“What an extraordinary life! Why, you are out of the universe completely. I say,” he added, “come along with me this evening. I will initiate you a little. You know you must learn your profession as a human being.”
His manner was very kindly; still Harvey was so shy that he would have found some excuse, but for that chance expression, “out of the universe.” Was not this apartness the very thing he had just been bitterly feeling? While he hesitated and stammered in his awkwardness, the other said: “There, no excuses! You need not go to your lodgings for tea. Come along with me.”
They went off together through the darkening streets. One cheerful and irreverent, brimful of remark or criticism; the other silent, his usual dreaminess was modified, but had not departed, and once, gazing up through the clear, dark blue, where the stars were shining, he had a momentary sense as if he were suspended from them by a fine invisible thread, as a spider hung from her roof; suspended from on high, where the pure and ancient aether flamed around the habituations of eternity; and below and about him, the thoughts of demons, the smoke, darkness, horror and anguish of the pit.
I Cannot tell all the steps by which the young soul came forth from its clouds and dreams, but must hurry over the years. This single incident of his boyhood I have told to mark the character and tendency of his development; spirituality made self-conscious only in departing; life, a falling from ideals which grew greater, more beautiful and luminous as the possibility of realizing them died away. But this ebbtide of inner life was not regular and incessant, but rather after the fashion of waves which retreat surely indeed, but returning again and again, seem for moments to regain almost more than their past altitude. His life was a series of such falls and such awakenings. Every new experience which drew his soul from its quietude brought with it a revelation of a spiritual past, in which, as it now seemed, he had been living unconsciously. Every new experience which enriched his mind seemed to leave his soul more barren. The pathetic anguish of these moments had little of the moral element, which was dormant and uncultivated rather than perverted. He did not ponder over their moral aspect, for he shared the superficial dislike to the ethical, which we often see in purely artistic natures, who cannot endure the entrance of restraint or pain upon their beauty. His greatest lack was the companionship of fine men or noble women. He had shot up far beyond the reach of those whom he knew, and wanting this companionship he grew into a cynical or sensuous way of regarding them. He began to write: he had acquired the faculty of vigourous expression by means of such emotions as were tinged with a mystical voluptuousness which was the other pole to his inner, secret and spiritual