bind me.
blade - lame
ropes - des cordes; corde
* * * * *
every evening after dinner she now has me called. I have to read to her, and she discusses with me all sorts of interesting problems and subjects. She seems entirely transformed; it is as if she were ashamed of the savagery which she betrayed to me and of the cruelty with which she treated me.
every evening - tous les soirs
savagery - la sauvagerie; ; sauvagerie
A touching gentleness transfigures her entire being, and when at the good-night she gives me her hand, a superhuman power of goodness and love lies in her eyes, of the kind which calls forth tears in us and causes us to forget all the miseries of existence and all the terrors of death.
gentleness - la douceur; ; rench:
miseries - miseres; misere
terrors - terreurs; terreur, effroi, terreur, terrorisme
* * * * *
I am reading Manon l'Escault to her. She feels the association, she doesn't say a word, but she smiles from time to time, and finally she shuts up the little book.
Association - association
"Don't you want to go on reading?"
"Not today. We will ourselves act Manon l'Escault today. I have a rendezvous in the Cascine, and you, my dear Chevalier, will accompany me; I know, you will do it, won't you?"
rendezvous - rendez-vous, se donner rendez-vous, se rencontrer, se rejoindre
"You command it."
"I do not command it, I beg it of you," she says with irresistible charm. She then rises, puts her hands on my shoulders, and looks at me.
"Your eyes!" she exclaims. "I love you, Severin, you have no idea how I love you!"
"Yes, I have!" I replied bitterly, "so much so that you have arranged for a rendezvous with some one else."
bitterly - amerement; ; amerement
"I do this only to allure you the more," she replied vivaciously. "I must have admirers, so as not to lose you. I don't ever want to lose you, never, do you hear, for I love only you, you alone."
She clung passionately to my lips.
"Oh, if I only could, as I would, give you all of my soul in a kiss- thus-but now come."
She slipped into a simple black velvet coat, and put a dark bashlyk on her head. Then she rapidly went through the gallery, and entered the carriage.
bashlyk - bashlyk; ; bachlyk
"Gregor will drive," she called out to the coachman who withdrew in surprise.
coachman - cocher
I ascended the driver's seat, and angrily whipped up the horses.
In the Cascine where the main roadway turns into a leafy path, Wanda got out. It was night, only occasional stars shone through the gray clouds that fled across the sky. By the bank of the Arno stood a man in a dark cloak, with a brigand's hat, and looked at the yellow waves. Wanda rapidly walked through the shrubbery, and tapped him on the shoulder. I saw him turn and seize her hand, and then they disappeared behind the green wall.
roadway - la chaussée; ; chaussée
occasional - occasionnel
shone through - a brillé a travers
brigand - brigand, bandit
shrubbery - des arbustes; ; fruticée
tapped - taraudé; petit coup
An hour full of torments. Finally there was a rustling in the bushes to one side, and they returned.
bushes - buissons; buisson
The man accompanied her to the carriage. The light of the lamp fell full and glaringly upon an infinitely young, soft and dreamy face which I had never before seen, and played in his long, blond curls.
glaringly - de maniere flagrante
blond - blond, blonde
She held out her hand which he kissed with deep respect, then she signaled to me, and immediately the carriage flew along the leafy wall which follows the river like a long green screen.
signaled - signalée; signal, signal, signal, signaler
* * * * *
The bell at the garden-gate rings. It is a familiar face. The man from the Cascine.
rings - anneaux; anneau, bague
familiar - familier, esprit familier
"Whom shall I announce?" I ask him in French. He timidly shakes his head.
announce - annoncer
"Do you, perhaps, understand some German?" he asks shyly.
"Yes. Your name, please."
"Oh! I haven't any yet," he replies, embarrassed-"Tell your mistress the German painter from the Cascine is here and would like- but there she is herself."
embarrassed - embarrassé; embarrasser, gener
Wanda had stepped out on the balcony, and nodded toward the stranger.
"Gregor, show the gentleman in!" she called to me.
gentleman - gentilhomme, monsieur, messieurs
I showed the painter the stairs.
"Thanks, I'll find her now, thanks, thanks very much." He ran up the steps. I remained standing below, and looked with deep pity on the poor German.
ran up - a couru
Venus in Furs has caught his soul in the red snares of hair. He will paint her, and go mad.
* * * * *
It is a sunny winter's day. Something that looks like gold trembles on the leaves of the clusters of trees down below in the green level of the meadow. The camelias at the foot of the gallery are glorious in their abundant buds.
sunny - ensoleillé
clusters - les grappes; groupe, grappe, régime, amas, rench: -neededr
buds - bourgeons; bourgeon
Wanda is sitting in the loggia; she is drawing. The German painter stands opposite her with his hands folded as in adoration, and looks at her. No, he rather looks at her face, and is entirely absorbed in it, enraptured.
absorbed in - absorbée
But she does not see him, neither does she see me, who with the spade in my hand am turning over the flower-bed, solely that I may see her and feel her nearness, which produces an effect on me like poetry, like music.
spade - beche; creuser, palette, beche
turning over - qui se retournent
nearness - la proximité
* * * * *
The painter has gone. It is a hazardous thing to do, but I risk it. I go up to the gallery, quite close, and ask Wanda "Do you love the painter, mistress?"
hazardous - dangereux
She looks at me without getting angry, shakes her head, and finally even smiles.
"I feel sorry for him," she replies, "but I do not love him. I love no one. I used to love you, as ardently, as passionately, as deeply as it was possible for me to love, but now I don't love even you any more; my heart is a void, dead, and this makes me sad."
ardently - généreuxse, véhément
void - vide; vide, vacuum
"Wanda!" I exclaimed, deeply moved.
deeply moved - profondément ému
"Soon, you too will no longer love me," she continued, "tell me when you have reached that point, and I will give back to you your freedom."
"Then I shall remain your slave, all my life long, for I adore you and shall always adore you," I cried, seized by that fanaticism of love which has repeatedly been so fatal to me.
fanaticism - le fanatisme; ; fanatisme
fatal - fatale; ; fatal
Wanda looked at me with a curious pleasure. "Consider well what you do," she said. "I have loved you infinitely and have been despotic towards you so that I might fulfil your dream. Something of my old feeling, a sort of real sympathy for you, still trembles in my breast. When that too has gone who knows whether then I shall give you your liberty; whether I shall not then become really cruel, merciless, even brutal toward; whether I shall not take a diabolical pleasure in tormenting and putting on the rack the man who worships me idolatrously, the while I remain indifferent or love someone else; perhaps, I shall enjoy seeing him die of his love for me.
merciless - sans pitié
idolatrously - de façon idolâtre
indifferent - indifférent
Consider this well."
"I have long since considered all that," I replied as in a glow of fever. "I cannot exist, cannot live without you; I shall die if you set me at liberty; let me remain your slave, kill me, but do not drive me away."
"Very well then, be my slave," she replied, "but don't forget that I no longer love you, and your love doesn't mean any more to me than a dog's, and dogs are kicked."
* * * * *
today I visited the Venus of Medici.
It was still early, and the little octagonal room in the Tribuna was filled with half-lights like a sanctuary; I stood with folded hands in deep adoration before the silent image of the divinity.
octagonal - octogonal
sanctuary - refuge, réserve, asile, sanctuaire
But I did not stand for long.
Not a human soul was in the gallery, not even an Englishman, and I fell down on my knees. I looked up at the lovely slender body, the budding breasts, the virginal and yet voluptuous face, the fragrant curls which seemed to conceal tiny horns on each side of the forehead.
human soul - l'âme humaine
Englishman - Anglais
breasts - seins; sein, poitrine, poitrine, poitrine, cour, poitrine
virginal - virginal, virginal
conceal - dissimuler, cacher
* * * * *
My mistress's bell.
It is noonday. She, however, is still abed with her arms intertwined behind her neck.
noonday - midi
abed - abed; ; au lit
intertwined - entrelacés; enchevetrer, entrelacer, entrelacer
"I want to bathe," she says, "and you will attend me. Lock the door!"
"Now go downstairs and make sure the door below is also locked."
go downstairs - descendre en bas
I descended the winding stairs that lead from her bedroom to the bath; my feet gave way beneath me, and I had to support myself against the iron banister. After having ascertained that the door leading to the Loggia and the garden was locked, I returned. Wanda was now sitting on the bed with loosened hair, wrapped in her green velvet furs.
descended - descendu; descendre, descendre, descendre
banister - la rampe d'escalier; ; rampe, balustre
ascertained - vérifié; constater, définir
When she made a rapid movement, I noticed that the furs were her only covering. It made me start terribly, I don't know why? I was like one condemned to death, who knows he is on the way to the scaffold, and yet begins to tremble when he sees it.
scaffold - échafaudage, échafaud, échafauder
"Come, Gregor, take me on your arms."
"You mean, mistress?"
"You are to carry me, don't you understand?"
I lifted her up, so that she rested in my arms, while she twined hers around my neck. Slowly, step by step, I went down the stairs with her and her hair beat from time to time against my cheek and her foot sought support against my knee. I trembled under the beautiful burden I was carrying, and every moment it seemed as if I had to break down beneath it.
The bath consisted of a wide, high rotunda, which received a soft quiet light from a red glass cupola above. Two palms extended their broad leaves like a roof over a couch of velvet cushions. From here steps covered with Turkish rugs led to the white marble basin which occupied the center.
consisted - consisté; consister (en)
rotunda - rotonde
cupola - coupole, dôme
palms - des palmiers; paume
broad - large; large
Turkish - turque; ; turc
"There is a green ribbon on my toilet-table upstairs," said Wanda, as I let her down on the couch, "go get it, and also bring the whip."
