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Protecting Her Own by Margaret Daley. Thyrsis was almost dumb with dismay. But Thyrsis was too much shaken to think of being ashamed. And so Warner went on to expound to him the facts of prostitution, and all the abysses of human depravity that lie thereabouts. And incidentally the boy got a chance to ask his questions, and to get a common-sense view of his perplexities. Also he got some understanding of human nature, and of the world in which he lived. He had never committed an act of unchastity—or at least he told Thyrsis that he had not.
But he was never free from the impulse, and he had no conception of the possibility of being free. His desire was a purely brute one—untouched by any intellectual or spiritual, or even any sentimental color. He desired woman, as woman—it mattered not what woman. He disapproved of the theatre, because it appealed to these cravings; he disapproved of all pictures and statues of the nude human form, because the sight of them overmastered him.
For the same reason he shrunk from all impassioned poetry, and from dancing, and even from non-religious music. He was rigid in his conformance to all the social conventions, because they served the purpose of saving him and his young women-friends from temptation; and he looked forward to the completion of a divinity-course as his goal, because then he would be able to settle down and marry, and so at last to gratify his desires. He stated this quite baldly, quoting the authority of St. This conversation brought Thyrsis to a realization that there was a great deal in the world that was not found in the poetry of Tennyson and Longfellow; and so he began to pry into the souls of others of his fellow-students.
Section 8. Warner had given him the religious attitude; and now he went after the scientific. There was a tall, eager-faced young man, who proclaimed himself a disciple of Haeckel and Herbert Spencer, and even went so far as to quote Schopenhauer in class. For the past year this youth, a fine, intellectual and honest student, had gone at regular intervals to visit a prostitute; and with entirely scientific and cold-blooded precision he outlined to Thyrsis the means he took to avoid contracting disease.
And there was yet another type: a man with whom there was no difficulty in bringing up the subject, for the reason that he was always bringing it up himself. Thyrsis sat next to him in a class in Latin, and noticed that whenever the text contained any hint at matters of sex—which was not infrequent in Juvenal and Horace—this man would look at him with a grin and a sly wink. The other was interested in that view of it, and he acknowledged with mild amusement that it was true; apparently it was a novelty to him to discuss such matters seriously. He told Thyrsis that he could not remember having ever restrained a sexual impulse in his life.
He thought of lust in connection with every woman he met, and his mind was a storehouse of smut. And yet he was not a bad fellow, in other ways; he handsome, and a good deal of an athlete, and was planning to be a physician. This was a fashionable university, and he met the sons of wealthy parents. About a score of them lived in this fraternity-house, without any sort of supervision or restraint. They ate in a beautiful oak-panelled dining-room adorned with drinking-steins; and throughout the meal they treated their visitor to such an orgy of obscenity as he had never dreamed of in his life before.
These boys appeared to vie with each other in blasphemous abandonment; and it was not simply wantonness—it was sprawling and disgusting filthiness. One of this group took Thyrsis driving, and was led to talk. Here was a youth whose father was the president of a great manufacturing-enterprise, and supplied him with unlimited funds; which money the boy used to divert himself in the pursuit of young women. Sometimes he had stooped so low as manicure-girls and shop-clerks and stenographers; but for the most part he sought actresses and chorus-girls—they had more intelligence and spirit, he explained, they were harder to win.
He had his way with them, partly because he was handsome and clever, but mainly because he was the keeper of the keys of opportunity. It was his to dispense auto-rides and champagne-suppers, and flowers and jewels, and all things else that were desirable in life. Thyrsis was appalled at the hardness and the utter ruthlessness of this man—he saw him as a young savage turned loose to prey in a civilized community. He had the most supreme contempt for his victims—that was what they were made for, and he paid them their price.
Nor was this just because they were women, it was a matter of class; the young man had a mother and sisters, to whom he applied quite other standards. But Thyrsis found himself wondering how long, with this contagion raging among the fathers and the sons, it would be possible to keep the mothers and the daughters sterilized. Section 9. These discoveries came one by one; but Thyrsis saw enough at the outset to make it clear that the time had come for him to gird up his loins.
The choice of Hercules was before him; and he did not intend that the course of his life was to be decided by these cravings of the animal within him. From the grosser sorts of temptation he was always saved by the fastidiousness of his temperament; the thought of a woman who sold herself for money could never bring him anything but shuddering.
