The Garden of Allah eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 583 pages of information about The Garden of Allah.

CHAPTER XXII

The tumult of Amara waked up in Domini the town-sense that had been slumbering.  All that seemed to confuse, to daze, to repel Androvsky, even to inspire him with fear, the noise of the teeming crowds, their perpetual movement, their contact, startled her into a vividness of life and apprehension of its various meanings, that sent a thrill through her.  And the thrill was musical with happiness.  To the sad a great vision of human life brings sadness because they read into the hearts of others their own misery.  But to the happy such a vision brings exultation, for everywhere they find dancing reflections of their own joy.  Domini had lived much in crowds, but always she had been actively unhappy, or at least coldly dreary in them.  Now, for the first time, she was surrounded by masses of fellow-beings in her splendid contentment.  And the effect of this return, as it were, to something like the former material conditions of her life, with the mental and affectional conditions of it transformed by joy, was striking even to herself.  Suddenly she realised to the full her own humanity, and the living warmth of sympathy that is fanned into flame in a human heart by the presence of human life with its hopes, desires, fears, passions, joys, that leap to the eye.  Instead of hating this fierce change from solitude with the man she loved to a crowd with the man she loved she rejoiced in it.  Androvsky was the cause of both her joys, joy in the waste and joy in Amara, but while he shared the one he did not share the other.

This did not surprise her because of the conditions in which he had lived.  He was country-bred and had always dwelt far from towns.  She was returning to an old experience—­old, for the London crowd and the crowd of Amara were both crowds of men, however different—­with a mind transformed by happiness.  To him the experience was new.  Something within her told her that it was necessary, that it had been ordained because he needed it.  The recalled town-sense, with its sharpness of observation, persisted.  As she rode in to Amara she had seemed to herself to be reading Androvsky with an almost merciless penetration which yet she could not check.  Now she did not wish to check it, for the penetration that is founded on perfect love can only yield good fruit.  It seemed to her that she was allowed to see clearly for Androvsky what he could not see himself, almost as the mother sees for the child.  This contact with the crowds of Amara was, she thought, one of the gifts the desert made to him.  He did not like it.  He wished to reject it.  But he was mistaken.  For the moment his vision was clouded, as our vision for ourselves so often is.  She realised this, and, for the first time since the marriage service at Beni-Mora, perhaps seemed to be selfish.  She opposed his wish.  Hitherto there had never been any sort of contest between them.  Their desires, like their hearts, had been in accord.  Now there was not a contest, for Androvsky yielded to Domini’s preference, when she expressed it, with a quickness that set his passion before her in a new and beautiful light.  But she knew that, for the moment, they were not in accord.  He hated and dreaded what she encountered with a vivid sensation of sympathy and joy.

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The Garden of Allah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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