Idolatry eBook

Julian Hawthorne
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about Idolatry.

“Once I suspected you of being a spy.  You walked among pitfalls then!  But what spy would sit for eighteen years without speech or movement?  You have been useful too.  No one could have filled your place,—­with your one eye and dumb mouth!

“Did you hate Thor? were you my secret ally against him?  But how could you fathom my purposes enough even to help me?  And what wrong has he done you terrible enough for such revenge as mine?  What human being, except Manetho, could hold an unwavering purpose so many years?  Have you never pitied or relented?  Sometimes I have almost wavered myself!

“What name and history have you buried, and never shown me?  Why have you spent your dumb life in this seclusion?  You are a mystery,—­yet a mystery of my own making!  I might as wisely dissect my violin to find where lurks the music.  A mass of wood and strings,—­the music is from me!

“Have you a thought of preventing the scheme I spoke of to-night?” The Egyptian leaned far across the table, the better to scrutinize the unanswering woman’s face.  Her eye met his with a steady intelligence that disconcerted him.

“Are you a woman?” he muttered, drawing back, “and have you no pity on the children whom you nursed in their infancy?—­not any pity! as implacable—­almost more implacable than I?  But think of her beauty and innocence,—­for is she not innocent as yet?  Would you see her forever ruined,—­and stretch forth no saving hand?” Nurse moved her head up and down, as in slow, deliberate assent.  Manetho, beholding the reflection in her of his own moral deformity, was filled with abhorrence!

“More hideous within than without,—­you demon! come to haunt me and make me wicked as yourself.  It was you snapped the chord of my music,—­that better spirit which had till then saved me from your spells!  My evil genius!  I know you now, though never until this moment.”

This madman was not the first sinner who, happening to catch an outside glimpse of his interior grime, has tried to cheat his scared conscience by an outcry of “Devil!—­devil!” Is there not a touch of pathos in the vanity of the situation?  For the cry is in part sincere; no man can be so wholly evil, while in this world, as quite to divorce the better angel from his soul.  But alas! for the poor righteous indignation.

XXVII.

Peace and good-will.

Balder Helwyse, dumfounded before the revelation of the clock, might have stared himself into imbecility, had not he heard his name spoken in sweet human music, and, turning, beheld Gnulemah peeping through the doorway down the hall.

There was no great distance between them, yet she seemed immeasurable spaces away.  Against the bright background of the conservatory her form stood dark, the outlines softened by semi-transparent edges of drapery.  But the dull red lamplight lit duskily up the folds of her robe, her golden ornaments, and the black tarns, her eyes.  She appeared to waver between the light of heaven and the lurid gloom of heaven’s opposite.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Idolatry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook