Сборники Художественной, Технической, Справочной, Английской, Нормативной, Исторической, и др. литературы.

THE EQUINOX Vol. I. No. I 1st half

June 18, 1989 e.v. key entry and September 27, 1989 e.v. first proof
reading against the 1st edition
--- done by Bill Heidrick, T.G. of O.T.O.
(further proof reading desirable)
(c) O.T.O.   disk 1

P.O.Box 430
Fairfax, CA  94930

(415) 454-5176 ----  Messages only.

Pages in the original are marked thus at the bottom:  {page number}
Comments and descriptions are also set off by curly brackets {}
Comments and notes not in the original are identified with the initials of
the source: AC note = Crowley note.   WEH note = Bill Heidrick note, etc.
Descriptions of illustrations are not so identified, but are simply in
curly brackets.

(Addresses and invitations below are not current but coppied from the
original text of the early part of the 20th century)


                         THE EQUINOX

"          "The Editor will be glad to consider"
         "contributions and to return such as"
         "are unacceptable if stamps are enclosed"
         "            for the purpose"

                          THE EQUINOX

                  THE OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE A.'. A.'.

An V                   Vol. I.   No. I                Sun in Aries

                          MARCH MCMIX




                         C O N T E N T S

EDITORIAL                                                              1


LIBER LIBRAE                                                          17

LIBER EXERCITIORUM                                                    25

THE WIZARD WAY.  By Aleister Crowley                                  37

THE MAGIC GLASSES.  By Frank Harris                                   49

THE CHYMICAL JOUSTING OF BROTHER PERARDUA                             89

THE LONELY BRIDE.  By Victor B. Neuburg                               95

AT THE FORK OF THE ROADS                                             101

THE MAGICIAN                                                         109

THE SOLDIER AND THE HUNCHBACK: ! AND ?  By Aleister Crowley          113

THE HERMIT                                                           137

THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON THE KING (Book I)                              141

THE HERB DANGEROUS --- (Part I)  A Pharmaceutical Study.  By E.
     Whineray, M.P.S.                                               233

                       "SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT"

JOHN ST. JOHN --- The Record of the Magical Retirement of G. H.       17
      Frater O.'. M.'.

                        I L L U S T R A T I O N S

THE SILENT WATCHER                                          Facing page   6

     THUNDERBOLT, THE DRAGON                                  "      29

THE REGIMEN OF THE SEVEN                                       "      89

BLIND FORCE (Supplement)                                       "       2

{Illustrations are not available in this electronic edition.}


WITH the publication of this REVIEW begins a completely new adventure in
the history of mankind.  Whatever knowledge may previously have been
imputed to men, it has always been fenced in with conditions and
restrictions.  The time has come to speak plainly, and so far as may be in
the language of the multitude.
    Thus, the Brothers of the A.'. A.'. announce themselves without
miracle or mystery.  It is easy for every charlatan to perform wonders, to
bewilder and even to deceive not only fools but all persons, however
shrewd, untrained in observation; nor does the trained observed always
succeed instantly in detecting the fraud.  Again, what the A.'. A.'.
propose to do is to enable such men as are capable of advancement to a
higher interpretation of manhood to do so; and the proof of their ability
lies in their success, and not in any other irrelevant phenomenon.  "The"
"argument from miracles is a" non sequitur.
    Nor is there anything mysterious in the A.'. A.'.; one must not
confuse the mysterious with the unknown.  Some of the contents of this
REVIEW may be difficult or impossible to understand at first, but only in
the sense that Homer is unintelligible to a person ignorant of Greek. {1}
    But the Brothers of the A.'. A.'. make no mystery;  They give you
not only the Text, but the Comment; not only the Comment, but the
Dictionary, the Grammar, and the Alphabet.  It is necessary to be
thoroughly grounded in the language before you can appreciate its
masterpieces; and if while totally ignorant of the former you despise the
latter, you will forgive the more frivolous onlookers if their amusement
matches your indignation.
    The Brothers of the A.'. A.'. have set their faces against all
charlatanism, whether of miracle-mongering or obscurantism; and all those
persons who have sought reputation or wealth by such means may expect
ruthless exposure, whether of their vanity or their dishonesty; for by no
gentler means can they be taught.
    The Brothers of the A.'. A.'. will advise simple experiments, and
will describe them, by the pens of their chosen delegates, in the simplest
available language.  If you fail to obtain good results, blame either
yourself or Their method, as you will; if you succeed, thank either
yourself or Them, as you will.
    In this first number are published three little books; the first an
account of Their character and purpose, restored from the writings of von
Eckartshausen; the second an ethical essay restored from the Cipher MSS. of
the G.'. D.'. (of which MSS. a complete account will later be given);
these two books chiefly for the benefit of those who will understand
wrongly or not at all the motto "THE METHOD OF SCIENCE --- THE AIM OF
RELIGION," in which (if rightly interpreted) all is expressed; the third a
series of scientific experiments, designed to instruct beginners in the
groundwork of Scientific Illuminism, {2} and to prevent them from falling
into the self-deception which pride always prepares for the unwary.
    From time to time further knowledge will be published, as fast as the
diligence of the persons employed to write it down will permit.
    It is the intention of the Brothers of the A.'. A.'. to establish a
laboratory in which students may be able to carry out such experiments as
require too much time and toil to suit with their ordinary life; and Their
further plans will be explained fully as opportunity permits.
    Any person desirous of entering into the communication with the A.'.
A.'. may do so by addressing a letter to the Chancellor of the Order, at
the offices of this paper. {3}

                      AN ACCOUNT OF  A.'. A.'.

                        OF HIS PERIOD
                 IN THE UNIVERSAL CIPHER


                            A.'. A.'.
                 Official publication in Class C.
                        Issued by Order:
                          D.D.S. 7ш = 4ш
                          O.S.V. 6ш = 5ш
                          N.S.F. 5ш = 6ш


{Illustration opposite to this page:  A collotype in gray-black on an
embossed inset rectangle.  This is a figure in Neophyte robe, face forward.
The figure is vertical, frontal with hood down and triangle atop forehead.
Left arm hangs down vertically.  Right hand with index finger to lips in
gesture of silence, other fingers closed under thumb and palm facing left.
Feet are bare and placed heel nearly to heel at right angles with right
foot directly pointed forward and left pointed left.  The figure is framed
by a plaster or clay low bas-relief in six panels: Top is a Ba-hadit or
winged sun, sans serpents.  Left and right are two tapering pillars,
crossed near top by three bars, drum expanding slightly at top but not
approaching more than 3/4 diameter of base.  The pillars are surmounted by
the atef crown (two plumes of Maat joined by an ovoid at base and resting
on two horizontal wavy rams horns).  The bottom three panels are blank.}

                      AN ACCOUNT OF  A.'. A.'.

          [The Revisers wish to acknowledge gratefully
          the translation of Madame de Steiger, which
                    they have freely quoted.]

IT is necessary, my dear brothers, to give you a clear idea of the interior
Order; of that illuminated community which is scattered throughout the
world, but which is governed by one truth and united in one spirit.
    This community possesses a School, in which all who thirst for
knowledge are instructed by the Spirit of Wisdom itself; and all the
mysteries of nature are preserved in this school for the children of light.
Perfect knowledge of nature and of humanity is taught in this school.  It
is from her that all truths penetrate into the world; she is the school of
all who search for wisdom, and it is in this community alone that truth and
the explantation of all mystery are to be found.  It is the most hidden of
communities, yet it contains members from many circles; nor is there any
Centre of Thought whose activity is not due to the presence of one of
ourselves.  From all time there has been an exterior school based on the
interior one, of which it is but the outer expression.  From all time,
therefore, there has been a hidden assembly, a society of the Elect, of
those who sought for and had capacity for light, and {7} this interior
society was the Axle of the R.O.T.A.  All that any external order possesses
in symbol, ceremony, or rite is the letter expressive outwardly of that
spirit of truth which dwelleth in the interior Sanctuary.  Nor is the
contradiction of the exterior any bar to the harmony of the interior.
    Hence this Sanctuary, composed of members widely scattered indeed but
united by the bonds of perfect love, has been occupied from the earliest
ages in building the grand Temple (through the evolution of humanity) by
which the reign of L.V.X. will be manifest.  This society is in the
communion of those who have most capacity for light; they are united in
truth, and their Chief is the Light of the World himself, V.V.V.V.V., the
One Anointed in Light, the single teacher for the human race, the Way, the
Truth, and the Life.
    The interior Order was formed immediately after the first perception
of man's wider heritage had dawned upon the first of the adepts; it
received from the Masters at first-hand the revelation of the means by
which humanity could be raised to its rights and delivered from its misery.
It received the primitive charge of all revelation and mystery; it received
the key of true science, both divine and natural.
    But as men multiplied, the frailty of man necessitated an exterior
society which veiled the interior one, and concealed the spirit and the
truth in the letter, because many people were not capable of comprehending
great interior truth.  Therefore, interior truths were wrapped in external
and perceptible ceremonies, so that men, by the perception of the outer
which is the symbol of the interior, might by degrees be enabled safely to
approach the interior spiritual truths. {8}
    But the inner truth has always been confided to him who in his day had
the most capacity for illumination, and he became the sole guardian of the
original Trust, as High Priest of the Sanctuary.
    When it became necessary that interior truths should be enfolded in
exterior ceremony and symbol, on account of the real weakness of men who
were not capable of hearing the Light of Light, then exterior worship
began.  It was, however, always the type or symbol of the interior, that is
to say, the symbol of the true and Secret Sacrament.
    The external worship would never have been separated from interior
revel but for the weakness of man, which tends too easily to forget the
spirit in the letter; but the Masters are vigilant to note in every nation
those who are able to receive light, and such persons are employed as
agents to spread the light according to man's capacity and to revivify the
dead letter.
    Through these instruments the interior truths of the Sanctuary were
taken into every nation, and modified symbolically according to their
customs, capacity for instruction, climate, and receptiveness.  So that the
external types of every religion, worship, ceremonies and Sacred Books in
general have more or less clearly, as their object of instruction, the
interior truths of the Sanctuary, by which man will be conducted to the
universal knowledge of the one Absolute Truth.
    The more the external worship of a people has remained united with the
spirit of esoteric truth, the purer its religion; but the wider the
difference between the symbolic letter and the invisible truth, the more
imperfect has become the religion. {9}  Finally, it may be, the external
form has entirely parted from its inner truth, so that ceremonial
observances without soul or life have remained alone.
    In the midst of all this, truth reposes inviolable in the inner
    Faithful to the spirit of truth, the members of the interior Order
live in silence, but in real activity.
    Yet, besides their secret holy work, they have from time to time
decided upon political strategic action.
    Thus, when the earth was night utterly corrupt by reason of the Great
Sorcery, the Brethren sent Mohammed to bring freedom to mankind by the
    This being but partially a success, they raised up one Luther to teach
freedom of thought.  Yet this freedom soon turned into a heavier bondage
than before.
    Then the Brethren delivered unto man the knowledge of nature, and the
keys thereof; yet this also was prevented by the Great Sorcery.
    Now then finally in nameless ways, as one of our Brethren hath it now
in mind to declare, have they raised up One to deliver unto men the keys of
Spiritual Knowledge, and by His work shall He be judged.
    This interior community of light is the reunion of all those capable
of receiving light, and it is known as the Communion of Saints, the
primitive receptacle for all strength and truth, confided to it from all
    By it the agents of L.V.X. were formed in every age, passing from the
interior to the exterior, and communicating spirit and life to the dead
letter, as already said.
    This illuminated community is the true school of L.V.X.; {10} it has
its Chair, its Doctors; it possesses a rule for students; it has forms and
objects for study.
    It has also its degrees for successive development to greater
    This school of wisdom has been for ever most secretly hidden from the
world, because it is invisible and submissive solely to illuminated
    It has never been exposed to the accidents of time and to the weakness
of man, because only the most capable were chosen for it, and those who
selected made no error.
    Through this school were developed the germs of all the sublime
sciences, which were first received by external schools, then clothed in
other forms, and hence degenerated.
    According to time and circumstances, the society of sages communicated
unto the exterior societies their symbolic hieroglyphs, in order to attract
man to the great truths of their Sanctuary.
    But all exterior societies subsist only by virtue of this interior
one.  As soon as external societies wish to transform a temple of wisdom
into a political edifice, the interior society retires and leaves only the
letter without the spirit.  It is thus that secret external societies of
wisdom were nothing but hieroglyphic screens, the truth remaining
inviolable in the Sanctuary so that she might never be profaned.
    In this interior society man finds wisdom and with her All --- not the
wisdom of this world, which is but scientific knowledge, which revolves
round the outside but never touches the centre (in which is contained all
strength), but true wisdom, understanding and knowledge, reflections of the
supreme illumination.  {11}
    All disputes, all controversies, all the things belonging to the false
cares of this world, fruitless discussions, useless germs of opinions which
spread the seeds of disunion, all error, schisms, and systems are banished.
Neither calumny nor scandal is known.  Every man is honoured.  Love alone
    We must not, however, imagine that this society resembles any secret
society, meeting at certain times, choosing leaders and members, united by
special objects.  All societies, be what they may, can but come after this
interior illuminated circle.  This society knows none of the formalities
which belong to the outer rings, the work of man.  In this kingdom of power
all outward forms cease.
    L.V.X. is the Power always present.  The greatest man of his times,
the chief himself, does not always know all the members, but the moment
when it is necessary that he should accomplish any object he finds them in
the world with certainty ready to his hand.
    This community has no outside barriers.  He who may be chosen is as
the first; he presents himself among the others without presumption, and he
is received by the others without jealousy.
    It if be necessary that real members should meet together, they find
and recognize each other with perfect certainty.
    No disguise can be used, neither hypocrisy nor dissimulation could
hide the characteristic qualities which distinguish the members of this
society.  All illusion is gone, and things appear in their true form.
    No one member can choose another; unanimous choice is required.
Though not all men are called, many of called are chosen, and that as soon
as they become fit for entrance. {12}
    Any man can look for the entrance, and any man who is within can teach
another to seek for it; but only he who is fit can arrive within.
    Unprepared men occasion disorder in a community, and disorder is not
compatible with the Sanctuary.  Thus it is impossible to profane the
Sanctuary, since admission is not formal but real.
    Worldly intelligence seeks this Sanctuary in vain; fruitless also will
be the efforts of malice to penetrate these great mysteries; all is
indecipherable to him who is not ripe; he can see nothing, read nothing in
the interior.
    He who is fit is joined to the chain, perhaps often where he though
least likely, and at a point of which he knew nothing himself.
    To become fit should be the sole effort of him who seeks wisdom.
    But there are methods by which fitness is attained, for in this holy
communion is the primitive storehouse of the most ancient and original
science of the human race, with the primitive mysteries also of all
science.  It is the unique and really illuminated community which is
absolutely in possession of the key to all mystery, which knows the centre
and source of all nature.  It is a society which unites superior strength
to its own, and counts its members from more than one world.  It is the
society whose members form the republic of Genius, the Regent Mother of the
whole World. {13}

                      LIBER LIBRAE

                       SVB FIGVRA



                    A.'. A.'. Publication in Class B.
                         Issued by order:
                     D.D.S. 7ш = 4ш Premonstrator
                     O.S.V. 6ш = 5ш Imperator
                     N.S.F. 5ш = 6ш Cancellarius


                      LIBER LIBRAE

                       SVB FIGVRA


    O. Learn first --- Oh thou who aspirest unto our ancient Order! ---
that Equilibrium is the basis of the Work.  If thou thyself hast not a sure
foundation, whereon wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature?
    1. Know then, that as man is born into this world amidst the Darkness
of Matter, and the strife of contending forces; so must his first endeavour
be to seek the Light through their reconciliation.
    2. Thou then, who hast trials and troubles, rejoice because of them,
for in them is Strength, and by their means is a pathway opened unto that
    3. How should it be otherwise, O man, whose life is but a day in
Eternity, a drop in the Ocean of time; how, were thy trials not many,
couldst thou purge thy soul from the dross of earth?
    Is it but now that the Higher Life is beset with dangers and
difficulties; hath it not ever been so with the Sages and Hierophants of
the past?  They have been persecuted and reviled, they have been tormented
of men; yet through this also has their Glory increased.
    4. Rejoice therefore, O Initiate, for the greater thy trial {17} the
greater thy Triumph.  When men shall revile thee, and speak against thee
falsely, hath not the Master said, "Blessed art thou!"?
    5. Yet, oh aspirant, let thy victories bring thee not Vanity, for with
increase of Knowledge should come increase of Wisdom.  He who knoweth
little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his
own ignorance.  Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit?  There is more
hope of a fool, than of him.
    6. Be not hasty to condemn others; how knowest thou that in their
place, thou couldest have resisted the temptation?  And even were it so,
why shouldst thou despise one who is weaker than thyself?
    7. Thou therefore who desirest Magical Gifts, be sure that thy soul is
firm and steadfast; for it is by flattering thy weaknesses that the Weak
Ones will gain power over thee.  Humble thyself before thy Self, yet fear
neither man not spirit.  Fear is failure, and the forerunner of failure:
and courage is the beginning of virtue.
    8. Therefore fear not the Spirits, but be firm and courteous with
them; for thou hast no right to despise or revile them; and this too may
lead thee astray.  Command and banish them, curse them by the Great Names
if need be; but neither mock nor revile them, for so assuredly wilt thou be
lead into error.
    9. A man is what he maketh himself within the limits fixed by his
inherited destiny; he is a part of mankind; his actions affect not only
what he calleth himself, but also the whole universe.
    10. Worship and neglect not, the physical body which is {18} thy
temporary connection with the outer and material world.  Therefore let thy
mental Equilibrium be above disturbance by material events; strengthen and
control the animal passions, discipline the emotions and the reason,
nourish the Higher Aspirations.
    11. Do good unto others for its own sake, not for reward, not for
gratitude from them, not for sympathy.  If thou art generous, thou wilt not
long for thine ears to be tickled by expressions of gratitude.
    12. Remember that unbalanced force is evil; that unbalanced severity
is but cruelty and oppression; but that also unbalanced mercy is but
weakness which would allow and abet Evil.  Act passionately; think
rationally; be Thyself.
    13. True ritual is as much action as word; it is Will.
    14. Remember that this earth is but an atom in the universe, and that
thou thyself art but an atom thereon, and that even couldst thou become the
God of this earth whereon thou crawlest and grovellest, that thou wouldest,
even then, be but an atom, and one amongst many.
    15. Nevertheless have the greatest self-respect, and to that end sin
not against thyself.  The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and
wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not
to thy prejudices.
    16. To obtain Magical Power, learn to control thought; admit only
those ideas that are in harmony with the end desired, and not every stray
and contradictory Idea that presents itself.
    17. Fixed thought is a means to an end.  Therefore pay attention to
the power of silent thought and meditation.  {19} The material act is but
the outward expression of thy thought, and therefore hath it been said that
"the thought of foolishness is sin."  Thought is the commencement of
action, and if a chance thought can produce much effect, what cannot fixed
thought do?
    18. Therefore, as hath already been said, Establish thyself firmly in
the equilibrium of forces, in the centre of the Cross of the Elements, that
Cross from whose centre the Creative Word issued in the birth of the
Dawning Universe.
    19. Be thou therefore prompt and active as the Sylphs, but avoid
frivolity and caprice; be energetic and strong like the Salamanders, but
avoid irritability and ferocity; be flexible and attentive to images like
the Undines, but avoid idleness and changeability; be laborious and patient
like the Gnomes, but avoid grossness and avarice.
    20. So shalt thou gradually develop the powers of thy soul, and fit
thyself to command the Spirits of the elements.  For wert thou to summon
the Gnomes to pander to thine avarice, thou wouldst no longer command them,
but they would command thee.  Wouldst thou abuse the pure beings of the
woods and mountains to fill thy coffers and satisfy thy hunger of Gold?
Wouldst thou debase the Spirits of Living Fire to serve thy wrath and
hatred?  Wouldst thou violate the purity of the Souls of the Waters to
pander to thy lust of debauchery?  Wouldst thou force the Spirits of the
Evening Breeze to minister to thy folly and caprice?  Know that with such
desires thou canst but attract the Weak, not the Strong, and in that case
the Weak will have power over thee.
    21. In the true religion there is no sect, therefore take heed {20}
that thou blaspheme not the name by which another knoweth his God; for if
thou do this thing in Jupiter thou wilt blaspheme HB:Heh HB:Vau HB:Heh HB:Yod  and in
Osiris HB:Heh HB:Vau HB:Shin HB:Heh HB:Yod .  Ask and ye shall have!  Seek, and ye shall
find!  Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!



                      E. VEL EXERCITIORVM

                         SVB FIGVRA



                    A.'. A.'. Publication in Class B.
                         Issued by order:
                     D.D.S. 7ш = 4ш Premonstrator
                     O.S.V. 6ш = 5ш Imperator
                     N.S.F. 5ш = 6ш Cancellarius



                      E. VEL EXERCITIORVM

                         SVB FIGVRA



    1. It is absolutely necessary that all experiments should be recorded
in detail during, or immediately after, their performance.
    2. It is highly important to note the physical and mental condition of
the experimenter or experimenters.
    3. The time and place of all experiments must be noted; also the state
of the weather, and generally all conditions which might conceivably have
any result upon the experiment either as adjuvants to or causes of the
result, or as inhibiting it, or as sources of error.
    4. The A.'. A.'. will not take official notice of any experiments
which are not thus properly recorded.
    5. It is not necessary at this stage for us to declare fully the
ultimate end of our researches; nor indeed would it be understood by those
who have not become proficient in these elementary courses.
    6. The experimenter is encouraged to use his own intelligence, and not
to rely upon any other person or persons, however distinguished, even among
ourselves.  {25}
    7.  The written record should be intelligibly prepared so that others
may benefit from its study.
    8. The book John St. John published in this first number of the
"Equinox" is an example of this kind of record by a very advanced student.
It is not as simply written as we could wish, but will shew the method.
    9.  The more scientific the record is, the better.
    Yet the emotions should be noted, as being some of the conditions.
    Let then the record be written with sincerity and care, and with
practice it will be found more and more to approximate to the ideal.


                     "Physical Clairvoyance"

    1. Take a pack of (78) Tarot playing cards.  Shuffle; cut.  Draw one
card.  Without looking at it, try and name it.  Write down the card you
name, and the actual card.  Repeat, and tabulate results.
    2. This experiment is probably easier with an old genuine pack of
Tarot cards, preferably a pack used for divination by some one who really
understood the matter.
    3. Remember that one should expect to name the right card once in 78
times.  Also be careful to exclude all possibilities of obtaining the
knowledge through the ordinary senses of sight and touch, or even smell.
    There was once a man whose finger-tips were so sensitive that he could
feel the shape and position of the pips, and so judge the card correctly.
    4. It is better to try first, the easier form of the experiment, by
guessing only the suit.
    5. Remember that in 78 experiments you should obtain 22 trumps and 14
of each other suit; so that, without any clairvoyance at all, you can guess
right twice in 7 times (roughly) by calling trumps each time.
    6. Note that some cards are harmonious.
    Thus it would not be a bad error to call the five of Swords ("The Lord
of Defeat") instead of the ten of Swords ("The Lord of Ruin").  But to call
the Lord of Love (2 Cups) for the Lord of Strife (5 Wands) would show that
you were getting nothing right.
    Similarly, a card ruled by Mars would be harmonious with a 5, a card
of Gemini with "The Lovers."
    7. These harmonies must be thoroughly learnt, according to the
numerous tables given in 777.
    8. As you progress, you will find that you are able to distinguish the
suit correctly three times in four, and that very few indeed inharmonious
errors occur, while in 78 experiments you are able to name the card aright
as many as 15 or 20 times.
    9. When you have reached this stage, you may be admitted for
examination; and in the event of your passing, you will be given more
complex and difficult exercises.


                        "Asana --- Posture"

    1. You must learn to sit perfectly still with every muscle tense for
long periods. {27}
    2. You must wear no garment that interferes with the posture in any of
these experiments.
    3. The first position: (The God).  Sit in a chair; head up, back
straight, knees together, hands on knees, eyes closed.
    4. The second position: (The Dragon).  Kneel; buttocks resting on the
heels, toes turned back, back and head straight, hands on thighs.
    5. The third position: (The Ibis).  Stand; hold left ankle with right
hand (and alternately practise right ankle in left hand, &c.) free
forefinger on lips.
    6. The fourth position: (The Thunderbolt).  Sit: left heel pressing up
anus, right foot poised on its toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms
stretched out over the knees: head and back straight.
    7. Various things will happen to you while you are practising these
positions; they must be carefully analysed and described.
    8. Note down the duration of the pracitce, the severity of the pain
(if any) which accompanies it, the degree of rigidity attained, and any
other pertinent matters.
    9. When you have progressed up to the point that a saucer filled to
the brim with water and poised upon the head does not spill one drop during
a whole hour, and when you can no longer perceive the slightest tremor in
any muscle; when, in short, you are perfectly steady and easy, you will be
admitted for examination; and, should you pass, you will be instructed in
more complex and difficult practices.  {28}

{Illustration facing next page: Halftone: Four photographs of a man
(Crowley?) with face blanked out, dressed only in a gemmed cross on a chain
about his neck and (upper panels only) a masonic apron.  Nipples and navel
are air-brushed out.  The postures shown are: "The Ibis", "The God", "The
Thunderbolt" and "The Dragon".  Titled below to critique the examples: "In
the Ibis the head is tilted very slightly too far back; in the Thunderbolt
the right foot might be a little higher and the right knee lower with


           "Pranayama --- Regularisation of the Breathing"

    1. At rest in one of your positions, close the right nostril with the
thumb of the right hand and breathe out slowly and completely through the
left nostril, while your watch marks 20 seconds.  Breathe in through the
same nostril for 10 seconds.  Changing hands, repeat with the other
nostril.  Let this be continuous for one hour.
    2. When this is quite easy to you, increase the periods to 30 and 15
    3. When this is quite easy to you, but not before, breathe out for 15
seconds, in for 15 seconds, and hold the breath for 15 seconds.
    4. When you can do this with perfect ease and comfort for a whole
hour, practise breathing out for 40, in for 20 seconds.
    5. This being attained, practise breathing out for 20, in for 10,
holding the breath for 30 seconds.
    When this has become perfectly easy to you, you may be admitted for
examination, and should you pass, you will be instructed in more complex
and difficult practices.
    6. You will find that the presence of food in the stomach, even in
small quantities, makes the practices very difficult.
    7. Be very careful never to overstrain your powers; especially never
get so short of breath that you are compelled to breathe out jerkily or
    8. Strive after depth, fulness, and regularity of breathing.
    9. Various remarkable phenomena will very probably occur during these
practices.  They must be carefully analysed and recorded. {29}


               "Dharana --- Control of Thought"

    1. Constrain the mind to concentrate itself upon a single simple
object imagined.
   The five tatwas are useful for this purpose; they are: a black oval; a
blue disk; a silver crescent; a yellow square; a red triangle.
    2. Proceed to combinations of simple objects; "e.g.", a black oval
within a yellow square, and so on.
    3. Proceed to simple moving objects, such as a pendulum swinging, a
wheel revolving, &c.  Avoid living objects.
    4. Proceed to combinations of moving objects, "e.g.", a piston rising
and falling while a pendulum is swinging.  The relation between the two
movements should be varied in different experiments.
    Or even a system of fly-wheels, eccentrics, and governor.
    5. During these practices the mind must be absolutely confined to the
object determined upon; no other thought must be allowed to intrude upon
the consciousness.  The moving systems must be regular and harmonious.
    6. Note carefully the duration of the experiments, the number and
nature of the intruding thoughts, the tendency of the object itself to
depart from the course laid out for it, and any other phenomena which may
present themselves.  Avoid overstrain.  This is very important.
    7. Proceed to imagine living objects; as a man, preferably some man
known to, and respected by, yourself.
    8. In the intervals of these experiments you may try to {30} imagine
the objects of the other senses, and to concentrate upon them.
    For example, try to imagine the taste of chocolate the smell of roses,
the feeling of velvet, the sound of a waterfall, or the ticking of a watch.
    9. Endeavour finally to shut out all objects of any of the senses, and
prevent all thoughts arising in your mind.  When you feel that you have
attained some success in these practices, apply for examination, and should
you pass, more complex and difficult practices will be prescribed for you.


                     "Physical Limitations"

    1. It is desirable that you should discover for yourself your physical
    2. To this end ascertain for how many hours you can subsist without
food or drink before your working capacity is seriously interfered with.
    3. Ascertain how much alcohol you can take, and what forms of
drunkenness assail you.
    4. Ascertain how far you can walk without once stopping; likewise with
dancing, swimming, running, &c.
    5. Ascertain for how many hours you can do without sleep.
    6. Test your endurance with various gymnastic exercises, club-swinging
and so on.
    7. Ascertain for how long you can keep silence.
    8. Investigate any other capacities and aptitudes which may occur to
you. {31}
    9. Let all these things be carefully and conscientiously recorded; for
according to your powers will it be demanded of you.


                      "A Course of Reading"

    1. The object of most of the foregoing practices will not at first be
clear to you; but at least (who will deny it?) they will have trained you
in determination, accuracy, introspection, and many other qualities which
are valuable to all men in their ordinary avocations, so that in no case
will your time have been wasted.
    2. That you may gain some insight into the nature of the Great Work
which lies beyond these elementary trifles, however, we should mention that
an intelligent person may gather more than a hint of its nature from the
following books, which are to be taken as serious and learned contributions
to the study of nature, though not necessarily to be implicitly relied
         "The Yi "K"ing" [S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press].
         "The Tao Teh "K"ing" [S.B.E. Series].
         "Tannh„user" by A. Crowley.
         "The Upanishads."
         "The Bhagavad-Gita."
         "The Voice of the Silence."
         "Raja Yoga" by Swami Vivekѓnanda.
         "The Shiva Sanhita." {32}
         "The Aphorisms of Patanjali."
         "The Sword of Song."
         "The Book of the Dead."
         "Rituel et Dogme de la Haute Magie."
         "The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage."
         "The Goetia."
         "The Hathayoga Pradipika."
         Erdmann's "History of Philosophy."
         "The Spiritual Guide of Molinos."
         "The Star in the West" (Captain Fuller).
         "The Dhammapada" [S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press].
         "The Questions of King Milinda" [S.B.E. Series].
         "777. vel Prolegomena, &c."
         "Varieties of Religious Experience" (James).
         "Kabbala Denudata."
         "Knox Om Pax."
    3. Careful study of these books will enable the pupil to speak in the
language of his master and facilitate communication with him.
    4. The pupil should endeavour to discover the fundamental harmony of
these very varied works; for this purpose he will find it best to study the
most extreme divergences side by side.
    5. He may at any time that he wishes apply for examination in this
course of reading.
    6. During the whole of this elementary study and practice, he will do
wisely to seek out, and attach himself to, a master, one competent to
correct him and advise him.  Nor {33} should he be discouraged by the
difficulty of finding such a person.
    7. Let him further remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or
believe in, that master.  He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit
nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and
    8. As in the beginning, so at the end, we here insist upon the vital
importance of the written record as the only possible check upon error
derived from the various qualities of the experimenter.
    9. Thus let the work be accomplished duly; yea, let it be accomplished

    [If any really important or remarkable results should occur, or if any
great difficulty presents itself, the A.'. A.'. should be at once
informed of the circumstances.] {34}

                        THE WIZARD WAY


                        THE WIZARD WAY

         VELVET soft the night-star glowed
         Over the untrodden road,
         Through the giant glades of yew
         Where its ray fell light as dew
         Lighting up the shimmering veil
         Maiden pure and aery frail
         That the spiders wove to hide
         Blushes of the sylvan bride
         Earth, that trembled with delight
         At the male caress of Night.

