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38. Chapter XXXVIII (continued)
He glowed with happy pride. I thought of those cold scenes of his, with their picturesque peasants and cypresses and olive-trees. They must look queer in their garish frames on the walls of the peasant house.
"The dear soul thought she was doing a wonderful thing for me when she made me an artist, but perhaps, after all, it would have been better for me if my father's will had prevailed and I were now but an honest carpenter."
"Now that you know what art can offer, would you change your life? Would you have missed all the delight it has given you?"
"Art is the greatest thing in the world," he answered, after a pause.
He looked at me for a minute reflectively; he seemed to hesitate; then he said:
"Did you know that I had been to see Strickland?"
I was astonished. I should have thought he could not bear to set eyes on him. Stroeve smiled faintly.
"You know already that I have no proper pride."
"What do you mean by that?"
He told me a singular story.
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