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X>5 V4-^ .^3 



MRS. JOHN KILQOUR. 



1 HARVARD C0LLB:GE 
/ LIBRARY 



<;^ 



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THE RING OF AMASIS. 



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THE 



BING OP AMASIS. 



FROM THE PAPERS OF A OERUAN PHTBICIAN. 



ROBERT BULWER LTTTON. 

(**OWBH IfEBEDITR.") 



NEW YORK: 
HARPER ft BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 

FBAMELIir SQUAB*. 
186 3. 



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^ '-]'/:> "i- . '• '6 



HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 



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CONTENTS. 



PAET I. 
THE DOCTOR. 

Pobmus, This 18 too long. 

HamUt. It shall to the barher's with yonr beard. 

Hamlet^ Act II., Scene 2. 



BOOK I. 

Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks. 
Sleeking her soft allaring locks. 

MiLTOK^Cbmtfff. 

CnAP. PAGB 

I. The TcKiHo or the iKSTRUMEirrg 17 

II. The Lorblbt. — Stbanob (Conduct of a GEiiTLEifAN nr 

Black 24 

III. I DRAW ifT OWN Conclusions about the Gentleman in 

Black 29 

IV. Unforeseen Occurrence at St. Goar. — The Gentle- 

man IN Black distinguishes himself 82 

V. The Lorelet in Person 87 

VI. Public Opinion. — We reach Cologne. — The Old 
Crane on the Old Tower, and what it seems to 
be Sating 41 



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THE 



RING OF AMASIS. 



CHAPTER I. 
The Tuning of the Instruments. 

The first of that series of events, under the strong 
impression of which I am impelled to write this book, 
occurred during the month of July, in the year 1834 ; 
a year memorable, among wine-bibbers at least, for the 
excellence of its vintage. As this book is not a biog- 
raphy, and my part in the events I am about to record 
is only that of a witness, I am anxious to obtrude my 
own personality as little as possible upon the atten- 
tion of my reader. It will suffice for the present, at 
any rate, if he will allow me to introduce myself to 
his acquaintance in no more important capacity than 
that of a young German doctor, and request him to 
accompany me on board the " Loreley" steamer from 
Mainz to Koln, whither, on a bright July morning in 
the above-mentioned year, I happened to be proceed- 
ing on my way to Paris, many reasons, hereafter to 
be mentioned, having induced me to seek the French 
capital with a view to establishing myself there as a 
physician. 

Of the small social phenomena of every-day life, 



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18 THE DOCTOR. 

few axe more strange than that which takes place on 
the deck of a passenger steamer. It is a miracle, and 
yet a commonplace. Eailway travelers are merely 
isolated nomads. Steam-boat travelers, on the con- 
trary, though they may have nothing in common, are 
nevertheless a community. Gathered together by the 
drift of accident from the four comers of the earth — 

'* Dropped down from heaven or cast np from hcU'* 

—each having suddenly emerged into sight from an 
utterly impenetrable Past, and soon about to pass out 
of sight into an equally incalculable Future, it is prob- 
able that no two units of this incongruous aggregate 
ever met before, or will ever meet again ; yet here in 
this particular "confluence of two eternities" they do 
meet, and there is the wonder of it They are near 
neighbors and yet utter strangers. How curiously, 
yet how cautiously, does each scrutinize the other, as 
he inwardly considers the important question, " Do I 
like the look of him ? Shall I speak to him ? or shall 
it be with us as though he were from Nova Zembla, 
and I from Timbuctoo?" All this while, however, 
the mysterious process of amalgamation is going on, 
just as surely and methodically as if it were concerned 
with nothing less than the consolidation of a planetary 
system, or the development of European civilization 
from the migration of the races. The scattered atoms 
begin to cohere ; the chaos to grow into a cosmos ; 
the crowd into a society — ^a society in which both free- 
dom of discussion and public opinion exist. National 
characteristics, too, become distinctly apparent to the 
studious eye. Yonder group of stalwart English, 



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THE LORELEY. 19 

pillared in Scotch plaid, and with remarkably windy- 
looking whiskers, that seem to have contracted in 
some violent climate a permanent inclination to blow 
away in opposite directions, are sternly consulting 
their Hurrays, and checking off in a sharp, business- 
like manner the various '^beauties of the Bhine." 
They look like notaries taking inventory of the effects 
of a fraudulent bankrupt. My more expansive fel- 
low-countrymen have already established terms of 
intimacy with each other. Presently all this will 
cease. Before nightfall we shall be parceled off to our 
different destinations ; and the lean gentleman in spec- 
tacles, to whom the fat gentleman in gaiters is just 
now confiding an interesting family secret, will then 
only be remembered by his confidential and commu- 
nicative friend as " a person with whom I traveled 
from Mainz to Kdln." 

As soon as I had finally lost sight of the three gray 
towers of the old cathedral, I seated myself on an un- 
comfortable green bench near an uncomfortable green 
table ; ordered a glass of punch — ^stiff, to keep out the 
morning chill; buttoned my coat across my chest; 
lighted my cigar, and so pertinaciously followed the 
bent of my own reflections, that I think I must have 
been for nearly an hour quite unconscious of the ani- 
mated conversation which was being carried on with- 
in my hearing by a little group of travelers who had 
established themselves by degrees about the bench on 
which I was seated. Gradually, however, and quite 
involuntarily, my attention was attracted to their dis- 
cussion by the frequent repetition of a single word, 
which created upon me an impression such as I can 



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20 THE DOCTOR. 

only convey to the mind of the reader by a digression, 
for which I hope, on that account, to be pardoned. 

Most gentle reader, have you eyer listened to the 
tuning of the instruments in a great orchestra? It 
has no connection whatever with the overture, yet, in 
my mind, it is so inseparably associated with the over- 
ture, that I confess I miss a certain sense of satisfac- 
tion from those concerts to which the musicians enter 
with their instruments already tuned. 

Oh thou dim, mysterious, narrow border-land of the 
wonderful world of sounds and dreams 1 Homely old 
orchestra, dear hast thou ever been to my heart I 
thou, the single homely, honest thing amid all the 
gilding and the gewgaws, the flare and glare, of many 
a splendid theatre I 

It is but a meagre strip of dingy space, yet beyond 
it lies the limitless realm of Faery. And over that 
dull-lighted frontier wall, as over a golden causeway 
bridging the starry splendors, and spanning the infi- 
nite spaces, does this poor soul of ours often mount up 
fh)m all she is, and all she must remain, upon the fret- 
ful nether earth, to all she would be, all she trusts to 
become, in the serene completion of some much-need- 
ed world beyond. This is no rhapsody. I feel and 
believe what I say ; and I avow that it is with reluct- 
ance, almost with loathing, that I ever look up from 
the lowly barriers of the orchestra to those sumptuous 
boxes above it, where the same bloated cherubs eter- 
nally leer at each other across the same insipid ara- 
besque. In those boxes sit the victims of the great 
world's great ennui Fine ladies and gentlemen, who 
"come late," like Count Isolani in the play; but not 



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THE LOBELEY. 21 

like Isolani, who, at least, did not come with empty 
hands. These come, for the most part, with empty 
hearts and empty heads. What is Hecuba to them, 
OT they to Hecuba? Far dearer to me, I confess, 
is that dingy orchestra, behind whose smoky lamps, 
among whose greasy pulpits, smudged and soiled with 
the long, long labor of how many an arduous rehears- 
al,! recognize the great workshop — the strong fur- 
nace, wherein the mighty forces of Music toil and toss, 
and seethe and heave, till, glowing as with strenuous 
heat, the molten melodies of golden sound flow smooth 
into the sweet and stately mould of the Master's noble 
Thought. 

How softly, one by one, and with what thoughtful 
faces, made melancholy by so much loving labor, en- 
ter, each to his nightly station behind his dusky mu- 
sic-desk, the gentle makers of sweet sounds I With 
what tender care the violin is lifted from its little 
case 1 Doubtless the poor fiddler's wife has no such 
showy satin robe as that from which he fondly unfolds 
his cherished Oremonese. It must be an Amati. But, 
soft you I what is that wandering tone, pathetic and 
yet glad, like the sound of some old fable which we 
loved to hear when we were children? It is the 
horn. Thank heaven f the true Wcddhom — no new- 
fangled mechanical comet-d-pistons. Now the sounds 
seem straining into unison. You half distinguish faint 
indications of a coming harmony. Now they fall 
asunder. All is discord and objurgation. The vio- 
lin, upon its highest chord, is beginning to confide to 
the English horn strange news which it has just re- 
ceived under seal of strictest secrecy fix)m the clarionet 



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22 THE DOCTOR. 

Bat the bass-viol, with four sharp fifths, breaks in im- 
perative, interrupts the babblers, and severely calls 
them back to a sense of duty and responsibility. The 
drowsy double bass, in lazy mood, as he leans against 
the wall, begins to clear his throat The lugubrious 
bassoon gurgles twenty times over his one poor little 
part, making t^e most of himself, like an old opera- 
singer. The trumpet, not having to tune himself, is 
doing his best to put all his neighbors out of tune. 
But softly, softly I There sits yonder, by those two 
brazen bowls, stretched over with dusky parchment^ 
one who seems the master wizard of this wondrous 
sorcery. His brow is wrinkled into music-scores ; his 
sunken eyes are like two hollow breves; his hair is 
white and thin. Softly, softly I he taps with mufiled 
wand at the door of the unknown world. And now, 
sharp through the tuneless tumult, as with a will and 
a meaning of its own, strikes the shrill, clear, long- 
drawn, silvery note of the hautboy. Keen-edged and 
incisive the long note streams, like a sunbeam across 
the dark, through some chink of a broken wall. And 
as the dancing motes of golden dust rush into sudden 
revelation, and begin to waver softly up and down 
that slant, thin, shining track of light, so now the mul- 
titude of foolish notes, smitten by the shrill high note 
of the hautboy, forthwith enter into the strange signifi- 
cance of that sound, and assume a movement and a 
meaning not their own. 

Beader, this digression is not idle. It closely con- 
cerns every incident of this history, throughout which, 
if you have a musical ear, you who read will recog- 
nize again and again, as I who write have been made 



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THS LORELEV. 23 

to recognize it, that particular, unmistakable note of 
the hautboy. Certainly the conversation to which I 
am about to refer was to the full as senseless, and far 
more insipid, than the fitful sounds from my imagin- 
ary orchestra ; but throughout every phase of it, con- 
stantly recurring, dominating all, giving to words in- 
significant and idle a singular and sinister significance, 
clear, cold, uncomfortable, premonitory of things to 
come, I distinctly distinguished that long sharp note 
of the hautboy. 

For years, too, I have been haunted by the sound 
of it For years I have heard it, after long intervals 
of forgetfulness, at moments when I least expected, 
and was least prepared to hear it. I hear it now as 
my memory reverts to past events. Perhaps I shall 
continue to hear it till I have closed this narrative, 
which, by its restless recurrence, like an unlaid ghost, 
it has compelled me to commence. 

In the present instance it was but a single word 
that thus impressed me — a word, too, so hackneyed 
and familiar that I can not account for the strangely 
unfamiliar sensation with which it affected me. 

And what was that word, do you ask? 

It was the name of the Loreley. 



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J 



24 THE DOCTOR. 



CHAPTER 11. 

The Loreley. — Strange Conduct op a Gentle- 
man IN Black. 

The two small cannons with which, soon after start- 
ing, we had saluted the Bheinstein, had long since 
been charged again, and we were now approaching 
the spot where they were to enable our little craft to 
do due honor to her mysterious godmother, the cele- 
brated Loreley. The prospect of so soon passing the 
abode of that famous enchantress had probably led 
my fellow-travelers into a discussion of the peculiar 
character assigned to her by the various legends of 
which she is the heroine. 

A sentimental young lady with a fat waxen face 
and flat flaxen hair, whose affected accent was of pure 
Berlin quality, had enthusiastically undertaken (no 
doubt in the conviction that she was thereby vindica- 
ting the cause of sentiment and sensibility) the defense 
of those anthropophagal tendencies attributed to that 
melodious Lady Witch, who, to the great detriment 
of the musical public of former times, is well known 
to have been in the habit of terminating her concerts 
by drowning her auditory. This romantic young lady 
expatiated with so much gusto upon the exquisite 
poetry and refinement of those very objectionable 
proceedings on the part of the Loreley, that we all felt 
persuaded, if she could have sat upon a rock and sung 



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THE LOBSLST. 26 

Kvken^ songs, that the whole of the Prussian anny 
would be forced to take swimming lessons. A slim 
sub-lieutentant, however, who was there on the way 
to his garrison at Cologne, appeared to be greatly scan- 
dalized by the thought of the disadvantageous and un- 
graceful position in which the lords of the creation 
would be placed when thus compelled to become the 
ungainly imitators of the four-handed frog. He vehe- 
mently objected to the conduct of the Loreley in for- 
mer times. For his part, he avowed, he had no taste 
for that antiquated ballad-singer, whose behavior had 
been simply abominable, and could only have been 
tolerated under a very imperfect state of the criminal 
code. Such things were, happily, nowadays quite im- 
possible. He could see in them nothing at all poet- 
ical, but much that infringed the police regulations. 
Any person capable of calmly contemplating the 
agonies of a drowning man was neither more nor less 
than a criminal of the worst description, who ought to 
be — not applauded, but hanged. 

Here the conversation was suddenly interrupted by 
a loud clatter. We all turned round, startled and an- 
noyed. Close to the last speaker, a table, before which 
had been seated a gentleman dressed in black, and 
of such unobtrusive appearance that, although every 
body had seen, nobody had noticed him, was now vio- 
lently overturned and thrown to the ground. It was 
impossible to suppose, however, that it had been up- 
set by the stranger, who was at that moment walking 
away with such profound composure that he did not 
even appear to have noticed the noise which so much 

* A once popular oompoier of sentimental longs in Gennany. 
B 



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26 THE DOCTOB. 

disturbed us. There was, moreover, an indescribable 
dignity and grace in the appearance and movement 
of this personage, which rendered it perfectly incredi- 
ble that he should, under any circumstances, be capa- 
ble of an awkward action. His countenance was of 
that kind which at once compels deference and in- 
spires respect The bearing and aspect of the whole 
man were what you would emphatically distinguish 
as unexcepiion^khlj thoroughbred. There was nothing 
in his features or his manners which repelled, but, on 
looking at him, you instinctively felt that it would be 
impossible to be familiar with him unless he gracious- 
ly permitted you to be so. A vulgar or insolent fel- 
low would not, you felt sure, be able to insult that 
man. As all that is vulgar and mean eludes and es- 
capes the presence of an elevated and select nature so 
completely that such a nature can not even take cog- 
nizance of the existence of what is ignoble, so I sup- 
pose there is in the perfect manners of the great, and 
the habitual consciousness of an unapproachably high 
social position, something which enables the few who 
possess it to pass through the crowd without ever 
coming into contact with it. This man was not only 
unapproachable, he was almost invisible. He was the 
image of plastic repose. Nothing about him was rest- 
less, or fidgety, or ill at ease. It was only by the in- 
direct contrast of this extrepie tranquillity both in 
dress and manner that you unconsciously distin- 
guished him from the ordinary mass of vulgar people 
who can not ever sit still or keep themselves quiet. 
His features were singularly faultless, but nobody 
would have ever thought of calling him a handsome 



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TH£ LORELEY. 27 

man. You knew, but you did not notice that beauty 
of face. His countenance showed neither gayety nor 
melancholy. It was smooth, and impassive as mar- 
ble ; and, indeed, so inexpressive, that even when you 
saw him you did not seem to see him ; so that, as he 
now walked away from us, it was only by an effort 
of memory that we realized the fact of his having so 
long been present to our sight Nobody spoke to 
him, nobody spoke of him, yet every body must have 
observed him ; for when he afterward became the sub- 
ject of our conversation, there appeared to have been 
a sort of tacit coincidence and agreement in our pre- 
vious and separate observations, and we all called him 
" the Gentleman in Black." 

He walked away from the capsized table so quietly 
and so unconcerned, that one of our party, in perfect 
astonishment at the inexplicable &11 of that awkward 
piece of furniture, exclaimed to the waiter, who was 
busily restoring the sprawling thing to its legs, " Hol- 
loa f" what is the meaning of this? Have you ghosts 
about here?" 

The gentleman who made this inquiry would no 
doubt have been a believer in table-turning if Mr. 
Home had emigrated to Europe in the year 1834. 

" Well," said another who was sitting beside me, 
" if it was a ghost, I have seen him, and he was dress- 
ed in an infernally well-made suit of clothes, such as 
none but the devil's tailor knows the cut of." 

"Ahl" cried the rest of the party all in a breath; 
" is it possible ? The Gentleman in Black !" 

To this explanation of the miracle I strongly ob- 
jected. It was quite illogical, I asserted, and there- 



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28 THE DOCTOB. 

fore, to me at leasts impossible, to assume that the per- 
sonage who had just left us was capable of an awk- 
ward, not to say an ill-bred act. My ghost-seer, how- 
ever, assured us all that he had distinctly seen the 
Gentleman in Black start up suddenly like a wooden 
figure pushed by a spring, and in so doing upset the 
table, just as the sub-lieutenant was laying down the 
law on cases of salvage. As on the strength of this 
positive testimony I found the majority entirely op- 
posed to my theory of moral evidence, I soon relin- 
quished the discussion and withdrew from the debate. 



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THE LOBELEY. 29 



CHAPTER m. 

I DRAW MY OWN CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE GEN- 
TLEMAN IN Black. 

We were now approaching the Loreley. I saun- 
tered to the forepart of the vessel in order to secure a 
good view of that famous rock, once so fatal, now so 
innocent. As I passed by the funnel, I again noticed 
the mysterious stranger about whom we had all been 
talking. He was standing alone, close to the little 
step-ladder which had just been uncorded from the 
bulwarks, and was now slanted forward in readiness 
to be let down for any passengers that might be wai^ 
ing at the next station. He stood erect with folded 
arms, and appeared to be contemplating the play of 
the violent water as it hissed, and seethed, and bub- 
bled about the beating paddle. As I watched that 
calm and imperturbable eye fixed upon the boiling 
spray beneath, I could not help wondering how the 
passions could so completely desert the face of man, 
to lavish upon inanimate nature at least the semblance 
of intense emotion. The words of the Prussian sub- 
lieutenant rushed into my mind. In order to remain 
true to his nature, how should this man conduct him- 
self if a fellow-creature were drowning under his eyes? 
Would he shout for help ? Would he exhort and 
stimulate others to the rescue by shaking a purse full 
of sequins in their ears like the count in Burger^sbal* 



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so THE DOCTOR. 

lad, Fbn Braven Mannf But how could he do this 
without instantaneously abdicating that prerogative 
of lofty and unassailable tranquillity which was pro- 
claimed in every feature of his serene and severely 
beautiful countenance, in every outline of his self-com- 
posed and stately figure? It is told in an old story 
that a mortal was once admitted to the assembly of 
the gods. He was informed that, of the noble and 
majestic forms which he there beheld, one only was a 
man ; and he was asked if he could recognize his fel- 
low mortal. Amid the true gods, the one man, al- 
though he wore golden sandals and a purple fillet, and 
drank nectar with the rest of the Olympians, was at 
once detected by the restlessness of his eyes. Now, as 
I silently studied the face of the man before me, I felt 
that if one line of those marble features were to change, 
the entire expression which commanded my admira* 
tion would fall at once like a mere mask, and be de- 
tected as a superficial grimace at the mercy of any 
rude chance that might choose to pluck it away. The 
soul wants not clothes; but if she once puts them on, 
they should so finely fit her that she need never take 
them off. 

Men with such faces as this should never change 
countenance, for fear they become contemptible. 
"No," I concluded; "that man must remain un- 
moved by the sight of a drowning creature." 

The logic of this conclusion was irresistible, but I 
could not reconcile myself to accept it. I was glad 
when the cannons were discharged, and the explosion 
diverted my attention from the stranger. 

The Loreley was not slow to return thanks for this 



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THE L0RELE7. 81 

aglute. For my part, I even found her too garrulous. 
Any little real miracle would have pleased me better 
than that miraculously natural echo. No subtle song 
came winding from the wizard rock to enmesh the 
souls of men in the folly of a &tal bliss. Alas I no 
such songs are wanted now. The sorcery is fled from 
the earth ; the folly remains. 



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32 THE DOOTOB. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Unfobeseen Occubrengb at Saint Goab.— The 
Gentleman in Black distinguishes himself. 

The bell sounded from St. Goar. The steamer 
slacked speed, and presently a little boat put out from 
the land. The only passengers it brought us were a 
woman and a child. The woman seemed to be of the 
middle class, and the child, a little boy, who was ap- 
parently asleep on her lap, might have been about 
six years old. Our captain shouted, " Ease her ! Stop 
her!" from the paddle-box. The paddles stopped 
their play, and the vessel drifted leisurely with the 
stream. The vast waves that welled up from under 
her flanks, as if they were surprised at, and ashamed 
of, thefeown existence in that calm water, dashed off 
in a desperate hurry to reach the shore, and there hide 
themselves among the rushes. The little boat danced, 
and rocked, and dipped among these unnatural undu- 
lations. 

My thoughts were still coquetting with the Lady 
Witch, when I was startled by a sharp and piercing 
scream firom the water. 

" Jesu Maria I my child, my child 1" 

At the same moment all the passengers rushed in 
violent agitation to that side of the vessel where I 
was standing by the step-ladder. I at once saw that 



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THE LOSSLET. 88 

the little boat had capsized ; but how this had hap- 
pened I could only guess. 

It appeared that the boatman, in attempting to catch 
the rope from the steamer, had lost his balance, and in 
the struggle of his fall had brought his clumsy and 
rickety little craft on her beam-ends. I saw him 
hauled up the sides of the vessel, while a sailor who 
had leaped from the ladder succeeded in rescuing the 
poor woman just at the moment when she was being 
sucked under the paddle-wheel, and must, but for this 
timely rescue, have soon perished. 

But the child ? Where was the child ? The steam- 
er had drifted some way down with the current, and 
we could only see a long way off a small straw hat 
floating smoothly on the surface of the stream, with 
its bright blue ribbon fluttering in the wind. 

After an instant of intense silence, however, there 
was a suppressed groan of anxiety from all on board. 
We could distinctly see the poor little fellow himself 
struggling desperately, and beating vainly with his 
tiny hands the headstrong water. His stren^ seemed 
to give way. He submerged, and we lost sight of him. 
No I now there is a loud cry from every soul on board; 
the little golden head reappears once more above the 
surface of the stream. 

And now, again, there is a deep, agonizing silence. 
Every eye is strained, every face is sharply stretched 
in one direction ; for in that direction two dark arms 
of an audacious swimmer can now be s^n slowly cut- 
ting the waves. 

Quite calmly, quite at his ease, with no haste, no 
precipitation, making each stroke with mathematical 

B2 



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84 THE DOCTOR. 

precision, as though he were swimming solely for his 
own pleasure, yet nevertheless with steady strength, 
as we all can see, leisurely gaining head against the 
sturdy current, with perfect placidity and undisturbed 
self-composure, slowly, methodically, onward swims 
the dark swimmer. I must say there was something 
almost provoking in the extreme tranquillity, not to 
say indifference of his movements, upon which we all 
felt that the life of a human being depended ; and the 
singular and instantaneous accuracy with which the 
common sentiment of a crowd is always impressed 
upon the mind of each of its members made me con- 
scious that at that moment the swimmer was an ob- 
ject rather of indignant impatience than of grateful 
admiration. We all felt that he was not putting forth 
half the strength which he obviously possessed. 

Now, now ! he is within but a few arm-lengths of 
the sinking child. One last effort, one bold stroke, 
and the poor child is saved ! No ! Unconcerned, he 
has let the last desperate chance escape him. One 
stretch (if^that strong arm would have done it One 
grasp of that firm hand might have easily seized the 
last patch of the blue blouse which has now sunk 
from our sight Too late 1 The child has disap* 
peared. There is a groan of angry sorrow from the 
crowd. But it can not reach the swimmer. He too 
has disappeared from our gaze. My eyes are still 
fixed upon the spot where we last saw him. There 
is a silence of intolerable suspense. You can only 
hear the suppressed breathing of the crowd all round, 
and the careless sighing of the stream beneath. 

That silence seemed as though it would last for- 



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THS LORELEY. 86 

ever; but aftep a few moments, which felt like many 
ages, a loud shout of exultation bursts forth. Far, far 
away from the spot on which all eyes were fixed — 
far away he rises again. Tliey rise again. " Saved, 
thank God I" is the universal exclamation. 

Now he is swimming back to the steamer more 
leisurely even than before. He leans upon the cur- 
rent, and lets it quietly bear him along with it. He 
is lazily pushing his rescued burden before him as if 
it were a dead thing. He gives it only an occasional 
impulsion with his hand whenever it seems to inter- 
fere with the comfort of his easy and convenient prog- 
ress. And only an occasional convulsive movement 
in the limbs of the little body shows that life is not 
yet extinct. He seems to care nothing for the child 
he has saved, nothing for the intense interest of which 
he is himself the object. He appears utterly uncon- 
cerned. 

And thus the Gentleman in Black regains the 
steamer. 

All this passed rapidly under my eyes. T^e whole 
occurrence occupied only a few moments of time — 
they appeared an eternity. With that keen insight 
which belongs to strong emotion, I saw clearly into 
the inmost mind of all those who were around me at 
that moment, I recognized on every countenance 
my own agony; I detected in every eye my own 
thought. In all that crowd there was only one face 
on which I saw not the reflection of my own feelings ; 
only one eye in which I could discover nothing akin 
to the sensations either of myself or my fellow-travel- 
ers. And suddenly, thrilled as I was by the unutter- 



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36 THB DOCTOR. 

able legard of that calm, cold, inexplicable eye, I again 
seemed to hear, with the same uncomfortable sensa- 
tion, sharp and shrill, from some nndistingaishable 
world of inner sounds, the long-drawn note of the 
hautboy. 



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THE LOBELST. 87 



CHAPTER V. 

The Loreley in Person. 

Yes, it was she. Angels and ministeis of graced 
defend ns 1 She — no dream, but &irer far than all 
that dreams can fashion — she herself, the Lorelej! 
Beautiful, but with a chill and stony beauty, like the 
beauty of Medusa, that curdled the blood and froze 
the veins of men ; calm, uncompassionate, pitiless, she 
was gazing (and I now knew she had long been gaz- 
ing) upon this death-struggle for life as though the 
agonies of it were to her the commonest matter of 
course, and the result of it a subject of supreme indif- 
ference. It had been sung to me in songs, I had read 
it in legends, I had dreamed it in dreams ; I could not 
now mistake that gaze. It was the gaze of the Lore- 
ley. She sat as though she had nothing to do but to 
sleek her beautiful body in the sunshine, while her 
victims were gurgling their stifled death-cries in the 
dreadful gul& far down. She sat, I say, high above 
the silly crowd ; done, upon the hood of the gangway 
near which I was standing; isolated, unnoticed, indif- 
ferent, even as the Lady Witch upon her rock. Her 
hidden arms drew tight across her bosom her long 
silken scarf, which, thus closely draped about her, left 
distinctly outlined the noble contour of her perfect 
shoulders. Now that I was suddenly made aware of 
her presence, I became, at the same moment, instinct- 



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88 THE DOCTOR. 

ively conscious that she had long been there, and that 
I had all this while been standing within the magic 
of that strange, cold, beautiful regard, and under the 
ghostlike gaze of that clear, spiritual eye. So indif- 
ferent to, and so abstracted from the crowd around us 
— so unlike to, and so dissociate from all others did 
that strange woman appear, that in now beholding 
her I at once realized the conviction of how impossi- 
ble it would havie been for me to have noticed her 
presence until (as in the case of the Grentleman in 
Black) some accident had forced my consciousness out 
of the limits of that trivial sphere within which those 
two apparitions must, I felt persuaded, in obedience 
to every law of their nature, remain invisible. 

A hew boat had now been sent out from the steam- 
er, and the child, apparently lifeless, was picked up 
and brought back to its mother. The strong swim- 
mer, by whose exertions the little boy had been re- 
covered, refused all assistance from the boat, and swam 
slowly after it toward the steamer. Nobody any -lon- 
ger paid the least attention to his proceedings. And 
while the crowd on deck gathered with noisy but 
heartfelt congratulation round the poor mother, the 
savior of her child entered the vessel unperceived. 

I myself had not noticed his return. I remained 
spellbound and immovable under the melancholy eye 
of the Loreley ; and I was still absorbed in the in* 
tense contemplation of the perplexing passionlessness 
of that Gorgonian face, when I suddenly perceived 
that he was standing before her. 

But how changed were his features ! Now, for the 
first time, I fully recognized all the noble beauty of 



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THE LOBELET. 89 

them ; for now those features were animated, for the 
first time since I bad seen them,bj an expression, and 
that expression was one of mute but passionate pray- 
er. The whole countenance worked and labored with 
the concentrated action of internal forces. The pain- 
ful quivering of the lip, the deep imploring of the 
earnest eye, all were agonizingly eloquent with the 
pathos of that unuttered appeal. And calmly, cold- 
ly, upon that imploring face, from the lofty heights 
of her chilly self-isolation, the beautiful Loreley look- 
ed down in silence, with the cruel dead tranquillity of 
her empty, unanswering, extinguished eye. Then, as 
with a supreme effort, from the long-laboring lip of 
the man before her, a voice, broken and hollow, inar- 
ticulately muttered these words — ^^ Still never f^^ 

And sharp, freezing, and incisive as the long shrill 
note of the hautboy was the answer of the Loreley — 
"iVevcr/" It sounded — (that short stem word, that 
meant so much, mocking the word it answered) — ^like 
a ghostly echo in a hollow, empty ruin, where nothing 
but such an echo any longer dwells. 

For a moment the face of the man was swathed in 
a livid pallor as of death. The next moment those 
marble features had completely resumed their habitual 
repose, and he disappeared down the staircase into the 
cabin, noiseless, calmly, almost imperceptibly, as when, 
some hours before, I had seen him leave the table just 
as it clattered down at my feet, and so greatly startled 
us all. 

At that moment I was called away to attend to the 
child, and thus lost sight of the Loreley. This was 
my first actual practice as a physician. A glance at 



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40 THE DOCTOB. 

my little patient sufficed to assure me that only yery 
simple restoratives were needed. And, having spoken 
a few words of encouragement and reassurance to the 
mother of the lad, I was turning away to give the nec- 
essary directions to the steward, when a gray-headed 
valet-de-chambre^ the perfection of neat decorum, pre- 
sented himself before us, and, bowing to the poor wom- 
an with that deference which is only manifested by 
the servants of persons of the highest breeding to 
those whom they assume to be of lower rank than 
their masters, respectfully requested the good woman, 

in the name of the Count and Countess E ^ to do 

the count and countess the favor to join them in the 
private cabin, and to bring with her the little boy, for 
whose comfort and refreshment every.preparation had 
been made. 

Thus I finally lost sight of the four human beings 
who were in any way associated in my mind with the 
mysterious side of that day's events ; and, once more 
on the deck of the " Loreley" steamer, the great Com- 
monplace resumed "her ancient," but not "solitary 
reign." 



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THE LOBEL£Y. 41 



CHAPTER VI. 

PuBLio Opinion.— Wb beach Cologne.— The 
Old Cbane on the Old Toweb, and what it 
SEEMS TO be Saying. 

Public opinion on board the "Loreley" steamer 
was much excited by the recent occurrence. Every 
body was asking, " Who is the Gtentleman in Black?" 
The steward, who was naturally our chief source of 
information on this subject, could tell us nothing more 
than that the name of the strange gentleman, whose 
conduct had excited such conflicting feelings and in- 
spired so much curiosity among my fellow-travelers, 

was Count Edmond R ; that he was the possessor 

of an immense majorat in Prussian Silesia, and the 
last descendant of a well-known and very ancient 
family. 

The mysterious Loreley thus receded from the lu- 
minous realms of Fable, and only revealed herself to 
the common light of day as a Silesian countess I The 
stem and terrible sorceress, by whose spells I had 
been so magically mastered, was, by indisputable evi- 
dence, neither more nor less than the wife of Count 

Edmond R . Others, however, besides myself, 

had noticed the extraordinary, and more than human 
indifference which had characterized the conduct of 
the Witch, now reduced to the rank assigned to her 
by the Almanac de Goiha. She too, the wife of so 



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42 THE DOGTOB. 

noble a husband ! a man of whom any woman (so we 
all averred) might well be proud I How had it been 
possible for that woman to watch with an eye so cal- 
lous, and a countenance of such avowed and heartless 
unconcern, the noble conduct of the count, when, at 
the imminent risk of his life, he swam to the rescue 
of the drowning child? As you may well conceive, 
all the women vehemently condenmed the countess, 
and loudly extolled the count 

In particular, the sentimental young lady of the 
waxen-flaxen charms, who that morning had so warm- 
ly defended the cause of the imaginary Loreley, and 
elaborately extolled the poetry and sublimity of the 
various misdeeds attributed to that duly-patented and 
well-established witch, was now emphatic, not to say 
hysterical, in the expression of her indignation at the 
heartless affectation of the countess. 

I may mention by the way that this young lady, at 
the moment of the recent catastrophe, had been duly 
careful not to let slip sc^ favorable and appropriate an 
occasion for a little shrieking and fainting, which, on 
the* whole, had been tolerably successful. The Prus- 
sian sub-lieutenant, for his part, declared that the 
count had shown great incompetence, and was quite 
undeserving of the ignorant applause which had been 
lavished upon his supposed skill and coolness. He 
assured us that, but for the respect he paid to his uni- 
form, and if he had not Had straps to his trowsers — 
(for indeed he might say, for the first time in his life, 
he had positively envied the gentleman on the Civil 
List) — ^he would have shown us all the proper way 
of saving a drowning person. That the child had 



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THE LORELEY. 43 

been actually saved was, be assured us, entirelj due 
to tbe merest chance in the world ; or rather, indeed, 
if the truth must be told, to his own perspicuity and 
energy, since he it was that had given express orders 
to send a boat to the swimmer, whereby the child had 
been taken up, though out of vanity, as every body 
could see, the count had refused for himself the prof- 
fered assistance. In all such cases it was absolutely 
necessary to follow a quite diJBferent method from that 
which had been adopted in the present instance. It 
was a mercy that the result had not been fiital. He 
had himself studied the true principles of natation at 
the Schwimm-Schule at Potsdam. For the practice 
of these principles, however, it was necessary to have 
a special costume properly adapted for the purpose. 

These views were opposed by a merchant from 
Hamburg, who observed that the chief danger to be 
apprehended in all attempts to rescue a drowning per- 
son exists in the frantic efforts made by the drowning 
man to save himself, or in the involuntaiy cramps 
and convulsioDS which, so long as consciousness lasts, 
not unfrequently impede the efforts of the rescuing 
hand, and are known to have often proved fatal to 
both parties. The merit of the count was in the calm 
and coniposure which he had had the presence of 
mind to preserve. Every body Qould see that he 
might have hastened his speed, and that it would have 
been easy for him to have reached the child before it 
sank. But he rightly waited till the little limbs were 
exhausted ; and so accurately calculated his distance, 
that the body must have reached him under the water 
in an exact line with the point at which he dived to 



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4A THE DOCTOR. 

secure it This explanation was leceiyed as so satis* 
factory, that the Prussian sub-lieutenant, twisting his 
mustaches, growled out something about Burger Phil- 
ister^ and stalked away with a loud clanking of spurs 
and sabre. 

The countess, however, was not without her defend- 
ers among the men, who, on the strength of the opin- 
ion offered by the Hamburg merchant, readily adopt- 
ed the assumption that the count was no doubt so ad- 
mirable and experienced a swimmer that his wife need 
have been under no reasonable apprehension for his 
safety. 

At this point in the discussion, one of my fellow- 
travelers, who till then had not joined in the conver- 
sation, informed us that some years ago he had had 
occasion to visit Heligoland, and that he had there 
heard the name of Count E frequently mention- 
ed as that of a most intrepid and unrivaled swimmer. 
The feats attributed to the count by the fishermen 
along that coast appeared indeed almost incredible. 
One of his exploits in particular was much talked of 
at the time. 

One dark and tempestuous night a fishing-boat was 
wrecked within sight of land, and the alarm was given 
along the coast that all souls on board were in immi- 
nent danger. The boldest fisherman, however, did 
not dare to brave the breakers that night, and no man 
could be found who was willing in such a storm to 
expose his life to the hazard of an enterprise so abso- 
lutely desperate. Suddenly a mysterious stranger ap- 
peared among the terrified crowd. He said nothing, 
he betrayed no emotion, but every body seemed to 



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THE LORELEY. 46 

feel the presence of a superior will, and silently made 
way for him. He quietly picked up five of the great* 
cables which had been hopelessly flung by in the con- 
viction of the impossibility of attempting a rescue. 
With the same composure and undisturbed precision, 
he firmly bound together with a small cord the ends 
of the five ropes, and, taking the cord in his left hand, 
he silently plunged into the sea. In this way he suc- 
ceeded in saving the five souls that were on board the 
sinking craft. That stranger was Count Edmond 
B . And as, by a sort of instantaneous tacit in- 
stinct, we had all of us this morning given to the mys- 
terious count the somewhat sinister title of " the Qen- 
ikman in Black,^^ so the poor fisherfolk of Heligoland, 
ever after the event of that night, distinguished the 
heroic stranger by the more grateful appellation of 
" Newfoundland.^^ 

Hence, no doubt, the indifference evinced by the 
countess on the present occasion. 

We all very cheerfully accepted this explanation 
of the lady's conduct, till, to our no small astonish- 
ment, a certain very portly Kdniglich-Preussischer- 
Wirklicher - Gebeimer * Ober - Bau - Bath declared that 
the whole of Silesia knew perfectly well that the 
countess was touched in her mind. 

This mental affection, he presumed, must be incur- 
able, as he had never heard that any sort of treatment 

had been tried for it. The Count and Countess E 

lived in extreme seclusion all the year round at the 
count's majorat about ten miles from Breslau. They 
saw nobody ; nobody ever saw them. There was no 
direct heir to the estate, which would lapse, at the 



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46 THE DOCTOR. 

death of the county to the collateral branch; and, 
therefore, nobody in Silesia was at all concerned about 
their afEieiirs. 

This strange and unlooked-for announcement si- 
lenced all farther conversation upon the subject The 
little group of talkers soon afterward broke up and 
dispersed, for we were approaching the end of our 
journey, and every body except myself seemed satis- 
fied to dismiss the matter from their minds. 

What were precisely my own feelings as I walked 
musingly back to the bows of the boat, and leaned 
over the yellowing waters, it would be hard to say. 

Deep under the death-white shroud of a profound 
and settled melancholy, which seemed to have per- 
manently swathed in its cold and colorless beauty 
the fruitless features of the countess, my heart had 
detected the buried presence of an unutterable sorrow. 
One moment of luminous agony had revealed to me 
in the dark eye of the count the torture of a soul 
surely smitten by no earthly hand. "No," I said to 
mysdf. " Of the secret of these two souls, whatever 
that may be, I have at least seen enough to feel sure 
that it involves them both in the anguish of an irre- 
concilable destiny y 

The accident of the day now nearly closed had so 
long delayed the course of our little steamer, that the 
sunset was &r spent when we passed slowly under the 
darkening walls of the old imperial city of Cologne, 
The evening was hushed and sleepy. Dreamlike we 
seemed to glide into the shadow of the ancient town. 
Above the deep and drowsy orange light that was 
now burning low down in the wasting west, rose, dark 



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THE LOBELBY. 47 

and calm into the airy twilight of the upper sky, the 
massive tower of the huge Cathedral. And high upon 
the summit of that tall, dark tower — high, and still, 
and solitary, as someic^ld wizard on the watch, stood 
the giant crane, which is ever the first object to greet 
the eye of the traveler who enters Cologne. 

Lonely and aloof under the darkening sky it stood, 
with its long, gaunt arm stretched out, as though in 
wild appeal, toward the antique Dragon-stone, from 
whose venerable quarries ha(^been hewn, age after 
age, and block by block, the vast pile on which it now 
stood— oompanionless between earth and heaven. To 
scale to the height of that supreme solitude had the 
heart of the Dragon rock been* broken, and year by 
year his mighty limbs in massy morsels wrenched 
away ; and now, alone under the melancholy stars, 
pillared upon piles of pillage, there stood the hoary 
robber, gazing sadly, as it seemed to me, at the wrong- 
ed and ruined rock. As I lifted my eyes to that soli- 
tary image, so lifelike and so lonesome, with ever out- 
stretched arm, and long-appeaUng gesture, seeming to 
look eternally in one direction, as though listening for 
an answer which will never come, I fancied that the 
old crane might be saying to the old rock, " Irrevoca- 
ble is the Past, and sad and weary is the coming and 
the going of the endless years. And now, of the an- 
cient time, are we two left alone upon the earth. Let 
us be reconciled to each other." 



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BOOK II. 

QUtt Bttxtt. 

Mac, Canst thou Dot minister to a mind diseased ; 
Flack from the memory a rooted sorrow ; 
Baze out the written troubles of the brain ; 
And, with some sweet oblirious antidote, 
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff 
That weighs upon the heart? 

JDoct, Therein the patient 

Must minister to himself. 

Mac, Throw physic to the dogs. Ill none of it. 

Macbeth^ Act V., Scene 4. 







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BOOK IL 



CHAPTER L 



BlOGBAPHIOAL AOT) ParENTHETIOAL, CONTAINING 
SUNDRY EeFLECTIONS UPON THE RELATIVE PO- 
SITION OF Physician and Patient. 

As events are to be told qyxyrum parafai^ it seems 
fitting that here, if any where, I should say something 
about myself. On this subject I have not much to 
say. 

It was a justifiable custom of the old masters to 
paint their own portraits in the foreground of their 
pictures ; nay, even to represent themselves therein as 
saints and apostles. Saints and apostles they were in 
their pictures, if not out of them, and this no matter 
how well their tavern-doings may have been known 
to the pious public of their day. 

But I have no such pretensions. Few men have 
hands strong or steady enough to ho)d up the mirror 
to their own nature, even in private. But to do this 
in public demands a courage which, happily, I am not 
called to evince, since I am writing only of others, non 
iam sagaa observaicr^ qaam simplex recitator, 

I lost my fether when I was three years old. Per- 
haps the waters of the Beresina still roll over his un- 
buried bones. My only knowledge of him was gath- 



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52 THE DOCTOB. 

ered from my mother's talk, and a miniature which 
represents him as a young cavalry captain in a French 
regiment 

In the year 1806 he was quartered with his garri- 
son at B- — J in Thuringia, where he made the ac- 
quaintance of my mother's family, and asked her hand 
in marriage — a stranger, a Frenchman, an enemy! 
You may conceive that my father's oflfer was civilly 
declined by the £Eunily. Still, the charm of my moth- 
er's beauty and goodness was such that he could not 
reconcile himself to this refusal. In 1808 he was at 
Erfurt with the Emperor ; obtfoned a short congi ; re- 
visited my mother's family; and so agreeably im- 
pressed them all by the cordiality of his manners, and 
the sincerity of his affection for my mother, that they 
could no longer refuse their consent, and the mar- 
riage was hastily concluded. 

My mother accompanied her husband to France, 
where I was bom, at St. Cloud, in 1809. 

In 1812 my father's profession again called him to 
arms. On leaving my mother, he promised her that 
this campaign should be his last He kept his word 
Amid the snows of the Beresina he perished. 

My mother returned with the child to her own re- 
lations, and settied in Germany. She never married 
again, but devoted her widowhood to my education. 

The first fSsuse to which my eyes were accustomed 
was a sad one. My mother's grief endeared to me the 
thought of a fether whom I had never known. The 
story of his early death, and of the sufferings of those 
who perished amid the frozen steppes in that disas- 
trous retreat of the French army from Russia, I was 



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THB SECRET. 68 

soon familiar with. These stories made a profound 
impression upon xxtf childish mind, to which I trace 
the passionate longing that impelled me, from m j ear- 
liest years, to embrace a profession of which the ob- 
ject is to mitigate suffering and combat disease. This 
was my hobby even in the days when I was only able 
equitare in arundine longo — to ride a-oockhorse on a 
stick. 