But all about his lodging-house lived the daughters of the poor, and these were a snare for his feet. And then, after midnight, he would steal home, baffled and sick at heart, and wet his pillow with hot and bitter tears! So unbearable to him was the thought of such perils that he was impelled to seek his old friend the clergyman, who had lost him over the ancient Hebrew mythologies, and now won him back by his living moral force.
With much embarrassment and stammering Thyrsis managed to give a hint of what troubled him; and the man, whose life was made wholly of love for others, opened his great heart and took Thyrsis in. He told him of his own youthful struggle—a struggle which had resulted in victory, for he had never known a woman.
And he put all the facts before the boy, made clear to him the all-determining importance of the issue:. On the one hand was slavery and degradation and disease; and on the other were all the heights of the human spirit. For if one saved and stored this mighty sex-energy, it became transmuted to the gold of intellectual and emotional power. Such was the universal testimony of the masters of the higher life—. And this was no blind asceticism; it was simply a choosing of the best.
It was not a denial of love, but on the contrary a consecration of love.
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Such was the ideal; and these two men made a compact between them, that once every month Thyrsis would write and tell of his success or failure. And this amateur confessional was a mighty motive to the lad—he knew that he could never tell a lie, and the thought of telling the truth was like a sword hanging over him. There were hours of trial, when he stood so close to the edge of the precipice that this alone was what kept him clear.
Section The summer had come, and Thyrsis had gone away to live in a country village, and was reading Keats and Shelley, and the narrative poems of Scott.
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There came a soft warm evening, when all the world seemed a-dream; and he had been working hard, and there came to him a yearning for the stars. He went out, and was strolling through the streets of the village, when he saw a girl come out of one of the houses. She was younger than he, graceful of form, and pretty. The lamp-light flashed on her bright cheeks, and she smiled at him as she passed. He stopped, and turned to follow, his meditations all gone, and gone his resolutions. A trembling seized him, and every nerve of him tingled. He could feel his heart as if it were underneath his throat.
In a moment more he was beside the girl. Thyrsis moved beside her and took her arm in his. A moment later they came to a place where the road was dark, and he put his arm about her waist; she made no resistance. And this idea, as it came to him, swept him away in a fierce tide of madness; he bent suddenly down and whispered into her ear. Let us go where no one will see us. They had been moving slowly; they came to a place where a great tree hung over the road, shadowing it; and there they stopped, as by one impulse.
He paused. And suddenly Thyrsis put his arms about her, and pressed her to him. The touch of her bosom sent the blood driving through his veins in torrents of fire; he no longer knew or cared what he said, or what he did. Nobody will know! And you are so beautiful, so beautiful! I love you! The girl was gazing around her nervously. To-morrow I will meet you, to-morrow night, and go with you. I cannot wait till to-morrow—I could not bear it. I am all on fire! I should not know what to do! The girl gazed about her again in uncertainty, and Thyrsis swept on in his swift, half-incoherent exclamations.
He would take no refusal; for half his madness was terror of himself, and he knew it.
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At last he released her, and she turned swiftly and darted up the street. And after she was gone the boy stood there motionless, not stirring even a hand. A full minute passed, and the color went out of his cheeks, and the fire out of his veins, and he could hardly stand erect. Oh, my God! He looked up at the sky, his face ghastly white; and there came from his throat a low moan, like that of a wounded animal. Suddenly he turned, and fled away down the street.
He went on and on, block after block; but then, all at once, he stopped again and faced about. He gripped his hands until the nails cut him, and shut his teeth together like a steel-trap. He turned and began to march, grimly, as a soldier might; he went back, and stopped on the spot from which he had come; and there he stood, like a statue. So one minute passed, then another; and at last a shadow moved in the distance, and a step came near.
It was the girl. She noticed the change in a flash, and she stopped. Thyrsis dropped his glance. I beg your pardon. But, oh, I was crazy. Thyrsis looked at her again; she was no longer beautiful. Her face was coarse, and her anger did not make it any better. His humility made no impression. So she turned and walked away; and Thyrsis stood there, white, and shuddering, until at last he started and strode off. Clear through the town he went, and out into the black country beyond, seeing nothing, caring about nothing.
It was nearly morning when he came back and crept upstairs to his room; and here he sat by the bedside, gazing at the haggard face in the glass. At such times as this he discovered a something in his features that filled him with shuddering; he discovered it in his words, and in the very tone of his voice—the sins of the fathers were being visited upon the children!
