She would have liked to see Swann and Tansonville again; but the mere wish to do so sufficed for all that remained of her strength, which its fulfilment would have more than exhausted



Remembrance of Things Past, Swann's Way
Excerp from Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, first volume, Swann's Way, translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin

"Lťonie," said my grandfather on our return, "I wish we had had you with us this afternoon. You would never have known Tansonville. If I had dared, I would have cut you a branch of that pink hawthorn you used to like so much." And so my grandfather told my aunt about our walk, either to divert her, or because he had not yet given up hope of persuading her to rise from her bed and to go out of doors. For in earlier days she had been very fond of Tansonville, and moreover Swann's visits had been the last that she had continued to receive, at a time when she had already closed her doors to the world. And just as, when he now called to inquire after her (she was the only person in our household whom he still asked to see), she would send down to say that she was tired at the moment of resting, but that she would be happy to see him another time, so, this evening, she said to my grandfather, "Yes, some day when the weather is fine I shall go for a drive as far as the gate of the park." And in saying this she was quite sincere. She would have liked to see Swann and Tansonville again; but the mere wish to do so sufficed for all that remained of her strength, which its fulfilment would have more than exhausted.

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Last Updated: December 11, 1998