I want to prove the following statement:

For any two points $x$ and $y$ in an irreducible variety $X$, there is a one-dimensional, irreducible subvariety $C\subseteq X$ containing $x$ and $y$.

Both here and here, the same argument is outlined to prove this statement. In both cases, Bertini's theorem is applied to the exceptional divisors of the blow-up $\tilde X$ of $X$ in $x$ and $y$. The curve joining the exceptional divisors in $\tilde X$ is then mapped to a curve connecting $x$ and $y$ in $X$.

**Question:** I do not see why Bertini can be applied in the case where $x$ or $y$ are singular points: The exceptional divisor will not be smooth in general. Can you tell me why this works?

Another (but far less important) problem I have with the proof is the application of Chow's lemma - the variety is not required to be complete. This is irrelevant to me because I can assume $X$ to be quasi-projective. I was still wondering.

**Edit.** My error was in assuming that the theorem called *Bertini's theorem* in Hartshorne is the only Bertini theorem. I have a habit of prefering text-book references over papers (bear with me) and I found that in Shafarevich's book *Basic Algebraic Geometry I*, there are two Bertini theorems, and this one has no smoothness assumption, so it is probably the correct one:

Theorem.Let $X$ and $Y$ be irreducible varieties defined over a field of characteristic $0$, and $f: X\to Y$ a regular map such that $f(X)$ is dense in $Y$. Suppose that $X$ remains irreducible over the algebraic closure of $k(Y)$. Then there exists an open dense set $U\subseteq Y$ such that all the fibres $f^{-1}(y)$ over $y\in U$ are irreducible.

I do not see immediately how to apply it, though. If someone could provide some help, I'd be very grateful.

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