What an old, old story it was to him—this anguish and remorse! These ecstasies of resolution that vanished like a cloud-wrack—these protestations and noble sentiments that counted for naught in conduct! And his was to be the whole heritage of impotence and futility; he, too, was to struggle and agonize—and to finish with his foot in the trap! This idea was like a white-hot goad to him. After such an experience there would be several months of toil and penance, and of savage self-immolation.
It was hard to punish a man who had so little; but Thyrsis managed to find ways. He would leap out of bed in the morning and plunge into cold water; and at night, when he felt a longing upon him, he would go out and run for hours. He took to keeping diaries and writing exhortations to himself.
Above all he prayed to his vision of the maiden who waited the issue of this battle, and held the crown of victory in her keeping—. All of which things made a subtle change in his attitude to Corydon, whom he still met occasionally. Corydon was now a young lady, beautiful, even stately, with an indescribable atmosphere of gentleness and purity about her. All things unclean shrunk from her presence; and so in times of distress he liked to be with her. Corydon received this with some awe, but with more perplexity. She could not understand why anyone should struggle so much, or why a youth should take such a sombre view of things.
She was touched when he read her a poem of his own, a poem which he held very precious. He called it. Though Thyrsis had no time to realize it, it was in this long and bitter struggle that he won whatever power he had in his future life. And then, too, this toil was the key that opened to him the treasure-house of a new art—which was music. Until he was nearly out of college Thyrsis had scarcely heard any music at all.
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Church-hymns he had learned, and a few songs in school. But now in poetry and other books he met with references to composers, and to the meaning of great music; and the things that were described there were the things he loved, and he began to feel a great eagerness to get at them. As a first step he bought a mandolin, and set to work to teach himself to play, a task at which he wrought with great diligence. At the same time a friend had bought a guitar, and the two set to work to play duets. The first preliminary was the getting of the instruments in tune; and not knowing that the mandolin is an octave higher than the guitar, they spent a great deal of time and broke a great many guitar-strings.
As the next step, Thyrsis went to hear a great pianist, and sat perplexed and wondering. There was a girl next to him who sobbed, and Thyrsis watched her as he might have watched a house on fire. But if he could not understand the music, he could read books about it; he read a whole library—criticism of music, analysis of music, histories of music, composers of music; and so gradually he learned the difference between a sarabande and a symphony, and began to get some idea of what he went out for to hear.
Afterwards he read long dissertations about each symphony before he went, and he would note down the important points and watch for them. But such things could not last forever; for Thyrsis had a heart full of eagerness and love, and of such is the soul of music. And just then was a time when he was sick and worn—when it seemed to him that the burden of his life was more than he could bear. Thyrsis had read a life of Beethoven, and he knew that here was one of the hero-souls—a man who had grappled with the fiends, and passed through the valley of death.
And now he read accounts of this titan symphony, and learned that it was a battle of the human spirit with despair. He went to the concert, and heard nothing of the rest of the music, but sat like a man in a dream; and when the time came for the symphony, he was trembling with excitement. There was a long silence; and then suddenly came the first theme—those fearful hammer-strokes that cannot be thought without a shudder. He forgot that he was trying to understand a symphony; he forgot where he was, and what he was; he only knew that gigantic phantoms surged within him, that his soul was a hundred times itself.
He never guessed that an orchestra was playing a second theme; he only knew that he saw a light gleam out of the storm, that he heard a voice, pitiful, fearful, beautiful beyond utterance, crying out to the furies for mercy; and that then the storm closed over it with a roar.
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He only knew that it struggled and fought his fight, that it pleaded and sobbed, and rose higher and higher, and began to rejoice—and that then came the great black phantom-shape sweeping over it; and the iron hammer-strokes of Fate beat down upon it, crushed it and trampled it into annihilation.
Again and again this happened, while Thyrsis sat clutching the seat, and shaking with wonder and excitement. As a result of this Thyrsis paid all his bank-account for a violin, and went to see a teacher. And so all day long, with fingers raw, and arms and back shuddering with exhaustion, Thyrsis sat and practiced, the spirit of Music beckoning him on.
