Aaron's Rod eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Aaron's Rod.
breathing and communicating, faintly moving and as it were walking in the small wind.  And his soul seemed to leave him and to go far away, far back, perhaps, to where life was all different and time passed otherwise than time passes now.  As in clairvoyance he perceived it:  that our life is only a fragment of the shell of life.  That there has been and will be life, human life such as we do not begin to conceive.  Much that is life has passed away from men, leaving us all mere bits.  In the dark, mindful silence and inflection of the cypress trees, lost races, lost language, lost human ways of feeling and of knowing.  Men have known as we can no more know, have felt as we can no more feel.  Great life-realities gone into the darkness.  But the cypresses commemorate.  In the afternoon, Aaron felt the cypresses rising dark about him, like so many high visitants from an old, lost, lost subtle world, where men had the wonder of demons about them, the aura of demons, such as still clings to the cypresses, in Tuscany.

All day, he did not make up his mind what he was going to do.  His first impulse was never to see her again.  And this was his intention all day.  But as he went home in the tram he softened, and thought.  Nay, that would not be fair.  For how had she treated him, otherwise than generously.

She had been generous, and the other thing, that he felt blasted afterwards, which was his experience, that was fate, and not her fault.  So he must see her again.  He must not act like a churl.  But he would tell her—­he would tell her that he was a married man, and that though he had left his wife, and though he had no dogma of fidelity, still, the years of marriage had made a married man of him, and any other woman than his wife was a strange woman to him, a violation.  “I will tell her,” he said to himself, “that at the bottom of my heart I love Lottie still, and that I can’t help it.  I believe that is true.  It isn’t love, perhaps.  But it is marriage.  I am married to Lottie.  And that means I can’t be married to another woman.  It isn’t my nature.  And perhaps I can’t bear to live with Lottie now, because I am married and not in love.  When a man is married, he is not in love.  A husband is not a lover.  Lilly told me that:  and I know it’s true now.  Lilly told me that a husband cannot be a lover, and a lover cannot be a husband.  And that women will only have lovers now, and never a husband.  Well, I am a husband, if I am anything.  And I shall never be a lover again, not while I live.  No, not to anybody.  I haven’t it in me.  I’m a husband, and so it is finished with me as a lover.  I can’t be a lover any more, just as I can’t be aged twenty any more.  I am a man now, not an adolescent.  And to my sorrow I am a husband to a woman who wants a lover:  always a lover.  But all women want lovers.  And I can’t be it any more.  I don’t want to.  I have finished that.  Finished for ever:  unless I become senile—–­”

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Aaron's Rod from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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