         Velvet soft the wizard trod
         To the Sabbath of his God.
         With his naked feet he made
         Starry blossoms in the glade,
         Softly, softly, as he went
         To the sombre sacrament,
         Stealthy stepping to the tryst
         In his gown of amethyst.

         Earlier yet his soul had come
         To the Hill of Martyrdom,                   {37}

         Where the charred and crookЉd stake
         Like a black envenomed snake
         By the hangman's hands is thrust
         Through the wet and writhing dust,
         Never black and never dried
         Heart's blood of a suicide.

         He had plucked the hazel rod
         From the rude and goatish god,
         Even as the curved moon's waning ray
         Stolen from the King of Day.
         He had learnt the elvish sign;
         Given the Token of the Nine:
         Once to rave, and once to revel,
         Once to bow before the devil,
         Once to swing the thurible,
         Once to kiss the goat of hell,
         Once to dance the aspen spring,
         Once to croak, and once to sing,
         Once to oil the savoury thighs
         Of the witch with sea-green eyes
         With the unguents magical.
         Oh the honey and the gall
         Of that black enchanter's lips
         As he croons to the eclipse
         Mingling that most puissant spell
         Of the giant gods of hell
         With the four ingredients
         Of the evil elements;                   {38}

         Ambergris from golden spar,
         Musk of ox from Mongol jar,
         Civet from a box of jade,
         Mixed with fat of many a maid
         Slain by the inchauntments cold
         Of the witches wild and old.

         He had crucified a toad
         In the basilisk abode,
         Muttering the Runes averse
         Mad with many a mocking curse.

         He had traced the serpent sigil
         In his ghastly virgin vigil.
"          "Sursum cor!" the elfin hill,
         Where the wind blows deadly chill
         From the world that wails beneath
         Death's black throat and lipless teeth.
         There he had stood -- his bosom bare ---
         Tracing Life upon the Air
         With the crook and with the flail
         Lashing forward on the gale,
         Till its blade that wavereth
         Like the flickering of Death
         Sank before his subtle fence
         To the starless sea of sense.

         Now at last the man is come
         Haply to his halidom.                        {39}

         Surely as he waves his rod
         In a circle on the sod
         Springs the emerald chaste and clean
         From the duller paler green.
         Surely in the circle millions
         Of immaculate pavilions
         Flash upon the trembling turf
         Like the sea-stars in the surf ---
         Millions of bejewelled tents
         For the warrior sacraments.
         Vaster, vaster, vaster, vaster,
         Grows the stature of the master;
         All the ringed encampment vies
         With the infinite galaxies.
         In the midst a cubic stone
         With the Devil set thereon;
         Hath a lamb's virginal throat;
         Hath the body of a stoat;
         Hath the buttocks of a goat;
         Hath the sanguine face and rod
         Of a goddess and a god!

         Spell by spell and pace by pace!
         Mystic flashes swing and trace
         Velvet soft the sigils stepped
         By the silver-starred adept.
         Back and front, and to and fro,
         Soul and body sway and flow
         In vertiginous caresses
         To imponderable recesses,                   {40}

         Till at last the spell is woven,
         And the faery veil is cloven
         That was Sequence, Space, and Stress
         Of the soul-sick consciousness.

         "Give thy body to the beasts!
         Give thy spirit to the priests!
         Break in twain the hazel rod
         On the virgin lips of God!
         Tear the Rosy Cross asunder!
         Shatter the black bolt of thunder!
         Such the swart ensanguine kiss
         Of the resolute abyss!"
         Wonder-weft the wizard heard
         This intolerable word.

         Smote the blasting hazel rod
         On the scarlet lips of God;
         Trampled Cross and rosy core;
         Brake the thunder-tool of Thor;
         Meek and holy acolyte
         Of the priestly hells of spite,
         Sleek and shameless catamite
         Of the beasts that prowl by night!

         Like a star that streams from heaven
         Through the virgin airs light-riven,
         From the lift there shot and fell
         An admirable miracle.                             {41}

         Carved minute and clean, a key
         Of purest lapis-lazuli
         More blue than the blind sky that aches
         (Wreathed with the stars, her torturing snakes),
         For the dead god's kiss that never wakes;
         Shot with golden specks of fire
         Like a virgin with desire.
         Look, the levers! fern-frail fronds
         Of fantastic diamonds,
         Glimmering with ethereal azure
         In each exquisite embrasure.
         On the shaft the letters laced,
         As if dryads lunar-chaste
         With the satyrs were embraced,
         Spelled the secret of the key:
"          "Sic pervenias."  And he
         Went his wizard way, inweaving
         Dreams of things beyond believing.

         When he will, the weary world
         Of the senses closely curled
         Like a serpent round his heart
         Shakes herself and stands apart.
         So the heart's blood flames, expanding,
         Strenuous, urgent, and commanding;
         And the key unlocks the door
         Where his love lives evermore.

         She is of the faery blood;
         All smaragdine flows its flood.                   {42}

         Glowing in the amber sky
         To ensorcelled porphyry.
         She hath eyes of glittering flake
         Like a cold grey water-snake.
         She hath naked breasts of amber
         Jetting wine in her bed-chanber,
         Whereof whoso stoops and drinks
         Rees the riddle of the Sphinx.

         She hath naked limbs of amber
         Whereupon her children clamber.
         She hath five navels rosy-red
         From the five wounds of God that bled;
         Each wound that mothered her still bleeding,
         And on that blood her babes are feeding.
         Oh!  like a rose-winged pelican
         She hath bred blessed babes to Pan!
         Oh!  like a lion-hued nightingale
         She hath torn her breast on thorns to avail
         The barren rose-tree to renew
         Her life with that disastrous dew,
         Building the rose o' the world alight
         With music out of the pale moonlight!
         O She is like the river of blood
         That broke from the lips of the bastard god,
         When he saw the sacred mother smile
         On the ibis that flew up the foam of Nile
         Bearing the limbs unblessed, unborn,
         That the lurking beast of Nile had torn!           {43}

         So (for the world is weary) I
         These dreadful souls of sense lay by.
         I sacrifice these impure shoon
         To the cold ray of the waning moon.
         I take the forkЉd hazel staff,
         And the rose of no terrene graff,
         And the lamp of no olive oil
         With heart's blood that alone may boil.
         With naked breast and feet unshod
         I follow the wizard way to God.

         Wherever he leads my foot shall follow;
         Over the height, into the hollow,
         Up to the caves of pure cold breath,
         Down to the deeps of foul hot death,
         Across the seas, through the fires,
         Past the palace of desires;
         Where he will, whether he will or no,
         If I go, I care not whither I go.

         For in me is the taint of the faery blood.
         Fast, fast, its emerald flood
         Leaps within me, violent rude
         Like a bestial faun's beatitude.
         In me the faery blood runs hard:
         My sires were a druid, a devil, a bard,
         A beast, a wizard, a snake and a satyr;
         For --- as my mother said --- what does it matter?     {44}

         She was a fay, pure of the faery;
         Queen Morgan's daughter by an aery
         Demon that came to Orkney once
         To pay the Beetle his orisons.

         So, it is I that writhe with the twitch
         Of the faery blood, and the wizard itch
         To attain a matter one may not utter
         Rather than sink in the greasy splutter
         Of Britons munching their bread and butter;
         Ailing boys and coarse-grained girls
         Grown to sloppy women and brutal churls.
         So, I am off with staff in hand
         To the endless light of the nameless land.

         Darkness spreads its sombre streams,
         Blotting out the elfin dreams.
         I might haply be afraid,
         Were it not the Feather-maid
         Leads me softly by the hand,
         Whispers me to understand.
         Now (when through the world of weeping
         Light at last starrily creeping
         Steals upon my babe-new sight,
         Light --- O light that is not light!)
         On my mouth the lips of her
         Like a stone on my sepulchre
         Seal my speech with ecstasy,
         Till a babe is born of me                             {45}

         That is silent more than I;
         For its inarticulate cry
         Hushes as its mouth is pressed
         To the pearl, her honey breast;
         While its breath divinely ripples
         The rose-petals of her nipples,
         And the jetted milk he laps
         From the soft delicious paps,
         Sweeter than the bee-sweet showers
         In the chalice of the flowers,
         More intoxicating than
         All the purple grapes of Pan.

         Ah!  my proper lips are stilled.
         Only, all the world is filled
         With the Echo, that dips over
         Like the honey from the clover.
         Passion, penitence, and pain
         Seek their mother's womb again,
         And are born the triple treasure,
         Peace and purity and pleasure.

         --- Hush, my child, and come aloft
         Where the stars are velvet soft!

                                    ALEISTER CROWLEY.

                       THE MAGIC GLASSES1


       1  WEH note:  This Frank Harris story reads like a metaphor of
         Crowley's subsequent career.  Biographers, consider the possible
         impact of this theme on Crowley's attitude to public life.

