The little it saw of her was in the Bois for a few hours every year, riding by the side of a man of unique distinction and of exclusive tastes, devoted to the cult of aesthetic impressions; a man of whom, as far as aspect, manner, and behaviour goes, she might have been the daughter.
One of them is a young man from Boston,--an aesthetic young man, who talks about its being "a real Corot day," etc.
The artist, painter, poet, or musician, by his decoration, sublime or beautiful, satisfies the aesthetic sense; but that is akin to the sexual instinct, and shares its barbarity: he lays before you also the greater gift of himself.
But there are perchance, other readers, who have not found it useless to study the aesthetic and philosophic thought concealed in this book, and who have taken pleasure, while reading "Notre-Dame-de-Paris," in unravelling beneath the romance something else than the romance, and in following
And though I had been surrounded by women all my days, my appreciation of them had been aesthetic and nothing more.