The face of my father on the miniature haunted my 
imagination in childhood. I seemed to see him per- 
ishing, neglected, upon the frozen banks of the Bere- 
sina ; his dying eye turned on me, and his hand out- 
stretched in vain appeal for help. I persuaded my- 
self that his life might have been saved by the med- 
ical care and assistance which in those hideous soli- 
tudes it must have been impossible to obtain. My 
eyes ran over with tears ; and when my mother said, 
"What is the matter with the child?" I flung myself 
into her arms and said, "Dear mother, when I am a 
man, let me be a physician." 

My mother was the only one of her family who en- 
couraged in me this desire, which strengthened as I 
grew up. Her relations were scandalized to think 
that the member of a noble family should voluntarily 
become the member of a profession noble only in the 
beneflcence of it. However, my own strong resolu- 
tion, and my mother's gentle firmness, carried the 
point. A physician I became, and a physician I am ; 
so far, at least, as the certificates of professors, some 
experience, and an ardent love of science can make 
me. 

In the Faubourg St. Germain were still living some 



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64 THB DOCTOB. 

of my jbther^s relatioDs. This fact, but yet more the 
adyanoed state of medical scienoe in France, decided 
me to begin my career as a physician in that country. 
I was on my way thither on the occasion that made 
me a witness to the events recorded in the preceding 
chapters. 

Between me and those events there was now a 
space of two years, and between me and the Bhine 
the mountain chain of Les Yosge& 

About this time I resolved to quit my modest cham- 
bers on the Qnai &. Michel. There, for two years, a 
very spider of science, I had hung my dingy web over 
the roo& of the most renowned hospitals in Europe, 
and dwelt, tanquam in specula positus^ ever ready to 
poimoe upon each "interesting case," as the unsenti- 
mental language of medicine designates the most ex- 
cruciated victims in the great torture-chamber of Dis- 
ease. My time during these two years had not been 
wasted. I might now, if I pleased, return home with 
no meanly stored experience of the infinite domain of 
medical science. But I could not make up my mind 
to quit the most luxurious and refined capital in the 
world without having devoted some time and atten- 
tion to what is called Society, in proportion as it is so- 
cially exclusive. 

Some of my father's family still occupied high posi- 
tions, and were able to introduce me to those spheres 
of the Paris world which, ever since the days of the 
Grande Monarque, have monopolized, almost without 
interruption, the despotic government of European 
taste and hon ton. 

Know, therefore, oh most dear and much revered 



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THE 8SCBIBT. 65 

Beader, that my address until farther notioe iBjBue^ et 
Th6tel, de la PaiXj au premierj wherein, moreover, noia 
qua sedes faerint^ replacing cases numberless of speci- 
men bones, gleam cabinets of buhl and porcelain vases. 
In lieu of lancets and Latin memoranda, invitations, 
Opera-tickets, and biUets-doux strew my table and stuff 
my looking-glass. The hardly-earned title of " Doc- 
tor in Medicine" has disappeared from my visiting 
cards, and is replaced by a title due only to the ac- 
cident of birth. I rise late, with the sun of Fashion. 
I lounge over the dainty breakfast of a delicate dan- 
dy. The lightest of phaetons or the neatest of En- 
glish hacks takes me to the Champs Elys^ and the 
Bois, or else I saunter on the Boulevard arm in arm 
with some one of the mjrriad friends — so lightly won, 
so lightly lost — ^wherewith that pleasant pavement is 
besprinkled ever. A dinner in the bow window at 
the Caf<$ de Paris, a stall at the Opera, and three or 
four soirees in the Faubourg, finish my day of strenu- 
ous inertness. 

Whereat you shake your honored heads, oh my 
much disapproving, much respected friends ! 

Yet grant me a moment of your patience. I am 
nunquam minus oiiosus quam quum otiosva. In plead- 
ing my own cause, let me vindicate that of a profes- 
sion dear to my heart 

The doctor! 

Dreary, living memorial, maintained by the sighs 
of humanity in homage to the Fall of Man I 

Doctors, undertakers, and hangmen are beings 
whose presence society only puts up with because it 
can not do without them. Kobody wishes to see 



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56 THE DOCTOR. 

znucli of them. Doctors! pah I ghouls I who remind 
us that we are nothing but a network of veins, mus- 
cles, and nervous fibre! Cynics of the dissecting- 
room, whose eyes are sold to the contemplation of 
sickening things, whose minds are made up in the 
mould of a harsh materialism I Doctors I nightmares 
of mankind, which endures them with a groan only 
because each man, as an antidote to prejudice, carries 
in him a strong dose of superstition, and believes, 
when his body begins to plague him, that his dear life 
is in the hands of the leech. 

So the doctor is a despot after all, and rules by the 
fear of death. But society revenges itself. Despot- 
ism against despotism. 

Let the doctor dare only so much as lift his eyes, in 
the hope and love of a man^s heart, on the daughter 
of the noble house whose life he has just snatched 
from the opening grave with an energy and a skill 
unknown perhaps to science without love, and frigid- 
ly you ask for his bill, and sublimely you ring the 
bell, and honestly you feel that rather to the arms of 
Death than to the arms of a doctor would you confide 
the rescued treasure. 

I have much considered this. 

In exaggeration itself the true measure can be found, 
since there it must be, otherwise how should it be ex- 
ceeded? 

Something of error I find on either side. 

" There must be division of classes and distinction 
between ranks," says the World. The World says 
well. He is a fool that would gainsay it; and who- 
ever fights against Prejudice must expect to be worst- 



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THE SECRET. 67 

ed ; for the odds are all to one. However hard this 
may appear, it is just 

I have seen in how cruel a dilemma those unhappy 
ones are placed who, yielding to an impulse not oth- 
erwise than nohle, have outraged the prejudice of 
class, and overleaped the barriers which it raised be- 
tween two hearts. In the lives thus violently united 
I have detected an irremediable schism. And even 
there, where shame and pride suppressed the groan 
of conscious fidlure, to my eyes, accustomed to trace 
them, a thousand symptoms have revealed the pres- 
ence of the hidden worm, whose morose tooth, made 
more intolerable by the necessity of concealing the 
wound on which it worked, was gnawing disappoint- 
ed hearts. ^. 

True, I have also examined cases wherein all the 
world's ezactest requirements had been obediently 
fulfilled, ay, even to the precise satisfiiction of its high- 
est pretension-— cases of failure wherein, nevertheless, 
rank, name, fortune, age, bodily and mental advant- 
ages, all reciprocities in short, were in unison to a de- 
gree that might sustain the quantitative analysis of 
Lavoisier. The temple was accurately built, but with- 
in the walls of it no divinity abode. 

Of all cases, these are the most puzzling. 

One easily understands that disobedience to a law 
should entail unhappiness, if by obedience to the same 
law happiness is secured. 

The Law of God, for instance, is entitled by all laws 
of logic to avenge the infraction of it. For fools may 
murmur as they will, but let any man loyally obey 
that law, and I will defy him to be unhappy. 

C2 



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68 THE DOCTOR. 

But where this is not the case, where the strictest 
obedience to the law does not, as a necessary conse- 
quence, insure that happiness which disobedience for- 
feits, surely there must be "something rotten in the 
state of Denmark." 

Let us not fear to say it: 'tis the law itself that is 
rotten. 

In what ? Perhaps in this : 

CSease to be personages only, and become men^ if you 
will not forego the prerogatives of man. Cease to 
live by convention in the narrow pride of position, 
and begin to live naturally in the large pride of hu- 
manity, if you would enforce Nature's warrant to 
search life for human joy. But take heed— do not 
deceive yourselves. If you are conscious that Nature 
is not in you, that men you are not and never can be- 
come, then in God's name stick to your ranks and con- 
ventions, and thank Heaven that these, at least, enable 
you to be something.^ 

All things are easier to us than to become fully and 
Integrally that which we originally and naturally are. 
And if the dog-philosopher who, two thousand years 
ago, went about in the world with lantern lighted at 
midday to look for a man^ were now again among us, 
perhaps he would no longer be at the pains even to 

* Had my friend ever read the poems of Charles Charchill, he 
might hare found in the following verses something like an antici- 
pation of this thought : 

<< 'Twas Nature's first intent, 
Before their rank became their punishment, 
Thcj should have pass'd for men, nor Unshed to prize 
The blessing she bestow'd," etc. 

Chubgbill — Indipendenot, 



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THE 8BCRET. 69 

search at all, bat wotild blow oat his lantern and keep 
contentedly kenneled in his tab. 

*'Vix sant homioes hoc nomine digni.** 

But Diogenes was a cur. The noble mastiff is not 
to be roused by the snarling of a mongrel. To noth- 
ing less than man^s sympathy for man can man's worth 
reveal itself. 

Between Christianity and Socialism there is all the 
difference in the world. Christianity says to the rich, 
Give. Socialism says to the poor, Taka A notable 
distinction I Let us seek, not to equalize, but to har- 
monize ranks and classes. 

" And who is better qualified to do this," I said to 
myself, " than the Physician — ^he whose subject and 
whose object are man ?" 

To find man in the Patient by showing to the pa- 
tient man in the Physician — ^this was my purpose. 

Patient and Physician. Do not these represent the 
two most salient sides of humanity? 

The sufferer: deserving love, because most needing 
love. 

The healer, the restorer : deserving love, because 
most competent to love. 

After all (may the ghost of Galen forgive me for 
saying it I), Medicine, if it be a science, is the science 
of guess-work and divination. The physician's busi- 
ness is to guess what Nature needs. AH that books 
can teach is to him no more than the flight of the 
birds, or the hue of the entrails to the augur — mere 
aids to intuition. Sympathy is the sole source of div- 
ination, for only sympathy can interpret the unknown* 
Sympathy is revelation. 



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60 THE DOCTOR. 

Love one another, and help one another. You may 
write a thousand volumes upon ethics, but you will 
not add a jot to the divinity of this doctrine. 

Well, this was the road that led me from the Qua! 
St Michel to the Rue de la Paix. 

I say there are faults on both sides. 

My duty thenceforth was to combat mutual preju- 
dice. 

The faults of the Physician, as a class, I knew. To 
emancipate myself from these needed only a strong 
will and strict adherence to a few simple principles 
deduced from personal experience. But from the 
faults of other classes to emancipate the patient? Of 
this I knew nothing, and felt that I never should know 
any thing so long as I suffered myself to see in my 
patients nothing more than so many scientific ^^sub- 
jects^ Certain ills there are which are only conse- 
quent to the manners and customs of a class. 

How should the Physician cure these? 

Submit to a medical regimen the many ways of 
living of the many classes of society? 

You can not do it. 

Prevent young countesses from going to balls, pre- 
vent old gentlemen from drinking too much generous 
wine at sumptuous tables, prevent young gentlemen 
from passing their nights in playing at cards and 
drinking Champagne, by all means. If you can do 
this, Napoleon, by the side of you, was a tyro in the 
art of government. 

But if the enemy is not to be banished by this or 
any other means, then let us study more narrowly his 
mode of warfare, that at least we may diminish his 
force and resist his attacks. 



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THE SECRET. 61 

The inferior classes are easy of access. They invite 
the approach of the observer. 

The doors of poverty are off their hinges, and hang 
open. 

Boofless and naked, miseiy crawls at your feet 

The middle class opens its hand to you with a wel- 
come, and spontaneously lays bare to your friendly 
eye the process of its daily life. To this class the ed- 
ucated physician brings with him a fragrance of re- 
finement which pleasantly refreshes an atmosphere 
close and clogged with the taint of the till and the 
store-house. In the middle dass the fiunily doctor is 
the family friend. 

Utilize to the utmost the advantage of your posi- 
tion, oh my brothers in the healing art You are the 
friends of mankind at large, for the foe you contend 
with is all men's enemy, therefore you stand in singu- 
lar relation to all classes. Mediate between them. 
The Divine Physician of humanity was conteat to call 
himself a Mediator. Mediate, also, ye. Three times 
an hour you are called from the straw pallet to the 
princely couch, from the pauper's hovel to the rich 
man's mansion. Here as there, in this as in that, pain 
meets your eye and claims your care; for Disease, 
like Death, beats with equal foot on the thresholds of 
the rich and poor, and to you man's weakness opens 
the doors which are shut by his pride. Every where 
you have seen the equality of suffering. Every where 
you may mediate the equality of happiness. 

But the doors of the great are guarded by an army 
of lackeys. In the houses of the great it is only the 
sick-room that opens to the physician. When the 



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62 THE DOCTOR. 

fear of death passes the door of that room, it strikes 
down the barrier which convalesceDce makes haste to 
rebuild. And if from time to time you meet again in 
the great world the woman who, in her hour of su- 
preme anxiety, flung out wild hands, and wailed to 
you for rescue, she will henceforth be to you only an 
apparition in which the arts of the toilet and the les- 
sons of the dancing-master are combined to deceive 
your penetration, and lend to the body of disease the 
graceful semblance of a charm whose substantial vir- 
tue is only in the gift of health. 

In that smiling vision of a pretty woman, bosomed 
in an airy cloud of palpitating gauze, with brows 
whereon the diamond lights defiance, and eyes that 
sparkle with the triumph of an hour, what shows you 
the cankerous thing that is gnawing at the core of the 
vital coil — ^gnawing at the core so fast, that haply from 
that brilliant apparition of the ballroom to the wretch- 
ed in'sge on the bed of death there is but a fidnting- 
fit, a syncope, a moment's giddy change? 

I do protest it amazes me to have seen men whose 
names it is the pride of science to record — ^men who, 
to the patient gasping in the agony of death, have pre- 
dicted the day and hour of his recovery — stamp their 
feet with angry impatience as they were leaving the 
door of some fine lady's boudoir, where, on costly 
cushions of the softest silk, the delicate migraine had 
spread its dainty couch. 

Oh ye Samsons of science, whose strong hands have 
broken the jaws of young lions, and beat the baffled 
fever from his dearly-rescued prey, witless as babies 
worried by a gnat have I seen you, unable quite, for 



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THE SSCBST. 68 

all your pains, to stop the small, small noxious hum- 
ming of that infinitesimal insect commonly called 
nerves! Have I not heard you loudly denying its 
existence in the very moment when you were bullied, 
baffled, beaten by the exasperating buzz of it? And 
then do you abuse the poor patient for not being able 
to emancipate herself from a morbid imagination* 
Emancipate herself f as if to be the emancipator were 
not specially your business, and this morbid imagina- 
tion the very disease it behooves you to deal with 1 

"Don't drink strong tea ; don't jade your nerves in 
crowded rooms ; don't tire your strength in the night- 
long dance I" 

Is that all you have to say to the sufferer? 

But they do drink strong tea ; they do go to crowd* 
ed balls ; they do dance from morning to night. Th^y 
do nothing else, indeed. 

Well, and what then ? 

Ether and sal volatile, and you are at the end of 
your pharmacopoeia. 

Bah! 

Sympathizing reader, do you now understand what 
induced me to seize the favoring chance that offered 
me admission into favored circles? My object there 
was two-fold. I wished to rid myself by friction with 
the brilliant surface of that world of the angularities 
of professional pedantry which the physician acquires 
from the habits of the dissecting-room and the hos- 
pital ward, where he must harden his susceptibilities 
against the piteous moan and supplicating look, in or- 
der that his steady eye may miss no movement of the 
hand of the professor who is sawing the hipbone or 



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64 THE DOCTOR, 

sewing the femoral artery of No. 78, and then hurry 
on to No. 87, without pausing by the bed where they 
have just thrown the death-sheet over No. 78. 

I also wished to acquire and appropriate to my own 
uses those fine tones and delicate touches of exterior 
culture which are the art of the higher classes ; for let 
it be fully acknowledged, the Oreat are artists ; artists 
of the beautiful in common things, artists in the pres- 
ervation of the graces of daily life. I am thankful to 
think that in human nature the tendency toward no- 
bility is so ineradicable, that while, on the one hand, 
vulgarity itself is but a clumsy homage to something 
above, on the other hand, even there, where nature is 
most artificial, Beauty receives its ultimate tribute in 
the perfected amenities of intercourse and purified 
forms 01 expression. For this, I faithfully respect 
those who, as a class, are faithful to the respect of 
themselves. Greatness is made up of little things 
greatly treated ; and it is no small thing to realize in 
little matters the large sense of that lofty motto, "iVb- 
blesse oblige.^^ 

With the result of my attempts to analyze the subtle 
perfume of that brilliant flower called High Life, in 
order that in the same corolla which contained the 
dainty poison I might find the delicate antidote, I have 
no reason to be dissatisfied. I acquired, indeed — less 
by any scientific skill than by that tact which is the 
gift of daily experience — a reputation greater than 
my deserts. 

But throughout this chronicle of fates not mine, I 
am resolved to speak no more about myself than what 
absolutely concerns my relation to the life of others. 



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THE 8ECBET. 66 

I am writing, as it were, under a spell ; and the ghosts 
that have set this task upon me are already impatient, 
OS I think ; for again I seem to sit before the half-up- 
lifted curtain of the drama of a dream ; and again, as 
long ago, from far away into the hearing of my mind 
is borne, in warning or in menace, the phantom haut- 
boy's melancholy note. By the side of thee, my Read- 
er, I sit down, glad of thy safe human presence here, 
confronted as I am by these ghostly memories. 

And now of thee also gladly would I know as much 
as of me thou now knowest, oh my Beader. 



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THE DOCTOR. 



CHAPTER 11. 

Apparitions. 

In this daily round of trivial circumstance my 
pleasantest hours were when, alone in the Bois de 
Boulogne, I let the reins lie idly on my horse's neck, 
and lazily indulged my own inclinations in suffering 
him to follow his. I speak of the old Bois de Bou- 
logne, the Bois of many years ago, whose quiet groves 
wer^-dear to solitude ; not the new-made forest of to- 
-day, which is chiefly dear to Fashion and the Demi- 
monde. Not more pleasant to my horse's feet was the 
soft, thick-shaded sand along the thousand leafy alleys 
where he led me at his will and pleasure, than to my 
heart those many pastoral haunts so near to Paris, so 
far from the world, along the wooded banks of the 
Seine — smiling Sur&ne, or Mon Calvaire veiled in so- 
berest autumn air. But chiefly I loved, and oftenest 
sought, that part of the wood where, as you ride, at 
intervals behind the warm bird-haunted brakes you 
see in the pure, clear evening light the gleaming of 
the quiet Mare d'Auteuil. 

There, in true German fashion, I used to dream 
away the yellow ends of many an idle afl;emoon. For 
there, a weeping willow hangs over the glassy water, 
yearning to some mirrored image which if well knows 
how to hide. There the tall Italian poplars stand a- 
tiptoe, high above the comely trunks of good old oaks 



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THB SECBET. 67 

contentedly half hidden in the mazy thicket under- 
neath. But to those poplars comes the evening breeze 
with latest tidings of their own fair land. That is 
why they are so pensive all day long. The water it- 
self feeds there, with constant cool, under the heavy 
summer heats, the green roots of a paradise of blooms. 
The iris, with his yellow cloven helm and sharp two- 
edged sword, steps boldly forward from the blossomy 
brinks. Like a little tree out of the crystal pool, up- 
shoots, with graceful pyramid of white, thick-clustered 
flowers, the delicate alisma. Midway along the liquid 
dark float all day long at ease the large leaf-isles of 
the nymphsBa. And there the restless water-spider 
weaves his swift-dissolving wizard circles round the 
dreamy, half-closed calyx of the lotus, leaning low. 

Thither one evening, from the little village hard by 
where I put up my horse, I had strolled in time to see 
the setting sun of October twinkle through the airy 
webwork of the half dismantled grove. I was sitting 
upon the roots of a hollow tree, and gazing at the 
west, where, though the sun was sunk, dark, bright- 
lipped clouds were dipping their moist mouths into a 
lingering liquid fire, to breathe it back in sombre light 
upon the shadowed land. 

" Here," I said to myself, " so near the noisy me- 
tropolis of the world, is the very perfection of soli- 
tude!" 

At that moment, across the profound calm of na- 
ture, I heard a voice of pain crying " Cain 1 Cain I" 

There was something in the suddenness and the 
sound of that voice which made me shudder. 

Startled, I looked all around me. I could see no 



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68 THE DOCTOB. 

human being. Every bird was silent in its nest. 
And still the voice cried " Cain 1" 

Then silence. 

From the grated greenery of the willow-tree not far 
off the voice had issued. But I sat still, stupefied and 
bewildered, without courage to approach that spot 

Again in accents of intensest pain the voice began 
to speak. Listening with a creepy awe, I heard it cry, 

" If thou wilt destroy me, dreadful Hand — ^if thou 
art sworn to sink me to the abyss — why then dost 
thou not pluck me by the hair, or seize me by the 
throat, and drag me down into the deeps from which 
thou risest thus ? If thou wilt have my heart, why 
dost thou not pierce this long-tormented breast with 
but a single sharply -daggered ray of thine intolerable 
amethyst? Be any thing but what thou art. Bise 
rather on my path — not thus, cold Hand, not thus — 
but with fist firm-clenched, and arm of weightiest 
menace. Then will I grapple with thee hand to hand, 
ay, even till my bones be broken in thine iron grasp. 
But stretch not forth thus piteously to me those pale 
imploring fingers. Not thus 1 I can not seize thee 
thus, thou knowest it well ; for fast the devilish ame- 
thyst has fixed me with his demon eye, and it bums, 
it burns — away !" 

Then from the twilight shadows of the glimmering 
willow a man came forth, and instantly disappeared 
elsewhere into the dark and lonely woodland. 

Instantly, yet not so soon but what I had recog- 
nized his face. I had never forgotten that figice. The 
man I had just seen was the man I had seen two years 
before upon the deck of the **Loreley." 



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THE SECRET. 69 

It was the Gendeman in Black. 

I was strangely agitated by the unexpected and mo- 
mentary reappearance of this man. 

Night had long fallen, and all was dark around me 
before I could rouse myself from the stupor of amaze- 
ment into which I had been cast, no less by the mys- 
terious and unintelligible words which I had over- 
heard, than by the vivid recollections and undefined 
curiosity which those words had conjured back to my 
mind. 

But at length I was conscious of a chilly change in 
the night air. I got up and walked back with bewil- 
dering sensations to the little village where I had left 
my horse. 

My head was already in a whirl when I mounted 
and rode homeward. I rode fast, feeling that I was 
late, but hardly knowing how or where I rode. 

A strong wind had risen, and violently swept for- 
ward, up the road, twirling columns of fine white sand. 
I could see them plainly ; for it was one of those 
nights in which the sky is darker than the earth, and 
the land was covered with a gray, melancholy glare. 
They moved sometimes beside me like spectres as I 
galloped on, or 

"Lapland giants trotting hj our side ;" 

sometimes they rose erect before me, and paused and 
hovered on the road as if in menace. To watch them 
whirling and changing shape as I galloped through 
them made me giddy. I felt my brain getting troub- 
led, and my sight confused. 
Suddenly, on the summit of a tall, dark tree (as it 



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70 THE DOCTOR 

seemed to me), I saw solemnly seated a strange, pale 
figure. Iti too, I recognized at once. It was the fig- 
ure of the woman I had seen two years before seated 
in the same attitude on the hatchway of the steamer. 
It was she herself, the Loreley ! 

Her dark mantle had slid from her cold white 
shoulder— cold and white as marble. Her long hair 
beat the wind. And a high, wild song of jubilee and 
lamentation — ^a song of deepest joy and deepest sor- 
row, she was chanting or wailing in the plaintive mur- 
mur of the midnight storm. A song of subtlest sor- 
cery it was; unearthly sweet, and wild with more 
than mortal pain ; in meshes of a music magical be- 
wildering every headlong sense, and leading blindfold 
to the brinks of death the soul it thrilled with solemn 
shuddering and a deep delight. I felt the madness 
growing in me as I gazed with charmed and spell- 
bound eyes upon the melancholy face of that alluring 
apparition. 

While I was yet looking at it, unconscious of all 
else, my horse shied, and sprang aside with a fright- 
ened bound. I lost my stirrup. The reins fell from 
my loose hand. Confused and afraid of falling, I tried 
to throw my arms round the neck of the horse. 

Suddenly, as in a dream, I perceived that all the 
place was changed, and the things about me .other 
than they were. The forest had disappeared, and giv- 
en place all round to bare, black, pointed rocks, whose 
sharp peaks grazed with rugged edges the sullen sky. 
About the base of these black rocks fierce breakers, 
roaring, dashed their foamy surge, and tossed in air 
white mists of chilly spray. 



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THS SECBET. 71 

That to which my arms were clinging fast was not 

. my horse's neck, but the prow of a broken, sinking 

bark. That which I had taken for columns of white 

dust was a tumultuous crowd of desperate swimmers, 

shipwrecked like myself. 

And we fiercely jostled each other, and fought and 
pushed, and struggled all together in the roaring gul£ 

But high over all this, alone under the starless, 
dark night-sky, aloof upon her reachless rock, sat cold 
the Loreley. And her calm intolerable eye was fixed 
upon that writhing knot of hideous human faces. 

There, in the violent waters, all human passions 
seemed let loose — Desire and jealousy, and love and 
rage, and rapture and despair ; and in every stormy 
face the waves were tossing up and down, the pas- 
sions of man contended more fiercely than the ele- 
ments of nature in revolt. Each desperate swimmer 
was fiercely struggling to the savage rock where sat 
the Loreley. Each frenzied eye that glittered from 
the seething surge was fixed with hopeless passion on 
the face of the Sorceress. 

And still she sat, and still she sang her solemn song, 
the cruel fair Enchantress I 

But as, one by one, each fierce, impassioned face was 
singled sharply out from the heaving human mass, 
and struck by the intense look of that cold eye that 
watched them from the rock, the face thus paralyzed 
fell back, still staring to the last with glassy looks 
upon the Loreley, and dropped into the waves and 
disappeared. Each maddened swimmer, as that eye 
fell on him, flung up his arms, and was whirled away 
upon the roaring gulf, and seen no more. 



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72 THE DOCTOR. 

And still she sat, and still she sang her solemn song ; 
and still we helpless swimmers beat the boiling bil- 
lows, and still the drowning men strove fiercely till 
they sunk. 

At last I, too, felt myself suddenly touched by an 
icy ray from the eye of the Loreley. 

Then toward her I stretched forth my arms, and 
cried, 

"Oh Loreley 1 dear Loreley! andI,too,suflfer. But 
I believe in thee, dear Loreley. I do not think that 
thou desirest my destruction, though in thee I feel my 
fate. Speak to me, speak to me, oh fair and far away, 
and tell me, tell me, that thou art she whom I have 
ever loved and must love evermore 1 Hear me, dear 
Loreley I speak to me, Loreley 1 say to me, say to me, 
'Yes, I am she — I am Song; for I am the voice of 
your hearts, ye forlorn ones. But out of your hearts 
I am fled — ^long since, far away, and forever ; for in 
them I could not abide. Forever, forever I have left 
ye, and ye seek me — forever, forever. And empty ye 
wander, and tuneless. Weary ye stray in the desert, 
and sad with your orphaned soula And ever the 
poor soul is wringing her hands, and in vain. And 
ever she yearns, and ever she calls Gome back ! Come 
back! to the voice she remembers, and pines for, and 
mourns — ^the voice of your hearts that is fled. And 
ever without rest ye are urged to recapture that wing- 
ed voice which from far, far off, makes moan. 
. " *But never that voice shall return to you ; never, 
never shall you hear it save in the accents of an eter- 
nal longing eternally unfulfilled. Never shall the 
querulous chord that vibrates to the music of that 
voice find resolution ; never shall the panging of 



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THE SECRET. 73 

your spirits be at rest But in your pride ye perish. 
For never patient of the impossible, ever ye strive, 
and ever strive in vain, to overpass the bound that 
separates firom your desire at its height, the height of 
a satisfaction which you contemplate in pain. And 
in the supreme moment of your desperate endeavor, 
when with wild hands and clamorous hearts you clam- 
ber at the summit, then with broken limbs you are 
hurled backward, and subside into the abyss.' . . . 
Tell me this, dear Loreley. Tell me that it is not 
thou who dost destroy us. And if I must never at- 
tain to thee, ever at least let me love thee, oh thou 
fair and far away 1" 

I cried I know not what, but words like these of 
passionate appeal. And tears, hot tears, were fSdling 
fast from those deep eyes, no longer cold or callous, 
of the Loreley. 

They fell like soothing dews into the boiling, va- 
porous surge, and made sweet stillness on the vio- 
lent waves. Then in that stillness, tenderest sounds 
of unimagined sweetness sunk sofUy down, and bathed 
with blissful music all my throbbing brow. 

" Yes," the sweet sounds answered, " it is I. Thou 
hast known me. Thou hast divined my song. And 
the heavy curse which banished me, and bound me to 
the barren rock, is fallen away, and I come to thee, 
poor soul I I come." 

Lower, lower from her lonely place, and nearer, 
nearer to me leaned the Loreley. Her white hand 
hovered over me in the hollow dark. 

My own right hand in ecstasy I stretched, and 
seized ***** 

D 



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74 THE DOCTOR. 



CHAPTER in. 
And what thby leave behind them. 

This was all I could recollect when, many days aft- 
erward, I began slowly to recover from the effects of 
the violent shock I had received in falling from my 
horse. 

A fiacre^ returning empty fiom Auteuil to Paris on 
the evening referred to in the previous chapter, had 
found me lying senseless on the road. I must have 
fallen with violence against the trunk of a tree, for I 
had a severe contused wound on the forehead. And 
I suppose, from the torn state of my clothes, that in 
falling I may have caught my foot in the stirrup, and 
been dragged by my horse some yards along the 
road ; for my hands were badly cut, and my coat com- 
pletely in tatters. My visiting-cards, and the address 
on one or two letters which he found in my pocket- 
book, had enabled the cabman who picked me up to 
bring me to my own house, where I remained insensi- 
ble for many days. 

The fantastic details, therefore, which, by an eflFort 
of memory, I have carefully put together in the pre- 
ceding chapter, must have been only the images rap- 
idly painted on the receding skirt of a dream (the hal- 
lucination of a giddy brain in a moment of delirium) 
by a consciousness already confused between fiict and 
fancy. And the whole of my imaginary adventure 



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THE SECRET. 75 

with the Loreley, on which memory, in the mind's 
waking state, bad impressed those proportions which 
are inherent to the habitual sense of time and space, 
must in reality have occupied only a few seconds. 

I was convinced of this by a fact which, enabled me 
to recall, with an accuracy that would otherwise, per- 
haps, have been impossible, the circumstances which 
preceded and those which accompanied my fall, and 
which proved that up to the moment when I first saw 
the apparition of the Loreley I was in full possession 
of my senses. 

On the evening when I was brought home senseless 
by the driver of the fioLcre^ my valet, in trying to get 
my clothes off me, found my right hand so firmly 
clenched together that he had to force open the fin- 
gers. He then perceived that the hand was closed 
upon what it had do.ubtless been grasping when it was 
stiffened by the sort of tetanus produced by the vio- 
lence of my fall — ^a piece of crumpled paper. As this 
paper was covered with writing which he could not 
understand, the valet surmised that it might possibly 
be of some importance, and, instead of destroying it, 
be put it aside, and placed it in my hands when I was 
sufficiently reocovered, with the explanation here giv- 
en. 

I unfolded the paper carelessly enough, and glanced 
at it with indifference, convinced that it could contain 
nothing of the least interest ; probably a prescription, 
or some old medical memoranda of no use to any 
^ body ; and I was just about to toss it aside with a sick 
man's usual impatience, when my eye was caught, and 
my interest instantly aroused, by these words written 



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76 THE DOCTOR. 

in German : " Fatal Hand, forbear 1 forbear 1 Why so 
heavily bruise a heart already broken?" 

" This," I exclaimed, " can be no mere chance ;" and 
with an ardor as great as my previous indifference, I 
began to read the manuscript The characters were 
pale, and in many places quite effaced. The paper it- 
self was so torn that the fragment was oflen quite un- 
intelligible. I pieced the writing out, and put it to- 
gether with extreme difficulty. So far as I could suc- 
ceed in making any thing out of it, it ran thus : 

'** * * [ch?]ase me, with never any 
rest, from land to land ? Fatal Hand, forbear ! for- 
bear! Why so heavily bruise a heart already brok- 
en ? Finish thy hateful work. I offer thee my throat. 
Throttle me, once for all, with those stiff fingers. I 
lay bare to thee my breast. Crush itl crush it in 
thy giant grasp ! Stifle here for evermore the pain- 
ful breath of life ; in its own cradle let it find its 
grave. And thou I thou whom * * * * 
more than a brother ! Why must it needs have been 
thou, thou of all others who » * * « 

* the fatal ring * * * wicked 
chance * * * jn^Q l^jjy hand? Had I 
not staked on it all my heart's felicity? all my soul's 
salvation ? Did I not see in that moment the ame- 
thyst which Hell * * * '* * ijj. 
femal flaming of those fires * * * * 
even then, when * * * * imploring 
me * * * * * # jealous de- 
mon * * * * too latel * * 

* * Every where under the water * * 



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THK 8BCRET. 77 

♦ * in vain I in vain! ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

* brought senseless home? Then speech died on 
my lips. Then in search of death I wandered over 
the world. Was I not ever foremost in the ranks of 
those who were vowed to destruction by the wrath of 
the savage Tscherkess ? like the Soman of old who 
had heard, to his hurt, the voice of the augur, wrapped 
in the robe of despair, blindfold I rushed into the 
heart of the battle, invoking the gods to devote me 
' to the dead and to Mother Earth.' In vain ! in vain I 
With a sigh of relief I saw the sword flash bare above 
me ; with a sigh of relief I watched the muzzle of the 
gun leveled at my head by the eye that never errs. 
What balked them of a willing victim? What turn- 
ed them from their certain aim, and my release? 

" Ever, ever the same I on the rocks of the Cauca- 
sus ; amid the camps of the Circassian ; in the howl- 
ing Baltic billows ; in the battle and the storm ; that 
Hand I Why did I start like a stricken man, and 
fell to earth, when unawares I saw it on the stretched 
forefinger of a common sign-post glittering at me? 
Then when, by my fell (thy work I) we were all sayed 
from imminent sudden death under the tumbling 
rock? Ever thy ghostly hand, fearful protecting 
spectre t Enough I my punishment is greater than I 
can bear. What right hast thou to rob the grave? 
Let me die. ***** Felix I Fe- 
lix 1 * * * * that should have blessed 
me, that has been my curse I And when the priest 
****** our union, did I not 
see in hers ****** that 
froze the marrow of my bones? * * She 



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78 THE DOCTOR; 

herself had she not seen it sparkle ? And then * 
»»***♦** the fright- 
ful secret suppressed for years with the force of a 
giant, and endured with the fortitude of a martyr * 
****** in a moment of 
mad delirium I Ay, from the lips of fever the burn- 
ing breath of hell streamed into her heart, and seared 
all pity in it, and hardened it forever I * * * 
* . * forever! ****** 
I saw her in the silent morning light, when all the 
world was still and holy — ^I saw her when, in the 
stillness, my heart was lifted up. Then when I be- 
gan to bless God, thinking 'surely the bitterness of 
death is passed,' I saw her by my bedside, watching 
— another spectre ! ***** and 
her eyes were on me, and I could not answer her 
question." 



Here the fragment ended. I could have no doubt 

that the writer of it was Count R , and that, in 

some way or other, ijt had passed from his hands into 
mine. I had distinctly identified him with the soli- 
tary figure I had seen issuing from the willow-tree 
immediately after I had overheard those strange words 
which had so strongly aflfected my imagination, and 
between which and the contents of this page of manu- 
script I could now trace an obvious connection. The 
count may have been not far from me, somewhere in 
the forest at the time of my fall. This paper, which 
looked like the page of a private journal, he may have 



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THE SECRET. 79 

bad with him at the time. Perhaps the wind had 
swept it away, perhaps he himself may have toru it 
out^ crumpled it up, and tossed it from him, not deem- 
ing that the darkness of that night could have any 
9yes to read it. This paper, fluttering' on the wihd, 
and gleaming white in the night air, may have been 
the very thing which fiightened my horse ; the verj^ 
thing which I had seized in my giddy trance, as I 
fell, supposing it to be the hand of the Loreley. 

The events recorded in the first part of this book, 
and which I witnessed on my way to Paris, had made 
upon me an impression hardly to be accounted for by 
the nature of tiie events themselves, which had in it 
nothing at all extraordinary. I had seen a boat up- 
set, atxd a little boy rescued from drowning by a Silc- 
sian nobleman, who appeared to be a practiced swim- 
mer, the husband of a woman of great beauty, with 
whom he did not seem to be very happily united. 
There was nothing wonderful in all this. Little boats 
will upset if they are carelessly managed ; men who 
know bow to swim will do what they can to save lit- 
tle boys from being drowned ; and beautiful women 
will live on bad terms with, their husbands, without 
any special exertions on the part of Fate. 

But there are moments in life when, without any 
apparent preparation, some unseen Power lifts aside 
the veil which hides from our inward eye a world of 
things obscurely apprehended. 

In the dead sts^ant flats of daily life, wheti we 
have only a sleepy sense of being, and the leiaden 
weight of accumulated triviality weighs us down, and 
keeps us low and-lazy in the muddy bottom-bed of 



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80 THB DOCTOB. 

the nmning river of life, we are easily satisfied, be- 
cause our desires also are low and muddy— 

^'Bisijig to no fmcy flies ;*' 

and we perceive not then the spiritual breeze that 
lightly ruffles the surface of the living element But 
sometimes the deeps are disturbed, or sometimes we 
must come to the surface for air, and then we behold 
in a moment of time a world of strange, new things, 
bright, and sharp, and vivid, as they reaUy are, and 
not flat, and £sdnt, and huelei^ as the smeared image 
of them is imperfectly reflected on the dull and heavy 
ooze of our customary perceptions. 

There are undoubtedly moments of preternatural 
vision when the whole mind is in the eye, and achieves 
for our knowledge of the universe in man what the 
telescope achieves for our knowledge of the universe 
outside. It annihilates time and space by- calling the 
invisible into sight and bringing near what is distant 
Lovers sometimes have this faculty of vision in mo- 
ments of passion ; poets in moments of genius. The 
former, in such moments, know each other's hearts at 
a glance ; the latter, in such moments, know the whole 
world's heart at a glance. 

Shakspeare, one mi^t almost think, must have been 
in permanent possession of such a gift When he, 
whose intuition seems superhuman, undertook to de- 
pict the birth of love, it is noteworthy that he did not 
select for the expression of it a single word from the 
inexhaustible treasures of his vast vocabulary. 

In the thick of a thoughtless crowd two human be- 
ings meet each other. These two beings exchange a 



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THE SECRBT. 81 

single momentary look, and all is consummated. Noth- 
ing has been said, and all is said. Nothing has been 
done, and all is done. The chain of Fate snaps fast 
both ends of it, and shuts before, behind. Every link 
in that chain of fatality is the logical sequence of a 
necessary law. We call it Love. And for the high- 
est earthly expression of it, we know no other name 
than Bomeo and Juliet 

It is worthy of notice how lovers are never tired of 
talking about eternity. With them every thing, how- 
ever common, assumes colossal proportions. They are 
to be satisfied with nothing less than Forever. The 
vulgarest of men, who is probably incapable of loving 
any thing for more than a few hours, does not scruple 
during those few hours to exercise a lover's establish- 
ed prerogative, and prate of eternity as though it were 
his to dispose of. Blame him not He is sincere. 
What is the reason of this? 

It is not hard to find. For what is Eternity but 
that which, being present, absorbs into its own pres- 
ence, and so fully possesses, both past and future? 
Lovers do this when they love, even though their love 
may last but a moment That moment is eternity. 
All that it contains belongs to eternity, and stands in 
vast and superlative proportions to the mean relations 
of time. 

But such moments of intuition are not exclusively 
the property of lovers and men of genius. 

It was in such a moment, years ago, on the deck of 
the " Loreley," that (I know not how) the entire fate 
of two hearts had been laid bare to my eye at a glance ; 
and that so clearly, that I seemed to feel through and 

D2 



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82 THE DOCTOR. 

through their feelings, and look through and through 
their eyes, into the deepest depth of their being, with- 
out needing the knowledge of a single circumstance 
in their lives to guide me through the labyrinth of 
their lot It was clear to me in that moment that 
what these two beings possessed in common was that 
which must eternally divide them from each other — 
a thought irreconcilable to union. I can find no oth- 
er expression for what I mean ; for what I mean is 
only vaguely expressed to my own apprehension. 

But I was powerfully aflfected by what I saw and 
what I felt in that moment, and I am aware that it 
has impressed a special direction upon all my subse- 
quent turn of thought and course d study. 

From that moment all my studies were to me only 
in the sense of so many levers wherewith I was in 
hopes to force from its sockets the shut door behind 
which are the mysterious chambers of the mind. It 
appeared to me that we doctors ought to bring all our 
endeavors to culminate on that point of being wherein 
the two-fold nature of man both fidls together and 
falls asunder. It is not the body only, nor the mind 
only, which we have to consider as a thing by itself. 
Vainly we satiate fever with quinine if we can not 
simultaneously provide the needful opiate for a wor- 
ried brain ; and vainly shall we administer morals to 
a mind diseased if we can not give support and ener- 
gy to the will by healing ministrations to the body. 
Hence the necessity of investigating the conditions of 
alliance between the different dynamics of life. Alie- 
rius sic altera poscit opem. 

Extraordinary I 



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THE SECIUET. Q3 

With this interjection we are apt to dismiss from 
our minds those subjects tP which we grudg^ .even 
the most ordinary attention. 

" Very remarkable," say we, thereby meaning that 
which 'twere waste of time either to mark or remark. 
* Totiit is by extraordinary revelations that ordinary 
factd become explicable. Mad-houses and their in- 
mates (not always perhaps so pitiable as in our world 
of sober sadness we esteem them) received my fre- 
quent visits. I followed with attention even the rav- 
ings of fever, but was sp^ially studious of my own 
sensations. 

Such studies, I confess, must necessarily remain im- 
perfect, because therein the mind is simultaneously the 
subject and the instrument. To this I trace the com- 
paratively small result hitherto attained by metaphys- 
ics. 

I made my servant wake me frequently during the 
night, that I might, as it were, seize in the act the fur- 
tive process of my dreams, compare the influence of 
different hours, different conditions of body, and re- 
cord my impressions while they were yet vivid. 

These observations were destined to form materials 
for a psychological treatise, the completion of which I 
reserved for maturer years. 

Thus, I had little difficulty in anatomizing my re- 
cent hallucination in the Bois de Boulogne. 

The events of more than two years ago, on board 
the steamer, had filled the background of my brain 
with a series of indistinct images or ideas. My second 
unexpected encounter with the count had, by a sud- 
den shock to the imaginative faculty, forced these im- 



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84 THE DOCTOR. 

ages into the foreground of Fancy, thus approaching 
them nearer to reality. Bealities themselves had sim- 
ultaneously, in the tumult of the elements, assumed a 
fantastic diaracter, thus approaching nearer to the ac- 
tion of the imagination. 

The whole vision, with all its retinue of sights and 
sounds, had doubtless occupied but a few seconds in 
its passage over a' brain already bewildered by the 
rush of blood, in which consciousness was at last ex- 
tinguished. When I opened my note-book to record 
this new experience, I found that my last entry was as 
follows. 



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THE SECBET. 86 



CHAPTER IV. 
Theory op Apparitions. 

'' Die Geisterwelt ist nicht rerschloflsen ; 
Dein Sinn ist zn, dein Hen ist todt." 

*< Unlocked the world of spirits lies ; 
Thy sense is shnt, thj heart is dead.** 

Goethe — FautL 

Spectral apparitions? phantoms? ghosts? vis- 
ions? 

Pooh! effects of imagination! nonsense! 

Granted : for us, who do not experience them; but 
for the ghost-seer, the visionary, what is proved by the 
fact that what he sees /do not see ? 

The verdict of the senses, negative to me, is affirm- 
ative to him ; and if the thing imagined have no real 
existence, the imagination of it is not the less a real- 
ity. The proof of the apparilion is that it appears. 

What we call The Evidence of the Senses will, I 
think, if analyzed, be found to consist of two distinct 
activities— Sensation and Inference. 

