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envy at a fame which, with all his expenditure, he could not rival, cuts up the book in an anonymous article which he contributes to a powerful magazine.
WHAT A GOOD DEVIL HE IS! Tempest, finding all aspiration for everything ideal dying out within him, betook himself more and more to debauchery. He betted, he gambled, he allowed a few half-naked, brandy-soaked dancers and vulgar music-hall artistes to get £2,000 worth of jewels out of him. He associated with aristocratic boon companions who were utterly worthless, useless, cailous scoundrels, who, nevertheless, associated with the best and highest in the land, the fairest and noblest ladies in London; so great is the power of money. The Prince sometimes went with him, but not often. On one occasion when he did, he put three sons of English peers to shame by his kindness to a poorly clad girl who was sobbing and clinging on the iron rail outside a closed church door. “0, God!" she wailed, “0, dear God, help me!” The Prince reproved the lewd reveller who had seized her arm, and thrust some money into her hand, saying, “Leave her alone, let her find God if she can.” “0, God bless you!” she cried, wildly; “God bless you!" He raised his hat and stood uncovered in the moonlight, his dark beauty softened by a strangely wistful expression. "I thank you," he said simply, “You make me your debtor."
But neither Tempest's debaucheries nor his wealth nor his paid for reviews gave him satisfaction; he became restless and miserable, and madly jealous of Mavis Clare.
A BRIDE OF THE DECADENCE. The Prince and Tempest are presented to the Prince of Wales at his levée, and then Tempest brings his courtship of Sybil to a satisfactory conclusion, although it is she who proposes rather than he. The pure outline of this girl's delicate profile suggested to him one of Fra Angelico's saints or angels. Just as this comparison bad framed itself in his mind she turns and asks him why he does not buy her right out and be done with it. She warns him, however, that she is a contaminated creature, trained to perfection in the lax morals and prurient literature of the day, who despises her own sex and loathes herself for being a woman. Nevertheless, he kisses her on the lips--a long passionate kiss, which makes him feel, as he says, all the joys of heaven and the fires of hell in a moment; which is a very fair example of the high faluting floridity of Marie Corelli's style. Love and wrath mingle ir his blood; he closes his arms about her passionately, saying, “You impassive ice-flower, you shall melt to my touch and learn what love is. You very foolish beautiful child, your passions are asleep, they must wake,”—which they do with a vengeance; but unfortunately they are awakened, not by her husband, but by the Princes
WHY THE DEVIL HATES WOMEN. Not that the Prince would have anything to do with her-he hated women. Not, as might be imagined, because they were the saviours of the world; but because with all the possibilities of good in their natures, they deliberately turned these possibilities to evil. Men who are influenced entirely by women are by them driven to hell, for which the Devil appears to be the reverse of grateful. For, as the Prince tells Tempest. he believes in hell and the soul, and assures him he can demonstrate beyond all possibility of consoling doubt, that the shreds and strippings of that change you call Death are only so many embryos of new life which you must live whether you will or no. In this, as in innumerable other cases, the Devil is per
petually preaching the true Gospel, although it is his fate to preach to deaf ears. If he hates women, he hates men also; he protests, he has always protested against the creation of man.
THE ONE MISTAKE OF THE CREATOP. Nature, he says, is in perpetual war against God's one mistake, the making of humanity. but with all his riches he is miserable exceedingly. The Prince declares that, as a rule, the most miserable people in the worid are the richest. “Are you miserable, for instance?” says Tempest:
“Are you too blind to see that I am ?” he answered, his accents vibrating with intense melancholy. " Can you think I am happy? Does tbe smile I wear,--the disguising smile men put on as a mask to hide their secret agonies from the pitiless gaze of unsympathetic fellow-creatures,-persuade you that I am free from care? As for my wealth,- I have never told you the extent of it; if I did, it might indeed amaze you, though I believe it would not now arouse your envy, considering that your trifling five millions have not been without effect in depressing your mind. But I,-I could buy up kingdoms and he none the poorer, I could throne and unthrone kings and be none the wiser,-I could crush whole countries under the iron heel of financial speculation,- I could possess the world,--and yet estimate it at no higher value than I do now,--the value of a grain of dust circling through infinity, or a soap bubble blown on the wind."
