Italian girl, and at this point in Lina's reflections life really seemed to her utterly unbearable.
Her jealousy of Rosa, always dormant, now flamed into new and active life. At that moment she would have liked to cut Rosa's throat. She would have enjoyed hearing that Rosa had broken a leg, and could never dance again. At that moment she was a fiend, and her face was the mask of Medusa. And then, swiftly, her anger was dissipated by sorrow and self-pity.
She had just seen Borek and Rosa in each other's arms. She had spied upon them deliberately, hostile, furious, disappointed. And yet, in the midst of so much rage, she had not been blind to the beauty of their mutual passion. They were young and handsome and in love. Impossible to deny them beauty, impossible not to realize how fitting it was for two creatures so physically splendid to turn instinctively toward each other. And, realizing this, she pitied herself until she could have wept, for she had known also at that exact moment that there was no longer any place for her in the vivid intrigues of Borek's world. At this stage in her career a love-affair between them could only have brought ridicule on both.
And it occurred to her then, as she sat slowly moving her fan, still contemplating, as though in a trance, the sulky breathless night, that she only happened to be there, brooding at the open windows of an unspeakable hotel, buried in a horrible, unhealthy town, slaving in a feverridden and primitive country, because she had been unlucky enough to survive her epoch.
Her epoch, the Second Empire, had been for so long over and done with that even she herself could scarcely remember in what an atmosphere of reckless, riotous luxury she had for so long lived and laughed and feasted. She only knew that all the gaiety she had ever experienced seemed to have been concentrated upon this particular