It was in a boarding-house, and there was a nervous old man in the next room, and in the end Thyrsis had to move. By the time he went away to the country, he was able to play a melody in tune; and then he would take some one that had fascinated him, and practice it and practice it night and day. He would take his fiddle every morning at eight and stride out into the forest, and there he would stay all day with the squirrels. And this was her explanation;. By this time Thyrsis had finished at college, passing comfortably near the bottom of his class, and had betaken himself to a university as a graduate student.
He was duly registered for a lot of courses, and spent his time when he should have been at the lectures, sitting in a vacant class-room reading the book that had fascinated him last. His note-book began at that time to show two volumes a day on an average, and once or twice he stopped at night to wonder how it had actually been possible for him to read poetry fourteen hours a day for a whole week and not be tired. He taught himself German, and that led to another great discovery—he made the acquaintance of Goethe. The power of that mighty spirit took hold of him, so that he prayed to him when he was lonely, and kept the photograph of the young poet in his pocket, to gaze at it as at a lover.
The great eyes came to haunt him so that one night he awoke crying out, because he had dreamed he was going to meet Goethe. They were for the purpose of teaching one how to write, and the catalog set forth convincingly the methods whereby this was done. Thyrsis wished to know all there was to know about writing, and so ne enrolled himself for an advanced course, and went for an hour every day and listened to expositions of the elements of sentence-structure by Prof. The professor would give him a theme, and bid him bring in a five-hundred word composition.
You must wait. Thyrsis was embarrassed. He was not sure, he said; but he did not think that writing could be taught. Anyway, one had first to have something worth saying—. There is no one in the class who knows less about writing than yourself. I have to be interested. But you think you know more than I do. And so they parted.
Thyrsis kept a vivid recollection of this interview, for the reason that at a later stage of his career he came into contact with Prof. Osborne again, and got another glimpse of the authoritarian attitude towards the art of letters. Thyrsis had not many friends at college, and none at all at the university. He had no time to make any; and besides, there was a certain facetious senior who had caught him hurrying through the corridors one day, declaring in excitement that—.
But he had long ago ceased to hope for a friend, or to care what anybody thought about him; it was clear to him by this time that he had made himself into a poet, and was doomed to be unhappy. His mother had given up all hope of seeing him a bishop, and they had compromised upon a judgeship; but here at the university there was a law-school, and he met the students, and saw that this, too, could not be. They were not going out to do battle for truth and justice—they were perfecting themselves in cunning, so that they might be of help in money-disputes; they were sharpening their wits, to make them useful tools for the opening of treasure-chests.
And this attitude to life was written all over their personalities; they seemed to Thyrsis a coarse and roistering crew, and he shrunk from them in repugnance. He went his own impetuous way. He stayed at the university until he had taught himself French and Italian, as well as German, and had read all the best literature in those languages. And likewise he heard all the best music, and went about full of it day and night. By this time he had definitely beaten his devils, and had come to be master of himself; and though nobody guessed anything about it, there was a new marvel going on within him—he had, in a spiritual sense, become pregnant.
There were many signs by which this state might have been known. He went quite alone, and spoke to no man; he was self-absorbed, and walked about with his eyes fixed on vacancy; he was savage when disturbed, and guarded his time unscrupulously. He had given up the very last of the formalities of life—he no longer attended any lectures, or wore cuffs, and he would not talk at meal-times. He took long walks at impossible hours, and he was fond of a certain high hill where the storms blew. These things had been going on for a year; and now the book that had been coming to ripeness in his mind was ready to be born.
It had its origin in the reading of history, and the fronting of old tyranny in its cruel forms. Thyrsis had come to hate Christianity for many things by that time, but most of all he hated it because it taught the bastard virtue of Obedience. Thyrsis obeyed no man—he lived his life; and the fiery ardor with which he lived it was taking form in his mind as a personality. Thyrsis went about quite drunk with the burning words with which the minstrel won the lady, and tore her free from the mockeries of convention, and that divinity that doth hedge about a princess.
He bore her away, locked tightly in his arms, and all his own—into the great lonely mountains; and there lived the minstrel and the princess, the lord and the lady of an outlaw band. But the outlaws were cruel, and the minstrel sought goodness; and so there was a struggle, and he and the lady went yet deeper into the black forest, where they dwelt alone in a hut, he a prince of hunters and she a princess of love.
But the outlaws led the despot to the place, and there was a battle; the princess was slain, and the minstrel escaped in the darkness. All night he roamed the forest, and in the morning he lay by the roadside with a bow in his hand, and when the despot rode by he rose and drove the shaft through his heart. Then they captured him, and tortured him, and he died with a song of mockery and defiance upon his lips.