Tempest having bought Willowsmere, a country seat in Warwickshire, the Prince undertakes to organise a great fête in honour of the coming marriage, and he does it on a scale of unparalleled magnificence, employing for the occasion a myriad of imps from hell, disguised as pages, servants, actors, etc. Before this great day the Prince and Tempest pay a visit to Mavis Clare, whom they find living in a charming retreat on the other side of the Avon, opposite Willowsmere Court, where she gives her pigeons the names of the newspapers in which her books are abused, and christens a very spiteful and silly old owl the Athenæum. The Prince is fascinated with Mavis Clare, and when parting, stoops and kisses her hand. He then addresses her in a very undiabolical fashion, assuring her that Satan, of whom she speaks with compassion, can never trouble the peace of a pure and contented soul,
THE DEVIL AS A CHRISTIAN. But the Prince is always preaching, not only to Mavis Clare, but also to anybody and everybody whenever he can get the chance. For instance, what can we say of this discourse of his :
“Oh, you may disbelieve it as you will; but notwithstanding the pigmy peeps earth takes at the vast and eternal ocean of science, the soul is here, and all the immortal forces with it and around it. Nay, the gods--I speak in the plural, after the fashion of the ancient Greeks—for to my thinking there are many gods emanating from the Supreme Deity-the gods, I say, have so insisted on this fact, that one of them has walked the earth in human guise, solely for the sake of emphasising the truth of immortality to these frail creatures of seemingly perishable clay. For this I hate the planet; were there not, and are there not, other and far grander worlds, that a God should have chosen to dwell on this one."
For a moment I was silent, out of sheer surprise.
“ You amaze me,” I said at last. “You allude to Christ, I suppose ; but everybody is convinced by this time that He was a mere man like the res' of us; there was nothing divine about Him. What a contradiction you are. Why, I remember you indignantly denied the accusation of being a Christian.”
"Of course, and I deny it still,” he answered quickly. “I have not a fat living in the Church that I should tell a lie on such a subject. I am not a Christian, nor is any one living a Christian. To quote a very old saying, “There never was a Christian save One, and He was crucified.' But though I am not a Christian, I never said I doubted the existence of Christ. That knowledge was forced upon me, with considerable pressure
“By a reliable authority?" I inquired with a slight sneer. He made no immediate reply. His flashing eyes looked, as it were, through me and beyond me at something far away. The curious pallor that at times gave his face the set look of an impenetrable mask, came upon him then, and he smiled an awful smile. So might a man smile out of deadly brayado, when told of some dim and dreadful torture awaiting him.
TURN YE, TURN YE: WHY WILL YE DIE? Not content with this affirmation of his faith, the Prince tries once more to rouse his millionaire friend to a higher and better life. After his marriage he says to him, “ With all your egotism, Geoffrey, there is something forcible and noble in your nature—something which rises up in bold revolt against falsehood and shame. Why in the name of Heaven do you not give it way?” “ What would you have me to do ?” said Geoffrey curiously, whereupon the infernal Prince replies :
“My advice will seem to you singular, Geoffrey, but if you want it, here it is. Give, as I said, the noble, and what the world would call the quixotic part of your nature full way; do not sacrifice your higher sense of wbat is right and just for the sake of pandering to anyone's power or influence, and say farewell to me. I am no use to you, save to humour your varying fancies, and introduce you to those great—or smallpersonages you wish to know for your own convenience or advantage. Believe me, it would be much better for you and much niore consoling at the inevitable hour of death, if you were to let all this false and frivolous nonsense go, and me with it. Leave Society to its own fool's whirliwig of distracted follies ; put royalty in its true place, and show it that all its pomp, arrogance and glitter are worthless, and itself a nothing, compared to the upright standing of a brave soul in an honest man, and, as Christ said to the rich ruler, 'Sell half that thou hast and give to the poor.'”
