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After this there came weary mornings and evenings, or what he felt to be such, taking no account of them, yet rousing ever from his thoughts to feel the glory of the day and the sweetness of the night; for neither tempest nor trouble was there, and the other great worlds that are visible in the dark, rolling along their course in the world of space, became as the houses of friends opening their doors, showing ever another and another world of men, some like those others, white men and shining, some in hosts of vague faces like the shadow of crowds which he knew to be as himself: and the sensation of all those multitudes about who peopled what we call the sky, multitudes more than could be numbered, being all those who had lived and died on the earth since its wonderful story began, silenced and soothed him as we are soothed to know that others are as we are, treading the same path. Many things were there which he could not understand. Sometimes it appeared to him that he could see the signs of great commotion in one of those neighbouring worlds, and shouting afar off, which came but as a murmur to his ears; and once it seemed to him that he saw a great procession coming forth, as if the King were making a visitation from one star to another, and a great shining bridge of light was thrown from planet to planet, by which He went and came.

It was a long time, however, before he saw that passing through of which his father had told him. Yet one day, in the rising of the morning, a note as of a silver bugle suddenly penetrated the spheres, and everything stirred with expectation, the very air and the birds in the trees, and every

thing that had life. He himself, drawn he could not tell how, almost against his will, by something that overmastered him, that made his breath come quick and his heart beat, hastened to the hill behind the wood, and placed himself on the highest point, where he could see all that went on below. Fain would his feet have gone farther, fain would they have carried him to the level of the valley which he could see stretching far to the east and to the west: for already he saw the first of the great procession appearing, and all the inhabitants of the town which should have been his home pouring forth in bands, in glistening garments, with flowers and palms to strew upon the path of Him that was coming. The young man knew who it was that was coming, and his heart seemed to go forth out of his breast towards that great Traveller; but there was something in him that held back, and that made him cover his face in an anguish of shame. For who was he that he should dare to look upon the Lord as He passed, blessing all men upon His way? Something came floating up to him upon the air like a waft of blessing: was it a call to him-the sound of his name? He knew not, but dug his hands into the roots of the grass, and dared not to lift up his eyes. And in the meantime the great procession went on, while his heart, as it were, contended with him and cried, moaning and foaming and struggling, that he should go, while still he kept back ashamed, asking himself how he dared to look the Lord in the face, or hear Him blessing the people, and find there was no word for him? There he lay, feeling every member of his frame contend with

him to get to the feet of the Lord, yet he holding back: until all the wonderful marching of the train had passed along and become but an indistinct radiance upon the way, when he lifted his eyes and looked after them, and broke into a great weeping, thinking that still he saw One in the midst like none whom he had ever seen before, One to whom his heart went out, and whom he would have given heaven and earth to follow. But the moment was over, and he could now follow no more.

This happened but once, and it may not be supposed that he spent all the endless time he had at his disposal in so agitating a way. By moments these thoughts came upon him and possessed him: yet seldom, for he was seldom alone, his fellowinhabitants, both of one side and the other, coming to him continually and occupying him with other plans and ideas. Many visitors he had from the town upon the hill, the dwelling of his kindred: but time fails us to tell of these, and all the tender words they said, and their pity and their love. Sometimes he would speak with them sometimes, if other things were in his mind, would make no response nor let them know where to find him, preferring the society of those who were as himself, and were with him always, sometimes one, sometimes many, talking and making expeditions here and there. They led him to many wonderful places, and showed him great sights, and many mysteries of the spheres became visible to him, and knowledge not permitted to earth, so that he could now solve many questions and find them simple, which, in the days of his former life, he could remember to have thought upon with awe as things that it was impossible to fathom. Thus he became wise, and more

learned than the sages of the former world, and found a certain pleasure in these things which he learned and saw.

