“Peace be with you, near and far,
Children of the Silver Star;
Lore undoubting, conscience clean,
Hope assured, and life serene.
By the Light that knows no flaw,
By the Circle’s perfect law,
By the Serpent’s life renewed,
By the Wings’ similitude—
Peace be yours no force can break;
Peace not death hath power to shake;
Peace from passion, sin, and gloom,
Peace of spirit, heart, and home;
Peace from peril, fear, and pain;
Peace, until we meet again—
Meet—before yon sculptured stone,
Or the All-Commander’s Throne.”
Before we finally parted, Esmo gave me two or three articles to which he attached especial value. The most important of these was a small cube of translucent stone, in which a multitude of diversely coloured fragments were combined; so set in a tiny swivel or swing of gold that it might be conveniently attached to the watch-chain, the only Terrestrial article that I still wore. “This,” he said, “will test nearly every poison known to our science; each poison discolouring for a time one or another of the various substances of which it is composed; and poison is perhaps the weapon least unlikely to be employed against you when known to be connected with myself, and, I will hope, to possess the favour of the Sovereign. If you are curious to verify its powers, the contents of the tiny medicine-chest I have given you will enable you to do so. There is scarcely one of those medicines which is not a single or a combined poison of great power. I need not warn you to be careful lest you give to any one the means of reaching them. I have shown you the combination of magnets which will open each of your cases; that demanded by the chest is the most complicated of all, and one which can hardly be hit upon by accident. Nor can any one force or pick open a case locked by our electric apparatus, save by cutting to pieces the metal of the case itself, and this only special tools will accomplish; and, unless peculiarly skilful, the intruder would ’probably be maimed or paralysed, if not killed by ...
“Thoughts he sends to each planet,
Uranus, Venus, and Mars;
Soars to the Centre to span it,
Numbers the infinite Stars.”
Courthope’s Paradise of Birds
CHAPTER XIV — BY SEA.
An hour after sunrise next morning. Esmo, his son, and our host accompanied us to the vessel in which we were to make the principal part of our journey. We were received by an officer of the royal Court, who was to accompany us during the rest of our journey, and from whom, Esrno assured me, I might obtain the fullest information regarding the various objects of interest, to visit which we had adopted an unusual and circuitous course. We embarked on a gulf running generally from east to west, about midway between the northern tropic and the arctic circle. As