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was as lonely as if I had been in to hide, to fling myself on the floor, a wilderness. I was indeed in a to cover my face, to burrow in a wilderness of men, who were as dark corner. Useless attempts ! though they did not see me, pass- The eyes that looked in upon me ing with

ut even a look of human had powers beyond my powers. fellowship, each absorbed in his I felt sometimes conscious of the own concerns. I walked and derisive smile with which my miswalked till my limbs trembled erable subterfuges were regarded. under me, from one end to another They were all in vain. of the great streets, up and down, And what was still more strange and round and round.

But no was that I had not energy to think one said, How are you? Whence of attempting any escape. My come you? What are you doing? steps, though watched, were not At length in despair I turned restrained in any way, so far as I again to the blank and miserable was aware. The gates of the city room, which had looked to me like stood open on all sides, free to a cell in a prison. I had willfully those who went as well as to those made no note of its situation, try- who came; but I did not think of ing to avoid rather than to find it, flight. Of flight! Whence should but my steps were drawn thither I go from myself? Though that against my will. I found myself horrible inspection was from the retracing my steps, mounting the eyes of some unseen being, it was long stairs, passing the same peo- in some mysterious way connected ple, who streamed along with no with my own thinking and reflecrecognition of me, as I desired tions, so that the thought came nothing to do with them; and at ever more and more strongly upon last found myself within the same me, that from myself I could never four blank walls as before.

escape.

And that reflection took Soon after I returned I became all energy, all impulse from me. conscious of measured steps pass- I might have gone away when ing the door, and of an eye upon I pleased, beyond reach of the me.

I can say no more than this. authority which regulated everyFrom what point it was that I was thing,—how one should walk, inspected I cannot tell ; but that I where one should live,—but never was inspected, closely scrutinised from my own consciousness. On by some one, and that not only ex- the other side of the town lay a ternally, but by a cold observation great plain, traversed by roads on that went through and through every side. There was no reason me, I knew and felt beyond any why I should not continue my possibility of mistake. This re- journey there. But I did not. I curred from time to time, horribly, had no wish nor any power in me at uncertain moments, so that I to go away. never felt myself secure from it. In one of my long, dreary, comI knew when the watcher was panionless walks, unshared by any coming by tremors and shiverings human fellowship, I saw at last through all my being: and no sen- a face which I remembered; it sation so unsupportable has it ever was that of the cynical spectator been mine to bear. How much that who had spoken to me in the is to say, no one can tell who has noisy street in the midst of my not gone through those regions of early experience. He gave a darkness, and learned what is in glance round him to see that there all their abysses. I tried at first were no officials in sight, then left the file in which he was walking, me most. Then, with that dry and joined me. "Ah!” he said, laugh, "We have trial of all “ you are here already,” with the things in this world,” he said, “ to same derisive smile with which he see if perhaps we can find somehad before regarded me. I hated thing we shall like — discipline the man and his sneer, yet that he here, freedom in the other place. should speak to me was something, When you have gone all the almost a pleasure.

round like me, then, perhaps, you “ Yes," said I, “I am here.” will be able to choose." Then, after a pause, in which I “ Have you chosen?” I asked. did not know what to say—“ It He only answered with a laugh. is quiet here," I said.

“Come," he said, “ there is amuse“Quiet enough. Do you like ment to be had too, and that of it better for that? To do whatever the most elevated kind. We make you please with no one to interfere; researches here into the moral or to do nothing you please, but nature of man. Will you come ? as you are forced to do it,—which 'But you must take the risk,” he do you think is best?

added, with a smile which afterI felt myself instinctively glance wards I understood. round, as he had done, to make sure We went on together after this that no one was in sight. Then till we reached the centre of the I answered, faltering, “I have al- place, in which stood an immense ways held that law and order were building with a dome, which domnecessary things; and the lawless- inated the city, and into a great ness of that—that place—I don't hall in the centre of that, where a know its name—if there is such crowd of people were assembled. a place" I cried, “I thought it was The sound of human speech, which a dream."

murmured all around, brought new He laughed in his mocking life to my heart. And as I gazed way. “ Perhaps it is all a dream at a curious apparatus erected on - who knows?" he said.

a platform, several people spoke “Sir," said I, “you have been to me. longer here than I

