Shadows of Ecstasy, by Charles Williams

Chapter Seven

The Opening of Schism

That evening after dinner they were all in the library. Sir Bernard was sitting on the right of the fireplace, with Caithness next to him; opposite him was Isabel, with Rosamond between her and Philip. Roger lay in a chair next to the priest, and pushed a little back from the circle. In the centre, between Roger and Philip, opposite the fire, was the African. Roger looked at him, looked at the rest, and muttered to Caithness: “‘On him each courtier’s eye was bent, to him each lady’s look was lent, and Hampstead’s refugee was Colindale Square’s king’.” He looked at Rosamond: “She doesn’t look happy, does she?” he said. “Why doesn’t she go and plan food for her first dinner-party or practise giving the housemaid notice?” He became aware that Sir Bernard was speaking and stopped.

“ . . . evidence,” Sir Bernard was saying. “It’s a silly word in the circumstances, but it’s the only one we’ve got. Is there enough evidence to persuade the authorities — or us either for that matter — that Nigel Considine has anything to do with the High Executive? I’ve drawn up a statement of what happened last night, and I think I’ll read it to you; and if I’ve forgotten anything or the king can tell us any more-”

They sat silent, and he began. Actually, except for the two women, they all knew the substance of it before, but they were very willing to hear it again compacted after this little lapse of time.

Everything was there — the photograph, the music, the other visitors, the guns, the king’s sleep — and against that background ran the summaries of Considine’s monologues, conversation, and claim. As they listened that river of broad pretension flowed faster and deeper at their feet; they stood on its brink and wondered. Was the source indeed two hundred years off in the past? was it flowing towards an ocean of infinite experience till now undiscovered, unimagined — undiscovered because unimagined? Across that river their disturbed fancies saw the African forests, and shapes — both white and black — emerging and disappearing, and from among those high palms and falling creepers, that curtain of green profusion, came the sound of strings and the roar of guns. The dark face of Inkamasi, whatever he himself might be, grew terrible to them, not merely because of his negro kindred but because of the terrifying exaltation which so darkly hinted at itself in the words they heard, and when suddenly the delicate voice that was reading ceased, it was of Inkamasi’s figure that they were all chiefly aware, whether they looked towards it as Caithness did or away from it into the fire at which Rosamond Murchison stared.

Sir Bernard put down his paper, and looked for a cigarette. For once, among all his friends, no-one forestalled him. He found one, lit it, and sat back, reluctant to spoil his story with any bathos of comment. In a minute Inkamasi moved.

“I’ve thanked you already, Sir Bernard,” he said, and suddenly Isabel felt Rosamond’s arm quiver, as it lay in her own, “and I’ll thank you once more. You and Mr. Caithness have done a great thing for me. You’ve set me free from a power that has been about me since I was a boy.”

Roger turned his head. “You mean Considine!” he asked.

“I mean Considine,” the African answered. “Something I can tell you perhaps that you don’t know. It’s true — what he says. He is a hundred — two hundred years old — I do not know how old. He was known to my grandfather as the Deathless, and to his grandfather again, and others before that. He has been a power among the chieftains and the witch-doctors, but not always to their liking. For many of them had become conjurers, debased things, frogs sitting in the swamp, losing knowledge as you of the West have lost knowledge, and these he defeated and sometimes killed, till from the Niger to the Zambesi the rest feared and obeyed him. Sometimes he went away for long periods — then, I suppose, he was in Europe or elsewhere — but he always returned, and his return went before him into the villages and then those who had sold their magic for gifts were very greatly afraid.”

Sir Bernard with the slightest disdain said as the other paused: “Magic! Did Mr. Considine draw circles with a thigh-bone and make love-philtres from banana-trees?”

