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looked for, to permit any other hands and looked out in the sweetthought beside it.

He remem- ness of the darkening shade, with bered himself of all the dear fixed eyes that saw nothing except stories of his youth, of him whom the past, which gripped his heart his father saw afar off and ed and stayed his breath and came to meet him, not waiting for the back upon him in dreadful waves confession that was on his lips. of recollection and consciousness. And that was how hitherto it had He saw

which he had happened to him: and here, where scorned when he was in them, and he now was, was not this the most loathed, and gone back to, and mercifullest place of all, where wallowed, foaming-always with everything was love and forgive- rage and shame of himself. And ness? He said this to himself, not they had cost him already his realising what place it was, not other life, and pangs innumerable ; knowing anything, though he had the price which he had paid for seized upon the name of heaven nought, hard blood-money for that in his first horror of wonder and which was no bread—which he had upbraiding, to point the bewailing known to be no bread even while and reproach. For a long time he he consumed it—the husks which lay with his hot brow pressed the swine did eat. That was how against those soft couches of moss, the other man had named it, the closing out with his hands the man whom his father ran to meet light from his eyes, in a despair and fell on his neck — but not and anguish unspeakable—asking here. There had been to himself himself why he had come here at also those who fell upon his neck all, to be rejected and shut out? and forgave him before he said a Why, why had he not taken an- word—but not here, other path he wot of, and plunged, This was not how he had felt

Where? where? He when he set out this morning upon caught his sobbing breath, that the beautiful way in the sunshine. burst from his bosom like a child's, He had been sure then that all in heavings and sore reiterations of was well : every evil thought had distress. Where? where? There departed out of his mind ; his would have been welcome in that heart was tender and soft, loving place; and bands of jovial com- God and man, and the thought of panions, and noise, and shoutings. a life in which there should be no Where i he did not know where. reproach, no shadow, no evil, had

But at last this convulsion and been sweet to him as is the expassion softened away, and he quisite relief that comes after raised his head and looked himself pain. He remembered how he in the face. Ah, was not this had sung songs as he walked, in what I said, I said ! Was not the ease of his heart. And now ! this what we thought upon many Shut out, a homeless wanderer, à morning, to forget it ere the unclothed: what was that she night? Was not this what we said ? unclothed : he did not know knew, you and I ? but you would what she meant; but the rest not listen or hear. When we saw

which he did know was enoughthe mother's light in the window, enough and more than enough : when the door was thrown open, he was abandoned, forsaken, the wide open, did not we know that door shut upon him-worse than the time would come- . ? This that, open, but he unable to enter : was what his other self said in his left to himself to spend the night

He leaned his head upon his in the wood—or anywhere, who

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cared ? — though he himself was While the other spoke, the young blameless now, having done noth- man, with a trembling in every ing to deserve this doom, having limb, held up his hands into the felt his heart so soft and a tender- air, and gazed with his eyes,

first ness which was more than inno- at one and then at the other—at cence, a longing for every good the places where he felt them, in his heart. Oh the other life where they ought to be. He felt which he had left! the homely every nerve thrill and every finger house, the quiet room, the face all tremble and shake; but he saw smiling weeping, at the door! nothing. Awe and terror seized

And that they called earth; upon him. He rushed from the and this they say is heaven.” bank, which sloped under his feet

He said this aloud, unawares- and made him look to his footand suddenly he was answered by ing, and flung himself against the another voice, which seemed to be trunk of one of the great trees. near him, the voice of another man He felt the touch of it, the roughstanding somewhere close by, which ness of the bark, the projection of said, “ No, you are mistaken; this the twigs here and there : but at is not heaven."

the same time he saw it clear, The young man raised his head standing with its feet deep in the and looked round him; and the fern and undergrowth, and no hair rose up upon his head, and a human body against it—this while thrill of shrinking and terror went he felt still the thrill and shock over him, for he saw no one. He with which he came in contact looked round him, drawing back with that great substantial thing. against the tree which crowned the And he uttered a great cry, “I bank, and clutching at it in his am then no more a man!” in a alarm : he was no coward, but voice which rang shrill with horror where is the man who can be and misery and dismay. suddenly accosted by a voice while “ Yes," said the other, "you are seeing no one, and not be afraid ? still a man. And be consoled. In “I must have dreamed I heard some things it is better than the it,” he said to himself : but rose up old life. You have no wants and with an impulse of agitation to no weariness, likewise no work, no leave the place in which such de- responsibility. Be consoled. The lusions could be.

