When We Dead Awaken eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 55 pages of information about When We Dead Awaken.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[Looks impressively at her.] I was an artist, Irene.

IRENE.

[Darkly.] That is just it.  That is just it.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

An artist first of all.  And I was sick with the desire to achieve the great work of my life. [Losing himself in recollection.] It was to be called “The Resurrection Day”—­figured in the likeness of a young woman, awakening from the sleep of death—–­

IRENE.

Our child, yes—–­

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[Continuing.] It was to be the awakening of the noblest, purest, most ideal woman the world ever saw.  Then I found you.  You were what I required in every respect.  And you consented so willingly—­so gladly.  You renounced home and kindred—­and went with me.

IRENE.

To go with you meant for me the resurrection of my childhood.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

That was just why I found in you all that I required—­in you and in no one else.  I came to look on you as a thing hallowed, not to be touched save in adoring thoughts.  In those days I was still young, Irene.  And the superstition took hold of me that if I touched you, if I desired you with my senses, my soul would be profaned, so that I should be unable to accomplish what I was striving for.—­And I still think there was some truth in that.

IRENE.

[Nods with a touch of scorn.] The work of art first—­then the human being.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

You must judge me as you will; but at that time I was utterly dominated by my great task—­and exultantly happy in it.

IRENE.

And you achieved your great task, Arnold.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

Thanks and praise be to you, I achieved my great task.  I wanted to embody the pure woman as I saw her awakening on the Resurrection Day.  Not marvelling at anything new and unknown and undivined; but filled with a sacred joy at finding herself unchanged—­she, the woman of earth —­in the higher, freer, happier region—­after the long, dreamless sleep of death. [More softly.] Thus did I fashion her.—­I fashioned her in your image, Irene.

IRENE.

[Laying her hands flat upon the table and leaning against the back of her chair.] And then you were done with me—–­

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

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When We Dead Awaken from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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