Sensation alone can not constitute the act of intelli- 
gent perception — such, at least, as for all practical pur- 
poses we regard it 

For instance, we do not see the solidity of any ob- 
ject; we infer it. We do not see the cause of any 
sound ; we infer it. Nay, we unconsciously infer the 
images of all objects from the nature of the action ex- 



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86 THE DOCTOR. 

cited by the objects upon the nerves of sensation ; for, 
though the images of objects are reflected upon the 
retina, they can not be reflected upon the brain ; nor 
are they even reflected.upon the retina in the position 
which is given to them by intelligent perception. 
Sight, therefore, is not an fmoye, but a sensation. The 
image exists only in the thought produced by the sen- 
sation. 

Hence intelligent perception depends upon accura- 
cy of inference rather than acuteness of sensation, and 
accuracy of inference must depend upon experience. 
It is so strong a tendency in our nature to project 
consciousness, as it were, by referring all sensation to 
external objects, that, if the act of inference (which 
completes what, for want of a better term, I must be 
content to call intelligent perception) were not con- 
stantly subordinated to judgment and experience, we 
should be led to ignore, or, at any rate, to misappre- 
hend that vast range of subjective sensations which 
constitutes so large a part of our consciousness. 

There can be no doubt, however, that we are ca- 
pable of seeing, and that very clearly, objects which 
have no immediate external counterpart, and hearing 
sounds, as well as tasting flavors, and smelling odors, 
which have no external cause. For instance, after 
looking at any object in a bright light, we shall con- 
tinue, long after we have ceased to contemplate it, to 
see the same object depicted in various colors upon 
a dark ground, or under the eyelid of a closed eye. 
And those cases are too common to be disputed in 
which sensation continues to be felt in limbs that have 
been amputated. 



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THE SECRET. 87 

To me it is very doubtfal whether sach sensations 
can rightly be called imaginary. There is no physic- 
al proof that they are not actual, but rather the con- 
trary ; for it can be shown that in all such cases there 
is an actual excitation of the neurility of a nenra 

They can only be called imaginary when the act 
of inference which accompanies them excludes, or only 
partially accepts, the counter-evidence of other senses. 
This is the case in any str6ng cerebral excitement 
whenever the faculty of inference becomes deranged, 
and a single sensation is consequently suffered so to 
domineer over all others as to become hallucination. 

Between hallucination, therefore, and intelligent per- 
ception, this would seem to be the practical difference ; 
intelligent perception qualifies the assertion of each, 
sensation by comparing it with the testimony of all 
others; in hallucination, this power of comparison 
has become either imperfect or impossible, so that 
purely subjective sensation is attributed to an object 
which only exists in the imagination. This is gener- 
ally the case in sleep, where sensation is almost in- 
variably subjective, yet never consciously so ; dreams 
being only the efforts of the imagination or the un- 
derstanding to account objectively for subjective sen- 
sation. 

It has been ascertained that the image even of an 
object in motion will remain on the retina, and con- 
tinue to excite sensation in the nervous centre of the 
optic apparatus long after the object itself has been 
removed from the eye. And the sight of a horrible 
object will often haunt us for days or weeks, or a yet 
longer time after the horrible object has ceased to be 



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88 THE DOCTOB. 

substantially before us. The duration of the spectre 
will in that case be probably proportioned to the hor- 
ror occasioned by the object which has caused it, that 
is to say, to the shock upon the mind. But the shock 
upon the mind, if excessive or permanent, may react 
upon the body. A horrible sensation produces a 
horrible idea; the horrible idea reproduces a horrible 
sensation. 

Here it is obvious that all physiological inquiry 
touches very closely upon the domain of psychology. 
The practical physician can not refuse his serious at- 
tention to that great region of all inquiry into the 
complicated nature of human consciousness. For 
there is a constant interchange between sensation and 
thought, between action and contemplation, between 
the outward and the inward, between objects and 
ideas, between mind and matter. This is the point 
to which I have wished to bring inquiry, or on which, 
at least, I would fix conjecture. 

I dismiss from present consideration all those spec- 
tral phenomena of which the cause can be distinctly 
traced to conditions purely physical, such as the black 
dog of the Cardinal Crescentius and the like. These 
are nearly always amenable to medicaments and r^- 
men. For similar reasons I need not notice any of 
the current accounts of places supposed to be haunted. 
Whether these be old wives' fiibles or authenticated 
facts, they are equally removed firom the scope of 
medical speculation, and have no interest for the pres- 
ent inquiry, which is solely concerned with the per- 
manent relations between thought and sensation. 

I assume a strong affection of the mind, either as 



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THE SECRET. 89 

cause or effect, in its relation to the action of a man ; 
for example, of a criminal. 

Let ns suppose some passion to have taken posses- 
sion of this man's mind. 

That passion henceforward determines the course 
of his actions to the exclusion of all normal manifest- 
ations of the man's free will. It becomes to him, so 
to speak, Skfatum or destiny. 

A human life obstructs the path of this passion. 
Passion marches straight to its object, and tolerates no 
obstacle by the way. Assassination has become a 
necessary step on the path prescribed to the man by 
the passion to which he has abdicated his will. The 
man avoids with horror the thought of this, which in 
turn pursues, and never quits him till it has made him 
familiar with its presence. Occasion puts the knife 
into his hand. The victim falls. 

From the series of criminal thoughts issues the crim- 
inal act; from the abstract, the concrete. The mur- 
derer awakes from his long dream of murder with the 
bloody knife in his hand. 

The series of criminal thoughts belonged to the do- 
main of one man's imagination ; the bloody knife be- 
longs to the domain of reality for all men. 

Here the line is indicated which unites two points 
whereof each is stationed in a different world. 

Let A be the ideal world, and B the real world. 

A has conducted to B. 

Therefore B conducts to A. 

That is to say, reality conducts to imagination, ac- 
tion to vision. But as, in the parallelogram of forces, 
the action here is the resultant of the various activi- 



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96 THE DOCTOB. 

ties contained in the imagination (t. e., the series of 
criminal thoughts), so the imagination, when acted on 
in turn, can take no other form than that which it has 
itself determined. And, either permanently or peri- 
odically, the murderer (supposing of course the case, 
as previously assumed, to be one of hallucination) re- 
news the action in the vision, which shows him the 
bloody knife, and the victim's corpse, etc. 

The vision exists for the actor, but for him onZy. 
Consequently, without preceding action^ no permanent 
or periodical vision is possibla The series of criminal 
thoughts alone, without result of any kind in action 
(an A without a B), can not produce permanent or pe- 
riodical spectres. At least I know of no such case. 
The blot upon the brain becomes palpable to the bod- 
ily eye only when the darkness of it has passed into 
the deed which stains a life. 

The great poet of the English Commonwealth says 
well: 

** Evil into die mind of God or man 
May come and go, bo unapproved, and learo 
No spot or blame behind."* 

* Were it not (as the dates sufficiently establish) that the doctor's 
speculations on this subject were written in the year 1836,1 should 
certainly have surmised (notwithstandmg a certain extraTagance in 
his conclusions, to which a physiologist like Mr. Lewes would, no 
doubt, strongly demur) that he had prcvioasly read with attention 
that captivating work, ♦'The Physiology of Common Life." 

The dates, however, stubbornly forbid any such supjKisition. — Ver- 
bum Sap, — The Editor. 



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THE SECRET. 91 



CHAPTER V. 
Theory confounded by Fact. 

It is not without bloshes that I now place on record 
this somewhat silly ebullition of the vanity of juvenile 
speculation ; but, at the time when I wrote the words 
just cited, the arrogant ardor of youth persuaded me 
that I had therein found safe foundation for a system 
of scientific thought ; and yet, within a few weeks aft- 
erward, half a dozen pencil-marks scrawled by a stran- 
ger's hand on a piece of crumpled paper, blown into 
my possession by the wind of accident, sufficed to 
place me in perplexity and mistrust before my barely- 
acquired conviction. 

In that scrap of paper had I not before my eye 
proof positive that Count R was under the dread- 
ful dominion of some periodical apparition independ- 
ent of his will? But was it possible to believe that 
the noble and imposing countenance of the count was 
simply a grimace assumed by a long-studied duplicity 
to mask the vulgar nature of a common criminal ? 

No, I could not do this. My whole mind indig- 
nantly revolted from such a suspicion. My theory, or 
this man's face — which was the liar? 

A fico for all the theories that ever were invented, 
if they theorize away man's wholesome &ith in man I 

But what then, in a soul so pure and lofty as that 



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92 THE DOCTOR. 

which seemed to reign royally at ease upon the open 
forehead of this strange being, could have occasioned 
effects so like the barking of a coward conscience at 
the memory of a crime ? 

Impossible to conceive I To me, at least, impossi- 
ble. 

Once more the life of this man seemed to thrust it- 
self upon my own, and this time with an imperious 
pretension to enter into the inmost circle of those 
ideas to the service of which I had dedicated my in- 
telligence. 

What had before allured me with the charm of a 
vague curiosity now impelled me with a command al- 
most like that of a duty. 

I felt bound to find again this mysterious person- 
age; to enter his inner life as he had entered mine; 
and to initiate myself into his secret with all the ar- 
rogated rights of a lawful claimant to an idea, who 
has been unjustly ousted from his due possession. 

But my search was in vain. 

I inquired at all the embassies ; I inquired of the 
police ; I inquired at the public hotels and the princi- 
pal shops in Paris ; and I utterly failed to find out 
any thing about Count R . 

I was at last forced to give up all hope of tracing 
him. He had probably left Paris. 

Besides, the day fixed for my own departure was 
near at hand, and my friends declared it to be abso- 
lutely incumbent on me not to quit the French capi- 
tal without having duly visited all the wonders of it. 

I am sorry and ashamed to say that I had not the 
moral courage to resist this stupid imposition, and my 



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THE SECRET. 93 

last days, therefore, were devoted to what is called 
" sight-seeing." 

When I recall the days that are past, I am con- 
scious of haying submitted to so much needless dis* 
comfort and infructuous toil from a lazy inability to 
resist this sort of pretensions, that, bitterly lamenting 
the precious hours I have too often squandered in the 
payment of illegal imposts to unwarrantable preju- 
dice, I am resolved for the future to prove myself a 
very Hampden in the matter of all such unjustifiable 
exactions. When I think of all I have suffered, and 
all that humanity is still suffering for the want of 
some Hampden-hearted man to vindicate the cause of 
individual freedom against this most odious of all di- 
rect taxes — the sight-seeing tax, which is a tax upon 
the eyes of a man — iumetjecurf my gorge rises, and 
the spleen of my just indignation — overflows into— 



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94 THE DOCTOR. 



CHAPTER VL 
Advice to Sight-seers. 

After long stay in any place, in the moment whea, 
•we are about to leave it, one thinks it a duty to see, 
in the most desperate hurry, every thing in that place 
which one has had no care to see at one's leisure. 

Monuments, museums, parks, public buildings, col- 
lections — every thing, from prisons to pagodas, puts 
on the obnoxious form of a tax collector, and comes 
knocking at the doors of that respectable mansion, for 
which conscience already pays a sufficiently high rent 
to convention. 

In that fretful, flurried, unsettling moment of man's 
fugitive life, when he is paying his bills and packing 
up his portmanteau, then is the time, of all others, 
when these importunate notorieties take mean advan- 
tage of his helpless condition, and voiciferously in- 
sist on a visit There is no appeasing them but by 
submissive compliance with their demands ; for they 
turn even our very friends into an army of touters. 

And we call this — "seeing the curiosities of the 
place." 

Yet I can conceive of no objects which a man 
should be less curious to see than those of which he 
knows beforehand that he will never see them again. 
Oh that " wallet" of time, " wherein he puts alms for 
Oblivion I" Oh the things we stuff (and with what 



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THE SECRET. 95 

haste I) into, that lumber-room of passipg impressions, 
from which Memory can never afterward fetch awaj 
a stick of serviceable f omitnre I 

Animi fenesine oculi. How do we fritter and drib- 
ble away this grand capital of sight t For sight is a 
capital, and it is not inexhaustible. How do we im- 
poverish the exchequer of the eye by changing gold- 
en ingots into copper coins, for the purchase of an 
infinite number of things of farthing value I How 
will ye rise in the retrospect of judgment against us, 
all ye lost looks and squandered glances 1 Poor, 
wasted pocket-money of that rich spendthrift, Want- 
of-thought 1 Thefts from the sacred heritage of Beau- 
ty maladministered by idle hours, untrustworthy guar- 
^ans of a property not theirs I 

Oh dear Beader, if in the hour of thy departure from 
any place thine eye hath yet left a look to spare, give 
it rather to thy neighbor's dog; for he at least, in 
some sort, will render thee the worth of it by a last 
friendly wag of his tail ; but hang it not up, like a 
worn-out garioaent never to be used again, on the sto- 
ny, callous cornice of some monument dedicated by 
the impatience of a moment to the importunity of 
Oblivion. 

Is it not distressing to see men of a sober conduct, 
in the last moment of leaving a place where, for so 
many months or years, they have lived at ease and in 
dignity, suddenly plagued with this sight-seeing fever, 
" grin like a dog, and run to and fro in the city ?" 

If you ask them why they do this, they have no 
better answer than that " every body does it." 

What a frightful, invisible tyrant is this Every 



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96 THE DOCTOR. 

Body, who respects not the humble independence of 
Any Body ! 

Well, if thou canst, content thee with this Avroc 
£^a of the modem Pythagoreans. But as for me, 
Aeul eheuf what has it not cost me— what sweat I 
what toil ! — ^in the going up and down of interminable 
stairs! whereby, meSercle! I believe that I have ex- 
uded in the sweat of my brow many thousand shil- 
lingworths of knowledge, for which, may the genera- 
tion of guides and door-keepers, if they be not con- 
demned to hard labor at the stone of Sisyphus on my 
account, remember me favorably to their fellow Cha- 
roDs of a better world! 

As for those modern Pythagoreans, whenever by 
his ipse dixit I now detect one of them, I fear him as 
a man infected with a contagious disease. Fcsnum 
habei in comu. I take the alarm, and avoid that man 
by all means in my power, inwardly praying (since I 
would not.be uncharitable) that it may graciously 
please Providence to remove him speedily from this 
world, and, if possible, take him to itself. 

Mayst thou also, oh dear Reader, be ever able on 
all such occasions to exclaim "/S& me servabit Apollo ;" 
and whenever thou shalt be pestered by these false 
prophets crying "Lo here I" and "Lo there!" may 
Heaven send thee grace to withstand them I 



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THE S£€B£T. 97 



CHAPTER VH 

The Gamblino-housb in the Bub . 

Thus one evening, the programme arranged by 
some of my friends for the curiosity which they im- 
puted to my sense of duty happened to lead me to a 
place which I had never before visited, and which (I 
admit) merits one visit, but not two— to wit^ a gam- 
bling-house. 

It was one of those fiishionable hells, which, at the 
time I am speaking of, were tolerated at Paris, and 
which, I am sorry to say, are to be found to-day in 
almost every German watering-place. The house in 
the Eue diflfered in no particular from the gen- 
erality of those splendid temples of Fortune which 
assuredly need no description. But to me the scene 
I witnessed there was new, and, truth to say, it was 
not exactly what I had expected To my thinking 
one essential element is wanting to the passion for 
play, namely, grandeur. Indeed, this feverish cupid- 
ity has nothing in common with passion except in- 
satiability, and for this reason it does not seem to me 
to merit the noble name of passion. 

Ambition, Love, nay, even Inebriety, when it has not 
yet quite brutalized its victim, do in a certain sense, 
and to a certain extent, enlarge and exalt the faculties 
of those who yield to them, or else, at least, they force 

E 



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98 THE DOOTOB. 

those faculties to produce themselves in some new and 
unusual form. With this it is otherwise. The player 
himself, indeed, may be violently agitated by the stu- 
pendous hazard of Fortune, which at one moment up- 
lifts him on its topmost wave, and at another moment 
sinks him suddenly to the abyss. In the rapid alter- 
nation of triumph and despair, thus tossed to and fro 
between power and impuissance even to the point of 
insensibility, the mind of the gambler may perhaps 
present to him the image of himself as something 
Titanic and supermortal. But to the spectator he 
presents only the vile grimace of an assumed com- 
posure, which is neither natural nor admirable, or else 
yet the more painful image of a demoniac whose con- 
vulsion, under possession, can inspire no other feeling 
than repugnance. 

I was already about to turn away disgusted, when 
the remarks exchanged among a crowd of spectators 
like myself, who had collected round the table for 
Trenie et Quarante^ attracted my attention, and induced 
me to join the group. 

"'Pristie! He has put on Bed for the fifteenth 
time, and won I" 

I pushed my own with difficulty into the crowd of 
heads that were turned in the direction where, on the 
opposite side of the table, was seated the player, whose 
successful fidelity to a single color had so greatly ex- 
cited the admiration of the onlookers. 

A heap of gold, piles of rouleaux and notes, left me 
no doubt where to look for the favorite of Fortune. 

Hardly could I repress a cry of astonishment on 
recognizing Count B . 



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THE SECBST. 99 

This time his appearance reminded me more vivid- 
ly than ever of the scene on board the steam-boat, 
when the coldness and fixity of his features, compared 
with the violent play of the boiling waters, had so 
strangely impressed me ; for at this moment I could 
not but similarly contrast with the tumult of passions 
visible in the human waves that were fluctuating all 
round him, the same impassive, imperturbable quies- 
cence on the face of that man. 

The cards had just been shuffled for a new cut 
Strongly impressed by a sense of the certainty with 
which the strange player seemed to carry fortune with 
him, the majority of the Ponie followed his example ; 
and, as he did not yet seem willing to pocket his 
gains, new stakes covered that part of the table which, 
for the sixteenth time, had been so decisively favored 
by luck. 

Just at the moment, however, when the croupier 
cried, " Ze jfew est fait : rien ne va plus^^^ the immense 
heap of gold and notes whose proprietor by his per- 
sistent adherence to Bed had seduced all the other 
players to set their stakes on the same color, was 
swiftly, almost imperceptibly, pushed across, on to the 
side of the contrary chance. Taken completely with 
surprise by this rapid movement, the other players let 
slip the decisive moment when, by following that 
movement, they also might have saved their money. 

For, this time. Bed lost, Black won. 

The stranger, already so admired for his constant 
good luck, had, by one of those instantaneous inspira- 
tions which are quite inexplicable, made Fortune his 
slave for the seventeenth time, and realized the high- 



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100 THE DOOTOB, 

est sum which the bank remained in a condition to 
pay! 

Every Body was astonished. I myself, who had 
witnessed the whole operation, was at a loss to explain 
this instantaneoTis change of plan on the part of the 
player. 

I had not for one moment taken my eyes off the 
count I was paralys^ed and confounded by the con- 
flicting testimony of my own senses, which on the one 
hand affirmed that the stakes had been moved, and, on 
the other hand, that the player, whom I had been 
watching with intense attention, had never once stir- 
red from the position in which he was sitting with 
folded arms, apparently quite unconcerned with the 
game. 

It seenied impossible that he himself could have 
moved the stakes without my having noticed the ac- 
tion. But, if not he, who then could have moved 
them? 

Every Body present must have been convinced that 
they were moved by the player himself; for nobody 
raised a single objection ; and even the clx)upiers, who 
have the eyes of Argus, did not challenge the fairness 
and legality of the operation. 

It is true that I was so occupied in watching the 
count's face that I did not pay much attention to the 
table ; and, though I am ready to swear that I did not 
see him move, I do not feel authorized to swear that 
I saw him not move. For certainly I saw the gold 
change places ; and what must make me think that I 
was at that moment under the effect of a strongly ex- 
cited imagination is the &ct that, in the instant of 



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THB SSCBBT* 101 

transition fix)m Bed to Black, there seemed to me to 
flasli out of the yellow heap a quick, quivering ray of 
violet light, like the sparkle of a jewel rapidly moved. 

But my impressions of that moment may well have 
been confused, for immediately all was in uproar and 
horror on every side. The croupiers started up ; the 
players, who had lost their last stake, and were hurry- 
ing angrily away, stopped short, and stared with 
alarmed faces at the Silesian. 

His countenance had become overspread with the 
pallor of death, anil transfigured with terror. His 
eyes were starting from their socketa His lips were 
blue and hideous. I saw his body, rigid as a corpse, 
sway heavily forward from the chair in which he was 
seated: The next moment he was stretched upon the 
floor insensible. 



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102 THE DOCTOR. 



CHAPTER VIIL 
The Door op the Secret. 

The count was carried unconscious into the ad- 
joining room. I followed. When I mentioned that 
I was a physiciafl, every body made way for me. I 
was afraid of apoplexy, and judged it necessary to let 
blood immediately. I never go •any where without 
my lancet*case. At my request the count was placed 
upon a sofa. I bared his arm, applied the bandages, 
and made the necessary operation. When I had no 
farther need of assistance every body withdrew. I 
was lefl alone with my patient All was silent 

At last, at last, I was at the door of the secret I 
Would it open to me? 

For the first time, I was enabled to contemplate, 
unwitnessed, undisturbed, the tissue of noble lines 
which composed that beautiful proud face on which 
the semblance of death had now set its solemn seal. 

Before me lay — ^an open book, but hard to read, and 
writ in mystic characters — the history of a profound 
sorrow. 

"No!" I murmured; "impossible! Never can 
crime have established its loathsome workshop be- 
hind that pure, fidr brow. In the musical harmony 
of those perfect features I see no trace of that great 
discord — ^Vice." • 

The blood which I had let had relieved the head. 
The face of the count, though still pale, had resumed 



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THE SECRET. 108 

a natural hue. The horror had left his cotmtetiance. 
He lay there calm as an in£EUit asleep. His features 
had relapsed into that expression of noble repose 
which they seemed to owe to nature rather than to 
art 

"What Spirit of Seproach," I mused, "can have 
glided, furtiye from the otii^ world, into this corpo- 
real sphere, to execute in the soul of this man the 
office of the avenger?" 

The more I examined the countenance on which I 
was gazing, the moce did it inspire me with compas- 
sionate respect. There were lines upon the face which 
told of deep sorrow ; but nothing mean, nothing vul- 
gar. 

" Vain," I muttered to myself, " vain and impuis- 
sant are the pity and commiseration of a feeble fel- 
low-creature to arrest the retributive hand of Eternal 
Justice ; but if it be only the toil of a too-sensitive 
self-scrutiny which has advanced thus perilously fer 
that frontier which separates this visible material 
world from the realm of things unseen, then be thou 
sure, poor spirit, that there is one beside thee whose 
duty is to bring thee such aid as man may bring to 
man." 

A deep sigh and a feeble movement of the patient 
announced the return of consciousness. I drew back 
softly. There was a profound silence which I did not 
dare to break. 

After a short pause, the count lifted up the arm 
which I had not bandaged, and motioned me to ap- 
proach him. I obeyed. He took my hand in his, 
and looked long and wistfully into my fiace. What- 



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104 THE DOCTOR. 

ever was tlie object of this scrutiny, he seemed satis- 
fied bj the result of it. A £dnt smile broke over his 
countenance, and, without either &iae embarrassment 
or exaggerated cordiality, he addressed me in these 
words: 

''It is not for the first time, I think, that we now 
see each other, and I have a certain presentiment it 
will not be for the last time. I do not thank you. 
Toward you, indeed, the observance of an empty cour- 
tesy already appears to me too little; and yet more 
than this would, at present^ seem to me too much. I 
wish you to do me the favor to accompany me home, 
in order that you may, if you think it necessary, com- 
plete those good offices which you have already so 
successfully conmienced. I think I can now move 
without difficulty.'* 

Silently our hands clasped, and I left him to order 
ajiacre. 

In the next room I found the banker of the gam- 
bling-house, who, at my request, sent one of his serv- 
ants to order a carriage firom the nearest cab-stand. I 
told the servant to wait for us with the carriage at the 
side door, where we would join him by the back stair- 
case, and was about to return to the count, when the 
banker stopped me. 

"Pardon! One word, if you please. Monsieur le 
Docteur. The money?" 

The door was half open, and the count, who had 
heard this inquiry, rose before it was* finished, and, 
joining us, answered it himself. 

" I regretj" said he, turning to the banker, " the dis- 
comfort which I have involuntarily caused you." 

Then turning to me, "Monsieur— and your name?" 



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XHE 8SCBET. 106 

I gave it. 

He bowed and resumed. "Monsieur de V 

will have the goodness to call upon you to-morrow, 
and dispose of half the money in accordance with my 
wishes, which he will allow me to communicate to 
him. The other half I request you to be good enough 
to distribute among the servants of your establish- 
ment, to whom I fear I have occasioned some trouble." 

The carriage was announced, and I entered it with 
the count We did not exchange a word on our way 
to his hotel, which was in the Faubourg St G-ermain, 
a spacious apartment^ au premier^ which, with the ex- 
ception of a few rare objects of art, had all the appear- 
ance of a house hired " ready furnished." The count 
was evidently exhausted. His vii}^t, who opened the 
door to us, and in whom I recognized the old servant 
I had before seen on board the steamer, did not speak 
a word of French. I explained to him in German 
that his master had had a slight accident, and gave 
him the few orders which I considered necessary for 
the night The old man shook his head mournfully, 
and muttered several times, " Again, dear Grod I again ? 
The Lord help us!"' 

I enjoined upon the count the most perfect repose. 
A stupid counsel, which he received with an ironic 
smile, and of which I myself felt the utter futility. 

" Fray do me the favor," he said, as we shook hands, 
" to let me se? you again to-morrow." 

I promised to call upon him the next day, and we 
parted for that night 

"I wonder," I said to myself, as I left the house, 
" whether I shall see again that woman's &ce." 
E2 



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106 THE DOcrroB. 



CHAPTER IX. 
Remains Shut. 

The next day I waited on Count Edmond R 

at the hour which I had been impatiently expecting. 
As I approached the house I looked eagerly at the 
windows. No face at those windows; no Loreley 
there with beckoning hand. The blinds were drawn. 
Whatever sorrow inhabited those chambers had no 
voice. My heart i^as listening, but I heard not the 
note of the hautboy. 

I was shown into a large saloon overlooking the 
court Not a flower in the windows ; not a broidery 
frame in the comer ; not the ghost of a passing per- 
fume ; no bonnet, glove, or shawl upon the chair ; no 
careless piece of needle-work upon the table ; no sin- 
gle gracious trace of a woman's presence, beautified 
the cheerless aspect of that hideous formal furniture, 
which remsdns a monument to the bad taste of the 
"Great Empire." 

Was she in this house ? was she in Paris ? or was 
the count here quite alone ? 

I had not much time to look about me before Count 

R- entered the room. Holding out both his 

hands, he came forward to meet me with gracious 
cordiality. All trace of the previous night's excite- 
ment had completely disappeared from his face and 



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THE SECBET. 107 

manner. It needed all that perspicuity which is only 
possessed by the practiced eye of the physician to en- 
able me to detect under this well-assumed mask of 
easy indifference the struggle maintained by the pow- 
er of a strong will against the effort of i^ature. 

"You see in me," said the count, smiling, "a flat- 
tering testimonial to your skill and experience. Your 
excellent treatment has done wonders ; and I owe to 
your successful care a calm night and refreshing sleep; 
the greatest blessing which the craft of science can 
filch from the thrift of nature. Be seated I feel stron- 
ger and better than ever. In this you have done me a 
double service ; for the fiict is, that pressing affairs, 
which compelled me to fix my departure for to-day, 
would have seriously suffered had I been obliged to 
postpone my return to Silesia. To-day, however, I 
feel so well, that, knowing by experience the strength 
of my constitution, I have no reason to fear the effects 
of a journey. Instead of thanks, permit me, rather, 
to increase my debt to you by a request" 

This manoeuvre, by which, the count obviously in- 
tended to prevent a closer approach upon my part, did 
not find me altogether unprepared. Before rejoining 
him that morning, I had reflected on what should be 
my line of conduct toward him, and what might pos- 
sibly be the character of his toward me. I was re- 
solved not to injure by any ill-timed or exaggerated 
advances the favorable impression on which chance 
(if chance it were) had enabled me to found the hope 
of future intimacy ; and I felt persuaded that a man 
educated in all those refinements of life which render 
men's nature especially sensitive to the graces of little 



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108 THE DOCTOR. 

things, would instinctivelj shrink from the embrace 
of a clumsy cordiality. 

Without betraying the least surprise or embarrass- 
ment, therefore, I immediately gave my consent to this 
proposal, which I could see to have been carefully 
prepared. 

I could at once congratulate myself on the effect of 
my reply; for Count Edmond was not so completely 
master of his feelings (or did not care perhaps so com- 
pletely to conceal them) but what I could seize, as it 
were, upon the wing, an expression of relief and satis- 
&ction which flitted over his features. 

"How enchanted I am," said he, "that we two, 
strangers as we are, so well understand each other 1" 

He cordially shook me by the hand, and I asked 
him for his last orders. 

"No, no," he replied, with a frank and pleasant 
smile, " not hstj my dear sir. There is no such thing 
as last. At least I don't think that either you or I 
have much belief in that word. However, if you will 
have it so, this is my last request You heard me, 
last night, dispose of your good offices without even 
awaiting your permission, by informing the banker at 

^'s that you would be kind enough to call upon 

him in my name for a sum of money, which I am 
ashamed of having acquired in such a way, and of 
which the possession would be most repugnant to all 
my feelings. Indeed, I can assure you that I am no 
gambler. Guriosity led me (perhaps like yourself) to 
that house. I wished to pay my entrance by a small 
stake, and I only left my money upon the table for 
the purpose of getting rid of it. The rest you know." 



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THE 8JBCRBT. 109 

He pansecL His lip quiveied for a moment, but he 
quickly resumed : 

" In telling me your name, you recalled to my mind* 
various associations which had hitherto attached them- 
selves only to your name ; for till then my good for- 
tune had not favored me with the pleasure of your 
personal acquaintance. Your name, however, had of- 
ten been mentioned to me by friends of your moth- 
er's family, with whom I am slightly acquainted. I 
know the noble object of your life, and I have even 
been sometimes disposed to envy you the rewards of 
an existence so devoted to the welfare of others. 

" Well, now, you see, I am going to intrude my par- 
ticipation upon this good work of yours. Favor me 
by accepting this small sum, and applying it to the 
relief of that poverty and suffering to the cause of 
which you have so generously dedicated your endeav- 
ors; and which, indeed, without your skill and sym- 
pathy, this slight offering of mine would be powerless 
to alleviate. And hereafter — " 

I was going to speak, but he interrupted me, and 
went on rapidly : 

*' Hereafter, whenever you fall in with such cases 
of need as you may consider deserving, pray do not 
fail to regard me as your banker. Two lines from 

you to L ^ near Breslau, with the address of the 

sufferer, will enable you to make at least one person 
happy, if not two. And now adieu ! We shall meet 
again. I feel it, without stopping at this moment to 
consider how or where." 

He shook me once more by the hand, and thus we 
took leave of each other. 



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110 THE DOCTOB. 

Once more this strange figure receded from my 
sight into unknown distance ; and the solution of the 
enigma on which I had thought to touch slipped from 
my grasp, and left me as ignorant as I had been be- 
fore. 

This time, however, I felt that a sort of link had 
been established between myself and this man — a link 
which time and distance might perhaps attenuate, but 
could not wholly dissolve. 



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THE SECBET. Ill 



CHAPTEB X. 

HOMEl 

I EXECUTED with great satisfaction the last orders 

of Count E . I only knew too well what to do 

with the money. Within my experience of this bril- 
liant holiday Paris, there was no lack of tears to dry 
nor of misery to mitigate. My own affairs did not 
detain me much longer in this town, which I was al- 
ready impatient to leave. Nothing is more fatiguing 
than the days and weeks which precede an anticipated 
and inevitable departure. 

I hailed with joy the hour which found me, on the 
stroke of six in the afternoon, before the great court- 
yard in the Hue Jean Jacques Bousseau. 

Oh, happy days of most unvalued quiet, too rashly 
and too cheaply sold to the army of railway contract- 
ors in exchange for sixty miles an hour and spine dis- 
eases ! days when life enjoyed the dignity of delay, 
when the world traveled by po8t> and the world's wife 
on a pillion I Then, as we jogged along the highway, 
I do verily believe that (in despite of Danton's ghost) 
high and low, rich and poor, wise and foolish, stood 
£u: enough asunder to be able to take a good look at 
each other as they passed along, and, as one says, 
"knew their places." Now the journey of life is 
more rapid, but HI be shot if I think it half so pleas- 
ant; for in the hurry-skurry we are so tumbled to- 



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112 THE DOCTOR 

gether, that who can say where he is or where he will 
be ; and 'tis but a sorry chance which of us may fedl 
uppermost 

Six I It clashes clear from the great dial, and the 
frosty twilight is falling. 

Six I And cheerily issues the first britska from the 
inner court, where these ponderous locomotives of an 
unlocoi^otiye age used to lurk harnessed and ready 
when the hour struck to disperse themselves leisurely 
to the four quarters of the compass. 

Bordeaux I ahoutaihe employe de la poste. A couple 
of travelers jump into the carriage. The door shuts 
with a sharp elide The postillion blithely clacks his 
long-lashed, short-handled whip, and four colossal j>er- 
cherons strain forward in the traces, and start off at a 
brisk trot to the merry sound of a multitude of little 
tinkling bells. 

Calais 1 Lyons I A second calicJie ; a third. 

The courrier swings himself into the cabriolet They 
are off. 

At last, Strasbourg! How my heart beats! 
dulce germen matrisl (may the souls of the gramma- 
rians forgive me the pun !) Oh dear mother German 1 
Home! and with what homeward thoughts I scale 
the high carriage step. We issue on to the great open 
spaces of the night by the Barrier St. Denis. I plunge 
my yearning looks beyond me, deep and far into the 
glimmering air, searching on the utmost verge of the 
dark horizon that long line of clouds which may per- 
haps o'ercanopy (oh pleasant thought!) the skies of 
Grermany. Aiid as the restless roar of Paris (that 
never quiet heart) sinks faint behind me on the seri- 



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THE aSCBET. 113 

ous, cold night air, I have little care to remember that 
I am leaving, perhaps forever, a world bottomless, 
vast — ^a world of vice and grandeur, of the ludicrous 
and the sublime. 



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PART IL 

THE PATIENT. 

To tread a maze that neT6r shall hare end, 
To barn in sighs and starve in daily tears. 
To climb a hill and nerer to descend. 
Giants to kill, and qnake at childish fears, 
To pine for food, and watch th* Hesperian five, 
To thirst for drink, and nectar still to draw. 
To lire accnrs'd, whom men hold bless'd to be, 
Ahd weep those wrongs which never creature saw. 

Hbmrt Constabub. 



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BOOK I. 

91 Bcch {torn ti)e Zomb. 

Tho story of my life, 
And the particnlar accidents gone by. * 

Tempest, Act V. 



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BOOK I. 

CHAPTER I. 

ST. sylvssteb's eye. 

Anno Domini Eighteen Hundred and Forty-two. 

In the heart of Silesia, in the good town of Breslau, 
any body you may meet in the streets there will be 
able to show you the way to the doctor's house ; and 
if you care to see again an old acquaintance, come 
here. Come winter or summer, when you will, sure 
of welcome. The guest-chamber is ever ready ^ You 
shall have t]^e best room in the house ; not without 
a gust of apple-blossoms at the window if you come 
when the swallows are here, nor a merry twitter of 
redbreasts (old accustomed guests of mine) if you wait 
for the snow and frost. The best room in the house, 
did I say ? nay, but you shall have the two best rooms 
in the house, if you will bring ygur wife with you ; 
for since we parted at Paris, oh veiy dear Beader, I, 
at least, am no longer a bachelor. My life is quieted 
and completed by the peaceful presence of a wise, 
kind woman-face — ^a face that makes itself more felt 
than seen. And there are little chirping voices about 
the rooms here. So, then, if you also bring with you 
any of that pleasant, provoking, noisy, busy little bag- 
gage, so much the better. We will shut it all up in 



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120 THE PATIENT. 

the nursery, where all day long it is full of the most 
important business, jumping and skipping up and 
down, and sliding about with sprawling foot and 
hand, and building palaces with chairs and cushions, 
and driving coaches, and blowing trumpets, and mak- 
ing to itself a hundred Diads. For this is the Heroic 
Age. 

Only, in truth, I would not have had you choose 
for the date of your visit that wild night of St Syl- 
vester, when this year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred 
and Forty -two was knocking, in snow and storm, at 
the creaking doors of Time. Sharply and bitterly — 
not in welcome, not in love — the Old Year, in his 
dying hour, snorted with icy breath in the &ce of his 
young usurper. Well may he have been muttering 
from his chappy lip, " Turn backl turn back, ill-omen- 
ed brother 1 Set not thy fatal foot upon this poor dis- 
tracted planet, for in thy dry and shinii^g eyes I sec 
the glare of fire and of famine. Thy hands are empty 
of the tilth, and the tithe thou hast consecrated to 
Death!" 

But the New Year turned not back* 

It turned not back before the gates of Hamburg, 
where the blithe bells rang with unsuspicious peals its 
treacherous entry into that devoted town — ^bells soon 
made to ring far other music, when the midnight was 
bright with the glare and hot with the breath of the 
Destroying Angel ; for then, swung fiercely by the 
unseen hands of the Spirits of Fire, they rang their 
ovm death-knell ; rang till, from their pious habita- 
tions and pure lives of gentle motion and sweet sound, 
they dropped, deformed dumb things; rang till the 



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A SEED FBOM THE TOMB. 121 

boming metal trickled and crawled like boiling blood 
among their ruined homes, and became again d^d 
earthy ore in earth.* 

The New Year turned not back. It turned not 
back before the snow-capped forest-hills of Bohemia, 
whose greenest saplings had but lately shed such 
merry lustre in cottage and in palace, decked by young 
hands, to celebrate the blessed Christmas-time. Less 
merry a light was yours, old father pines, that rested 
in the forest 1 For nine days long the smoke of your 
burning overshadowed two kingdoms, and for nine 
nights long the glare of your fires made pale the stars 
of heaven, while the timid deer sought willingly the 
hunter's door. 

It turned not back, that stem New Year, before 
many a threshold which Death had marked for sor- 
row. My own it passed with mourning and a moth- 
er's loss. 

Long here in German land shall we remember thee, 
not lovingly, ill-fated year 1 Ay I till bells on Ham- 
burg towers rebuilt ring in some better time ; ay 1 till 
the ashes of those burnt forests pass again to living 
green ; ah me ! till Death with other kinder touchings 
has stopped the bleeding wounds in hearts which thou 
hast stricken. 

Not upon this Sylvester's night, then, would I have 
had thee come, dear Beader, to test my hospitality. 
Not here, indeed, wouldst thou have found me, but 
by the lonely sick-bed of a dying man ; not amid 

* One of the Btrangcst phenomena of 4he great fire of Ilambarg 
was the seemingly spontaneous ringing of the bells, occasioned by the 
disturbance of the heated air. 



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122 THE PATIENT. 

merry little faces keeping holiday, but with prayer 
and supplication (the only medicine poured for him), 
keeping watch beside a long-outwearied spirit, whose 
sole physician was a friend. For there, upon that bed 
under which already the grave was yawning, lay 
stretched (much needing rest) the tired frame of Ed- 
mond Count E . 



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A SEED FBOH THE TOMB. 123 



CHAPTER n. 
An Unexpected Visitob. 

Apteb leaving Paris I temporarily established my- 
self in Berlin, a place of residence which I selected for 
the ready access it afforded me to those great reser- 
voirs of physical suffering called hospitals, as well as 
for the intellectual atmosphere for which the Prussian 
capital is renowned. Not long, however, after I had 
pitched my tent amid the Brandenburg sands, I re- 
ceived and accepted an invitation from Breslau to 
take the chair of the medical professorship at that 
University. Here I was fortunate enough to succeed 
in soon securing a connection which assured to me an 
easy, if not a brilliant future. 

Among the writings by which, immediately after my 
return from Paris, I had sought to introduce myself to 
the literary world in Germany was a small pamphlet 
entitled 

A TREATISE 

UPOM 

SPECTRAL APPARITIONS, 
A CONTRIBUTION 

Tomx 

PHENOMENOLOGY OP THE BRAIN. 



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124 THE PATIENT. 

It fell still-born, however, and nearly ruined my 
publishers, who were not men of capital.* Those of 
the t\ viov] class, who sought to stimulate a jaded 
imagination by new incredibilities, found the book 
fiat and insipid ; those, on the other hand, who were 
the constituted guardians of a languid experience, de- 
nounced it as flighty and fantastic. Thus the work 
failed to conciliate any portion of the public ; and I 
myself, amid the occupations of a daily-increasing 
practice, had almost entirely forgotten this early fitil- 
ure of my literary eflforts, when it was suddenly re- 
called to my recollection by the event which I am 
about to relate. 

One night, I had returned home later than usual 
from the house of a patient, and was still engaged in 
my study, when my servant announced that there was 
a strange gentleman in the hall who was anxious to 
speak with me. 

It was long past midnight ; but a physician is bound 
to receive all visitors at all hours, and I bade the serv- 
ant tell the stranger I would see him at once. 

He entered. 

It was an old man of lofty stature but drooping car- 
riage. The dim, uncertain light from under the shade 
of my lamp did not enable me to distinguish his fea- 
tures immediately, but he had scarcely uttered a word 
before I recognized Count E . 

I recognized him by his voice. In that shadowy 
light I should have hardly recognized him by any 

* I hope, boih for my own sake and that of the highly-respected 
firm who have undertaken the protection of it, that the doctor's pres- 
ent invasion of the literary world may be less ill fated. — "Eduor. 



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A SEED FROM THS TOMB. 125 

Other indication. It was many years since we had 
last met, and he was grievously altered. There are 
some men who preserve the aspect of youth to the ex- 
treme limit of middle age ; then they seem to grow 
old in a year, and, as if Old Age, having finally over- 
come his victim, was exasperated into taking venge- 
ance upon those features which had so long resisted 
his attack, these men collapse into a decrepitude which 
is quite disproportioned to the number of their years. 

The aspect of Count Edmond B was like that 

of a broken statue. It was the painful union of beau- 
ty and ravage. His hair was still luxuriant, but snow- 
white. His face was plowed with deep furrows. There 
was a hopeless droop about the lines of the mouth. 
His gait and manner still preserved much of their old 
stateliness, but it was the stateliness of resignation — 
the dignity of a defeated man. His whole face and 
figure had but one expression — intense fiitigue. 

''If," said the count, after we had exchanged a few 
commonplace salutations rendered painful by our mu- 
tual embarrassment, "if to-night I seek you once 
more, it is not to slip out of your hands as formerly. 
Shall I own to you that when we first casually en- 
countered each other on the deck of that steam-boat 
years (how many years?) ago, I was vexed and dis- 
pleased by the pertinacious scrutiny of your regard? 
Accustomed, however, to let pass all such impressions 
without allowing them to disturb my habitual equa- 
nimity, I was surprised that I could not, in this in- 
stance, entirely rid my mind of the recollection of that 
passing encounter, nor shake off the peculiar, but in- 
definite sensation which I first experienced on per- 



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126 THE PATIENT. 

cdving that your attention was fixed on me. It was 
not an agreeable sensation, nor one which I wished to 
prolong ; and a few years afterward, when I twice 
came unexpectedly and unwillingly upon you — when 
I twice found in you (and that, I am well assured, 
without any premeditation upon your part) an un- 
summoned witness to scenes in which you saw me 
under deep emotion, I began to surmise that it might 
possibly be something more than blind chance which 
thus seemed to insist on establishing relations between 
two persons so fiir removed from each other by the 
ordinary circumstances of life. For before we met 

again at the hell in the Rue , I had detected 

(though too late) your presence on a spot where I had 
believed my self utterly alone — ^by the Mare d'Auteuil. 
Since then, I have frequently felt myself impelled to 
approach you, either by the inward voice of my des- 
tiny, or perhaps only by the vulgar desire to clear up 
what I conceived to be an error. But ever I, have 
hesitated and hung back rather than risk a step which 
might perhaps prove destructive to a certain dumb 
hope that has long since become a sort of consolatory 
custom to my thoughts, and to which I am constrained 
to cling with a confidence derived from despair in 
other sources of comfort. 