Tempest replied, sneering at the visionary Jew, an illusion which irritates the Prince; but finding Tempest irrevocably bent on going his own way, he never again attempted to wean him from his downward course. From henceforward he took a determined course with him implacably and to the appalling end. Everything Tempest wanted he had. The Prince bought him an infernal steed named Phosphor, ridden by the fiend Amiel, who, of course, easily carried off the Derby, and achieved for Tempest a fame which his book failed to secure. His marriage was a very grand affair, as might be expected when the Prince of Wales honoured it by his presence, and two great dignitaries of the Church, equally imposing in the fatness of their bodies and the unctuous redness of their faces, performed. Prince Lucio was the best man, and in the vestry he kissed the bride lightly on the cheek; she blushed a vivid red; then suddenly grew ghastly pale, and, with a kind of choking cry, reeled back in a dead faint in the arms of one of her bridesmaids.
THE REVELATION OF THE HONEYMOON. They went for their honeymoon in Switzerland, where Tempest was not long in discovering that he had married a thing viler and more shameless in character than the veriest poor drab in the street; that his bride, with a face like one of Fra Angelico's angels, had the soul of a harpy and was a vulture of vice. A sickening satiety took the place of the deathless lovers' pain. He, it must be admitted, was as bad as she, and she tells him so plainly. She says, “I have taken the measure of the inherent love of vice in both sexes; there is not a pin to choose between them. Men are no worse than women,
women no worse than men. I have discovered everything except God. We are persistently taught that. we are animals, nothing more; let us, therefore, not be ashamed of our animalism." So she talked, and talked until her beauty seemed to him like the beauty of the poisoned flower; and at night when he held her in his arms and felt her heart beating against his own in the darkness, an awful dread rose in him as to whether he might not at some time or other be tempted to strangle her as she lay on his breast-strangle her as one strangles a vampire which sucked one's blood away. No one can say that this is mild. Tempest brings back this physically magnificent animal of his and introduces this phy her to Mavis Clare, whose sweet face is ideally fair, like a sylph of the woodlands, and he thinks with bitterness a sylph of the woodland what a mistaken choice he has made. Not knowing, he might as well have proposed to pluck a star from the sky as to win such a woman as Marie Corelli- no, that is a slip-as Mavis Clare. His wife envies Mavis Clare, and longs to make her miserable for once in her life if she can, but finds it impossible, because she believes in a God, and finds life beautiful.
THE DEVIL'S PRAYER. For a time the millionaire and his bride continued living at Willowsmere Court, he regarding her with a certain savage satisfaction of possession and enjoying the drowsy sensation of a well-fed, well-mated animal, Sybil, however, is wretched, for she does not care for her husband in the least, and upbraids him with not endeavouring to set any noble aims before her, and for not trying to lead her, an erring, passionate, misguided woman, into the light of faith and hope which alone gives peace. He tells her she is hysterical, whereupon she waxes wroth, and the Prince suddenly enters unannounced. Shortly afterwards comes a remarkable scene, in which the Prince makes love to Mavis Clare in the hearing of Tempest and his wife, who are hiding on either side of the elm under which the love-making takes. place. It was a curious love-making, for the Prince told Mavis he could not give her love, for he loved none, but he would bring her the proudest men in any country of the world as suitors for her hand. He offered her anything and everything, but neither the world's wealth, nor the world's power, nor the world's love could tempt her. So he addresses her as follows:
“I can do nothing for you-you will not have my aid-you reject my service? Then, as I may not help you, you must help me," and dropping before her, he reverently took her hand and kissed it. "I ask a very little thing of you-pray for me; I know you are accustomed to pray, so it will be no trouble to you-you believe God hears you, and when I look at you I believe it too. Only a pure woman can make faith possible to man. Pray for me then, as one who has fallen from his higher and better self, who strives, but who may not attain, who labours under heavy punishment, who would fain reach Heaven, but who, by the cursed will of man-and man alone-is kept in Hell. Pray for me, Mavis Clare; promise it, and so shall you lift me a step nearer the glory I have lost."
Presently she spoke, in sweet yet tremulous accents.
“Since you desire it so earnestly, I promise,” she said. “I will pray that the strange and bitter sorrow which seems to consume you may be removed from your life--"
"Sorrow," he echoed, interrupting her and springing to his feet with an impassioned gesture.“ Woman -genius !-angel! whatever you are, do not speak of one sorrow for me; I have a thousand thousand sorrows, aye, a million million, that are as little flames about my heart, and as deeply seated as the centres of the universe. The foul and filthy crimes of men; the base deceit and cruelties of women; the ruthless, murderous ingratitude of children; the scorn of good; the martyrdom of intellect; the selfishness; the avarice; the sensuality of human life; the hideous blasphemy and sin of the creature to tho Creator-these are my endless sorrows; these keep me 'wretched and in chains, when I would fain be free. These create hell around me, and endless torture; these bind and
crush me and pervert my being, till I become what I dare not * name to myself or to others. And yet...as the eterual God * is my witness... I do not think I am as bad as the worst man living. I may tempt, but I do not pursue; I take the lead in many lives, yet I make the way I go so plain that those who follow me do so by their own choice and free will more than by my persuasion." He paused,-then continued in a softer tone,
_“You look afraid of me, but be assured you never had less cause for terror. You have truth and purity-I honour both. You will have none of my advice or assistance in the making of your life's history ; to-night, therefore, we part, to meet no more on earth. Never again, Mavis Clare, no, not through all your quiet days of sweet and contented existence, will I cross your path ; before Heaven I swear it!
“One word, -if, when I am gone, you ever think of me, think that I am more to be pitied than the vericst paralysed and striving wretch that ever crawled on earth, for he, perchance, has hope, and I have none. And when you pray for me-for I hold you to this promise-pray for one who dares mot pray for himself. You know the words. •Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil!' To-night you have been led into temptation, though you knew it not, but you have delivered yourself from evil as only a true soul can. And now farewell. In life I shall see you no more; in death
- well, I have attended many death-beds in response to the invitations of the moribund, but I shall not be present at yours. Perhaps, when your parting spirit is on the verge between darkness and light, you may know who I was, and am; and you may thank God with your last breath that we parted to-night-as we do now-for ever.”
MAKING LOVE TO THE DEVIL. Mavis Clare moves away, appalled by the sombre shadow that clouded the Prince's brow and the strange expression that gleamed in the dark beauty of his face. Then Tempest came forward, and the Prince coolly remarked that he wanted to try Mavis Clare; she had rejected all his offers, and he could only make matters smooth by asking her to pray for him. A woman of that dreamy idealistic temperament always likes to imagine there is a man who, iş grateful for her prayers. The next night but one, Sybil leaves her husband's couch and goes down to meet the Prince, in a diaphanous garment of filmy white. The husband follows and witnesses tho scene. She makes love to the Prince, as might be
terror! () pitiless Heaven! To think of it-but a night ago I was lifted a step nearer to my lost delight, and now this woman drags me back, and down; and yet again I hear the barring of the gates of Paradise. Oh, infinite torture, Oh, wicked souls of men and women! Is there no touch of grace or thought of God left in you, and will ye make my sorrows eternal !”
“KNEEL DOWN AND WORSHIP ME!” “I will love you,” she cried. “I shall love you until I die.” “And after you die,” said he will you love me then?" "After death," she stammered. “ Yes, after death," he repeated sombrely. “There is an 'after,'. as your mother knows; death is never deceived, though life may be. And afterwards,” he asked again “ will you love me, do you think, when you know who I am ?” “When I know who you are!” she repeated. “Do I not know? You are Lucio, my love, whose voice is my music, whose beauty I adore, whose looks are my heaven." “And hell--and hell,” he interposed with a short laugh. “ Come here. Since you love me so well, kneel down and worship me.” “With every pulse of my being I worship you." she murmured, kneeling with clasped hands, a smile of perfect rapture on her face. “My king! my God! for one kiss from your lips I would die; for one embrace I would give my soul !” Unmoved, the Prince said, “Stay where you are, and let me look at you. Soa woman wearing a husband's name, newly risen from a husband's side, steals forth in the night, seeking to disgrace him and pollute herself by the vulgarest unchastity. I may do what I choose with you, you say—torture you, kill you. ... I shall not kill, drown you, curse you, or love you. I shall simply call your husband."