" We have again,” said one, “Oh," cried he, with a laugh " the old subject to day.” that was dry and jarred upon the “ Is it something about the conair almost like a shriek, "since be- stitution of the place ?" I asked, fore your forefathers were born!" in the bewilderment of my mind. It seemed to me that he spoke My neighbours looked at me like one who, out of bitterness with alarm, glancing behind them and despite, made every darkness to see what officials might be near. blacker still. A kind of madman « The constitution of the place in his way; for what was this claim is the result of the sense of the of age ?—a piece of bravado, no inhabitants that order must be doubt, like the rest.

preserved," said the one who had - That is strange," I said, as- spoken to me first. “The lawless senting, as when there is such can find refuge in other places. a hallucination it is best to do. Here we have chosen to have su“You can tell me, then, whence pervision, nuisances removed, and all this authority comes, and why order kept. That is enough. The we are obliged to obey."

constitution is not under discusHe looked at me as if he were sion." thinking in his mind how to hurt “But man is,” said a second

was as lonely as if I had been in to hide, to fling myself on the floor, a wilderness. I was indeed in a to cover my face, to burrow in a wilderness of men, who were as dark corner. Useless attempts ! though they did not see me, pass- The eyes that looked in upon me ing without even a look of human had powers beyond my powers. fellowship, each absorbed in his I felt sometimes conscious of the own concerns. I walked and derisive smile with which my miswalked till my limbs trembled erable subterfuges were regarded. under me, from one end to another They were all in vain. of the great streets, up and down, And what was still more strange and round and round. But no was that I had not energy to think one said, How are you? Whence of attempting any escape. My come you? What are you doing? steps, though watched, were not At length in despair I turned restrained in any way, so far as I again to the blank and miserable was aware. The gates of the city room, which had looked to me like stood open on all sides, free to a cell in a prison. I had willfully those who went as well as to those made no note of its situation, try- who came ; but I did not think of ing to avoid rather than to find it, flight. Of fight! Whence should but my steps were drawn thither I go from myself? Though that against my will. I found myself horrible inspection was from the retracing my steps, mounting the eyes of some unseen being, it was long stairs, passing the same peo- in some mysterious way connected ple, who streamed along with no with my own thinking and reflecrecognition of me, as I desired tions, so that the thought came nothing to do with them; and at ever more and more strongly upon last found myself within the same me, that from myself I could never four blank walls as before.

escape. And that reflection took Soon after I returned I became all energy, all impulse from me. conscious of measured steps pass- I might have gone away when ing the door, and of an eye upon I pleased, beyond reach of the me. I can say no more than this. authority which regulated everyFrom what point it was that I was thing, -how one should walk, inspected I cannot tell ; but that I where one should live,.but never was inspected, closely scrutinised from my own consciousness. On by some one, and that not only ex- the other side of the town lay a ternally, but by a cold observation great plain, traversed by roads on that went through and through every side. There was no reason me, I knew and felt beyond any why I should not continue my possibility of mistake. This re- journey there. But I did not. I curred from time to time, horribly, had no wish nor any power in me at uncertain moments, so that I to go away. never felt myself secure from it. In one of my long, dreary, comI knew when the watcher was panionless walks, unshared by any coming by tremors and shiverings human fellowship, I saw at last through all my being: and no sen- a face which I remembered; it sation so unsupportable has it ever was that of the cynical spectator been mine to bear. How much that who had spoken to me in the is to say, no one can tell who has noisy street in the midst of my not gone through those regions of early experience. He gave a darkness, and learned what is in glance round him to see that there all their abysses. I tried at first were no officials in sight, then left

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the file in which he was walking, me most. Then, with that dry and joined me. "Ah!” he said, laugh, “We have trial of all “ you are here already," with the things in this world," he said, “ to same derisive smile with which he see if perhaps we can find somehad before regarded me. I hated thing we shall like — discipline the man and his sneer, yet that he here, freedom in the other place. should speak to me was something. When you have gone all the almost a pleasure.

round like me, then, perhaps, you "Yes," said I, “I am here." will be able to choose.Then, after a pause, in which I “ Have you chosen ?" I asked. did not know what to say—“ It He only answered with a laugh. is quiet here," I said.