Inkamasi smiled back at him. “Is there any certain reason why a love-philtre couldn’t be made from a banana? But he wasn’t concerned with that kind of magic. He desired a greater mastery, and that I think he found. Most men waste their energies, even at their best they waste them, on fantastic dreams and worthless actions. Above all they waste this power which you call love but we have called lordship. It is said among some of us that the high Spring is the time of lordship. This power and lordship Considine and his schools have sought to use. They have sought to restore its strength to the royal imagination from which in the beginning it came. Mysteriously, yet by methods which they say are open to all, they have learnt to arouse and restrain and direct the exaltation of love to such purposes as they choose. They have learnt by the contemplation of beauty in man or woman to fill themselves with a wonderful and delighted excitement, and to turn that excitement to deliberate ends. But the first of these ends is life, that other ends may be reached in turn. Whether any before Considine has done this thing, I do not know; but I believe that he has done it. He has so filled the uttermost reaches of his being with the imagination and consciousness of life that his body, renewed so from time to time, when it is unusually weary, let us say, is impervious to time and decay and sickness. Accident might destroy him. But this mastery and transformation of love and sex is but a beginning. Have you not asked yourselves what is the death which spreads through creation, so that all things live by the death of others? Men and animals, we live by destruction. But these diverse schools have asked themselves whether indeed this is the whole secret, or whether it is so far but a substitution — a lesser thing taking the place of a greater. If man can descend into death, may he not find that what awaits him is an incredible ecstasy of descent and return? Considine is seeking to find that way. To be the food on which one feeds, to be free from any accident of death, to know the ecstasy of being at once priest and victim — all these ends are in his search.”

He paused considering, and Caithness said: “Do you speak of this from your own knowledge?”

The king answered: “Not of my own experience, for my father turned from the ways of his father, and brought me up in the Faith and sent me to England to learn the ways of the mind. Nor would he let me be initiated into the ways of the assemblies, though my grandfather and the other wise men of his generation belonged to them. But when I was only a child the Deathless One came and persuaded my father — I cannot guess with what words — and I was given into his hands. He bound my will and my thought lest a day should come when he should need me. I think he bound all the sons of the kings of Africa. So he would sometimes talk when I was there, because he held me so that I could not speak without leave.”

“But you came to England,” Sir Bernard said.

“Yes,” the king said, “only he knew where I was and what I was doing, and when the time had come he called me and I came.”

“What do you think he really wants?” Roger said abruptly. “Why is he making war?”

“I think he wants what he says,” the king answered, “the freedom of Africa. I don’t think he minds about destroying or even defeating Europe, he only needs a continent where the schools may flourish, and the gospel of ecstasy be born.”

“The defeat of Europe on that scale”, Sir Bernard said, “sounds rather like a moment of unusually exalted and not specially reliable imagination.”

Inkamasi leant forward with a quick fierce movement.

“Take care,” he said, almost angrily, and his eyes burned at them, “take care you don’t underrate him or despise him. Ever since he determined to do this he has made his preparations — he has chosen and trained his men and armed them. He has wealth — are aeroplanes and submarines, yes and guns, so difficult to buy and have shipped in parts as provisions or cotton or iron rails or Bibles or machinery to appointed harbours? Then there was the War — who had time to bother about the interior of Africa during the War?”

“One way and another”, Sir Bernard protested, “there are a large number of Europeans in the interior of Africa, watching it and doing things to it.”

“Yes,” Inkamasi answered, “and how many of your Europeans themselves are in it? How much of the white Administration belongs to the Mysteries? Has no conqueror ever been civilized by the nation he ruled? A white general may lead the attack on London yet; the Devotees themselves are often white.”

“The what?” Sir Bernard asked.

“The Devotees,” the Zulu answered. “It’s a high circle of those who having achieved much choose to render their lives wholly into the will of the Deathless One that he may use them as he pleases. Didn’t you see that of the aeronauts in last night’s raid the few who lived after they came down shot themselves before they could be taken? They were of the Devotees. Most of them”, he added, “are women.”

An abrupt movement swept the circle. “Women!” Caithness exclaimed. “Does he depend on the devotion of women?”

“And look here,” Philip said rather desperately, “do you mean to say that the white officers could be mixed up in the African armies?”

“As to the women,” Sir Bernard said, “the early Church, if I remember rightly, depended largely on women.”

“And as to the white officers,” Roger said abruptly, “Mr. Caithness will applaud a similar precedent of Jew and Gentile.”

Caithness took no notice, except by a nod. He said: “This sleep — is it hypnotic?”

Inkamasi made a movement with his hands. “Call it so if you like,” he answered, “but I think rather that hypnotism is a reflection of it. He is able to establish a control on all the consciousness, except the secret centre of a man’s being and the mere exterior apprehensions of the world. He can suspend thought and will — until he or a greater than he restores it.”

“Well,” Sir Bernard said, “the immediate point is — have I enough reasonable (if you can call it reasonable) stuff to send to the Home Secretary or the Public Prosecutor or the Elder Brethren of the Trinity? — who sound the kind of people that ought to be looking after the Deathless One. What do you say, Isabel?”

