She eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about She.
absolutely and utterly impossible.  It must be a hoax, and yet, if it were a hoax, what was I to make of it?  What, too, was to be said of the figures on the water, of the woman’s extraordinary acquaintance with the remote past, and her ignorance, or apparent ignorance, of any subsequent history?  What, too, of her wonderful and awful loveliness?  This, at any rate, was a patent fact, and beyond the experience of the world.  No merely mortal woman could shine with such a supernatural radiance.  About that she had, at any rate, been in the right—­it was not safe for any man to look upon such beauty.  I was a hardened vessel in such matters, having, with the exception of one painful experience of my green and tender youth, put the softer sex (I sometimes think that this is a misnomer) almost entirely out of my thoughts.  But now, to my intense horror, I knew that I could never put away the vision of those glorious eyes; and alas! the very diablerie of the woman, whilst it horrified and repelled, attracted in even a greater degree.  A person with the experience of two thousand years at her back, with the command of such tremendous powers, and the knowledge of a mystery that could hold off death, was certainly worth falling in love with, if ever woman was.  But, alas! it was not a question of whether or no she was worth it, for so far as I could judge, not being versed in such matters, I, a fellow of my college, noted for what my acquaintances are pleased to call my misogyny, and a respectable man now well on in middle life, had fallen absolutely and hopelessly in love with this white sorceress.  Nonsense; it must be nonsense!  She had warned me fairly, and I had refused to take the warning.  Curses on the fatal curiosity that is ever prompting man to draw the veil from woman, and curses on the natural impulse that begets it!  It is the cause of half—­ay, and more than half—­of our misfortunes.  Why cannot man be content to live alone and be happy, and let the women live alone and be happy too?  But perhaps they would not be happy, and I am not sure that we should either.  Here is a nice state of affairs.  I, at my age, to fall a victim to this modern Circe!  But then she was not modern, at least she said not.  She was almost as ancient as the original Circe.

I tore my hair, and jumped up from my couch, feeling that if I did not do something I should go off my head.  What did she mean about the scarabaeus too?  It was Leo’s scarabaeus, and had come out of the old coffer that Vincey had left in my rooms nearly one-and-twenty years before.  Could it be, after all, that the whole story was true, and the writing on the sherd was not a forgery, or the invention of some crack-brained, long-forgotten individual?  And if so, could it be that Leo was the man that She was waiting for—­the dead man who was to be born again!  Impossible!  The whole thing was gibberish!  Who ever heard of a man being born again?

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She from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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