                       THE MAGIC GLASSES

ONE raw November morning, I left my rooms near the British Museum and
turned down Regent street.  It was cold and misty: the air like shredded
cotton-wool.  Before I reached the Quadrant, the mist thickened to fog,
with the colour of muddied water, and walking became difficult.  As I had
no particular object in view, I got into talk with a policeman, and, by his
advice, went into the Vine Street Police Court, to pass an hour or two
before lunch.  Inside the court, the atmosphere was comparatively clear,
and I took my seat on one of the oak benches with a feeling of vague
curiosity.  There was a case going on as I entered: an old man, who
pretended to be an optician, had been taken up by the police for
obstructing the traffic by selling glasses.  His green tray, with leathern
shoulder-straps, was on the solicitor's table.  The charge of obstruction
could not be sustained, the old man had moved on as soon as the police told
him to, and the inspector had substituted a charge of fraud, on the
complaint of a workman and a shopkeeper.  A constable had just finished his
evidence when I came into the court.  He left the box with a self-satisfied
air and the muttered remark that the culprit was "a rare bad 'un."
   I glanced about for the supposed criminal and found that he was seated
near me on a cross-bench in the charge of a {49} sturdy policeman.  He did
not look like a criminal: he was tall, thin and badly dressed in a suit of
rusty black, which seemed to float about his meagre person; his complexion
was tallowy-white, like the sprouts of potatoes which have been kept a long
time in a dark cellar; he seemed about sixty years old.  But he had none of
the furtive glances of the criminal; none of the uneasiness: his eye rested
on mine and passed aside with calm indifference, contemplative and not
    The workman who was produced by the police in support of the charge of
fraud amused me.  He was a young man, about middle height, and dressed in
corduroys, with a rough jacket of dark tweed.  He was a bad witness: he
hesitated, stopped and corrected himself, as if he didn't know the meaning
of any words except the commonest phrases of everyday use.  But he was
evidently honest: his brown eyes looked out on the world fairly enough.
His faltering came from the fact that he was only half articulate.
Disentangled from the mist of inappropriate words, his meaning was
sufficiently clear.
    He had been asked by the accused, whom he persisted in calling "the
old gentleman," to buy a pair of spectacles: they would show him things
truer-like than he could see 'em; and so he "went a bob on 'em."
Questioned by the magistrate as to whether he could see things more plainly
through the glasses, he shook his head:
    "No; about the same."
    Then came the question: had he been deceived?  Apparently he didn't
know the meaning of the word "deceived."
    "Cheated," the magistrate substituted. {50}
    "No"; he hadn't been cheated.
    "Well, disappointed then?"
    "No"; he couldn't say that.
    "Would he spend another shilling on a similar pair of glasses?"
    "No," he would not; "one bob was enough to lose."
    When told he might go, he shuffled out of the witness-box, and on his
way to the door attempted more than once to nod to the accused.  Evidently
there was no malice in him.
    The second police witness had fluency and self-possession enough for a
lawyer: a middle-aged man, tall, florid and inclined to be stout; he was
over-dressed, like a spruce shopman, in black frock-coat, grey trousers and
light-coloured tie.  He talked volubly, with a hot indignation which seemed
to match his full red cheeks.  If the workman was an undecided and weak
witness, Mr. Hallett, of High Holborn, was a most convinced and determined
witness.  He had been induced to buy the glasses, he declared, by the "old
party," who told him that they would show him things exactly as they were
--- the truth of everything.  You'd only have to look through 'em at a man
to see whether he was trying to "do" you or not.  That was why he bought
them.  He was not asked a shilling for them, but a sovereign and he gave it
--- twenty shillings.  When he put the glasses on, he could see nothing
with them, nothing at all; it was a "plant": and so he wanted the "old
party" to take 'em back and return his sovereign; that might have caused
the obstruction that the policeman had objected to.  The "old man" refuse
to give him his money back; said he had not cheated him; had the impudence
to pretend that he (Hallett) had no eyes for truth, {51} and, therefore,
could see nothing with the glasses.  "A blamed lie, he called it, and a
"do," an the "old man" ought to get six months for it.
    Once or twice, the magistrate had to direct the stream of emphatic
words.  But the accusation was formal and precise.  The question now was:
How would the magistrate deal with the case?  At first sight, Mr. Brown,
the magistrate, made a good impression on me.  He was getting on in life:
the dark hair was growing thin on top and a little grey at the sides.  The
head was well-shaped; the forehead notably broad; the chin and jaw firm.
The only unpleasant feature in the face was the hard line of mouth, with
thin, unsympathetic lips.  Mr. Brown was reputed to be a great scholar, and
was just the type of man who would have made a pedant; a man of good
intellect and thin blood, who would find books and words more interesting
than men and deeds.
    At first, Mr. Brown had seemed to be on the side of the accused: he
tried to soften Mr. Hallett's anger.  One or two of his questions, indeed,
were pointed and sensible:
    "You wouldn't take goods back after you had sold them, would you, Mr.
Hallett?" he asked.
    "Of course I would," replied Mr. Hallett, stoutly: "I'd take any of my
stock back at a twenty per cent. reduction; my goods are honest goods:
prices marked plain on 'em.  But 'e would not give me fifteen shillings
back out of my sovereign; not 'e; 'e meant sticking' to it all."
    The magistrate looked into the body of the court and addressing the
accused, said:
    "Will you reserve your defence, Mr. Henry?"
    "Penry, your worship: Matthew Penry," corrected the {52} old man in a
quiet, low-pitched voice, as he rose to his feet.  "If I may say so: the
charge of fraud is absurd.  Mr. Hallett seems to be angry because I sold
one pair of glasses for a shilling and another pair to him for a sovereign.
But they were not the same glasses and, if they had been, I am surely
allowed to ask for my wares what I please."
    "That is true," interrupted the magistrate; "but he says that you told
him he would see the truth through them.  I suppose you meant that he would
see more truly through them than with his own eyes?"
    "Yes," replied Mr. Penry, with a certain hesitation.
    "But he did not see more truly through them," continued the
magistrate, "or he would not have wanted you to take them back.
    "No," Mr. Penry acknowledged; "but that is this fault, not the fault
of the glasses.  They would show the truth, if he had any faculty for
seeing it: glasses are no good to the blind."
    "Come, come," said the magistrate; "now you are beginning to confuse
me.  You don't really pretend that your glasses will show the truth of
things, the reality; you mean that they will improve one's sight, don't
    "Yes," replied Mr. Penry, "One's sight for truth, for reality."
    "Well," retorted the magistrate smiling, "That seems rather
metaphysical than practical, doesn't it?  If your spectacles enabled one to
discern the truth, I'd buy a pair myself: they might be useful in this
court sometimes," and he looked about him with a smile, as if expecting
    With eager haste, the old man took him at his word, {53} threw open
his case, selected a pair of glasses, and passed them to the clerk, who
handed them up to Mr. Brown.
    The magistrate put the glasses on; looked round the court for a minute
or two, and then broke out:
    "Dear me!  Dear me!  How extraordinary!  These glasses alter every one
in the court.  It's really astonishing.  They don't improve the looks of
people; on the contrary, a more villainous set of countenances it would be
difficult to imagine.  If these glasses are to be trusted, men are more
like wild animals than human beings, and the worst of all are the
solicitors; really a terrible set of faces.  But this may be the truth of
things; these spectacles do show one more than one's ordinary eyes can
perceive.  Dear me!  Dear me!  It is most astonishing; but I feel inclined
to accept Mr. Penry's statement about them," and he peered over the
spectacles at the court.
    "Would you like to look in a glass, your worship?" asked one of the
solicitors drily, rising, however, to his feet with an attitude of respect
at the same time; "perhaps that would be the best test."
    Mr. Brown appeared to be a little surprised, but replied:
    "If I had a glass I would willingly."
    Before the words were out of his mouth, his clerk had tripped round
the bench, gone into the magistrate's private room and returned with a
small looking-glass, which he handed up to his worship.
    As Mr. Brown looked in the glass, the smile of expectancy left his
face.  In a moment or two, he put down the glass gravely, took off the
spectacles and handed them to the clerk, {54} who returned them to Mr.
Penry.  After a pause, he said shortly:
    "It is well, perhaps, to leave all these matters of fact to a jury.  I
will accept a small bail, Mr. Penry," he went on; "but I think you must be
bound over to answer this charge at the sessions."
    I caught the words, "њ50 a-piece in two sureties and his own
recognisances in њ100," and then Mr. Penry was told by the policeman to go
and wait in the body of the court till the required sureties were
forthcoming.  By chance, the old man came and sat beside me and I was able
to examine him closely.  His moustache and beard must have been auburn at
one time, but now the reddish tinge seemed only to discolour the grey.  The
beard was thin and long and unkempt, and added to the forlorn untidiness of
his appearance.  He carried his head bent forward, as if the neck were too
weak to support it.  He seemed feeble and old and neglected.  He caught me
looking at him, and I noticed that his eyes were a clear blue, as if he
were younger than I had thought.  His gentle, scholarly manner and refined
voice had won my sympathy; and, when our eyes met, I introduced myself an
told him I should be glad to be one of his sureties, if that would save him
time or trouble.  He thanked me with a sort of detached courtesy: he would
gladly accept my offer.
    "You stated your case," I remarked, "so that you confused the
magistrate.  You almost said hat you glasses were --- magic glasses," I
went on, smiling and hesitating, because I did not wish to offend him, and
yet hardly knew how to convey the impression his words had left upon me.
    "Magic glasses," he repeated gravely, as if weighing the words; "yes,
you might call them magic glasses."
    To say that I was astonished only gives a faint idea of my surprise
and wonder:
    "Surely, you don't mean that they show things as they are," I asked:
"the truth of things?"
    "That is what I mean," he replied quietly.
    "Then they are not ordinary glasses?" I remarked inanely.
    "No," he repeated gravely; "not ordinary glasses."
    He had a curious trick, I noticed, of peering at one very intently
with narrowed eyes and then blinking rapidly several times in succession as
if the strain were too great to be borne.
    He had made me extremely curious, and yet I did not like to ask
outright to be allowed to try a pair of his glasses; so I went on with my
    "But, if they show truth, how was it that Mr. Hallett could see
nothing through them?'
    "Simply because he has no sense of reality; he has killed the innate
faculty for truth.  It was probably at not time very great," went on this
strange merchant, smiling; "but his trader's habits have utterly destroyed
it; he has so steeped himself in lies that he is now blind to the truth,
incapable of perceiving it.  The workman, you remember, could see fairly
well through his spectacles."
    "Yes," I replied laughing; "and the magistrate evidently saw a good
deal more through his than the cared to acknowledge."
    The old man laughed too, in an ingenuous, youthful way that I found
    At last I got to the Rubicon. {56}
    "Would you let me buy a pair of your glasses?" I asked.
    "I shall be delighted to give you a pair, if you will accept them," he
replied, with eager courtesy; "my surety ought certainly to have a pair";
and then he peered at me in his curious, intent way.  A moment later, he
turned round, and opening his tray, picked out a pair of spectacles and
handed them to me.
    I put them on with trembling eagerness and stared about me.  The
magistrate had told the truth; they altered everything: the people were the
same and yet not the same; this face was coarsened past all description;
that face sharpened and made hideous with greed; and the other brutalized
with lust.  One recognized, so to speak, the dominant passion in each
person.  Something moved me to turn my glasses on the merchant; if I was
astounded before, I was now lost in wonder: the glasses transfigured him.
The grey beard was tinged with gold, the blue eyes luminous with
intelligence; all the features ennobled; the countenance irradiated
sincerity and kindliness.  I pulled off the glasses hastily and the vision
passed away.  Mr. Penry was looking at me with a curious little pleased
smile of anticipation: involuntarily, I put out my hand to him with a sort
of reverence:
    "Wonderful," I exclaimed; "your face is wonderful and all the others
grotesque and hideous.  What does it mean?  Tell me!  Won't you?"
    "You must come with me to my room," he said, "where we can talk
freely, and I think you will not regret having helped me.  I should like to
explain everything to you.  There are so few men," he added, "who proffer
help to another {57} man in difficulty.  I should like to show you that I
am grateful."
    "There is no cause for gratitude," I said hastily; "I have done
    His voice now seemed to me to be curiously refined and impressive, and
recalled to me the vision of his face, made beautiful by the strange
glasses. ...
    I have been particular to put down how Mr. Penry first appeared to me,
because after I had once seen him through his spectacles, I never saw him
again as I had seen him at first.  Remembering my earliest impressions of
him, I used to wonder how I could have been so mistaken.  His face had
refinement and gentleness in every line; a certain courage, too, that was
wholly spiritual.  Already I was keenly interested in Mr. Penry; eager to
know more about him; to help him, if that were possible, in any and every
    Some time elapsed before the formalities for his bail were arranged,
and then I persuaded him to come out with me to lunch.  He got up quietly,
put the leathern straps over his shoulders, tucked the big case under his
arm and walked into the street with perfect self-possession; and I was not
now in any way ashamed of his appearance, as I should have been an hour or
two before: I was too excited even to feel pride; I was simply glad and
    And this favourable impression grew with everything Mr. Penry said and
did, till at last nothing but service would content me; so, after lunch, I
put him into a cab and drove him off to my own solicitor.  I found Mr.
Morris, of Messrs. Morris, Coote and Co., quite willing to take up his case
at the sessions; willing, too, to believe that the charge was "trumped {58}
up" by the police and without serious foundation.  But, when I drew Mr.
Morris aside and tried to persuade him that his new client was a man of
extraordinary powers, he smiled incredulously.
    "You are enthusiastic, Mr. Winter," he said half reproachfully; "but
we solicitors are compelled to see things in the cold light of reason.  Why
should you undertake to defend this Mr. Penry?  Of course if you have made
up your mind," he went on, passing over my interruption, "I shall do my
best for him; but if I were you, I'd keep my eyes open and do nothing
    In order to impress him, I put on a similar cold tone and declared
that Mr. Penry was a friend of mine and that he must leave no stone
unturned to vindicate his honesty.  And with this I went back to Mr. Penry,
and we left the office together.
    Mr. Penry's lodging disappointed me; my expectations, I am afraid,
were now tuned far above the ordinary.  It was in Chelsea, high up, in a
rickety old house overlooking a dingy road and barges drawn up on the
slimy, fetid mud-banks.  And yet, even here, romance was present for the
romantic; the fog-wreaths curling over the river clothed the houses
opposite in soft mystery, as if they had been draped in blue samite, and
through the water-laden air the sun glowed round and red as a fiery wheel
of Pha‰ton's chariot.  The room was very bare; by the broad low window
stood a large deal table crowded with instruments and glasses; strong
electric lamps on the right and left testified to the prolonged labours of
the optician.  The roof of the garret ran up towards the centre, and by the
wall there was a low truckle-bed, fenced off by a cheap Japanese paper-
screen.  The whole of the wall between {59} the bed and the window was
furnished with pine-shelves, filled with books; everything was neat, but
the room seemed friendless and cold in the thick, damp air.
    There we sat and talked together, till the sun slid out of sight and
the fog thickened and night came on: there our acquaintance, so strangely
begun, grew to friendship.  Before we went to dinner, the old man had shown
me the portraits of his two daughters and a little miniature of his wife,
who had died fifteen years before.
    It was the first of many talks in that room, the first of many
confidences.  Bit by bit, I heard the whole of Mr. Penry's history.  It was
told to me piecemeal and inconsequently, as a friend talks to a friend in