Now, when these things first came to Thyrsis, he whispered in awe that it would be a life-time before he could write them. At last the time came when he was so full of it that he could no longer find peace; when the wonder of it was such that he walked along the street laughing, and with tears in his eyes. That was in the late winter, when the professors at the university, and all his relatives and acquaintances, had given him up as a hopeless case. The spring-time! For it must be in the country! So he left all behind him, and set out for a place in the wilderness.
When he reached it, he found a lake that was all ice, and mountains that were all snow; the country people, who had never seen a poet, and knew not the subtle difference between inspiration and insanity, heard with wonder that he was going out into the woods. But he set out alone, through the snowy forest and along the lake-shore, to find some place far away, where he could build a hut, or even put up a tent; and when he was miles from the village, he came suddenly on a little wonderland that made his heart leap like the wild deer in the brake.
Here was a dreamland palace, a vision beyond all thinking—a little shanty built of logs! It stood in a pretty dell, with a mountain streamlet dashing through it, and the mighty forest hiding it, and the lake spread out in front of it. It was all wet snow, and freezing rain, and mud and desolation; but Thyrsis saw the summer that was to be, and he sat down upon a stone and gazed at it, and laughed and sang for wonder and joy.
Then he fled back to the village, and found the owner of the earthly rights to this paradise, and hired it for a little gold; and then he moved out, in spite of the snow. At last his soul was free! Twice a week they brought him provisions, and there he stayed. At first he nearly froze at night, and he had to write with his gloves on; but he did not feel the cold, because of the fire within.
He climbed the mountains and yelled with the mad wind, and tramped through the bare, rocking forest, singing his minstrel songs. And all these days he walked with God, and there was no world at all save the world of nature. Millions of young-hearted things sprang up out of the ground to welcome him; the forests shook out their dazzling sheen, and the wild birds went mad in the mornings. All the time Thyrsis was writing, writing—thrilling with his ecstasy, and pouring out all his soul.
The book! The streamlet tinkled on. She sat, gazing about her at each familiar tree and rock. And meanwhile he was reading again from the book—. On the train Corydon was writing a letter to a friend, to say where she was going, and that Thyrsis was there. But when a man has spent three or four weeks with no company save the squirrels and the owls, there comes over him a mood of sociability, when the sight of a friendly face is an event.
Thyrsis had now written several chapters of his book, and the first fury of his creative impulse had spent itself. So when Corydon stepped from the train, she found him waiting there to greet her; and he told her that he was laying in supplies for a feast, and that on the morrow she and her mother were to come out and see his fairy-palace and have a picnic dinner. They came; and the May put on her finest raiment for their greeting. The sun shone warm and bright, and there was a humming and stirring in grass and thicket; one could feel the surge of the spring-time growth as a living flood.
There was a glory of young green over the hill-sides, and a quivering sheen of white in the aspens and birches. Corydon clasped her hands and cried out in rapture when she saw it. And Thyrsis, picturesque in his old corduroy trousers and his grey flannel shirt, played the host. He showed them his domestic establishment—wherein things were set in order for the first time since he had come. He told all his adventures: how the cold had crept in at night, and he had to fiddle to keep his courage up; how he had slept in a canvas-cot for the first time, and piled all the bedding on top, and wondered that he was cold; how he had left the pail with the freshly-roasted beef on the piazza, and a wild cat had carried off pail and all.
He made fun of his amateur house-keeping—he would forget things and let them burn, or let the fire go out; and he had tried living altogether on cold food, to the great perplexity of his stomach. Then he gave a demonstration of his hard-won culinary skill.
He boiled rice and raisins, and fried bacon and eggs; and they had fresh bread and butter, and jam and pickles, and a festive cake. Afterwards he took Corydon for a walk. They climbed the hill where he came to battle with the stormwinds, and to watch the sunsets and the moon rising over the lake. And then they went down into the glen, where the mountain streamlet tumbled.
There was soft new moss underfoot, and one walked as if in a temple. Thyrsis pointed out a seat beside a deep bubbling pool. Corydon pondered for a moment. He hesitated. But afterwards there comes a time for promulgation and rejoicing; and already there had been hints of this in the mind of Thyrsis. And now suddenly a wild idea came to him. He had heard somewhere that it is the women who read fiction. Why not see what she would think of it? So he went back to the house and brought the precious manuscript; and he placed Corydon in the seat of inspiration, and sat beside her and read.
