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concerned to meet his requirements. Loving was better than that. Loving
was self-forgetfulness, pure delighting in another human being. She felt
that with Capes near to her she would be content always to go on loving.
She went next day to the schools, and her world seemed all made of
happiness just worked up roughly into shapes and occasions and duties.
She found she could do her microscope work all the better for being in
love. She winced when first she heard the preparation-room door open and
Capes came down the laboratory; but when at last he reached her she was
self-possessed. She put a stool for him at a little distance from her
own, and after he had seen the day's work he hesitated, and then plunged
into a resumption of their discussion about beauty.
"I think," he said, "I was a little too mystical about beauty the other
"I like the mystical way," she said.
"Our business here is the right way. I've been thinking, you know--I'm
not sure that primarily the perception of beauty isn't just intensity
of feeling free from pain; intensity of perception without any tissue
"I like the mystical way better," said Ann Veronica, and thought.
"A number of beautiful things are not intense."
"But delicacy, for example, may be intensely perceived."
"But why is one face beautiful and another not?" objected Ann Veronica;
"on your theory any two faces side by side in the sunlight ought to be
equally beautiful. One must get them with exactly the same intensity."
He did not agree with that. "I don't mean simply intensity of sensation.
I said intensity of perception. You may perceive harmony, proportion,
rhythm, intensely. They are things faint and slight in themselves, as
physical facts, but they are like the detonator of a bomb: they
let loose the explosive. There's the internal factor as well as the
external.... I don't know if I express myself clearly. I mean that
the point is that vividness of perception is the essential factor of
beauty; but, of course, vividness may be created by a whisper."
"That brings us back," said Ann Veronica, "to the mystery. Why should
some things and not others open the deeps?"
"Well, that might, after all, be an outcome of selection--like the
preference for blue flowers, which are not nearly so bright as yellow,
of some insects."
"That doesn't explain sunsets."
"Not quite so easily as it explains an insect alighting on colored
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