" This last attempt, therefore, I have put off as long 
as it was in my power to do so. That it is no longer 
in my power to refrain from it is proved by my pres- 
ence in your house to-night." 

I can not attempt to describe to you the sort of 
shudder with which I listened to these words. They 
were uttered quite simply, and without any symptom 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 127 

of extraordinary emotion. But precisely on thifl ac- 
count — precisely in proportion to the simplicity of the 
speech itself, and the unaffected frankness of the avow- 
al thus made by a man whom I knew to be both sen- 
sitively proud and a consummate master in the art of 
repressing his emotions, I felt a sudden repugnance to 
receive the confession which he now seemed resolved 
to impose upon my confidence. Any such act of con- 
fidence upon his part had been so long withheld — any 
such avowal of weakness must, I felt assured, have 
been wrung from such a desperate conviction of de- 
feat, that this consideration, added to the sense of ap- 
prehension and dismay with which I was affected by 
the accents of a voice which vibrated strangely under 
the weight of an excessive melancholy, seemed to give 
to the decision which I might be called upon to pro- 
nounce respecting facts yet unknown to me a respon- 
sibility too solemn to be lightly undertaken. The 
moment which I had once ardently desired was come. 
I was afraid of it. I shrank back and remained si- 
lent I could not belie the gravity of my own feel- 
ings by the utterance of any commonplace assuran- 
ces. 

He seemed to understand this ; for, as though he 
had not expected any reply, he continued after a mo- 
mentary pause, 

"A thousand circumstances of seemingly small ac- 
count," he said, " combined to urge me unceasingly 
upon the path which was destined to bring me here. 
As though half the world were in a conspiracy to 
bring us together, seldom a year would pass by but 
what your name reached me from the most unexpect- 



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128 THE PATIENT. 

ed quarters, and always in some such way as seemed 
to place you, maugre my own disinclination, in strange 
and significant intercourse with my mind. 

" One of those chances became at last decisive — one 
of those chances which must remain inexplicable if we 
do not regard them as whispers from that mysterious 
Prompter who forces us dull players to perform the 
parts assigned to us in the Great Tragedy of Human 
Life." 

His voice faltered a moment, but he hastily re- 
sumed: 

"My bookseller sends me periodically the new 
books of the season. One day my glance fell care- 
lessly upon the printed wrappage of one of those par- 
cels which I had not yet opened. My attention was 
instantly arrested and absorbed by these words : * The 
vision exists for the actor, but for him only. It presup- 
poses his action. The series of criminal thoughts alone, 
without result of any kind in action {an A without a B) 
can not produce permanent or periodical apparitions. At 
least I know of no such caseJ Perhaps you have look- 
ed deep enough into my life to divine the impression 
which these words made upon me. If an oracle had 
appeared upon the wall in characters of fire, such a 
miracle could not have so profoundly affected me as 
this dry reflection of another human mind upon a 
piece of printed paper. I sent instantly for the work 
from which this sheet had been torn. Eagerly I turn- 
ed to the title-page. The author's name was on it. 
The author's name was yours. Since then, your book 
has become the constant companion of my thoughts." 

He stopped abruptly, and seemed almost overpow- 



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A SEEP FROM THE TOKB. 129 

ered. I conld not answer him. With an obvious ef- 
fort, he continued : 

" I will come at once to the object of my visit here 
to-night. That case which was wanting to your ex- 
perience — " 

Again he stopped, and pressed his hand to his fore- 
head as though he felt his brow must burst with the 
surrender of a secret now for the first time wrenched 
from the deepest roots of a life. 

" That case," he repeated, " which you failed to find, 
I offer it to you. I would place it in your hands, for 
I feel my end approach. K the knowledge of evil 
can serve the cause of good, be it yours to dispose of. 
Spare me the pain of being myself your guide along 
that thorny path over which the bleeding traces of a 
tired pilgrim will suffice to point the way. These pa- 
pers — ^take them ; read them." 

He rose, placed a packet of papers in my hand and 
his address, bowed, and hurriedly turned to the door. 

" One question !" I exclaimed. " The countess ?" 

Suddenly his whole stature rose its full height He 
turned round and stood before me erect, solemn, al- 
most awful. He lifted his hand, and looking upward 
with a strange expression on his countenance, said, 
"Yonder, at the right hand of her husband." 
F2 



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130 THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTEE in. 
The Secret in m7 Hands at last. 

NoTHiNO but my own unquiet footsteps broke the 
profound silence of the night. I was alone. For 
more than an hour I continued pacing up and down 
the room in strong excitement, weighing in mj hand 
that pregnant packet which I dared not open till I had 
composed the trouble of those emotions to which my 
unexpected interview with the count had given rise. 

By degrees I grew calmer ; but it was nearly morn- 
ing before I sat down, with something of judicial so- 
lemnity, to open those " sessions of silent thought" 

from which Edmond Count R had invoked the 

verdict on his life. 

Letters in various handwritings (chiefly a woman's), 
memoranda, pages of a journal, made up the contents 
of the packet which the count had placed in my hands. 
I read them in the order in which I found them ; but 
a due regard for the patience and convenience of other 
readers (no doubt less interested than myself) compels 
me to reduce the substance of these documents to a 
summary, reserving only the permission to extract in 
exlenso some of the original papers which appear to 
be specially important. 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 181 



CHAPTER IV. 

Early Days. 

The peasant sees it, for a moment, from the river, 
when he floats his raft down the rapid waters of the 
Weidnitz ; for there the river winds, and the trees 
are thick. The reaper sees it all day long, envying, 
perhaps, the shadow and the cool of it, when the sun 
is hot upon the red corn-lands beyond the woody up- 
land slopes. It is an old chateau that has seen 
many changes, and suflfered few. A massive pile of 
gray stone, with tall copper roofs, built four-square 
about a quiet court. There the grass has a will of its 
own, and pushes its way, under trying circumstances, 
between the chinks in the much-flawed pavement. 
There, too, the sun-dial is always conspicuous, but the 
sun seldom. The south front is flanked by a square, 
flat garden (Italian style), with long, straight walks, 
whereto you descend from a broad terrace by a flight 
of stone stairs. The garden leads to a bowling-alley. 
In the middle of the garden is a fish-tank, full of old 
red fish and old black water. Beyond this is the 
park. It is not like your English parks, but rather 
a sort of slovenly meadow, which rambles astray in 
all directions, and finally loses itself in the great 
woodland all round. There you may hunt the roe- 
buck, the red deer even, and the wild boar. Such a 
place for shooting and for fishing never was. For 



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182 THE PATIENT. 

aUout all this the river puts ita arm, lovingly and qui- 
etly, like an old friend. 

This is the first scene which shapes itself before my 

mind's eye as I read. It is the chateau of L . 

And here, at ease with his family, dwells Arthur 
Count K , a wealthy, high-bred, honorable, kind- 
hearted, perhaps somewhat weak-minded nobleman. 
Count Arthur married late in life. It was a love 
marriage, however, and, what is yet more rare, a hap- 
py one. Three children were born of this marriage. 
Edmond, the first-bom, who for some time remained 
the only child, for he was four years old when his 
brother Felix was bom. To Felix succeeded, two 
years afterward, a sister, Marie. Marie was sickly 
from birth, and died at three years old. The more 
complete had been the happiness of the countess, the 
more violent was her grief for the loss of her only 
daughter. Heaven, however, accorded her a compen- 
sation for this loss. The earliest and tenderest friend 
of the countess (the companion of her childhood) had 
been wedded young, very young, to the spendthrift 

Prince C , in Bohemia. She died in the first year 

of her marriage, giving birth to a daughter ; and her 
last request to her husband was that this infant might 
be confided to the care of her firiend, the wife of Count 
Arthur E-^ — , in Silesia. 

This sacrifice was not made without reluctance by 
the widower. But the prince, whatever may have 
been his faults, had been attached to his wife, and was 
deeply affected by her death. He felt himself pledged 
to fulfill his promise to the princess on her death-bed. 
Besides, how was it possible for a young man,.devoted 



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A SEED FBOM THE TOMB. 188 

to pleasure, to look after the in&nt thus left on his 

hands ? So little Juliet was conducted to L , and 

henceforth became a member of the count's family. 
The prince soon forgot his double loss in a life of de- 
bauchery at Vienna. In a few years he ran through 
his fortune ; and one morning, finding himself with 
empty pockets, after an enforced settlement with his 
creditors, he accepted active service in the Imperial 
army, and fell at Aspem at the head of his regiment. 

Count Arthur, as guardian of the orphan, secured 
to Juliet all that could be saved from the wreck of 
her father's fortune ; and the little girl, who had no 

recollection of any other home, grew up at L with 

the two boys, regarded by the members of the count's 
family as one of themselves, and accustomed to regard 
them in return with all the affection of a sister and 
daughter. 

Juliet was a charming child, essentially loveable, 
because essentially loving. All the conditions of her 
adopted home were of a nature to develop the great 
feature of her character — trustfulness. 

The education of Edmond had been completed at 
home under paternal care. 

I have no personal experience of your English pub- 
lic schools ; but I have always regarded them as the 
great reservoirs of the English character. What seems 
to me the main defect of our Grerman system of educa- 
tion is that it is too exclusively confined to intellect- 
ual development The motive power of man does 
not exist in the intellectual, but in the moral qualities. 
The qiuintula sapientia that governs mankind has been 
a subject of continual wonder to the contemplative 



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134 THE PATIENT. 

portion of the human community. But the explana- 
tion of this apparent phenomenon is probably to be 
foimd in a fact too commonly ignored, and yet hardly 
to be disputed, viz., that the governing qualities are 
moral raliier than intellectual. Our lives, and our in- 
fluence upon the lives of others, are much less depend- 
ent upon intellectual superiority than is generally sup- 
posed. It is a common saying that Knowledge is 
Power ; but the kind of knowledge thereby implied 
requires definition. Perhaps it would be more gener- 
ally true to say Power is Knowledge. It can not 
in any case be asserted that book-learning is power. 
The chief object of education should not be the accu- 
mulation of information, but the formation of charac- 
ter ; and I know of no system of education by which 
this object is so well attained as that of the English 
public schools. 

It is not so much acuteness of the dialectic faculty, 
high culture, or extended range of contemplation, that 
governs mankind, but rather energy, sympathy, per- 
severance, conciliation, enthusiasm. And in all the 
practical affairs of life, even men of the highest intel- 
lect must probably rely rather upon the exercise of 
(what you would call) their second-rate than of their 
first-rate qualities. As regards the education of youth, 
I doubt if there can be any better principle than that 
embodied in the well-known maxim of the Spartan 
king ; for, after all, it is not of the highest importance 
that boys should become scholars, but it is of the 
highest importance that they should become rnm. 
And this conviction leads me to express an opinion 
with regard to the theory of government as having 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 135 

reference to the general education of man, to which 
opinion I have been brought by a consideration of 
the principles of representative government as prac- 
ticed in England. It appear^ to me that the relative 
merits of representative, and arbitrary, or bureau- 
cratic government are generally discussed (especially 
on the Continent) within far too narrow a limit. The 
great question in which the world should be interested 
is, not what is the completest and strongest form of a 
government, but what is the completest and grandest 
form of a people. No efficiency in the mechanism of 
an irresponsible government can compensate for the 
absence of that active power which is only to be found 
in the public life of a responsible people. 

The clumsiest motion of a living body is prefera- 
ble to the best-directed gesticulations of a galvanized 
corpse. The English system of government begins 
almost at the cradle of the Englishman, and the English 
system of education continues to his grave. In this, 
I think, exists the paramount excellence of both. In 
England the public school, the household, the vestry- 
room, the bench of magistrates, are seats of self-gov- 
ernment ; the polling-booth, the hustings, the House 
of Commons, the Press, the Bar, are schools for self- 
education. In Germany all this is wanting. Here 
education stops at the University, and the intellect of 
the nation is either absorbed into the pedantry of a 
bureaucracy, or remains in a state of political child- 
hood. 

But I have wandered too fer firom the chateau at 
L . I return to my wethers. 

The solitude of Edmond's childhood, his education 



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186 THE PATIENT. 

at home, the absence of companions of his own age, 
his premature intercourse "with grown-up persons,, 
gave to the boy's disposition, which was naturally 
thoughtful and reflective, a seriousness not common 
to his age. When the birth of his brother and sister, 
and a few years later, the entrance of Juliet into the 
£Eimily, introduced a more animated life into the old 
chateau, Edmond, who was by some years their elder, 
and whose character was prematurely developed, found 
himself, in his relations with the other children, in- 
vested with an almost paternal character. 

Thus, almost from in&ncy, his fraternal affection 
for Felix and Juliet assumed a depth of earnest tender- 
ness, a sense of protecting duty somewhat strange to 
the character of a child. There is nothing like that 
camaraderie which exists in the nursery. It shares 
all things together, tears and laughter, triumph and 
dismay, memory and hope. But when this loving, 
careless fellowship between companions in childhood 
is mingled with the sentiment of respect, it has in it 
an adoration and enthusiasm unequaled by any thing 
in the more conscious relations of after life. It escapes, 
as it were, from the little succoring hands into the 
earnest eyes of childhood. How proudly they smile, 
those trustful eyes, upon the little hero or heroine of 
our first adoration I How sweet it is, in our moments 
of early trial, to feel the gladdening glance which 
assures our fluttering, anxious heart that the chosen 
object of our emulous devotion has comprehended 
the struggle, and shares the triumph of some youthful 
effort I Schiller has beautifully indicated this senti- 
ment in the boyish relations between Posa and Carlos. 



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A SEED FBOM THE TOMB. 187 

Felix and Juliet looked up to Edmond as to a su- 
perior being. His information was extraordinary in 
one so young. His nature was ambitious, his under- 
standing keen, and his enthusiasm quickly excited by 
whatever presented itself before him in the form of a 
duty. 

Devotedly attached to these little ones, he could not 
bear the thought of their education being intrusted to 
strange hands. And he contrived so well to convince 
his father of his vocation and ability to become their 
teacher, that the pride of the old count was flattered 
by the consent which he felt himself unable to with- 
hold from the serious charge thus enthusiastically as- 
sumed by his firs^bom and favorite child. This some- 
what strange position which Edmond henceforth oc- 
cupied between his parents and these two children 
seemed to result so naturally firom the precocious ma- 
turity of his character, that it did not involve any ap- 
parent assumption on his part, nor any conscious 
weakness on the part of his father. He exerted no 
pressure upon those around him; they exerted no 
pressure upon him. Thus his rarely-gifted nature 
harmoniously and equably developed itself without 
experiencing any external restraint, but also without 
the inward incentive of any strong passion. Felix 
was passionately proud of his brother. Juliet looked 
up to Edmond with all the romantic ardor of an en- 
thusiastic girl. But in this life, so free from struggle 
and contrariety, the weapons of the will rested un- 
used, and the vigilant eye of mistrustful Eeason closed, 
well pleased and self-assured, upon the peace of a hap- 
py soul. 



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138 THE PATIENT. 

Thus the days passed by. At last the career cho- 
sen by Felix for himself rendered necessary his entry 
into a military school. The times were troubled ; but 
without this circumstance, family necessities and the 
disposition of the boy himself would, in any case, have 
decided Felix to enter the army. 

This change in the customary life at L induced 

Edmond to think of completing his own education by 
travel and intercourse with the life of foreign coun- 
tries. His first journey was to England. Early ini- 
tiated, as he had been, into the business of country life 
and the management of a great property, this country 
had peculiar attractions for the young count His 
time there was not misspent He made himself ac- 
quainted with various agricultural improvements, 
which he was afterward enabled to introduce with 
great advantage into the cultivation of the L es- 
tate. But he only came into contact with that exter- 
nal and superficial aspect of English life which was 
most consonant to his own disposition, viz., that sort 
of methodic reticence of manner which constitutes the 
English notion of Becomingness. In England, the be- 
trayal of emotion beyond a certain limit laid down by 
commune consensus and general authority is, under all 
circumstances, unbecoming. Let the heart bleed, let 
the soul exult, let the breast feel ready to burst, when 
all the arms of Briareus seem insufficient to clasp to 
the beating heart what it yearns to embrace, and for 
all this, ay, and yet more, there is, by public permis- 
sion, only one set tone of voice and only one gesture 
— that invariable shake-hands. 

It was not, therefore, by his superficial and passing 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 189 

intercourse with a nation which is perhaps the most 
earnest and impassioned in the world, that Edmond 
suspected even the existence of what was as yet un- 
known to his experience of himself— those internal 
hurricanes and tornadoes, which sleep perhaps un- 
roused for years in the heart of man, but which, when 
once let loose, are all the more violent and destructive 
in proportion as the will may have neglected the 
foundation and enlargement of those bulwarks which 
are unconsciously built up by men who in early life 
have had to struggle with the storms of a tempestuous 
childhood. 

^ Of all the wonders of London, none more fascinated 
the attention of the young count than that magnifi- 
cent collection of objects of interest which the English 
need of inquiry, seeking to satisfy itself with acquisi- 
tion, not only in all ages of the past, but in all parts 
of the world, has amassed in the metropolis within the 
walls of the British Museum. 

The marvels of the East were then barely opened 
to the curiosity of the West. And here, for the first 
time in his life, Edmond found himself confronted with 
the mystic memorials of a wonderful world long since 
disappeared from the face of the earth, and the unin- 
telligible but suggestive symbols of a vast and van- 
ished epoch of human culture. His ardent desire to 
visit Egypt (perhaps the cradle of all our knowledge) 
ripened with each visit to those treasures. He com- 
menced with zeal the preliminary studies necessary 
for such an enterprise. 

Subsequently he went to Paris, and visited with 
Champollion himself the various monuments brought 
there" by Napoleon. 



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140 THE PATIENT. 

Full of impatience, be set out for Marseilles, and 
thence embarked for tbe East Well provided with 
letters of credit and all necessary recommendatiops, he 
reached Cairo, that nonchalant sentry-box before the 
fieury palace of the Orient which the Turks have es- 
tablished on the ruins of Memphis. There he hired 
and equipped a boat for the journey up the ISQle, en- 
gaged a dragoman recommended by the English con- 
sul, and, taking with him his Herodotus, his Stra- 
bo, and a firman from Constantinople, he set forth to 
traverse that antique road on which the human intel- 
lect has marched for a thousand centuries, and reach 
the immortal ruins that yet retain the world^s last 
traces of that Pythagorean Mind which darkly, faintly 
meets us in the remote and glimmering avenues of the 
Greek philosophy. 

Various pages of the journal placed in my hands by 
the count indicate the interest and ardor with which 
he prosecuted his Oriental researches ; but the scien- 
tific journal of this expedition was not confided to me 
with the other papers contained in the packet. Of 
the events of that journey only a single episode is re- 
corded in those papers. The results of it in the sub- 
sequent life of Count Edmond were far more impor- 
tant than he could possibly have anticipated when 
this journal was written. 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 141 



CHAPTER V. 
A Mummy that finds means to make itself 

UNDERSTOOD. 

It was at Thebes. 

The archseological researches of Count Edmond had 
brought him to that antique seat of the three last dy- 
nasties, under whose sceptre, afler the expulsion of the 
alien conquerors, the arts and.sciences of Egypt attain- 
ed so vast a development^ that one can not but admire 
as almost miraculous the destruction by Cambyses of a 
fabric so colossal as that of which no more than the 
meagre and broken outlines are revealed in the enor- 
mous magnitude of its monumental remains. 

Pitching his tent from spot to spot, now amid the 
ruins of Luxor, now near the village of Carnac, Ed- 
mond could not reconcile himself to leave this land of 
marvel and of mystery till his imagination had ex- 
hausted every tangible material from which to recon- 
struct that hundred-gated wonder of the ancient world. 

And thus, in the record now submitted to my in- 
spection of those wandering but not unlaborious days 
passed by the count among the tombs, I seemed to see 
him, often surprised by the great sunrise of the Orient 
in the prosecution of his indefatigable excavations, 
while the bright and dewless dawn of the Desert is 
enlarging its noiseless light over that vast plain which, 
stretched broad on either side of the Nile, unites with 



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142 THE PATIENT. 

the Arabian range in the far East the western sammits 
of the Libyan hills ; or else in the wide red light of hot 
and windless evenings, bowed above some crumbling 
byblus or papyrus, in patient solitary study, a slowly 
darkened figure, silent as its shadow on the sand. 

On one such evening the record shows him seated 
upon the wall of that gigantic terrace which, although 
builded ei^tirely of brick, yet stands at a height of 
twenty feet, and measures no less than one thousand 
feet in breadth and two thousand in length. On the 
colossal pedestal, thus formed for a fabric no less enor- 
mous, stands, with its fiice fronting the Nile, the Tem- 
ple of Ammon Chnouphis, the Divine Originative 
Principle. 

This immense edifice, of which the circumference 
extends over a space of about three English miles, is 
approached by an alley formed of six hundred colos- 
sal sphinges. There were within it chambers vast 
enough to contain the entire pile of any average-sized 
medidBval cathedral ; and in each chamber one hund- 
red and thirty-four enormous columns, of which only 
the ruins now remain, once supported a ceiling so 
richly decorated with painting and sculpture that not 
a handsbreadth of its spacious sur&ce is bare of orna- 
ment 

Beyond these stupendous structures, and well wor- 
thy of a people whose enormous, works were but the 
bodies of enormous thoughts, that famous lake, which, 
- more than a thousand years before it was witnessed 
with wonder by Herodotus, had been vouchsafed by 
the art of man to the need of nature, still conducts to 
the Necropolis — a city of tombs and temples, whose 



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A SEED FROM THK TOMB. 143 

streets of catacombs are hewn in the solid rock of the 
Libyan mountains. 

Over the mysterious waters of this lake to the 
neighboring City of the Dead had once glided (per- 
haps at that very hour millions of evenings ago) the 
ghostlike barks that bore from the dwellings of living 
man the bodies of the departed. Across this lake, 
age after age, generations upon generations had silent- 
ly sailed away from the sight of the sun. And now 
they were all departed; and in the place that knew 
them no more, the only living man on whose face at 
that hour the sinking sunlight fell was a wanderer 
from lands undreamed of by the science of those star- 
ry priests who one by one had paced along that shat* 
tered pavement, and passed along that lonesome lake 
into the unseen world. 

Amply furnished with an imperial firman and all 
other necessary documents. Count Edmond had previ- 
ously set his numerous attendants to work upon this 
spot, where now, completely uncompanioned, ho had 
withdrawn himself from his retinue, in order at his 
ease, and without -interruption, to question the dead 
of secrets withheld from a thousand generations. He 
had just disengaged from the sheathing bt/ssua in which 
it was preserved the mummy of a young man — ^per- 
haps a king's son. 

That marvelously conservative science of the Egyp- 
tians had, in this instance, successfully disputed with 
time the possession of a body whose minutest atoms 
had for centuries been claimed in vain by the inexora- 
ble potency of corruption. TKe mummy was intact, 
perfect, complete. Stretched supine upon the sand. 



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144 THE PATIENT. 

beneath the close and eager countenance of the Ger- 
man, lay the body of the yonng Egyptian prince, 
whose life had probably not numbered more than the 
years of the living man now breathing over him, when 
from that long empty husk the breath of it had de- 
parted thiee thousand years ago. And although in 
this parched and shrunken simulacrum of a human 
form the vital juices were withered up, yet the face of 
it retained upon its features tHe unchanged expression 
of the life which had once filled them. The hues and 
fullness, the bloom and substance of this picture of 
man were faded and fallen away, but the hard outline 
of it remained distinct and uncUsturbed. And as the 
skillful botanist instinctively recognizes in the with- 
ered flower which he examines all the once flourish- 
ing beauty of it, so Edmond, from long familiarity 
with those dry human specimens, had by degrees ac- 
quired a certain strange feculty of mind which enabled 
him, if not to bring them back to life, yet to transport 
himself back into the life which was once theirs, and 
thus, by concentrating the force and intensity of a 
vivid imagination, to mingle, as though he were the 
ghost and they the real existences, among those gen- 
erations who, in times indefinitely remote, transmitted 
from age to age, as we to-day transmit, as others will 
transmit to-morrow, the warm and beating pulse of 
life. 

According to the custom common to the Egyptians 
in respect to the arrangement of the dead, this mum- 
my was accompanied by a papyrus, and this papyrus 
Edmond was now busily engaged in the attempt to 
decipher. Here in the desert, where to the student 



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A SE£D FROM THE TOMB. 145 

of the past the somewhat artificial atmosphere of the 
library and the lecture-room is replaced by the ani- 
mating presence of realities and the undisturbed in- 
spiration of Nature herself, the count had frequently 
succeeded, perhaps more by intuition than research, in 
interpreting those hieroglyphic images which, for the 
most pairt, when found in tombs or sarcophagi, repre- 
sent, with little variation, the mysterious story of the 
migration of the soul after death, from the mopient in 
which she leaves the body to that in which, accom- 
panied by the two presiding genii, she stands before 
the solemn Balance of the Supreme Judgment ' Of 
this mystic balance, one scale contains the Yial of In- 
iquity, a vase supposed to be filled with the sins of 
the soul, on which judgment is about to be passed, 
while in the opposing scale is placed a feather, an im- 
ftge finely conceived and of singular subtlety, repre- 
senting the good actions achieved by the soul in her 
past existence. 

Although the Babylonian rite was doubtless very 
different from that of the Egyptians, yet in all that 
regards the relations of man to the unseen powers one 
prevalent sentiment was so common to the various 
religions of Eastern antiquity — and, even in the He- 
brew theosophy, so strong a substratum of Egyptian 
thought is to be detected — ^that any one who at this 
day peruses the strange pictures on these Egyptian 
papyri may not unreasonably recall the appalling 
pages in which the Book of Daniel records the de- 
struction of Babylon, with a strong impression that in 
the interpretation given to the Babylonian king by 
flie Hebrew seer of that unknown writing on the wall 

G 



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146 THB PATIENT. 

there must have been an alanning significance of some- 
thing more than merely eartJily doom, and that Bel- 
shazzar may have well turned pale when the fingers 
of a man's hand came forth and wrote the sentence of 
his proved unworth, " Thou art weighed in the balance 
and found wanting^ 

Between two sphinges, the symbols of wisdom, He- 
lios and Anubis preside at the decisive ceremonial of 
Divine Justice. Thoth, who is easily to be recognized 
by the head of the Ibis, which invariably surmounts 
the otherwise human figure of the god, is writing the 
mystic record of the Soul's Trial. Before him, Har- 
pocrates, the god of silence, is seated (somewhat un- 
comfortably it would appear to any but a superhuman 
personage) on the upper part of the crook of a divin- 
ing- wand. His finger is placed upon his lips. Final- 
ly, on his thronCy before the doors of the nether world, 
is seated the Lord and Master of All, the Divine Osi- 
ris, ready to deliver the final sentence on which are 
depending the future migration of the soul till the 
period of her purification, and the length and nature 
of her new probation. 

But the particular papyrus which Edmond was now 
examining differed somewhat from the majority of 
these passports for Eternity. On this document a 
long series of images preceded the description of the 
soul's judgment, as though it had been sought to rep- 
resent certain extraordinary scenes in the previous life 
of the dead man. 

Between the slender figures of two youths was 
traced the more lofty stature of a man of mature age. 
This central figure was represented standing upright^ 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 147 

dothed with the insignia of royalty, and holding in 
the right hand, which was uplifted, a ring, with which 
the figure appeared to be pointing to a throne, roughly 
indicated by a rude outline, in the same compartment 
Certain hieroglyphic characters, inscribed above the 
heads of the three images, seemed to indicate the 
names of the persons thus represented. By compar- 
ing these inscriptions with the names of the various 
Pharaohs of the ancient dynasties, engraved both in 
the hieroglyphic and the cursive character upon the 
numerous monuments and papyri which he had al- 
ready investigated, Edmond was enabled to decipher 
and translate them. He could have no doubt that the 
central figure of the elder personage represented the 
last sovereign of the nineteenth dynasty, the Thoiioris 
of Manethon, elsewhere mentioned as Bhamses, the 
ninth of that name, the two other figures to the right 
and left being probably (for there is no mention of 
them in the historic registers) Sethos and Amasis, the 
two sons of Thoiloris, who did not succeed to the 
throne. 

A second series of images, placed under the first 
compartment, and divided from it by a border deco- 
rated by the repetition, along a horizontal ribbon, of 
the initial symbol of the human figure, represented 
Amasis, the younger of the two princes, inscribing va- 
rious characters upon a papyrus, while at the same 
time he holds uplifted in the left hand a ring, which 
is no doubt the same as that which, in the first com- 
partment, appears in the right hand of the king. In 
this picture Amasis appears to be translating and in- 
scribing on the papyrus certain characters engraved 



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148 THB PATIENT. 

upon the amulet of the ring. Sethoa, the elder broth- 
er, with his back turned to the throhe, is represented 
in the act of walking away. 

The third picture, divided in the same manner fix>ni 
the second, shows the two brothers, each in a boat by 
himself, rowing upon a stream which is doubtless that 
of the Nile. 

In the fourth and last group of historic figures 
Sethos is alone upon the water. He is standing at 
the prow of his boat with folded arms. The other 
boat is upset, and a wave of the river is indicated as 
passing over it. Amasis has disappeared. Only an 
arm and hand, which is probably that of the drown- 
ing prince, is stretched above the surface of the wa- 
ter ; and on the finger of that outstretched hand ap- 
pears the ring which has already figured with such 
apparent significance in the three preceding pictures. 

From this point commences the series of images 
which represents the migration of the soul of Amasis. 
The soul rises from the hesot of the dead in the shape 
of a bird,* bearing in her beak the sacred key of the 
religious mysteriea Arrived at the place of Supreme 
Justice, she is presented to the tribunal by the two 
plumed genii of the dead. Anubis, the messenger of 
the gods, who is represented with the head of a jackal, 
places beside the mystic feather, in the scale of the 
soul's good actions, the ring, to which such frequent 
allusion occurs in the four historic records immediate- 
ly preceding this scene. Thus extraordinarily weight- 

* This bird is a species of falcon, named in the Egyptian BaUh, 
and in other Oriental languages Baz, It is noteworthy that to this 
day the German word for a hawking expedition is Beize, 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 149 

ed, that scale of the mystic balance which contains the 
feather appears to be sinking lower than the other 
which contains the vial of iniquity, as though to indi- 
cate the favorable judgment of the tribunal on behalf 
of the soul of Amasis.* 

The more than ordinary interest with which Ed- 
mond now perused the mystic annals of this some- 
what perplexing papyrus was augmented by the feet 
that the mummy itself actually carried on the fore- 
finger of the right hand a ring containing an amethyst 
of extraordinary size and beauty, on which were en- 
graved precisely the same characters as those which 
Thoth was represented in the papyrus as inscribing 
on the records of the soul's judgment 

So profoundly was he absorbed in the minute ex- 
amination of these strange and unintelligible images, 
that he had been utterly unconscious of the noiseless 
approach of a man, who, now standing beside him, 
with arms folded on his breast, in an attitude of in- 
tense and melancholy attention, had been for some 
moments past the tacit witness of the count's occupa- 

♦ Nothing in these papyri representing " the Judgment after Death" 
is more remarkable than the freqacnt indication of a desire on the 
part of the presiding Powers to adjast the balance in faror of the 
good actions of the soni by some extraordinary interference. This 
very significantly indicates the Oriental conyiction of the difficulty of 
reconciling, without supernatural intervention in favor of man, the 
<^Sg^eg&te shortcomings of human actions with the inexorable re- 
quirements of Supreme Justice. The conviction thus expressed, 
which predominates the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures from Moses 
to the Prophets, has no less deeply entered into the dogma of modem 
Christianity, which asks in fear and trembling, " Who then can be 
saved?" "Use every man after his deserts," says Hamlet, "and 
who shall 'scape whipping ?** 



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150 THE PATIENT. 

tions. Nor was it, indeed, till the sun, now low on the 
western horizon, had, in its silent and stealthy prolon- 
gation of the shadows of all things, cast over the rec- 
ord he was perusing the dark adumbration of the 
stranger's tall and stately figure, that his attention was 
attracted toward the cause of that silent but sudden 
interruption. 

Edmond uplifted his eyes with an amazement which 
was certainly not diminished by any thing in the 
character of the apparition upon which they rested. 
Draped in the massive folds of that flowing milk- 
white vesture which gives to its dusky wearers a dig- 
nity of form so statuesque that in their moments of 
motionless repose they look like antique images of 
mingled marble and bronze, there stood, dark eyed, 
dark visaged, and gazing down intensely into the star- 
tled face of the young German, one of those Kabyl 
chieftains whose daring raids for plunder are the ter- 
ror of the travelers of the Desert. 

So majestic in its immovable serenity, yet marked 
withal by such severity of strength in the supple grace 
of its sinewy stature, so suggestive of powers hostile 
to man, did that solitary image appear, as it stood 
darkly and keenly outlined against the lurid levels of 
the glaring west, that it might almost seem as though 
the silence and the solitude of the desert had suddenly 
heaped themselves into palpable form, and there stood 
in stern and sinister contemplation of their invader. 

The first impulse of the count was one of self de- 
fense. His hand made a rapid and involuntary move- 
ment toward the double-barreled rifle which was lying 
on the sand beside him. The Arab, without any 



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A SB£D FROH THE TOMB. 151 

change of attitude or gesture, replied to this avowal 
of suspidon and alarm only by a look of that inimit- 
able contempt which is never attained but by the 
features of the Orientals, and in whichj whenever we 
Europeans are forced to encounter it, we are conscious 
of the supreme condemnation of our habitual self- 
satis&ction. It is a rebuke to which there is no re- 
ply ; a sentence firom which there is no appeal. It 
w:as not without a blush| of which he was painfully 
conscious, that Edmond lowered his eyes abashed &om 
that look of tranquil scorn on the face of the Eabyl 
chief. 

An instant's reflection sufiEiced to convince him of 
the ridiculous and humiliating inutility of any attempt 
at self-defense; for it was sufficiently obvious that, 
had any attack been intended, it might long since 
have been made with the certainty of success. 

" Disturb not, stranger, the repose of the tomb. It 
is not well for the living to hold parley with the 
dead." 

It was a warning, rather than a reproach or a men- 
ace, which Edmond felt to be conveyed to him by 
tiiese words, abruptly uttered in that Ungua franca 
which, throughout the Orient, forms a neutral ground 
of language whereon the various races of the East 
and West may encounter each other upon equal terms. 

Pleased with any pretext for escape from his previ- 
ous embarrassment, and well content to find one in 
the common resources of conversation, the count hast- 
ened to reply to this sudden appeal 

"You might say well," he answered, "if this tomb 
were less taciturn than I have found it It obstinately 



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152 THE PATIENT. 

refuses, however, to answer my question. And yet I 
have not sought from it any secret of the other world. 
I simply ask it to restore to this life what from this 
life it has robbed." 

"Fool!" said the Arab; "and who hath told thee 
it is good for the living that the tomb should restore 
to their knowledge the secrets it is bidden to withhold? 
Knowest thou aught of the nature of any force, and 
whether it be of good or of evil, so long as that force 
is hidden, and the action of it laid to sleep?". 

" Certainly," murmured Edmond, half to himself, 
" I know not of any force of which I can conceive 
that it should retain the &culties of action after a 
slumber so immeasurably prolonged." 

The stranger did not immediately reply. A pro- 
found melancholy seemed to darken in the iptricate 
depths of the luminous eye which he fixed upon the 
count as he slowly answered, after a momentary si- 
lence, 

" Say you so ? Yet a grain of com, taken from the 
tomb to-day, and cast into the furrow to-morrow, will 
grow from the blade cut down by the sickle that 
reaped in the harvests of the Pharaohs ere the glory 
of these was gathered into the gamers of Time. And 
can you doubt of the immortality of forces far mightier 
than those that germinate in the grain of com which 
you take from the tomb where they slumber, or sup- 
pose that the centuries, survived by the seed of the 
field, can annihilate the seed of the soul?" 

Edmond was no less stmck by the peculiar tone of 
voice with which these words were uttered than by 
the accuracy of the illustration they suggested ; for 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 163 

he had frequently convinced himself of the &ct that 
com found deposited with mummies in symbol of 
sacrifice perfectly retains its faculty of germination. 

" After all, though," he replied, " if I must grant 
you the existence of the fact to which you allude, yet 
I confess that I can think of nothing except a blade 
of com from which this sort of palingenesis can be 
expected." 

The Arab approached the mummy that was lying 
on the sand before the count. He stood over the wiz- 
ened corpse for some time in profound silence. The 
ardent and intense regard of those dark and intricate 
eyes was plunged in piercing scmtiny upon the with- 
ered features of the dead man's brown, adust^and stolid 
face. Not a muscle was moved on the cheek of the 
Kabyl. Under the lustrous transparency peculiar to 
the complexion of Orientals, nothing agitated the stem 
metallic reflection of the firm bronzen features, not 
less brown nor less immovable than those of the mum- 
my at his feet. But ever and anon from beneath the 
mysterious languors and soft depth of shadow with 
which the long, slumbrous eyelash veiled the vigilant 
eye,iEdmond could notice, not without an emotion far 
from comfortable, that strange lights and flashes, as 
though stmck out from some fierce agony of soul, were 
passing and darting in lurid, sinister play. 

Suddenly at length the Arab stretched forth his 
swarthy arm, and seized the dead man's hand. He 
drew the ring from its withered finger, and fixed his 
glittering eye upon the purple, luminous stone, in- 
tently pemsing the characters engraved upon it 

" Yes," he muttered, as though continuing aloud 
G2 



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154 THB PATIENT. 

some dialogue commenced within himself, " Behold 
the fateful words of Seb Kronos, the Indestructible 
Destroyer I .... Mine is the world, and to he 

MUST ALL THINGS COTAE. I, SOLE, HAVE CREATED; 
AND I, SOLE, DESTROY. I WILL WHAT I WILL. I 
GIVE AND I TAKE AWAY. On MORTALS I BESTOW, 
AND FROM MORTALS I WITHHOLD, HAPPINESS. MaN, 
THAT ART MADE OF THE DUST OP THE EARTH, DIS- 
TURB NOT THE Hand op Destiny. Touch not 

WITH EARTHLY FINGER THE WORK OP FaTE." 

" Tell me," exclaimed Edmond, "is that indeed the 
sense of the amulet 7" 

" It is the words of the amulet," said the other, and 
he passed the ring into the hands of the count 
"Blessed thou," he added, after a pause, "if thou 
never ascertain the sense of them. He that first dis- 
covered the significance of those words lies stretched 
before thee. Behold the first victim of the oracle !" 

The Arab pointed to the mummy at his feet Then 
taking the papyrus from the hand of Edmond, " Lo, 
here," he said, "Thoi^oris and his sons; Sethos the 
elder, Amasis the younger. 

"Ignoring the prerogative of birthright, the king 
areads the monarchy to him that shall read the riddle 
of the ring, as being the most wise and worthiest to 
reign. Verily not wise was he that thus reversed the 
rule of Nature. Now, of the sons of Thoiioris, the 
most wise was Amasis ; forasmuch as in him was an 
excellent spirit of knowledge, to understand the writ- 
ings of the gods, and in the showing forth of hard 
sentences. He, therefore, to his hurt, resolved the rid- 
dle of the ring. 



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A SBED FROM THE TOMB. 155 

"DlSTITRB NOT THE HaND OP DeSTINY. 

"Touch not with earthly tinqeb the Work 
OP Fate. 

" So Amasis read the writing, and declared the in- 
terpretation thereof. Deeply within his inmost heart 
Sethos kept those words. Even as they were graven 
upon the stone of the ring, so also were they graven 
upon the spirit of the man. . 

"And from him the Most High God removed the 
kingdom and the glory of it, so that the sceptre de- 
parted out of the hand of Sethos and was given to his 
brother, that he should sit on the throne of his fathers 
after the death of Thouoris the king. 

" Then Sethos bowed his head, and was obedient to 
the will of the Most High God, revering the words of 
the Oracle. 

" But neither did he forget those words in the after 
time. Therefore he lifted not his hand, neither in 
anywise hindered he the work of the Inevitable, when 
to him his brother (was it not by the fault of the man 
himself? and was it not by the will of the Most High?), 
being in evil, case, a drowniog man without help, 
stretched forth from out of the whelming of the wa- 
ters a suppliant hand. 

" And so Amasis perished under the eye of his 
brother Sethos. For the waters took him, and he 
died." 

"And what became of Sethos?" exclaimed Ed- 
mond, whose imagination was stretched to the utmost 
by the strange recital which thus suddenly illumina- 
ted the hitherto unelucidated obscurity of that antique 



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156 THE PATIENT. 

tragedy imaged on the papyrus which he had in vain 
been attempting to decipher. 

A bitter smile played about the hard-lined angles 
of the lips of the K&hjl chief 

" Saiit thou not thyself," he answered (and a look 
of inexpressible mockeiy accompanied these words, 
slowly and emphatically pronounced), ^'saidst thou 
not thyself that thou seekest not from the tomb the 
secrets of another world?" 

Edmond, again overmastered by the supreme mock- 
ery which he felt in the tone of this response, was 
compelled to lower his eyes from the face of the Ka- 
byl. They rested on the gem which he yet held in 
his hand. The mystic amethyst seemed to dart at 
him from the glittering and vindictive angles of its 
luminous facets violet forked fires and flashes of un- 
holy light. 

Meanwhile the sun had sunk unnoticed behind the 
dark sunamits of the Libyan mountains. And now 
the large disk of the full moon was swathing in soft, 
argent light the hot, transparent air, and sultry spaces 
of the great solitude. When the count again lifted 
up his eyes, he perceived that the mysterious inhabit- 
ant of that solitude had left his side as noiselessly as 
he had approached it He could distinctly trace the 
tall form of the Desert's dusky son silently gliding into 
darkness among the mighty trunks of the colossal col- 
imins of the temple of Ammon Chnouphis. 



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A S££D FROM THE TOMB. 157 



CHAPTER VL 
Doubts. 

All search after the Arab chief proved fruitless. 
The attendants of Edmond, whom he had left about 
the encampment at some little distance from the scene 
of his strange interview with the Kabjl, had noticed 
neither the approach nor the departure of that mys- 
terious visitant On the morrow careful inquiries 
were instituted by order of the coimt throughout the 
surrounding villages. Without result, however. Far 
and wide, for many weeks past, no trace had been 
seen, no news had been heard, of any ELabyl troop. 
Those formidable marauders had been probably kept 
at a respectful distance by the numerous and well- 
armed escort of Count Br— — . 

His interview with the Arab appeared more and 
more mysterious the more he considered it. No third 
person had been present on the spot, or even within 
sight of the speakers. The monuments and the dead 
were witnesses that could not be called into Court To 
increase his perplexity. Kature herself seemed to 
have entered into conspiracy with Circumstance, by 
refusing all testimony to the &ct The fine, smooth 
sand which overlies those ruins showed nowhere, 
either on the spot where the Kabyl had been stand- 
ing, or along those places over which he must have 
passed when he disappeared into the temple of Am* 



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158 THE PATIENTi 

mon Chnoupliis, the trace of any footsteps "whicli 
could reasonably be attributed to him. Had the 
night wind, itself a phantom, jealous of any other 
spectral presence on its own domain, been careful 
to cancel before dawn all record of that apparition ? 
Anyhow, no proof of the supposed interview could be 
educed from the count's knowledge of the story of 
AmaBis. The images on the papyrus were sufficient-, 
ly unusual to have stimulated his imagination, and 
sufficiently suggestive of such a story to have enabled 
him to construct it unconsciously from the supple- 
mentary materials of his own fancy. There rested the 
interpretation of the ring. But what proved that in- 
terpretation to be the right one? Those characters, 
even according to the hypothesis of which he could 
not feel quite sure that he was not the unconscious 
author, must have been enigmatical to the science of 
the Egyptians theznselves. Nay, even the amethyst 
was a stone not common (perhaps unknown) to that 
people. Every thing in the character of the story 
seemed to indicate a theology anterior even to that 
of Egypt But how, then, did the ring come into the 
count's hand? Had he himself drawn it from the 
finger of the mummy? Kso, why had he no recol- 
lection of that act? Was it possible that, in the act 
of possessing himself of the ring, the consck>usness <^ 
the action, which had a real existence, had been, as it 
were, submerged and obliterated in the superimposed 
consciousness of something which had only an ideal 
existence? 