I flew upstairs and back again, and kneeling put both in my mistress's hands. She then had me twist her heavy electric hair into a large knot which I fastened with the green ribbon. Then I prepared the bath. I did this very awkwardly because my hands and feet refused to obey me. Again and again I had to look at the beautiful woman lying on the red velvet cushions, and from time to time her wonderful body gleamed here and there beneath the furs.
refused - refusé; refuser de
Some magnetic power stronger than my will compelled me to look. I felt that all sensuality and lustfulness lies in that which is half-concealed or intentionally disclosed; and the truth of this I recognized even more acutely, when the basin at last was full, and Wanda threw off the fur-cloak with a single gesture, and stood before me like the goddess in the Tribuna.
magnetic - magnétique; ; magnétique
compelled - contraint; contraindre, forcer, obliger, contraindre
lustfulness - la luxure
acutely - avec acuité
At that moment she seemed as sacred and chaste to me in her unveiled beauty, as did the divinity of long ago. I sank down on my knees before her, and devoutly pressed my lips on her foot.
chaste - chaste
unveiled - dévoilé; dévoiler, lever le voile, dévoiler
My soul which had been storm-tossed only a little while earlier, suddenly was perfectly calm, and I now felt no element of cruelty in Wanda.
She slowly descended the stairs, and I could watch her with a calmness in which not a single atom of torment or desire was intermingled. I could see her plunge into and rise out of the crystalline water, and the wavelets which she herself raised played about her like tender lovers.
calmness - le calme; ; calme
atom - atome
intermingled - mélangés; brasser, entremeler
plunge - plonger; plonger
crystalline - cristalline; ; cristallin
wavelets - ondelettes; vaguelette, ondelette
Our nihilistic aesthetician is right when he says: a real apple is more beautiful than a painted one, and a living woman is more beautiful than a Venus of stone.
nihilistic - nihiliste
And when she left the bath, and the silvery drops and the roseate light rippled down her body, I was seized with silent rapture. I wrapped the linen sheets about her, drying her glorious body. The calm bliss remained with me, even now when one foot upon me as upon a footstool, she rested on the cushions in her large velvet cloak. The lithe sables nestled desirously against her cold marble-like body.
rippled - ondulé; ondulation
lithe - léger; agile, souple
desirously - désirable
Her left arm on which she supported herself lay like a sleeping swan in the dark fur of the sleeve, while her left hand played carelessly with the whip.
swan - cygne; cygne
By chance my look fell on the massive mirror on the wall opposite, and I cried out, for I saw the two of us in its golden frame as in a picture. The picture was so marvellously beautiful, so strange, so imaginative, that I was filled with deep sorrow at the thought that its lines and colors would have to dissolve like mist.
imaginative - imaginatif
sorrow - peine, chagrin
dissolve - se dissoudre; ; dissoudre, checkrompre, checkannuler
"What is the matter?" asked Wanda.
I pointed to the mirror.
"Ah, that is really beautiful," she exclaimed, "too bad one can't capture the moment and make it permanent."
capture - capture, prisonnier, saisir, capturer, enregistrer, prendre
"And why not?" I asked. "Would not any artist, even the most famous, be proud if you gave him leave to paint you and make you immortal by means of his brush.
immortal - immortel, inoubliable
"The very thought that this extraordinary beauty is to be lost to the world," I continued still watching her enthusiastically, "is horrible-all this glorious facial expression, this mysterious eye with its green fires, this demonic hair, this magnificence of body. The idea fills me with a horror of death, of annihilation. But the hand of an artist shall snatch you from this. You shall not like the rest of us disappear absolutely and forever, without leaving a trace of your having been.
facial expression - expression faciale
annihilation - l'anéantissement; ; annihilation
snatch - l'arrachage; ; empoigner, happer, saisir, arracher, enlever
trace - trace; trace, projection horizontale, décalquer
Your picture must live, even when you yourself have long fallen to dust; your beauty must triumph beyond death!"
fallen to - tombée
triumph - triomphe; triomphe, triomphal
"Too bad, that present-day Italy hasn't a Titian or Raphael," she said, "but, perhaps, love will make amends for genius, who knows; our little German might do?" She pondered.
amends - des réparations; amender, amender
"Yes, he shall paint you, and I will see to it that the god of love mixes his colors."
mixes - des mélanges; mélanger
* * * * *
The young painter has established his studio in her villa; he is completely in her net. He has just begun a Madonna, a Madonna with red hair and green eyes! Only the idealism of a German would attempt to use this thorough-bred woman as a model for a picture of virginity. The poor fellow really is an almost bigger donkey than I am. Our misfortune is that our Titania has discovered our ass's ears too soon.
established - établie; affermir, établir, établir
studio - studio, atelier
idealism - l'idéalisme; ; idéalisme
attempt - tenter, essayer, tentative, attentat
thorough - approfondi; ; minutieux, soigné, exhaustif
bred - élevé; (breed); se reproduire, engendrer, élever, race
virginity - la virginité; ; virginité
Titania - titania; Titania
ass - cul; aliboron, ane, âne
* * * * *
Now she laughs derisively at us, and how she laughs! I hear her insolent melodious laughter in his studio, under the open window of which I stand, jealously listening.
insolent - insolent
melodious - mélodieux
jealously - la jalousie; ; jalousement
* * * * *
"Are you mad, me-ah, it is unbelievable, me as the Mother of God!" she exclaimed and laughed again. "Wait a moment, I will show you another picture of myself, one that I myself have painted, and you shall copy it."
Her head appeared in the window, luminous like a flame under the sunlight.
I hurried up the stairs, through the gallery, into the studio.
"Lead him to the bath," Wanda commanded, while she herself hurried away.
A few moments passed and Wanda arrived; dressed in nothing but the sable fur, with the whip in her hand; she descended the stairs and stretched out on the velvet cushions as on the former occasion. I lay at her feet and she placed one of her feet upon me; her right hand played with the whip. "Look at me," she said, "with your deep, fanatical look, that's it."
sable fur - Une fourrure de zibeline
fanatical - fanatique
The painter had turned terribly pale. He devoured the scene with his beautiful dreamy blue eyes; his lips opened, but he remained dumb.
dumb - stupide; muet
"Well, how do you like the picture?"
"Yes, that is how I want to paint you," said the German, but it was really not a spoken language; it was the eloquent moaning, the weeping of a sick soul, a soul sick unto death.
eloquent - éloquent
moaning - gémissements; gémissement, se plaindre, geindre, gémir, mugir
weeping - pleurant; (weep) pleurant
* * * * *
The charcoal outline of the painting is done; the heads and flesh parts are painted in. Her diabolical face is already becoming visible under a few bold strokes, life flashes in her green eyes.
charcoal - charbon de bois, fusain
strokes - coups; coup
Wanda stands in front of the canvas with her arms crossed over her breast.
"This picture, like many of those of the Venetian school, is simultaneously to represent a portrait and to tell a story," explained the painter, who again had become pale as death.
represent - représenter; constituer, représentez, représentons
pale as death - pâle comme la mort
"And what will you call it?" she asked, "but what is the matter with you, are you ill?"
"I am afraid-" he answered with a consuming look fixed on the beautiful woman in furs, "but let us talk of the picture."
"Yes, let us talk about the picture."
"I imagine the goddess of love as having descended from Mount Olympus for the sake of some mortal man. And always cold in this modern world of ours, she seeks to keep her sublime body warm in a large heavy fur and her feet in the lap of her lover.
descended from - descendant de
seeks - cherche; chercher
sublime - sublime; auguste
I imagine the favorite of a beautiful despot, who whips her slave, when she is tired of kissing him, and the more she treads him underfoot, the more insanely he loves her. And so I shall call the picture: Venus in Furs."
insanely - a la folie
* * * * *
The painter paints slowly, but his passion grows more and more rapidly. I am afraid he will end up by committing suicide. She plays with him and propounds riddles to him which he cannot solve, and he feels his blood congealing in the process, but it amuses her.
committing - l'engagement; confier, commettre, remettre, consigner
propounds - propose; proposer
riddles - des énigmes; devinette
amuses - amuse; amuser
During the sitting she nibbles at candies, and rolls the paper-wrappers into little pellets with which she bombards him.
nibbles - grignotages; grignoter
rolls - rouleaux; rouleau
wrappers - des emballages; enveloppe, emballage, emballeur, emballeuse
pellets - granulés; granule, plomb, pelote
bombards - bombardements; bombarder
"I am glad you are in such good humor," said the painter, "but your face has lost the expression which I need for my picture."
Glad - heureux; heureuse
"The expression which you need for your picture," she replied, smiling. "Wait a moment."
She rose, and dealt me a blow with the whip. The painter looked at her with stupefaction, and a child-like surprise showed on his face, mingled with disgust and admiration.
mingled - mélangés; mélanger
disgust - dégout; ; dégouter, dégout
admiration - l'admiration; ; admiration
While whipping me, Wanda's face acquired more and more of the cruel, contemptuous character, which so haunts and intoxicates me.
haunts - hunts; hanter, hanter, demeurer, point de rencontre
"Is this the expression you need for your picture?" she exclaimed. The painter lowered his look in confusion before the cold ray of her eye.
lowered - abaissé; (s'')assombrir
in confusion - dans la confusion
ray - rayon; émission
"It is the expression-" he stammered, "but I can't paint now-"
"What?" said Wanda, scornfully, "perhaps I can help you?"
