An Essence of the Dusk, 5th Edition eBook

F. W. Bain
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about An Essence of the Dusk, 5th Edition.

   [11] In Sanskrit, hunting and wooing can be mixed up
   together by plays on words.

   [12] An emperor.  Hindoo idols are dressed and undressed,
   like dolls, by their officiating priests.

   [13] She means, he was her Creator.

[14] The Hindoos have no word, because they have not the idea, of an idol.  They call it a god or an image.  Our word idol implies the antagonism to paganism involved in Christianity, and no two books are more alike than S. Augustine’s City of God and Ward’s Hindoo Mythology.


So as he listened, Aja’s soul was filled as it were with a mingled essence of wonder and irresolution and sheeny beauty and singing sound.  For the tone of her voice was like a lute, and before his eyes hovered a picture of waving arms and witching curves, out of which her dreamy eyes, from which he could not take his own, seemed as it were to speak to him of love reproachful and old regret.  And all at once, with a violent effort, he roused himself as if from sleep with open eyes.  And he shifted his sword to the other hand, and passed his right across his brow.  And he said, in some confusion:  O thou strange and sweet-tongued woman, certain this much is, that I am filled by thee with emotion that I do not understand.  And yet I know not what to think, or even say.  For even apart from the promptings of a former birth, thy beauty and thy haunting voice, which I seem as it were to have heard before, are quite sufficient to rouse emotion even in a stone, much more in a man of flesh and blood.

Then she shook her head sadly, looking at him with glistening eyes; and she said, with a smile of ineffable sweetness:  Ah! this is as I thought, and the instinct of thy former birth is clouded over and effaced, by thy meeting with this other woman in the morning of this very day.  Alas! how small, how very small, the interval of space and time that divides the paradise of joy from the dungeon of despair!  For had this our reunion been sooner by only a single day, I should have caught thy heart before it had been occupied by this all too fortunate other woman, who now holds it like a fortress, garrisoned by a prior claim.  But what is this priority of claim?  Can she, who by thy own confession has known thee only a single day, dare to dispute priority with the darling of thy former birth[15]?  Wilt thou break thy faith with me, to keep thy faith with her?  Aye! and wilt thou, after all, gain so much by the exchange?  Is she beautiful, then, this other woman?  But I am beautiful, too?  And she stood up, and looked at Aja with her head thrown back and proud eyes, as though to challenge his condemnation of her own consummate beauty.  And she said again:  Is she, then, this other beauty, either more faithful or more beautiful than I am?  Speak, and tell me if thou canst, in what I am inferior, or why I am to be despised, in comparison with her.

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An Essence of the Dusk, 5th Edition from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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