Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (37)

“I will never forget that, even without loving me, you married me.”
I didn’t protest because the matter was so obvious that protest was impossible. But, filled with compassion, I embraced her.
None of this was ever discussed again between Augusta and me because a marriage is far simpler than an engagement. Once married, you don’t talk anymore about love, and when you feel the need to speak of it, animal instincts quickly intervene and restore silence. Now, these animal instincts may become so human that they also become complex and artificial, and it can happen that, bending over a woman’s head of hair, you also make the effort to find in it a glow that is not present. You close your eyes and the woman becomes another, only to become herself again when you leave her. You feel only gratitude, all the greater if the effort has been successful. This is why, if I were to be born again (Mother Nature is capable of anything!), I would agree to marry Augusta; but never to be engaged to her.