"Yes-" cried the German, as if taken with madness, "whip me too."
"Oh! With pleasure," she replied, shrugging her shoulders, "but if
shrugging - hausser les épaules; haussement d'épaules, hausser les épaules
I am to whip you I want to do it in sober earnest."
"Whip me to death," cried the painter.
"Will you let me tie you?" she asked, smiling.
"Yes-" he moaned-
Wanda left the room for a moment, and returned with ropes.
"Well-are you still brave enough to put yourself into the power of Venus in Furs, the beautiful despot, for better or worse?" she began ironically.
Brave - courageux
"Yes, tie me," the painter replied dully. Wanda tied his hands on his back and drew a rope through his arms and a second one around his body, and fettered him to the cross-bars of the window. Then she rolled back the fur, seized the whip, and stepped in front of him.
dully - avec violence
The scene had a grim attraction for me, which I cannot describe. I felt my heart beat, when, with a smile, she drew back her arm for the first blow, and the whip hissed through the air. He winced slightly under the blow. Then she let blow after blow rain upon him, with her mouth half-opened and her teeth flashing between her red lips, until he finally seemed to ask for mercy with his piteous, blue eyes. It was indescribable.
grim - sinistre; sinistre
piteous - piteux; ; pitoyable
* * * * *
She is sitting for him now, alone. He is working on her head.
She has posted me in the adjoining room behind a heavy curtain, where I can't be seen, but can see everything.
adjoining - adjacente; adjoindre, toucher
What does she intend now?
intend - l'intention de; ; avoir l'intention, envisager, concevoir
Is she afraid of him? She has driven him insane enough to be sure, or is she hatching a new torment for me? My knees tremble.
They are talking. He has lowered his voice so that I cannot understand a word, and she replies in the same way. What is the meaning of this? Is there an understanding between them?
I suffer frightful torments; my heart seems about to burst.
He kneels down before her, embraces her, and presses his head against her breast, and she-in her heartlessness-laughs-and now I hear her saying aloud:
embraces - embrasse; étreindre, embrasser, embrasser, accolade
presses - presses; appuyer sur, presser
"Ah! You need another application of the whip."
application - l'application; ; application, programme, candidature, demande
"Woman! Goddess! Are you without a heart-can't you love," exclaimed the German, "don't you even know, what it means to love, to be consumed with desire and passion, can't you even imagine what I suffer? Have you no pity for me?"
be consumed with - etre consommé
"No!" she replied proudly and mockingly, "but I have the whip."
proudly - fierement; ; fierement
She drew it quickly from the pocket of her fur-coat, and struck him in the face with the handle. He rose, and drew back a couple of paces.
fur-coat - (fur-coat) manteau de fourrure
"Now, are you ready to paint again?" she asked indifferently. He did not reply, but again went to the easel and took up his brush and palette.
easel - chevalet
palette - palette
The painting is marvellously successful. It is a portrait which as far as the likeness goes couldn't be better, and at the same time it seems to have an ideal quality. The colors glow, are supernatural; almost diabolical, I would call them.
supernatural - surnaturel, surnaturelle
The painter has put all his sufferings, his adoration, and all his execration into the picture.
sufferings - souffrances; souffrance, douleur, souffrance
execration - exécration
* * * * *
Now he is painting me; we are alone together for several hours every day. today he suddenly turned to me with his vibrant voice and said:
"You love this woman?"
"I also love her." His eyes were bathed in tears. He remained silent for a while, and continued painting.
"We have a mountain at home in Germany within which she dwells," he murmured to himself. "She is a demon."
Germany - l'allemagne; Allemagne
dwells - habite; résider, s'appesantir sur
* * * * *
The picture is finished. She insisted on paying him for it, munificently, in the manner of queens.
insisted - insisté; insister
munificently - avec générosité
"Oh, you have already paid me," he said, with a tormented smile, refusing her offer.
tormented - tourmenté; tourment, tourmenter
refusing - refusant; refuser de
Before he left, he secretly opened his portfolio, and let me look inside. I was startled. Her head looked at me as if out of a mirror and seemed actually to be alive.
portfolio - portefeuille, portfolio
"I shall take it along," he said, "it is mine; she can't take it away from me. I have earned it with my heart's blood."
* * * * *
"I am really rather sorry for the poor painter," she said to me today, "it is absurd to be as virtuous as I am. Don't you think so too?"
I did not dare to reply to her.
"Oh, I forgot that I am talking with a slave; I need some fresh air,
I want to be diverted, I want to forget.
diverted - détourné; dévier, divertir
"The carriage, quick!"
Her new dress is extravagant: Russian half-boots of violet-blue velvet trimmed with ermine, and a skirt of the same material, decorated with narrow stripes and rosettes of furs. Above it is an appropriate, close-fitting jacket, also richly trimmed and lined with ermine. The headdress is a tall cap of ermine of the style of Catherine the Second, with a small aigrette, held in place by a diamond-agraffe; her red hair falls loose down her back.
decorated - décoré; décorer, orner, décorer
rosettes - rosettes; rosette, chou
headdress - coiffure; ; couvre-chef
aigrette - aigrette
She ascends on the driver's seat, and holds the reins herself; I take my seat behind. How she lashes on the horses! The carriage flies along like mad.
ascends - s'éleve; monter
Apparently it is her intention to attract attention today, to make conquests, and she succeeds completely. She is the lioness of the Cascine. People nod to her from carriages; on the footpath people gather in groups to discuss her. She pays no attention to anyone, except now and then acknowledging the greetings of elderly gentlemen with a slight nod.
attract attention - attirer l'attention
conquests - conquetes; conquete
lioness - lionne
nod to - faire un signe de tete
carriages - les wagons; rench: -neededr, carrosse, port, chariot
footpath - sentier; ; trottoir
acknowledging - reconnaître; reconnaître, accuser réception, certifier
greetings - salutations; salutation, salut
elderly - personnes âgées; ; vieux, ancien, âgé
Suddenly a young man on a lithe black horse dashes up at full speed. As soon as he sees Wanda, he stops his horse and makes it walk. When he is quite close, he stops entirely and lets her pass. And she too sees him-the lioness, the lion. Their eyes meet. She madly drives past him, but she cannot tear herself free from the magic power of his look, and she turns her head after him.
black horse - cheval noir
dashes - tirets; tiret, trait, ta, sprint, soupçon, se précipiter
magic power - pouvoir magique
My heart stops when I see the half-surprised, half-enraptured look with which she devours him, but he is worthy of it.
devours - dévore; dévorer, dévorer, dévorer
worthy - digne
For he is, indeed, a magnificent specimen of man, No, rather, he is a man whose like I have never yet seen among the living. He is in the Belvedere, graven in marble, with the same slender, yet steely musculature, with the same face and the same waving curls. What makes him particularly beautiful is that he is beardless.
specimen - spécimen, exemple
graven - gravé; tombe
steely - d'acier
musculature - musculature
If his hips were less narrow, one might take him for a woman in disguise. The curious expression about the mouth, the lion's lip which slightly discloses the teeth beneath, lends a flashing tinge of cruelty to the beautiful face-
disguise - déguisement, déguiser
lip - levre; ; levre
discloses - divulgue; découvrir, laisser voir, révéler, divulguer, dévoiler
Apollo flaying Marsyas.
He wears high black boots, closely fitting breeches of white leather, short fur coat of black cloth, of the kind worn by Italian cavalry officers, trimmed with astrakhan and many rich loops; on his black locks is a red fez.
breeches - culotte; culotte, culasse
cavalry - la cavalerie; ; cavalerie
astrakhan - astrakan
loops - boucles; boucle, boucle, circuit fermé, boucle, boucle, boucle
fez - fez, tarbouche
I now understand the masculine Eros, and I marvel at Socrates for having remained virtuous in view of an Alcibiades like this.
marvel - marvel; ; etre
Socrates - socrate; Socrate
* * * * *
I have never seen my lioness so excited. Her cheeks flamed when she left from the carriage at her villa. She hurried upstairs, and with an imperious gesture ordered me to follow.
flamed - flambé; flamme, polémique
imperious - impérieux
Walking up and down her room with long strides, she began to talk so rapidly, that I was frightened.
"You are to find out who the man in the Cascine was, immediately-
"Oh, what a man! Did you see him? What do you think of him? Tell me."
"The man is beautiful," I replied dully.
"He is so beautiful," she paused, supporting herself on the arm of a chair, "that he has taken my breath away."
paused - en pause; pauser, pause
"I can understand the impression he has made on you," I replied, my imagination carrying me away in a mad whirl. "I am quite lost in admiration myself, and I can imagine-"
whirl - tourbillon; ; tourbillonner
"You may imagine," she laughed aloud, "that this man is my lover, and that he will apply the lash to you, and that you will enjoy being punished by him.
punished - puni; punir, châtier
"But now go, go."
* * * * *
Before evening fell, I had the desired information.
Wanda was still fully dressed when I returned. She reclined on the ottoman, her face buried in her hands, her hair in a wild tangle, like the red mane of a lioness.
tangle - enchevetrement; chaos
mane - criniere; ; criniere
"What is his name?" she asked, uncanny calm.
"A Greek, then,"
"He is very young?"
