* * * * *
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 ante-room, looking around proudly, and his eyes rest
on me for an uncomfortably long time.
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.
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.
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