Isabel was looking at Roger and did not for a moment answer. Then she said, “I think so — yes. Whether they’ll believe it . . . ”

“I once put the Prime Minister’s stomach right,” Sir Bernard said thoughtfully. “Perhaps I’d better go to him. What d’you think?” he added to Inkamasi.

“If you can seize Considine,” the king said — “I say, if you can — it will not be easy. For the greatest energy is in him, he and he alone is the centre of all the schools; it is he who holds power, either by the initiation or by the sleep, over the royalties of Africa; he is the union of their armies; without him the energies of the adepts will be divided, the generals will quarrel, the armies will fight. I tell you this, because you have saved me twice, and because I do not think mankind can be saved without intellect and without God.”

“It must be almost the first time in the history of the world that those powers have been united,” said Sir Bernard. “But what of you?”

The king looked at the floor. “I indeed can do nothing,” he said, “for I cannot get to my people: I do not know where they are fighting. And I do not want to help Considine, though I long for Africa to be free. I am neither of one side nor of the other, neither of Europe nor Africa. I am an outcast and an exile.”

“You are the citizen of another country,” the priest said, “that is, a heavenly.”

“Also, I am the king,” Inkamasi exclaimed, “and there shall be no peace between this man and me. He laid his power upon me when I was a child, he has made me his puppet since, and for that I will kill him, though my spirit goes down with his into hell.”

“It was not for this that Christ redeemed you,” Caithness cried to him.

“I am the king,” Inkamasi said, “and I will put my foot upon his mouth; I, Inkamasi, the king.”

Rosamond gave a little choked cry. Philip leant forward quickly and put his hand on hers, but she pulled it away. “It’s all right,” she said. “I just felt . . . it’s all right, Philip.”

Sir Bernard got up, an eye on his prospective daughter-inlaw. “Well, if you are all agreed-”

Roger pushed his chair back a trifle, and said, more sharply than before, “It won’t stop you, but — no, we’re not.”

There was a dead silence. Roger was looking at his wife; the others looked at him. Philip buried his head in his hands. Sir Bernard began to speak when Caithness broke in: “What d’you mean, Roger? Surely there can’t be two opinions about letting the authorities know about this charlatan?”

“It may be your duty,” Roger said, “I’m pretty certain it isn’t mine. You haven’t met him.”

“Sir Bernard has and Sir Bernard agrees,” Caithness answered.

“Sir Bernard and I don’t believe in the same things,” Roger said. “I can’t stop him but I won’t have anything to do with it.”

Philip got up-for him violently. “Roger,” he cried out, “what are you talking about? Are you on this man’s side?”

“Yes, I am,” Roger said. “At least I can’t go against him. He knows there’s something in it, and which of you all does that?”

“I know it very well,” Inkamasi said, sitting rigid. “And I will kill him because of it.”

“You’ve a right to do as you please,” Roger answered, “but I haven’t. I’ve no right except to follow what I know when I find it.” He looked over at his wife. “Aren’t I right?” he exclaimed to her.

Isabel also stood up, and met his eyes full. “Yes, darling,” she said simply.

“Roger,” Sir Bernard said dulcetly, “is it Mr. Considine’s feeling about poetry that affects you so much? Because the unfortunate white race has not been entirely silent. Was Dante a Bantu or Shakespeare a Hottentot? A few of us read it still.”

“O read it!” Roger said contemptuously. “God knows I don’t want to live for ever, but I tell you this fellow knows. So do I— a little bit, and I believe it’s important. More important than anything else on earth. And I won’t help you to shut it up in a refrigerator when I ought to be helping to keep it alive.”

“Can’t you leave that to God?” Caithness flung out.

“No”, said Roger, “I damn well can’t, when he’s left it to me. I know your argument — it’s all been done, death has been conquered, and so as nothing ever dies somewhere else, we needn’t worry about it’s dying here. Well, thank you very much, but I do. What are you worrying about? I know I can’t stop you, but I won’t have a hand in it.”

“I see”, Sir Bernard said, “that the white administration in Africa may easily have been absorbed. I’m sorry, Roger.”

“Don’t be,” Roger said. “It’s not a thing to be sorry about.” He swept suddenly round. “What about it, Philip?” he cried. “Are you with them?”

Philip, trying to keep his footing, said, “Don’t be a fool, Roger, we can’t not fight the Africans.”

“We can ‘not fight’ them perfectly well,” Roger said, and it seemed to Isabel that his tall insolent figure dominated all the room except for the carven and royal darkness of the seated Zulu, “and you know it. Love and poetry are powers, and these people — will you deny it too?”

“Really, Roger,” Sir Bernard put in, “must you dichotomize in this appalling way? It’s so barbarian; it went out with the Victorians. If you feel you’re betraying the Ode to the Nightingale or something by agreeing to my call on the Prime Minister, must you insist that your emotions are universal? Keep them private, my dear boy, or they’ll be merely provincial; and the provincial is the ruin of the public and the private at once.”

He knew he was talking at random, but the whole room was filled with uncertainty and defiance and distress. A man had come out into the open from behind the fronds and leaves and it was Roger. A trumpet had answered the horns and drums that were crying to the world from the jungle of man’s being; and the trumpet was Roger’s voice. Was Africa then within? was all the war, were the armies and munitions and the transports but the shadow of the repression by which man held down his more natural energies? but images of the strong refusal which Europe had laid on capacities it had so long ruled that it had nearly forgotten their independent life? But things forgotten could rise; and old things did not always die.

Poland — Ireland — Judah — man. Roger knew something; the voice that had discussed and lectured and gibed and repeated verse now cried its sworn loyalty: a schism was opening in civilization. Sir Bernard looked at Isabel, but she said nothing. She leaned on the mantelpiece and looked into the fire, and her face was very still. Roger relaxed slightly; he liked Sir Bernard, and they had often gently mocked each other. He said, “Yes, I know I can’t do anything. I think I’ll say goodnight and get back to Hampstead. Coming, Isabel?”

She turned her head towards him. “It’ll be very awkward, dearest,” she said. “The milkman’s been told not to call, and what shall we do for breakfast?” She spoke quite seriously, but her lips smiled; only a deeper seriousness and sadness grew in her eyes, and his own were sad as they encountered hers. She stood upright, as if to move, and yet lingered a little on that silent interchange.

“I know, I know,” Roger said, answering her smile, “it’ll be most inconvenient, but can I stop here?” He looked round at them all and flung out his hands. “O you’re charming, you’re lovely, all of you, but how much do you care what the great ones are doing? And in these centuries you’ve nearly killed it, with your appreciations and your fastidious judgements, and your lives of this man and your studies in that. What do you know about ‘huge and mighty forms that do not live/Like living men’? Power, power, it’s dying in you, and you don’t hunger to feel it live. What’s Milton, what’s Shakespeare, to you?”

“If this is just a literary discussion —” Caithness began.

“What d’you mean just a literary discussion?” Roger said, his temper leaping. “D’you call Islam a mere theological distinction? Can’t you understand any other gospel than your own damned dogmas?”

“Roger, Roger,” Sir Bernard murmured.

“I beg your pardon,” Roger said, “and yours too, Sir Bernard. But I can’t stay here to-night. I know it seems silly, but I can’t.” He looked back at his wife. “But I shall be all right, darling,” he said, “if you’d rather stop. I can even go and buy a bottle of milk!”

Isabel smiled at him. “I think I’ll come to-night,” she said. “To-night anyhow.” She looked down at her sister. “Rosamond, you might as well stop here, mightn’t you?”

Rosamond looked up with a jerk. “Stop,” she exclaimed. “What, are you going back? O I can’t, I can’t. I’ll come.”

They all stared at her. “I wasn’t just listening,” she went on hastily. “I was thinking of something else. Are you going at once, Isabel? I’ll get my things.” She was on her feet, when Philip’s hand took hold of her arm. She jerked it away. “Let me alone,” she cried out. “Aren’t you going with them?”

Philip, in spite of his opposition to Roger, hadn’t been at all certain; or rather, he was extremely troubled about being certain. He couldn’t begin to imagine himself on the side of Considine and the Africans, but he had a curiously empty feeling somewhere when he thought of denying them. It was all so muddled, and he had hitherto thought that moral divisions, though painful, were clear: such as not cheating, and not telling lies except for urgent reasons, and being on your country’s side, and being polite to your inferiors, and in short playing the game. But this game was quite unlike any other he’d ever played; what with the piercing music that called him still, and the song Considine’s talk of love sent through his blood, and the urgent appeal to him to do what he so much wanted to do, to exult and live. But of course when Rosamond put it like that — no, he wasn’t. He was going to be on the side of his country and his duty and his fiancée. He said so.