And it soon became apparent to him that many of his new companions held the belief that it was they who were the fortunate ones, being disencumbered of all hindrances and cares, with no duty or responsibility, but free to follow their pleasure, to go where they pleased, to enjoy knowledge and science and all the pleasures of the mind. There were some indeed who were like himself, and would not be comforted because of being no longer men but only voices, without identity, without substance, and incapable of uniting themselves to each other save with the loosest ties. They were not brethren for joy and for sorrow, for neither was there: they could not stand by each other, or pledge themselves to be true friends for death and life, for of that there was no need. They were but acquaintances, each lost in the invisible when they parted, walking and talking together as long as each pleased the other, with no fellowship of mutual labour, or the sharing of work trouble. Wherever one voice accosted another there was acquaintance, but nothing that went further; for they had no mutual hopes or fears or anything to link them more closely together.

And many of those who had been long in this condition had made a belief for themselves, and tried to teach it to the new-comers, that this was the perfect life; for was not all freedom among them, no bondage, not even that of staying in one place, or confining yourself to one kind of associates, no pain, no limitations, but each free to learn all he could, to perfect his genius, to increase his knowledge? Was not this enough

for any soul? And some of them scoffed at the idea of any reckoning yet to come, pointing out the unreasonableness of it, the impossibility of even recollecting, far less answering for, the events which had happened perhaps hundreds of years before, during the short time when one inhabited that foolish body, by some thought a disgusting thing, "a collection of sewers." And if there was no great day to come, which the very oldest spirits said had been threatened thousands of years since in their recollection and had never come to anything, what came of the equally old and foolish traditions of a divine personage ruling over all? As for the men who lived in all those villages and towns, who thought they were better than their neighbours, whom with their restricted faculties they could not see, what were they but labourers still, with work and responsibilities upon them, how much less happy than they who went free!

There were many, however, who were very uneasy when such conversation as this prevailed, and of these was the young man, whose thoughts were very fluctuating in respect to himself, but never on this point. "If you had seen, as I did," he would say, "the procession pass; and felt the heart tear out of you to go and fling itself at His feet." The elders laughed at such words, and bade him wait till he had seen it a hundred times, and without any feeling at all: but the others made a pause which betrayed some uneasy thoughts, and secretly were glad that they could not see each other's faces or betray the strange response in their own minds to what he said. One voice, a little tremulous, spoke, and said that these things which he called body and heart were an illusion, a distorted recollection of the chrysalis

state in which their consciousness began; and another, that the body which had been mentioned was like a dog, and faithful, in its brutal way, to what it had been taught. They were all together, that company of wandering souls, in a great tower which stood upon the extreme edge of the world in which they dwelt, and which was built upon the rock, standing out into the illimitable world of space as into the sea, with precipices immeasurable sinking down below, lower than thought could reach, while the great tower rose higher than thought, swung upon that giddy edge, and, though built of indestructible rock, quivering in the great sweep of the atmosphere more tremendous than on the highest mountain-top. There were all the secrets of the celestial world revealed, and all the movements of the stars, and the workings of the planetary system, and all the wonderful apparatus by which they were observed and noted. And many men of the other kind were in that place, were at work and busy, whose duty it was to watch over the balance and the trim of all these blazing worlds, and to see that each kept in its orbit, and all its attendant stars in their places, that there might be no wavering in the march of the heavens.

The wanderers went and came, through all these wonderful sights, and no one noted their coming and their going: for all the others were busy with their work and occupation, never slackening in their watch. And the young man, and some of his younger companions with him, looked upon them with envy, longing, but in vain, for some part or lot in the matter, and not to be thus unseen and without use in the great universe which seemed to go on without them though enclosing them in its great and mystic round. And as they gazed out from

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"If you call that, the throes of the birth-hour, living: and the journey hither dying-trifling incidents of our career." It was the same voice which had first accosted him when he arrived in that world which now spoke, and there were many with him, the elder spirits: while with the young man many of the new-comers, still sore and wounded to feel themselves dropped out of everything, and humbled to feel that they were but voices, and no longer men and women as of old. And they turned with the young man as he stretched out his arms, leaning on the parapet, unto the wide and whirling world of space.