Whichever way he turned it, the mystery remain- 
ed. Finally, he accustomed himself to look back at it 



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A SEED FROM THE TOMB. 169 

through the dhiar^ oscuro of doubt ; and, thus viewed, 
amid many conflicting and equally unsatis£EU3tory con- 
jectures, the supposition that the whole occurrence 
had been a sort of waking dream (the effects of watch- 
ing and the distemperature of an overlabored brain), 
although not entirely nor permanently accepted by 
the count (for what man in possession of his senses 
will willingly reject their evidence?), yet, on the 
whole, assumed the most prominent and the most du- 
rable place in his mind. Thus, in proportion as the' 
mysterious image of the Arab was driven from the 
domain of external &ct, and ceased to represent a real- 
Uy^ retreating into the recesses of internal conscious- 
ness, imperceptibly it assumed possession of an idea. 

An idea which I can only indicate by this ques- 
tion: 

With the bodily eye Edmond had not looked on 
the face of the Kabyl chief? Perhaps. But had his 
spiritual eye been resting on the soul of Sethos the 
Egyptian? 

A fanciful inquiry this, which I seize as it rises in 
my own mind, and throw out at random. 



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160 THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTER VIL 
Westward HoI 

The approach of that season which is the most im- 
portant of all to the inhabitants of Egypt, who still 
take for the bases of their calendar those three phe- 
nomena of the Egyptian year, the overflow of the 
Nile, the maturity of crops, and the season of dryness, 
now barely lefb time to Count Edmond, before the 
rising of the waters, to regain Cairo, the starting-point 
of his expedition. 

There, haying safely confided to the care of trust- 
worthy agents, to be shipped for Europe, the rich re- 
sult of his recent researches, he set Out without faHher 
delay upon his homeward journey. 

And here the golden-gated Orient fades out of the 
foreground of this narrow stage, whereon is to be re- 
hearsed the tragedy of a life ; fades, dream-like, into 
Dream ; yet in the far background still, incongruous 
and strange, some faintest ghostly shadow of its " gor- 
geous palaces, its solemn temples," may haply linger, 
even as the memory of a dream will sometimes linger, 
out of place, amid the business of waking life, leaving, 
of all its "insubstantial pageant," yet "a wrack be- 
hind." 

If we are, indeed, no more than "such stuff as 
dreams are made o^" what function, amid the brief 
activities of this "little life" that is "rounded with a 
sleep," may the Maker of it have assigned to the mem- 
ory of a dream ? 



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BOOK II. 

9Hic 00tDing of tift Qeth. 

Oar acts oar angels are, or good or ill, 
The haanting shadows that walk by us still. 

Ford. 



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BOOK 11, 



CHAPTER L 
The Egyptian Gallery at L- 



"WlTH those pages which conclude the account of 
his Egyptian journey, and of which the substance has 
been recorded in the preceding chapters of the pres- 
ent narrative, the journal of Count Edmond breaks 
off. It is resumed again at a later date, from which I 
gather that between the period of the count's return 
from the East and that at which the journal recom- 
mences about a year and a half must have elapsed ; 
and I assume from the silence of the journal in respect 
of this intervening period, either that the writer of it 
was during that time too busily occupied to record the 
daily events of his life, or that those events were of a 
nature too trivial and insignificant to be recorded. 

The first page of the second portion of the journal 
is dated from the old chateau of the count's father in 
Silesia. Here Edmond appears to be, as formerly, the 
idol of the household, and the central figure in the 
family picture, which, but for the absence of his 
brother Felix, who, it appears, is still at the Military 
College, would seem to be complete. The various de- 
tails of family matters, and the quiet chronicles of 
country life, which occupy the early pages of this part 
of the journal, I see no need to recapitulate ; and I 



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164 THE PATIENT. 

shall therefore resume my own recital of this straBge 
history of a life, which I have herein undertaken to 
set forth, by bringing at once before the reader the first 
scene which arrested my attention in the perusal of 
those pages with which the count's narrative recom- 
mences. This scene is -the first distinct indication I 
can find of a new phase in the fraternal character of 
the relations between Edmond and Juliet, and per- 
haps a new phase in the two characters themselves. 

Few, I think, who, after long absence, have been 
restored to the sight of those they love, will have fail- 
ed to experience in the first moment of reunion an in- 
describable sensation, of which the peculiar charm is 
probably produced by the mysterious commixture in 
a single influence, or in two that are simultaneous, of 
that which is familiar with that which is strange. 
These apparitions are in one and the same moment 
altogether old and altogether new ; the same and yet 
changed ; they soothe, and yet surprise us. Perhaps 
this complex sensation is never so strongly or so 
strangely felt as when absence has removed from our 
sight the silent and delicate stages of that tender, 
flower-like change by which childhood passes into 
womanhood, and we breathe with a delicious embar- 
rassment the thrilling and unwonted atmosphere of a 
new and yet well-known presence in that magic mo- 
ment which for the first time mingles to sight and 
sense the ghost of the child we left with the vision of 
the woman that meets us. 

With the happiest emotions of that moment of re- 
union there mingles a vague, half-conscious sadness. 
This sense of melancholy has its secret source in the 



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TH£ SOWING OF THE SEED. 165 

imperfect apprehension of some indefinite change in 
the nature of a happiness which has been a habit of 
the heart — a happiness of which the permanency has 
hitherto seemed sufficiently insured by the invariable 
tranquillity of its character. At that boundary-line 
before which our accustomed sensations pause abashed 
and uncertain of themselyes, the charming uncon- 
sciousness of the child is mingled with the charm of 
the coming consciousness of the woman — never more 
charming than in that first moment when she herself 
is just beginning to apprehend the new nature of her 
own womanhood. The future and the past — the be- 
ing that was and the being that will be — hover in a 
holy twilight over the heaven of that brief time where- 
in the insubstantial present is but an airy apparition, 
haunting and beautifying the atmosphere in which 
memory melts into anticipation, purifying and sub- 
limating the sense by which the presence of it is ap- 
prehended, and hallowing the heart into which the 
sanctity of it is received. 

I have never yet met with a man whose nature, 
however churlish, callous, or uncultured, has not been, 
in some part of it, susceptible to this sanctifying in- 
fluence when confronted with the presence of that 
mystery of beauty which is unveiled by the first hours 
of virgin womanhood. We approach it with a defer- 
ence such as royalty does not receive from the sleek- 
est of its courtiers; and even when it manifests itself 
only in that embarrassment which is the feeblest ex- 
pression of it, it is graced in our behaviors by a cer- 
tain sacred shyness. 

The degree to which Edmond was susceptible to 



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166 THE PATIENT. 

this influence is apparent in numberless allusions 
throughout those parts of his journal which I have 
not thought it necessary to transcribe. His suscepti- 
bility to such influences must, indeed, have been pro- 
portioned to the extreme tenacity of self-seclusion and 
reserve which had become the habit of his mind. 
Within that mind thus habitually locked fast, and as 
it were impenetrably shut within itself, there existed 
depths and breadths of a vast mine of undivulged 
value, of which the multitudinous galleries had not 
yet been obstructed or choked up by any internal con- 
vulsion. Thus the new sentiment all at once, and 
once for all, entered at every aperturie of his. conscious- 
ness ; penetrated, unimpeded, all those empty galler- 
ies; filled full the hollow void; sunk down from 
depths to deepest depths ; and illumined with a soffc^ 
loving light the inmost recesses of his heart. All 
things became in him, as in a church, silent and holy. 
When he spoke with her whom he could no longer 
call sister, his voice grew softer and deeper. When 
he was with others in her presence, little that he ever 
said was spoken to her; all that he ever said was 
spoken />r her. 

In short, there was a change in Edmond. It was 
the change of his feeling for Juliet. Juliet herself 
was changed. And if there was no change in her 
feeling for Edmond, the expression of that feeling was 
at least no longer the same. For her, Edmond had 
ever been the complete and quintessential embodi- 
ment of all that is good and noble. What in others 
she had found to admire more rarely, and in less de- 
gree, was realized to the full perfection in the feultless 



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THE SOWINQ OP THE SEED. 167 

impieasion of his character upon hers. It was men- 
tallj and morally, no less than actually, that in child- 
hood she had looked up to him ; and as childhood ex- 
panded and deepened into womanhood, and the hori- 
zon of her nature enlarged its scope, she still found in 
the mind of Edmond the same distance and the same 
height, and still looked up to him with the same won- 
dering, trustful gaze. Thus the growth of her nature 
had changed nothing in the relations of it to his; for 
her power to ask still fell short of his power to give, 
and the same surpassing proportions still returned the 
lavish response to the larger need. 

It was the critical, the decisive moment in which it 
had become possible for the lives of these two beings 
to commingle and amalgamate into one ; nay, in which 
it was certain that they must indissolubly so amalga- 
mate, if only the deeper and more thoughtful feeling 
with which, in the dawn of her new self-consciousness, 
Juliet now regarded Edmond, should be met and 
seized at the outset by the merest impulsion on his 
part, and so imperceptibly turned into the direction 
which a woman's feelings, in that moment of her life 
when they are first discovered by herself, take all at 
once and once for all, at the lightest touch of a loving 
hand. 

But the moment slipped away. Passion only knows 
how to strike the want into the will, and grasp the in- 
tention in the act ; for passion only, knowing well and 
surely what it wants, stretches out the hand to take 
it : in rude natures, rashly, without thought ; in strong 
natures, instinctively, without thinking. 

Edmond was devoid of passion. Contemplating its 



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168 THE PATIENT. 

own sensations, this nature soared and hovered, as it 
were, with outstretched wings over its proper con- 
sciousness, in a region of passionless perception, at- 
tracting into itself the outer world, and there trans- 
forming actual objects into ideal images, instead of 
boldly passing out of itself into the world of external 
things, and there firmly planting the foot of conquest 
on the ground of possession. Thus to him, his sensa- 
tions about facts tvere facts. He thought to pass his 
life forever with Juliet. He could contemplate no 
other circumstantial possibility. This thought was 
firmly established in him. It remained a thought. 
The process of thinking it once completed, nothing 
else presented itself to his mind as necessary and nat- 
ural to the realization of it. The farther process of 
acting it out did not occur to him — to him the thought 
was an action. The matter was fully and finally set- 
tled in his mind, and so in his mind it remained. It 
was a virgin sentiment in a virgin nature which real- 
izes possession in the reality of the feeling by which 
it is possessed. Thus the days passed tranquilly and 
happily away. 

The long-delayed arrival of Edmond's Egyptian 
wonders, however, was a great event at the chateau. 
Unheard-of preparations had been made for the recep- 
tion of these venerable visitors. Half the house had 
been turned topsy-turvy on their account To assim- 
ilate the aspect of the new museum to that of the mar- 
vels it was destined to contain, some of the old me- 
diaeval chambers had been duly Egyptianized. The 
Gothic fireplaces, furnished after much diflSculty by 
the village mason with an adequate quantity of py- 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 169 

lones and capitals, gradually contrived to assume as 
sepulchral and forbidding an appearance as could pos- 
sibly be desired, and finally looked as proud of them- 
selves as if the only ashes they had ever contained 
were those of Osiris himself. 

The workmen had bivouacked in the best rooms, 
and kept up a series of light skirmishes about the rest 
of the house for several months; so that, when at last 
the arrival of the gods was announced, all was in readi- 
ness for their reception with due honor and dignity. 

It was some time before the untraveled members 
of the household felt themselves to be on quite friend- 
ly terms with the mummies. But the beautiful seri- 
ous sphinges, with their smooth lion-limbs, and serene 
human faces, immediately made themselves perfectly 
at home. Speedy popularity, too, was acquired by 
the placid divinities themselves, with their quiet, as- 
tonished, childish faces, notwithstanding their very dis- 
tressing habit of permanently keeping one leg raised 
at an angle of thirty degrees above the ground, appa- 
rently with no object but to make one feel uncomfort- 
able in trying to realize the extent of discomfort sug- 
gested by such a position. Their neat priestly head- 
dresses (worn to this day in Egypt), and their quiet 
behavior, and sleek, lustrous limbs of polished granite, 
did much, moreover, to mollify in their fitvor the in- 
stinctive repugnance for ''pagan idols, and outlandish, 
heathenish images," with which the uncritical menial 
mind was disposed at first to regard these chaste 
embodiments of the speculative thought of Ancient 
Egypt Every body cheerfully lent a helping hand 
to the arrangement of the museum, which soon pre- 

H 



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i 

170 THE PATIENT. 



sen ted a very respectable arraogement of gems, scant- 
baei, sphinges, stuffed crocodiles, and tupinambes, sar- 
cophagi, statues, papyri, pedestals, plinths, capitals, 
gods, and columns. 



"Oh beautiful 1 what a magnificent ring!" 

It is Juliet that makes this exclamation. She is 
helping Edmond, as usual, this aflemoon to assort 
and arrange sundry little odds and ends of antiquity 
that are still to be put in order. She takes the ring 
from its little cotton' bed in the case where she has 
just found it; holds it up, and turns about the stone 
(a beautiful purple amethyst) in the warm light that is 
streaming in, and beaming on her bright young &ce 
through the high window of the Egyptian Gfcallery. 

Edmond is busily occupied in stretching out a pa- 
pyrus, which appears to be in an advanced state of de- 
composition. He is not paying much, attention to 
Juliet just now, so he answers without turning his 
head. " What 1 have you really found, after all, some- 
thing that pleases you among these uncannie curiosi- 
ties? How glad I ami" 

" Thanks, Edmond ! It is perfect Suits me ex- 
actly. I suspect you must have had it made express- 
ly for me by one of the goldsmiths of Serastro." 

So says Juliet, her ideas about matters Egyptian not 
ranging beyond sundry confused recollections of the 
libretto of the Zauberflote. 

" See how it fits my finger !" and she spreads out 
her five slender little fingers to be looked at^ and suns 
her soft white hand in the warm light 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 171 

" Charming ! Now don't suppose that you are ever 
to regain possession of this ring.. It is mine, do you 
understand? forever and ever. Par droit de conqu£ie 
etpar droit de naissance. Do you bear? for it certain- 
ly must have been made for me, or I for it. See! 
And I intend never to yield it but with my life. Oare 
aux voleurs I 

But Edmond is still too busy with his papyrus to 
turn round and admire the rosy, impudent little finger 
that is shaking defiance at all the divinities of the Nile. 

" Ah I Juliet, Juliet, boast not too loud, or at least 
too soon. (Another woful rent in this poor papyrus. 
Sad 1) If you will not yield the ring but with your 
life, then must you give it to whoever shall one day 
be the f>ossessor of that same dear life of yours; and 
may he take good care of both the precious gifts 1" 

" So be it!" she answers, laughing. " And it shall 
be my spousal ring. This and no other. I am sure, 
too, it will bring me good luck. 'Tis doubtless an 
amulet or a talisman. See the wonderful characters 
here on the stone ! Some mighty meaning they must 
have, no doubt. One fancies how some old wizard 
must have puzzled his own wise head how best to 
puzzle all. the foolish heads in the world with this 
posy, for years and years, till at last he turned himself 
into a stone, like your friends Horus and Anubis, and 
what other spider-legged gods you may please to teach 
me the tlnpronounceable names of." 

So saying and so laughing, she comes up to Ed- 
mond, stooping all the fragrance of her soft brown 
hair over that unsavory papyrus which he has just 
succeeded in lodging safely under its glass frame. 



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172 THE PATIENT. 

So this time Edmond turns round, and .... 
ah ! that ever-recurring note of the hautboy in my 
ears! .... there comes over him, all at once, 
a sort of cold, creepy shudder, and that strangely- 
common feeling in the hair, as if damp fingers of an 
unseen hand were passing through the roots of it from 
behind. Nor, though I fancy him to be standing full 
in the sunshine of Juliet's laughing eyes, am I, on the 
whole, I must confess, disposed to wonder very much 
at this uncomfortable feeling which he describes him- 
self to have felt just then, for the ring which he sees 
on the finger of Juliet is the antique ring of Seb Kro- 
nos, which he had first seen on the finger of Amasis 
of Thebes. 

Instantaneously, as at* the touch of a wizard's wand, 
all his senses are transported back amid the imme- 
morial ruins of the temple of Ammon Chnouphis. 
He sees an*d hears the irrevocable rolling of the an* 
cient Nila Out from the whelming wave, upstretcbed 
as though to him, in agonizing effort, he sees the arm 
and hand of Amasis. Alone on the prow of his boat^ 
standing unmoved, immovable, he sees Sethos the 
Egyptian. And the features of the face of Sethos are 
the features of the face of the Kabyl chief. He feels 
fixed keenly on his own the venomous eye of the 
Arab. Out from the incandescent heart of the kin- 
dling amethyst begin to dartle and to flash violet rays 
of lurid fire; and the fiery rays fiercely writhe and 
twist, and weave themselves up into the empty air 
before his eyes into angry letters of a luminous, be- 
wildering writing. Forthwith come faint and far-off 
sounds, as though out of illimitable distance ; and the 



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THE SOWING OP THE SEED. 173 

sounds enter, like wicked souls, into the violet flame- 
bodies of the lurid letters of the written words, so that 
the words begin to mutter and to speak to him ; and 
he hears the voices of the words as a man hears voices 
in a dream, which make a sound that is like a silence. 
And the sentence of the words that are uttered by the 
flame is the sentence of the words of Seb Kronos, the 
Indestructible Destroyer: "To mortals I give, and 

FROM MORTALS I TAKE, HAPPINESS. DISTURB NOT 

THE Hand of Destiny I" 

" Well, whenever you have finished your profound 
perusal of my talisman, I shall expect you, Edmond, 
to satisfy my curiosity with the interpretation of the 
hieroglyphics." 

It is the voice of Juliet beside him. This sweet 
voice shatters the weird spell, and recalls him at once 
within the sphere of that gentle presence, whose sunny 
serenity is incapable of being troubled by any wizardry 
more wicked than perhaps the pert pranks of some 
playful Puck. Immediately all the magic was melted 
out of the ring ; and Edmond, ashamed of his own 
unaccountable, but merely momentary disturbance of 
mind, was just about to explain to Juliet that he had 
in vain attempted to decipher the hieroglyphics, when, 
suddenly and blithely, in the great court-yard outside, 
sound the shrill, clear notes of a postillion's horn. It 
was no doubt the distant notes of this horn which, a 
few moments ago, had lent their phantom echoes to 
the fancied language of the fiery letters, in that rapid 
vision which had rushed for but an instant across the 
mind of Edmond. And thus a jolly German pos^boy, 
blowing his horn, as he bumped along, in leather 



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174 THE PATIENT. 

breeches, on his way to the chateau, had unconsciously 
been enacting, in the imaginary drama of another 
man's mind, no less solemn and important a part than 
that of the divine Seb Kronos. 

Immediately afterward a post-chaise rolls rumbling 
into the court, beneath the window where Edmond is 
standing with Juliet. A light elastic step in rapid 
movement on the stair ; confused voices along the cor- 
ridor ; nearer and clearer; the door is dashed open; 
wherethrough also comes dashing at full speed, with 
a mighty clatter of spurs and sabre, into' the Egyptian 
Gallery, quite regardless of 

" Osiris, Apis, Orus, and their crew," 

a blooming young officer ; arid Felix, with a light, joy- 
ous laugh, flings himself into the arms of Edmond. 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 175 



CHAPTER n. 

Felix. 

This was the first meeting of the brothers since 
Edmond's return. When Edmond came home from 
his Egyptian journey, Felix was still at the military 

school at M-: — . Soon after his arrival at L , 

Edmond wrote from the chateau to Felix, proposing 

to visit him at M in case his brother should be 

unable to obtain leave of absence. To this proposal 
Felix replied speedily and privately by the following 
letter, which I select from the numerous papers made 
over to me by the count, and copy without alteration 
or abridgment, as a tolerably fair specimen of the dif- 
ference of character between the two brothers. 



Felix to Edvokd. 

M . Marked Private and OonJukntitJ, 

Undated. 
" Brother, don't come I Keep my secret ; but, for 
God's sake, donH come. Fancy me crammed up to 
my ears for examination ; loaded up to the muzzle 
(do you understand?) and ready to go off I mean 
to take the dear old gentlefolks at homo by surprise, 
and so I am going up a month before term. I can't 
hold out any longer. I can't live on in this way, sep- 



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176 THE PATIENT. 

arated from all of you. I can't bear it, I say. And 
so, heighho I there is no help for it but to work, work, 
work (and oh I if you knew how I hate working 1), 
day and night, night and day, at squ&re root and cube, 
cube root and square, till I am fiiirly in the way to 
reduce myself to a decimal fraction. Now, shouldst 
thou come here, and were I to see thee, thou best and 
dearest of men, it would be all up with the curves and 
hyperboles. For, as for the mathematics, know that 
I am a dunce among the dunces. 'Oh dear Horatio, 
I am ill at these matters,' and what between plus here 
and minus there, hang it ! the game lies so close, and 
the coyer is so thick, that I am always making a 
false point of it, in despite of all thy teaching and 
training, oh thou inimitable Euclid! No! by St. Hu- 
bert I swear it, till all is fairly over, I will hear and 
think of nothing but the emth root of m (mark this !) 
plus w, to the power o{s^plus m minus n to the power 
of r minus m plus n minus q to the power oil plus the 
emth root of r, divided by m plus n plus p plus q plus r 
plus X y z hotherorum • . . . . Oufl Bacchus^ 
Apolh, divorum I 

" Brandy and Seltzer-water 1 and find me the enth 
root of it all, if you can. My head whirls, Edmond, 
when I think how I might be hugging you all to my 
heart of hearts just now, instead of splitting these dull 
brains of mine on all the tormenting angles of trigo- 
nometry I To say nothing of these lamentable loga- 
rithms I Well, well I thank Heaven, it only wants 
eighty-seven days now to Easter 1 Eighty-seven days 
at twenty-four hours per diem, minus six hours' sleep 
('tis the least I can do with), equals two thousand and 



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THE SOWING OP THE SEED. 177 

eighty-eight hours minus five hundred and twenty- 
two hours ; equals fifteen hundred and sixty-six hours. 
Minus again twenty-five minutes one and a quarter 
seconds per diem for breakfast, dinner, et cceterUj re- 
mains fifteen hundred and twenty-two hours. Then 
there is still minus two hours per diem riding — (oh 1 
you should see the old roan now ! I have her down ' 
here, in first-rate condition) — ^that makes one thousand 
four hundred and sixteen hours' work. And in this 
space of time must I mark, learn, and inwardly digest. 
Differential Calculus. Faith I 'tis enough to make a 
man mount on a Flutter-mine, and blow out his brains, 
the sooner to get rid of all the stuff he has got into 
them. No matter, though I All is goiug on well. I 
shall manage to swallow the whole dose, I think. I 
am not afraid of the drugs, least of all of the Military 
History part of the emetic Let them only ask me 
who gained the battle of Preston Pans, and if I answer 
Frederick the Great, I should like to see the Konig- 
licher Preussischer Professor who will venture to 
pluck me. Humph 1 

" Brother, brother, not a word of all this I Ear of 
my heart as thou art, be silent — silent as the tombs of 
Nineveh. Where is Nineveh, by the way? I hope 
they'll not ask me that I suspect it must be in Pom- 
erania: five hundred inhabitants ; one thousand seven 
hundred houses ; one Protestant chapel ; ditto three 
Moravian; eight synagogues; two porcelain manu- 
factories ; and — if that's not right, the devil take the 
geographers for putting it into my head 1 

" Oh Edmond I Edmond I if you did but know what 
goes on in this head of mine! Is it not a shame to 
H2 



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178 THE PATIENT. 

think how many things have taken place in the world 
which I, poor 4evil I must needs know something 
about now ?" 

" 'Tis enough, oh brother mine, to put me in envy 
of the good old times of Gain and Abel. Lucky dogs, 
those brothers 1 Nothing had then happened to trou- 
ble men's heads but a damned apple. Easy enough 
in those days to pass one's examination. And if only 
that silly fellow Cain — fool 1 not to know the worth 

of his own good luck ! why must he needs 

But 'tis I am the fool, brother Edmond. Dolt! how 
came this nonsense into my head? I to be prating 
of Cain — such a fellow as Cain, forsooth ! — ^I, who am 
writing to Edmond-^Edmbnd, my prince of good fel- 
lows — ^the best of brothers and dearest of men ! 

"Ay, and believe it, brother — ^for, trust me, this is 
as true and sure as that the sine of the angle is equal 
to the cosines multiplied by the tangent of it, or no 
matter in whatsoever other formula thou mayest be 
graciously pleased to receive the assurance — to no nian 
on earth is Edmond half so dearly dear as to his stu- 
pid, good for nothing, but faithful and ever loving 

"Felix." 

Edmond faithfully kept his brother's secret He 
wrote to Felix two or three times a week, to encour- 
age him. But he had not expected him home so soon. 

For I find, by reference to the dates of the papers in 
my hands, that the day on which this event occurred 
was the 21st of March, 1813. 

So, after the first joyous greetings were over, Ed- 
mond drew his brother aside. 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 179 

" How about the examination ?" he whispers to Fe- 
lix. "Can I speak out about it now? Are we to 
congratulate you?" 

Whereupon Master Felix bursts into an immoder- 
ate fit of laughter ; and, turning round to the others, 

" Oh, ay I the examination?" says he. "A famous 
farce, and you shall hear all about it 

"Passed my examination, have I, do you ask? I 
should think I have passed it, indeed I And what sort 
of an examination, too ? That is the best of the joke. 
Faith 1 brother Edmond, I verily believe that the 
Seven Sages of Greece, and yourself into the bargain, 
had you all been present on that auspicious occasion, 
would have held your sides for laughipg. 

" But no matter. The thing is done. This time, 
as luck would have it; it was not I, but the professors' 
themselves that were at pains to pull me through. 
Never yet, you may be sure, was the Ass's Bridge 
made so smooth to the hoof of the ass ; for, be it here- 
by known to all whom it may concern, that it was set- 
tled beforehand in the council of the gods that I should 
be, with the utmost expedition compatible with the 
constitution of the Prussian mind, an officer in His 
Majesty's Army. The great Napoleon absolutely in- 
sisted on it. 

" Why are you all staring at me in that way ? Do 
none of you know, here in your corner, what the 
whole world is about outside ? 

" Our King has appealed to the people I 

" No more University, ho more Lyceum, no more 
Military Colleges, to more Government Offices I Stu- 
dent and schoolboy, cadet and clerk — ^in short, every 



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180 THB PATIENT. 

man that can bear arms, is turned soldier f Hurrah ! 
the French garrison has walked itself off— bolted — 
cut its sticks ! 

« When I left Berlin on the 17th, York, the fine old 
York, entered the town at the head of seventeen thou-' 
sand picked tix>ops. You should have seen the rejoic- 
ing there was that day. 

"Yesterday I presented myself before Lutzow at 
Breslau ; enrolled myself the same day in his Free 
corps ; and, what is more, Edmond, you are my com- 
rade and fellow-officer; for your commission, old fel- 
low, is signed, sealed, and packed up in my port- 
manteau. 

" What say you ? I and you, cum canibus nostris — 
all our dogs — ^are after the Bonaparte. The old fox 
has broken cover, and there is nothing but tally ho! 
after the heels of him from one end of the land to the 
other. What fun 1 

" To-day and to-morrow are still ours to make the 
most of, mother. After to-morrow I promised Lutzow 
that we would both appear under arms." 



The political events in Europe which followed the 
scene witnessed by Felix on the 17th of March, 1818, 
are well known. 

Merged in the current of these public events, the 
private history of the two brothers entirely passes 
out of sight till the signature of the Treaty of Paris, 
which enabled them, with the rest of their comrades 
in arms, to return home. 



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THS SOWING OF THE SEED. 181 

The following letters and papers, carefully selected 
from the great mass of private documents confided to 
my care by Count R j are sufficient to give con- 
sistency and continuity to the development of his ex- 
traordinary and melancholy biography. 



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182 THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTER HX 
Juliet. 

Juliet to Thsbesa. 

L , liih Jane, 1814. 

" Ah 1 -what a day, dear Theresa I Edmond and 
Felix are both come home. My dear, good^ darling 
brothers I Both of them well, both of them the same 

as in the pleasant old times, and yet Well, 

let me tell you how it has all happened. 

"I was sitting in the window that overlooks the 
park. Our dear mother was sitting a little way off 
at her work-table. You remember (do you not?) this 
sunny little study of ours, where you used to share 
with me my solitude, in the days when Edmond was 
first away on his journey in Egypt And have you 
forgotten that long summer, when you and I managed 
to coax three or four of the tallest vine-boughs up the 
espaliers on the wall, and in through the casement, so 
as to make for us two girls to be queens of, sole and 
undisputed, a little green bower in the room itself. 
The bower has grown since thep, Theresa. And here, 
where I sit behind the leaves and twigs, my small 
green palace walls are as closely and compactly framed 
and clothed as the nest of the noisy swallow up yon- 
der in the eaves outside. How sure I felt this spring 
that the swallow's news was good I 

"We had just received letters ftom Strasbourg 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 183 

which made us expect their retun), but not so soon, 
for they had not then received their congi, 

" Well, as I am sitting here, all at once I hear a 
noise in the espaliers under the window. Crack, 
crack I crash,* crash I and before I can turn my head 
to see what is the matter, lo and behold! a saucy 
young gentleman in uniform climbs over the window, 
jumps into the room, whisks me out of my chair, 
catches me up in his right arm as if I were a feather, 
pulls me, or rather carries me, in this way across the 
room, and, seizing mother after the same unceremoni- 
ous fashion with his other arm, squeezes and kisses 
us both out of breath ; while the dear old lady, really, 
I think, speechless from pure joy, can only* strain his 
beaming, sunburnt face to her bosom, and stroke her 
hand over his tossed and tumbled curls without utter- 
ing a word. 

" We had hardly recovered from our first happy be- 
wilderment at the unexpected appearance and frantic 
impetuosity of Felix (for of course it was he ; who but 
Felix would have ever dreamed of jumping in at the 
window?) when Edmond also came in through the 
door, holding father by the hand. Oh, then, Theresa, 
'twas nothing but kissing and clasping all round, hands 
in hands and hearts to hearts I Felix laughed and 
cried in one and the same breath, and jumped about 
like mad. When at last he had kissed and hugged 
us all round for at least the fiftieth time, then he be- 
gan to seize his brother by the head, and dance round 
him, shouting and singing, and hugging him too, as 
if they also now met for the first time after a year's 
absence. Bref. he finally played so many pranks with 



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184 THE PATIENT. 

US all, that we soon fairly laughed off all the trouble 
and trepidation of those first breathless moments of 
sudden joy. 

"At last the Kobold is tamed. He 'is fast asleep 
now in his mother's chair, where all at once his eye- 
lids dropped. I think the French cannon would not 
wake him just now ; and I hope he will leave us all 
in repose for a while. 

" Edmond staid with us longer. He who appeared 
so calm and self-possessed on his arrival, has, how- 
ever, been deeply agitated,! now suspect, by the meet- 
ing. We were obliged to force him to take a little 
rest ; for the poor boys have been nine days on the 
road, Theresa, without stopping night or day. And 
they came home on a wretched peasant's cart, for the 
post communications are not yet quite re-established. 
My dear, dear brother I wTiile I write to you, Theresa, 
and while Felix is snoring loud enough to break the 
drum of my ears, I* can see Edmond wandering about 
all alone in the park instead of taking any rest I 
hoped he was in bed long ago and asleep by this time. 

" There he is now (I can see him through the win- 
dow), standing near my little garden. I think I must 
have told you how I planted there a large E and a 
large F in box. The F looks fresher and thicker, and 
greener and stronger than the E. It has grown so. 
I am sorry. But it is from no want of care or coax- 
ing on my part I could not help it. There is one 
part of the earth where the box has withered down as 
often as I planted it What a strange nature is Ed- 
mond's I So dreamy and quiet ; yet he notices every 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 185 

thing. Nothing escapes his eye. So it always was 
with him. And he often attaches to the merest trifles 
a greater value than to things which are really im- 
portant. I have many times observed that. Would 
you think it, Theresa? Soon after he first came into 
the room, he had already noticed, from my window, 
the withered side of the box E in my garden. I saw 
him looking at it As for Felix, that saucy, misbe- 
haved urchin has never even vouchsafed me a Thank- 
you for all my care and pains. It is really too bad. 
He treats me, I declare, as if I were one of his barrack 
companions. No matter, though ; I shall pay him out 
for it one of these days. I am determined to love Ed- 
mond a great deal better than him. But the worst 
of it is, he is quite capable of never even noticing thai. 
And then, too, I am not quite sure I could do it, even 
if I tried. My two dear brothers, I love them both 
with all my heart ! There can be no most nor least 
in such love. Is not one as dear to me as the other? 
And only .... yes, perhaps — but, God be thanked I 
I have them both .... if one of my darlings had 
never returned, I think it is the dead that I should 
have loved the best" 



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186 THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTER IV. 
Edmoih). 

ExnUOT FBOK THE JOURNAL OF CotJBT EdKOKD. 

" How few among us ever really grapple and close 
with the great questions of Human Life 1 

" Here, already passed beyond the boundary-line of 
man's maturity, I find myself stumbling at the sim- 
plest of these enigmas. Here I halt irresolute, hesi- 
tating, timid. And I, the man whose brain is bur- 
dened with the too, too heavy weight of thought, I 
am ready to ask my road of a child." * * 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 187 

\ 



CHAPTER V. 
Felix, Edmond, and Juliet. 

Juliet to Theresa. 

"L , 20th June, 1814. 

" The first emotions are over. We have got to be 
accustomed to each other again, and have grown into 
the habit of each other's lives. 

" It is better so, for it is calmer. Your letter spoke 
of feelings somewhat akin to these when you told me 
about your child and your husband, and of your love 
for these two, and of the difference in that love. How 
strange it would be did any one become jealous of his 
own flesh and blood. Is jealousy possible between 
father and child — brother and brother? But what 
am I talking of? I meant to tell you something of 
our lives ; how we are all living together here ; how 
quietly ; and how happily the days go by. 

" Well, then, after breakfast father usually goes out 
with Edmond, to look over the' mills, the farm, the 
cattle, and see how the crops are coming on. Or 
sometimes they both take their horses and ride about 
the forest, to inspect the timber, and that Edmond 
may see how well and carefully all his suggestions 
and plans have been attended to during his absence. 

"It is really amusing to see how the dear old gen- 
tleman behaves on these occasions. He is as eager 
and as timid as a schoolboy ; doubting if he have done 



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188 THE PATIENT. 

well, and impatient for Edmond's approval. Then, 
when they both come home, I can always see at a 
glance, by the way he rubs his hands and chuckles to 
himself, if all has gone smooth and well. As for Fe- 
lix, we hardly ever see any thing of him before late 
in the evening. He has registered a vow never to re- 
turn home without a stag, or some enormous trophy 
of the chase ; and he generally sets out at daybreak, 
before the house is out of bed. Father is by no means 
too well pleased with these extensive devastations of 
Felix just at this season. The other day Felix kept 
his vow by not coming home all night Such a fright 
as we were in 1 He reappeared, however, the next 
morning. And in what sort of equipage do you sup- 
pose? Mounted on the top of a wooden cJiareUe, and 
sound asleep between a wild boar and a stag — a mag- 
nificent ten-homer I We all burst out laughing when 
he made his triumphal entry in this way up the shrub- 
bery, where we were just then taking our morning 
walk. It was ludicrous to see the puzzled face of 
him, and the astonished way he rubbed his eyes, and 
stretched and shook himself like a great dog, before 
he seemed to know where he was. But, before moth- 
er could scold him for the anxiety he had caused us 
all, he jumped down from the cart, and into her arms, 
and contrived to pour into our ears, without stopping 
to take breath, such a long story of wonderful adven- 
tures, that no one could put in a word. What saved 
him, I think, was that it so happened we really were 
in want of game, for we are expecting a house full of 
visitors next week. Well, but you must not fancy, 
Therissa, from all this, that Felix is rude, or selfish, or 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 189 

that he has no taste for any thing but dogs and horses, 
and shooting and hunting. If Edmond only says one 
word to him, 'tis enough. He quietly lays his gun by 
in the comer, sits down as sober as a judge, and in an 
instant he is quite a different creature ; sociable, gen- 
tle, and so sweet-tempered and sunny that it is really 
impossible to be angry with him for any of his nu- 
merous misdeeds. Edmond is every thing for him. 
There is nothing like it He looks up to Edmond 
as to a second father. And indeed he may well do 
so, for he owes him much. Do you know, Theresa, 
that during the campaign Edmond, though he never 
studied for the army, at once took the lead of his 
brother in all the details of military science and prac* 
tice? All through the war he was the guide and 
teacher, as well as helpmate, of Felix ; and here he 
continues to be the same in all things. What a sur- 
passing spirit it is I 

" Edmond is the most accomplished and complete 
man I ever met with. What an intellect, and what a 
soul I Such extraordinary powers of application, such 
self-possession and solidity of character I Yet he does 
not seem happy. And this makes me sad. I think 
Felix is the only perfectly happy creature. He is 
happy completely. The other, wit& all his gifts, all 
his lavish wealth of nature, has yet need of more. 
Felix is rich with little or nothing. Edmond hardly 
ever speaks to me now ; and I should almost begin to 
think him indifferent to me if a thousand little name- 
less silent kindnesses, and acts of thoughtful care, did 
not prove to me the contrary. And all that he does 
for me is done so quietly. Felix does nctthing at all 



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190 THE PATIENT. 

for me. On tbe other hand, he is always wanting me 
to do something for him. Yesterday he must needs 
set me down all the morning to mending his great 
leathern shot-belt, which I did, indeed, so well that I 
managed, before I was through with that rough, un- 
wonted work, to run the scissors into my finger, and 
hurt myself horribly. Edmond, before Felix even no- 
ticed it, was at my side. He turned quite pale when 
he saw the blood on my hand ; and, throwing a glance 
of disapprobation on his brother, he left the room to 
look for some English sticking-plaster. 

" But Felix, when he at last saw what was the mat- 
ter, jumps up, and crying, "Nonsense! nonsense I" 
seizes hold of my finger, thrusts it between his lips, 
and sucks out the blood so hard that he makes me 
cry. Then, before I can stop him, he catches up the 
scissors (the instruments of my mishap), and cuts a 
great piece out of my cambric pocket-handkerchief, as 
if it were merely a rag of hospital lint Therewith he 
bound up the wound tightly, and stopped the bleed- 
ing in a minute. I confess that I felt a pain at the 
heart when, a minute afterward, poor dear Edmond 
came back with the sticking-plaster, and found that 
there was nothing left him to do for me. Felix, in 
his rough way, had done every thing. 

" 'Tis a trifle, this. But — well, I hardly know why, 
Theresa, and yet I have noticed that on these occa- 
sions mother shakes her head and steals a furtive, un- 
quiet look af Edmond, as he sits beside us, so quiet, so 
self-involved." * * * * * 



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THB SOWING 07 THS SEED. 191 

Like this, there are many other letters from Juliet 
interspersed among the leaves of Edmond's journal. 
The dates run on to the middle of August I do not 
give them all. The selection which I make is enough 
to throw sufficient light on the interior of these three 
hearts, happily yet unconscious of the precipice to 
which an unseen hand was slowly leading them down. 



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192 THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTER IV, 
Straws upon thb Stream. 

Extracts from thb Journal of Coumt Edxokd 

"20th July, 1814. 

" The Idea which man calls GrOD only exists with- 
in the consciousness of man himself. Though we 
should take the wings of the morning and fly to the 
uttermost parts of the earth, yet we can find nothing 
there which we have not carried with us. Whether 
we scale the heights or sound the depths, mount up 
into Heaven or go down into Hell, we are equally un- 
able to travel out of our own thought, or attain to any 
point of space beyond the reach of it. Nay, Space it- 
self and Time are not things, nor even the qualities 
of things. They are only our manner of thinking of 
things ; the modes and conditions of our conscious- 
ness. We are not the masterpieces of a Supreme Be- 
ing who has formed us in his own image, but our idea 
of such a Being we have formed in the image of our- 
selves. We do not resemble him ; he resembles us. 

The action of all natural forces is spontaneous, self- 
impelled, independent, and obedient only to the laws 
of creation. Attraction and repulsion, centripetal and 
centrifugal force: these are the determining poles of 
movement. They are the same under every denomi- 
nation. The conditions of union and disunion are re- 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 198 

moved from our control within the centres of the in- 
evitable forces that join and part. No extraneous 
power prohibits such and such a union. No ex- 
traneous power necessitates such and such another. 
These two principles are their own employers. The 
cause of their activity is in themselves. They create 
and destroy at their will and pleasure. In the nature 
of man the action of them is spiritual| as in the nature 
of the inorganic world it is material. This is the only 
difference I can discover. * ♦ * * 

" Hence this lacerating conflict in our own bosoms. 
We are the battle-fields, only, if forces we do not 
command. Armies whose leaders are to us unknown ; 
powers we can neither summon nor dismiss, are 
camped upon the brain and tented in the veins of 
men. The war is theirs, not ours. We are the spec- 
tators of ourselves, not the lords. We are conscious 
where the conflict is waged. It shakes us at the most 
solitary outposts of thought, we are convulsed by it in 
the most central abysses of sensation, but nothing of 
it is our own save the ravage and the pang. 

And man fancies that he is something great because 
something great is taking place within him. 

So the sun-dial measured out the course of the world 
from hour to hour, and it imagined itself to be Time, 
and it dreamed that it was destined to become the 
compeer of Eternity. But a little cloud was blown 
across the sun, and the dial awoke &om its dream of 
Time and Eternity, and relapsed into— Nothingness. 

" As little as the dial could command the sun, can 
man command the mind in nature, of which he is the 
index ; if he dares to think himself more— the dupe. 

I 



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194 THE PATIENT. 

To no force within ourselves or others have we power 
to say, * Be thou thus, and not otherwise ; pass thou 
here, and not elsewhere.' In no one soul can the fiery 
effort of its intensest forces avail to strike from the 
soul of another the spark that lights, and warms, and 
kindles — love, * * * * * * « 

"Machine or chaos? Behold the conditions of 
our being. Is the choice between them always ours ?" 



Juliet to Theresa. 

"2l8t July, 1814. 

* * * "Because in my letters I speak so 
much of them, you think it necessary to warn me, my 
Theresa? Dear, you misjudge. Both of them to- 
gether are not dangerous to my repose. Either of 
them, without the other, might be so. Poised between 
these two hearts, the balance of my own is undis- 
turbed. I am at peace because I am in my place. 
My life is the necessary complement of theirs. We 
three are one. Two of us, without the other, would 
be but the moiety of a maimed individuality. Quite 
alone, I think no one of us three could exist Felix 
and I are creatures to whom happiness is an instinct 
of nature rather than a consequence of conduct We 
act more firom tendency than intention. Edmond is 
both our measure and our goal. Toward him we 
move, and by him our movement is controlled. 

" He perhaps, and he only of us three, could exist 
alone ; for his is the self-sufficing spirit^ and his cha^ 



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THE SOWING OP THE SEED. 195 

acter is the completest and most finished that I have 
ever contemplated. Justice, Judgment, Sagacity, No- 
bility, Power to restrain and refrain, Harmony, Order, 
Duty — all these are but so many parts of his consum- 
mate character. And how difficult to poor Felix is 
the exercise of these two last qualities I 

When the path of his inclination is foreclosed by 
a prohibition imposed by a duty, nine times out of 
ten he is sure to behave like a hero ; but, alas ! when 
the woful tenth time comes, some rash impulse will 
often run joyously off with his judgment, and all his 
previous pains come to nothing. Then he is in such 
honest despair; he looks so whimsically woful; he 
puts on such a pleading face for pardon, sits so meek- 
ly in his sackcloth and ashes, and is so humble and 
so sad, that it is not in human nature to be angry 
with him." ******** 
******** 



Extract from the Journal of Coust Edmond R . 