She said: “I thought not,” almost snapping at him. “Then leave me alone. I thought you wouldn’t.”

The king at this moment stood up. He had been silent, concerned with his own thought of vengeance, while the breach between Roger and the rest had widened, and now he thrust himself up in the midst of them, an ally and yet a hostility, a dark whirlwind of confusion in their thoughts and in their midst. He came to his feet, and Rosamond, as if by the force of his rising, seemed flung against her sister. She clung to Isabel, and Isabel said, speaking of ordinary things in her own extraordinarily lovely voice: “Very well, darling, we’ll all go. Perhaps Sir Bernard will give us a loaf of bread.”

Sir Bernard, almost disliking Rosamond — he hadn’t wanted her there at all, but she’d insisted on coming, and without being rude to Philip he could hardly refuse — said: “Also the jug of wine, if it’s any good. The Sahara will no doubt presently serve for Paradise. Ian, will you come with me as far as Downing Street?”

The breach widened indeed, but he was more aware of it than Roger, and as he became aware of it he refused and bridged it in his mind. He had been very nearly irritated, and irritation inflamed all the exquisite contemplative mind: he turned the cool spray of medicinal irony on himself till he was able to smile at Roger and say, “Well, if you will go — But let me be in at the death, won’t you? While gospels exist, let’s enjoy them as best we can. Good-night.”

A little later he and Caithness, having telephoned for an appointment, came to Downing Street, where, parting from the priest, he was after some slight delay carried in to see Raymond Suydler himself; which attention and privilege he owed to the Prime Minister’s gratitude for a restored stomach.

It was a long time since Sir Bernard had seen him; his attention to his stomach had been paid during the Prime Minister’s first administration, and this was his second. He was a man who had made not merely an opportunity but a political triumph out of the very loss of public belief in politics which afflicted the country. He had carried realism to its extreme, declaring publicly that the best any statesman could do was to guess at the solution of his various problems, and that his guesses had a habit of being right. In private he dropped only the last half of this statement, which left him fifty per cent of sincerity, and thus gave him an almost absurd advantage over most of his colleagues and opponents. It had taken some time certainly for his own party to reconcile themselves to the enormous placards “Guess with Suydler” which at the General Election out-flamed the more argumentative shows of the other side. But the country, half mocking, half understanding, had laughed and followed, in that mingling of utter despair and wild faith which conceals itself behind the sedate appearance of the English. Chance, no doubt, had helped him by giving him an occasional opportunity of lowering taxation at home and increasing prestige abroad, but his denial of reason had done more. It was not cynicism; it was, and it was felt to be, truth, as Suydler saw it, and as most of the country did. In any state of things, the facts — all the facts — were unknown; circumstances were continually changing; instability and uncertainty were the only assured things. What was the use of rational discussion or fixed principles or far-sighted demonstrations? “Guess — guess with Suydler.” He was reported to have said that the English had only had one inspired fool as Prime Minister — Pitt; and two intelligent men — Melbourne and Disraeli, who were hampered by believing, one in a class, the other in a race. “I would rather guess with Pitt, if you’ll guess with me.”

Sir Bernard remembered all this as he shook hands, and observed with a slight shock Suydler’s large, ungainly form. The one cartoon which had really succeeded against him had been called “The Guessing Gorilla,” and Sir Bernard recollected with pleasure that it was not his own obsession with Africa which had remarked the likeness. The ugly face, the long hanging arms, the curled fingers, the lumbering step, had a strange likeness to a great ape plunging about the room. He shook hands, and his visitor was quite glad not to feel those huge arms clutching him. There was, he thought, altogether too much Africa about, and he almost wondered for a moment whether indeed Suydler were preferable to Considine. But he reminded himself that it wasn’t personalities but abstract states of existence with which he was concerned, and he took the chair the Prime Minister offered. The huge bulk swelled before him, loomed over him, was talking . . . talking . . . Sir Bernard felt a great weariness come over him. The excitement, the incredibilities, of the last twenty-four hours had worn him out. And what was the good of trying to defend the intellect in this place of the death of the intellect? Witch-doctors were invading Europe, and he had gone running to an ape for help . . .

