* * * * *
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.
What does she intend now?
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:
“Ah! You need another application of the whip.”
“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?”
“No!” she replied proudly and mockingly, “but I have the whip.”
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.
“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
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.
The painter has put all his sufferings, his adoration, and all his
execration into the picture.