Watersprings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about Watersprings.

“I won’t be understood to subscribe to all that,” said Mrs. Graves, laughing, “though I see your point of view; but there’s something deeper even than that, dear Howard.  You care for me, you care for Maud; but it’s the power of caring that matters more than the power of caring for particular people.  Does that seem a very hard saying?  You see I do not believe—­what do you say to this—­in memory lasting.  You and I love each other here and now; when I die, I do not feel sure that I shall have any recollection of you or Maud or my own dear husband—­how horrible that would sound to many men and nearly all women—­but I have learned how to love, and you have learned how to love, and we shall find other souls to draw near to as the ages go on; and so I look forward to death calmly enough, because whatever I am I shall have souls to love, and I shall find souls to love me.”

“No,” said Howard, “I can’t believe that!  I can’t believe in any life here or hereafter apart from Maud.  It is strange that I should be the sentimentalist now, and you the stern sceptic.  The thought to me is infinitely dreary—­even atrocious.”

“I am not surprised,” said Mrs. Graves, “but that’s the last sacrifice.  That is what losing oneself means; to believe in love itself, and not in the particular souls we love; to believe in beauty, not in beautiful things.  I have learned that!  I do not say it in any complacency or superiority—­you must believe me; but it is the last and hardest thing that I have learned.  I do not say that it does not hurt—­one suffers terribly in losing one’s dear self, in parting from other selves that are even more dear.  But would one send away the souls one loves best into a loveless paradise?  Can one bear to think of them as hankering for oneself, and lost in regret?  No, not for a moment!  They pass on to new life and love; we cannot ourselves always do it in this life—­the flesh is weak and dear; and age passes over us, and takes away the close embrace and the sweet desire.  But it is the awakening of the soul to love that matters; and it has been to me one of the sweetest experiences of my life to see you and Maud awaken to love.  But you will not stay there—­nothing is ultimate, not the dearest and largest relations of life.  One climbs from selfishness to liking, and from liking to passion, and from passion to love itself.”

“No,” said Howard, “I cannot rise to that yet; I see, I dimly feel, that you are far above me in this; but I cannot let Maud go.  She is mine, and I am hers.”

Mrs. Graves smiled and said, “Well, we will leave it at that.  Kiss me, dearest boy; I don’t love you less because I feel as I do—­ perhaps even more, indeed.”

XXXVI

THE TRUTH

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Watersprings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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