Alas, it was in vain that I implored the castle-keep of Roussainville

     Alas, it was in vain that I implored the castle-keep of Roussainville, that I begged it to send out to meet me some daughter of its village, appealing to it as to the sole confidant of my earliest desires when, at the top of our house in Combray, in the little room that smelt of orris-root, I could see nothing but its tower framed in the half-opened window as, with the heroic misgivings of a traveller setting out on a voyage of exploration or of a desperate wretch hesitating on the verge of self-destruction, faint with emotion, I explored, across the bounds of my own experience, an untrodden path which for all I knew was deadly—until the moment when a natural trail like that left by a snail smeared the leaves of the flowering currant that drooped around me. In vain did I call upon it now. In vain did I compress the whole landscape into my field of vision, draining it with an exhaustive gaze which sought to extract from it a female creature. I might go as far as the porch of Saint-André-des-Champs: never did I find there the peasant-girl whom I should not have failed to meet had I been with my grandfather and thus unable to engage her in conversation.

Chartres statues, West porch, central portal, left jamb || Source - Jeff Drouin, 6 July 2004