growing intimacy; and, if I now let Mr. Penry tell his tale in regular
sequence and at one stretch, it is mainly in order to spare the reader the
tedium of interrupted narration and needless repetitions.
           *           *           *           *           *
    "My father was an optician," Mr. Penry began, "and a maker of
spectacles in Chelsea.  We lived over the shop in the King's Road, and my
childhood was happy enough, but not in any way peculiar.  Like other
healthy children, I liked play much better than lessons; but my school-days
were too uneventful, too empty of love to be happy.  My mother died when I
was too young to know or regret her, and my father was kind, in spite of
his precise, puritanical ways.  I was the only boy, which perhaps made him
kinder to me, and very much younger than my two sisters, who were grown up
when I was in short clothes and who married and left my father's house
before I had got to know them, or to feel much affection for them. {60}
    "When I was about sixteen, my father took me from school and began
teaching me his own trade.  He had been an admirable workman in his time,
of the old English sort --- careful and capable, though somewhat slow.  The
desire was always present in him to grind and polish each glass as well as
he could, and this practice had given him a certain repute with a circle of
good customers.  He taught me every part of his craft as he had learnt it;
and, in the next five or six years, imbued me with his own wish to do each
piece of work as perfectly as possible.  But this period of imitation did
not last long.  Before I reached manhood, I began to draw apart from my
father, to live my own life and to show a love of reading and thinking
foreign to his habit.  It was religion which separated us.  At school I had
learnt some French and German, and in both languages I came across
sceptical opinions which slowly grew in my mind, and in time led me to
discard and almost to dislike the religion of my father.  I mention this
simply because any little originality in me seemed to spring from this
inquiry and from the mental struggle that convulsed three or four years of
my youth.  For months and months I read feverishly to conquer my doubts,
and then I read almost as eagerly to confirm my scepticism.
    "I still remember the glow of surprise and hope which came over me the
first time I read that Spinoza, one of the heroes of my thought, had also
made his living by polishing glasses.  He was the best workman of his time,
the book said, and I determined to become the best workman of my time; and,
from that moment, I took to my trade seriously, strenuously.
    "I learned everything I could about glass, and began to {61} make my
own material, after the best recipes.  I got books on optics, too, and
studied them, and so, bit by bit, mastered the science of my craft.
    "I was not more than nineteen or twenty when my father found out that
I was a much better workman than his assistant Thompson.  Some glasses had
been sent to us from a great oculist in Harley Street, with a multitude of
minute directions.  They had been made by Thompson, and were brought back
to us one afternoon by a very fidgety old gentleman who declared that they
did not suit him at all.  The letter which he showed from Sir William
Creighton, the oculist, hinted that the glasses were not carefully made.
My father was out, and in his absence I opened the letter.  As soon as I
had looked at the glasses, I saw that the complaint was justified, and I
told the old gentleman so.  He turned out to be the famous parliamentary
speaker, Lord B.  He said to me testily:
    "All right, young man; you make my glasses correctly and I shall be
satisfied; but not till then; you understand, not till then."
    "I smiled at him and told him I would do the work myself, and he went
out of the shop muttering, as if only half reassured by my promises.  Then
I determined to show what I could do.  When my father returned, I told him
what had happened, and asked him to leave the work to me.  He consented,
and I went off at once to the little workshop I had made in our back-yard
and settled down to the task.  I made my glass and polished it, and then
ground the spectacles according to the directions.  When I had finished, I
sent them to Sir William Creighton with a note, and a few days afterwards
we had another visit from Lord B., who told my father that he {62} had
never had such glasses and that I was a "perfect treasure."  Like many very
crochety people, he was hard to satisfy, but one satisfied he was as lavish
in praise as in blame.  Lord B. made my reputation as a maker of
spectacles, and for years I was content with this little triumph. ...
    "I married when I was about two- or three-and-twenty, and seven or
eight years afterwards my father died.  The gap caused by his death, the
void of loss and loneliness, was more than filled up by my young children.
I had two little girls who, at this time, were a source of perpetual
interest to me.  How one grows to love the little creatures, with their
laughter and tears, their hopes and questions and make-believe!  And how
one's love for them is intensified by all the trouble one takes to win
their love and by all the plans one weaves for their future!  But all this
is common human experience and will only bore you.  A man's happiness is
not interesting to other people, and I don't know that much happiness is
good for a man himself; at any rate, during the ten or fifteen years in
which I was happiest, I did least; made least progress, I mean, as a
workman and the least intellectual advantage as a man.  But when my girls
began to grow up and detach themselves from the home, my intellectual
nature began to stir again.  One must have some interests in life, and, if
the heart is empty, the head becomes busier, I often think.
    "One day I had a notable visit.  A man came in to get a pair of
spectacles made: a remarkable man.  He was young, gay and enthusiastic,
with an astonishing flow of words, an astonishing brightness of speech and
manner.  He seemed to light up the dingy old shop with his vivacity and
happy frankness.  He wanted spectacles to correct a slight dissimilarity
{63} between his right eye and his left, and he had been advised to come to
me by Sir William Creighton, as the glasses would have to be particularly
well made.  I promised to work at them myself, and on that he burst out:
    "'I shall be very curious to see whether perfect eyes help or hurt my
art.  You know I am a painter,' he went on, throwing his hair back from his
forehead, 'and each of us painters sees life in his own way, and beauty
with certain peculiarities.  It would be curious, wouldn't it? if talent
came from a difference between one's eyes!'
    "I smiled at his eagerness, and took down his name, then altogether
unknown to me; but soon to become known and memorable above all other
names: Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  I made the glasses and he was enthusiastic
about them, and brought me a little painting of himself by way of
    "There it is," said Penry, pointing to a little panel that hung by his
bedside; "the likeness of an extraordinary man --- a genius, if ever there
was one.  I don't know why he took to me, except that I admired him
intensely; my shop, too, was near his house in Chelsea, and he used often
to drop in and pass an hour in my back parlour and talk --- such talk as I
had never heard before and have never heard since.  His words were food and
drink to me, and more than that.  Either his thoughts or the magic of his
personality supplied my mind with the essence of growth and vigour which
had hitherto been lacking to it; in a very real sense, Rossetti became my
spiritual father.  He taught me things about art that I had never imagined;
opened to me a new heaven and a new earth and, above all, showed me that my
craft, too, had artistic possibilities in it that I had never dreamed of
before. {64}
    "I shall never forget the moment when he first planted the seed in me
that has grown and grown till it has filled my life.  It was in my parlour
behind the shop.  He had been talking in his eager, vivid way, pouring out
truths and thoughts, epigrams and poetry, as a great jeweller sometimes
pours gems from hand to hand.  I had sat listening open-mouthed, trying to
remember as much as I could, to assimilate some small part of all that
word-wealth.  He suddenly stopped, and we smoked on for a few minutes in
silence; then he broke out again:
    "'Do you know, my solemn friend,' he said abruptly, 'that I struck an
idea the other day which might suit you.  I was reading one of Walter
Scott's novels: that romantic stuff of his amuses me, you know, though it
isn't as deep as the sea.  Well, I found out that, about a hundred years
ago, a man like you made what they call Claude-glasses.  I suppose they
were merely rose-tinted,' he laughed, 'but at any rate, they were supposed
to make everything beautiful in a Claude-like way.  Now, why shouldn't you
make such glasses?  It would do Englishmen a lot of good to see things
rose-tinted for a while.  Then, too, you might make Rossetti-glasses,' he
went on, laughingly, 'and, if these dull Saxons could only get a glimpse of
the passion that possesses him, it would wake them up, I know.  Why not go
to work, my friend, at something worth doing?  Do you know,' he continued
seriously, 'there might be something in it.  I don't believe, if I had had
your glasses at the beginning, I should ever have been the artist I am.  I
mean,' he said, talking half to himself, 'if my eyes had been all right
from the beginning, I might perhaps have been contented with what I saw.
But as my eyes were imperfect I {65} tried to see things as my soul saw
them, and so invented looks and gestures that the real world would never
have given me."
    "I scarcely understood what he meant," said Mr. Penry, "but his words
dwelt with me: the ground had been prepared for them; he had prepared it;
and at once they took root in me and began to grow.  I could not get the
idea of the Claude-glasses and the Rossetti-glasses out of my head, and at
last I advertised for a pair of those old Claude-glasses, and in a month or
so a pair turned up.
    "You may imagine that while I was waiting, time hung heavy on my
hands.  I longed to be at work; I wanted to realize the idea that had come
to me while Rossetti was talking.  During my acquaintance with him, I had
been to his studio a dozen times, and had got to know and admire that type
of woman's beauty which is now connected with his name; the woman, I mean,
with swanlike throat and languid air and heavy-lidded eyes, who conveys to
all of us now something of Rosetti's insatiable passion.  But, while I was
studying his work and going about steeped in the emotion of it, I noticed
one day half a dozen girls whom Rossetti could have taken as models.  I had
begun, in fact, to see the world as Rossetti saw it; and this talk of his
about the Claude-glasses put the idea into my head that I might, indeed, be
able to make a pair of spectacles which would enable people to see the
world as Rossetti saw it and as I saw it when Rossetti's influence had
entire possession of me.  This would be a great deal easier to do, I said
to myself, than to make a pair of Claude-glasses; for, after all, I did not
know what Claude's eyes were really like and I did know the peculiarity of
Rossetti's eyes.  I accordingly began to study the disparate quality in
Rossetti's {66} eyes and, after making a pair of spectacles that made my
eyes see unequally to the same degree, I found that the Rossettian vision
of things was sharpened and intensified to me.  From that moment on, my
task was easy.  I had only to study any given pair of eyes and then to
alter them so that they possessed the disparity of Rossetti's eyes and the
work was half done.  I found, too, that I could increase this disparity a
little and, in proportion as I increased it, I increased also the
peculiarity of what I called the Rossettian view of things; but, if I made
the disparity too great, everything became blurred again.
    "My researches had reached this point, when the pair of old Claude-
glasses came into my hands.  I saw at a glance that the optician of the
eighteenth century had no knowledge of my work.  He had contented himself,
as Rossetti had guessed, with colouring the glasses very delicately and in
several tints; in fact, he had studied the colour-peculiarities of the eye
as I had studied its form-peculiarities.  With this hint, I completed my
work.  It took me only a few days to learn that Rossetti's view of colour
was just as limited, or, I should say, just as peculiar, as his view of
form; and, when I once understood the peculiarities of his colour-sight, I
could reproduce them as easily as I could reproduce the peculiarities of
his vision of form.  I then set to work to get both these peculiarities
into half a dozen different sets of glasses.
    "The work took me some six or eight months; and, when I had done my
best, I sent a little note round to Rossetti and awaited his coming with
painful eagerness, hope and fear swaying me in turn.  When he came, I gave
him a pair of the spectacles; and, when he put them on and looked out into
the street, I watched him.  He was surprised --- that I could see --- {67}
and more than a little puzzled.  While he sat thinking, I explained to him
what the old Claude-glasses were like and how I had developed his
suggestion into this present discovery.
    "'You are an artist, my friend,' he cried at last, 'and a new kind of
artist.  If you can make people see the world as Calude saw it and as I see
it, you can go on to make them see it as Rembrandt saw it and Velasquez.
You can make the dullards understand life as the greatest have understood
it.  But that is impossible,' he added, his face falling: 'that is only a
dream.  You have got my real eyes, therefore you can force others to see as
I see; but you have not the real eyes of Rembrandt, or Velasquez, or
Titian; you have not the physical key to the souls of the great masters of
the past; and so your work can only apply to the present and to the future.
But that is enough, and more than enough,' he added quickly.  'Go on: there
are Millais' eyes to get too; and Corot's in France, and half a dozen
others; and glad I shall be to put you on the scent.  You will do wonderful
things, my friend, wonderful things.'
    "I was mightily uplifted by his praise and heart-glad, too, in my own
way; but resolved at the same time not to give up the idea of making
Velasquez-glasses and Rembrandt-glasses; for I had come to know and to
admire these masters through Rossetti's talk.  He was always referring to
them, quoting them, so to say; and, for a long time past, I had accustomed
myself to spend a couple of afternoons each week in our National Gallery,
in order to get some knowledge of the men who were the companions of his
    "For nearly a year after this, I spent every hour of my {68} spare
time studying in the National; and at last it seemed to me that I had got
Titian's range of colour quite as exactly as the old glasses had got
Claude's.  But it was extraordinarily difficult to get his vision of form.
However, I was determined to succeed; and, with infinite patience and after
numberless attempts, success began slowly to come to me.  To cut a long
story short, I was able, in eight or ten years, to construct these four or
five different sorts of glasses.  Claude-glasses and Rossetti-glasses, of
course; and also Titian-glasses, Velasquez-glasses and Rembrandt-glasses;
and again my mind came to anchor in the work accomplished.  Not that I
stopped thinking altogether; but that for some time my thoughts took no new
flight, but hovered round and about the known.  As soon as I had made the
first pair of Rossetti-glasses, I began to teach my assistant, Williams,
how to make them too, in order to put them before the public.  We soon got
a large sale for them.  Chelsea, you know --- old Chelsea, I mean --- is
almost peopled with artists, and many of them came about me and began to
make my shop a rendezvous, where they met and brought their friends and
talked; for Rossetti had a certain following, even in his own lifetime.
But my real success came with the Titian-glasses.  The great Venetian's
romantic view of life and beauty seemed to exercise an irresistible
seduction upon every one, and the trade in his glasses soon became
    "My home life at this time was not as happy as it had been.  In those
long years of endless experiment, my daughters had grown up and married,
and my wife, I suppose, widowed of her children, wanted more of my time and
attention, just when I was taken away by my new work and began to give {69}
her less.  She used to complain at first; but, when she saw that complaints
did not alter me, she retired into herself, as it were; and I saw less and
less of her.  And then, when my work was done and my new trade established,
my shop, as I have told you, became the rendezvous for artists, and I grew
interested in the frank, bright faces and the youthful, eager voice, and
renewed my youth in the company of the young painters and writers who used
to seek me out.  Suddenly, I awoke to the fact that my wife was ill, very
ill, and, almost before I had fully realised how weak she was, she died.
The loss was greater than I would have believed possible.  She was gentle
and kind, and I missed her every day and every hour.  I think that was the
beginning of my dislike for the shop, the shop that had made me neglect
her.  The associations of it reminded me of my fault; the daily
requirements of it grew irksome to me.
    "About this time, too, I began to miss Rossetti and the vivifying
influences of his mind and talk.  He went into the country a great deal and
for long periods I did not see him, and, when at length we met, I found
that the virtue was going out of him: he had become moody and irritable, a
neuropath.  Of course, the intellectual richness in him could not be hidden
altogether: now and then, he would break out and talk in the old magical

