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with them. The thought that I must share the anguish, did not restrain me from my revenge. With a tremendous effort I got my voice, though the instrument pressed upon my lips. I know not what I articulated save "God," whether it was a curse or a blessing. I had been swung out into the middle of the hall, and hung amid the crowd, exposed to all their observations, when I succeeded in gaining utterance. My God! my God! Another moment and I had forgotten them and all my fury in the tortures that arose within myself. What, then, was the light that racked my brain? Once more my life from its beginning to its end rose up before me -each scene like a spectre, like the harpies of the old fables rending me with tooth and claw. Once more I saw what might have been, the noble things I might have done, the happiness I had lost, the turnings of the fated road which I might have taken,-everything that was once so possible, so possible, so easy! but now possible no more. My anguish was immeasurable; I turned and wrenched myself, in the strength of pain, out of the machinery that held me, and fell down, down among all the curses that were being hurled at me-among the horrible and miserable crowd. I had brought upon them the evil which I shared, and they fell upon me with a fury which was like that which had prompted myself a few minutes before. But they could do nothing to me so tremendous as the vengeance I had taken upon them. I was too miserable to feel the blows that rained upon me, but presently I suppose I lost consciousness altogether, being almost torn to pieces by the multitude.

While this lasted, it seemed to

me that I had a dream. I felt the blows raining down upon me, and my body struggling upon the ground; and yet it seemed to me that I was lying outside upon the ground, and above me the pale sky which never brightened at the touch of the sun. And I thought that dull, persistent cloud wavered and broke for an instant, and that I saw behind a glimpse of that blue which is heaven when we are on the earth-the blue sky-which is nowhere to be seen but in the mortal life; which is heaven enough, which is delight enough, for those who can look up to it, and feel themselves in the land of hope. It might be but a dream: in this strange world who could tell what was vision and what was true?

The next thing I remember was, that I found myself lying on the floor of a great room full of people, with every kind of disease and deformity, some pale with sickness, some with fresh wounds, the lame, and the maimed, and the miserable. They lay round me in every attitude of pain, many with sores, some bleeding, with broken limbs, but all struggling, some on hands and knees, dragging themselves up from the ground to stare at me. They roused in my mind a loathing and sense of disgust which it is impossible to express. I could scarcely tolerate the thought that I-I! should be forced to remain a moment in this lazar-house. The feeling with which I had regarded the miserable creature who shared the corner of the wall with me, and who had cursed me for being sorry for him, had altogether gone out of my mind. I called out, to whom I know not, adjuring some one to open the door and set me free; but my cry was answered only by a shout from my companions in trouble. "Who do you think will let you out?" "Who is

going to help you more than the rest?" My whole body was racked with pain; I could not move from the floor, on which I lay. I had to put up with the stares of the curious, and the mockeries, and remarks on me of whoever chose to criticise. Among them was the lame man whom I had seen thrust in by the two officers who had taken me from the gate. He was the first to gibe. "But for him they would never have seen me," he said. "I should have been well by this time in the fresh air." "It is his turn now," said another. I turned my head as well as I could and spoke to them all.

“I am a stranger here," I cried. "They have made my brain burn with their experiments. Will nobody help me? It is no fault of mine, it is their fault. If I am to be left here uncared for, I shall die."

At this a sort of dreadful chuckle ran round the place. "If that is what you are afraid of, you will not die," somebody said, touching me on my head in a way which gave me intolerable pain. "Don't touch me," I cried. "Why shouldn't I!" said the other, and pushed me again upon the throbbing brain. So far as my sensations went, there were no coverings at all, neither skull nor skin upon the intolerable throbbing of my head, which had been exposed to the curiosity of the crowd, and every touch was agony; but my cry brought no guardian, nor any defence or soothing. I dragged myself into a corner after a time, from which some other wretch had been rolled out in the course of a quarrel; and as I found that silence was the only policy, I kept silent, with rage consuming my heart.

Presently I discovered by means of the new arrivals which kept coming in, hurled into the midst of us without thought or question,

that this was the common fate of all who were repulsive to the sight, or who had any weakness or imperfection which offended the eyes, of the population. They were tossed in among us, not to be healed, or for repose or safety, but to be out of sight, that they might not disgust or annoy those who were more fortunate, to whom no injury had happened; and because in their sickness and imperfection they were of no use in the studies of the place, and disturbed the good order of the streets. And there they lay one above another, a mass of bruised and broken creatures, most of them suffering from injuries which they had sustained in what would have been called in other regions the service of the State.

