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Scarcely realizing the strange woman's intent, I said nothing, but awaited the sequel. Miss Orvis soon approached the net, and engaged in low, earnest conversation with her companion. I saw a puzzled, indescribable look come into his face, as she proceeded to talk with him, and then I heard him say; "I can soon set your mind at rest on the point, if you'll allow me to call ajor James to my relief; he was with me, and knows the story to be false.” “I care nothing for Major James' opinion; you could easily concoct any kind of falsehood between you to blind my.eyes, and we may as well consider our acquaintance at an end, if a satisfactory explanation cannot be made at once." I looked at the usually gentle face, and could scarcely stifle exclamations of surprise at the almost fiendish expression depicted thereon.
The occupants of the lawn were gathering around, as full of surprise as myself, and asking for an explanation of this unheard of manner in the proverbially docile Miss Orvis. “ Heaven only knows what she means!" exclaimed Sayles, whose features were painful tu behold in their rigidity of expression. “She accuses me of having absented myself yesterday without explanation, and worse than that, of having engaged in a drunken brawl. For pity's sake friends, does my appearance warrant such an assertion?"
Had the occasion been less serious, a general relapse into genuine mirth would have followed, for Sayle's habits were known by all to be of the best, and his whole mein gave the flattest denial to the statements just made.
Major James, why don't you speak and make matters clear?” “ Is there anyone present with enough of the suspicious in their makeup to suppose for a moment that our friend Sayles could be guilty of a dishonorable act?” said the Major. “I must say, Major, that there is one, at least, who has strong suspicions that he was yesterday concerned in a most dishonorable affair. If you know such to be false, why do you not say as much?” said Miss Orvis, with flushed face and defiant bearing, looking squarely at the Major and demanding answer.
“ It is with much pleasure, Miss Orvis, that I can positively assert that Mr. Sayles is innocent of the offense with which he is charged. I deeply regret that these words from me are necessary.”
" And I regret, my dear Major, that I must still doubt. As the statement came to me, it was declared that proof could be obtained by examiation of Mr. Sayle's right arm, near the elbow. At that place, my informant says, will be found a spot plainly discolored from the blood having settled there as a natural result of a recent blow dealt with some hard instrument?” Almost before these words issued from Miss Orvis' lips, Mr. Sayles had bared his muscular arm, and we all crowded around to witness the proof of his innocence. Horrors ! There was the tell-tale spot, black and hideous, exactly as described. I looked at the weird, devilish woman at my side. Fler left arm, with its short, flowing sleeve, bare to the elbow, was raised, and the hand unconsciously pointed toward the scar which now was the centre of all eyes. At this moment Miss Darcet came slowly into the midst of the circle of mystified people.
From Sayles she quickly glanced toward Mrs. Milveux, and, with a gesture and expression which will never fade from the memory of any who saw it, she sank to the ground in a swoon.
I alone understood the cause of her losing consciousness, for, from the
moment of her advent, I closely noted her every look, and, when she glanced at her aunt, I followed her gaze, and there beheld a sight which almost stopped my very breath. From the bare arm of Mrs. Milveux the bright red blood had seemed to ooze, and to stand there in prominent drops forming, in bold outline, the letter F!
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
TO THE ESOTERIC BROTHERHOOD.
O great Hari! purge from wrong,
In vain, in vain!
Or that true love shall find its due reward;
As well as that the sunbeams on the sward,
The weary wanderer fallen 'neath the load,
Too great to bear, along life's dusty road;
Who takes, since Christ, the woman by the hand ?
PROF. FRED. LUCCA SQUIERS.
Within the circles of law and cycles of time, the spirit can travel where it wills forevermore. The true lover, the tranquil philosopher, cheerfully obeys the inevitable and fundamental powers in and around him.
Sympathy and compassion are music fit for the ear of an angel; but there are mawkish charities which act as fatal lubricants to the fiercely grating wheels of a monstrous juggernaut.
We write the history of physical crucifixion in eloquent italics, and weep for reformers burned alive, and patriots slain at the cannon's mouth. Cheapest of all delusions! The God in man can conquer pain, and set his sensitive nerves at naught. What does Thermopylæ, Hastings, Waterloo, Bunker Hill, or Gettysburg care for death? În calm and ecstacy the martyr suspends his breath, while his spirit flies on wings of flame to white empyrean.
The being who commends his soul to the eternal justice, and gives his body to the fire of bigotry and superstition, rather than deny, or keep silent,
his opinions, experiences more pleasure than pain, and is father to the patriot who loves freedom more than he fears death. To die for a form of religion or government, proves the honesty of the martyr or patriot, but not the truth of the religion or government. Millions have perished by stake and sword, for the perpetuation of error, and millions more will probably render similar evidence of their sincerity. To me,
the genuine martyrdom is found in the heart of that refined, sweet-faced woman whose thousand-fold agony is too great for even death to relieve, but must be endured, in speechless bravery, through long and weary years, -a complete sacrifice for others' selfishness or good ;- in the breast of that enslaved and unpaid toiler who keenly feels, and dimly knows, the unjust burden laid upon him, - in the brain of that great and patient thinker whom few apprehend and none reward, but who goes to his grave with the holy wrinkles of earth's civilization chiseled upon his brow. Yet, looking on the other side of this martyrdom, we do not find good reason to doubt that the heart of Nature is tender and merciful. Those things which men call defeat and death, are the noiseless triumph and invisible strength of the sacred Imperishable. The actual personalities cannot be annihilated; their mystic odors, their visionary sounds, their shadowy forms, their subtle magnetisms, their mysterious movements, are in, through, and over all !
Our visible bodies are not for everlasting procreation; the human species will all melt into the Infinite, and become the “ missing link” and formative clay of worse or better gods. Few are ready to allow, while nearly all in one way or another imagine, that there are both higher and lower, both finer and coarser, organisms than man, through which spirit manifests itself in endless degrees from Jehovah to protoplasm.
The slayer, man, is in turn slain, and so does life basely feed on life. What feasting ghouls are those hidden microbes without volition! What destructive ghosts are those spiritual nebulæ, with dim intelligence.
Do not mourn your fate, or curse your circumstance, but seek to learn its cause and relief; you will not be vanquished in any pure aspiration. Your tears will bless some arid waste ; there is cure for disease, there is absolution for crime, sometime and somewhere; there is a nice limit to all suffering, and seeming injustice, and life's most piteous slave will at length be freed. The very heavens go mad and moan, while the thunder-battled, lightning-blinded eagle drops his prey, and the king of beasts creeps howling to his secret lair. Even the Devil will yet fumigate his den, and joyfully smile at the dead philosophy of the famous legend over Inferno. The mystic and materialist often represent two conflicting extremes of illusion and error, fanaticism and carnality. Cultivate wheat and corn; gather affluence in your hands; but do not let low and vulgar mockery blight the blossom of your dreams, and kill their fair, ideal fruitage. Buddha, Plato, Christ, Shakespeare, Swedenborg, Goethe, Shelley and Emerson are diamonds that mere wealth and vulgar power cannot purchase; they only gleam and shine on breasts of purity, on brows of thought, and hands that do the deeds of love. Commerce, machinery, and earth-burrowing, howsoever they are justly esteemed, cannot cheapen the indomitable soul. What if the small nature ignore your indestructible wealth, and is unable to distinguish between ideas and imitations, love and lust, pride and vanity, faith and superstition, genius and insanity ? You are too rich to mope or whine; you have but to keep your eye fixed upon the true, the good, the beautiful, and they will leave the cold distant heaven, and nestle down in your bosom
like white-winged, brooding doves. A great man left stranded upon the shores of death, bravely waits the incoming tide which will bear him thence to the glad freedom of the sea. We live, at intervals, all our true prayers and poems. Truth and love are indestructible; a single tender sentiment has saved thousands from despair, -- one noble thought has revolutionized nations forever. Establish a signal service for thy soul; build thee an observatory for the Celestial Unapparent.
The saddest feature of genius is, not that it is too sensitive for the world, but that the world is not sensitive enough for it. I pity unutterably those men and women who, to-day, can idly caress their racers and poodles, and to-morrow, in high disdain, pass by the sorrowful nobility of unrewarded toil. Still, I am glad that labor is seldom a scourged vagabond, eating crumbs, dying in ditches, or madly hurling dynamite. I do not hate mankind for its serpentine selfishness, its poison-pouch of vanity, its fanged calumny, and hissing ignorance. We painfully learn our highest good, and our poor sight is long blinded in the golden brightness of the crucified Christ and persecuted Galileo. We embrace our lovers when we know them, and erect monuments of love ai d appreciation to departeil grandeur. Genius, clothed in purple or in rags, is its own reward; and whether shackled and sent to the galleys and the scaffold, or crowned as Emperor and Pope, it governs humanity.