"Oh little earth!" he said, "full of vapour and smoke and the thoughts of men, rising up to heaven. At least we were something then, not nothing: and dear Love was there, and all the hopes of God."

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live as we will. phalansteries, these houses on the hills! prisons and bondage. What need ye, beyond what we have?"

The young man leaned over, the great wind playing with him, as if it subdued its force not to carry away this light and petty scrap of being. And stretching out his hands, he said, "What we wantit is God and Love."

This he said, not so much out of his own heart, as because there was something of that in him which poets have. And being so, he knew that it was true. And the spirits round him murmured and sobbed and repeated, "God and Love." And the others were silent and said no word.

He went back afterwards to his living place in the wood, which he had come to love because it was near the home of those who were his; and a number of those wanderers went with him, talking of what he had said and of what was in their hearts. "We thought it was here we should have found Him," they said; we thought that to come hither was all that was wanted. Tell us, thou! has He failed? We were never His servants, yet we believed that He would save us at the end."

"This is not the end-it is but the beginning," the young man said.

"And will He save us, will He save us at the end?" The voices all together were like a blast of weeping wind.

Then the young man turned upon them and cried, "What are we? what are we? Let us perish if He will, but He be all in all!"

This he said because of something that had come into him he knew not how he felt it and obeyed its impulse, but knew not why. For still the first thing in his own heart, as in theirs, was to be saved-to be once more a man in His image, and no longer a

wandering ghost unclothed. To be and to be seen of his fellows, and to speak with other men-even if it should bring pain and sorrow; for sorrow and pain are higher things than to be nothing, though at your ease and free as the wind.

He sat all that night through on his favourite mound, thinking and pondering within himself; and as he thought of all he had seen and the great Universe that had opened upon him at the height of that watch-tower, the wondrous circle of the stars, and all the mysteries of being which hung upon His breath who made them, he began to understand what he himself had said, and his eyes grew wet as when he had seen the Lord pass and his heart had fought with him to get free to fling itself in the Master's path. He had held it back then, but not now. He looked up to the skies above him, and saw those glorious worlds

for ever moving in that sublime circle around the unseen throne; and this world in which he was swaying softly turning toward the highest Light. And he said to himself what one had said thousands of years ago—a shepherd-boy under the starry heavens-" What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" And it seemed to him that he himself, about whom he had been spending so many thoughts, murmuring because of his losses, and convulsing all the quiet wood with longings after another state-he himself, who had been the centre of the world to him, was indeed nothing, no more than a drop of dew or a blade of grass in the great Universe of God. And he cried out, but softly, to the One that hears all things, "Be Thou ! for ever and ever! and let me be nothing, for nothing I But Thou, be Thou, supreme and all in all!"


In the glory of the morning the young man awoke, for even in the solemnity of his act, giving up everything, even hope if the Lord so willed, he had been surprised by that human sweetness of sleep which was not necessary to his state of being, yet delightful as the dew when it came, refreshing the soul. There was never anything but fair weather in that world, yet it seemed to him when he opened his eyes that no day had ever been so fair as this; and he asked himself, Was it perhaps Easter or some great holiday, of which he had lost count in the passing of the years and the days? Everything shone and glistened and sent forth breathings of delight under the shining of the sun, and the whole world was gay, and every drop of dew was like another perfect world of joy and blessing.

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He could not rest where he was on so happy a morning, but went forth and visited all the wood, as one visits one's friends when there is a great rejoicing to see that they are rejoicing too.

At last he found himself upon that pleasant knoll from which he could see the whole valley lying in a rapture under the joyful light; and he saw that there was much movement in the town near him, and once more faces at all the windows, and white figures looking over the parapet of the ascent where he had gone up, but had not been admitted. They were looking then for some one, some one who would be of his kindred; and it would be an event for him as well as for them, and perhaps even he would gain something-a companion, a friend. But he stopped these thoughts

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