They had served like myself as objects of experiments. They had fallen from heights where they had been placed, in illustration of some theory. They had been tortured or twisted to give satisfaction to some question. And then, that the consequences of these proceedings might offend no one's eyes, they were flung into this receptacle, to be released if chance or strength enabled them to push their way out when others were brought in, or when their importunate knocking wearied some watchman, and brought him angry and threatening to hear what was wanted. The sound of this knocking against the door, and of the cries that accompanied it, and the rush towards the opening when any one was brought in, caused a hideous continuous noise and scuffle which was agony to my brain. Every one pushed before the other; there was an endless rising and falling as in the changes of a feverish dream, each man as he got strength to struggle forward himself, thrusting back his neighbours, and those who were nearest to the door beat

ing upon it without cease, like the beating of a drum without cadence or measure, sometimes a dozen passionate hands together, making a horrible din and riot. As I lay unable to join in that struggle, and moved by rage unspeakable towards all who could, I reflected strangely that I had never heard when outside this horrible continual appeal of the suffering. In the streets of the city, as I now reflected quiet reigned. I had even made comparisons on my first entrance, in the moment of pleasant anticipation which came over me, of the happy stillness here with the horror and tumult of that place of unrule which I had left.

When my thoughts reached this point I was answered by the voice of some one on a level with myself, lying helpless like me on the floor of the lazar-house. "They have taken their precautions," he said; "if they will not endure the sight of suffering, how should they hear the sound of it? Every cry is silenced there."

"I wish they could be silenced within too," I cried savagely; "I would make them dumb had I the power."

"The spirit of the place is in you," said the other voice.

"And not in you?" I said, raising my head, though every movement was agony; but this pretence of superiority was more than I could bear.

The other made no answer for a moment: then he said, faintly, "If it is so, it is but for greater misery."

And then his voice died away, and the hubbub of beating, and crying, and cursing, and groaning filled all the echoes. They cried, but no one listened to them. They thundered on the door, but in vain. They aggravated all their pangs

in that mad struggle to get free. After a while my companion, whoever he was, spoke again.

"They would rather," he said, "lie on the roadside to be kicked and trodden on, as we have seen; though to see that made you miserable."

"Made me miserable! You mock me," I said. "Why should a man be miserable save for suffering of his own?"

"You thought otherwise once," my neighbour said.

And then I remembered the wretch in the corner of the wall in the other town, who had cursed me for pitying him. I cursed myself now for that folly. Pity him! was he not better off than I? "I wish," I cried, "that I could crush them into nothing, and be rid of this infernal noise they make!"

"The spirit of the place has entered into you," said that voice. I raised my arm to strike him; but my hand fell on the stone floor instead, and sent a jar of new pain all through my battered frame. And then I mastered my rage, and lay still, for I knew there was no way but this of recovering my strength,-the strength with which, when I got it back, I would annihilate that reproachful voice, and crush the life out of those groaning fools, whose cries and impotent struggles I could not endure. And we lay a long time without moving, with always that tumult raging in our ears. At last there came into my mind a longing to hear spoken words again. I said, "Are you still


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said; "I must begin and begintill perhaps I find the way."

"What way?" I cried, feverish and eager; for though I despised him, yet it made me wonder to think that he should speak riddles which I could not understand.

He answered very faintly, "I do not know." The fool! then it was only folly, as from the first I knew it was. I felt then that I could treat him roughly, after the fashion of the place-which he said had got into me. "Poor wretch!" I said, "you have hopes, have you? Where have you come from? You might have learned better before now."

"I have come," he said, "from where we met before. I have come by the valley of gold. I have worked in the mines. I have served in the troops of those who are masters there. I have lived in this town of tyrants, and lain in this lazar-house before. Everything has happened to me, more and worse than you dream of."

"And still you go on? I would dash my head against the wall and die."

