Urania

Urania [電子書籍版]
Camille Flammarion

426円(税込)

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Was Urania a fair, blue-eyed maiden, a dream of spring, an innocent but inquisitive daughter of Eve? No; she was simply, as in days of yore, that one of the nine Muses who presided over astronomy, and whose celestial glance inspired and directed the chorus of the spheres; she was the angelic idea which soars above terrestrial dulness. She had not the disturbing flesh, nor the heart whose palpitations are communicated at a distance, nor the gentle ardor of human life; but she existed nevertheless in a sort of ideal world,ーlofty and always pure,ーand yet she was human enough in name and form to produce a strong and deep impression upon an adolescent soul, to arouse in that soul an indefinite, indefinable feeling of admiration,ーalmost of love. In his hours of solitude, and even through the intellectual labors with which the education of the day overloads his brain, a young man whose hand has never plucked the divine fruit from the tree of Paradise, whose lips are still untouched, whose heart has not yet spoken, whose senses are beginning to awaken amid vague new aspirations, thrills with a presentiment of the divinity to which he is soon to sacrifice, and personifies beforehand in ever-varying forms the unknown being who floats through the airy fabric of his dreams. He wishes, longs to reach this unknown being, but dares not yet, perhaps may never dare, in the purity of his admiration, unless some helping hand come to his aid. If Chloe is not well informed, indiscreet and talkative Lycinion must take it upon herself to instruct Daphnis. Whatever tells us of the yet unknown attraction can charm, interest, delight, and captivate us. A cold engraving, showing the oval of a pure face, even an old-fashioned painting, a sculpture,ーa sculpture especially,ーawakens a new feeling in our hearts; the blood flows faster, or seems to stop; the idea crosses our reddening brow like a flash, and remains floating in our pensive mind. It is the beginning of desires, the beginning of life, the dawn of a beautiful summer day, harbinger of the sunrise. As for me, my first love, my adolescent passion, had, not for its object assuredly, but as a determining causeーa clock! It is rather odd, but so it is! Humdrum calculations used up all my afternoons from two until four; it was merely correcting observations, made the night before, of stars or planets by applying the reductions arising from atmospheric refraction, which itself depends on the height of the barometer and the temperature. These calculations are as simple as they are tiresome; they are made mechanically, by the help of prepared tables, while thinking of something else.

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