"No belief! No belief!"
The terrible words, in her exhausted croak, stirred him to the beginning of a fury. What had he done, what had he endured, to be able to come at last to belief! And a chambermaid, a cleaner of toilets, could cry so freely against it!
He knew her meaning: she was abashed, shame punched out her tears, she was sunk in absurdity and riddle. But still it shook him--he turned against her--because every day of his life he had to make the same pilgrimage to belief all over again, starting out each dawn with the hard crow's call of no belief.
From Cynthia Ozick's At Fumicaro: