April 11th, 2009



friday lxxxvii bis

by abracadabra we signify an infinite number of things. 'tis the answer to what? and how? and why? and whence? and whither? -- a word whereby the truth (with the comfort it brings) is open to all who grope in night, crying for wisdom's holy light.

whether the word is a verb or a noun is knowledge beyond my reach.

dear friend, as i lie here, leaving a world that no man ever loved more, i have come to understand you. for you and your mission have been much in my thoughts. it is strange how good can be done, not at the time when it is intended, but afterward; and you have done this good to me. i say over your words, "contentment with renunciation," and believe that at this last hour i have gained something like what you would wish me to feel. for i do not think that i desire it otherwise now. my life would never have been of service, i am afraid. you am the last person in this world who has spoken serious words to me, and i want you to know that now at length i value the peace of santa ysabel as i could never have done but for seeing your wisdom and goodness.

but then came the inevitable cop and imminent convenience for both the attacker and attacked. john hopkins was a peaceful citizen, who worked at rebuses of nights in a flat, but be was not without the fundamental spirit of resistance that comes with the battle-rage. he knocked the policeman into a gro- cer's sidewalk display of goods and gave freshmayer a punch that caused him temporarily to regret that he had not made it a rule to extend a five-cent line of credit to certain customers.

the card in the center represents the attitude you assume. the emperor: worldly authority. professional success. social power. the life of action and decision, especially in politics and business. patriarch, clan leader, and pater familias.

the card to the right represents the thoughts and feelings that underly your attitudes. the sun: glory and rejoicing. the light of reason. the flower of manhood. inspiration in poetry and music.

the card at the top represents how your attitude is evolving and will evolve in the future. eight of coins (prudence): frankness, honesty and innocence. candid confrontation of circumstances.

the card to the left represents how others perceive your attitude. the tower, when reversed: disaster avoided. dramatic rescue. false alarm.

the card at the bottom represents what you cannot confront or are hiding from yourself. six of staves (victory), when reversed: fear of failure and fear of success.

at last the drawing-room door and the smiling housemaid turning the handle and the unforgettable picture of a little girl, a little girl unlike anything we had imagined, starting bravely to trot across the room with the little speech that had been taught her. half-way she came; i suppose our regards were too fixed, too absorbed, for there she stopped with a wail of terror at the strange faces, and ran straight back to the outstretched arms of her aunt emma. the most natural thing in the world, no doubt. i walked over to a chair opposite with my hand-bag and umbrella and sat down--a spectator, aloof and silent.

then with sickening velocity she tore after them, almost completely burying herself in the soft loam of the ancient sea bottom.

but venancio, standing by with his tins of lard and his dirty string rags ready, protested:

"all right, if anybody lays a hand on demetrio, i won't be responsible."

"nonsense! rot! what kind of doctor do you think you are? you're no doctor at all. i'll wager you've al- ready forgotten why you ever joined us," said quail.

such terror perturbed him that he reeled as he walked, and stared about him like a drunken man.
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