“Come,” he said, “ there is amuse“Quiet enough. Do you like ment to be had too, and that of it better for that? To do whatever the most elevated kind. We make you please with no one to interfere; researches here into the moral or to do nothing you please, but nature of man. Will you come? as you are forced to do it,—which 'But you must take the risk,” he do you think is best?

added, with a smile which afterI felt myself instinctively glance wards I understood. round, as he had done, to make sure We went on together after this that no one was in sight. Then till we reached the centre of the I answered, faltering, "I have al- place, in which stood an immense ways held that law and order were building with a dome, which domnecessary things; and the lawless- inated the city, and into a great ness of that_that place—I don't hall in the centre of that, where a know its name—if there is such crowd of people were assembled. a place” I cried, “I thought it was The sound of human speech, which a dream."

murmured all around, brought new He laughed in his mocking life to my heart. And as I gazed way. " Perhaps it is all a dream at a curious apparatus erected on -- who knows?” he said.

a platform, several people spoke “Sir,” said I, “you have been to me. longer here than I- "

“We have again,” said one, "Oh,” cried he, with a laugh " the old subject to day.” that was dry and jarred upon the “Is it something about the conair almost like a shriek, "since be- stitution of the place ?" I asked, fore your forefathers were born !” in the bewilderment of my mind. It seemed to me that he spokeMy neighbours looked at me like one who, out of bitterness with alarm, glancing behind them and despite, made every darkness to see what officials might be near. blacker still. A kind of madman "The constitution of the place in his way; for what was this claim is the result of the sense of the of age ?--a piece of bravado, no inhabitants that order must be doubt, like the rest.

preserved," said the one who had " That is strange," I said, as- spoken to me first. “The lawless senting, as when there is such can find refuge in other places. a hallucination it is best to do. Here we have chosen to have su• You can tell me, then, whence pervision, nuisances removed, and all this authority comes, and why order kept. That is enough. The we are obliged to obey."

constitution is not under discusHe looked at me as if he were sion." thinking in his mind how to hurt “ But man is," said a second

are

speaker. “Let us keep to that in hope I may never feel such a senwhich we can mend nothing. Sir, sation again. The pitiless light you may have to contribute your went into me like a knife; but quota to our enlightenment. We even my cries were stopped by are investigating the rise of the framework in which I was thought. You a stranger; bound. I could breathe and sufyou may be able to help us." fer, but that was all.

“I am no philosopher," I said, Then some one got up on the with a panic which I could not platform above me and began to explain to myself.

speak. He said, so far as I could * That does not matter. You comprehend in the anguish and are a fresh subject.” The speaker torture in which I was held, that made a slight movement with his the origin of thought was the queshand, and I turned round to escape tion he was investigating, but that in wild, sudden fright, though I in every previous subject the conhad no conception what could be fusion of ideas had bewildered done to me. But the crowd had' them, and the rapidity with which pressed close around me, hemming one followed another. "The me in on every side. I was so present example has been found wildly alarmed that I struggled to exhibit great persistency of among them, pushing backwards idea,” he said. “We hope that with all my force, and clearing a by his means some clearer theory space round me with my arms. may be arrived at.” Then he But my efforts were vain. Two pulled over me a great movable of the officers suddenly appeared lens as of a miscroscope, which out of the crowd, and seizing me concentrated the insupportable by the arms, forced me forward. light. The wild, hopeless passion The throng dispersed before them that raged within my soul had no on either side, and I was half outlet in the immovable apparatus dragged, half lifted up upon the that held me. I was let down platform, where stood the strange among the crowd, and exhibited to apparatus which I had contem- them, every secret movement of my plated with a dull wonder when being, by some awful process which I came into the hall. My wonder I have never fathomed. A burndid not last long. I felt myself ing fire was in my brain, flame fixed in it, standing supported seemed to run along all my nerves, in that position by bands and speechless, horrible, incommunisprings, so that no effort of mine cable fury raged in my

soul. was necessary to hold myself up, But I was like a child—nay, like and none possible to release myself. an image of wood or wax in the I was caught by every joint, sus- pitiless hands that held me. What tained, supported, exposed to the was the cut of a surgeon's knife to gaze of what seemed a world of this? And I had thought that upturned faces : among which I cruel! And I was powerless, and saw, with a sneer upon it, keeping could do nothing—to blast, to a little behind the crowd, the face destroy, to burn with this same of the man who had led me here. horrible flame the fiends that Above my head was a strong light, surrounded me, as I desired to do. more brilliant than anything I Suddenly in the raging fever of had ever seen, and which blazed my thoughts, there surged up the upon my brain till the hair seemed recollection of that word which had to singe and the skin shrink. I paralysed all around, and myself

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