Stabbed and prostrated like a St Sebastian of snobbery

From Du Côté de Chez Swann (~3/4 through Combray):

I did not understand very clearly why, in order to refrain from going to the houses of people whom one did not know, it should be necessary to cling to one’s independence, or how this could give one the appearance of a savage or a bear. But what I did understand was that Legrandin was not altogether truthful when he said that he cared only for churches, moonlight, and youth; he cared also, he cared a very great deal, for people who lived in country houses, and in their presence was so overcome by fear of incurring their displeasure that he dared not let them see that he numbered among his friends middle-class people, the sons of solicitors and stockbrokers, preferring, if the truth must come to light, that it should do so in his absence, a long way away, and “by default.” In a word, he was a snob. No doubt he would never have said any of this in the poetical language which my family and I so much enjoyed. And if I asked him, “Do you know the Guermantes family?” Legrandin the talker would reply, “No, I’ve never wished to know them.” But unfortunately the talker was now subordinated to another Legrandin, whom he kept carefully hidden in his breast, whom he would never consciously exhibit, because this other could tell compromising stories about our own Legrandin and his snobbishness; and this other Legrandin had replied to me already in that wounded look, that twisted smile, the undue gravity of the tone of his reply, in the thousand arrows by which our own Legrandin had instantaneously been stabbed and prostrated like a St Sebastian of snobbery

Je ne comprenais pas bien que pour ne pas aller chez des gens qu’on ne connaît pas, il fût nécessaire de tenir à son indépendance, et en quoi cela pouvait vous donner l’air d’un sauvage ou d’un ours. Mais ce que je comprenais c’est que Legrandin n’était pas tout à fait véridique quand il disait n’aimer que les églises, le clair de lune et la jeunesse; il aimait beaucoup les gens des châteaux et se trouvait pris devant eux d’une si grande peur de leur déplaire qu’il n’osait pas leur laisser voir qu’il avait pour amis des bourgeois, des fils de notaires ou d’agents de change, préférant, si la vérité devait se découvrir, que ce fût en son absence, loin de lui et «par défaut»; il était snob. Sans doute il ne disait jamais rien de tout cela dans le langage que mes parents et moi-même nous aimions tant. Et si je demandais: «Connaissez-vous les Guermantes?», Legrandin le causeur répondait: «Non, je n’ai jamais voulu les connaître.» Malheureusement il ne le répondait qu’en second, car un autre Legrandin qu’il cachait soigneusement au fond de lui, qu’il ne montrait pas, parce que ce Legrandin-là savait sur le nôtre, sur son snobisme, des histoires compromettantes, un autre Legrandin avait déjà répondu par la blessure du regard, par le rictus de la bouche, par la gravité excessive du ton de la réponse, par les mille flèches dont notre Legrandin s’était trouvé en un instant lardé et alangui, comme un saint Sébastien du snobisme

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