The grief of love
Pain expressed is pain assimilated. The only disaster that can reduce a poet to nothingness is to lose contact with words. This agony will be spared to Jean-François Sarasin until his very end.
His love for the Princess is not just a feeling. It is also an inspiration, a fascinating challenge for his talent. The very essence the best-sellers are made of.
Jean-François is deeply hurt. Yet he masters his sorrow, moulding it into words. His sophisticated heartbreak fascinates everyone but the Princess, engaged in her love-pain body and soul.
We enter a Pre-Raphaelite set. Each detail, daintily executed, evokes the fatality of love and underlines its essential languor. In the proscenium, Madame de Longueville, aloof and saturnine, reclines on an olive-green velvet settee. Her almond-green brocade gown, adorned with lime-green ribbons, drapes her in a multitude of floating folds. Her arms, weighed down by golden bracelets, and her throat, charged with emeralds and diamonds, gleam in the Nile-green shade: a nymph, drowning in the grief of love.
Now and then, a deep sigh swells her breast confined in a luxuriant bodice embroidered with golden threads and pearls. A tear drops down her creamy cheek. A limpid, brilliant tear, clear as dew. Nobody ever suspected that the Princess could cry. A rose, thrown away by the hand that picked it, does not shed tears. Her melancholy scars her like a crack on a pastel water-colour.
“Madame de Longueville’s glamour is not what it used to be. Blondes age badly,” like a swarm of wasps attracted by the scent of an overripe peach malevolent whisper pierces Anne with its poisoned stings. The atmosphere is stifling. The air, saturated with heady perfumes, mounts to the heads of the socialites.
Pale like the moon by dawn, the Princess is choking on her grief.
La Rochefoucauld is gone.
He left her.
He does not love her anymore.
In fact, has he ever loved her? Has she the courage to move the hands of the clock back and find the truth? Reliving the past, she closes her eyes. Feeling a hand stretched towards her, the Princess is longing to seize it, bring it to her face, be caressed by its tender fingers and assure herself to be loved.
The hand meets her face.
The hand opens.
Clinging to her cheek, the hand surrenders to her love.
Life is simple again.
Love is within her reach.
Anne’s longing is sinking into the offered palm.
For a long time after, the strange behaviour of the Princess during her tête-à-tête with the Poet, served the courtiers with a titillating topic of gossip. Though not any one of the scandal-hungry crowd noticed that the eyes of the Princess during her love-making were shut.