"Scarcely older than you. They say he was educated in Paris, and that he is an atheist. He fought against the Turks in Candia, and is said to have distinguished himself there no less by his race-hatred and cruelty, than by his bravery."
educated - éduqués; éduquer
atheist - athée, athéiste
Turks - les turcs; Turc, Turque
hatred - la haine; ; haine
bravery - la bravoure; ; courage
"All in all, then, a man," she cried with sparkling eyes.
sparkling - étincelante; ; pétillant
"At present he is living in Florence," I continued, "he is said to be tremendously rich-"
"I didn't ask you about that," she interrupted quickly and sharply.
"The man is dangerous. Aren't you afraid of him? I am afraid of him.
Has he a wife?"
"What theaters does he attend?"
theaters - théâtres; théâtre, théâtre
"To-night he will be at the Nicolini Theater, where Virginia Marini and Salvini are acting; they are the greatest living artists in Italy, perhaps in Europe.
Virginia - la virginie; Virginie, Virginie
"See that you get a box-and be quick about it!" she commanded.
"Do you want a taste of the whip?"
* * * * *
"You can wait down in the lobby," she said when I had placed the opera-glasses and the programme on the edge of her box and adjusted the footstool.
lobby - lobby; hall
opera - l'opéra; opéra; (opus) l'opéra; opéra
edge - bord, côté, arete, carre
adjusted - ajustée; ajuster, ajuster, ajuster
I am standing there and had to lean against the wall for support so as not to fall down with envy and rage-no, rage isn't the right word; it was a mortal fear.
lean against - s'appuyer
envy - l'envie; ; envie, jalousie, convoitise, envier
mortal fear - peur mortelle
I saw her in her box dressed in blue moire, with a huge ermine cloak about her bare shoulders; he sat opposite. I saw them devour each other with their eyes. For both of them the stage, Goldoni's Pamela, Salvini, Marini, the public, even the entire world, were non-existant to-night. And I-what was I at that moment?-
moire - moire
devour - dévorer
existant - existant
* * * * *
today she is attending the ball at the Greek ambassador's. Does she know, that she will meet him there?
ambassador - ambassadeur, ambassadrice
At any rate she dressed, as if she did. A heavy sea-green silk dress plastically encloses her divine form, leaving the bust and arms bare.
plastically - plastiquement
In her hair, which is done into a single flaming knot, a white water-lily blossoms; from it the leaves of reeds interwoven with a few loose strands fall down toward her neck. There no longer is any trace of agitation or trembling feverishness in her being. She is calm, so calm, that I feel my blood congealing and my heart growing cold under her glance. Slowly, with a weary, indolent majesty, she ascends the marble staircase, lets her precious wrap slide off, and listlessly enters the hall, where the smoke of a hundred candles has formed a silvery mist.
reeds - anches; roseau
strands - brins; etre échoué
feverishness - la fébrilité; ; fébrilité
Majesty - majesté
staircase - escalier
slide - glisser, déraper, toboggan, glissoire, glissement
listlessly - creuxse
For a few moments my eyes follow her in a daze, then I pick up her furs, which without my being aware, had slipped from my hands. They are still warm from her shoulders.
daze - daze; ; stupéfaction, étourdir, abasourdir
I kiss the spot, and my eyes fill with tears.
* * * * *
He has arrived.
In his black velvet coat extravagantly trimmed with sable, he is a beautiful, haughty despot who plays with the lives and souls of men. He stands in the anteroom, looking around proudly, and his eyes rest on me for an uncomfortably long time.
extravagantly - avec extravagance
haughty - hautain, suffisant
souls - âmes; âme
uncomfortably - mal a l'aise
Under his icy glance I am again seized by a mortal fear. I have a presentiment that this man can enchain her, captivate her, subjugate her, and I feel inferior in contrast with his savage masculinity; I am filled with envy, with jealousy.
have a presentiment - avoir un pressentiment
captivate - captiver
inferior - inférieur
masculinity - masculinité
I feel that I am a queer weakly creature of brains, merely! And what is most humiliating, I want to hate him, but I can't. Why is that among all the host of servants he has chosen me.
queer - pédé; ; étrange, bizarre
weakly - souffreteuxse
creature - créature, etre
humiliating - humiliant; humilier
Host - l'hôte; hote, hôte
With an inimitably aristocratic nod of the head he calls me over to him, and I-I obey his call-against my own will.
"Take my furs," he quickly commands.
My entire body trembles with resentment, but I obey, abjectly like a slave.
resentment - le ressentiment; ; ressentiment, agacement, rancune
abjectly - de maniere abjecte; ; abjectement
* * * * *
All night long I waited in the anteroom, raving as in a fever. Strange images hovered past my inner eye. I saw their meeting-their long exchange of looks. I saw her float through the hall in his arms, drunken, lying with half-closed lids against his breast. I saw him in the holy of holies of love, lying on the ottoman, not as slave, but as master, and she at his feet.
Exchange - l'échange; échangent, échangeons, échanger, échangez, échange
float - flotter, flotteur, taloche, char, flottant, float
holies - des saints; saint, sacré, saint, bénit, saint, fr
On my knees I served them, the tea-tray faltering in my hands, and I saw him reach for the whip. But now the servants are talking about him.
tea-tray - (tea-tray) plateau a thé
faltering - en perte de vitesse; (falter); vaciller
He is a man who is like a woman; he knows that he is beautiful, and he acts accordingly. He changes his clothes four or five times a day, like a vain courtesan.
accordingly - en conséquence, conséquemment
In Paris he appeared first in woman's dress, and the men assailed him with love-letters. An Italian singer, famous equally for his art and his passionate intensity, even invaded his home, and lying on his knees before him threatened to commit suicide if he wouldn't be his.
assailed - assailli; assaillir
equally - également
invaded - envahi; envahir, envahir, envahir
commit - s'engager; ; confier, commettre, remettre, consigner, commit
"I am sorry," he replied, smiling, "I should like to do you the favor, but you will have to carry out your threat, for I am a man."
threat - menace; menace
* * * * *
The drawingroom has already thinned out to a marked degree, but she apparently has no thought of leaving.
drawingroom - salle de dessin
Morning is already peering through the blinds.
blinds - des stores; aveugle, mal-voyant, mal-voyante, store, blind
At last I hear the rustling of her heavy gown which flows along behind her like green waves. She advances step by step, engaged in conversation with him.
I hardly exist for her any longer; she doesn't even trouble to give me an order.
"The cloak for madame," he commands. He, of course, doesn't think of looking after her himself.
looking after - a surveiller
While I put her furs about her, he stands to one side with his arms crossed. While I am on my knees putting on her fur over-shoes, she lightly supports herself with her hand on his shoulder. She asks:
"And what about the lioness?"
"When the lion whom she has chosen and with whom she lives is attacked by another," the Greek went on with his narrative, "the lioness quietly lies down and watches the battle. Even if her mate is worsted she does not go to his aid. She looks on indifferently as he bleeds to death under his opponent's claws, and follows the victor, the stronger-that is the female's nature."
narrative - narratif, récit
mate - compagnon; appareiller
worsted - worsted; peigné; (worst); pire
bleeds to death - se vide de son sang
opponent - adversaire, adversaire
Victor - Victor
At this moment my lioness looked quickly and curiously at me.
It made me shudder, though I didn't know why-and the red dawn immerses me and her and him in blood.
immerses - immerses; immerger, immerger
* * * * *
She did not go to bed, but merely threw off her ball-dress and undid her hair; then she ordered me to build a fire, and she sat by the fire-place, and stared into the flames.
ball-dress - (ball-dress) robe de bal
undid - défait; défaire
"Do you need me any longer, mistress?" I asked, my voice failed me at the last word.
Wanda shook her head.
I left the room, passed through the gallery, and sat down on one of the steps, leading from there down into the garden. A gentle north wind brought a fresh, damp coolness from the Arno, the green hills extended into the distance in a rosy mist, a golden haze hovered over the city, over the round cupola of the Duomo.
gentle - gentil, doux
wind - vent; emmailloter, détortiller, langer, enrouler, vent
coolness - de la fraîcheur; ; frais
rosy - rose
haze - brume; chicaner, brume, fumées
A few stars still tremble in the pale-blue sky.
I tore open my coat, and pressed my burning forehead against the marble. Everything that had happened so far seemed to me a mere child's play; but now things were beginning to be serious, terribly serious.
I anticipated a catastrophe, I visualized it, I could lay hold of it with my hands, but I lacked the courage to meet it. My strength was broken. And if I am honest with myself, neither the pains and sufferings that threatened me, not the humiliations that impended, were the thing that frightened me.
anticipated - anticipée; anticiper, prévoir
catastrophe - catastrophe
visualized - visualisée; visualiser
lacked - manquée; manquer de qqch
humiliations - humiliations; humiliation, humiliation
I merely felt a fear, the fear of losing her whom I loved with a sort of fanatical devotion; but it was so overwhelming, so crushing that I suddenly began to sob like a child.
overwhelming - écrasante; abreuver, accabler, envahir, accabler
crushing - l'écrasement; barricade, béguin, amourette, faible
sob - sanglot; ; fdp
* * * * *
During the day she remained locked in her room, and had the negress attend her. When the evening star rose glowing in the blue sky, I saw her pass through the garden, and, carefully following her at a distance, watched her enter the shrine of Venus. I stealthily followed and peered through the chink in the door.
evening star - étoile du soir
shrine - sanctuaire, lieu saint, châsse
She stood before the divine image of the goddess, her hands folded as in prayer, and the sacred light of the star of love casts its blue rays over her.
prayer - oraison, priere
* * * * *
On my couch at night the fear of losing her and despair took such powerful hold of me that they made a hero and a libertine of me. I lighted the little red oil-lamp which hung in the corridor beneath a saint's image, and entered her bedroom, covering the light with one hand.
libertine - libertin, paillard
saint - Saint
The lioness had been hunted and driven until she was exhausted. She had fallen asleep among her pillows, lying on her back, her hands clenched, breathing heavily. A dream seemed to oppress her. I slowly withdrew my hand, and let the red light fall full on her wonderful face.
exhausted - épuisé; épuiser, épuiser, épuiser, échappement
fallen asleep - Tu t'es endormi
clenched - serré; serrer, prise (en main) ferme, poigne ferme
heavily - lourdement
oppress - opprimer, oppresser
But she did not awaken.
