Sacred and Profane Love eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about Sacred and Profane Love.
would not, hide the strange and rare timbre which distinguishes it from all others—­that quality which springs from a pure and calm vision, of life.  The voice of this spirit says that it has lost every illusion about life, and that life seems only the more beautiful.  It says that activity is but another form of contemplation, pain but another form of pleasure, power but another form of weakness, hate but another form of love, and that it is well these things should be so.  It says there is no end, only a means; and that the highest joy is to suffer, and the supreme wisdom is to exist.  If you will but live, it cries, that grave but yet passionate voice—­if you will but live!  Were there a heaven, and you reached it, you could do no more than live.  The true heaven is here where you live, where you strive and lose, and weep and laugh.  And the true hell is here, where you forget to live, and blind your eyes to the omnipresent and terrible beauty of existence....

No, no; I cannot—­I cannot describe further the experiences of my soul while Diaz played.  When words cease, music has scarcely begun.  I know now—­I did not know it then—­that Diaz was playing as perhaps he had never played before.  The very air was charged with exquisite emotion, which went in waves across the hall, changing and blanching faces, troubling hearts, and moistening eyes....  And then he finished.  It was over.  In every trembling breast was a pang of regret that this spell, this miracle, this divine revolution, could not last into eternity....  He stood bowing, one hand touching the piano.  And as the revolution he had accomplished in us was divine, so was he divine.  I felt, and many another woman in the audience felt, that no reward could be too great for the beautiful and gifted creature who had entranced us and forced us to see what alone in life was worth seeing:  that the whole world should be his absolute dominion; that his happiness should be the first concern of mankind; that if a thousand suffered in order to make him happy for a moment, it mattered not; that laws were not for him; that if he sinned, his sin must not be called a sin, and that he must be excused from remorse and from any manner of woe.

The applauding multitude stood up, and moved slightly towards the exits, and then stopped, as if ashamed of this readiness to desert the sacred temple.  Diaz came forward three times, and each time the applause increased to a tempest; but he only smiled—­smiled gravely.  I could not see distinctly whether his eyes had sought mine, for mine were full of tears.  No persuasions could induce him to show himself a fourth time, and at length a middle-aged man appeared and stated that Diaz was extremely gratified by his reception, but that he was also extremely exhausted and had left the hall.

We departed, we mortals; and I was among the last to leave the auditorium.  As I left the lights were being extinguished over the platform, and an attendant was closing the piano.  The foyer was crowded with people waiting to get out.  The word passed that it was raining heavily.  I wondered how I should find my cab.  I felt very lonely and unknown; I was overcome with sadness—­with a sense of the futility and frustration of my life.  Such is the logic of the soul, and such the force of reaction.  Gradually the foyer emptied.

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Sacred and Profane Love from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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