“LOVE ME OR I DIE!” Getting desperate. Sybil drew a dagger. “Love me. I sav. or I shall stab myself here dead at your feet, and cry out' to Geoffrey that you have murdered ine!” He seized the dagger, wrested it from her clutch, snapped it, and flung it on the ground. She stood breathless and white with rage, in mingled passion and terror. Then she said deliberately, “You shall love me, or I shall die, one of the two. I will give you all to-morrow to decide : love me, give me yourself, be my lover; but refuse me again, and I will put an end to this life of mine! I cannot endure existence without your love" i . . Then, with a sudden swift movement, she flung herself upon his breast. The moonbeams showed her husband, her eyes alight with rapture, her lips trembling with passion, her bosom heaving. The blood surged up to his head, and a red mist swam before his sight. Would Lucio yield ? Not he! Tearing her desperate hands from his neck, he forced her back, crying, “Woman! false and accursed! restrain your fevered desires; fair fiend, have patience, we shall meet ere long!”
“THE MOONLIGHT GLISTENED BLOOD-RED." At this point her husband, somewhat tardily, concluded that it was time for him to interfere. He dragged her away. We have the tableau filled in ad lib. with mad fury, black rages, chokings with wrath and pain, etc., etc., on his part. On hers, calm insistence that it is all the fault of the new fiction, while the Prince cynically brings the scene to a close. She, with a wild and wicked rapture in her face, kisses her hand to the Prince, and the two men are left alone. ; Facing one another we stood, silently. I met his sombre eyes and thought I read an infinite compassion in them. Then, while I yet looked upon him, something seemed to clutch my throat and stop my breathing; his dark and beautiful countenance appeared to me to grow suddenly lurid as with fire; a coronal of flame seemed to tremble above his brows; the moon
of it. The husband listened to her accents vibrating with mad idolatrous passion, while she implored the terrible Prince to have pity on her. He, however, was in no such mood. “I know you love me," he said; “I have always known it. Your vampire soul leaped to mine at the first glance I ever gave you; you were a false foul thing from the first, and you recognise your master. I know it all. The kiss I gave you on your wedding-day put fire in your blood, and sealed you mine; but I hate you! Yes, I hate you, and all such women as you, for you corrupt the world. I hate you with the bitterness of immeasurable and unforgetting hatred, for you have done me a wrong; you have added another burden to the load of punishment I carry.”
A VERY JOSEPH ! The woman, however, was in no mood to be repulsed even by such an uncompromising declaration of detestation. She followed him with outstretched arms, a very Bacchante of wild loveliness, but the Prince was as a very Joseph:
“Stand back!” he said. “Be afraid of me, as of an unknown
light glistened blood-red; a noise was in my ears of mingled thunder and music, as though the silent organ at the end of the gallery were played by hands invisible. Struggling against these delusive sensations, I involuntarily stretched out my hands.
"Lucio," I gasped—“ Lucio, my friend, I think--I amdying! My heart is broken!”'
As I spoke, a great blackness closed over me, and I fell senseless.
THE AWAKENING OF DEATH. He leaves her, and before the day closes is summoned back by a telegram to find her dead. She had poisoned herself, leaving behind her a lengthy document in which she sets forth the story of her life - how she had been corrupted by sex novels and Swinburne's poems. The last pages of this lengthy document were written after she was dead, automatically, by the hand of the corpse. She describes how her mother came to her, and this is what she wrote:
Let me write for others the awful Truth as I see it. There is no death--none, none! I cannot die! I am passing out of my body; I am being wrenched away from it inch by inch in inexplicable mystic torture; but I am not dying-I am being carried forward into a new life, vague and vast ... I see a new world full of dark forms, half shaped yet shapeless; they float towards me, beckoning me on. I am actively consciousI hear, I think, I know. Death is a mere human dream-a comforting fancy; it has no real existence; there is nothing in the universe but life. 0 hideous misery-I cannot die ! In my mortal body I can scarcely breathe; the pen I try to hold writes of itself rather than through my shaking hand but these pangs are the throes of birth, not death.
