- Project Runeberg -  Jenny /

(1921) Author: Sigrid Undset
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She had always looked upon Gert as a weak man, as one who
had suffered himself to be dragged down and been trodden
upon as those who are down always will be. And now he had
suddenly revealed himself to her as possessing a great fortitude
of soul, and a being rich enough and willing to help, while
she was bewildered, distracted, and sick with longing in her
inmost heart behind the shield of opinions and thoughts which
she had made for herself.

She had asked him to go. Why? Because she was so miserably
poor herself and had complained of her need to him
who, she thought, was just as poor as she herself, and he had
showed her that he was rich, offering gladly to help her out of
his abundance. It was no doubt because she felt humiliated
that she asked him to go.

To accept anything from an affection to which she could not
respond had always seemed mean to her, but then she never
imagined that she would be in need of such help.

He had not been allowed to continue the work to which he
was devoted; the love he had borne in his heart was never to
live. Yet he did not despair. That was probably the advantage
of having faith — it did not matter so much what one
believed, provided there was somebody beside oneself one could
trust, for it is impossible to live with only oneself to love and

She was quite familiar with the thought of voluntary death.
If she died now there were a few she cared for and who would
be sorry, but none who could not do without her, nor any one to
whom she was so necessary that she would feel it her duty to
prolong her life for their sake. Provided they did not know
she had done it herself, her mother and sisters would mourn
her for a year and then remember her with gentle melancholy.
Cesca and Gunnar would be more sorry than anybody else,
because they would understand that she had been unhappy, but
she was outside their life. The one who loved her most would

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