discovery is painful for a Then he heard the voice again, ment, but you will find companions but this time lower down, and now enough. What has happened to close to him, as if a man had sud- you is no more than has happened denly sat down beside him upon to many other men: and we have the bank. “Are you so new ?” it great freedom, and society at our said, with a half laugh. “Have pleasure. There is a future before you not discovered that you too us, though it may be thousands of are invisible, like me?

years away. “ Invisible !” The young man's

“A future!” cried the young voice shook with fear and wonder, man ; nay, let me die and be wavering as if blown out by the done with it. What manner of wind, though there was no wind. man are you that can look calmly

"Be consoled," said the other; "it on a future like this? My God, to is no bad life: there is no fire nor live and live and be nothing, as I brimstone here: and there is hope am now !" for those who love hope. Let us “I am,” said the other, “just talk : it wiles the hours away.” such a manner of man as you will

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be to-morrow. It is a shock when

now no man, but a voice. The you discover it first — but what calamity was so great and so unthen? Life is but thought. There looked for, that his very voice, is a great prejudice in favour of a the thing he now was, seemed to visible body, at all events in the die in his throat, and his heart in race from which we come. But his breast : though all the time he you will perceive how little in felt his heart beating, bounding, reality it matters when you realise as never in moments of the greathow many things you can do and est emotion it had done before, enjoy, even with that deprivation, and the blood coursing like a great You might never have found it flood through the veins that were out, or not for a long time, but for not, and from head to foot of that my friendly aid—for it is friendly, human frame which existed I assure you. It breaks the illu- longer. Oh terrible doom! oh sion. You will no longer expect awful day! from those others that which they “Come and sit by me, and let us have not to give. Sit down by talk," said the other voice. me, and cease measuring yourself And then there came a melting against that tree. The tree is solid, and a softening over this forlorn but not you—yet there are many soul. If he was thus for ever consolations. Sit down again, and banished from common sight—if let us talk."

he was, indeed, exiled from home The young man stood pressing and every tender fellowship, a himself against the tree, his fore- thing that no man or woman could head against the roughness of the ever take by the hand again-still bark which dinted the soft flesh, to hear another voice was somehis arms stretched round it, not thing in this awful mystery of long enough to span its girth, but anguish. He loosed himself from pricked by the little growths which his tree, but kissed its rough bark incrusted it. He clung to the with a kind of passion as he drew great trunk as if it gave him a

His finger had hold upon something tangible, the caught a sharp twig, and it hurt only thing that remained to him. him ; his brow was marked, he They had not seen him, then, these could feel it, with the scales of fair creatures, at the gate. That the bark. This gave him a little which they heard, that which they comfort in his desolation. And addressed, was only a voice. No- then there was still the Voice. body had seen him along the He came back and threw himself way. Those who said “God save upon the flowery bank, which sent you" had meant something which forth its wild fragrance suddenly he did not yet understand. There as he pressed it, as it might have was reason for the pity in their done if

This also gave

him eyes and the tears which he had little consolation, as if it were a seen them shed. He had seen verification of the being which he them, but not they him. He was felt in every pulse and every limb. no man, but only a voice. The “You were saying,” said the horror grew into an awe which other,

this

called quenched the cries with which his heaven.” heart was bursting. He without “Ah, no!” said the young man a faculty impaired, hearing every with a voice of despair. “I see thing, seeing everything, feeling my mistake. It is rather-" with such intensity as he had “Do not make any more misnever felt before! Yet he was takes," said the other, quickly.

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“It is neither one nor the other. no thought for to - morrow, they It is the land of Suspense, where took their measures. I am not we all are until a day which no sure that those who have passed one knows—a visionary day which, by the Temple in the wood have perhaps, may never come, seeing it the best of it even now; but at has been threatened and delayed least we have not much to comfor all the ages. Ah! you can plain of. There is no suffering : not imagine the worlds-full there we are left to ourselves : we go are of us ! and some of the great where we will, and have great Romans tell you that the tradition facilities : and, as I tell you, the was in their time as now."

best of company. Only make up “The Day of Judgment!” said your mind to the one loss, and the young man, very low.