                   And conjure wonder out of emptiness,
                   Till mean things put on beauty like a dress
                   And all the world was an enchanted place.

But, more often, he was gloomy and harassed, and it saddened and oppressed
me to meet him.  The young artists who came {70} to my shop did not fill
his place; they chattered gaily enough, but none of them was a magician as
he had been, and I began to realise that genius such as his is one of the
rarest gifts in the world.
    "I am trying, with all brevity, to explain to you the causes of my
melancholy and my dissatisfaction: but I don't think I have done it very
convincingly; and yet, about this time, I had grown dissatisfied, ill at
ease, restless.  And once again my hear-emptiness drove me to work and
think.  The next step forward came inevitably from the last one I had
    "While studying the great painters, I had begun to notice that there
was a certain quality common to all of them, a certain power they all
possessed when working at highest pressure: the power of seeing things as
they are --- the vital and essential truth of things.  I don't mean to say
that all of them possessed this faculty to the same degree.  Far from it.
The truth of things to Titian is overlaid with romance: he is memorable
mainly for his magic of colour and beauty; while Holbein is just as
memorable for his grasp of reality.  But compare Titian with Giorgione or
Tintoretto, and you will see that his apprehension of the reality of things
is much greater than theirs.  It is that which distinguishes him from the
other great colourists of Venice.  And, as my own view of life grew sadder
and clearer, it came to me gradually as a purpose that I should try to make
glasses that would show the reality, the essential truth of things, as all
the great masters had seen it; and so I set to work again on a new quest.
    "About this time, I found out that, though I had many more customers
in my shop, I had not made money out of my {71} artistic enterprises.  My
old trade as a spectacle-maker was really the most profitable branch of my
business.  The sale of the Rossetti-glasses and the Titian-glasses, which
at first had been very great, fell off quickly as the novelty passed away,
and it was soon apparent that I had lost more than I had gained by my
artistic inventions.  But whether I made њ1500 a year, or њ1000 a year, was
a matter of indifference to me.  I had doubled that cape of forty which to
me marks the end of youth in a man, and my desires were shrinking as my
years increased.  As long as I had enough to satisfy my wants, I was not
greedy of money.
    "This new-born desire of mine to make glasses which would show the
vital truth of things soon began to possess me; and, gradually, I left the
shop to take care of itself, left it in the hands of my assistant,
Williams, and spent more and more time in the little workshop at the back,
which had been the theatre of all my achievements.  I could not tell you
how long I worked at the problem; I only know that it cost me years and
years, and that, as I gave more time and labour to it and more and more of
the passion of my soul, so I came to love it more intensely and to think
less of the ordinary business of life.  At length, I began to live in a
sort of dream, possessed by the one purpose.  I used to get up at night and
go on with the work and rest in the day.  For months together, I scarcely
ate anything, in the hope that hunger might sharpen my faculties; at
another time, I lived almost wholly on coffee, hoping that this would have
the same effect; and, at length, bit by bit, and slowly, I got nearer to
the goal of my desire.  But, when I reached it, when I had constructed
glasses that would reveal the naked truth, show things as they were and men
and {72} women as they were, I found that circumstances about me had
changed lamentably.
    "In the midst of my work, I had known without realising it that
Williams had left me and started a shop opposite, with the object of
selling the artistic glasses, of which he declared himself the inventor;
but I paid no attention to this at the time, and when, two or three years
afterwards, I awoke again to the ordinary facts of life, I found that my
business had almost deserted me.  I am not sure, but I think it was a
notice to pay some debts which I hadn't the money to pay, that first
recalled me completely to the realities of everyday life.  What irony there
is in the world!  Here was I, who had been labouring for years and years
with the one object of making men see things as they are and men and women
as they are, persecuted now and undone by the same reality which I was
trying to reveal.
    "My latest invention, too, was a commercial failure: the new glasses
did not not sell at all.  Nine people out of ten in England are truthblind,
and could make nothing of the glasses; and the small minority, who have the
sense of real things, kept complaining that the view of life which my
glasses showed them, was not pleasant: as if that were any fault of mine.
Williams, too, my assistant, did me a great deal of harm.  He devoted
himself merely to selling my spectacles; and the tradesman succeeded where
the artist and thinker starved.  As soon as he found out what my new
glasses were, he began to treat me contemptuously; talked of me at times as
a sort of half-madman, whose brain was turned by the importance given to
his inventions; and at other times declared that I had never invented
anything at all, for the idea of the artistic {73} glasses had been
suggested by Rossetti.  The young painters who frequented his shop took
pleasure in spreading this legend and attributing to Rossetti what Rossetti
would have been the first to disclaim.  I found myself abandoned, and hours
used to pass without any one coming into my shop.  The worst of it was
that, when chance gave me a customer, I soon lost him: the new glasses
pleased no one.
    "At this point, I suppose, if I had been gifted with ordinary
prudence, I should have begun to retrace my steps; but either we grow more
obstinate as we grow older, or else the soul's passion grows by the
sacrifices we make for it.  Whatever the motives of my obstinacy may have
been, the disappointment, the humiliation I went through seemed only to
nerve me to a higher resolution.  I knew I had done good work, and the
disdain shown to me drove me in upon myself and my own thoughts."
           *           *           *           *           *
    So much I learned from Mr. Penry in the first few days of our
acquaintance, and then for weeks and weeks he did not tell me any more.  He
seemed to regard the rest of his story as too fantastic and improbable for
belief, and he was nervously apprehensive lest he should turn me against
him by telling it.  Again and again, however, he hinted at further
knowledge, more difficult experiments, a more arduous seeking, till my
curiosity was all aflame, and I pressed him, perhaps unduly, for the whole
    In those weeks of constant companionship, our friendship had grown
with almost every meeting.  It was impossible to escape the charm of
Penry's personality!  He was so absorbed in his work, so heedless of the
ordinary vanities and greeds of {74} men, so simple and kindly and
sympathetic, that I grew to love him.  He had his little faults, of course,
his little peculiarities; surface irritabilities of temper; moments of
undue depression, in which he depreciated himself and his work; moments of
undue elation, in which he over-estimated the importance of what he had
done.  He would have struck most people as a little flighty and uncertain,
I think; but his passionate devotion to his work lifted the soul, and his
faults were, after all, insignificant in comparison with his noble and rare
qualities.  I had met no one in life who aroused the higher impulses in me
as he did.  It seemed probable that his latest experiments would be the
most daring and the most instructive, and, accordingly, I pressed him to
tell me about them with some insistence, and, after a time, he consented:
    "I don't know how it came about," he began, "but the contempt of men
for my researches exercised a certain influence on me, and at length I took
myself seriously to task: was there any reason for their disdain and
dislike?  Did these glasses of mine really show things as they are, or was
I offering but a new caricature of truth, which people were justified in
rejecting as unpleasant?  I took up again my books on optics and studied
the whole subject anew from the beginning.  Even as I worked, a fear grew
upon me:  I felt that there was another height before me to climb, and that
the last bit of the road would probably be the steepest of all. ... In the
Gospels," he went on, in a low, reverent voice, "many things are symbolic
and of universal application, and it alway seemed to me significant that
the Hill of Calvary came at the end of the long journey.  But I shrank from
another prolonged effort; I said to myself that I couldn't face another
task like {75} the last.  But, all the while, I had a sort of uncomfortable
prescience that the hardest part of my life's work lay before me.
    "One day, a casual statement stirred me profoundly.  The primary
colours, you know, are red, yellow and blue.  The colours shown in the
rainbow vary from red to blue and violet; and the vibrations, or lengths,
of the light-waves that give us violet grow shorter and shorter and, at
length, give us red.2  These vibrations can be measured.  One day, quite by
chance, I came across the statement that there were innumerable light-waves
longer than those which give violet.  At once the question sprang: were
these longer waves represented by colours which we don't see, colours for
which we have no name, colours of which we can form no conception?  And was
the same thing true of the waves which, growing shorter and shorter, give
us the sensation of red?  There is room, of course, for myriads of colours
beyond this other extremity of our vision.  A little study convinced me
that my guess was right; for all the colours which we see are represented
to our sense of feeling in degrees of heat: that is, blue shows one reading
on the thermometer and red a higher reading; and by means of this new
standard, I discovered that man's range of vision is not even placed in the
middle of the register of heat, but occupies a little space far up towards
the warmer extremity of it.  There are thousands of degrees of cold lower
than blue and hundreds of degrees of heat above red.  All these gradations
are doubtless represented by colours which no human eye can perceive, no
human mind can imagine.  It is with sight as with sound.  We know now that
there are noises louder than thunder which we cannot hear, the roar that
lies on the other side of silence.  We {76} men are poor restless
prisoners, hemmed in by our senses as by the walls of a cell, hearing only
a part of nature's orchestra and that part imperfectly; seeing only a
thousandth part of the colour-marvels about us and seeing that
infinitesimal part incorrectly and partially.  Here was new knowledge with
a vengeance!  Knowledge that altered all my work!  How was I to make
glasses to show all this?  Glasses that would reveal things as they are and
must be to higher beings --- the ultimate reality.  At once, the new quest
       2  WEH Note: It's the other way around.  The wavelength of the
         violet end of the spectrum is shorter than that of the red end.
became the object of my life and, somehow or other I knew before I began
the work that the little scraps of comfort or of happiness which I had
preserved up to this time, I should now forfeit.  I realised with shrinking
and fear, that this new inquiry would still further remove me from the
sympathy of my fellows.
    "My prevision was justified.  I had hardly got well to work --- that
is, I had only spent a couple of years in vain and torturing experiments
--- when I was one day arrested for debt.  I had paid no attention to the
writ; the day of trial came and went without my knowing anything about it;
and there was a man in possession of my few belongings before I understood
what was going on.  Then I was taught by experience that to owe money is
the one unforgivable sin in the nation of shopkeepers.  My goods were sold
up and I was brought to utter destitution" --- the old man paused --- "and
then sent to prison because I could not pay."
    "But," I asked, "did your daughters do nothing?  Surely, they could
have come to your help?"
    "Oh! they were more than kind," he replied simply, "the eldest
especially, perhaps because she was childless herself.  I called her
Gabrielle," he added, lingering over the name; {77} "she was very good to
me.  As soon as she heard the news, she paid my debt and set me free.  She
bought things, too, and fitted out two nice rooms for me and arranged
everything again quite comfortably; but you see," he went on with a timid,
depreciating smile, "I tired out even her patience: I could not work at
anything that brought in money and I was continually spending money for my
researches.  The nice furniture went first; the pretty tables and chairs
and then the bed.  I should have wearied an angel.  Again and again,
Gabrielle bought me furniture and made me tidy and comfortable, as she
said, and again and again, like a spendthrift boy, I threw it all away.
How could I think of tables and chairs, when I was giving my life to my
work?  Besides, I always felt that the more I was plagued and punished, the
more certain I was to get out the best in me: solitude and want are the
twin nurses of the soul."
    "But didn't you wish to get any recognition, any praise?" I broke in.
    "I knew by this time," he answered, "that, in proportion as my work
was excellent, I should find fewer to understand it.  How many had I seen
come to praise and honour while Rossetti fell to nerve-disease and madness;
and yet his work endures and will endure, while theirs is already
forgotten.  The tree that grows to a great height wins to solitude even in
a forest: its highest outshoots find no companions save the winds and
stars.  I tried to console myself with such similes as this," he went on,
with a deprecatory smile, "for the years passed and I seemed to come no
nearer to success.  At last, the way opened for me a little, and, after
eight or ten years of incessant experiment, I found that partial success
was all I {78} should ever accomplish.  Listen!  There is not one pair of
eyes in a million that could ever see what I had taught myself to see, for
the passion of the soul brings with it its own reward.  After caring for
nothing but truth for twenty years, thinking of nothing but truth, and
wearying after it, I could see it more clearly than other men: get closer
to it than they could.  So the best part of my labour --- I mean the
highest result of it --- became personal, entirely personal, and this
disappointed me.  If I could do no good to others by it, what was my labour
but a personal gratification?  And what was that to me --- at my age!  I
seemed to lose heart, to lose zest. ... Perhaps it was that old age had
come upon me, that the original sum of energy in me had been spent, that my
bolt was shot.  It may be so.
    "The fact remains that I lost the desire to go on, and, when I had
lost that, I woke up, of course, to the ordinary facts of life once again.
I had no money: I was weak from semi-starvation and long vigils,
prematurely old and decrepit.  Once more, Gabrielle came to my assistance.
She fitted up this room, and then I went out to sell my glass, as a pedlar.
I bought the tray and made specimens of all the spectacles I had made, and
hawked them about the streets.  Why shouldn't I?  No work is degrading to
the spirit, none, and I could not be a burden to the one I loved, now I
knew that my best efforts would not benefit others.  I did not get along
very well: the world seemed strange to me, and men a little rough and hard.
Besides, the police seemed to hate me; I don't know why.  Perhaps, because
I was poor, and yet unlike the poor they knew.  They persecuted me, and the
magistrates before whom they brought me always believed them and never {79}
believed me.  I have been punished times without number for obstruction,
though I never annoyed any one.  The police never pretended that I had
cheated or stolen from any one before; but, after all, this latest charge
of theirs brought me to know you and gave me your friendship; and so I feel
that all the shame has been more than made up to me."
    My heart burned within me as he spoke so gently of his unmerited
sufferings.  I told him I was proud of being able to help him.  He put his
hand on mine with a little smile of comprehension.
    A day or two later curiosity awoke in me again, and I asked him to let
me see a pair of the new glasses, those that show the ultimate truth of
    "Perhaps, some day," he answered quietly.  I suppose my face fell,
for, after a while, he went on meditatively: "There are faults in them, you
see, shortcomings and faults in you, too, my friend.  Believe me, if I were
sure that they would cheer or help you in life, I would let you use them
quickly enough; but I am beginning to doubt their efficacy.  Perhaps the
truth of things is not for man."
           *           *           *           *           *
    When we entered the court on the day of Penry's trial, Morris and
myself were of opinion that the case would not last long and that it would
certainly be decided in our favour.  The only person who seemed at all
doubtful of the issue was Penry himself.  He smiled at me, half pityingly,
when I told him that in an hour we should be on our way home.  The waiting
seemed interminable, but at length the case was called.  The counsel for
the prosecution got up and talked perfunctorily for five minutes, with a
sort of careless unconcern that seemed to {80} me callous and unfeeling.
Then he began to call his witnesses.  The workman, I noticed, was not in
the court.  His evidence had been rather in favour of the accused, and the
prosecution, on that account, left it out.  But Mr. 'Allett, as he called
himself, of 'Igh 'Olborn, was even more voluble and vindictive than he had
been at the police-court.  He had had time to strengthen his evidence, too,
to make it more bitter and more telling, and he had used his leisure
malignantly.  It seemed to me that every one should have seen his spite and
understood the vileness of his motives.  But no; again and again, the judge
emphasised those parts of his story which seemed to tell most against the
accused.  The judge was evidently determined that the jury should not miss
any detail of the accusation, and his own bias appeared to me iniquitous.
But there was a worse surprise in store for us.  After Hallett, the
prosecution called a canon of Westminster, a stout man, with heavy jowl and
loose, suasive lips, Canon Bayton.  He told us how he had grown interested
in Penry and in his work, and how he had bought all his earlier glasses,
the Rossetti-glasses, as he called them.  The cannon declared that these
artistic glasses threw a very valuable light on things, redeemed the
coarseness and commonness of life and made reality beautiful and charming.
He was not afraid to say that he regarded them as instruments for good; but
the truth-revealing glasses seemed to excite his utmost hatred and
indignation.  He could not find a good word to say for them: they only
showed, he said, what was terrible and brutal in life.  When looking
through them, all beauty vanished, the charming flesh-covering fell away
and you saw the death's-head grinning at you.  Instead of parental
affection, you found personal vanity; instead of the {81} tenderness of the
husband for the wife, gross and common sensuality.  All high motives
withered, and, instead of the flowers of life, you were compelled to look
at the wormlike roots and the clinging dirt.  He concluded his evidence by
assuring the jury that they would be doing a good thing if they put an end
to the sale of such glasses.  The commerce was worse than fraudulent, he
declared; it was a blasphemy against God and an outrage on human nature.
The unctuous canon seemed to me worse than all the rest; but the effect he
had on the jury was unmistakable, and our barrister, Symonds, refused to
cross-examine him.  To do so, he said, would only strengthen the case for
the prosecution, and I have no doubt that he was right, for Morris agreed
with him.
    But even the prosecuting witnesses did not hurt us more than the
witnesses for the defence.  Mr. Penry had been advised by Mr. Morris to
call witnesses to his character, and he had called half a dozen of the most
respectable tradesmen of his acquaintance.  One and all did him harm rather
than good; they all spoke of having known him twenty years before, when he
was well-to-do and respectable.  They laid stress upon what they called
"his fall in life."  They all seemed to think that he had neglected his
business and come to ruin by his own fault.  No one of them had the
faintest understanding of the man, or of his work.  It was manifest from
the beginning that these witnesses damaged our case, and this was
apparently the view of the prosecuting barrister, for he scarcely took the
trouble to cross-examine them.
    It was with a sigh of relief that I saw Mr. Penry go into the box to
give evidence on his own behalf.  Now, I thought, {82} the truth will come
to light.  He stated everything with the utmost clearness and precision;
but no one seemed to believe him.  The wish to understand him was
manifestly wanting in the jury, and from the beginning the judge took sides
against him.  From time to time, he interrupted him just to bring out what
he regarded as the manifest falseness of his testimony.
    "You say that these glasses show truth," he said.  "Who wants to see
    "Very few," was Penry's reply.
    "Why, then, did you make the glasses," went on the judge, "if you knew
that they would disappoint people?'
    "I thought it my duty to," replied Penry.
    "Your duty to disappoint and anger people?" retorted the judge, "a
strange view to take of duty.  And you got money for this unpleasant duty,
didn't you?"
    "A little," was Penry's reply.
    "Yes; but still you got money," persisted the judge.  "You persuaded
people to buy your glasses, knowing that they would be disappointed in
them, and you induced them to give you money for the disappointment.  Have
you anything else to urge in your defence?"
    I was at my wit's end; I scarcely knew how to keep quiet in my seat.
It seemed to me so easy to see the truth.  But even Penry seemed
indifferent to the result, indifferent to a degree that I could scarcely
explain or excuse.  This last question, however, of the judge aroused him.
As the harsh, contemptuous words fell upon the ear, he leaned forward, and,
selecting a pair of spectacles, put them on and peered round the court.  I
noticed that he was slightly flushed.  In a {83} moment or two, he took the
glasses off and turned to the judge:
    "My lord," he said, "you seem determined to condemn me, but, if you do
condemn me, I want you to do it with some understanding of the facts.  I
have told you that there are very few persons in this country who have any
faculty for truth, and that the few who have, usually have ruined their
power before they reach manhood.  You scoff and sneer at what I say, but
still it remains the simple truth.  I looked round the court just now to
see if there was any one here young enough, ingenuous enough, pure enough,
to give evidence on my behalf.  I find that there is no one in the court to
whom I can appeal with any hope of success.  But, my lord, in the room
behind this court there is a child sitting, a girl with fair hair, probably
your lordship's daughter.  Allow me to call her as a witness, allow her to
test the glasses and say what she sees through them, and then you will find
that these glasses do alter and change things in a surprising way to those
who can use them."
    "I don't know how you knew it," broke in the judge, "but my daughter
is in my room waiting for me, and what you say seems to have some sense in
it.  But it is entirely unusual to call a child, and I don't know that I
have any right to allow it.  Still, I don't want you to feel that you have
not had every opportunity of clearing yourself; so, if the jury consent, I
am quite willing that they should hear what this new witness may have to
    "We are willing to hear the witness," said the foreman, "but really,
your lordship, our minds are made up about the case.  {84}
    The next moment, the child came into the court --- a girl of thirteen
or fourteen, with a bright, intelligent face, a sort of shy fear troubling
the directness of her approach.
    "I want you to look through a pair of spectacles, my child," said
Penry to her, "and tell us just what you see through them," and, as he
spoke, he peered at her in his strange way, as if judging her eyes.
    He then selected a pair of glasses and handed them to her.  The child
put them on and looked round the court, and then cried out suddenly:
    "Oh, what strange people; and how ugly they all are.  All ugly, except
you who gave me the glasses; you are beautiful."  Turning hastily round,
she looked at her father and added, "Oh, papa, you are --- Oh!" and she
took off the glasses quickly while a burning flush spread over her face.
    "I don't like these glasses," she said indignantly, laying them down.
"They are horrid!  My father doesn't look like that."
    "My child," said Penry, very gently, "will you look through another
pair of glasses?  You see so much that perhaps you can see what is to be,
as well as what is.  Perhaps you can catch some glimpse even of the
    He selected another pair and handed them to the child.  There was a
hush of expectancy in the court; people who had scoffed at Penry before and
smiled contempt, now leaned forward to hear, as if something extraordinary
were about to happen.  All eyes were riveted on the little girl's face;
every ear strained to hear what she would say.  Round and round the court
she looked through the strange glasses and then began to speak in a sort of
frightened monotone: {85}
    "I see nothing," she said.  "I mean there is no court and no people,
only great white blocks, a sort of bluey-white.  Is it ice?  There are no
trees, no animals; all is cold and white.  It is ice.  There is no living
creature, no grass, no flowers, nothing moves.  It is all cold, all dead."
In a frightened voice she added: "Is that the future?"
    Penry leaned towards her eagerly:
    "Look at the light, child," he said; "follow the light up and tell us
what you see."
    Again a strange hush; I heard my heart thumping while the child looked
about her.  Then, pulling off the glasses, she said peevishly:
    "I can't see anything more: it hurts my eyes."
           *           *           *           *           *
                      DEATH IN PRISON.
    "Matthew Penry, whose trial for fraud and condemnation will probably
still be remembered by our readers because of the very impressive evidence
for the prosectuion given by Canon Bayton, of Westminster, died, we
understand, in Wandsworth Prison yesterday morning from syncope." ---
Extract from the "Times", January 3, 1900.
                                      FRANK HARRIS.