"When will you learn," he said, with a strange tone in his voice, which, though no one had been listening to us, made a sudden silence for a moment-it was so strange: it moved me like that glimmer of the blue sky in my dream, and roused all the sufferers round with an expectation-though I know not what. The cries stopped, the hands beat no longer. I think all the miserable crowd were still, and turned to where he lay. "When will you learn that you have died, and can die no more?”

There was a shout of fury all round me. "Is that all you have to say?" the crowd burst forth: and I think they rushed upon him and killed him: for I heard no more: until the hubbub began again

more wild than ever, with furious hands beating, beating against the locked door.


After a while I began to feel my strength come back. I raised my head. I sat up. I began to see the faces of those around me, and the groups into which they gathered; the noise was no longer so insupportable-my racked nerves were regaining health. It was with a mixture of pleasure and despair that I became conscious of this. had been through many deaths; but I did not die, perhaps could not, as that man had said. I looked about for him, to see if he had contradicted his own theory. But he was not dead. He was lying close to me, covered with wounds; but he opened his eyes, and something like a smile came upon his lips. A smile-I had heard laughter, and seen ridicule and derision, but this I had not seen. I could not bear it. To seize him and shake the little remaining life out of him was was my impulse. But neither did I obey that. Again he reminded me of my dream-was it a dream? of the opening in the clouds. From that moment I tried to shelter him, and as I grew stronger and stronger, and pushed my way to the door, I dragged him along with me. the struggle was I cannot tell, or how often I was balked-or how many darted through before me when the door was opened. But I did not let him go; and at the last, for now I was as strong as before stronger than most about me-I got out into the air and brought him with me. Into the air! it was an atmosphere so still and motionless that there was no feeling of life in it, as I have said; but the change seemed to me happiness for the moment. It was freedom. The noise of the struggle was over, the horrible

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sights were left behind. My It seemed to me that in his touch

spirit sprang up as if I had been born into new life. It had the same effect, I suppose, upon my companion, though he was much weaker than I, for he rose to his feet at once with almost a leap of eagerness, and turned instantaneously towards the other side of the city.


"Not that way," I said; come with me and rest."

"No rest no rest-my rest is to go on ;" and then he turned towards me and smiled and said “Thanks”—looking into my face. What a word to hear! I had not heard it since A rush of strange and sweet and dreadful thoughts came into my mind. I shrank and trembled and let go his arm, which I had been holding. But when I left that hold I seemed to fall back into depths of blank pain and longing. I put out my hand again and caught him. "I will go,' I said, where you go."

there was a certain help, though he was weak and tottered, and every moment seemed full of suffering. Hope sprang up in my mind-the hope that where he was so eager to go there would be something better, a life more liveable than in this place. In every new place there is new hope. I was not worn out of that human impulse. I forgot the nightmare which had crushed me before-the horrible sense that from myself there was no escape-and holding fast to his arm, I hurried on with him, not heeding where. We went aside into less frequented streets, that we might escape observation. I seemed to myself the guide, though I was the follower. A great faith in this man sprang up in my breast. I was ready to go with him wherever he went, anywhere-anywhere must be better than this. Thus I pushed him on, holding by his arm, till we reached the very outmost limits of the city. Here he stood still for a moment, turning upon me, and took me by the hands.

A pair of the officials of the place passed as I spoke. They looked at me with a threatening glance, and half paused, but then passed on. It was I now who "Friend," he said, "before you hurried my companion along. I were born into the pleasant earth recollected him now. He was a I had come here. I have gone all man who had met me in the the weary round. Listen to one streets of the other city when I who knows: all is harder, harder, was still ignorant, who had con- as you go on. You are stirred to vulsed me with the utterance of go on by the restlessness in your that name which, in all this world heart, and each new place you where we were, is never named come to the spirit of that place but for punishment, - the name enters into you. You are better which I had named once more in here than you will be further on. the great hall in the midst of my You were better where you were torture, so that all who heard me at first, or even in the mines than were transfixed with that suffer- here. Come no further. Stay ing too. He had been haggard unless- -" but here his voice then, but he was more haggard now. His features were sharp with continual pain, his eyes were wild with weakness and trouble, though there was a meaning in them which went to my heart.

gave way. He looked at me with anxiety in his eyes, and said no


"Then why," I cried, "do you go on? Why do you not stay?"

He shook his head, and his eyes

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