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Day 22

Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Chapter XXIX

December 6, 2022 by Yiyun Li

All lives, dear Lucy Snowe, are perishable, rootless or rooted

I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad.

I wonder if this is the only time in literary history that a statement about a little man is spoken with such fondness.

The little man looked well, very well.

To one man Lucy Snowe is “a being inoffensive as a shadow”; to another, deeply vexing. How I love this latter Lucy Snowe! And in turn the latter man.

M. Paul was so tragic, and took my defection so seriously, he deserved to be vexed.

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