* * * " Of all mysteries, it is the most mys- 
terious ; of all enigmas, the least explicable. Before 
the vehement lawlessness of this, all forethought fails ; 
all judgment is disjointed ; all calculation recoils or is 
crushed. In the presence of it, all other presences 
wax pale and impalpable ; by the power of it, all 
other powers are paralyzed. Yet it is itself impalpa- 
ble to possession, and powerless to possesa Gratitude, 
Friendship, Desire — all these we may trace to their 
sources, and set in motion by our will ; but the levers 
of Love, impenetrable, intangible, are placed beyond 



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196 THE PATIENT. 

the sight of the eye that is strained, and the touch of 
the hand that is stretched to discover them. And 
yet to be master of these is all that can make life 
worth having. ******* 
* * So be it then, at last I Here, where to rea- 
son is to be unreasonable, where sense is nonsense, 
and all is &tality or frenzy, what farther can I fear? 
or why should I scruple to ally Passion to Supersti- 
tion, weakness to weakness? 

" On this lost ring will I stake all that my life has 
left to win or lose. If I find it — and find it I must — 
then hear me for once and forever, you sightless min- 
isters to man ! and be this ring the first link in the 
indissoluble chain wherewith to bind her — ^ay, though 
it be forged on the anvils of Hell I I can no more, 
nor otherwise." ***«»* 
it * * ^ * * * 



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THB SOWING OF THE SEED. 197 



CHAPTEE Vn. 

Driftino. 

JCUBT TO TBBftUA. 

ExtraeU. 

"Fare thee hencse, and fere thee well, thou Un- 
known Bridegroom ! * * Superstition, my 
Theresa, comes in aid of thine admonitions. My fate 
is fixed. A maid I remain, for I have lost my mar- 
riage ring. * * * * 

" We were playing at ball there. And, the better 
to hold my racket, I drew the ring from my finger, 
and put it into my handkerchief, which I had left on 
the pedestal of the great sphinx that Edmond has had 
placed in the bowling-alley. Afterward we made up 
a boating party on the water, and walked home by 
moonlight through the woods. I thought no more 
about my ring. But later in the evening, when we 
were all together in the drawing-room, I noticed that 
the ring was not on my finger, and immediately ran 
up stairs to my bedroom to fetch the handkerchief in 
which I remembered having tied it up. I found the 
handkerchief where I had left it on the toilet-table, 
and shook it out very carefully. A little night-moth 
fluttered, frightened, out of the folds of it, and burnt 
his pretty velvet wings in the flame of my candle, 
into which he foolishly flung himself. I think it may 
have been one of those little sphinx-moths of which. 



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198 THE PATIENT. 

as you know, there are in summer-time so many, and 
such pretty ones, about here. But I am not the less 
convinced that the moth was my betrothed. The 
magic ring must have secretly changed itself into that 
delicate, rash lover; for it was no longer in my hand- 
kerchief and has not since been found. 

" I have made up this fairy tale to fit my own fancy 
as you see, and choose rather to believe myself the 
widow of a butterfly than to accept any of the more 
prosaic conjectures of all the others here, who still in- 
sist in hunting for the lost ring in every nook and 
corner tripped over, my Theresa, by the footstep of 
thy thoughtless friend. Thoughtless? yes. I have 
been so. And now I reproach myself severely, not 
for having lost the ring, but for having joked too light- 
ly and too loudly about the loss of it. 

"The fact is, I was vexed to see all the world 
sprawling about on the ground to look for my miss- 
ing treasure. So I cried out, * Oh pray don't make 
such a fuss about it. 'Tis quite useless. Don't you 
know that the ring is an enchanted one, and that it is 
destined to chain me indissolubly to him from whose 
hand I shall one day receive it? Now it has spirited 
itself away, and 'tis no use looking for it ; it will only 
reveal itself to him whom I myself am fated to belong 
to for time and eternity. All this is written in the 
stars.' 

" And these silly words were as indelicate as they 
were thoughtless, Theresa ; for I noticed ait once that 
Edmond looked hurt and pained to think I could so 
lightly console myself for the loss of a gift which he 
had given me with words, no doubt, inspired by a se- 



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THE SOWING OP TIIE SEED. 199 

rious and brotherly concern for all that might affect 
ray future. Thanks be to my good stars, however, the 
fatal ring has vanished. I persist in believing that 
the fairies have changed it into my little winged 
bridegroom ; and that ill-fated one has been his own 
executioner, and roasted himself alive in the candle 
of his now disconsolate bride." 



Extract rsox thb Joubhal or Comsx Edmokd 

"Lost I irretrievably, irrevocably lost I * * 
» « « « 

"And all has been in vain J * * * * 
Man, impuissant in the plenitude of his powers, can 
not, then, with the utmost faculties of his soul — with 
keenest effort of his will — succeed in commanding the 
smallest of those blind and miserable chances that 
aimlessly sport with his destiny ? We are mocked I 
We are mocked I * * * 

" In that cold moment of time when the rising sun 
first touched with his pale beam me and the labor of 
my long, dark hours, I sickened at the sight and the 
smell of the fresh black earth upturned at my feet, and 
I shuddered at the imagination of my own image ; for 
I seemed to be the spectre of myself hovering over the 
grave of my hope. 

* # » « Yes I I am henceforth the living 
grave of a hope that is dead forever. Gods I gods ! 
gods ! do you look on at all this ? And must we, 
too, live on thus, knowing that you know it and arc 
not sad? And not any where, any where, any help 



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200 THB PATIENT. 

— ^neither in Heaven nor in Hell ! We are mocked I 
« « « 

"Yesterday, to-day, this morning, an hour ago — an 
age ago— Hope lived. But when he — and he ever, 
and still ever Ac / — ^he that had not moved a hand, nor 
stirred a foot — oh heaven and earth 1 . . . . when the 
ring which it had robbed from mine, his Evil Genius 
and my own dropped into his loose, idle hand, then 
the deathblow flashed in my eyes and fell. * * * 
Dead I Hope is dead. 

" No more praying. What have we prayed for ? 
Let the angels go back to their Heaven empty-handed 
as they leave us to our earth. * * * 

"Night every where, and forever. 

" Night on my eyes, night in my soul. And in this 
darkness there is no light but the lurid sparkle of 
that hateful amethyst. * * It comes and 
goes, and passes and returns, like a marsh fire on the 
waste. * * * And They follow it — 
troops of them in the wicked glare. And I see the 
grinning of the demon faces on the dark, and I feel 
the groping and the clutching of the demon hands 
about the hollows of my heart * * ♦ * 
My heart? Is this a heart, this chaos? * ♦ * 
Felix! Felix I thou — and why thou? — of all others 
on this mad and miserable earth? Thou only? and 
still ever J!^ow/" 



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THE SOWIKG OF THE SEED. 201 



CHAPTER Vm. 

And some abe dbifted togethsb, and some are 
drifted asunder. 

JULIBT TO ThSBSSA. 

"My best Theresa! — ^How shall I tell thee, my 
friend, my sister — ^what words, even if I could stop to 
find them, might avail to tell thee all that has hap- 
pened — all that IS? How surpassing must be my 
happiness I for if the feeling of it were less rare, there 
must have been a language and a name for it, and I 
can find none. 

^'Yet my hand trembles not; my heart does not 
beat faster than before. This joy is calm, because it 
is complete. There is a light upon my soul, and a 
stillness in my thoughts ; and I know, by the stillness 
and the light within, that the Spirit of Joy is sleeping 
safe. What birth-throes must bring to the pure and 
perfect crystal the slowly-formed and darkly-working 
splendors of the diamond. And what painful agita- 
tions, in these last few days even, have preceded the 
perfect concentration of my heart's complete content I 

" Yes, I believe in the magic power of the ring. 
For surely now — but thou thyself shalt judge, my 
Theresa, if this old amulet of the Pagan East have not 
shed benignant influence on one who is now, and 
henceforth, the very happiest and most joyful child 
of all the Christian West Let me tell thee all. 

12 



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202 THE PATIENT. 

" Early in the morning of the day after that in 
which I lost my ring — and my last letter must have 
then been already on its way to you — ^we were awaked 
by the blowing of horns and the baying of hounds in 
the great court of the quadrangle. Our neighbors, 
who were resolved to run a stag that morning, had 
taken us quite by surprise. However, mother was up 
at once, and we both dressed ourselves in haste to re- 
ceive them. Felix and Edmond had been beforehand 
with us. When we got down stairs, we found the 
whole party already at breakfast in the armor-room, 
where a fire had been lighted for them ; for the morn- 
ing was chilly, and the sun only just up. 

" Felix was entirely absorbed in arranging the de- 
tails of the chase. His picker was standing near him ; 
and it was only at the last moment, when he turned 
round to take the horn and the hunting-knife from 
the picker, that he noticed me standing before the 
hearth, and put out his hand to bid me good-morning. 

" The hunting party were just going to start, and 
one of our guests, as he crossed the room, suddenly 
exclaimed, * Why, look at this ! The picture has taken 
life.' And at the same time he pointed, laughing, to 
the old hunting-picture that hangs over the great fire- 
place — ^you remember it? — ^in the armory. 

" Every body looked up. And, indeed, we were all 
struck by the similarity. For the picture, as you 
know, represents, in the life-size, a sportsman, and a • 
lady from whose hand he is receiving, with all the 
gallantry of attitude which belonged to our grand- 
father's grandfathers, his belt and bugle-horn. Eeally 
Felix looked the counterpart of the painted sportsman 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 208 

(minus, I need not say, the praiseworthy gallantry of 
that exemplary image which for half a century at least 
had been waiting on bended knee for the lady's fa- 
vor); and I, with a slight change of dress I think, 
might have very well passed for the Ch&telaine her- 
self. 

"'Come,' cried another, 'complete the picture, Fe- 
lix. Down on one knee with you, and let the lady arm 
you.' 

"'Oh I' said I — for on the pavement just at my 
feet, and between me and Felix, the draught through 
the open door had strewn a long train of ashes from 
the hearth — ' if Felix kneels to me, he will have to 
get up again with one knee white and the other black ; 
and he is much too vain for that' 

" ' Of course I am,' says Felix. ' But I think one 
may be gallant without being dirty.' And, taking 
out his handkerchief, and throwing it on the floor at 
my feet, with his usual vivacity he flung himself down, 
with one knee on this impromptu cushion. 

" But in the same instant, as though something had 
suddenly hurt him, his face twitched ; and, staggering 
up, in the effort to help himself on to his feet, he caught 
hold of a little table that was standing near him, and 
both he and the table, with all the bottles, glasses, and 
dishes on it, were tumbled, clattering, on to the stone 
floor. Felix cut his hand badly with the broken 



" Edmond lifted him up, examined the wounds, ex- 
tracted the splinters, and bandaged up the wounded 
hand with his handkerchief. But it was swollen and 
painful ; and, finding his right hand quite disabled. 



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204 OTHE PATIENT. 

Felix, to his great discontent, was o'bliged at last to 
yield to our united remonstrances, stay at home, and 
let Edmond take his place in the field. * * * * 

" They were all gone. The house was quiet. More 
weakened by loss of blood, and the pain of it, than he 
would admit, Felix had fallen into a feverish, uneasy 
sleep, with his head still leaniog on my shoulder. I 
could not move without waking him. So I sat still. 
Mother was making up some bandages for his hand. 
We talked on under our breath. She was asking me 
why the grass and mould had been freshly turned up 
this morning all round the pedestal of the great sphinx 
in the bowling-green. I knew nothing about it, but 
supposed it must have something to do with the loss 
of my ring, which I had left there. 

"*It was perhaps the midnight work of my be- 
trothed,' I said, laughingly. 

"At this Felix woke up. 

" ' Betrothed I Who is betrothed ?' he asked, with 
the sharp, querulous tone of a feverish person. 

"'Nobody,' said I. 

" Mother left the room just then to look for an un- 
guent. 

" I told him all that stupid story over again, with 
as much nonsense as I could contrive to put into it: 
How Edmond had given me the ring; the destina- 
tion of it; and how that destination must remain un- 
attained. 

" Felix continued looking at me all the while in a 
strange, unsettling way, with great, wide eyes. 

" * Betrothed!' " he went on murmuring to himself; 
* betrothed I And is it possible for you, then, to 



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THE SOWING OF THS SEED. 206 

betroth yourself one of these days, Juliet I And to 
whom — to whom?' 

" I tried to laugh at him, but I could not He kept 
looking at me so strangely, as if he then saw me for 
the first time in his life. 

" * And if you were betrothed,' he said, after a pause, 
' why then — then you would cease to be my sister, 
Juliet?' 

" 'Always, always thy sister, my dear good Felix 1' 

^' I put my hand in his as I said it But he did not 
take my hand. He shook his head mournfully. 

" * No !' he muttered, * all would be over then.' 

^' And so he relapsed into his revery. 

" He looked so serious, it made me, too, feel seriou& 
I felt sad, too. I begged him never to talk of this 
again, for it pained me. 

" Ail at once he started up, and stared at me again 
with a curious, puzzled look. 

" * How was it, then ?' he cried. * Ahl I remember I 
I remember 1 Didn't you say yesterday, Juliet, that 
you would marry the man who should find this mag- 
ical ring of yours?' 

" ' Well, yes, I did say that' 

" There my voice broke down. I could not go on. 
I meant to have added that what I had said I said 
without meaning any thing by it 

. "He became quiet and thoughtful. There was 
something almost sombre in his face. 

"The silence was extremely painful to me. To 
change the current of our thoughts, I asked him the 
cause of his fidl, and how he came to stumble when 
he was already on his knee. 



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206 THE PATIENT. 

" 'Hal yes; by the way — ^ he said, as if awaken- 
ing out of a dream. And he began to rub his knee. 

" * Something here/ he said ; * there must have been 
a stone or a nail on the floor. I felt it run into me, 
and I feel the smart of it still.' 

" 'Your wounded hand,' I said (glad to have found 
a new subject of talk), ' has made us forget the occa- 
sion of it. Come with me, and let us look together 
for the cause of your fall. When we have found the 
fatal object, whatever it be, we will fling it to the bot- 
tom of the deepest well in the house.' 

" I took his left hand in mine as I said this, and he 
let me lead him thus into the armory. 

" There we found every thing just as we had lefli it. 
The servants, busy elsewhere, had not yet put the 
room in order. The cinders on the floor — ^the hand- 
kerchief on the same place before the hearth. And 
while he stooped to pick it up, I was looking about 
among the broken glass to. see if any thing had rolled 
there from the place where he was kneeling when he 
fell. 

"^Nol' cried Felix, feeling with his finger and 
thumb the folds of the handkerchief. *It is here, in 
the handkerchief. I feel something hard here.' 

"When he opened it he drew out .... the ring I 
I was speechless. 

" We looked, at each other in silence. God only 
knows what was passing in that moment between our 
two hearts." ******* 
******* 

The next page of this letter is missing. Perhaps it 
had been lost, perhaps it had been torn out. I can't 



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THE SOWING OF THB SEED. 207 

say. I add the remaiDder of the letter. It begins 
with a broken sentence, thus : 

* * * * " Arm in arm, up and down, 
as if it had always been so. Then, at last we began 
to ask ourselves how the ring could have got into the 
handkerchief. We had returned to the end of the 
alley, and were standing under the sphinx. Felix re- 
membered, now, that he, too, had placed his handker- 
chief on the pedestal, and taken it with him when he 
went away. So I must have mistaken his handker- 
chief for mine, absorbed as I was in the game. And 
afterward, taking it for granted that the ring had been 
lost in the wood or the alley, it never occurred to me 
to look for it in any handkerchief but my own, where 
I made sure that I had placed it. The sun was now 
sinking, and admonished us of the approaching return 
of the hunters. Father, in his joy, was for announc- 
ing our engagement at supper ; but mother opposed 
this idea with a firmness an^ decision of which I could 
hardly have conceived her capable. She said it would 
be most unbecoming to render definitive and irrevoca- 
ble the step we had taken without first talking it over 
with him who would one day be the head of the family. 

" * There was something strange,' I remarked to Fe- 
lix, * in the tone with which mother said that. And I 
confess that the thought of Edmond somewhat embar- 
rasses me. For the first time in my life I feel shy of 
meeting him.' 

''As I said this, I fancied I heard a low moaning 
sound in the underwood; for we were just crossing 
the skirt of the forest on our way home. 

" * Didst thou not hear it too?' I said to Felix, very 



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208 THE PATIENT. 

much frightened. And he, too, fancied that he heard 
something moving in the bashes. Bat, after he had 
searched the thicket through and through, and could 
find nothing, he began to laugh at me for my folly, 
and swore that nobody would be better pleased with 
the news than Edmond. He talked on with such 
hearty, joyous conviction about this, that at last I be- 
gan to share his confident view of the matter. 

" After our return to the chateau, we separated for 
a short while to prepare for the reception of our 
guests. I had hardly finished dressing before the hunt 
came back. The whole house was in a bustle ; serv- 
ants running from room to room along the corridors ; 
doors opening and shutting. I got down to the draw- 
ing-room as quickly as I could. Felix and father 
came in at different doors, very much agitated. Ed- 
mond had not returned with the others. The serv- 
ants were questioned, and had seen nothing of him. 
At last some of the hunting party came down, and 
told us that Edmond, just after the death of the stag, 
had ridden away from the field at a hand-gallop, say- 
ing that he had business to attend to in the neighbor- 
hood, and they would find him at the chateau when 
they came back. Then father remembered that Ed- 
mond, when he set out, had said something about tak- 
ing that occasion to inspect the land survey, who have 
begun their triangulation on the other side of the 
wood, and are to send in their plans to-morrow. Ed- 
mond is so thoughtful about every thing. This re- 
assured us, and we went to supper with good hearta 
While our sportsmen were clinking their glasses, how- 
ever, and devouring their venison like ogres, I could 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 209 

not help obiserying how anziouslj mother was glanc- 
ing every moment at the door and window. She said 
nothing ; bat it was quite dark in the fields outside ; 
and I saw that she was uneasy, and felt more uneasy 
myself than I cared to say. Father's valet came in 
suddenly, and whispered something in his ear. I saw 
the old gentleman turn pale and start in his chair. 
We all saw it, and there was a painful silence. Moth- 
er insisted on knowing what was the matter. Father's 
only answer was to send for Edmond's groom, who 
came in, frightened and confused, and said that his 
master's horse had just come back to the stable rider- 
less, his bridle broken, and his flanks covered with 
foam. I was just in time to catch mother in my arms. 
She tottered toward me, and swooned away. 

''All the men made haste to saddle their horses, 
and rode away as fast as they could to look after Ed- 
mond. 

"Felix went without his hat, 

" In a few moments the whole house was silent and 
empty. Not a sound to be heard but mother's moan- 
ing from time to time, and father's unquiet step, pac- 
ing monotonously up and down the long, empty sup- 
per-room. Each horseman had taken a torch with 
him, for the night was unusually dark. There was 
no moon. 

" I stood helpless, terrified, in the embrasure of the 
great window, drearily leaning against the pane, and 
pressing my hot forehead flat on the cold glass, which 
only made fiercer the throbbing in each feverish vein. 
It was a strange, wild scene outside — ^vast shadows of 
the horsemen, as they passed, wavering up and down 



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210 THK PATIENT. 

on the white wall of the qaadrangle, in the glare of 
their own torches; the clatter of the horses' hoofe, 
and the confused cries of their riders growing rapidly 
distant For a long time I could see the fitful flash- 
ings of the torches along the forest They crossed 
and recrossed each other here and there among the 
trees like wandering stars. At last they dwindled, 
scattered themselves at rarer intervals, and finally 
vanished into the darkness. Oh Theresa, what a 
dreadful night was thatl 

" One by one they kept coming back, each with no 
good news to tell. The morning dawned at last It 
was heart-breaking. They looked so hopeless, those 
livid faces, in the cold, melancholy light Edmond 
had not been to the land survey. This was all they 
had been able to ascertain. Some accident must have 
happened to him before he could get there. 

" Not sleep, but a dreadful drowsiness kept coming 
on me at giddy intervals. It brought no rest, but 
bad dreams. I thought I saw lying in the long gray 
grass, under a hollow oak-tree, the bloody corpse of 
Edmond. His brow was crushed and bruised into the 
sodden soil. Then I heard again the same low moan- 
ing sound I had heard before in the underwood. It 
awoke me. I started up. It was the moaning of 
mother, who still sat in the chair where I had placed 
her, clasping her knees, and rocking her body back- 
ward and forward. 

" To add to our anxiety, Felix had not yet returned. 
A new search was organized. Just as the seekers 
were starting, father took my hand without speaking, 
and led me into the park. It was still early morning. 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 211 

We reached the little hill at the bottom of the park 
without having exchanged a word with each other. 
One can see from the top of it, as far as the horizon, 
the whole plain of the surrounding country, traversed 
by the winding waters of the Weidnitz. There is a 
little wooden bench on the flat of the hill's head. 
Father sat down there, and hid his face in his hands. 
I drew the dear old head gently against my bosom. 
Then, my tears began to fall at last, and bis white 
hairs were wet with them. Without any settled 
thought, I sat thus, with the old man's head upon my 
breast, staring stupidly at the cold, cloudy distance 
before me. I could think of nothing. My mind had 
lost the thread of ail things. The tears in my eyes 
bewildered my sight 

" On the large white water underneath there was a 
small black boat. The boat was lazily drifting down 
the sluggish stream. I could not see it distinctly. 
The whole land, whitened with the wandering mist, 
appeared to be one vast and livid sea. In the midst 
of the sea was an open coffin. In the coffin, stretched 
at full length, was the corpse of Edmond. The face 
of the corpse was sharply set against the hard gray 
sky. It was white as marble, but unmarred by any 
wound. The features were more placid than ever, 
and more stem. All at once the corpse began to 
move. It lifted itself, and sat half up in the coffin. 
I saw it stretch an imploring hand toward me. I 
tried to rush forward to reach it, but could not. Every 
time that I endeavored to move, an invisible hand re- 
tained me. Suddenly I awoke. The sea and the 
coffin had disappeared. I saw the boat drifted by 
the current into a bay of the river. 



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212 THE PATIENT. 

" * Father,' I cried, * look ! look 1' 

" I could say no more. 

" We both looked, and saw a man rise out of the 
boat, and step down on the bank of the river. 

" It was Edmond. 

" How we left the hill I know not I only remem- 
ber that we were instantly by the river-side, and 
clasping him in our arms. Father, for all his joy and 
all his pain, could find but one expression, and kept 
murmuring over and over again, as he embraced him, 
* Edmond, my boy 1 my beloved boy 1' 

" Edmond let us talk on without answering a word. 
His face was deadly pale. His features were inert; 
and, being vacant of any expression strong enough to 
hold them together, they seemed to have no relation 
to each other. His teeth were chattering, his limbs 
were shivering, and his eye wandered listlessly over 
our faces with a heavy, leaden look. It was with the 
utmost difficulty we could get him to speak of him- 
self. 

" Yesterday evening, he said, he left the hunt im- 
mediately after the death, anxious to rejoin Felix, 
whose accident had made him uneasy. He tried to 
find a short cut to the chateau, and lost his way in the 
wood. There was still twilight in the fields when he 
entered the forest ; but there the night had fallen al- 
ready, and the bridle-paths were quite dark. The 
better to track his way through the thick underwood, 
he alighted and tied his horse to a tree. While he 
was still trying to make out his bearings, the horse, 
restless or frightened, broke loose and galloped off. 
For some way he followed the noise of the hoofe. 



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THS SOWING OF THE SEED. 218 

This only led him farther astray. After wandering 
about in the wood for more than two hours, he heard 
a noise of waters. He pushed on in that direction, 
and at last found himself on the banks of the Weid- 
nitz. Then, for the first time, he knew where he was, 
and perceived that he had taken the wrong direction. 
He resolved to follow the course of the river, but was 
hindered at every step by the dense thickets. Worn 
out with prolonged exertion, he had made up his mind 
to pass the rest of the night in the wood, when he 
stumbled over something among the thick reeds along 
the river-side. It was an empty boat, probably left 
there by the foresters. With a good deal of diflSculty 
he got it afloat. He found that it would hold out the 
water. 

" There were several pine-trees in that part of the 
forest He cut a branch from one of them — ^the long- 
est and straightest that his hunting-knife was strong 
enough to cut. With this he tried to punt the boat 
down the river ; but the waters were so swollen that 
the spar was no use to him. Then he lay down in 
the boat, and let it float him down the stream without 
attempting to guide it The cold on the river numbed 
him, and he soon lost consciousness. The grating of 
the keel against the shallow bottom of the little bay, 
where it touched land, was the first thing that aroused 
him. 

" ' Oh, Edmond,' says fether, * if you knew what 
anxiety you have caused us I I wish you had trusted 
the instinct of your horse : it would have brought you 
home safely. Those beasts can find the stable at any 
distance. And such a night as we have had of it I' 



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214 THE PATIENT. 

" Edmond answered nothing, but only dropped his 
head lower, as if he was weary of the weight of it 
That man, so strong, so inured to fatigue, seemed 
broken by the work of a single night 

" * WeU,' said I, * we mustn't scold him. See how 
ill he looks, father, and how w^ary 1' 

" ' True, child, true I go in first and prepare moth- 
er 1' father said. So I went in before them. Oh, how 
glad I was to be able to tell her! 

" You guess, dear Theresa, how great our joy is 
now 1 I would not close this letter before I was able 
to give you this best news. Felix, who had returned 
before us, was almost beside himself with the joy of 
it But my eyelids are beginning to drop, and I am 
very, very tired. 

'' Thank God, Edmond is safe I How soundly I 
shall sleep now 1 Eejoice with us, dear friend. Grood- 
nightl" 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 215 



CHAPTER IX. 
The Interior of a Soul. 

I SUBJOIN six pages from the Journal of Count Ed- 

mond: 

FiBST Page. 

" When I started the beast on his road with a stroke 
of my riding-whip, I thought— So be it, Death I there 
goes thy messenger. Let him snort his good news at 
the doors I shall not enter 

" * Fear no more. He will not return to frighten 
you. He will never come back. Pear no more, young 
lovers. But, if you would never see him again, then, 
when you two walk arm-in-arm about the pleasant 
places, heed well that you walk not near the hollow 
oak ; for there, when the grass is black, and the use- 
less blood is filtering through the dead red leaves, his 
face might vex you if you chanced to see it' 

" What power was it that held back my uplifted 
arm? 

" Was it that puissant impuissance — cowardice? 

" How, fool 1 can that man be a coward who trucks 
a life of torment against the shorty swift stroke that 
brings the long release? 

"Was it filial piety? 

" Blaspheme not I 

" Not in that moment didst thou think of fether nor 
of mother. 



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216 * THE PATIENT. 

"Nol 

** It was something more deadly than the flash of 
the suicide's knife that glimmered up from the dark, 
false heart of the water. 

" It was the violet flame of that accursed amethystw 
I saw it kindling, keen, vindictive, in the sullen depths. 
I saw it fawning, crawling, in the fiery ripples. The 
spell of it was on me. My eyes were the slaves of it 
Looking at it was listening to it, for it muttered and 
muttered as of old. The light talked to me ; and the 
little waves hissed and lisped, 

'' * Where hast thou the atone f where hast thou the ring t 
Thou art ripening^ brother^ and ripening,* 

"And I shuddered not. I was not afraid, for the 
voices were familiar to me. 

" I had heard them before. 

" There was a promise in them which I dared not 
construe. 

"But I trusted it. 

* * * "What seekest thou here? Why lin- 
gerest thou in the way of wholesome human life? 
Why walkest thou thus among honest men ? 

" There is mischief in thee. Thou bearest the sac- 
rilegious thing in thy bosom. 

"Fly! 

" Fly while there is yet time. Fly to the uttermost 
distance; away from all men; away from thyself. 
Thou art marked and signed. Fly |" * * * * 

Secoivd Pagb. 

"Woman!— Eternal schism in the soul of man I 
Robber of his strength, which yet strengthens not 



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THB SOWIKG OF TH£ S£KD. 217 

thee I Thief of his will, which yet confirms not thine I 
Who gave thee — ^and to what end, if not to thine own 
hurt — ^this power upon us? Thou needest not to ex- 
ert it We bring thee (we ourselves) our own de- 
feats, in that conflict wherein he that is overcome is 
the only one that has fought » » * * 

" Year after year, hour by hour, how have I lain 
my ear to the most secret cells of thy sweet being, and 
listened to the budding pulses of its bounteous growth I 
How all the tender germs of thy soul's beauty have 
been my heed and charge I And how I thought to 
tend them, and to train 1 For every secretest seedling 
of thy so lovely spirit, I knew what Nature needed, 
and could antedate the blossom in the bud. How in- 
exhaustible seemed then the lavish opulence of beau- 
ty yet to be, within those ripening germs, spread out 
before the forward-looking eye of my &r-gazing and 
shortsighted love ! 

"And now? 

"A summer wind — ^a breath — ^perchance a waltz, 
has fixed thy fate and mine. 

" What know we ? By the ways we watch, Loss 
comes not; but it comes. 

" And perchance — ^perchance, in the swimming tre- 
mors of a dance, some drop of lighter blood, some 
pulse of brisker motion, has signed the contract with 
the Gardener of this Paradise — ^a Hussar 1" 

Tebd Faox. 
" Death. Ending. Annihilation. 
<< This is all I can see at the extremity of every ave- 
nue. All paths lead to it, none beyond it Thou 

K 



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218 THE PATIENT. 

hast suffered that thou mightest suffer — ^nothing more 
— ^nothing else. 

" Of what dost thou complain ? 

" Thou wouldst live — thou hast lived. Who prom- 
ised thee more than this? 

"I would live? Did I ever ask for life? When 
have I ever said (and to whom?), *Open to me the 
doors of Life ; I wish to live?' " 

"Never, never, at any time have I said that 

" Who has assumed this right over me? 

" What can force me to keep, against my will, this 
property in pain which has been gratuitously thrust 
upon me?" * * * 

Fourth Faob. 

" How deep the roots have struck I 

" All that must be torn up, only to find the traces 
of it deeper, deeper still 1 

" To retrack, laboriously along the devious inclina- 
tion of a life, each of the long, long stealthy by-paths 
whereby this yearning Spirit has stolen into our heart, 
secretly, silently, unguessed, there weaving into its in- 
extricable web fibre after fibre of the soul's imperish- 
able stuff I 

" And now to cut out the rooted garden of one's 
life, patiently, painfully, spade in hand — the labor of 
the grave-digger! 

"And how can I? 

" In the sorely sensitive places, where the latest 
wounds are firesh and raw, new blood spirts up from 
deeper down ; the wrenched nerves quiver with in- 
extinguishable life; and, deepest down of all— deep 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 219 

down among the remotest sources of Being — the 
youngest eyes of Childhood are gazing, weeping up to 
me ; weeping — * What harm have we ever done thee ?' 

" No, no, not this« I can not do it. Not ihis I 

" Weep on, sweet innocent stars, weep on. 

"What harm have ye ever done me? 

" I know not. But ye I can not harm, sweet eyes I 

" Rest ye, rest ye, childish angels 1 rest ye in your 
silent spheres unvexed. What knot^ ye of the an- 
guish that is moaning round you? What know ye 
of the wrongs that reach so near ? Best I 

" To you, oh quiet eyes — dear friendly stars of the 
far off early time, that look unconscious kindness still 
— ^I will turn my own for refuge fix)m my latest self. 

" Far off, far off, in the holiest haunts of Memory, I 
will build me a bower for Oblivion." 

"I have never looked on life but as a task ; never 
completed, ever renewing itself, in each accomplish- 
ment creating fresh undertaking. 

" So be it, then, even this time also. 

"However inconceivable, however unendurable 
may be the life to which my soul is awakened, yet 
at least she is awake. 

" Pause not, poor Soul, to contemplate the ruins of 
thy so wondrous fabric of the former time. It is shat- 
tered. Thou canst not reconstruct it. See, these lit- 
tered shards upon the sordid earth I Here he they, all 
thy loving unloved labors — ^the once aspiring shafts, 
the airy pillars, the kingly key-stones — ^ruined, defeat- 
ured shapes of Beauty and of Strength, whereon thou 



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220 THE PATIENT. 

didst scheme, and dream, oh Soul, to plant the Dome 
of thy Felicity. 

"Build not,. build not! 

" Presume not to be the architect of thine own hap- 
piness. 

" Pass on. 

"Yet say • . . • *The plan was good and fair. 
Majestically moulded in the inmost mind, daintily 
fashioned, and delicately decked by all the richly- 
ministering Hours ; how bold, how beautiful, how 
bravely built, how firmly settled upon £ast founda- 
tions, how sumptuously solaced with all noble color 
aad harmonious form ; with what brightening toil, at 
what tender touchings, the temple rose, like mounting 
music, upward, ever upward to the golden cope, the 
glorious consummation of the perfect plan I' 

"But there Bliss settles not 

" She will not dwell in the house that is built with 
hands. Free as the bird of heaven,' she soars &6m the 
hand of God ; she hovers in the happy air ; she 'lights 
upon the trembling bough. There, poised upon the 
yielding tremor of the tender stem, amid the daticing 
leaves,'she sings her magic song. And while thou 
listenest, upon lightest wing she flies away. 

"Build not, build not I 

" It comes and goes by other laws, this Happiness, 
for which we labor and so late take rest 

" Sleep I — deedless, aimless, vacant, unmindful. 

" And on thy dreaming head the airy thing will 
perch unsummoned. Know it not Fear to recog- 
nize it Whisper not its name. Soon as thou callest 
it thine, thou hast lost it" 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 221 

Sixth Page. 

" With fire from what far-off heights, in glory of 
light how divine, and with what holy heat, there 
streams into my soul the clear conception of the snb- 
limest image that man can contemplate on earth I 

" Divinest Duty 1 

" Thou that art to the soul as a trumpet sounding 
from another world — ^thou in whose untroubled depth 
of strenuous calm is reserved for the consciousness of 
man its only consolation, and for his conscience its 
sole rest — who dare dispute thy prerogative ? What 
else on earth .may presume to be thy peer? Thou 
only, large and sovran Shape, canst fill the perfect orb 
of Contemplation ; thou only, solitary regent of the 
loftiest law, art worthy to hold unshared dominion in 
the soul of man. 

" For thou art Certainty. 

" Where thou standest, there is the vanishing point 
in the long perspective of deeds ; and, whatever the 
course of the line, in thee is the law and the end. 

" What, oh Soul, thou hast power to behold, that 
thou hast power to be. Seest thou Certainty ? It is 
thine. 

" Never shalt thou bring to an end the superhuman 
struggle. Never at any time shalt thou be able to 
say of this or of that, ' Enough, it is finished.' 

"Regret not; rejoice not; endure. 

" Dare not, oh wrestler, to say, * I have overthrown.' 
The foe is ever before thee. The cause is unending, 
eternal, one with the Godhead. Thee no price can 
pay, no recompense reward. Be thou the creditor of 



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222 THE PATIENT. 

claims nnsammed, whose compt can never be quitted, 
for the value of deeds wherein dwells a grandeur too 
proud to be impoverished by profit. 

* * Eenounce. Sacrifice. SuflTer 1 

"For what? 

" For a gain to be gotten? for a price to be paid? 

" What ? wilt thou barter sorrow for joy, as a huck- 
ster goods for gold? 

" Sad were the bargain ; for thou art rich, but thy 
life is a pauper. 

" Lock up again, poor world, thy proffered pension 
for pain. How shalt thou appraise me the price of a 
pang made perfect ? What conditions canst thou add 
to that which is complete? or what recompense aread 
to the rejection of reward? 

" Fain would I know in what coin of comfort thou 
wilt weigh me the worth of a consciousness made cost- 
ly forever by eternities of anguish contained in the 
triumph of a moment. 

" No. The farewells of the soul are immortal. 

" Now is Forever. 

" The felicity rejected from Time has no admittance 
to Eternity ; for Eternity is — not is to be. Therein is 
neither past nor future ; and these are the conditions 
of requital. 

" Nothing is durable but the duty to endure. Duty 
is the asylum of the soul. 

"Oh Venus Libitinal Oh Beauty, beautifying 
graves ! Oh Keeper of the registers of Death ! Thou 
sittest among the sepulchres, yet art not sad. And 
* Here,' thou sayest, * there is calm.' I will believe 
thee. Yet there is a chilly pallor on thy brows, and 



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THE SOWING OF THE SEED. 228 

darkness in the circles of thine eyes. Thon, too, bast 
struggled. * * * 

"And to this cold goddess, that to her, also, grace- 
fulness may not be wanting, the great Founder of the 
world has lent, for coy companion, Beauty's humanest 
handmaiden, Chaste Shame. 

" Vex her not with words. Silence is the chastity 
of action. 

"Let no cry be heard. Crush the escaping groan 
on the yet quivering lips of the desires thou hast 
strangled. IJncoyer not the pale faces of thy depart- 
ed. Utter not their names aloud. Know thyself, and 
bear to be unknown. Strike down this beggar heart 
that prowls for alms, and stops men's pity in the pub- 
lic place. Justify the whole endeavor in the perfect 
deed. Slay thyself and hide the knife. 

" Even so. And as, in large compassion of fond 
eyes young graves set grieving, kind Nature makes 
mutehaste to cast over the hillocks of the recent dead 
her grassy carpet of the tender green, so silently, and 
for others' sakes with such a noble haste, do thou, 
too, hide beneath the serenity of a smiling face the 
sorrow of thine immortal soul !" 



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224 THE PATISKT, 



CHAPTER X. 

Samson AooNiSTEa 

How far the preceding page of the count's journal 
is a faithful revelation of the actual state of his mind 
at the time when it was written, may be judged by 
the following fragment. For the impartiality of the 
testimony herein contained, the unconscious charac- 
ter of the witness is the best guarantee. 

. Juliet to Thkrbsa. 

''I am thankful to say that our anxiety about Ed- 
mond is over. His vigorous constitution has tri- 
umphantly resisted the feverish attacks which at first 
alarmed us. Though no longer suflfering, however, he 
looks more serious and preoccupied than I ever saw 
him before. But my timidity and reluctance to tell 
him of our engagement were utterly unjustified, and I 
could now kneel to him for pardon for that moment- 
ary foolish shyness. 

" When fiither, in our presence (after his recovery), 
made known to him the vows we had exchanged, my 
heart fluttered so fast, and I felt so fiightened, that I 
dared not meet his eye, though I felt he was looking 
at me. But Edmond answered at once, ' What, dear 
friends, and do you think that this is news to me? — 
to me, who have known ever so long — ^ay, long be- 
fore you suspected it yourselves — that you two dear 



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THE SOWIKG OF TH£ SEED. 225 

ones belonged to each other? — ^to me, whose fondest 
wish is thus accomplished ? and who, indeed, have 
only waited for this long-expected moment to tell you 
all that I, too, have made my choice, so that there will 
soon be three families living together, and loving each 
other, at L .' 

" This news, and, yet more, the joyous manner of it, 
took us all by surprise. We pressed him to tell us 
more. And — ^but this is a profound secret Have I 
the right to tell thee ? Yet why not? I well know 
thou wilt rather banish it from thy mind than let it 
pass thy lips. Well, then. Thou knowest that cen- 
tenary lawsuit about the Bosenberg property near 
Oels 7 The present possessor is childless. The heir- 
ess is his niece. And this circumstance is sadly in 
the way of the Bosenberg claim. Proposals have 
been privately made to terminate the dispute by mar- 
riage. The object of Edmond's last visit to Breslau — 
thou thyself, I doubt not, didst not suspect it any more 
than we — was to see the heiress. He now tells us 
that the sight of her has confirmed the favorable im- 
pression made by all that he had previously heard as 
to her character and education. And he assures us 
that his mind is made up. But nothing is settled as 
yet 

"You know with what caution and deliberation 
Edmond acts in all things. 

" In my secret heart am I glad of this arrangement? 
Frankly, no. I understand not this sort of marriages. 
Indeed, this decision of Edmond's would be quite un- 
intelligible to me if my knowledge of his character 
did not enable me to understand that to him marriage, 
K2 



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226 THE PATIENT. 

nnder any circamstances, would be the resalt of a de- 
cision dictated by considerations of prudence, after 
mature deliberation. Well, be it so. I am not made 
to understand it But when I see a young girl like 
this poor Bosenberg heiress, and when I must think, 
* There goes she in the grace and gladness of her 
youth; and some poor girlish fancy no one cares to 
suspect can bring a softness to her eyes and a flushing 
to her cheek, and for any little pleasure — the uncon- 
scious kindness of a careless word; some peasant's 
greeting as he holds back the silly branches in the 
cherry-orchard not to touch her as she passes — the 
grateful blood will brighten as if to show how easily 
young souls are pleased, while her heart beats quick- 
er at the sound of a step she knows' — and then, when 
I must think that all this while she knows not, poor 
child, that in point of fact she is nothing more nor 
less than an Old Lawsuit — ^well, I say that saddens 
me, Theresa." 



EXTEACT FEOM THB JOURNAL OP COUMT EdMOND. 

" Impossible ! 

" I can no more. Nature can only concede to the 
possession of pain the limits of her own strength. 

"Lord God in Heaven, look down upon this soul 
which Thou hast made. See how it fares with Thy 
creature. 

" What is there in this single solitary sentiment to 
justify the tormenting tyranny of it, when I confront it 
with all my proud projects, of which each seemed large 
enough, and lofty enough, to fill grandly a great life? 



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THS SOWING OF THE SEED. 227 

"What is it? 

"A wish. 

" What to me is a wish ? 

" Miserable mendicant, have I not denied thy claim? 
Bankrupt bill, drawn with fraudulent pretenses by the 
need of a moment upon the poverty of an eternity 
known to be insolvent, I have torn thee ! I have can- 
celed my name from the bond. I have done with 
thee forever. 

"Why, then, art thou here again? Why comest 
thou back to me disguised ? 

" More fearful art thou in this, thy present form, 
because less false, than in that other. Lie as thou art, 
yet hast thou in thee now the terror of a truth. 

"For now thou hast forsworn thy plausible pre- 
tendings. What art thou now? Less, and yet more. 
Nothing, every thing. Less than a Wish, yet more 
insatiable— ^a Longing. Thou believest not, affirmest 
not, dost promise not, any more. Thou lookest where 
there is nothing to be seen ; thou walkest where there 
is nothing to reach. Spurred by the conviction of 
the unattainable, thou travelest, empty, into empti- 
ness. Seeking for seeking's sake ; motion without a 
meaning; travail without birth; a race without a 
goal. 

" What have I to do with thee, womanish wooer of 
unmanly souls? Bank, unwholesome weed of weak 
self-pity, insinuate not into the pulses of my life thy 
crawling roots. 

" Impalpable impostor, thou art detected and de- 
nounced. Only as a wish couldst thou dupe the cre- 
dulity of a mind diseased. To the eye of the hectic 



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228 THB PATIENT. 

the face of approacliing Death is florid with the hue 
of Life. To the sickly sight the sunset seems the 
sunrise, and decay's red signal blushing healths Only 
to a mawkish seqse, thou feeble Longing, canst thou 
look like Hope. But I am strong. I know thee, and 
I will not know thee. Away I 

" Or rather, in thy real form, thou Protean monster 
of the many faces, reveal thyself at last Take pal- 
pable substance, that I may kill thee. Come forth I 
avow thyself I I know the hellish name of thee at 
length. Appear ! Be seen, for what thou art, in thy 
most loathsome shape, detestable Lust. Blight, even 
in the body of the brute I Procurer to the tiger and 
the ape I Shall I cringe to a thing so vile? Shall I 
stoop to a force so foul ? 

** Beastly, abortive fiend! Fasten thy mad-dog's 
bite into my living flesh: not a groan shalt thou 
wring from the scorn of my soul in her wrath. Un- 
shamed in the consciousness of all that I am, un- 
quelled in the kingdom of myself, undebased in my 
dignity of man, dare but to stir, and I strangle thee 
dead!" 



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THE SOWIKO OF THE SEED. 229 



CHAPTER XL 

How IT STRIKES A BY-STANDER. 

Letter from Joachim Furchtboott Schvmank (Agent and 

Fropertt-Intendant op Arthur Count R , of L^^), to 

Baroness Theresa N . 

"L , 15th September. 