Still I hold back,--nude and trembling I stare into a dark void; and now there are wings about me,-wings of fiery scarlet; they fill the space,-they enfold me,-they propel me,-they rush past and whirl around me, stinging me as with flying arrows and showers of hail.
To my despair and terror,-to my remorse and agony, -I live. Oh, the unspeakable misery of this new life! And worst of all, God, whom I doubted, God, whom I was taught to deny, this wronged, blasphemed and outraged God exists.
Serve me, dead hand, once more ere I depart ... my tortured spirit must seize and compel you to write down this thing unnameable, that earthly eyes may read, and earthly souls take timely warning ... I know at last whom I have loved, -whom I haye chosen, whom I have worshipped..... Oh, God, have mercy. ... I know who claims my worship now, and drags me into yonder rolling world of flame. .... His name is
This is the end of her.
She is buried, and Mavis Clare is at much trouble to explain to the widower that the Prince is a worker of evil, a fiend in a beautiful human shape, a destroyer and corruptor. Tempest replies that, on the contrary, the Prince is his best friend, and leaving Mavis he joins his friend on his yacht and starts for Egypt. The Prince's fascination continued as great as ever, but sometimes his every look seemed fraught with meaning, his every gesture suggestive of an almost terrific authority. The men on board the yacht seemed like fiends.
THE TORTURE OF SATAN. The Prince tells Tempest that he believes in God and a very actual and positive being, and then, asked suddenly if he believed in hell and Satan, the arch enemy of mankind, the Prince replied :
"Most assuredly I believe in hell. How can I do otherwise if I believe in heaven? If there is an Up there must be a Down; if there is Light there must be Darkness. And ... concerning the arch enemy of mankind, if half the stories reported of him be true, he must be the most piteous and pitiable figure in the universe. What would be the sorrows of a thousand million worlds com parod to the sorrows of Satan?"
“Sorrows!" I echoed. “He is supposed to rejoice in the working of evil.”
“Neither angel nor devil can do that,” he said slowly. “To rejoice in the working of evil is a temporary mania which affects man only. For actual joy to come out of evil, Chaos must come again, and God must extinguish Himself." He stared across the dark sea, the sun had sunk, and one faint star twinkled through the clouds. “And so I again say—the sorrows of Satan; sorrows immeasurable as eternity itselfimagine them: to be shut out of Heaven; to hear all through the unending wons the far-off voices of angels whom once he knew and loved; to be a wanderer among deserts of darkness, and to pine for the light celestial that was formerly as air and food to his being; and to know that man's folly, man's utter selfishness, man's cruelty, keep him thus exiled, an outcast from pardon and peace. Man's nobleness may lift the lost spirit almost within reach of his lost joys, but man's vileness drags him down again-easy was the torture of Sisyphus compared with the torture of Satan. No wonder that he loathes mankind; small blame to him if he seeks to destroy the puny tribo eternally; little marvel that he grudges them their share of immortality ; think of it as a legend merely”and he turned upon me with a morement that was almost fierce—“Christ redeemed man, and by His teaching showed how it was possible for man to redeem the devil.”
A VISION OF THE DAMNED. Now the story is hurrying to its close. After spending some time in Egypt and seeing visions there, they rejoin the yacht and set out for the Riviera. Tempest determined to marry Mavis Clare-if he could. Full of this pleasant dream he went off to sleep :-
About midnight I awoke, vaguely terrified, to see the cabin full of a strong red light and fierce glare. My first dazed impression was that the yacht was on fire, the next instant I became paralysed and dumb with horror. Sybil stood before me ... Sybil, a wild, strange, tortured writhing figure, half nude, ... Sybil, a wild, strange, tortured waving beckoning arms, and making desperate gestures. Her face was as I had seen it last in death, livid and hideous ... her eyes blazed mingled menace, despair, and warning upon me. Round her a living wreath of flame coiled upwards like a twisted snake . . . her lips moved as though she strove to speak, but no sound came from them, and while I yet looked up at her she vanished. I must have lost consciousness then, for when I awoke it was broad day. But this ghastly visitation was only the first of many such, and at last erery night I saw her thus, sheeted in flame, till I grew well-nigh mad with fear and misery. My torment was indescribable, yet I said nothing to Lucio, who watched me, as I imagined, narrowly. I took sleeping draughts in the liope to procure unbroken rest, but in vain, always I woke at one particular moment, and always I had to face this fiery phantom of my dead wife, with despair in her eyes and an unuttered warning on her lips.