In many ways this was a revolutionary romance. One saw the banquet-hall, with its tapestries and splendor, and the master of it, the man of force; there were swift scenes that gave one a glimpse of the age-long state of things—. There was a quarrel, and a cruel sentence about to be executed; and then the minstrel came. His fame had come before him, and so the despot, in half-drunken playfulness, left the deciding of the quarrel to him.
He was brought to the head of the table, and the princess was led in; and so these two met face to face. So he read about his princess, who was the embodiment of all the virtues of the unknown goddess of his fancy. She was proud yet humble, aloof yet compassionate, and above all ineffably beautiful.
And as for the minstrel—. He took his harp, and first he pacified the quarrel, and then he sang to the lady. He sang of the dreams and the spirit-companions of the minstrel, and of the wondrous magic that he wields—. He sang the spells that he would weave for her, the far journeys she should take—. This song was as far as Thyrsis had written, and he paused. Corydon was sitting with her hands clasped, and a look of enthrallment upon her face. And then she gazed at him, with wide-open eyes of amazement. I had no idea you were interested in such things! And you spend all your time in books!
Thyrsis suddenly recollected something which had amused him very much. Casaubon reminded her of him. You can earn money, you can go away by yourself. And now he was surprised to see that her hands were clenched tightly, and that she sat staring ahead of her intently. I had no help—no encouragement. I was groping like a blind person. And I told you about it. I wanted things that had life in them, things that were beautiful and worth while—like this book of yours, for instance. Thyrsis told his story at some length; in the ardor of her sympathy his imagination took fire, and he told it eloquently, he discovered new beauties in it that he had not seen before.
And Corydon listened with growing delight and amazement. I have carried it in my mind for a year; I have lived for nothing else—I have literally had no other interest in the world. Every sentence I have read to you has been the product of work added to work—of one impulse piled upon another—of thinking and criticizing and revising. And when the mood of it comes to me, then I work in a kind of frenzy that lasts for hours and even days; and if I give up in the middle and fall back, then I have to do it all over again.
Thyrsis pondered for a moment. It tells how the great god Pan came down by the river-bank, and cut one of the reeds to make himself a pipe. He sat there and played his music upon it—. If I can write one book, or even one poem, that will be an inspiration to men in the future—why, then I have done far more than I could do by a lifetime given to helping people around me. At first he pours out his soul to her; but then, when he finds that she loves him, he is afraid, and tries to persuade her not to come with him. He tells her how lonely and stern his life is; and she has been born to a gentle life—she has her station and her duty in the world.
But the more he pleads the hardness of his life, the more she sees she must go with him. Even if the end be death to her, still she will be an inspiration to him, and give wings to his music. To do one deed that the world remembers, to utter one word that lives forever—that is worth all the failure and the agony that can come to one woman in her lifetime! Corydon sat with her hands clasped. Would she really go with him? Thyrsis shook his head. What I conceive is that two people must lose themselves, and all thought of themselves, in their common love for something higher—for some great ideal, some purpose, some vision of perfection.
And they seek this together, and they rejoice in finding it, each for the other; and so they have always progress and growth—they stand for something new to each other every day of their lives. To such love there is no end, and no chance of weariness or satiety. It is a higher kind of unselfishness, I think. Corydon had clenched her hands suddenly. They came back after a time, to the subject of love; and to the ideal of it which Thyrsis meant to set forth in the book.
It was the duty of every soul to seek the highest potentiality of which it had vision; and as one did that for himself, so he did it for the person he loved. This was a point about which they argued with eager excitement. To Thyrsis, love itself was a prize to be held before the loved one; whereas Corydon argued that love must exist before such a union could be thought of. Her cheeks flushed and her eyes shone as she maintained the thesis that the princess could not go with the minstrel unless his love was given to her irrevocably.
But the poet did not shrink even from that. And she must always know that if she stopped growing, she would cease to be interesting. She sat watching him for a moment. But I know that that woman, whoever she might be, would wake up some morning and find me missing. Then for a while he sat staring at the eddies in the pool below. So that she would feel no fears, and ask no favors! So that she would not want mercy, nor ask pledges—but just give herself, as I give myself, and take the chances of the game.