And the Proust' equivalent text in my memory: "A woman who has lived"
A lady left the room, for she had other afternoon parties to attend, and had also received the commands of two queens to take tea with them. It was the Princesse de Nassau, that great courtesan of the aristocratic world whom I had known in the past. Were it not that she had shrunk in height (which gave her, her head being now situated at a much lower elevation than formerly, an air of having "one foot in the grave"), one could scarcely have said that she had aged. She had remained a Marie-Antoinette with an Austrian nose and an enchanting glance, preserved, one might almost say embalmed, by a thousand cosmetics adorably blended so as to compose for her a face that was the color of lilac. Over this face there floated that confused and tender expression which I remembered, which was at once an allusion to all the fashionable gatherings where she was expected and an intimation that she was obliged to leave, that she promised sweetly to return, that she would slip away without any fuss. Born almost on the steps of a throne, three times married, richly kept for years at a time by great bankers, not to mention the countless whims in which she had permitted herself to indulge, she bore lightly beneath her gown, mauve like her wonderful round eyes and her painted face, the slightly tangled memories of the innumerable incidents of her life. As she passed near me, making her discreet exit, I bowed to her. She recognized me, took my hand and pressed it, and fixed upon me the round mauve pupils which seemed to say: "How long it is since we have seen each other ! We must talk about all that another time." Her pressure of my hand became a squeeze, for she had a vague idea that one evening in her carriage, when she had offered to drop me at my door after a party at the Duchesse de Guemantes', there might have been an embrace between us. Just to be on the safe side, she seemed to allude to something that had in fact never happened, but this was hardly difficult for her since a strawberry tart could send her into an ectasy and whenever she had to leave a party before the end of a piece of music she put on a despairing air of tender, yet not final, farewell. But she was uncertain what had passed between us in the carriage, so she did not linger long over the furtive pressure of my hand and said not a word. She merely looked at me in the manner which I have described, the manner which signified: "How long ist it !" and in which one caught a momentary glimpse of her husbands and the men who had kept her and two wars, while her stellar eyes, like an astronomical clock cut in a block of opal, marked successively all those solemn hours of a so distant past which she rediscovered every time she wanted to bid you a casual good-by which was always also an apology. Time Regained