I gently set the lamp on the floor, sank down beside Wanda's bed, and rested my head on her soft, glowing arm.
She moved slightly, but even now did not awaken. I do not know how long I lay thus in the middle of the night, turned as into a stone by horrible torments.
Finally a severe trembling seized me, and I was able to cry. My tears flowed over her arm. She quivered several times and finally sat up; she brushed her hand across her eyes, and looked at me.
"Severin," she exclaimed, more frightened than angry.
more frightened - plus effrayé
I was unable to reply.
"Severin," she continued softly, "what is the matter? Are you ill?"
Her voice sounded so sympathetic, so kind, so full of love, that it clutched my breast like red-hot tongs and I began to sob aloud.
clutched - serré; se raccrocher (a)
"Severin," she began anew. "My poor unhappy friend." Her hand gently stroked my hair. "I am sorry, very sorry for you; but I can't help you; with the best intention in the world I know of nothing that would cure you."
cure - guérir; guérissez, guérissent, cicatriser, guérison
"Oh, Wanda, must it be?" I moaned in my agony.
"What, Severin? What are you talking about?"
"Don't you love me any more?" I continued. "Haven't you even a little bit of pity for me? Has the beautiful stranger taken complete possession of you?"
"I cannot lie," she replied softly after a short pause. "He has made an impression on me which I haven't yet been able to analyse, further than that I suffer and tremble beneath it. It is an impression of the sort I have met with in the works of poets or on the stage, but I always thought it was a figment of the imagination.
analyse - analyser
poets - poetes; poete
figment - figuration; ; chimere, illusion, vaticination, vue de l'esprit
Oh, he is a man like a lion, strong and beautiful and yet gentle, not brutal like the men of our northern world. I am sorry for you, Severin, I am; but I must possess him. What am I saying? I must give myself to him, if he will have me."
"Consider your reputation, Wanda, which so far has remained spotless," I exclaimed, "even if I no longer mean anything to you."
reputation - réputation, renommée (more slang)
spotless - sans tache
"I am considering it," she replied, "I intend to be strong, as long as it is possible, I want-" she buried her head shyly in the pillows -"I want to become his wife-if he will have me."
"Wanda," I cried, seized again by that mortal fear, which always robs me of my breath, makes me lose possession of myself, "you want to be his wife, belong to him for always. Oh! Do not drive me away! He does not love you-"
robs - voleurs; voler, dévaliser
"Who says that?" she exclaimed, flaring up.
"He does not love you," I went on passionately, "but I love you, I adore you, I am your slave, I let you tread me underfoot, I want to carry you on my arms through life."
"Who says that he doesn't love me?" she interrupted vehemently.
"Oh! be mine," I replied, "be mine! I cannot exist, cannot live without you. Have mercy on me, Wanda, have mercy!"
She looked at me again, and her face had her cold heartless expression, her evil smile.
"You say he doesn't love me," she said, scornfully. "Very well then, get what consolation you can out of it."
consolation - consoler, consolation
With this she turned over on the other side, and contemptuously showed me her back.
"Good God, are you a woman without flesh or blood, haven't you a heart as well as I!" I cried, while my breast heaved convulsively.
convulsively - convulsivement
"You know what I am," she replied, coldly. "I am a woman of stone, Venus in Furs, your ideal, kneel down, and pray to me."
pray to - prier
"Wanda!" I implored, "mercy!"
She began to laugh. I buried my face in her pillows. Pain had loosened the floodgates of my tears and I let them flow.
floodgates - les vannes; vanne
flow - flux; coulons, couler, coulez, flux, courant, écoulement
For a long time silence reigned, then Wanda slowly raised herself.
reigned - régnait; regne, regne, régner
"You bore me," she began.
"I am tired, let me go to sleep."
"Mercy," I implored. "Do not drive me away. No man, no one, will love you as I do."
"Let me go to sleep,"-she turned her back to me again.
I leaped up, and snatched the poinard, which hung beside her bed, from its sheath, and placed its point against my breast.
snatched - arraché; empoigner, happer, saisir, arracher, enlever
sheath - gaine; gaine
"I shall kill myself here before your eyes," I murmured dully.
"Do what you please," Wanda replied with complete indifference. "But let me go to sleep." She yawned aloud. "I am very sleepy."
yawned - bâillé; bâiller, béer, bâillement
sleepy - somnolent, ensommeillé, ensuqué, endormi
For a moment I stood as if petrified. Then I began to laugh and cry at the same time. Finally I placed the poinard in my belt, and again fell on my knees before her.
Petrified - pétrifié; pétrifier, pétrifier, pétrifier
"Wanda, listen to me, only for a few moments," I begged.
"I want to go to sleep! Don't you hear!" she cried, leaping angrily out of bed and pushing me away with her foot. "You forget that I am your mistress?" When I didn't budge, she seized the whip and struck me. I rose; she struck me again-this time right in the face.
leaping - sauter; sauter, bondir
budge - budge; bougez, bougeons, bouger, bougent
With clenched fist held heavenward, I left her bedroom with a sudden resolve. She tossed the whip aside, and broke out into clear laughter. I can imagine that my theatrical attitude must have been very droll.
fist - poing; poing
resolve - résoudre; résolvons, résolvent, résolvez
attitude - posture, état d'esprit, attitude
* * * * *
I have determined to set myself free from this heartless woman, who has treated me so cruelly, and is now about to break faith and betray me, as a reward for all my slavish devotion, for everything I have suffered from her. I packed my few belongings into a bundle, and then wrote her as follows:
Reward - récompense; récompenser
madam - madame, mere maquerelle, tenanciere
I have loved you even to madness, I have given myself to you as no man ever has given himself to a woman. You have abused my most sacred emotions, and played an impudent, frivolous game with me. However, as long as you were merely cruel and merciless, it was still possible for me to love you.
abused - abusé; abuser (de)
impudent - impudent
Now you are about to become cheap. I am no longer the slave whom you can kick about and whip. You yourself have set me free, and I am leaving a woman I can only hate and despise.
I handed these lines to the negress, and hastened away as fast as I could go. I arrived at the railway-station all out of breath. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my heart and stopped. I began to weep. It is humiliating that I want to flee and I can't. I turn back- whither?-to her, whom I abhor, and yet, at the same time, adore.
hastened - s'est hâté; dépecher
weep - pleurer; pleurez, pleurons, pleurer, pleurent
abhor - avoir horreur
Again I pause. I cannot go back. I dare not.
But how am I to leave Florence. I remember that I haven't any money, not a penny. Very well then, on foot; it is better to be an honest beggar than to eat the bread of a courtesan.
I haven't any money - Je n'ai pas d'argent
beggar - gueux, mendiant, mendiante, queteux
But still I can't leave.
She has my pledge, my word of honor. I have to return. Perhaps she will release me.
pledge - engagement; ; promettre, mettre en gage, serment, gage
After a few rapid strides, I stop again.
She has my word of honor and my bond, that I shall remain her slave as long as she desires, until she herself gives me my freedom. But I might kill myself.
bond - lien; sautiller
I go through the Cascine down to the Arno, where its yellow waters plash monotonously about a couple of stray willows. There I sit, and cast up my final accounts with existence. I let my entire life pass before me in review.
plash - clapoter
monotonously - de façon monotone
willows - des saules; saule
final accounts - comptes définitifs
On the whole, it is rather a wretched affair-a few joys, an endless number of indifferent and worthless things, and between these an abundant harvest of pains, miseries, fears, disappointments, shipwrecked hopes, afflictions, sorrow and grief.
harvest - la récolte; ; récolte, moisson, récolter, moissonner, recueillir
disappointments - déceptions; déception
shipwrecked - naufragés; épave, naufrage, naufrager
afflictions - afflictions; affliction, détresse, affliction
grief - le chagrin; ; douleur, peine
I thought of my mother, whom I loved so deeply and whom I had to watch waste away beneath a horrible disease; of my brother, who full of the promise of joy and happiness died in the flower of youth, without even having put his lips to the cup of life. I thought of my dead nurse, my childhood playmates, the friends that had striven and studied with me; of all those, covered by the cold, dead, indifferent earth. I thought of my turtledove, who not infrequently made his cooing bows to me, instead of to his mate.
waste - déchets; déchets, pelée, gaspiller, gâcher
playmates - des camarades de jeu; compagnon de jeux, playmate
striven - strivées; s''efforcer de
turtledove - tourterelle
infrequently - rarement
cooing - roucouler; (coo) roucouler
All have returned, dust unto dust.
