cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well

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absolute perfection

the inscrutable lines on that sallow forehead kept the secret of horrible adventures, sudden panic, unhoped-for luck, romantic cross events, joys that knew no limit, hunger endured and love trampled under foot, fortunes risked, lost, and recovered, life endangered time and time again, and saved, it may be, by one of the rapid, ruthless decisions absolved by necessity.

isaac, recalled to think of his worldly goods, the love of which, by dint of inveterate habit, contended even with his parental affection, grew pale, stammered, and could not deny there might be some small surplus.

all due honor, therefore, to the ingenuity with which you have filled the hiatus, and shown the state of affairs between us by a discourse on " surplus value," cribbed from an imperfect report of one of my public lectures, and from the pages of karl marx! if you were an economist i should condemn you for confusing economic with ethical considerations, and for your uncertainty as to the function which my father got his start by performing. but as you are only a novelist, i compliment you heartily on your clever little pasticcio, adding, however, that as an account of what actually passed between myself and hetty, it is the wildest romance ever penned.

one word of warning to those who may find themselves attracted by siegfried's anarchism, or, if they prefer a term with more respectable associations, his neo-protestantism. anarchism, as a panacea, is just as hopeless as any other panacea, and will still be so even if we breed a race of perfectly benevolent men.

the girl sat looking at him. he had not been unkind to her, but she felt no sense of gratitude, nor, on the other hand, any sense of hatred. the brains, incapable themselves of any of the finer sentiments, awoke none in her. she could not feel gratitude, or affection, or hatred of them. there was only the same unceasing sense of horror in their presence. she had heard great scientists discuss the future of the red race and she recalled that some had maintained that eventually the brain would entirely dominate the man. there would be no more instinctive acts or emotions, nothing would be done on impulse; but on the contrary reason would direct our every act. the propounder of the theory regretted that he might never enjoy the blessings of such a state, which, he argued, would result in the ideal life for mankind.

tara of helium wished with all her heart that this learned scientist might be here to experience to the full the practical results of the fulfillment of his prophecy. between the purely physical rykor and the purely mental kaldane there was little choice; but in the happy medium of normal, and imperfect man, as she knew him, lay the most desirable state of existence. it would have been a splendid object lesson, she thought, to all those idealists who seek mass perfection in any phase of human endeavor, since here they might discover the truth that absolute perfection is as little to be desired as is its antithesis.

gloomy were the thoughts that filled the mind of tara of helium as she awaited the summons from luud--the summons that could mean for her but one thing; death. she guessed why he had sent for her and she knew that she must find the means for self-destruction before the night was over; but still she clung to hope and to life. she would not give up until there was no other way. she startled ghek once by exclaiming aloud, almost fiercely: "i still live!"

"what do you mean?" asked the kaldane.

"i mean just what i say," she replied. "i still live and while i live i may still find a way. dead, there is no hope."

she went from chair to chair, from altar to altar, circumnavigating the church. to each shrine she dedicated an equal number of beads and an equal length of time. like a prudent capitalist with a somewhat cynical view of the commercial prospect, she desired to place her supplications in a great variety of heavenly securities. she would risk nothing on the credit of any single intercessor. out of the whole company of saints and angels, not one but was to suppose himself her champion elect against the great assize! i could only think of it as a dull, transparent jugglery, based upon unconscious unbelief.
Tags: bricolage

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