BLOOD FREEZING AD LIB. He thinks of committing suicide, but is disturbed by the Prince, who sees what he is about to do, and says, “I will go away, I would not disturb you for the world." “You say that!” said Tempest. “I thought you were my friend." The Prince looked full at him, his eyes grew large and luminous with the splendour of scorn, passion, and sorrow intermingled. “Did you ?"--and again a terrific smile lit up his features. “You are mistaken: I am your enemy." His dark and frowning figure seemed to increase in stature, towering above him like a gigantic shadow of a thunder cloud. “My blood froze with an unimaginable sickening terror, and then thick darkness filled my sight and I dropped down' senseless.” The rest of the story gets almost too wild and whirling for words. The fortieth chapter begins:-" Thunder and wild tumult -the glare of lightning, the shattering roar of great waves leaping mountains high and hissing asunder in mid-air, this fierce riot of savage elements let loose in a whirling boisterous dance of death. I awoke at last with a
convulsive shock. Staggering to my feet, I stood in the His accents sunk to an infinitely mournful cadence. black obscurity of my cabin, trying to rally my scattered - What have your teachers done with me and my eternal forces; the electric lamps were extinguished, and the sorrows?” he went on. ,." Have not they, and the unthinking lightning alone illumined the sepulchral darkness.
churches, proclaimed a lie against me, saying that I rejoice in
evil? O man, to whom, by God's will, and because the world's AVE, SATHANAS! AVE!
end draws nigh, I unveil a portion of the mystery of my doom, Frantic shoutings echoed above me on deck-fiend-like learn now, once and for all, that there is no possible joy in yells that sounded now like triumph, now like despair, evil; it is the despair and the discord of the universe; it is and again like menace. The yacht leaped to and fro man's creation, my torment, God's sorrow. Every sin of like a hunted stag amid the furious billows, and every every human being adds weight to my torture, and leugth to frightful crash of thunder threatened, as it seemed to my doom, yet my oath against the world must be kept. I split her in twain. The wind howled like a devil in
have sworn to tempt, to do my uttermost to destroy mankind, torment; it screamed and moaned and sobbed as though
but man has not sworn to yield to my tempting. He is free endowed with a sentient body that suffered acutest
let him resist, and I depart; let him accept me, I remain.
Eternal justice has spoken; humanity, through the teaching of agony; anon it rushed downwards with an angry swoop
God made human, must work out its own redemption-and as of wide, flapping wings, and so forth. It is a kind of
mine." overture, which after a time becomes articulate; fierce
THE DEVIL AN ANGEL. cries mingle with jarring thunder, and the waves roar,
He ceased. Telling him, “You shall understand with the wind shrieks, and I leapt erect as I caught the words
whom you have dwelt so long, in whose company you of the clangorous shout, “ Ave Sathanas! Ave!'” Lest
have sailed perilous seas, one who, proud and rebellious he should not hear it plainly, the lightning writes it in a
like you, errs less in that he owns God and his Master." snaky line of fire in the darkness. It is no wonder then
Then the orchestra chimes in again, with thunder crashes, his brain swims round and grows full to bursting. He
hellish tortures, scintillant glories, etc., and crowned with feels he is going mad, raving mad, when suddenly the
a mystic radiance as of trembling stars of fire, he beheld, prince-like black phantom in the pale, strange light
not the Prince, but an angel; a sublime figure, towering surrounding him stills the storm with a word, and then
between him and the moonlit sky, the face austerely tells him he has chosen him out of millions to learn in
grand and beautiful, shone forth luminously pale; the this life the lesson that all must learn hereafter.,
eyes were full of unquenchable pain, unspeakable remorse, THE DEVIL'S SERMON.