"Honored Madam,— As ia duty bound, with pro- 
found respect, I take in hand my humble pen, in order 
to acquaint your honor of the sad calamity with which 
it has pleased God to visit the noble family of my 
honored lord and esteemed master, the count. Also, 
honored madam, it is by the express orders of his 
honor that I make bold to pen these sad lines, for his 
honor is in hopes that your ladyship's esteemed pres- 
ence may alleviate the bereaved soul of her honor 
the Lady Juliet. May it please your honor to pardon 
your honor's dutiful servant if, in the recital of this 
sad tale, as in duty bound, I occasion great grief to 
your ladyship's kind heart 

"Yesterday, 14th hujus; scilicet the day of the Ele- 
vation of the Blessed Host, being about the hour of 
8 A.M., and the morning cloudy, it pleased the two 
young lords, my esteemed masters, to go duck-shoot- 
ing down the river. And it was their lordships' in- 
tention to cross same river, videlicet the Weidnitz, from 
the point of the long bend beyond the old mill, which 
is at the distance of about three quarters of a mile, 



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230 THE PATIENT. 

under correction I say it, as .near as can be, opposite 
to the great mansh, which also is well known to your 
ladyship. 

" The keeper's lad was with their lordships in the 
boat (which is a likely lad and an honest, as your 
laydyship knows), and they let the dog run after them 
along the bank (which is a black retriever bitch). 

" May it please your ladyship, the young Lord Fe- 
lix, my honored master, was uncommon gay upon the 
morning of this melancholy occasion, being high in 
his spirits and exceeding cheerful, as was remarked 
by said keeper's lad. The same deposes that while 
his honor Count Edmond was at the rudder, his hon- 
or Count Felix, being at the bows, and having got his 
feet astride upon each side of the boat, continued, 
there standing upright, with great mirth and joy, to 
rock the boat upon the water. But his honor's broth- 
er, my esteemed master. Count Edmond, seeing this, 
with great seriousness besought his honor to sit still 
in the boat, and not to do this thing, for that the wa- 
ter is uncommon deep in that part^ and that, if his 
honor should fall over, he might not be able to swim 
by reason of his heavy shooting-boots. Nevertheless, 
the young lord, for the great cheerfulness that was in 
him that morning, made light of all that his honored 
brother was saying to him ; for he only laughed very 
pleasantly all the while, declaring that these heavy 
water-boots seemed to him as light as a pair of danc- 
ing-pumps. 

" Now at this moment it happened, honored madam, 
as I am duly informed, that a hind rose in the brakes 
by the river-side, and the dog (which is a young dog. 



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THE SOWlNa OF THE SEED. 281 

and a bit wild, but will do better when broke, as shall 
be duly done) ran out after the hind, and would not 
come back to call. So then the young lords, having 
landed the lad that was with them in the boat (as 
aforementioned), bade him fetch in the dog, and meet 
their lordships about a hundred yards lower down the 
water, just opposite the marish (as above). The lad 
tells me that while he was running after the dog he 
could hear for some time the laughter of my honored 
and lamented master the young count It was a quar- 
ter of an hour before the boy could bring in the bitch, 
which, when done, was well punished, as duly de- 
served. The same then repaired to the place as above 
indicated ; who, when there arrived, with great sur- 
prise beheld the boat already fiur down the stream, be- 
yond said point, drifting, and quite empty. But of 
the two young lords was no trace apparent, near nor 
far. At first the lad thought that their lordships must 
have landed and gone up the marish, and that the 
boat, being ill fiistened, had got adrift. So he waited 
some time, and fired off his gun ; but neither to this 
signal, nor to all his shouts and cries, was there any 
answer. Then, looking all about him in great per- 
plexity, he at last noticed that there, was something 
hanging on the branch of a willow-tree this side of 
the great fen. And when the lad went up to the wil- 
low to see what this might be, then he recognized the 
hat of his honor Count Felix. At that sight the bitch 
began to howl. Honored madam, among all the folk 
in our parts, specially sportsmen, this is much thought 
of for a grievous bad sign, which it was no better, 
honored madam, on the present melancholy occasion. 



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232 THE PATIENT. 

Then the lad felt uncommon low in his mind ; and, 
crying and weeping bitterly, he ran back to the cas- 
tle, where he caused great alarm. May it please your 
ladyship, the writer of these humble Hues, your lady- 
ship^s dutiful servant, happened to be upon the spot^ 
and, taking with him a few followers, hastened to the 
fatal scene. There, having got a punt afloat, we tried 
with long poles to search the bottom ; but the stream 
was running stiff, and I lament to say our search proved 
fiiiitless. By this time the banks on each side were 
filled with folk. Also, honored madam, many went 
up to their necks into the water; for no man thought 
of his own life for the great love that is bom^ to the 
noble family of my lord the count. At last, then, 
some of the folk which was about in the water began 
to shout and call to us that were in the boat^ who, com- 
ing to the fatal spot, nigh about ten paces from the 
bank, all black and befouled with mud and slime, as 
was grievous to look at, being also dripping wet, my 
honored master Count Edmond. The same was quite 
insensible. His &jcg was buried in the black ooze, 
and his honor's hands convulsively clasped behind his 
head, as if he had there flung himself in great despair, 
which was a sight full piteous to behold. But of his 
honor the evermore-to-be-deeply-lamented and now 
happily-at-rest Count Felix, up to this day, honored 
madam, no trace whatever has be^i found. 

" His honor's bereaved brother, my deeply afflicted 
and highly esteemed master. Count Edmond, is un- 
common distressed and troubled in his mind, so that 
the exact details of the above-mentioned melaucholy 
occurrence can not yet be ascertained. For his honor, 



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THE SOWING OP THE SEED. 288 

OS is well known to your ladyship's kind heart, was 
most uncommon fond of the young lord his brother, 
80 that) for the great sorrow and heaviness of his 
heart, his honor is still, under your ladyship's pardon, 
as I may say, almost beside himself. It appears, how- 
ever, only too certain that the young lord must have 
fallen into the water while he was rocking the boat; 
and his lordship's brother must have tried desperate 
hard to save him, for his honor's clothes were wring- 
ing wet, and his boots were so shrunk with the water 
that we were obliged to cut them off his honor's legs. 
Furthermore, honored madam, the count's clothes were 
full covered with weed^ and gravel, through which his 
lordship must have dragged himself while searching 
for the defunct at the bottom of the river. 

'' In terminating these sad lines (and may it please 
your ladyship, without his honor's express orders I 
should not have made so bold to put pen to paper), I 
have also the honor to inform your ladyship that I 
have ordered relays of horses all along the post-road, 
in order that your honor may reach the castle as speed- 
ily as possible. "With the most profound respect, as 
in duty bound, so far as the melancholy circumstan- 
ces will permit, I am, honored madam, your ladyship's 
humble and dutiful servant, 

"Joachim Furchtegott Schumann, 
" Qrdjlich R dcher giUer Inspecior.^^ 



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B O O K 1 1 1. 

SM Ixnii of tlje Qeei. 

In the same hoar came forth fingers of a man's hand * * *. 
Then the king's coantenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled 
him. — ^Daniel. 



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BOOK III. 



OHAPTEB I. 

After the Event. 

Thus far I have beea able to let the count's papers 
speak for themselves. A great portion of the succeed- 
ing pages, however, is occupied with irrelevant details; 
and I have therefore thought it convenient to reduce 
the substance of these pages into narrative form, ex- 
tracting only such passages as appear peculiarly sig- 
nificant 



If any one well acquainted, in other and happier 
days, with the chateau of Count R and its in- 
mates, had revisited that household after the date of 
the letter transcribed in the previous chapter of this 
book, he would have been struck by the fragility of 
those foundations upon which human happiness is 
built 

The grief of the count and countess for the death 
of their youngest son must have acutely increased 
their anxiety at the precarious state of their eldest 
and only surviving child. 

Insensible to the presence of all around him, Ed- 
mond wanders, restless and solitary as a spectre. 
Whole days he passes alone in ever the same spot 



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238 THB PATIENT. 

upon the river bank, watching with glassy eyes the 
rolling waters. At nightfiEdl he glides home, shadow- 
like, among the shadows. 

In the old drawing-room, once so cheerful — there 
where Juliet's joyous song and Felix's merry laugh 
are missing now — ^wan feces in the heavy twilight 
hours peer at the melancholy windows, or through 
the doors no greeting enters. When night is falling, 
the woful watchers at those windows see a lonely 
figure here and there about the ghostly park restless- 
ly wandering. When night has Mien, and the silence 
is heavy on the house, the poor pale listeners at those 
noiseless doors can hear a dull and leaden footstep on 
the stairs. It passes the door which no hand opens. 
Edmond goes straight to his own chamber, and shuts 
himself in. All night along the floor of that cham- 
ber, monotonously backward and forward, the same 
dull, leaden footstep sounds. They can hear him mut- 
tering to himself in those short incessant walks, and 
sometimes groaning loud. - 

Suddenly a great change comes over him. Still 
taciturn and more than ever self-involved, but calm 
and quiet as before, he resumes the daily regularity 
of his previous occupations. At earliest dawn his 
horse is at the door. The whole day long he is bus- 
ily engaged about the property. Accompanied by 
the inspector, he visits every part of it ; sets all things 
in perfect order; and makes such careful provision 
for the future as would seem to imply the purpose 
of a prolonged absence. 

In the course of a single week, as I find, he was 
three times at Breslau. The next week he goes there 



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TH£ FBUIT OF THE SEED. 289 

again. This time he does not return. Three days 
after his departure, the coachman who drove him 
there comes back with a letter which he is charged 
to deliver to the old count In this letter Edmond 
takes leave of his family in terms which indicate, 
chiefly by the exaggerated effort to conceal it, a vio- 
lent grief, violently repressed. 

With vehement bitterness of reproach, and in words 
often incoherent) he accuses himself of the death of 
his brother. Life has become to him an intolerable 
burden. He can not hope for relief of mind so long 
as he is surrounded by scenes which remind him 
every hour of that terrible accident. He announces 
his departure for St P^tersbuiig. It is his intention 
to enroll himself in the Bussian army, now on active 
service in the Caucasus. If he should not return, he 
implores his father, and mother, and Juliet to let their 
forgiveness fest.upon his memory, etc., etc. 

None of the fiimily is much surprised at this decis- 
ion, nor at the language in which it is announced. 

Though Edmond has nothing whatever wherewith 
to reproach himself, yet it is easy to understand how 
naturally, how inevitably the mere fact of having been 
sole witness of a calamity so sudden, and of which the 
victim was so nearly related and so dear to the sur- 
vivor, must have planted into every bleeding memory 
thorns which a conscience so delicate, and a nature so 
severe in the criticism of itself as those of Edmond, 
would be impelled rather to drive deeper in than to 
eradicate. All had felt the absolute necessity of 
change of scene for Edmond. But that he should 
have chosen a remedy so sharp would doubtless have 



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240 THE PATIENT. 

grieved them more, had not the excess of a previous 
grief already blunted those susceptibilities which are 
most prominent to pain. 

In the spiritual no less than in the physical world, 
the maximum of power resides in the infinitely little. 

As the surfEice of the globe is changed at last by 
the gradual crumbling of the hills ; as continent is 
severed from continent by the slow small toil of mul- 
titudes of softest water-drops washing the sides of the 
world ; as from the bosom of the deep rise up new 
continents of vast extent, whose coral-building archi- 
tects might be covered by millions in the hollow of a 
man's hand, so, also, in the economy of the life within 
us, the constant and uniform recurrence of little things 
at last irresistibly establishes the durable basis of Hab- 
it and Custom. In this consists the healing power 
of work. And in work itself, as well as in each man's 
faculty to work (second only to religion, and the 
fiiculty to apprehend and employ the presence of a 
Divine Comforter), is the highest blessing bequeathed 
to man by the helplessness of his nature. For man 
is a day -laborer, paid by the day and the hour; not 
for the thing done, but for the doing it. He can not 
command results ; he can not comprehend the plan 
of the Architect; he can not always choose either his 
place among his fellow-laborers or the materials given 
him to work with, but he can always do a day's Work, 
and earn a day's wages. 

So it was with these three poor mourners in the old 

house at L . Hardly two years had passed away. 

A superficial observer might have seen nothing to re- 
mark about the inmates of the chateau beyond the 



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THS FBUIT OF THE SEED. 241 

fact that the habitude of a tranquil sadness had settled 
itself into the vacant place of a peaceful felicity. The 
chateau had become a convent But in the one as 
in the other, life followed its natural and necessary 
course, reflecting now more of the inside, as it had for- 
merly reflected more of the outside world. The only 
tangent at which the sphere of this closed and inner 
world came into contact with that of external circum- 
stance was in the one point of Edmond's distant lot. 

At first, for some time after his arrival on that the- 
atre of war, once the cradle of our race, his letters had 
been few and brief. As time went on, they became 
more frequent and more full. 

Bemafks about the manners and customs of those 
primordial tribes ; descriptions of the nature and scen- 
ery of that country ; observations upon the analogy 
and relationship of languages — that fine but firmly- 
woven thread which traverses, throughout millennia 
ums of change, the confused history of man, and 
unites, by almost imperceptible fibres, the end with 
the origin of human culture — such are the contents of 
this part of the journal and letters of Count Edmond, 
which indicate only by the different names of the 
places from which they are dated the participation of 
the writer of them in the events of the war. He him- 
self never speaks of these events. That he was con- 
cerned in them, and that he survived them, is proved 
by his letters ; that this was almost a miracle is proved 
by the details of the oflSdal bulletins of the Eussian 
army in the public journals of that time. 

At last came the spring of 1817, and with it the 
first warming ray of hope and comfort to the hearts 

L 



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242 THE PATIENT. 

of those who read these letters bj their cheerless 
hearth at L . 

Edmond has announced his return in a long letter 
to his father. 

But amid the pulses which this announcement 
quickened in the old man^s heart was one to which a 
message from a yet more distant land had already 
said, " Thou shalt be the last" 

One day, when this letter of Edmond's had been 

joyously discussed at the dinner-table at L , the 

old count died in his chair while still at table. He 
died of apoplexy without pain, and his eyes closed on 
the hope of his son's return. 

So that it was now as lord and master of L 

that Count Edmond returned to the house of his fa- 
thers, and there were still three mourners in the old 
chateau. 

But the firm, deliberate footstep which now sound- 
ed on the stair, and over the long silent hall at L , 

was no longer that of a boy. Whatever of masculine 
power had hitherto slumbered unemployed in the 
dreamy character of the young count, two years of 
martial strife and toil, the hardy life of a barbaric 
camp, and long resistance to inclement weathers, had 
now ripened into complete development. His tall, 
spare stature ; his sinewy frame, suppled and harden- 
ed by constant bodily exercise and endurance ; the 
smooth metallic lucidity of his firm and finely-chiseled 
features, embrowned and fortified by long exposure to 
wind and sun ; and that severe suavity and gentle 
sternness of manner which is only the attribute of 
men who have fought down violent passions, and con- 



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THE FRUIT OF THS SEED. 248 

quered the prerogative of a strict reliance on their 
own powers — all these, in their accumulated impres- 
sion, gave to the bearing of Ciount Edmond that accu- 
rate smoothness and strong consistency of power 
which the sculptor demands from the bronze to which 
he confides his conception of a demigod. The large 
regard of his luminous and quiet eye, naturally soft 
and plaintive, had also acquired an intensity and 
depth, which lent to the spiritual expression of his 
whole countenance a placidity that might well pass for 
the repose of a soul at peace with its own passions. 
In all the manner and appearance of him at that time 
there was, according to the unanimous testimony of 
eyewitnesses, that lordly, unobtrusive, but irresistible 
self-assertion, which is the characteristic of those who, 
fix)m the habit of controlling themselves, instinctively 
control others, and assume unconscious but undisputed 
precedence in the great Ceremony of Life. 

His influence upon those around him was the great- 
er inasmuch as, during the last two years of absence, 
he had either acquired that rare tact, or developed 
that yet rarer natural quality, which graces the sub- 
mission of one will to another, by giving to it the ap- 
pearance rather of a spontaneous homage than of a 
conscious concession. 

There are some natures that are like suns. Place 
them wherever you will, they instantly become the 
centre, and control the movement of all things. This 
inborn faculty of control exists quite independently 
of age, or experience, or social position, or intellectual 
power. You often see a child of six years old ruling 
by right divine an entire household ; and nothing is 



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244 THE PATIENT. 

more common in public life than to find men of no 
surpassing capacities, whose names never appear in 
the newspapers, but who nevertheless exercise para- 
mount and permanent influence over the master-minds 
of their time. 

The most striking novelty in the present conduct 
of Count Edmond was that he now spoke with per- 
fect frankness and marked frequency about all that 
was still most painful in the events of the past So 
far from avoiding allusion to these recollections (upon 
which, in the minds of Juliet and his mother, two 
years of silence had settled undisturbed), he seemed 
rather to seek for every occasion to dwell upon them. 
And, in doing this, he contrived with such singular 
skill to make these yet sore subjects the accustomed 
ground for constant interchange of ideas, thisit day by 
day, and little by little, they at last began to arrange 
themselves, under his guiding and constructive touch, 
into the consistent parts of a picture, the general effect 
of which, if pensive, was at least not painful, as daily 
more and more at the touch of a master-hand the new 
and brighter lights that grew out upon the foregrptind 
softened the harsh outlines, and melted them imper- 
ceptibly back into the long perspective of the past 

If by such means, on those occasions which he had 
acquired the faculty to create, Edmond, with xmwea- 
ried assiduity incessantly, either sketching in new ob- 
jects, or dexterously completing with consummate art 
such faint unfinished indications as he chanced to find 
already on the canvas, contrived by slow degree? to 
engage the interest of Juliet, by, as it were, drawing 
her into counsel upon every detail of that work of 



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THE FBUIT OF THS SEED. 246 

which she was herself the unconscious subject; if he 
thus accustomed her mind to tend more and more to- 
ward external action by giving to her feelings, hither- 
to buried in the seclusion of her own heart, the long- 
missed charm of participation, and the indefinite com- 
fort of an interest which he had the art to mak^ ap- 
pear the spontaneous result of her own volition ; if, 
I say, in the daily continuance of these delicate and 
kindly efforts. Count Edmond relaxed nothing of that 
patience which commands and justifies success, who 
can be very much surprised that within a little more 

than a year after the count's return to L , when at 

last the old countess rejoined her husband, when Ed- 
mond and Juliet stood together by the grave of their 
common mother, and the death which thus reunited 
the old seemed to bequeath to the young couple a life 
insupportably solitary if not henceforth united, Juliet 
could find in her heart no voice to oppose the voice 
of Edmond when it pleaded for that union — not with 
the passion of a lover, but with the pathos of an old 
and &ithful friend? 

And this plea was urged with such perfect abnega- 
tion of all personal desire, such quiet resignation of 
whatever happiness was beyond his power to claim or 
hers to grant, while every reason for compliance with 
it, to which the exclusive consideration of her inter- 
ests might have prompted Juliet, was so delicately 
employed by Edmond in favor of his own, that she 
was innocently drawn to regard as a noble duty and 
a sacred sacrifice the step which in no other sense it 
would have ever occurred to her to take. Instead of 
sayings" Pbw are an orphan," he said, "/am an or- 



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246 THE PATIENT. 

phan." Instead of speaking of the relations between 
them as a solace to which she had accustomed her 
daily life, he alluded to them only as a source of sav- 
ing strength which he himself was too helpless to re- 
sign. 

'[□lus it seemed as though the curves in which these 
two lives were moving, having at first run almost par- 
allel, and then diverged far asunder, were bound by 
natural laws to rejoin each other in completing the 
perfect circle. 



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TH£ FRUIT OF THE SEED. 247 



CHAPTER 11. 
Mated or Checkmated? 

But in the innermost soul of Edmond all was not 
so peaceful as the smoothness on the surface seemed 
to indicate. It appears from many of Juliet's letters 
that the habitual placidity of his self-composure was 
sometimes inexplicably disturbed. 

In one of her letters, written about this time, I found 
the following passage : 

" The fatigues of his last campaign, however, must 
have shaken Edmond's health to an extent which, in 
despite of his extraordinary powers of self-restraint 
and endurance, he can not quite conceal. There are 
moments when his face suddenly becomes white and 
bloodless ; his eye settles in glassy fixity upon a single 
spot; the wonted composure of his features is dis- 
turbed by a fearful spasm ; he stands as if horror- 
struck, his lips coTivulsively compressed, his chest vi- 
olently heaving. These attacks are, as he himself as- 
sures us, the results, happily now rare and rarer, of a 
violent fever, occasioned by a dangerous wound, which 
nearly proved fatal to him in the Caucasus. He fan- 
cies, and not, I dare say, without reason, that the coarse 
remedies and strong drugs of the Bussian military 
physicians have proved even more detrimental to his 
constitution than the fever itself. These fits, he says, 
are very painful, but not at all dangerous. I shall 



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246 THB PATIENT. 

phan." Instead of speaking of the relations between 
them as a solace to which she had accustomed her 
daily life, he alluded to them only as a source of sav- 
ing strength which he himself was too helpless to re- 
sign. 

TJhus it seemed as though the curves in which these 
two lives were moving, having at first run almost par- 
allel, and then diverged far asunder, were bound by 
natural laws to rejoin each other in completing the 
perfect circle. 



-fese attack 
-?dms!3 cf 



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-aff?7 



3ctj: 






-t a^^jraia h-m mui-r -r ^- ... 

.- •*■ -^-^ *-':vi;:.,n >;;.>, ^-^ 

- --e :ji 21S ■2x:3ai:r:iaarT powers a <^•■^*•>^•r,.,.^ 

■^-;n3 Taen iia Siec su.idcnij Kxvr.-^ w » . .... 

-.«: ais-ye jerJ^a inglassv fixi^v -.^.|r , ... ., 
^wonteti composure of Lis fvt- --k r. /. 

-; :t a fearfol spasm; he staii^b *^ -t h- 

-^ -:a jps coiivuIsiTely comprv:;a:vvl ** r< ..u-. - 
^«^^ These attacks arr, a< W » - ^ ' • 
" -^ results, happily now rarr iV -- ■ * 
.-Ten occasioned by a dan s?^ rvntt^ w ••' » • * 
"^^^ fiual to him in the CiMXJ.<'^ '' ^ 
:ot.r dare aay, without ri'iL<im ''»•*• ''^ 'l.^*" 

- surf strong drugs of iho K'^'' T^. . < 



^ proved even mcm^ '^'""^^'a*^*'*.*'^ 

- rian the fever iUt^lf. T*** '^ / i^^i;/ 
- -snfuJ, but not at aJ/ i/*"*'''*'*' 






out tn^ 

tad Hot 

truck "by 

was dea<J- 

ggard, and 

earful meta- 
a her sleep, 



rtsen from bis 
^aixd, and stag- 
^ith both bands 

.ck of Edmond's, 



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248 THE PATIENT. 

never forget one evening when, for the first time, I 
witnessed this strong man, so habitually master of 
himself, completely convulsed by one of these strange 
seizures. 

" The night was wild and gusty. An autumn storm 
was howling outside. There were long sighing noises 
about the house. One could hear the doors creak 
wearily in the empty upper rooms, while the dead 
leaves, blowing up the windy avenues, and whirling 
round the house, kept up a continual patter on the 
window-panes, like the tapping of elfin fingers. Ed- 
mond and I were playing at chess. Mother was doz- 
ing in her arm-chair by the fire. I need hardly tell 
you that Edmond is much stronger than I at this 
game. But he has the talent to equalize our forces 
by calculating to a nicety the value of the pieces he 
gives me, so that I can almost fimcy myself at times a 
match for him. That night the game had lasted lon- 
ger than usual. I really think that we were both in 
earnest, and each of us doing his best to win. For the 
first time, I seemed from the very outset to have di- 
vined the plan of my adversary's battle, and had so 
arranged my game that, whenever he tried to catch 
me, I was ready for him with a counter-move, on which 
he evidently had not reckoned. 

"At one moment he seemed to have quite lost pa- 
tience. Strange how eager this game can make one 1 
It really tries the temper. Seeing him so excited, I 
too, on my part, put out all my strength to escape his 
attack, which was boldly conceived and hotly pressed. • 
He was so resolved to harass my Queen that his usual 
caution failed him ; and, by an oversight, he laid his 
King open to my game. 



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THE FBITIT OF THB SEED. 249 

^' At last, however) he made a master-moye with his 
King's Ejiight just as I thought myself sure to check- 
mate him. I was so vexed by this disappointment 
that I had a strong mind to upset the board, and was 
just on the point of doing so, when suddenly, as if by 
enchantment, the whole game appeared completely 
changed. A single piece had achieved this miracle. 
A Castle which I am almost sure I had been keeping 
in reserve, well protected in a corner of the board on 
my enemy's side, was now standing out in full check 
to Edmond's King. I did not notice this piece in its 
new place till Edmond had withdrawn his hand from 
the board. I thought at first that it must have been 
accidentally displaced by his sleeve; but this could 
hardly have been the fiact, for there were other pieces 
in the way which, in that case, he must have upset I 
certainly felt sure that I had not moved the piece my- 
self, and how it got half across the board without my 
noticing it is to this hour a puzzle to me. I had not 
time to make it out ; for all at once I was struck by 
the appalling change in Edmond. His face was dead- 
ly white, his lips blue, his eye wild and haggard, and 
his whole frame convulsed and shivering. 

" To add to the strange horror of this fearful meta- 
morphose, mother, who was dreaming in her sleep, 
suddenly began to mutter, 

" * Yes, yes, Felix, I know — ^I know I' 

" I tried to assist Edmond, who had risen from his 
chair, but he waved me away with his hand, and stag- 
gered out of the room, feeling his way with both hands 
along the wall like a blind man. 

" I never told mother about this attack of Edmond's, 
L2 



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250 THE PATIKNT. . 

but I asked her afterward what she had been dream- 
ing about, and repeated to her the words she had ut- 
tered in her sleep. She had forgotten every thing, 
however, and did not even know that she had been 
dreaming. We have never played at chess since that 
evening. This game frightens me." 



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THB FRUIT OF TBE SEED. . 251 



CHAPTER m. 
Juliet's Religion. 

Again, in another letter, which, though undated, I 
have no difficulty in referring to the same period, Ju- 
liet writes, 

" I begin to think that Edmond is trying to hide 
from us the real cause of these attacks, and this makes 
me anxious. I fear that the frightful recollections of 
the 14th of September must at least have something 
to do with them, and that all his heroic efforts and 
long self-exile have not yet sufficed to dissipate every 
trace of that cruel shock. I can perfectly understand 
this. For the first time in his life Edmond has found 
himself as it were, confronted with Providence, and 
compelled to recognize the operation of a will higher 
than man's, independent of man's, and inscrutable to 
human understanding. Ah I dear Theresa, we may 
ignore the love of God, we can not ignore the power 
of God ; and how dreadful would be the power with- 
out the love ! I have no doubt that, in the impotence 
of his efforts to save my lost darling, Edmond must 
have felt the omnipotence of the great Disposer; but 
it is in his nature to regard himself as respoilsible for 
the fSulure of those efforts. For Edmond is not a re- 
ligious man. I know that. At least he is not relig- 
ious in our sense, nor according to our way of feeling. 
His character is noble and lofty in all things, but child- 



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252 THE PATIENT. 

like and submissive in none. His intellectual pride 
is unbending. I do not presume to judge bim on 
that account. Men's minds are differently constituted 
from ours. With us women, the heart acts upon the 
mind, and we think what we feel. With men it seems 
to me that the mind acts upon the heart, and they feel 
what they think. Thus we get to conclusions quick- 
er than men do, because with us conviction is the re- 
sult of feeling, not of thought ; and feeling is instanta- 
neous, whereas thought is progressive. But I do not 
believe that either the woman who feels rightly, or 
the man who thinks rightly, will act wrongly. 

In old days I used often to talk with our dear fa- 
ther about this religious indifference of Edmond. 

Father had a way of explaining and justifying it, 
which made a great impression on my mind, because 
he was himself a man of unblemished piety and un- 
shaken faith. Certainly Edmond from his earliest 
years evinced an extraordinary independence of judg- 
ment. He would never adopt a second-hand opinion 
without having first severely examined it. In this 
his mind is singularly conscientious ; and I have oft- 
en heard father say that, even as a boy, Edmond used 
to astonish him by the weight and precision of his re- 
marks. He will have nothing to do with enigmas. 
Whatever coincides not with the perfect structure of 
thought, whatever is not amenable to the strict law of 
the unSerstanding, he does not absolutely reject, but 
he refuses it admission to his mind, as being beyond 
the province of the intellect According to him, the 
mind of man can only operate within certain limits, 
and whatever exists beyond these limits does not ex- 



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THE FBUIT OF THE SEED. 258 

ist for the mind, because the mind can not take cog- 
nizance of that which it has no means of verifying. 
Edmond is no scoffer, however. He denies nothing. 
For he says that the possibility of denial involves the 
possibility of affirmation ; that the mind is not com- 
petent to deny what it is incompetent to affirm, and 
that we are only entitled to affirm what we are able 
to prove. He fully admits that tEere exists in man 
an indefinite desire, a vague longing, which impels 
him toward the unknown, and renders him susceptible 
to the mysteries of religion. He also finds it quite 
natural that this want, like every other want, should 
have a tendency to satisfy itself; nay, even that the 
want of any thing indicates the existence of the thing 
wanted. But if the satisfaction of this want is only 
possible hy fiuth ; and in faith, and not possible by any 
process of thought, or in any logical demonstration of 
fact, then (he would say) it presupposes in man a fac- 
ulty which he may possess (though how or whence 
he knows not), but which he can not acquire. After 
all, this is not very different from what the cur^ says 
himself when he talks of Grace and Election. Only I 
can not help hoping that grace must come by prayer; 
and if I rightly understand what Edmond means, I 
suppose he would say that prayer is grace — a fiswulty 
not to be acquired ; and this is a chilling thought. 

"I remember father used to say that unfortunately 
our sublime religion has not been always carried out 
in conformity with the Divine origin of it. And, 
surely, he would say, a dogma which is based entirely 
on love should never appear beyond the reach of love. 
In following out such a dogma, a child might be our 
guide. And was not the Savior of the world himself 



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254 THB PATIKNT. 

a child? And, in all worldly matters, did He not re- 
main a child, even to the Cross? ' Ah ! children,' fii- 
ther would say, ' name me the man that ever offered 
himself up to be crucified for the love of all mankind. 
Alexander the Great? He died of a fit of intemper- 
ance. Julius Caesar? He fell an unwilling victim to 
his own ambition. Yet these men have been exalted 
to the rank of demigods, and held up to us as great 
examples. Or the Philosophers? Pythagoras, to 
whom Divine honors were paid? He lived chiefly 
for himself, and shunned the vulgar. Or Zeno, dying 
in hale old age, to whom was voted a brazen statue 
and a golden crown? Or Epicurus, whose birthday 
was honored with annual festival? Or Empedocles, 
who flung himself into Etna for vanity's sake, and to 
cheat the admiration of the world? Or Plato, who 
took care of his health and died painless 7 Or Soc- 
rates, best and wisest of all, who was sacrificed by the 
Athenians ? Even of Am, can it be said that for deep 
love of all the human family he sought and died a 
torturing death? 

" ' No, no I the power of Christianity is in the sacri- 
fice of Christ The whole Christian precept is in the 
Christian deed. But this has not been adequately 
borne in mind. Doctrine has been added to doctrine, 
while example has dwindled out of sight; and, while 
all history teaches the power of religion upon the 
spirit of man, every page of history proves how that 
power has been perverted to worldly uses. While 
the Church has been building up her establishment, 
Faith has been left to shift for herself. Yet the 
Church has more than once been shaken to her 
foundations, while Faith has never lost her hold upon 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 255 

man. Well, then, how can we wonder if the children 
of these later times are born, and grow up, and live 
in doubt? They are the inheritors of a vast super- 
structure, the growth of successive ages, which is be- 
wildering even to contemplate, which is a maze of in- 
congruous architectures, and which they must never- 
theless take as they find it, without diminution or ad- 
dition. But, while this edifice has been growing in 
all directions, the sacred fountain of which, after aU, 
it is only the shrine, has been neglected and over- 
heaped with ruin. Yet we are bidden to maintain 
every stone of the temple for the sake of the old well- 
head which the temple is choking and hiding.' 

"In this way father would gently extenuate Ed- 
mond's indifference to religious dogma, and, rather 
than blame him for lacking conviction, he praised him 
for honestly endeavoring to substitute, for convictions 
which he could not conscientiously profess, a strict 
and exact adherence to the duties imposed upon him 
by the noble severity of his own judgment. * And 
so,' he used to add, laughing, * we may let Edmond 
alone for the present. For the future I have no fear. 
The day will come when love, the grand teacher of us 
all, will enter my boy's heart Then the scales will 
drop from his eyes. Let him but once realize that 
true and fervent love which asks nothing for itself, 
which is chiefly blessed and beautified in the bounte- 
ous consciousness of the existence, the holy contem- 
plation of the worth of what it loves — that love which 
makes men's thoughts religious and men's hearts child- 
like — then you may be sure that his hands will invol- 
untarily clasp themselves in a prayer that will need 
no prompting from without.' " 



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256 THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Signs upon the Road. 

One other extract from these letters of Juliet, and 
I hasten to drop the curtain on a picture which would 
not have been so long obtruded on the reader's atten- 
tion but for the significance of its relation to the events 
immediately to be recorded. The following extract 
contains the account of a circumstance, to which, in 
connection with others of the same nature, Edmond 
himself alludes in that paper which came by chance 
into my hands on the occasion of my accident in the 
Bois de Boulogne. The letter from which it is taken 
must have been written about a month before the 
death of the old countess. 



" Edmond, who had long been free from all attacks, 
lately alarmed us exceedingly. This time mother was 
with us, and saw what took place; but fortunately 
she only saw in it an accident. I saw more, and was 
dreadfully frightened ; but this event has really proved 
our salvation, and I now recognize in it the hand of 
Providence, which uses evil for beneficent purposea 

" It was a fine warm afternoon. Edmond had en- 
gaged us to drive over in the pony carriage to the old 
water-mill by the Giant's Seat. He himself accom- 
panied us on horseback, sometimes riding by the side 



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THE FBUIT OF THE SEED. 257 

of the carriage, sometimes on before. He had prom- 
ised us a pleasant surprise. I must tell you that Ed- 
mond, with great skill and taste, has succeeded in 

bringing all the most beautiful views about L 

within the circle of the park itself The old straight 
carriage -drives have been done awaj with, or so 
changed that they now wind in and out among the 
busks and thickets, sometimes plunging under deep 
masses of foliage, sometimes sloping into long green 
vistas, or breaking upon lovely open views. 

" After winding about in this way for about three 
quarters of a mile through the great copse at the bot- 
tom of the Home Park, we came quite unexpectedly 
upon a view of the mill which was entirely new to me. 
Unawares, and silently, the thick foliage had fallen 
away from us on either side, and we found ourselves 
upon a high grassy terrace overhanging the ravine. 
The scene was as enchanting as it was unexpected. 
To the right uprose black, abrupt, and bare of herb- 
age, like the side wall of a world, the Giant's Seat. A 
vast white cloud was settled in slumbrous masses on 
the summits. It was the mellowest hour of the after- 
noon, and the whole bosom of the snowy vapor was 
bathed in golden light Higher up, the warm sky 
was in its deepest blue, and the height of the rock's 
steep flank had the strange effect of seeming to give 
unusual height to the heaven itself. Above the rock, 
and above the cloud, in that deep blue dome of breeze- 
less air, two brown hawks were hovering and wheel- 
ing. Over the long and thickly -foliaged gorge a broad 
veil of transparent purple shadow was drawn slant- 
wise from base to summit, slicing one half of the op- 



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258 THB PATIENT. 

posite slopes from the languid yellow light that still 
leaned downward from the edges of rich green. 
Hutched among the gray and dewy slabs, in the 
bloomy bottom of the glen, the old brown mill was 
crouching by his spectral wheel. Swift from the clo- 
ven summit high above, down sprang the shining wa- 
ter-serpent on his prey. There was no sound in the 
warm hollow but of the shattering of the long cool 
water, and the groaning of the black-ribbed wheel, 
which,- caught in that foaming coil, kept spinning from 
his dripping web tissues of dropping pearl and dia- 
mond sparks. But underneath, the violent water-spir- 
it, appeased by previous exercise of power, lay at large 
and at ease in a placid pool of vivid emerald, about 
whose basalt brinks burned brilliant clusters of the 
bright red moss. Half way up the glooming mount- 
ain-wall a phantom prism came and went, and rose 
and fell, at fitful intervals, as ever and anon the floated 
smoke of throbbing spray was tossed into the sun a 
hand's-brcadth higher than the extreme slope of the 
sunless air beneath. The spirit of the stillness was 
melancholy, not morose. 

" We could hardly bring ourselves to relinquish the 
luxury of admiration with which we lingered in this 
charming spot. But the afternoon had deepened 
round us unperceived, and at last Edmond, remind- 
ing us that we had still to visit the mill itself, pushed 
on his horse toward the mountain road which he has 
lately constructed, and made a sign to the coachman 
to follow. I leaned back in the carriage, pensive and 
dreamy. There was a soothing softness in the early 
autumn air. At that moment the heavy burden of 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 259 

memory seemed lightened, and the ever-present past 
more tolerant of peace. Something in the view we 
had just been admiring had drawn my thoughts to- 
ward Edmond ; for, indeed, this view has been almost 
called into existence by his artistic skilL He was 
riding on before us slowly. He never looks more to 
advantage than on horseback. At the junction of the 
old carriage-drive with the new road, which runs 
along the flank of the Giant's Seat, there is a finger- 
post, which now came into sight at the bend of the 
valley, with its long arm «yad stretched forefinger 
pointed at us, almost as if it were trying to warn us 
back. So, at least, I have since fancied. Edmond 
was just in front of the finger-post, and going to turn 
the corner. Suddenly he gave a faint cry. I saw the 
reins drop from his hands; I saw him fling up his 
arms and put his hands before his eyes. He reeled 
back in his saddle as if he had been shot, and the next 
moment he was stretched upon the ground senseless. 
We jumped out of the pony carriage and ran to assist 
him. The groom, too, who was following, rode up in 
haste and alighted. 

"While we were still stooping over Edmond, we 
were all terrified by a tremendous noise close to us. 
We looked up. The mill had become invisible. 
Hardly a hundred yards before us an enormous frag- 
ment of rock, covered in a cloud of white dust, lay 
sheer across the road and barred the passage. The 
ponies took fright, turned round, and dashed home- 
ward at full speed. Fortunately, the carriage upset, 
and this enabled the coachman, who showed great 
presence of mind, to stop them and bring them back. 



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259 

ker-preseBt past 

the Tiew we 

ikougbts lo« 

ibeieii almoei 

bkilL He was 

looks moro to 

IjunctioD of the 

lei, which runs 

(ure is a finger- 

ic bend of the 

fched forefinger 

Ing to warn us 

lied* Etlniond 

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lit, and the nejct 

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Digitizeci by | 



bgle 



260 THE PATIENT. 

All this while we were about Edmond. He soon 
came to himself, and none but I had any suspicion of 
the true cause of his fall. I, however, who had seen 
one of these seizures already, could have no doubt as 
to the nature of this one. For the rest, thank God I 
he was not in the least hurt. Before the groom could 
come back with another carriage, we had time to ex- 
amine the landslip. The wall to the right, along the 
new road, is only just built. The workmen had not 
given it sufficient support. It had broken down, and 
a vast fragment of rock, which had been displaced to 
make room for the road, had fallen with it, just at the 
moment when, but for Edmond's accident, we should 
all have been passing under it, and must in that case 
have been infallibly crushed to death." 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 261 



CHAPTER V. 
Edmond's Religion. 

I NEED add nothing to these extracts. Here, then, 
is the point to which this unhappy man was come. 
No matter how strongly he might strive against it, he 
remained a prey to the mysterious action of a Power 
unknown to those around him, and incredible to him- 
self. 

In vain (his journal proves it) did he endeavor by 
every means in his power to convince himself of the 
impossibility of apparitions. 

The Hand was there. 

The spectral amethyst still smote him with its vio- 
let rays. 

Not always. Not when he wished it Not by ex- 
pressly exciting his imagination could he bring it be- 
fore him. For this he had often tried. Since, if he 
succeeded in this (he thought), then the spell would 
be broken ; then he might analyze the nature of the 
vision, investigate the causes and conditions of it, and 
rest sure that whatever he was able to evoke by pow- 
er of will, he should always be able to dismiss by the 
same power. 

Not being able to do this, he hoped to accustom 
himself to this spectral visitant which he could nei- 
ther summon nor exclude ; and he labored to render 
the thought of it familiar to his mind. Labor lost ! 



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262 THE PATIENT. 

When the last apparition already seemed to him as 
a half-forgotten dream ; when, in the full enjoyment 
of untroubled health, and the clear consciousness of 
intellectual power, he might reasonably assume that 
he had fairly rid himself of a temporary nervous irri- 
tability, then, by ways the most unexpected, and ever 
with increased significance, IT returned. 

In the mid-heart of the barbarous battle, in the 
treacherous solitude of the mountain ambush, had he 
not seen that hand put aside the gun that was leveled 
at his head? Among the balmy autumn woods at 

L , when not the shadow of a cloud in heaven 

gave omen of the sure destruction to which a hundred 
paces farther must have brought him, had he not rec- 
ognized the lurid ring upon the stretched forefinger 
of that posted arm, imperatively warning him back ? 
And once before, over the chessboard, when he had 
boasted to his own heart that Juliet could not escape 
him, had it not crossed his game, and found a means 
to let bim understand that it, the Spectre, would know 
how to balk him ? 

Would the thing execute its menace? Would his 
be always the only eye to see the apparition? Or 
would it, at some later time, reveal itself also to oth- 
ers? These were the doubts that assailed him. So 
must he live on. 

He had built up for himself an elaborate edifice of 
internal law, suggested by, and based upon, the anal- 
ogy of the visible organism of forces acting on exter- 
nal nature. In this system the relations of cause and 
effect were so close as to admit no place for passivity. 
Action only was considered capable of consequence. 



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THE FBUrr OF THE SEED. 268 

Causation could not exist in that which had no action. 
The thing that was not done was not at al]. What ef- 
fect could be attributed to that which itself had no ex- 
istence? 

In this circle of ideas his mind continually moved. 
I find proof of it in all he wrote. 

This is why the inscription on the Egyptian ring 
had so strongly seized upon his imagination. His 
own thesis had arisen from the tomb, fortified by the 
authority of twenty centuries. This is why he had so 
cautiously considered each active expression of his 
will, so scrupulously weighed every action of his life. 
As, according to this way of thinking, the sum of ef- 
fects must be equal to the sum of causes, and as he 
thought that he could precisely predicate the first if 
he carefully calculated the last, he assumed for certain 
that he could never become the slave of a passion ; 
since, passion being only an effectj had he not before- 
hand measured and assigned to it its definite extent 
by the exactly equivalent limits accorded to the cause 
of it in his proper action ? 

In the same way he reduced his responsibility to a 
similar equation. So much action, so much respon- 
sibility. He would suffer himself to recognize and 
accept no responsibility which was not contained in 
(and legitimized by) this equation. To his own law 
he had strictly adhered. The law of his mind he had 
made the law of his nature. He had never evaded 
it, never opposed it, never flinched from it. In this 
he had sought security, and to this he now clung with 
the energy of despair. In his own sense he had nev- 
er failed, never been wanting. He had, under no 



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264 THE PATIENT. 

provocation, ever humiliated himself in his own eyes. 
He dared not do so ; he could not do so ; for, in this 
system of his, he had left himself not so much as a 
foot's breadth for escape from feilure. A system 
which did not admit of weakness could not provide 
for pardon. By the side of his law was chaos : one 
step beyond his inch of solid ground, the abyss. Me- 
diation was impossible where there was nothing inter- 
mediate. At the summit of his severe religion, in the 
place of a compassionate Christ, stood a relentless Ne- 
cessity. 



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THE FBUIT OF THE SEED. 266 



CHAPTER VI. 
Before the Altab. 

It was the day fixed for the marriage. It had been 
settled that the ceremony should take place in the 
private (diapel of the chateau, and in the presence of 
only a few witnesses — ^the most intimate friends of 
the family. 