we have really much to congratu“Well! that is what they say. late ourselves upon.” But in the meantime, not to dis- The young man made no reply: courage you, it is better here than he began to hate this voice, with life was before. There are few its evenness of speech, the calm pleasures-- those things that one and the encouragement of its tone. despised one's self for enjoying, He had known men who spoke when time was. But the mind is so, who were content to live, free — and there are a thousand though life had no hope, with a things to learn. And there is sneer at those who were other society everywhere. We are here than they. And though a moment in multitudes. There are almost ago he had been almost glad to more of us, I believe, than of turn to another being deprived those others.”

and naked like himself, he felt “ Those others !” repeated the now that if he were but alone, it young man—he looked up where would be more easy to bear. The through the thick foliage there Voice went on talking to him was a glimpse of the towers and with the pleasure of one who has roof-trees of that home which he found a new hearer. And somecould not enter. His companion times he listened, and sometimes spoke as if they were enemies : heard it as though he heard it not. but his own spirit rebelled against Sometimes even it caught him that thought.

with an ingenious word and made “The good people,” said the him laugh; but then his mind voice, as with a sneer. “What would stiffen into silence, and the made them to differ, do you ask? horror and gloom swept over him Oh, they made their preparations. again like the dark waves over a While we led joyeuse vie and had wreck at sea.

III.

All the night long he sat there lap of a mother who cooled his leaning his head upon his hands, forehead with dewy touches, and sometimes leaning against the subdued his soul into the calm of great trunk of the tree behind inanimate things. And yet there him, which gave him a sensation was nothing inanimate in this of forlorn comfort, the only thing great realm of nature where the that recognised him as still tang- air was fresh and free, like the ible, a thing of flesh and blood. air upon a mountain - top where He sat there amid all the fragrant there is no wind but only a sense breathing of the night as in the of being far above all hindrance

be to-morrow.

It is a shock when now no man, but a voice. The you discover it first — but what calamity was so great and so unthen? Life is but thought. There looked for, that his very voice, is a great prejudice in favour of a the thing he now was, seemed to visible body, at all events in the die in his throat, and his heart in race from which we come. But his breast: though all the time he you will perceive how little in felt his heart beating, bounding, reality it matters when

you

realise as never in moments of the greathow many things you can do and est emotion it had done before, enjoy, even with that deprivation, and the blood coursing like a great

. You might never have found it flood through the veins that were out, or not for a long time, but for not, and from head to foot of that my friendly aid—for it is friendly, human frame which existed no I assure you. It breaks the illu- longer. Oh terrible doom ! oh sion. You will no longer expect awful day! from those others that which they “Come and sit by me, and let us have not to give. Sit down by talk," said the other voice. me, and cease measuring yourself And then there came a melting against that tree. The tree is solid, and a softening over this forlorn but not you get there are many soul. If he was thus for ever consolations. Sit down again, and banished from common sight--if let us talk."

he was, indeed, exiled from home The young man stood pressing and every tender fellowship, a himself against the tree, his fore- thing that no man or woman could head against the roughness of the ever take by the hand again—still bark which dinted the soft flesh, to hear another voice was somehis arms stretched round it, not thing in this awful mystery of long enough to span its girth, but anguish. He loosed himself from pricked by the little growths which his tree, but kissed its rough bark incrusted it. He clung to the with a kind of passion as he drew great trunk as if it gave him a himself away. His finger had hold upon something tangible, the caught a sharp twig, and it hurt only thing that remained to him. him ; his brow was marked, he They had not seen him, then, these could feel it, with the scales of fair creatures, at the gate. That the bark. This gave him a little which they heard, that which they comfort in his desolation. And

. addressed, was only a voice. No- then there was still the Voice. body had seen him along the He came back and threw himself way. Those who said “God save upon the flowery bank, which sent you” had meant something which forth its wild fragrance suddenly he did not yet understand. There as he pressed it, as it might have was reason for the pity in their done if

This also gave eyes and the tears which he had little consolation, as if it were a seen them shed. He had seen verification of the being which he them, but not they him.

felt in every pulse and every limb. no man, but only a voice. The “You were saying,” said the horror grew into an awe which other, " that this

called quenched the cries with which his heaven." heart was bursting. He without “Ah, no!” said the young man a faculty impaired, hearing every with a voice of despair. "I see thing, seeing everything, feeling my mistake. It is rather-” with such intensity as he had “Do not make any more misnever felt before! Yet he was takes,” said the other, quickly.

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