unimaginable despair. All around was a dense crowd of He went on, a lambent radiance encircling his brow, and faces, wild and wonderful, whose imploring eyes were a burning glow steadily deepening and flashing from his turned upon him in piteous agony, the air darkened and eyes, and preached the following sermon :
lightened with the shadow and brightness of wings. Vast “ They behold in you a shameless egoist, persistently engaged pinions of crimson flame began to unfurl and spread in defacing their divine image of immortality, and for that upwards, shafted pinions of burning rose, streamed upsin there is no excuse and no escape but punishment. Who- ward, flaming from his dark form, and sprung aloft in a soever prefers self to God, and in the arrogance of that self, blaze of scintillant glory, and a voice. infinitely sad. vet. presumes to doubt and deny God, invites another power to
infinitely sweet, struck solemn music from the frozen
infinitely compass his destinies—the power of evil, made evil and kept evil by the disobedience and wickedness of man alone, that
silence. power whom mortals call Satan, Prince of Darkness, but whom
The ship, which had been frozen up in icebergs, crashes once the angels knew as Lucifer, Prince of Light.” He broke
through the ice with a noise of thunder, and face to face off, paused, and his flaming regard fell full upon me. “Do
with immortal despair, Tempest and the angel, steered you know me now?”
by Amiel, rusl onwards to the world's end. On the way “Men make their own choice and form their own futures, they pass a pale creature, a white woman's shape clothel and never let them dare to say they are not free to choose. in her long hair, wearing the anguished face of Sybil. From the uttermost reaches of high Heaven the spirit of God She casts herself down upon the deck and weeps. He descended to them as man; from the uttermost depths of
realises what an angel a little guiding love and patience lowest hell, I, the spirit of rebellion, come, equally as man. But
might have made her. “At last I pitied her ; I had not the God-in-man was rejected and slain; I, the devil-in-man
pitied her before.” live on, for ever accepted and adored. Man's choice this is not God's or mine.
THE LAST CHOICE. “I have chosen you because you are a type of the apparently Then a solemn sound of music surged upon the air, respected and unblamable man. You are not what the world and once more the penetrating voice of the fallen archcalls a criminal; you have murdered no one--yon have stolen angel addressed him. giving him his last choice: no neighbour's goods--your unchastities and adulteries are
“Fate strikes thine hour, and in this hour it is given thee to those of every •fashionable' vice-monger – and your blas
choose thy Master. Now, by the will of God, thou seest me as phemies against the Divine are no worse than those of the
Angel; but take heed thou forget not that among men I am most approved modern magazine-contributors.
as Man. In human form I move with all humanity through " For the Egotist there is no chance of wholesome penitence,
endless ages; to kings and counsellors, to priests and scientists, since to himself he is perfect, and counts his Creator as somewhat inferior. This present time of the world breathes Egotism
to thinkers and teachers, to old and young, I come in the shape --the taint of self, the hideous worship of money, corrodes all
their pride or vice demands, and am as one with all. Self life, all thought, all feeling.
finds in me another Ego; but from the pure in heart, the high “The End is near; I take my part in that end--for the souls
in faith, the perfect in intention, I do retreat with joy, offering of mankind are not done with when they leave their fleshly
naught save reverence, demanding naught save prayer. So am tenements. When this planet is destroyed, as a bubble broken
I, so must I ever be, till Man of his own will releases and in the air, the souls of men and women live on--as the soul of
redeems me. Mistake me not, but know me; and choose thy the woman you loved lives on-as the soul of the mother who
future for truth's sake and not out of fear. Choose and change bore her lives on-aye, as all my worshippers live on through
not in any time hereafter; this hour, this moment, is thy last a myriad worlds, a myriad phases, till they learn to shape
probation. Choose, I say ! Wilt thou serve Self and Me, or God their destinies for Heaven. And I, with them, live on in many
only ?” shapes, in many ways. When they return to God, cleansed. As the question was thundered in his ears Tempest and perfect, so shall I return—but not till then."
looked round and saw a gathering crowd of faces, white,