Edmond had long looked forward to this moment 
He felt that it would be the decisive crisis of his life, 
and he was forewarned that the Spectre would appear. 
He was resolved to confront it without flinching. 
By resolutely fixing in his mind the thought of the 
apparition, he sought to prepare himself to sustain, 
undefeSated, the shock of that sudden terror, of which 
the triumph is — madness. It was neither of Heaven 
nor of Hell, but of himself, that he sought strength 
for the final conflict. 

When he felt that he was master of himself, he 
went to meet his betrothed. 

Those that saw him pass said to each other, ''See 
how brave and hearty is our young lord to-day I 
How gallantly goes he yonder, with his manly step 
and handsome &ce. On him Heaven's blessing visibly 
reposes; for he is of a noble nature, and 'tis written 
dear on the brow of him that there is not in his veins 
one drop of sullied blood." 

M 



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266 THE PATIENT. 

But none of them could see the stormy brewage 
that was working deep under that serene exterior. 

Those who have ever visited the silver mines at 
Freiberg or the Hartz will be familiar with a fugitive 
and beautiful phenomenon which occurs during the 
process of melting the ore, and lasts but an instant 

The miners call it silberblick 

When the air first comes into contact with the in- 
candescent liquid mass, there is seen for a moment a 
bright iridescence of vivid colors in rapid motion. 
This brilliant phantom is produced by the impure 
alloy, which, under a light whitish cloud, suddenly 
combines with a particle of the oxygen in the atmos- 
phere. 

The metallic mass, seized with a twirling move- 
ment, manifests variations more and more rapid, and 
shines with the shifting light of the most beautiful 
evanescent tints. Suddenly all movement stops. For 
an instant the molten metallic surface loses all its 
lustre — looks dull, opaque, and dead. Then there is 
a farther change ; and instantaneously the same sur- 
face is completely overspread with the smooth clear 
polish of the pure silver. Under the influence of in- 
tensest heat, all the particles of foreign matter have 
been dissipated. But at the bottom of the melting- 
pot they have left a trace of their passage — ^a small 
black spot. 

The miners say, "iZeine silber blickt niey (The pure 
silver has no silberblick.) 

The fire, finding nothing more to consume, leaves 
— on the surface, a smile; in the interior, a raging 
heat ; deep at bottom of all, a black spot. 



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THE FBUrr OF THS SEED. 267 

This is the siJberhlick. 

When Edmond stood before the altar at the side 
of his betrothed, there was a smile upon his face. 

It was the silberblick. 

For his thoughts were not in the sanctuary. He 
saw neither the priest before him, nor the bride beside 
him, nor the witnesses around him. 

He was waiting for the Spectre. He was arming 
himself for a supernatural combat. 

He knew It would appear ; and, for the first time, 
his own spirit felt itself a match for his ghostly assail- 
ant. Nothing — not even the movement of a muscle 
— ^betrayed that this man was challenging with super- 
human defiance the whole world of spirits to banish 
that smile from his face. 

All his senses were sentinels, vigilantly on the 
watch. He was throwing out scouts and outposts in 
every direction. He was making his great recon- 
noitre. He peered into every comer. He heard the 
slightest noise almost before it was audible. Before 
him, around him, here, there, every where — ay, even 
outside among the corridors, and in the porch, the 
park — there where eye and ear withdrew their aid, 
his nerves, stimulated to the highest pitch, had forced 
into his service a new unintermediate sense, where- 
with to meet midway, and 30 forestall, the onset of his 
phantom foe. Should he succeed in this — should he, 
by a supreme eflfort, contrive to forelay the apparition 
before it appeared, then victory was assured to him. 
The Ghost would have been beaten before it could 
come into the field. 

And all this while he was standing there — ^the altar 



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268 THE PATIENT. 

before him, his bride beside him, all eyes upon him — 
standing there, smiling, erect, placid, with his wonted 
noble air of easy power and unstudied grace, free from 
all apparent effort^ free fix>m all apparent fear, and yet 
withal as beseemed that sacred place and solemn hour, 
in reverent attitude before the minister of God. 

Now is come the moment of the benediction. Now 
the priest invokes the bride and bridegroom to join 
hands. 

Now, surely, It must come? 

Calling up all his powers, setting all his battle in 
exactest order, once more Count Edmond scrutinized 
with keenest insight every nook and cantle of the 
chapel. Wherever a shadow could lurk, wherever a 
single ray of dubious light could steal, behind every 
column, along every wall, probing each crevice, sound- 
ing each chink, following each niote in the sunbeam, 
searching each shade on the flintstone, he sent forth 
his spies and informers. 

Nothing. 

Now he could dare it Now the Spectre was baf- 
fled — banished. The stealthy thing had not been 
able to find unguarded a single cranny in the material 
world whereby to enter in, and storm the citadel of 
the soul. 

He put forth his hand to join the hand of Juliet in 
eternal union, and — 

It was there. 

There. In the hand of Juliet, the hand of his broth- 
er Felix. 

Courage I Flinch not, man ! Flinch not now I It 
has come. It is here. The Ghost has kept his word« 



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THE FBUrr OF THE SEED. 269 

He tried to pluck those dead man's fingers out of 
the hand of his betrothed. 

He could not. 

The amethyst kept him off. The amethyst shot at 
him its spiteful burning beams. The amethyst hissed 
at him with its scorching whisper, 

^^ Disturb not the Hand of Destiny,^'' 

His will rebelled, and audaciously issued its com- 
mands. Every limb of his body was paralyzed, and 
refused to obey. 

The priest pronounced the sacred words, and blessed 
the union of the pair. 

What pair? 

Edmond heard and saw all. Mechanically his lips 
proclaimed the inviolable vow. 

For another. 

For a dead man I 



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270 THB PATIENT. 



CHAPTER Vn. 
Edhokd afteb the Mabbiage. 

The ceremony was over. The nuptials were con- 
cluded. 

Edmond had kept the promise he had made to him- 
self. He had not flinched. Not a muscle had quiv- 
ered, not a nerve had revolted from the dominion of 
that iron will. 

But he felt that he was now at the end of his teth- 
er. His strength was exhausted. His blood, so long 
and so severely restraint, now beat and surged with 
savage power against the walls of his brain. His 
brain boiled. 

He still saw clearly before him, but what he saw 
was fearful to be seen. He knew where he was — on 
the brink of the abyss. He knew whither he was go- 
ing — ^to the deepest depth of it 

He was perfectly conscious that he could, at the ut- 
most, only purchase a few more moments of self-con- 
trol at the price of insanity. 

These moments he could accurately calculate. He 
counted them up, and knew the exact sum that he 
could still dispose of. 

With a hideous clearness of intellect, with an atro- 
cious self-suppression, he conducted his young bride 
to the great banquet-hall, where the assembled guests 
were now waiting to felicitate the bride and bride- 
groom. 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 271 

With unruffled composure he received their con- 
gratulations. He had a gracious look and a well- 
placed word for each and for all. Urbane and placid, 
he withdrew himself from the hall. 

Making a sign to his valet to follow him, Count 
Edmond, with a firm footstep, regained his own apart- 
ments. They were at the extreme end of the house. 

With his accustomed tranquillity, and in a voice no 
tone of which was shaken, he then said to the valet^ 

" I give you four minutes. Go, fetch me here four 
lackeys, or four of the stable-men — the tallest and 
strongest you can lay your hands on. Let them bring 
with them rope and cord — the stoutest that can be 
found, and plenty of it Make haste." 

The valet was accustomed to obey orders prompt- 
ly, and without answering. Like master, like man. 
Count Edmond's serving-man was too well trained to 
permit himself on any occasion the impertinence of 
surprise. He was the most decorous of valets to the 
most decorous of counts. He bowed and withdrew. 
At the end of four minutes he was back with the men 
and the cords. Had his master told him to fetch four 
hangmen and four halters, he would have done his 
best to give satisfaction. 

The count bade his servant turn the key in the 
door. 

He did so. 

Edmond was standing at the foot of his bedstead. 
His right hand was closely wound about one of the 
ponderous pillars of twisted oak which sustained the 
ceiling of the bed. It was an antique bed, richly 
carved and heavily curtained. 



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272 THE PATIENT. 

The face of Edmond was livid. 

"Bind me— quick — ^the hands — ^the feet— quick 1" 

These words came broken, one by one, in a dry, un- 
natural voice, fix>m his lips. He was breathing with 
difficiulty. 

The servants stared at him, stupefied, speechless. 
He did not speak again with his lips. His lips were 
locked, and his nostrils inflated. But his eyes spoke 
fiercely — entreaty growing into menace. 

Still the servants hesitated. 

Then the bed began to creak and crack. 

Suddenly the great bedpost, wrenched from its 
socket) flew up, spun round, and dashed against a 
large plate-glass mirror, which it shivered into splint- 
ers. The ceiling of the bed crashed in, and fell with 
a loud noise. 

The dike was broken. 

And the hideous overflow, no longer restrained or 
impeded, surged and seethed into every limb swollen 
with the strength of a giant 

It was only after long and furious struggle that 
those four athletes were able to subdue the madman. 
At last they bound his limbs with cords, and laid him 
on his bed, panting, exhausted, senseless. 

Before leaving the chamber, the count's valet, who 
had not lost his presence of mind for a moment, im- 
posed upon his four astonished subordinates the most 
solemn pledges of secrecy as to all that had happened. 
The count's apartments occupied the farthest por- 
tion of the least frequented wing of the quadrangle. 
Across the locked double doors no sound could have 
escaped to the other parts of the house. The valet 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 278 

guessed that his unfortunate master, in his last mo- 
ment of lucidity, must have counted upon this. When 
he had exacted secrecy from the four grooms, he left 
them in charge of the county and quitted the room. 
He was gone to look for the countess. 
M2 



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274 THB PATIBNT. 



CHAPTER Vm. 

JULIST AFTER THE MaRBIAGE. 

Juliet, also, had retired early &om the guest- 
chamber. 

Her mind was absorbed by a gentle melancholy ; 
and, taking with her Theresa by the hand, she sought 
for relief to her feelings in conversation with her 
friend. 

So the two women sat together, and talked on, in 
low tones, to each other; Juliet leaning on Theresa's 
bosom, and clasping Theresa's hand, and the quiet 
sunlight on the serious faces of them both. 

"Indeed, indeed, dear friend," Juliet said to The- 
resa, "I have well weighed the weight of this day, and 
the worth of it. I have long been asking myself 
whether what is now done was right and fit for me to 
do, and I have convinced myself that my duty lies 
here. Do I not owe it to Felix to remain by him that 
remains, faithful to him that was ever faithful and 
true; him that Felix loved so inexpressibly — him 
whose life has been so strangely saddened by the loss 
of that beloved brother? This is what was in my 
mind this morning. I wished to set myself clear with 
my own heart; and when Edmond met me with such 
a holy calm upon his noble features, I blessed God 
that I was able to devote to him all my remaining life. 
But tell me, my Theresa, tell me, you who know all 



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THE FRUIT OF THB SEED. 275 

my heart and all my life, whether in this I ought to 
reproach myself: when I stood just now before the 
altar, I felt separated from all around me, and my 
thoughts were of Felix. Again I seemed to hear 
those unforgotten words which he said to me in that 
first moment when our eyes were suddenly opened 
upon each other's hearts. Again I seemed to feel his 
arm about me, and to hear his voice, ^ Never now, Ju- 
lietj can I leave thee. Here or there, in time and eternity, 
I am thine, and thou art mine,^* When the priest 
blessed our union my feelings were strangely sad, 
strangely happy. The hand of Edmond, when he 
placed it in my own, was as cold as a dead man^s 
hand ; but at the touch of it I felt my whole frame 
thrilled by a sweet sensation which I had not felt for 
years. I had felt it first^ and felt it only, long ago, 
when I used to walk with Felix hand in hand. I 
was overpowered by these recollections. I dropped 
my eyes toward the cold hand that was clasped in 
mine, and, oh Theresa 1 I fancied in that moment that 
I saw there my lost bridal ring — the ring I gave to 
Felix, the ring which Edmond had given to me ; but 
the strange, unintelligible characters of it moved out 
of the visionary stone which I seemed to be seeing, 
and twined themselves about in sparkling violet light, 
like little fairy snakes, and wandered over both our 
hands like luminous veins ; and the veins branched 
onward and upward over my whole being, and my 
life-blood seemed to be flowing through them, and 
they lighted up the interior of my soul. Multitudes 

* These words were probably recorded in the xnissiog page of Ju- 
liet's letter, p. 207. 



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276 THE PATIENT. 

of fairy rings in bright succession, and by the last 
links of all in the sparkling spirit-chain our two hearts 
seemed united; for in that moment^s dreaming I 
dreamed that it was Felix still beside me — ^still the 
hand of Felix that held mine. Then, when thrilled 
with a faint, strange joy, I looked up in my husband's 
face, I noticed with what deep devotional intensity of 
gaze Edmond was clasping my hand, and I under- 
stood, then, that Edmond was become one with Felix 
by his union with me, and that thus the schism of my 
heart was healed, and all was reconciled and hal- 
lowed." 

Juliet's friend smiled at these dreamy fancies. And 
she too said "All is well, and all is reconciled." 

Nor was there need, she said, of any fairy snakes 
from phantom rings, since now, in a new and earnest- 
ly accepted duty, the true links had been found, which 
also should, by faithful exercise of pure and whole- 
some feelings, be made fast 

So Theresa thought And Juliet, she said, should 
not any more be brooding on this buried past, but 
must now exhort and encourage her own true heart 
to seize and sanctify the sober yerities of this daily 
human life, wherein it behooves that we should stand 
firm upon our feet, that we may not be overcome by 
the gust of accident 

At that moment the valet of Count Edmond en- 
tered the room. 



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THE FBUrr OF THE SEED. 277 



CHAPTER IX. 
The Field of Battle. 

The valet had not been able so completely to efface 
from his clothes and his countenance all traces of the 
recent straggle but what the two women were alarm- 
ed by his appearance the moment he entered. 

They both rose before he could speak, and cried in 
a breath, " For heaven's sake I what has happened?" 

"He is quite calm, and he sleeps," the vfdet said. 

And, prudently suppressing all details of the scene 
he had just witnessed, he hurriedly explained that his 
master had been seized by a violent attack of nervous 
fever. He had already sent for the nearest physician ; 
and he conjured the countess not to go near her hus- 
band till she was authorized to do so by the doctor, 
since, in the first stage of nervous fever, any emotion 
might prove fatal to the patient. 

Juliet was with difficulty persuaded to obey this in- 
junction. But she jrielded at last to the earnest en- 
treaties of Theresa. 

It was well for her that she did so. 

For behind the doors she was was forbidden to en- 
ter, Horror was in full possession of his own. 

Here was the scene of the count's last battle and ir- 
retrievable defeat The strife had been stupendous; 
the defeat was overwhelming. Inch by inch, with 
inflexible patient audacity, the man who there lay 



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278 THB PATIENT. 

corpse-like, crushed, utterly beaten on that hideous 
battle-field, had usurped his own liberties in conquer- 
ing one by one the antagonisms of his own nature. 
He had left to the realms of his spirit no law but the 
despotism of an elaborate tyranny. He had succeed- 
ed, for he had reigned. On every part of his being 
he had imposed his power. His success was his fail- 
ure. All at once, and all together, the banded forces 
he had long enslaved revolted and overwhelmed the 
usurper. 

Napoleon had found his Waterloo. 

The field of battle was strewn with wreck and rav- 
age. Broken furniture, fractured limbs of costly chairs 
and tables, bruised morsels of gilded frames, shards of 
precious porcelain, shattered mirrors, horrible splinters 
of glass, shreds of ripped and tattered drapery, were 
heaped in dreary disorder all about the tumbled room, 
and over the soil carpet, in whose rich pile. large 
earthy footmarks still bore witness to that scuffle of 
brute strength with brute strength. 

In the midst of this miserable litter, his clothes torn, 
his eyes bright with dry unmeaning fire, his lips 
smeared with spume and blood, bound band and foot, 
upon his broken bed lay the most urbane and knight- 
ly noble that ever justified the primaeval prerogatives 
of aristocracy. 

And around him, breathless, pale, with blood-spots 
on their bruised cheeks, with their coarse lips cut and 
smeared, and their brawny knuckles red and raw, 
stood his conquerors — four burly, low-browed sons of 
the stable and the out-house. 

Theresa had quickly interpreted the sidelong sup- 



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THE FRUIT OF THS SEED. 279 

plicating glance of the valet. As soon as she could 
safely leave Juliet, she found a pretext to quit the 
room and rejoin the servant, who was waiting in the 
antechamber to conduct her to the count's apartments. 
She felt herself responsible for all that was now to be 
done, and did not lose her presence of mind. 

She ordered the servants to remove the broken fur- 
niture, and set the room in decent order. She had 
thick cnrtains placed over the windows. She in- 
structed the valet to get the bed put together, and to 
cover the sick man, who remained bound and sense- 
less. 

While this was being done, she descended to the 
guest-chamber, and excused the absence of the count 
on the ground that his wife was slightly indisposed. 
This, as she had anticipated, induced the wedding 
party to break up and withdraw. When the house 
was empty, and the last coach- wheels ceased to grate 
the gravel at the gates, she returned to Juliet 

" Thy cares come early, my poor Juliet 1" she said ; 
"but sooner or later care must come, and we must do 
our best to bear it" 

Without giving her time to reply or give way to 
alarm, she began to prepare her friend for the per- 
formance of the duties which might now be required 
of her. 

Meanwhile the doctor arrived. He questioned the 
witnesses of Edmond's attack, had a long secret con- 
versation with Theresa, examined the patient care- 
fully, and declared that the count's strength was com- 
pletely exhausted, and that for the moment no new 
outbreak of dementia was to be feared. 



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280 THE PATIENT. 

He declared that he would himself pass the first 
night by the side of his patient He permitted no 
one to approach the count, who was still insensible. 

Then he unbound the cords. Edmond's long dark 
locks fell fast beneath the scissors of the doctor's as- 
sistant, and compresses of ice were placed upon his 
burning brow. 



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THB FKUIT OF THE SEEP. 281 



CHAPTER X. 
Husband and Wife. 

Thus lay Edmond many days, alternately watched 
by the doctor and his assistant, till such time as the 
malady should promise to take a more regular course, 
and the duty of attending to her husband could be 
safely intrusted to the countess. 

In one of the adjoining rooms she had established 
herself. She knew that she was not likely to leave it 
for many weeks ; she made her arrangements accord- 
ingly. The door between Edmond's chamber and 
her own she had softly taken out and replaced by 
portiires with heavy curtaina 

All the windows of her apartment she had masked 
and covered in the same way. 

From the dull red flame in the ground-glass globe 
of a lamp suspended from the ceiling passed the only 
light that visited that prison, freely chosen by the 
solitary inmate of it. If the gloom of external ob- 
jects can add weight to the dejection of a brain al- 
ready oppressed by anxious thoughts, heavy indeed 
must have been the young fair forehead on which 
that weary lamp-light shone in the long monotonous 
hours of Juliet's fisdthful vigil. 

But here, in those sleepless watchings by the heavy 
dreadful curtain, which her hand daily ventured near- 
er to, and little by little timidly withdrew — ^here, at 



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282 THE PATIENT. 

last, from fires long hidden, another light, a light more 
ghastly, more lugubrious, entered into her soul, and 
lighted up the past, the present, the future, all things, 
with its cold funereal glare. 

In the livid reflex of that hideous reyelalion sunk 
and ceased forever the humid splendors of those once 
soft and spiritual eyes, whose desolate, cold, unswerv- 
ing regard had so strangely thrilled me when I first 
beheld them years ago. 

The light pure blood, whose innocent pulses once 
so swiftly moved in every virgin vein of that fair 
body, a few broken words sufficed to stagnate forever 
in a heart congealed. 

A few broken words — ^an unconscious utterance — 
an involuntary confession — dropped by firenzy from 
the lips of a maniac I 

But those words unveiled the head of Medusa, and 
the woman that gazed on the thing they revealed be- 
came forthwith a statue. 

Such I had seen her. I shall never forget it. 

And so, one morning, when Edmond, awaking re- 
freshed from his first peaceful slumber, recovered the 
consciousness of his own identity — when, still weak, 
but aware, he was able to take notice of the things 
around him, and, with a sick man's languid sense of 
returning life, he liftied looks of grateful recognition 
to the face of his wife watching beside him, that &ce 
was as the face of the Judgment Angel. 

"Why didst thou not stretch forth thy hand to 
Felix?" 

These words were spoken slowly, in a voice almost 
inaudible, but they were terribly distinct. 



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THE FBUIT OF THE SS£I>. 288 

She knQw all. 

And when he heard those words and saw that face, 
he too knew all. 

In the look of deadly inexorable doom which ac- 
companied that searching question, he recognized the 
reflex of his own soul. 

He understood that the traitorous secret, which he 
had so long immured in his inmost heart, had escaped 
from a breast no longer guarded, and the voice that 
now audibly accused him was the voice of his own 
conscience. 

Before him stood his crime. 

Not the rash act of man overborne by passion, in 
which man^s will and mind have no part Slave of 
Passion he had never been, but slave of the Thinking 
Power. 

Only in the act of his mind was his crime. A 
demon thought. 



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284 • THE PATIENT. 



CHAPTER XL 
Cause and Effect. 

In the evening of the day when Juliet and Felix 
first revealed their hearts to each other, they paused 
on their homeward path by the outskirts of the forest 

Juliet heard a moan in the underwood. 

It was Edmond's. 

Felix, too, heard something stir in the bushes. 

It was Edmond's footstep. 

He had been urged back to the chateau by that in. 
explicable inquietude which precedes the outbreak of 
passion, like the fume which rises before the flame 
leaps forth. 

What passed within him then, and all that happen- 
ed immediately afterward, we know. 

Accustomed to coop and mew himself up within 
the strict inclosure of his own mind for single and 
mortal combat with the new and boisterous power 
that was then assailing him, he summoned all his 
pride in aid of a supreme effort to hide, at least^ from 
every eye the desperate struggle from which he could 
no longer withdraw his spirit 

We also know that in this, unhappily for himself, 
he succeeded only too well. 

It was with this object that he announced his in- 
tended alliance with the Rosenberg heiress. For a 
moment^ perhaps, he seriously entertained that inten- 
tion. 



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THE PBUrr OF THE SEED. 285 

" Yet another year of struggle," he said to himself, 
" and I shall have mastered this mad passion which 
has its roots in the error of a whole life." 

But ever before his eyes imprudently played and 
sported the heedless happy pair to whom was given 
that Paradise from which he was banished. They 
were indifferent to, because ignorant of, the intense 
torture that was devouring his heart. There was 
none to see how he suffered : no gratitude, no tender- 
ness, no pity, for his unguessed pain. 

Not one, of those for whom they were endured, di- 
vined or recognized the thousand silent sacrifices 
which daily he imposed upon himself. 

He would have undertaken and overcome yet great- 
er difficulties in order to hide these numberless, name- 
less abnegations from mistrustful or suspicious eyes. 

He honestly wished to hide them. 

But those from whom he sought to hide them were 
so lightly, easily cheated; they took so readily for 
granted the utter absence of all that torment which 
he was at pains to conceal; they believed him so 
promptly, so implicitly, that he was exasperated by 
his own success. 

And no ebullition, no escape in word, or look, or 
act, relieved this intolerable anguish. 

From his earliest years he had brought, with mathe- 
matic precision, his voice, his manners, even the lines 
of his fiswse, into a harmony undisturbed by expression. 

And this, which had once been natural to him, he 
was now obliged to continue by imitation as a part to 
be played. He was constrained to be the actor of his 
former self. 



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286 THE PATIENT. 

His whole being, therefore, became to him a mask. 
Under this mask he was smothering, bat he could not 
take it off. 

Too soon in life his sensations and feelings had been 
forced into those directions upon which Youth joy- 
ously turns its back. He had reversed the order 
which the course of nature assigns to the life of man. 

Even as a boy his affections had a sort of paternal 
character. These fatherly feelings in a child, the 
sense of superiority which they implied, and the habit 
of an authority which was almost thrust upon him by 
the instinctive and spontaneous submission of those 
about him, were experiences which, however pure 
they were, and noble in themselves, he attained to the 
knowledge of too soon. 

He had overleaped those stages in a manV life 
which are perhaps perilous to traverse, but which can 
not be left out nor avoided with impunity. 

That is the ^^ Sturm undDrang'^ period — ^the season 
of storms. 

The purifying fire of Passion ennobles the ardors 
of Youth, and only finds in youth the place to which 
it is native and inborn. In youth Desire can claim 
by right and title its natural and legitimate satisfac- 
tion. It finds its excuse in the coercive force of that 
necessary law which coincides with liberty : the law 
of the life of the creature, according to which it is 
bound to live. Passion, at that period, lightly evap- 
orates in the fume of its own joyous intoxication, and 
does not deposit at the bottom of the soul the bitter 
residue of repentance. 

Man shares the world with all created things on 



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THB FBUIT OF THE SEED. 287 

equal terms. Those requirements which are univer- 
Bsl to his nature and his age, each is authorized to 
satisfy. And, even in its errors and its heats, Youth 
pays tribute to the divine government of Nature. 
Then the life of a man is in the privileged enjoyment 
of its full rights. Even as, by the nature of it, it is 
compelled to give, so is it authorized to take. And 
if, at that time, the breath of error should obscure 
with its light and fleeting cloud the clear mirror of 
the soul's purity, remorse at least is without bitter- 
ness, and even pain caresses where it wounds. For 
then the great horizons of life are opened round on 
every side, wherethrough the spirit bloweth as it 
listeth; and to the sorrow and the wrong which in 
after life lie close, staining and rotting where they 
cling, then the lightest passing wind gives wings, and 
they are carried away upon the summer cloud, and 
melted into the summer rain. 

It is otherwise with the man who has reversed, in 
the arrangement of his life, this wholesome order of 
things, and undertaken to carry loads which, dispro- 
portioned to the natural strength of his shoulders, he 
can only sustain the weight of by ascetic severity of 
mind. The man who does this, like Angelo, 

'*Mo8t ignorant of what he*s most assured, 
His glassy essence," 

exaggerates the worth of the life he has lived — ^mis- 
takes the nature and the value of it, and forgets that 
prudence is not yet virtue. 

When Edmond buried his youth prematurely under 
the load of responsibility assumed in taking &therly 



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288 THE PATIENT. 

charge of the youth of those two children, Juliet and 
Felix, the too-early exercise of an authority, accorded 
before it could be claimed, allured his mind into a 
fatal conviction of the infallibility of its own judg- 
ment. 

He contemplated life too coolly, and too partially 
because too strictly, since human life, which is merely 
a mass of incongruous materials to be wrought and 
welded into shape by the violent tact of warring an- 
tagonisms, can not be prearranged into symmetrical 
system except by ignoring and excluding whatever 
will not fit into mathematical form. Edmond under- 
rated the difficulties of life so long as his own veins 
remained ungoaded by the promptings of the blood, 
of which the natural savagery in every man was to 
him unknown. And thus the disturbing element, 
which he had neglected to take into account, ended 
by bursting every barrier, and sweeping all before it. 

Then began for him (all the preceding extracts from 
his writings prove it) a series of internal conflicts in 
which those intellectual weapons, whereon his reliance 
was placed, fell shivered one by one against the obtuse 
enormous fact of an incomprehensible passion. 

Forced to search in ever deeper and remoter re- 
cesses of that intellectual arsenal for the sophisms that 
supplied him with the means of warfare, he ended 
(when pushed to the last extremity) by cowering for 
shelter behind the bulwarks of a barren Fatalism. 
Nor did he perceive that he had squandered the most 
precious materials of his soul in the construction of a 
mere dead wall. 

By the ring of Amasifl, which was already firmly 



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THE FBUrr OF THS SEED. 289 

forged about his destiny, the motive power of his 
being was cabled to Superstition, that last anchor of 
the man without Faith. The real or supposed sig- 
nification of the antique inscription began to flatter 
and caress the natural tendencies of his mind in pro- 
portion as the wholesome development of Desire be- 
came more and more obstructed by Circumstance. 
Hemmed round bj perils of which his rising passion 
forewarned him with menace at every moment, and 
conscious that to wish is to be weak, he sought, in 
his dealings with Circumstance, to annihilate tempta- 
tion by canceling the initiative prerogative of Will. 

Thus he resigned the highest and most necessary 
privilege of a reasonable being in suppressing the ex- 
ercise of that &culty which is not determined nor con- 
trolled by sensuous objects, but which, by virtue of an 
origin directly divine, subjugates these, and Nature 
herself, to its own action, and is therefore, in its high- 
est development, as holy liberty, continually tending 
toward absolute good. This noble activity he fore- 
went, to watch with folded arms the tricksy turn of a 
blind Chance. 

To him, therefore, the world of hopes and fears, in 
which souls are saved and lost, became a jumbled coil 
of crazy circumstance. Whatever might be imposed 
upon him by the Fate that ruled this dizzy planet of 
his own invention, he was resolved to bear unflinch- 
ing. But he was equally decided not to repel nor re- 
ject the golden gift, whenever that fickle Power might 
chance to fling into his open hand the thing he dared 
not purchase at the too great price of a crime, but 
which he had courage to contemplate in the alluring 

N 



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290 THE PATIENT. 

imagery of a dream, with a passionate longing to pos- 
sess it 

He was under the dominion of this state of mind 
when his brother engaged him to join the shooting 
expedition down the river on that fatal fourteenth day 
of September. 

He went unwillingly, haunted by bad forebodings; 
and, as if every thing was in conspiracy against him, 
Felix, on that morning, was in a bantering, aggressive 
humor. 

In proportion as Edmond was unusually sombre 
and thoughtful, Felix, full of the insolence of unusual- 
ly high spirits, unconsciously did every thing that the 
most malignant forethought could have devised to 
irritate, exasperate, and madden his brother's bitter 
mood. 

At every moment, seeing Edmond so silent and so 
sad, he would ask him if his thoughts were not with 
his Sosenberg heiress, his prudently-selected bride? 
Then, getting astride upon the bulwarks of the boat, 
and rocking it from side to side with an aggravating 
silly restlessness, " What fun," said he, " to think of 
the rage of all the lawyers, when, with the money 
saved from their clutches, you buy your future count- 
ess her precious tiara of diamonds I Anyhow, it will 
not be as fine as this, my good fellow!" And he 
flashed the sparkling amethyst in the sun's bright 
rays. " No ; not for all the gold in the world will 
you match me the worth of this 1" 

'* Beware I beware 1" 

In Edmond's heart an inward voice was calling. 

Felix grew gayer and gayer ; Edmond ever colder, 
more monosyllabic, sullen, taciturn. 



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THE FBUIT OF THE SEED. 291 

In presence of the keeper's boy (as we know), he 
had warned his brother of his imprudence, and re- 
peatedly besought him to sit still. But the lad had 
left the boat 

They were alone, those two brothers. 

Above them, on either side, the high banks, soli- 
tary. Beneath them, the deep and rapid stream. 

And gliding, gliding, as Life glides neighboring 
Death, the ever-present chance, through changing sun 
and shade upon the treacherous surface of that stream, 
Felix, the happy butterfly, fluttering his careless wings, 
and Edmond, the brooding nielancholy thinker, sul- 
lenly strangling in his own breast the moan of a 
bruised and breaking heart 

" I swear, brother, you are insupportable to-day," 
says Felix. " But I'll bet you that at least I'll fright- 
en you, if I can't make you merry. Houp Ul" 

And he began to rock the boat more violently. 

Edmond was silent He sat still and made no an- 
swer. But within his inmost being a strange new life 
began to move. As once before, in the first fierce 
moment of his great despair, at midnight in the forest 
by the river-side, he had heard them mutter as they 
moved, so now again he heard strange voices speak- 
ing in the water. And they hissed, and lisped, and 
laughed from little wicked lips, 

" Get tu the ringt We are here again. 
Ho, Brother ! Who will be Bridegroom then f " 

An unequal pressure with one foot turned the prow 
of the boat sharply and suddenly against the current 
The boat reeled and dipped to that side. Felix lost 
his balance, staggered, slipped, fell, disappeared. 



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292 THE PATIENT. 

Anon he rose to the sur£su;e. 

His fSsdl had given impulse to the boat. He rose in 
the wake of it. Striking out with all his strength, he 
tried to reach it. It was still before him, floating fast 
upon the rapid stream. 

No hand was moved, no oar was stretched from 
that gliding bark. 

Against the whirling water he beat, fast and weak, 
with desperate arms. His soaked clothes and heavy 
boots were dragging him down. The light boat glided 
on. 

SuflFocating and exhausted, he gasped, "Enough, 
Edmond I For Heaven's sake, enough I I am suffi- 
ciently punished. My strength gives way. I am 
sinking. 1 can no mora" 

Before the eyes of Edmond, in that moment, rose 
a long-remembered Image. Forms that for many a 
day and hour had floated in his fancy, following his 
thoughts, suddenly passed from the inward to the out- 
ward world, and in substance palpable appeared be- 
fore him, clothed with hideous life. 

He knew them well, those forms no more of Fancy's 
making. No new-comers they, but of an andent date ; 
coeval with the crime of hoary centuries, whose guilty 
conscience slept not. quiet in the grave. He had dis- 
interred them from the depth of ages with the dark- 
ness on them ; he had released them £fom their wick- 
ed hiding-places in the tombs of Theban kings ; he 
had planted them in the prospect of his eye; he had 
shrined them in the silent places of his soul-^idols of 
a drear religion, worshiped with the devil worship of 
despair. 



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THE FRUIT OP THE SEED. 293 

And for many a day and hour they had stood be- 
tween the seeing of his eye and the displaced shape 
of wholesome human life, so that looking on them 
now, he saw them only. Not himself, not Felix, the 
brother of his flesh and blood, but phantoms, ghosts 
— Sethos the realmless prince, immovable, before 
Amasis the usurper, sinking to his sudden end. Cold 
as the spectre of his own thought, erect, unmoved, im- 
movable, with folded arms he stood and looked — 

Looked on his drowning brother. 

Then into the eyes and over the face of Felix there 
came an undefinable terror. 

It was not the terror of death. It was not the 
vague alarm of a drowning man. 

He had understood the face of his brother Edmond. 

He had read in that face the meaning of a thought 
which sufficed in a second of time to congeal with hor- 
ror the essence of his soul. 

And Felix shuddered. 

So the angels must shudder when they gaze into 
the depths of Hell. 

With a voice that was the death-shriek of man's 
faith in man, he cried, " Edmond I Edmond I" 

It was the sad receding message from a world of 
love submerged. 

Side by side, the fleeting river bore them on, those 
brothers. 

The one safe, unmoved, erect 

The other convulsively struggling with baffled and 
broken efforts amid the thousand curling, cold, and 
silvery meshes of that liquid loom of death. 

Side by side, the river bore them onward yet. Side 



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294 THE PATIENT. 

by side, eye fixed on eye, with speechless lips and 
speaking looks. 

A dreadful inuttetable dialogue was passing then 
between the eyes of those two brothers. They un- 
derstood each other. 

And the place, too, was so wickedly silent all this 
while — so horribly aware. Had it sent but a single 
human sound from the careless innocent life it was 
keeping out of sight — ^nay, not so much I had it bid 
but a wild bird hoot fo stop the deadly duel of those 
dreadful eyes I But no, it held ita peace. 

At length, as in an agony of supplication, these last 
words broke from the lips of the sinking swimmer: 

" In the name of the All-merciful God, save thine 
immortal soull Brother, brother, stretch forth thy 
handl" 

An arm's length from the boat he sank exhausted. 
Sinking, his long brown wavy hair spread out — ^a hid- 
eous dusky thing — feint seen an inch beneath the 
glassy surface. Like a tuft of heaving water- weeds, 
it rose and fell with the rising and the felling of the 
rippled waters. 

The stretched right arm and imploring hand still 
rose above the surface. 

Involuntarily Edmond leaned forward to seize and 
grasp it He had but to stretch forth his hand, and 
his brother might yet be snatched from destruction. 

A heedless sunbeam grazed the glittering jewel 
upon the right hand of the drowning man, and flashed 
a violet light into the eyes of Edmond. A voice with- 
in his heart called to him, 

" Toitch not with earthly finger the work ofFate^ 



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THE F9UIT OF THE SEED. 296 

He shrank back. 

The hand of Felix had disappeared. 

Again it rose, 

And disappeared again. 

Once more, and never more again, it reappeared 
above the water ; not as before — not supplicating now, 
bat rigid, and stiffened by the agony of death ; held 
up to heaven high and stark, and as in menace, not in 
prayer, for the death-cramp had clasped the fingers 
and locked the fist. A formidable sight 

It sank and rose no more. 

How long sat Edmond with fixed eyes, stupidly 
staring at the glassy murtherous water, that sleek ac- 
complice of his soul's bad angel? 

The distant barking of a dog beyond the banks 
aroused him. 

He started, horror-struck, as from a dreadful dream. 
He looked around in coldest agony of remorse and 
terror. He was alona His dream grinned at him 
with the leaden eyes of reality. 

With a shrill wail he sprang up, and plunged head- 
foremost into the stream. 



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296 THE FATISNT. 



CHAPTER Xn. 

And Juliet never pardoned Edmond. 

Love, perhaps, may survive Esteem, for the cause 
of love is in itself. It is, and knows not why. But 
Juliet had not loved Edmond; she had worshiped 
him. He had committed sacrilege against himself. 
The God we have knelt to can never kneel to us with 
impunity. The weakest woman is pitiless to weak- 
ness in a man, and the gentlest of a gentle sex has no 
mitigation of scorn for the man that has betrayed the 
gentlest quality of her nature — ^implicit trust 

There is no pardon for desecrated ideals. 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 297 



CHAPTEE Xni. 
The Last Tribunal. 

I HAD ceased reading. I had ended the pernsal of 
the count's papers. The night was far spent. The 
hours passed unnoticed. The pages still lay in my 
hand. The knowledge of their story still weighed 
heavy on my mind. 

Horror and compassion contended within me, dis- 
puting in my thoughts the sentence of a human soul, 
as though it were the Judgment Hour. 

" No r I cried at last. 

" No pity for the pitiless I No mercy for the un- 
merciful !" 

When the assassin turns the knife in the breast of 
his victim in the moment when spume is on the lips, 
and blood is in the eyes of the dying man, he acts per- 
haps with pity, willing to bring to speedier end those 
lingering pangs. 

The man who first devised the diabolical machinery 
of torture, and took fierce pleasure gloating on the 
shrieks of some tormented wretch, sought thus per- 
haps to slake the thirst of a burning vengeance, or 
else he was a savage, bom with the natural wildness 
of an untamed brute, and used to bloody business. 

But this man ? 

By so much the more nobly natured, the more deep- • 
ly damned; for in him, all large and lofty powers, 
N2 

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298 THE PATIENT. 

combined, augmented the greatness of bis crime by 
the sum of his virtues. 

Ah I didst thou think to find an error in the calcu- 
lation of Eternal Justice ? 

Bungler! 

Ah I didst thou dream that good undone was no 
great evil done ? That no misdeed was in thy good 
deed missed? 

Fool! 

Fool, to forget that Will can only be annihilated by 
Will ; that good unwilled is evil willed. Triple fool 
and slave, that didst sell thyself to Time and Chance, 
yet oouldst not win the wages of an hour ! 

Knewest thou not that a moment is master of a 
life ? for it is but for a moment that the materials of 
a man catch fire, bum up, and show what he is made 
of. Nay, life's self is nothing more than so much 
stuff to feed that moment's fire. 

The Recording Angel is no scribe. He does but 
keep the registers we write ourselves, and the hand 
that signs the Judgment Becord is man's own. 

Pardon? 

Yes, for another. For any other, yes. 

For this man, none. 

So I spake in counsel with myself and ended stem 
upon the law. 

Then a soft hand pressed back my brow, a loving 
arm was wound about my neck, and a dear and well- 
known voice said to me in a tone of tender reproach, 

"Dear heart, again you have passed a whole night 
long unsleeping; and yet how often have you said, 
yourself, that the night is no man's friend !" 



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THS FRUIT OF THE SEED. 299 

"An angel has spoken out," I cried, with a touch 
of self-accusal, as I pressed my wife to my arms. 

No, night is not the friend of man. And the in- 
humanities which night had whispered began to be 
silenced in my heart as I watched, enlarging on the 
pallid pane, the light that comes to all when " He 
maketh his sun to rise upon the unjust and the just" 

" Put the horses to at once," I said to the servant, 
who was half asleep when he answered my bell. 

" Dear, you are going out, and yet the day has hard- 
ly risen. Let the sleepers sleep, and take, thyself, the 
rest thou needest" 

"No," I said; "from him I seek, rest has long 
since fled. But I go to bring it back to him, else I 
am not worthy to call myself a Physician." 

And I went 

How describe to you my meeting with that un- 
happy man ? I was unable to utter a word. But I 
opened my arms wide, wide, and he fell upon my 
breast. 

So leaned he, and so wept he, long — bitterly, bit- 
terly weeping. A poor broken ruin of a man. 

'But when the hard and indurated anguish of long 
years began to melt in showers of hot tears, there 
burst with a convulsive sob from the long-pent, hope- 
less yearning of a wretched human heart this single 
indescribably sorrowful word, 

"At last r 

Long in my arms he lay. It was a long much- 
needed luxury of deep-desired relie£ Lito the hol- 
low places of his heart trickled the kind refreshment 
— ^the blessed dews of human pity, and once again he 



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300 THE PATIENT. 

felt his long-lost brotberlioocl with man in the deep 
compassion of a fellow-creatura 

Atlastl 

" Yes," I said, " at last, poor spirit 1 for lasting is no 
human sorrow ; and eternal only, and without limit, is 
the love of the Great Father of us all, who has a pity 
for each human pang, a pardon for each penitent soul." 

The days that followed this had silent voices. Let 
mine be silent too. I will not babble the daily diag- 
nosis of that weary spirit's slow successive fadings 
fjx)m the verge of a life long forfeit to the grave, nor 
of the brightening, beautifying ardors of it toward the 
sunrise slowly seen in the hope of a life redeemed. 

At last it came — ^the year's last hour and his life's. 
The year was in its end ; the world was in its winter ; 
the night was spent beyond the middle hour. Dark 
and drear, with gusty footsteps on the slumbrous snow, 
the Old Year went, the New Year came. 

In the night of St Sylvester, the night that melted 
in the sunrise of the Year 1842, 1 sat by the death- 
bed of Count Edmond R . 

All the secret folds of that nature native to nobility, 
which, exhausting itself in the life-long struggle with 
a guilty memory, had tended ever backward and up- 
ward to its original beauty (for that man's penitence 
on earth had been excruciating), one by one unveiled 
themselves to me in the hour when I received his last 
confession. 

And as the pain which ho had long repressed melt- 
ed in softened words &om the lips of the dying man, 
the force of self-retention which had so obstinately 
fastened him to life gave way, and the shattered body 



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THE FRUIT OF THE SEED. 801 

no longer shut the soul, long since impatient, ^om the 
entrance to the other world. 

Feebly pulsed the vital stream in the languid lefk 
hand that I held in mine. Suddenly the motion of it 
ceased. 

I thought that he was dead. 

But he liited himself, and sat up in his bed. His 
eyes opened wide and large, fixed with bright fer- 
vor in an upward look. He stretched his right hand 
high in the air, as if he there saw something which 
he sought to seize. His whole frame worked with a 
convulsive spasm. And suddenly, with intense voice, 
he cried, 

" In the name of the All-merciful God, save my im- 
mortal soul I Brother, brother, stretch forth thy hand 1" 

I shuddered. 

For it was, almost word for word, the last cry of 
the dead Felix that issued then from the lips of his 
dying brother. 

The hour of rendition and repayment had arrived. 

Of repayment? 

A divine smile broke like a sunbeam from a happy 
land over the features of the dying man. With that 
outstretched right hand he seemed to have seized 
something, which he passionately pressed to his lips. 

And as in rapture he pressed that solemn kiss upon 
the visioned thing I could not see, a sigh of deep re- 
lief passed from his fervent lips. 

It was his last 
Pray, good Christian People, Peace to the 
Soul op Edmond Count E . 



the end. 



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HISTORY OP THE INTELLECTUAL DE- 

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EMOm OP THE LIPE AND CHARACTER 

OF THE LATE HON. THEO. FRELINGHUYSEN, 
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