I laughed aloud, and slid down into the water, but at the same moment I caught hold of one of the willow-branches, hanging above the yellow waves. As in a vision, I see the woman who has caused all my misery. She hovers above the level of the water, luminous in the sunlight as though she were transparent, with red flames about her head and neck. She turns her face toward me and smiles.
slid - glissée; (slide); glisser, déraper, toboggan, glissoire
willow - le saule; ; saule
branches - branches; branche, t+rameau, branche, affluent, filiale
misery - la misere; ; misere
hovers - plane; éventiller, faire du sur-place, hésiter
* * * * *
I am back again, dripping, wet through, glowing with shame and fever. The negress has delivered my letter; I am judged, lost, in the power of a heartless, affronted woman.
judged - jugée; juger
affronted - offensée; défier, jeter le gant, envoyer un cartel
Well, let her kill me. I am unable to do it myself, and yet I have no wish to go on living.
As I walk around the house, she is standing in the gallery, leaning over the railing. Her face is full in the light of the sun, and her green eyes sparkle.
railing - garde-corps; ; rampe; (rail) garde-corps; ; rampe
"Still alive?" she asked, without moving. I stood silent, with bowed head.
"Give me back my poinard," she continued. "It is of no use to you.
You haven't even the courage to take your own life."
"I have lost it," I replied, trembling, shaken by chills.
chills - des frissons; froid
She looked me over with a proud, scornful glance.
scornful - méprisante; ; méprisant}, dédaigneux
"I suppose you lost it in the Arno?" She shrugged her shoulders. "No matter. Well, and why didn't you leave?"
I mumbled something which neither she nor I myself could understand.
mumbled - marmonné; marmonner
"Oh! you haven't any money," she cried. "Here!" With an indescribably disdainful gesture she tossed me her purse.
indescribably - de maniere indescriptible
disdainful - dédaigneux
purse - sac a main; ; bourse, portemonnaie, portefeuille, sac a main
I did not pick it up.
Both of us were silent for some time.
"You don't want to leave then?"
* * * * *
Wanda drives in the Cascine without me, and goes to the theater without me; she receives company, and the negress serves her. No one asks after me. I stray about the garden, irresolutely, like an animal that has lost its master.
irresolutely - irrésolument
Lying among the bushes, I watch a couple of sparrows, fighting over a seed.
seed - semences; semailles, semence, pépin
Suddenly I hear the swish of a woman's dress.
swish - swish; ; chic, doux, en vogue, lisse, bruisser
Wanda approaches in a gown of dark silk, modestly closed up to the neck; the Greek is with her. They are in an eager discussion, but I cannot as yet understand a word of what they are saying. He stamps his foot so that the gravel scatters about in all directions, and he lashes the air with his riding whip. Wanda startles.
approaches - approches; (s'')approcher (de)
modestly - modestement
eager - enthousiaste; désireux
scatters - se disperse; disperser, se disperser, éparpiller, parsemer
riding whip - cravache
startles - s'effraie; sursauter, surprendre
Is she afraid that he will strike her?
Have they gone that far?
He has left her, she calls him; he does not hear her, does not want to hear her.
Wanda sadly lowers her head, and then sits down on the nearest stone-bench. She sits for a long time, lost in thought. I watch her with a sort of malevolent pleasure, finally I pull myself together by sheer force of will, and ironically step before her. She startles, and trembles all over.
lowers - les abaisseurs; (s'')assombrir
malevolent - malveillante
sheer - transparent; pur
"I come to wish you happiness," I said, bowing, "I see, my dear lady, too, has found a master."
bowing - s'incliner; (bow) s'incliner
"Yes, thank God!" she exclaimed, "not a new slave, I have had enough of them. A master! Woman needs a master, and she adores him."
"You adore him, Wanda?" I cried, "this brutal person-"
"Yes, I love him, as I have never loved any one else."
"Wanda!" I clenched my fists, but tears already filled my eyes, and I was seized by the delirium of passion, as by a sweet madness. "Very well, take him as your husband, let him be your master, but I want to remain your slave, as long as I live."
fists - poings; poing
"You want to remain my slave, even then?" she said, "that would be interesting, but I am afraid he wouldn't permit it."
permit - permis; permettre, permets, permettons, permettez, permis
"Yes, he is already jealous of you," she exclaimed, "he, of you! He demanded that I dismiss you immediately, and when I told him who you were-"
dismiss - licencier
"You told him-" I repeated, thunderstruck.
"I told him everything," she replied, "our whole story, all your queerness, everything-and he, instead of being amused, grew angry, and stamped his foot."
queerness - queerness, queerité
"And threatened to strike you?"
Wanda looked to the ground, and remained silent.
"Yes, indeed," I said with mocking bitterness, "you are afraid of him, Wanda!" I threw myself down at her feet, and in my agitation embraced her knees. "I don't want anything of you, except to be your slave, to be always near you! I will be your dog-"
bitterness - l'amertume; ; amertume
"Do you know, you bore me?" said Wanda, indifferently.
I leaped up. Everything within me was seething.
"You are now no longer cruel, but cheap," I said, clearly and distinctly, accentuating every word.
"You have already written that in your letter," Wanda replied, with a proud shrug of the shoulders. "A man of brains should never repeat himself."
shrug - haussement d'épaules, hausser les épaules
"The way you are treating me," I broke out, "what would you call it?"
treating - traiter; traitant; (treat); négocier, traiter, régaler, guérir
"I might punish you," she replied ironically, "but I prefer this time to reply with reasons instead of lashes. You have no right to accuse me. Haven't I always been honest with you? Haven't I warned you more than once? Didn't I love you with all my heart, even passionately, and did I conceal the fact from you, that it was dangerous to give yourself into my power, to abase yourself before me, and that I want to be dominated?
warned - averti; avertir, alerter, avertir, prévenir
abase - abase; ; baisser, abaisser, rabaisser, humilier
But you wished to be my plaything, my slave! You found the highest pleasure in feeling the foot, the whip of an arrogant, cruel woman. What do you want now?
"Dangerous potentialities were slumbering in me, but you were the first to awaken them. If I now take pleasure in torturing you, abusing you, it is your fault; you have made of me what I now am, and now you are even unmanly, weak, and miserable enough to accuse me."
slumbering - dormir; (slumber); somnolence, somnoler
abusing - abuser (de)
unmanly - pas viril; ; efféminé, lâche
"Yes, I am guilty," I said, "but haven't I suffered because of it?
guilty - coupable, coupable
Let us put an end now to the cruel game."
"That is my wish, too," she replied with a curious deceitful look.
deceitful - trompeuse
"Wanda!" I exclaimed violently, "don't drive me to extremes; you see that I am a man again."
"A fire of straw," she replied, "which makes a lot of stir for a moment, and goes out as quickly as it flared up. You imagine you can intimidate me, and you only make yourself ridiculous. Had you been the man I first thought you were, serious, reserved, stern, I would have loved you faithfully, and become your wife.
intimidate - intimider
reserved - réservé; réservation, réserve, réserves-p, réserve, réserve
Woman demands that she can look up to a man, but one like you who voluntarily places his neck under her foot, she uses as a welcome plaything, only to toss it aside when she is tired of it."
voluntarily - volontairement
"Try to toss me aside," I said, jeeringly. "Some toys are dangerous."
jeeringly - avec raillerie
"Don't challenge me," exclaimed Wanda. Her eyes began to flash, and a flush entered her cheeks.
challenge - défi, chalenge, défier
flash - flash; clignoter, flash
flush - la chasse d'eau; vidanger, rougeur
"If you won't be mine now," I continued, with a voice stifled with rage, "no one else shall possess you either."
"What play is this from?" she mocked, seizing me by the breast. She was pale with anger at this moment. "Don't challenge me," she continued, "I am not cruel, but I don't know whether I may not become so and whether then there will be any bounds."
mocked - moqué; imitation, succédané, moquerie, examen blanc, imiter
"What worse can you do, than to make your lover, your husband?" I exclaimed, more and more enraged.
more enraged - plus enragée
"I might make you his slave," she replied quickly, "are you not in my power? Haven't I the agreement? But, of course, you will merely take pleasure in it, if I have you bound, and say to him.
"Do with him what you please."
"Woman, are you mad!" I cried.
"I am entirely rational," she said, calmly. "I warn you for the last time. Don't offer any resistance, one who has gone as far as I have gone might easily go still further. I feel a sort of hatred for you, and would find a real joy in seeing him beat you to death; I am still restraining myself, but-"
rational - rationnelle; rationnel
restraining - de contention; (se) contenir/retenir
Scarcely master of myself any longer, I seized her by the wrist and forced her to the ground, so that she lay on her knees before me.
wrist - poignet
forced - forcée; force
"Severin!" she cried. Rage and terror were painted on her face.
"I shall kill you if you marry him," I threatened; the words came hoarsely and dully from my breast. "You are mine, I won't let you go, I love you too much." Then I clutched her and pressed her close to me; my right hand involuntarily seized the dagger which I still had in my belt.
hoarsely - rauque; ; sechement
Wanda fixed a large, calm, incomprehensible look on me.
incomprehensible - incompréhensible
"I like you that way," she said, carelessly. "Now you are a man, and at this moment I know I still love you."
"Wanda," I wept with rapture, and bent down over her, covering her dear face with kisses, and she, suddenly breaking into a loud gay laugh, said, "Have you finished with your ideal now, are you satisfied with me?"
"You mean?" I stammered, "that you weren't serious?"
"I am very serious," she gaily continued. "I love you, only you, and you-you foolish, little man, didn't know that everything was only make-believe and play-acting. How hard it often was for me to strike you with the whip, when I would have rather taken your head and covered it with kisses.