                      THE CHYMICAL JOUSTING OF

                         BROTHER PERARDUA

                       WITH THE SEVEN LANCES
                           THAT HE BRAKE


{Illustration facing next page: Multi-color lithograph or metal plate
resist work, effect like flat watercolors with heavy flat black and metalic
overprinting.  Colors include white, metallic silver, metallic gold, burnt
orange, chinese red, grayish blue, dull medium brown (always associated
with gold), straw yellow and dull veridian.  There are seven figures on a
dull black field:
    At the upper right is a figure similar to Blake's Urizon, but not
holding a compass.  The figure is shown in head, arms and either part trunk
or left knee (obscured by the beard).  There is a radiant of sharp petals
of silver on white behind the head (five only are visible clearly, but
parts of two others peak from the locks of hair).  The hair of the head
streaks out horizontally in four or more locks of gold and silver on white,
accented in black.  The face is closed eyed, done in red-orange stippling
for the flesh with the features defined in gold and silver.  The arms
extend outward and very slightly downward, in silver accented by gold on
white.  The hands are displayed on the side, thumbs to the fore and held
palm toward the bottom; they are suggestive of crab claws.  The full beard
dashes to the left in the picture, and is done in silver over white,
accented mostly in gold but with some black accents near the chin.  This
figure emerges behind and above a loose tumble of ribbon done in brown-gold
striations and scrolling.  The Hebrew alphabet is done in silver on the
ribbon, starting at the upper left with Taw and ending just above the
pendant tip with Aleph thusly: Taw Shin, scroll up, Resh through Peh,
scroll down, back scroll, scroll up to front, Ayin through Nun, scroll down
to left again, back scroll, scroll up to front, Hebrew on this front Kaph
to left, Yod to center, Tet to right, scroll down to left, Lamed, ribbon
crushed at next level, Mem on left, Chet to right, scroll up out of crush
below with Zain at a diagonal top to right on scroll, scroll down with face
still presented, Vau to left and Heh to right, scroll crushed below, below
this crush is a frontal fold, scrolled up from the left, down to the right
and surmounted by the Hebrew letters left to right: Dalet through Aleph,
below this the ribbon whirls in a downward left spiral horn of two loops to
a point. ---- try reading that in one breath!
    Ranked on the right edge in a column occupying the center half of the
edge is a column of seven silver stars of seven points each, one point to
    At the lower right, just above the tip of the serpent's tail
(described below) is a lion of Assyrian style between two outward arched
cresents.  The lower crescent is golden and the lion's only visible hind
foot rests on the center of the crescent.  The upper crescent is silver and
gripped by the lion's left paw at the lower horn.  The face of the lion is
directly at but not touching the center of this crescent.  The right paw of
the lion touches the lower quarter of this crescent with talon tips only.
These two crescents are so aligned that their horn tips could be connected
by parallel lines about 45 degrees from the horizontal, upper to the left
and lower to the right.  The lion is green on white with gold accents, tail
arched upward in a crescent and tipped in gold.  The eye is red and the
tongue extends in red as well.  There are black accents about the edges of
the mane and below the chin.
    At the lower left, framed by the serpent to left and below, is an
Assyrian winged bull, flank view and facing right.  The fore quarters stand
on a silver sphere, while the hind quarters stand on a gold cube in
parallel projection with the full face to the lower left.  The Assyrian
king's head is crowned and bearded as usual and colored in orange and and
gold over yellow.  There are two silver horns issuing from the back of the
head and angling upward just above and past the temples --- the horns are
bull-like otherwise, and are only slightly curved.  The wings form a
bundle, more tucked under the back of the hair like a newspaper under an
elbow than naturally rooted.  These wings show only on the facing side, are
blue and gold on white and have the usual shape for an Assyrian bull
otherwise.  They are fully as thick as the body and extend above it.  The
fore quarters are leonine in red and gold over orange.  The hind quarters
are taurian in gray brown over white.  The bull is male, with a taurian
tail hanging down below the hooves.  The hind hooves are gold.  The
"saddle" of the bull is done in orange plates on gold.
 Across the bottom and on the left side is a predominantly red-orange
serpent with yellow scutes divided by orange.  The scales on the back are
represented in red dots on orange and defined by silver and red.  Eye in
blue.  Teeth dog-like in blue with black boning.  The body makes seven
tight loops separated by arcs on the left of the illustration, curves to
make two and a half undulations across the bottom and arches downward in a
semicircle at the upper left corner.  Flames in yellow and red are
associated with the head as: Three flames accented gold brown in the shape
of the Hebrew letter Shin above head, directly above brow and eye.  One
flame from nostril, slanting upward toward top center of plate.  One flame
accented in gold brown pendant to chin like an old man's beard.  A gout of
flame in four points issues triangularly downward from the mouth, and this
is divided by a very forked tongue in gold brown (divides 1/8 inch from
mouth and extends one inch past division point) such that the two outer
points of flame are separated from the two inner by the fork.
   A golden dodecagram (twelve pointed star) in a ring is directly below
the serpent's head, situated such that the tongue of the serpent frames the
upper arc of the ring and the head of the serpent appears in medium coeli
like a nemesis above the wheel of fortune.  The ring is divided into twelve
silver and twelve brown-gold bands, with a red zodiacal symbol over each
gold and silver band, gold to widdershins and silver to deosil.  The star
in the center points to each symbol.  Aries is at top and the rest proceed
Deosil around the ring.
    In center is a star surmounted by the eye in the triangle.  The star
is in two modes: A large gold star of six narrow points with point to top
is on top of a smaller silver star of six narrow points with two points
dead horizontal.  The silver star and the gold star create a sort of
compass rose, and the silver star has its points filled with gold.  The
triangle is centered in the golden star, equilateral and apex at top.  The
triangle is gold with silver edging.  The eye is a Horus left, gold on
white.  There are three silver teardrops edged in white depending from the
vertices of the triangle and oblating toward the eye.  Between eye, sides
of triangle and tears are three sets of three each white rays, they touch
nothing and the center ray in each set is very short.

    The plate origin is identified under the lower right as: "CARL
    This illustration accompanies the next entry, and is read with it in
clock-wise fashion starting from the upper right.  The illustration is
known as "The Regimen of Seven".}

                      THE CHYMICAL JOUSTING OF

                         BROTHER PERARDUA

                       WITH THE SEVEN LANCES
                           THAT HE BRAKE

"He slayeth Sir Argon le Paresseux."
Now Brother Perardua, though he was but a Zelator of our ancient Order, had
determined in himself to perform the Magnum Opus, and to procure for
himself one grain of the Power, one minim of the Elixir, and the Tincture
of Double Efficacy.  Not fully did he yet comprehend the Mysterium of our
Art, therefore imposed he upon himself the painful sevenfold regimen.  For
without the Bell of Electrum Magicum of Paracelsus how should the adept
even give warning to the Powers of the Work of his entry thereunto?
    Yet our brother, being of stout heart --- for he had been a soldier in
many distant lands --- began right cheerfully.  His head that was hoary
with eld he crowned with five petals of white lotus, as if to signify the
purity of his body, and went forth into that place where is no field, nor
any furrow therein; and there he sowed a scroll that had two and twenty
seeds diverse.

"He slayeth Sir Abjad the Saracen."
    Nor for all his care and labour could he gather therefrom more than
seven plants, that shone in the blackness; and {89} each plant beareth a
single blossom that hath seven petals --- one would have thought them
stars; for though they were not of a verity in themselves brilliant and
flashing, yet so black was that wherein they grew that they seemed brighter
than suns.  And these were placed one above the other in a single line and
straight, even according to the seven centres of his intention that he bare
about him in the hollow tube that hath thirty and two joints.

"He slayeth Sir Amorex le Desirous."
    These plants did our brother Perardua pluck, as the mystic rites
ordain; and these did he heat furiously in his alembic, yet with vegetable
heat alone, while he kept them ever moist, dropping upon them of his lunar
water, whereof he had three and seventy minims left of the eight and
seventy that his Father had given him; and these he had borne upon a camel
through the desert unto this place where he now was, which is called the
Oasis of the Lion, even as the whole Regimen that in the end he
accomplished is in the form of a Lion.
    This then his Lion waxed exceeding thirsty, and licked up all that
dew.  But the fire being equal thereunto, he was not discomforted.

"He slayeth Sir Lionel the Warder of the Marches."
    So now indeed he had wrought the first Matter to a pitch of excellence
beyond the human; for without trouble was his tincture thus beautiful.
First, it had the crown and horns of Alexander the mighty king; also it had
wings of fine sapphire; its fore part was like the Lion, whereby indeed it
partook of the highest Virtue, and its hinder quarters were as a bull's.
{90}  Moreover it stood upon the White Sphere and the Red Cube; and it is
not possible for any Elixir to exceed this, unless it be by Our path and

"He slayeth Sir Merlin the Wizard."
    Yet our brother Perardua --- and by now he was right skilful at the
athanor! --- determined to attain to that higher Projection of our art.
Therefore he subtly prepared a Red Dragon, or as some alchemists will have
it, a Fiery Flying Serpent, whereby he should eat up that Sphinx of his,
that he had nourished with such ingenium and care.
    Now this Red Dragon hath seven fiery coils, proper to the seven silver
stars.  Also was his head right venomous and greedy, and eight flames were
about it; for that sphinx had two wings and four feet and two horns; but
the Serpent is one, even as the King is one.

"He slayeth the Great Dragon called Stooping or Twisted."
    Now then is this work utterly burnt up and abolished in that
tremendous heat that is in the mouth and belly of the Dragon; and that
which cometh forth therefrom is in no wise that which went in.  Yet are
these twelve the children of those two-and twenty.  So when he had broken
the cucurbite, he found therein no trace of the seven, but a button of
fused gold --- as we say, for it is not gold. ...
    Now this button hath twelve faces, and angles twenty-four salient and
reentrant; and Our Egyptian brethren have called it the Pavement of the
Firmament of Nu. {91}

"He slayeth King Astur of the Arms Argent."
    Now this metal is not in any wise like unto earthly metals; let the
brethren well beware, for many false knaves be abroad.  Three things be
golden: the mineral gold of the merchant, that is dross; the vegetable gold
that groweth from the seed of the scroll by virtue of the Lion; and the
animal gold that cometh forth from the regimen of the Dragon, and this last
is the sole marketable gold of the Philosopher.  For, behold, an Arcanum!
I charge you, keep secret this matter; for the vile brothers, could they
divine it, would pervert it.
    This mineral Gold cannot be changed into any other substance by any
    This Vegetable Gold is fluidic; it must increase wonderfully and be
fixed in the Perfection of the Sphinx.
    But this our Animal Gold is to this mighty pitch unstable, that it can
neither increase nor decrease, nor can it remain that which it is, or
seemeth to be.  For even as a drop of glass unequally cooled flieth at a
touch into a myriad fine particles, so also at a touch this gold
philosophical dissolveth his being, ofttimes with a great and terrible
explosion, ofttimes so softly and subtly that no man may perceive it, be he
never so acute, nay, as a needle for sharpness or for fineness as a
spyglass of the necromancers!
    Yet herein lieth the core of the matter that in this explosion
aforesaid naught whatever is left either of the seven or the twelve or of
the three Mother seeds that lie concealed therein.  But in a certain
mystical way the Other Ten are shadowed forth, though dimly, as if the
Brazen Serpent had become a {92} Sword of Lightning.  Yet is this but a
glyph; for in truth there is no link or bond between them.
   For this Animal gold is passed utterly away; there is not any button
hereof, nor any feather of the Wings of the Sphinx, nor any mark of the
Sower or of the Seed.  But at that Lightning Flash all did entirely
disappear, and the Cucurbite and the Alembic and the Athanor were shattered
utterly ... and there arose That which he had set himself to seek; yea,
more! a grain of the Powder, and three minims of the Elixir, and Six
drachms of the Tincture of Double Efficacy.
    ... Yet the brethren mocked him; for he had imperilled himself sore;
so that unto this hour hath the name of Perardua been forgotten, and they
that have need to speak of him say in right joyance "Non Sine Fulmine".


                       THE LONELY BRIDE

         "BLEST among women," they say: I stand
              Here in the market-place,
         And the crowd throngs by in this lonely land,
              Nor stays to heed my face.
         My head is bowed down with the shame of my thought;
              Mine eyes grow hot with disgrace.
         Oh the evil that men have wrought!

         I was once a King's daughter,
              Back in the olden time,
         They called me the Bride of Water:
              I went to the sea for her rhyme;
         I went to the stars for their song of life,
              For then I was in my prime.
         Now I am filled with strife.

         I stare all day at the men that pass,
              And all that I see I crave;
         There are simple-gatherers fresh from the grass,
              There are mariners brown from the wave,
         There are merchants stout with tablets wide;
              There is many a fair young slave;
         They call me The Lonely Bride.                    {95}

         I was men's wonder the day I came;
              I was ruddy and gold and pale:
         My eyes were light with a smouldering flame,
              On my lips was the untold tale,
         And men, as they passed, gazed hard and long,
              And women looked scorn and bale.
         Yea!  I was fair and strong.

         How should they know the thing I sought?
              I was rich and lovely and young,
         Not young with the flame that the spring had wrought,
              But with fire from the summer sprung.
         No man dared speak, but they longed to speak:
              Aye!  Many a glance they flung.
         But I stood with an unflushed cheek.

         And only the strangers heed me now;
              I am but a statue cold.
         Ah! could they see the pain in my brow,
              My heart that is growing old.
         I may not summon them to my side,
              Or move my lips' stern fold.
         I am The Lonely Bride.

         But never a man doth dare to speak,
              And with burning heart I stand,
         Till I feel the hot blood mount to my cheek,
              And a trembling shake my hand.
         If they but knew of my need, my need,
              As I wait in love's barren land,
         To me, to me would they speed.                     {96}

         Here in the market place they pass,
              Merchant and slave and thrall;
         The dewy herb-gatherer from the grass,
              The steward from out the hall.
         Ah! the weary waiting till one shall speak,
              Oh! then the spell will fall,
         And I shall find what I seek.

                                  VICTOR B. NEUBURG.


