Spells Cast by First Looks...
From Summer of the Red Wolf by Morris West.
Even now, a century older, with all my follies for remembrance, I have no shame in the confession. I was in love with her from that moment. I wanted her in every way that a man can want a woman, passionately, urgently, with body and spirit. Laugh at it if you want. It was so wild a thing I would not blame you. Call it whatever name you will—the coup de foudre, midsummer madness—it happened. It was. I can no more reason it now than I could then. Unfashionable? Out of character? Juvenile? Clownish? All of that. But I see her now, dark hair upswept, cheeks glowing, lace at her throat and wrists. I see myself watching her, knowing with absolute conviction that this was my woman, this was the one for whom I would overturn mountains and hold my own against all contenders.
Yet first I had to win her and I knew, even then, the game would not be easy. This was no foolish virgin, no light matron either. She knew the game, too, and she played it deftly and with charm. She would be outraged by a clumsy or incompetent suitor. Come the moment of avowal she would be ready—to accept or reject it out of hand. To time the moment, however, was my affair, and I, who had known more than one woman in a lifetime, was suddenly doubtful of my skill. I had a vision of myself, the comic fisherman, tangling his line in the rushes while all the trout in the loch thumbed their snouts at him.
From Hypatia by Charles Kingsley
A woman of some two and twenty summers, formed in the most voluptuous mould of Grecian beauty, whose complexion showed every violet vein through its veil of luscious brown. Her little bare feet, as they dimpled the cushions, were more perfect than Aphrodite's, softer than a swan's bosom. Every swell of her bust and arms showed through the thin gauze robe, while her lower limbs were wrapped in a shawl of orange silk, embroidered with wreaths of shells and roses. Her dark hair lay carefully spread out upon the pillow, in a thousand ringlets entwined with gold and jewels; her languishing eyes blazed like diamonds from a cavern, under eyelids darkened and deepened with black antimony; her lips pouted of themselves, by habit or by nature, into a perpetual kiss; slowly she raised one little lazy hand; slowly the ripe lips opened; and in most pure and melodious Attic, she lisped her huge lover's question to the monk, and repeated it before the boy could she off the spell and answer.
George SAND (1804-1876) , a famous French writer ? She was a talented novelist, a woman of passions. She had scandalous affairs with Frantz Listz and Frederick Chopin, with some famous French writers : Jules Sandreau and Gaston Leroux and our great poet Alfred De Musset.
The following tricky letter can be read in two different ways. At the first sight, it's a romantic love letter. She remembers of Alfred 's kiss and tells him that could be the beginning of a love. But if you read every other line (line 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc..) the meaning is very different. It's a call for physical love. Very audacious for the century.
Lettre de GEORGE SAND à ALFRED DE MUSSET
Je suis très émue de vous dire que j''ai
bien compris l'autre soir que vous aviez
toujours une envie folle de me faire
danser. Je garde le souvenir de votre
baiser et je voudrais bien que ce soit
là une preuve que je puisse être aimée
par vous. Je suis prête à vous montrer mon
affection toute désinteressée et sans cal-
cul, et si vous voulez me voir aussi
vous dévoiler sans artifice mon âme
toute nue, venez me faire une visite.
Nous causerons en amis, franchement
je vous prouverai que je suis la femme
sincère, capable de vous offrir l'affection
la plus profonde comme la plus étroite
en amitié. En un mot, la meilleure preuve
que vous puissiez rêver, puisque votre
âme est libre. Pensez que la solitude où j'ha-
bite est bien longue, bien dûre et souvent
difficile. Ainsi, en y songeant, j'ai l'âme
grosse. Accourez donc vite et venez me la
faire oublier par l'amour où je veux me
Many thanks to Muriel for sending me this.