Idolatry eBook

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

XXII.

Heart and head.

Balder easily found his way to the conservatory, but it was empty,—­Gnulemah, at least, was not there!  The tapestry curtain in her doorway was pushed aside, the door itself open.  Where should he seek her?

As he stood in doubt, he saw lying at his feet a violet.  Picking it up, he saw another some distance beyond it, and still another on the threshold which he had just crossed.  They were Gnulemah’s footsteps,—­the scent of this sweet quarry, teaching him how to follow her.  So he followed, nor let one fragrant trace escape him; and presently he had a nosegay of them.

She was out of doors, then.  Truly, on such a day as this, where else should she be?  What walls could presume to hold her?  Her loveliness was at one with nature’s, and they attracted each other.  To the solitary nymph, her mighty playmate had been all-sufficient; for she saw not the earth and sky as they appear nowadays to mankind, but the divine meaning which they clothe.  Thus she could converse with animals, and could read plants and stones more profoundly than botanist or geologist.  She followed inward to her own fresh and beautiful soul the sympathies which allied her to outward things, and found there their true prototypes.

But when the strong magnetism of a new human spirit began to act upon her, these fine communings with nature suffered disturbance.  In such thunderstorms as the meeting of the electric forces must engender, there was need of a trustworthier safeguard than simple perception of a divine purpose underlying creation.  Only the personal God is strong enough to govern the relations of soul with soul.  Barren of Eve, Adam would not have fallen; but with her he will one day not only retrieve his fall, but climb to a sublimer height than any to which he could have aspired alone.

Balder strolled out on the wide lawn.  Southwestward wound an avenue of great trees, overshadowing the narrow footpath that stole beneath them.  To the right, round the northern corner of the house, he could see far off the white tops of the blossoming apple-trees; and beyond, the river.  The orchard perfume came riding on the untamed breeze, and whispered a fragrant secret in the young man’s ear.  Orchardward he pursued his search.

As he went on, Gnulemah grew every moment nearer.  At length he caught the flutter of her mantle amidst the foliage, and presently saw her on the brink of the precipice, looking out across the broad blue river.  Thus had he, through his glass, darkly, seen her stand the day before.  Were the crossing a river and the flight of a day all that divided his past life from what he thought awaited him now!

While yet at a distance, he called to her,—­not from impatience, but because he stood in awe of the meeting, and wanted the first moments over.  His voice touched Gnulemah like a beloved hand, and turned her towards him.  Her face, which had not learned to be the mask of emotion, but was instead the full and immediate index thereof, brightened with joy; and as he came near, the joy increased.  Yet a seriousness deep down in her eyes, marked the shadow of a night and the dawn of another day.  A spiritual chemistry had been working in her.

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Project Gutenberg
Idolatry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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