But now we are through with that, aren't we? I have played my cruel role better than you expected, and now you will be satisfied with my being a good, little wife who isn't altogether unattractive. Isn't that so? We will live like rational people-"
altogether - tout a fait; ; completement, en meme temps, quoi qu'il en soit
unattractive - peu attrayante
"You will marry me!" I cried, overflowing with happiness.
overflowing - débordant; (overflow); débordement, déborder, checktransborder
"Yes-marry you-you dear, darling man," whispered Wanda, kissing my hands.
darling - chéri, chérie
I drew her up to my breast.
"Now, you are no longer Gregor, my slave," said she, "but Severin, the dear man I love-"
"And he-you don't love him?" I asked in agitation.
"How could you imagine my loving a man of his brutal type? You were blind to everything, I was really afraid for you."
"I almost killed myself for your sake."
"Really?" she cried, "ah, I still tremble at the thought, that you were already in the Arno."
"But you saved me," I replied, tenderly. "You hovered over the waters and smiled, and your smile called me back to life."
* * * * *
I have a curious feeling when I now hold her in my arms and she lies silently against my breast and lets me kiss her and smiles. I feel like one who has suddenly awakened out of a feverish delirium, or like a shipwrecked man who has for many days battled with waves that momentarily threatened to devour him and finally has found a safe shore.
silently - en silence; ; silencieusement
battled - s'est battu; bataille, combat
shore - rivage; riverain, parages, bord, rive, borde
* * * * *
"I hate this Florence, where you have been so unhappy," she declared, as I was saying good-night to her. "I want to leave immediately, tomorrow, you will be good enough to write a couple of letters for me, and, while you are doing that, I will drive to the city to pay my farewell visits. Is that satisfactory to you?"
Farewell - adieu, prendre congé, dire adieu, faire ses adieux
"Of course, you dear, sweet, beautiful woman."
* * * * *
Early in the morning she knocked at my door to ask how I had slept. Her tenderness is positively wonderful. I should never have believed that she could be so tender.
* * * * *
She has now been gone for over four hours. I have long since finished the letters, and am now sitting in the gallery, looking down the street to see whether I cannot discover her carriage in the distance. I am a little worried about her, and yet I know there is no reason under heaven why I should doubt or fear.
However, a feeling of oppression weighs me down, and I cannot rid myself of it. It is probably the sufferings of the past days, which still cast their shadows into my soul.
oppression - l'oppression; ; oppression
weighs - pese; peser, peser, peser, peser, lever l’ancre
rid - rid; débarrasser
* * * * *
She is back, radiant with happiness and contentment.
contentment - le contentement; ; contentement
"Well, has everything gone as you wished?" I asked tenderly, kissing her hand.
"Yes, dear heart," she replied, "and we shall leave to-night. Help me pack my trunks."
* * * * *
Toward evening she asked me to go to the postoffice and mail her letters myself. I took her carriage, and was back within an hour.
postoffice - bureau de poste
"Mistress has asked for you," said the negress, with a grin, as I ascended the wide marble stairs.
grin - sourire; rictus
"Has anyone been here?"
"No one," she replied, crouching down on the steps like a black cat.
I slowly passed through the drawingroom, and then stood before her bedroom door.
Why does my heart beat so? Am I not perfectly happy?
perfectly happy - parfaitement heureux
Opening the door softly, I draw back the portiere. Wanda is lying on the ottoman, and does not seem to notice me. How beautiful she looks, in her silver-gray dress, which fits closely, and while displaying in tell-tale fashion her splendid figure, leaves her wonderful bust and arms bare.
portiere - portiere
displaying - l'affichage; représentation, spectacle, moniteur, écran
Tale - conte; conte, récit
Her hair is interwoven with, and held up by a black velvet ribbon. A mighty fire is burning in the fire-place, the hanging lamp casts a reddish glow, and the whole room is as if drowned in blood.
hanging lamp - Une lampe suspendue
reddish - rougeâtre
drowned - noyé; noyer
"Wanda," I said at last.
"Oh Severin," she cried out joyously. "I have been impatiently waiting for you." She leaped up, and folded me in her arms. She sat down again on the rich cushions and tried to draw me down to her side, but I softly slid down to her feet and placed my head in her lap.
joyously - joyeusement
"Do you know I am very much in love with you today?" she whispered, brushing a few stray hairs from my forehead and kissing my eyes.
"How beautiful your eyes are, I have always loved them as the best of you, but today they fairly intoxicate me. I am all-" She extended her magnificent limbs and tenderly looked at me from beneath her red lashes.
fairly - équitable; ; justement, assez
intoxicate - s'intoxiquer; ; intoxiquer
"And you-you are cold-you hold me like a block of wood; wait, I'll stir you with the fire of love," she said, and again clung fawningly and caressingly to my lips.
block - bloc; bloquer, bloquent, bloquons, obstruer, bloc, buche
fawningly - de maniere flatteuse
"I no longer please you; I suppose I'll have to be cruel to you again, evidently I have been too kind to you today. Do you know, you little fool, what I shall do, I shall whip you for a while-"
evidently - évidemment, de toute évidence, manifestement
"I want to."
"Come, let me bind you," she continued, and ran gaily through the room. "I want to see you very much in love, do you understand? Here are the ropes. I wonder if I can still do it?"
wonder - merveille, se demander, conjecturer
She began with fettering my feet and then she tied my hands behind my back, pinioning my arms like those of a prisoner.
fettering - l'entrave; entrave, fers-p, entrave, obstacle, entraver
"So," she said, with gay eagerness. "Can you still move?"
She then tied a noose in a stout rope, threw it over my head, and let it slip down as far as the hips. She drew it tight, and bound me to a pillar.
slip down - glisser
tight - serré, tendu, ivre, bien
A curious tremor seized me at that moment.
tremor - tremblement, trépidation, trémulation, tremblement de terre
"I have a feeling as if I were about to be executed," I said with a low voice.
executed - exécuté; exécuter, mettre a mort, exécuter, exécuter
"Well, you shall have a thorough punishment today," exclaimed Wanda.
"But put on your fur-jacket, please," I said.
"I shall gladly give you that pleasure," she replied. She got her kazabaika, and put it on. Then she stood in front of me with her arms folded across her chest, and looked at me out of half-closed eyes.
gladly - heureusement, volontiers
"Do you remember the story of the ox of Dionysius?" she asked.
"I remember it only vaguely, what about it?"
"A courtier invented a new implement of torture for the Tyrant of Syracuse. It was an iron ox in which those condemned to death were to be shut, and then pushed into a mighty furnace.
courtier - courtisan
implement - mettre en ouvre; ; instrument, appliquer, exécuter, établir
Syracuse - syracuse; Syracuse, Syracuse, Syracuse
furnace - four, haut fourneau, chaudiere
"As soon as the iron ox began to get hot, and the condemned person began to cry out in his torment, his wails sounded like the bellowing of an ox.
"Dionysius nodded graciously to the inventor, and to put his invention to an immediate test had him shut up in the iron ox.
immediate - immédiate; ; immédiat, proche
"It is a very instructive story.
instructive - instructif
"It was you who innoculated me with selfishness, pride, and cruelty, and you shall be their first victim. I now literally enjoy having a human being that thinks and feels and desires like myself in my power; I love to abuse a man who is stronger in intelligence and body than I, especially a man who loves me.
pride - l'orgueil; ; orgueil, fierté, fierté
"Do you still love me?"
"Even to madness," I exclaimed.
"So much the better," she replied, "and so much the more will you enjoy what I am about to do with you now."
"What is the matter with you?" I asked. "I don't understand you, there is a gleam of real cruelty in your eyes today, and you are strangely beautiful-completely Venus in Furs."
Without replying Wanda placed her arms around my neck and kissed me.
I was again seized by my fanatical passion.
"Where is the whip?" I asked.
Wanda laughed, and withdrew a couple of steps.
"You really insist upon being punished?" she exclaimed, proudly tossing back her head.
insist - insister
Suddenly Wanda's face was completely transformed. It was as if disfigured by rage; for a moment she seemed even ugly to me.
disfigured - défiguré; défigurer
"Very well, then you whip him!" she called loudly.
At the same instant the beautiful Greek stuck his head of black curls through the curtains of her four-poster bed. At first I was speechless, petrified. There was a horribly comic element in the situation. I would have laughed aloud, had not my position been at the same time so terribly cruel and humiliating.
instant - instantanée; moment
stuck - coincé; enfoncer
speechless - sans voix
horribly - horriblement
It went beyond anything I had imagined. A cold shudder ran down my back, when my rival stepped from the bed in his riding boots, his tight-fitting white breeches, and his short velvet jacket, and I saw his athletic limbs.
riding boots - des bottes d'équitation
"You are indeed cruel," he said, turning to Wanda.
"Only inordinately fond of pleasure," she replied with a wild sort of humor. "Pleasure alone lends value to existence; whoever enjoys does not easily part from life, whoever suffers or is needy meets death like a friend.
inordinately - démesurément
needy - dans le besoin, nécessiteux
"But whoever wants to enjoy must take life gaily in the sense of the ancient world; he dare not hesitate to enjoy at the expense of others; he must never feel pity; he must be ready to harness others to his carriage or his plough as though they were animals. He must know how to make slaves of men who feel and would enjoy as he does, and use them for his service and pleasure without remorse. It is not his affair whether they like it, or whether they go to rack and ruin. He must always remember this, that if they had him in their power, as he has them they would act in exactly the same way, and he would have to pay for their pleasure with his sweat and blood and soul.
hesitate - hésiter
expense - dépenses; ; dépense
harness - harnais, harnacher
remorse - des remords; ; remords, componction
go to rack - aller au rack
ruin - la ruine; ruine, ruine, ruine, ruiner, abîmer, foutre en l'air
sweat - de la sueur; transpirer, suer, transpiration
That was the world of the ancients: pleasure and cruelty, liberty and slavery went hand in hand. People who want to live like the gods of Olympus must of necessity have slaves whom they can toss into their fish-ponds, and gladiators who will do battle, the while they banquet, and they must not mind if by chance a bit of blood bespatters them."
necessity - nécessité, besoin
fish-ponds - (fish-ponds) des étangs de poissons
gladiators - gladiateurs; gladiateur, belluaire
banquet - banquet, festin
Her words brought back my complete self-possession.