“— absurd talk about possible reasons,” the Prime Minister was saying. “The whole thing’s an example of the failure of organized thought. No-one can find out the root of the trouble.”

“I wonder you ask them,” Sir Bernard said.

“I don’t; they tell me,” Suydler answered. “There was a man yesterday — an exGovernor — was talking to me. I had a kind of bet with myself how many synonyms he’d use for guess — I think it was about twenty-four. We may assume — not improbable — very likely — may it not be-reasonable assumption — working hypothesis — possible surmise — news suggests — my opinion is — better theory — never a plain straightforward guess. Never used the word once.”

“It’s not a favourite, except with children; they love it,” Sir Bernard said. “Perhaps”, he added, struck by a sudden thought, “that’s why they’re nearer the kingdom of heaven. They’re more sincere. However, I came here to say that I’m not certain that I didn’t dine yesterday with the High Executive. I mean — I guess I did.”

“That’s fair, anyhow,” Suydler answered. “Who did you guess he was? And — not that I mind, but as a concession to the Permanent Officials — why did you guess him?”

Sir Bernard held out his papers. “It’s all there,” he said.

Suydler put out an enormous hand — its shadow on the carpet stretched out, black and even more enormous-and took them. “How tidy you are,” he said, grinning, “but you always were, weren’t you? Your operations were always miracles of conciseness. If you’ve extracted the truth now, that’ll be another miracle. Excuse me while I look at them.”

He didn’t take long over it; then he chuckled, put them down, and leaned back. “And you’ve got this Zulu king of yours?” he asked. “Ready to testify and identify and all that?”

“Certainly,” Sir Bernard said.

Suydler linked his fingers and stretched his arms out. “Well,” he said, “if you like — though I’ve met Considine a few times — but if you like to make a pattern with him in, I’m not sure that I won’t go with you. It’ll look awfully well . . . ‘Government discover High Executive.’ Why, as of minor interest, didn’t you come before?”

“Because, until I’d got the king’s opinion — guess, if you like, I couldn’t,” Sir Bernard explained. “And he went off into a real stupor the minute he reached Kensington — as if he had to get his own faculties into order.”

“Two hundred years-” Suydler said. “But what a price to pay! No women, no fun, no excitements. All, if I’ve got it right, squeezed back into yourself.” He pressed a bell. “It isn’t fair to let him go on suppressing himself and misleading others, is it? ‘A long life and a dull one’— that’s the end of all you theorists.”

Sir Bernard stood up. “Well,” he said, “if you think I’m right I’ll go.”

A secretary came in, but Suydler kept him waiting. “Right!” he said, “no, I don’t think you’re right. I think your mind and his may have — what shall I say? — coincided by chance. But there’s no such thing as ‘right.’ It’s all a question of preferring a particular momentary pattern of phenomena. There’s nothing more anywhere. How can there be? At this moment the past doesn’t exist, the future doesn’t exist, and we know nothing much about the present!”

Avoiding any immediate discussion of the nature of existence, Sir Bernard got away. Walking down Downing Street he considered the Minister. “Considine and he both look into the abyss,” he thought, “but Considine sees it beating with passion, and Suydler sees nothing. A chaos or a void? Black men, or men who are no longer white?” He saw the intellect and logical reason of man no longer as a sedate and necessary thing, but rather a narrow silver bridge passing over an immense depth, around the high guarded entrance of which thronged clouds of angry and malign presences. Often mistaking the causes and often misjudging the effects of all mortal sequences, this capacity of knowing cause and effect presented itself nevertheless to him as the last stability of man. Always approaching truth, it could never, he knew, be truth, for nothing can be truth till it has become one with its object, and such union it was not given to the intellect to achieve without losing its own nature. But in its divine and abstract reflection of the world, its passionless mirror of the holy law that governed the world, not in experiments or ecstasies or guesses, the supreme perfection of mortality moved. He saluted it as its child and servant, and dedicated himself again to it, for what remained to him of life, praying it to turn the light of its awful integrity upon him, and to preserve him from self-deception and greediness and infidelity and fear. “If A is the same as B,” he said, “and B is the same as C, then A is the same as C. Other things may be true; for all I know, they may be different at the same time; but this at least is true. And Considine will have to hypnotize me myself before I deny it. Suydler is wrong — a guess may be true once and twice and a thousand times, for man has known abstraction, and no gorilla of a politician can take it away from him.”

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 12:30