An act is an arrested thought. Imagination is the mind's pyramidal base and apex; reason, memory, judgment, its architecture, hieroglyphics, cloisters, tombs and sanctuaries. The steam-engine, telegraph, spinningjenny, printing-press, electric-light, telephone, phonograph, etc., etc., are but inspirations imprisoned in matter — visions captured from the circle of cause and effect; - only the bird-like spirit of a poet, trapped and tamed within the toils of a mathematician's brain -- simply an incomplete realization of the mystic's experience in fairyland.
It is unwise to fret overmuch about the condition of Church and State, since they are an exact measure of the acquirement and diffusion of knowleige. Are they not worthy fabrics, dyed in the blood of savage ancestries, and woven in the rude loom of barbarous peoples ? Are they not the natural and necessary effects of a fallible being's hope and fear, intelligence and superstition, aspiration and degradation, virtue and vice ? Mental telescopes and microscopes are rare, and we should not be impatient with those who have weak spiritual opties, and need the eye-glass of church and creed. Autocratic, Monarchial, Democratic; the form of government is always the expression of the thoughts and sentiments which are most potent in the mind of the people. If the majority are enslaved, it is because their opinions are dominated or dictated by the more powerful views of the minority. Violence and war, as a rule, are fitful manifestations of irrational forces, and often destroy in a day what it has taken thoughtful labor a thousand years to create. I have a sense of delight in the valiant onslaught of gifted mortals upon time-worn customs and threadbare conventionalities, but lose respect for those who would fain destroy institutions confirmed by centuries of a struggling wisdom. He is a sad fool whose envy would decarbonize the precious stones that sparkle in the crown of Her Majesty, the woman and Queen.
"Our bodies should be holy spiritual temples ;” and the chastity of men is as great a good as the virtue of women. Berkshire swine, Durham cattle, Percheon horses, Brahma fowl, are carefully bred by man ; this deserves due praise ; but what shall we think of the same being who gives
his oath for the propagation of scrofula, consumption, syphilis, cancer, or insanity ? Such unions of the sexes are never • next to Golliness ! ” No law can prevent that marriage being prostitution which is simply a contract for the gratification of physical desires.
The difference between common utility and perfect beauty, may be seen in a pottery jug and a “ peach-blow” vase ; in a chart, and an Ascension; in a surveyor's monument, and an angel entranced in marble; in an absorbed money-getter, and an inspired artist ; in a perishable, and an immortal ambition. Rather shall my body want for bread, than my soul; for beauty, wherever seen or found, is divine. It sleeps in the infinité azare of the sky; in the calm, translucent depths of limpid lakes; in the sheeny light of murmuring streams and rippling rivers ; in the glimmering glory cf emerald seas; in the varied growths of trackless forests; in the Godpainted loveliness of a million flowers and verdant blooms; in the sublime serenity of mighty mountains; in the countless colors of the mineral world ; in the seven-hued radiance of the round rainbow; in the mild and melting luminosity of the silvery moon; and in the golden splendor of the everlasting sun. It shines in noble manhood's face, and glistens in the pure matron's angelic countenance. It beams from the resistless magnetism of a lover's presence, and makes him more than common man.
It gleams in the maiden's tresses, sparkles in her innocent eyes, purples on her smooth, unwrinkled brow, rubifies her luscious lips, and crimsons her dimpled cheeks. It is shown in the jeweled fishes of the deep, the robin, the nightingale, the canary, the bird of paradise, and the iris-colored, burnished dove. It is revealed by the velvet fawn, the swift-running, wild deer, the royal ringed tiger, the glittering, golden form and diamond orbs of the twining anaconda, the two little speckled eggs of the humming-bird, and in the shy gazelle, whose steps are like the lightning's glance. Beauty is omnipresent. It speaks in color, form, music, motion, life, joy and love; and is the word of God on earth.
EDWARD E. COTHRAN.
THE STAR OF LOVE.
WHEN man was sad and weary, beneath Mosaic rule,