"Unloosen me!" I exclaimed angrily.
Unloosen - se détacher
"Aren't you my slave, my property?" replied Wanda. "Do you want me to show you the agreement?"
"Untie me!" I threatened, "otherwise-" I tugged at the ropes.
tugged - tiré; tirer, tirer, remorquer, tirement
"Can he tear himself free?" she asked. "He has threatened to kill me."
"Be entirely at ease," said the Greek, testing my fetters.
ease - l'aisance; ; facilité, repos, abaisser, abréger, amoindrir
"I shall call for help," I began again.
"No one will hear you," replied Wanda, "and no one will hinder me from abusing your most sacred emotions or playing a frivolous game with you." she continued, repeating with satanic mockery phrases from my letter to her.
hinder - entraver; gener, embarrasser; (hind) entraver; gener
satanic - satanique
"Do you think I am at this moment merely cruel and merciless, or am
I also about to become cheap? What? Do you still love me, or do you
already hate and despise me? Here is the whip-" She handed it to the
Greek who quickly stepped closer.
"Don't you dare!" I exclaimed, trembling with indignation, "I won't permit it-"
Don't you dare - Tu n'oses pas
indignation - l'indignation; ; indignation
"Oh, because I don't wear furs," the Greek replied with an ironical smile, and he took his short sable from the bed.
ironical - ironique
"You are adorable," exclaimed Wanda, kissing him, and helping him into his furs.
"May I really whip him?" he asked.
"Do with him what you please," replied Wanda.
"Beast!" I exclaimed, utterly revolted.
The Greek fixed his cold tigerish look upon me and tried out the whip. His muscles swelled when he drew back his arms, and made the whip hiss through the air. I was bound like Marsyas while Apollo was getting ready to flay me.
tigerish - tigré
muscles - muscles; muscle, muscle
swelled - gonflé; enfler, gonfler
flay - écorces
My look wandered about the room and remained fixed on the ceiling, where Samson, lying at Delilah's feet, was about to have his eyes put out by the Philistines. The picture at that moment seemed to me like a symbol, an eternal parable of passion and lust, of the love of man for woman.
wandered - erré; errer, vaguer, divaguer
eternal - éternelle; ; éternel
parable - parabole; parabole
lust - la convoitise; ; luxure, concupiscence, convoitise, joie
"Each one of us in the end is a Samson," I thought, "and ultimately for better or worse is betrayed by the woman he loves, whether he wears an ordinary coat or sables."
ultimately - en fin de compte
"Now watch me break him in," said the Greek. He showed his teeth, and his face acquired the blood-thirsty expression, which startled me the first time I saw him.
And he began to apply the lash-so mercilessly, with such frightful force that I quivered under each blow, and began to tremble all over with pain. Tears rolled down over my cheeks. In the meantime Wanda lay on the ottoman in her fur-jacket, supporting herself on her arm; she looked on with cruel curiosity, and was convulsed with laughter.
convulsed - convulsé; convulser
The sensation of being whipped by a successful rival before the eyes of an adored woman cannot be described. I almost went mad with shame and despair.
What was most humiliating was that at first I felt a certain wild, supersensual stimulation under Apollo's whip and the cruel laughter of my Venus, no matter how horrible my position was. But Apollo whipped on and on, blow after blow, until I forgot all about poetry, and finally gritted my teeth in impotent rage, and cursed my wild dreams, woman, and love.
gritted - grincé; gravillon, poussiere
impotent - impuissant
cursed - maudis, maudite, maudites, maudits, maudit; (curs) maudis
All of a sudden I saw with horrible clarity whither blind passion and lust have led man, ever since Holofernes and Agamemnon-into a blind alley, into the net of woman's treachery, into misery, slavery, and death.
Agamemnon - agamemnon; Agamemnon
blind alley - Une impasse
treachery - trahison; ; traîtrise
It was as though I were awakening from a dream.
awakening - l'éveil; ; réveil; (awaken); réveiller, se réveiller
Blood was already flowing under the whip. I wound like a worm that is trodden on, but he whipped on without mercy, and she continued to laugh without mercy. In the meantime she locked her packed trunk and slipped into her travelling furs, and was still laughing, when she went downstairs on his arm and entered the carriage.
trodden - foulée; marcher (sur)
Then everything was silent for a moment.
I listened breathlessly.
breathlessly - a bout de souffle
The carriage door slammed, the horse began to pull-the rolling of the carriage for a short time-then all was over.
slammed - claquée; claquer
rolling - rouler; enroulant, roulant; (roll) rouler; enroulant, roulant
* * * * *
For a moment I thought of taking vengeance, of killing him, but I was bound by the abominable agreement. So nothing was left for me to do except to keep my pledged word and grit my teeth.
pledged - promis; promettre, mettre en gage, serment, gage
* * * * *
My first impulse after this, the most cruel catastrophe of my life, was to seek laborious tasks, dangers, and privations. I wanted to become a soldier and go to Asia or Algiers, but my father was old and ill and wanted me.
laborious - laborieux
privations - privations; privation, privation
Asia - asie; Asie, Asie
Algiers - alger; Alger
So I quietly returned home and for two years helped him bear his burdens, and learned how to look after the estate which I had never done before. To labor and to do my duty was comforting like a drink of fresh water. Then my father died, and I inherited the estate, but it meant no change.
burdens - charges; poids écrasant
estate - patrimoine, noblesse, proprieté, biens, domaine, propriété
Duty - le devoir; ; devoir, obligation, service, travail, taxe
comforting - réconfortant; confort, confort, consoler
inherited - hérité; hériter, hériter
I had put on my own Spanish boots and went on living just as rationally as if the old man were standing behind me, looking over my shoulder with his large wise eyes.
Spanish - espagnol, espagnol, castillan
rationally - rationnellement
One day a box arrived, accompanied by a letter. I recognized Wanda's writing.
Curiously moved, I opened it, and read.
Now that over three years have passed since that night in Florence, I suppose, I may confess to you that I loved you deeply. You yourself, however, stifled my love by your fantastic devotion and your insane passion. From the moment that you became my slave, I knew it would be impossible for you ever to become my husband.
However, I found it interesting to have you realize your ideal in my own person, and, while I gloriously amused myself, perhaps, to cure you.
gloriously - glorieusement
I found the strong man for whom I felt a need, and I was as happy with him as, I suppose, it is possible for any one to be on this funny ball of clay.
clay - l'argile; ; argile, terre battue
But my happiness, like all things mortal, was of short duration. About a year ago he fell in a duel, and since then I have been living in Paris, like an Aspasia-
duration - durée
duel - duel, croiser le fer
And you?-Your life surely is not without its sunshine, if you have gained control of your imagination, and those qualities in you have materialized, which at first so attracted me to you-your clarity of intellect, kindness of heart, and, above all else, your-moral seriousness.
sunshine - soleil, lumiere du soleil
Gained - gagné; gagner
attracted - attiré; attirer, attirer
I hope you have been cured under my whip; the cure was cruel, but radical. In memory of that time and of a woman who loved you passionately, I am sending you the portrait by the poor German.
cured - guérie; guérir, soigner
radical - radical, génial, super, radical, radicale, racine, clé
Venus in Furs."
I had to smile, and as I fell to musing the beautiful woman suddenly stood before me in her velvet jacket trimmed with ermine, with the whip in her hand. And I continued to smile at the woman I had once loved so insanely, at the fur-jacket that had once so entranced me, at the whip, and ended by smiling at myself and saying: The cure was cruel, but radical; but the main point is, I have been cured.
entranced - envouté; entrée
* * * * *
"And the moral of the story?" I said to Severin when I put the manuscript down on the table.
"That I was a donkey," he exclaimed without turning around, for he seemed to be embarrassed. "If only I had beaten her!"
be embarrassed - etre gené
"A curious remedy," I exclaimed, "which might answer with your peasant-women-"
remedy - remede; ; remede, recours, remédier
peasant - paysan, paysanne, rustique
"Oh, they are used to it," he replied eagerly, "but imagine the effect upon one of our delicate, nervous, hysterical ladies-"
"But the moral?"
"That woman, as nature has created her and as man is at present educating her, is his enemy. She can only be his slave or his despot, but never his companion. This she can become only when she has the same rights as he, and is his equal in education and work.
educating - l'éducation; éduquer
"At present we have only the choice of being hammer or anvil, and I was the kind of donkey who let a woman make a slave of him, do you understand?
"The moral of the tale is this: whoever allows himself to be whipped, deserves to be whipped.
deserves - mérite; mériter
"The blows, as you see, have agreed with me; the roseate supersensual mist has dissolved, and no one can ever make me believe again that these 'sacred apes of Benares'or Plato's rooster are the image of God."
apes - des singes; singe
rooster - coq