                     AT THE FORK OF THE ROADS


                     AT THE FORK OF THE ROADS

HYPATIA GAY knocked timidly at the door of Count Swanoff's flat.  Hers was
a curious mission, to serve the envy of the long lank melancholy unwashed
poet whom she loved.  Will Bute was not only a poetaster but a dabbler in
magic, and black jealousy of a younger man and a far finer poet gnawed at
his petty heart.  He had gained a subtle hypnotic influence over Hypatia,
who helped him in his ceremonies, and he had now commissioned her to seek
out his rival and pick up some magical link through which he might be
    The door opened, and the girl passed from the cold stone dusk of the
stairs to a palace of rose and gold.  The poet's rooms were austere in
their elegance.  A plain gold-black paper of Japan covered the walls; in
the midst hung an ancient silver lamp within which glowed the deep ruby of
an electric lamp.  The floor was covered with black and gold of leopards'
skins; on the walls hung a great crucifix in ivory and ebony.  Before the
blazing fire lay the poet (who had concealed his royal Celtic descent
beneath the pseudonym of Swanoff) reading in a great volume bound with
    He rose to greet her.
    "Many days have I expected you," he exclaimed, "many days have I wept
over you.  I see your destiny --- how thin a {101} thread links you to that
mighty Brotherhood of the Silver Star whose trembling neophyte I am --- how
twisted and thick are the tentacles of the Black Octopus whom you now
serve.  Ah! wrench yourself away while you are yet linked with us: I would
not that you sank into the Ineffable Slime.  Blind and bestial are the
worms of the Slime: come to me, and by the Faith of the Star, I will save
    The girl put him by with a light laugh.  "I came," she said, "but to
chatter about clairvoyance --- why do you threat me with these strange and
awful words?"
    "Because I see that to-day may decide all for you.  Will you come with
me into the White Temple, while I administer the Vows?  Or will you enter
the Black Temple, and swear away your soul?"
    "Oh really," she said, "you are too silly --- but I'll do what you
like next time I come here."
    "To-day your choice --- to-morrow your fate," answered the young poet.
    And the conversation drifted to lighter subjects.
    But as she left she managed to scratch his hand with a brooch, and
this tiny blood-stain on the pin she bore back in triumph to her master; he
would work a strange working therewith!
           *           *           *           *           *
    Swanoff closed his books and went to bed.  The streets were deadly
silent; he turned his thoughts to the Infinite Silence of the Divine
Presence, and fell into a peaceful sleep.  No dreams disturbed him; later
than usual he awoke.
    How strange!  The healthy flush of his cheek had faded: the hands were
white and thin and wrinkled: he was so weak {102} that he could hardly
stagger to the bath.  Breakfast refreshed him somewhat; but more than this
the expectation of a visit from his master.
    The master came.  "Little brother!" he cried aloud as he entered, "you
have disobeyed me.  You have been meddling again with the Goetia!"
    "I swear to you, master!"  He did reverence to the adept.
    The new comer was a dark man with a powerful clean-shaven face almost
masked in a mass of jet-black hair.
    "Little brother," he said, "if that be so, then the Goetia has been
meddling with you."
    He lifted up his head an sniffed.  "I smell evil;" he said, "I smell
the dark brothers of iniquity.  Have you duly performed the Ritual of the
Flaming Star?"
    "Thrice daily, according to your word."
    "Then evil has entered in a body of flesh.  Who has been here?"
    The young poet told him.  His eyes flashed.  "Aha!" he said, "now let
us Work!"
    The  neophyte brought writing materials to his master: the quill of a
young gander, snow-white; virgin vellum of a young male lamb; ink of the
gall of a certain rare fish; and a mysterious Book.
    The master drew a number of incomprehensible signs and letters upon
the vellum.
    "Sleep with this beneath the pillow," he said, "you will awake if you
are attacked; and whatever it is that attacks you, kill it!  Kill it!  Kill
it!  Then instantly go into your temple and assume the shape and dignity of
the god {103} Horus, send back the Thing to its sender by the might of the
god that is in you!  Come!  I will discover unto you the words and the
signs and the spells for this working of magic art."
    They disappeared into the little white room lined with mirrors which
Swanoff used for a temple.
           *           *           *           *           *
    Hypatia Gay, that same afternoon, took some drawings to a publisher in
Bond Street.  This man was bloated with disease and drink; his loose lips
hung in an eternal leer; his fat eyes shed venom; his cheeks seemed ever on
the point of bursting into nameless sores and ulcers.
    He bought the young girl's drawings.  "Not so much for their value,"
he explained, "as that I like to help promising young artists --- like you,
my dear!
    Her steely virginal eyes met his fearlessly and unsuspiciously.  The
beast cowered, and covered his foulness with a hideous smile of shame.
           *           *           *           *           *
    The night came, and young Swanoff went to his rest without alarm.  Yet
with that strange wonder that denotes those who expect the unknown and
terrible, but have faith to win through.
    This night he dreamt --- deliciously.
    A thousand years he strayed in gardens of spice, by darling streams,
beneath delightful trees, in the blue rapture of the wonderful weather.  At
the end of a long glade of ilex that reached up to a marble palace stood a
woman, fairer than all the women of the earth.  Imperceptibly they drew
together --- she was in his arms.  He awoke with a start.  A woman {104}
indeed lay in his arms and showered a rain of burning kisses on his face.
She clothed him about with ecstasy; her touch waked the serpent of
essential madness in him.
    Then, like a flash of lightning, came his master's word to his memory
--- Kill it!  In the dim twilight he could see the lovely face that kissed
him with lips of infinite splendour, hear the cooing words of love.
    "Kill it!  My God!  Adonai!  Adonai!"  He cried aloud, and took her by
the throat.  Ah God!  Her flesh was not the flesh of woman.  It was hard as
india-rubber to the touch, and his strong young fingers slipped.  Also he
loved her --- loved, as he had never dreamt that love could be.
    But he knew now, he knew!  And a great loathing mingled with his lust.
Long did they struggle; at last he got the upper, and with all his weight
above her drove down his fingers in her neck.  She gave one gasping cry ---
a cry of many devils in hell --- and died.  He was alone.
     He had slain the succubus, and absorbed it.  Ah!  With what force and
fire his veins roared!  Ah!  How he leapt from the bed, and donned the holy
robes.  How he invoked the God of Vengeance, Horus the mighty, and turned
loose the Avengers upon the black soul that had sought his life!
    At the end he was calm and happy as a babe; he returned to bed, slept
easy, and woke strong and splendid.
           *           *           *           *           *
    Night after night for ten nights this scene was acted and re-acted:
always identical.  On the eleventh day he received a postcard from Hypatia
Gay that she was coming to see him that afternoon.
    "It means that the material basis of their working is {105}
exhausted," explained his master.  "She wants another drop of blood.  But
we must put an end to this."
    They went out into the city, and purchased a certain drug of which the
master knew.  At the very time that she was calling at the flat, they were
at the boarding-house where she lodged, and secretly distributing the drug
about the house.  Its function was a strange one: hardly had they left the
house when from a thousand quarter came a lamentable company of cats, and
made the winter hideous with their cries.
    "That" (chuckled the master) "will give her mind something to occupy
itself with.  She will do no black magic for our friend awhile!"
    Indeed the link was broken; Swanoff had peace.  "If she comes again,"
ordered the master, "I leave it to you to punish her."
           *           *           *           *           *
    A month passed by; then, unannounced, once more Hypatia Gay knocked at
the flat.  Her virginal eyes still smiled; her purpose was yet deadlier
than before.
    Swanoff fenced with her awhile.  Then she began to tempt him.
    "Stay!" he said, "first you must keep your promise and enter the
    Strong in the trust of her black master, she agreed.  The poet opened
the little door, and closed it quickly after her, turning the key.
    As she passed into the utter darkness that hid behind curtains of
black velvet, she caught one glimpse of the presiding god. {106}
    It was a skeleton that sat there, and blood stained all its bones.
Below it was the evil altar, a round table supported by an ebony figure of
a negro standing upon his hands.  Upon the altar smouldered a sickening
perfume, and the stench of the slain victims of the god defiled the air.
It was a tiny room, and the girl, staggering, came against the skeleton.
The bones were not clean; they were hidden by a greasy slime mingling with
the blood, as though the hideous worship were about to endow it with a new
body of flesh.  She wrenched herself back in disgust.  Then suddenly she
felt it was alive!  It was coming towards her!  She shrieked once the
blasphemy which her vile master had chosen as his mystic name; only a
hollow laugh echoed back.
    Then she knew all.  She knew that to seek the left-hand path may lead
one to the power of the blind worms of the Slime --- and she resisted.
Even then she might have called to the White Brothers; but she did not.  A
hideous fascination seized her.
    And then she felt the horror.
    Something --- something against which nor clothes nor struggles were
any protection --- was taking possession of her, eating its way into her
    And its embrace was deadly cold. ... Yet the hell-clutch at her heart
filled her with a fearful joy.  She ran forward; she put her arms round the
skeleton; she put her young lips to its bony teeth, and kissed it.
Instantly, as at a signal, a drench of the waters of death washed all the
human life out of her being, while a rod as of steel smote her even from
the base of the spine to the brain.  She had passed the gates of the abyss.
Shriek after shriek of ineffable agony burst from her tortured {107} mouth;
she writhed and howled in that ghastly celebration of the nuptials of the
    Exhaustion took her; she fell with a heavy sob.
           *           *           *           *           *
    When she came to herself she was at home.  Still that lamentable crew
of cats miauled about the house.  She awoke and shuddered.  On the table
lay two notes.
    The first: "You fool!  They are after me; my life is not safe.  You
have ruined me --- Curse you!"  This from the loved master, for whom she
had sacrificed her soul.
    The second a polite note from the publisher, asking for more drawings.
Dazed and desperate, she picked up her portfolio, and went round to his
office in Bond Street.
    He saw the leprous light of utter degradation in her eyes; a dull
flush came to his face; he licked his lips. {108)

                         THE MAGICIAN

                         FAMOUS HYMN]

O Lord, deliver me from hell's great fear and gloom!
Loose thou my spirit from the larvae of the tomb!
I seek them in their dread abodes without affright:
On them will I impose my will, the law of light.

I bid the night conceive the glittering hemisphere.
Arise, O sun, arise!  O moon, shine white and clear!
I seek them in their dread abodes without affright:
On them will I impose my will, the law of light.

Their faces and their shapes are terrible and strange.
These devils by my might to angels I will change.
These nameless horrors I address without affright:
On them will I impose my will, the law of light.

These are the phantoms pale of mine astonied view,
Yet none but I their blasted beauty can renew;
For to the abyss of hell I plunge without affright:
On them will I impose my will, the law of light.           {109}

                     THE SOLDIER AND THE
                          ! AND ?


                     THE SOLDIER AND THE
                          ! AND ?

              "Expect seven misfortunes from the cripple, and forty-two
         from the one-eyed man; but when the hunchback comes, say
         'Allah our aid.'"
                                                    ARAB PROVERB


INQUIRY.  Let us inquire in the first place: What is Scepticism?  The word
means looking, questioning, investigating.  One must pass by contemptuously
the Christian liar's gloss which interprets "sceptic" as "mocker"; though
in a sense it is true for him, since to inquire into Christianity is
assuredly to mock at it; but I am concerned to intensify the etymological
connotation in several respects.  First, I do not regard mere incredulity
as necessary to the idea, though credulity is incompatible with it.
Incredulity implies a prejudice in favour of a negative conclusion; and the
true sceptic should be perfectly unbiassed.
    Second, I exclude "vital scepticism."  What's the good of anyfink?
expects (as we used to learn about "nonne?") the answer, "Why nuffink!" and
again is prejudiced.  Indolence is no virtue in a questioner.  Eagerness,
intentness, concentration, {113} vigilance --- all these I include in the
connotation of "sceptic."  Such questioning as has been called "vital
scepticism" is but a device to avoid true questioning, and therefore its
very antithesis, the devil disguised as an angel of light.
    [Or "vice versѓ", friend, if you are a Satanist; 'tis a matter of words
--- words --- words.  You may write "x" for "y" in your equations, so long as
you consistently write "y" for "x".  They remain unchanged --- and unsolved.
Is not all our "knowledge" an example of this fallacy of writing one
unknown for another, and then crowing like Peter's cock?]
    I picture the true sceptic as a man eager and alert, his deep eyes
glittering like sharp swords, his hands tense with effort as he asks, "What
does it matter?"
    I picture the false sceptic as a dude or popinjay, yawning, with dull
eyes, his muscles limp, his purpose in asking the question but the
expression of his slackness and stupidity.
    This true sceptic is indeed the man of science; as Wells' "Moreau"
tells us.  He has devised some means of answering his first question, and
its answer is another question.  It is difficult to conceive of any
question, indeed, whose answer does not imply a thousand further questions.
So simple an inquiry as "Why is sugar sweet?" involves an infinity of
chemical researches, each leading ultimately to the blank wall --- what is
matter? and an infinity of physiological researches, each (similarly)
leading to the blank wall --- what is mind?
    Even so, the relation between the two ideas is unthinkable; causality
is itself unthinkable; it depends, for one thing, upon experience --- and
what, in God's name, is experience?  Experience is impossible without
memory.  What is memory?  The mortar of the temple of the ego, whose bricks
are the impressions.  And the ego?  The sum of our experience, may be.  (I
doubt it!)  Anyhow, we have got values of "y" and "z" for "x", and the values of
"x" and "z" for "y" --- all our equations are indeterminate; all our knowledge is
relative, even in a narrower sense than is usually implied by the
statement.  Under the whip of the clown God, our performing donkeys the
philosophers and men of science run round and round in the ring; they have
amusing tricks: they are cleverly trained; but they get nowhere.
    I don't seem to be getting anywhere myself.


    A fresh attempt.  Let us look into the simplest and most certain of
all possible statements.  "Thought exists", or if you will, "Cogitatur".
    Descartes supposed himself to have touched bed-rock with his "Cogito,"
"ergo Sum."
    Huxley pointed out the complex nature of this proposition, and that it
was an enthymeme with the premiss "Omnes sunt, qui cogitant" suppressed.  He
reduced it to "Cogito;" or, to avoid the assumption of an ego, "Cogitatur."
    Examining more closely this statement, we may still cavil at its form.
We cannot translate it into English without the use of the verb to be, so,
that, after all, existence is implied.  Nor do we readily conceive that
contemptuous silence is sufficient answer of the further query, "By whom is
{115} it thought?"  The Buddhist may find it easy to image an act without
an agent; I am not so clever.  It may be possible for a sane man; but I
should like to know more about his mind before I  gave a final opinion.
    But apart from purely formal objections, we may still inquire: Is this
"Cogitatur" true?
    Yes; reply the sages; for to deny it implies thought; "Negatur" is only
a sub-section of "Cogitatur".
    This involves, however, an axiom that the part is of the same nature
as the whole; or (at the very least) an axiom that "A" is "A".
    Now, I do not wish to deny that "A" is "A", or may occasionally be "A".  But
certainly "A is A" is a very different statement to our original "Cogitatur".
    The proof of "Cogitatur", in short, rests not upon itself but upon the
validity of our logic; and if by logic we mean (as we should mean) the Code
of the Laws of Thought, the irritating sceptic will have many more remarks
to make: for it now appears that the proof that "thought exists" depends upon
the truth of that which is thought, to say no more.
    We have taken "Cogitatur", to try and avoid the use of "esse;" but "A is A"
involves that very idea, and the proof is fatally flawed.
    "Cogitatur" depends on "Est;" and there's no avoiding it.


    Shall we get on any better if we investigate this "Est" --- Something is
--- Existence is --- HB:Heh HB:Yod HB:Heh HB:Aleph  HB:Resh HB:Shin HB:Aleph
HB:Heh HB:Yod HB:Heh HB:Aleph ? {116}
    What is Existence?  The question is so fundamental that it finds no
answer.  The most profound meditation only leads to an exasperating sense
of impotence.  There is, it seems, no simple rational idea in the mind
which corresponds to the word.
    It is easy of course to drown the question in definitions, leading us
to further complexity --- but

                 "Existence is the gift of Divine Providence,"
                 "Existence is the opposite of Non-Existence,"

do not help us much!
    The plain "Existence is Existence" of the Hebrews goes farther.  It is
the most sceptical of statements, in spite of its form.  Existence is just
existence, and there's no more to be said about it; don't worry!  Ah, but
there is more to be said about it!  Though we search ourselves for a
thought to match the word, and fail, yet we have Berkeley's perfectly
convincing argument that (so far as we know it) existence must mean
"thinking existence" or "spiritual existence".
    Here then we find our "Est" to imply "Cogitatur;" and Berkeley's arguments
are "irrefragable, yet fail to produce conviction" (Hume) because the
"Cogitatur;" as we have shown, implies "Est".
    Neither of these ideas is simple; each involves the other.  Is the
division between them in our brain a proof of the total incapacity of that
organ, or is there some flaw in our logic?  For all depends upon our logic;
not upon the simple identity "A is A" only, but upon its whole structure from
the question of simple propositions, enormously difficult from the moment
when it occurred to the detestable genius that invented {117} "existential
import" to consider the matter, to that further complexity and
contradiction, the syllogism.


    "Thought is" appears then (in the worst case possible, denial) as the
conclusion of the premisses:
    There is denial of thought.
    (All) Denial of thought is thought.
    Even formally, 'tis a clumsy monster.  Essentially, it seems to
involve a great deal beyond our original statement.  We compass heaven and
earth to make one syllogism; and when we have made it, it is tenfold more
the child of mystery than ourselves.
    We cannot here discuss the whole problem of the validity (the surface-
question of the logical validity) of the syllogism; though one may throw
out the hint that the doctrine of distributed middle seems to assume a
knowledge of a Calculus of Infinites which is certainly beyond my own poor
attainments, and hardly impregnable to the simple reflection that all
mathematics is conventional, and not essential; relative, and not absolute.
    We go deeper and deeper, then, it seems, from the One into the Many.
Our primary proposition depends no longer upon itself, but upon the whole
complex being of man, poor, disputing, muddle-headed man!  Man with all his
limitations and ignorance; man --- man!  {118}


    We are of course no happier when we examine the Many, separately or
together.  They converge and diverge, each fresh hill-top of knowledge
disclosing a vast land unexplored; each gain of power in our telescopes
opening out new galaxies; each improvement in our microscopes showing us
life minuter and more incomprehensible.  A mystery of the mighty spaces
between molecules; a mystery of the ether-cushions that fend off the stars
from collision!  A mystery of the fulness of things; a mystery of the
emptiness of things!  Yet, as we go, there grows a sense, an instinct, a
premonition --- what shall I call it? --- that Being is One, and Thought is
One, and Law is One --- until we ask What is that One?
    Then again we spin words --- words --- words.  And we have got no
single question answered in any ultimate sense.
    What is the moon made of?
    Science replies "Green Cheese."
    For our one moon we have now two ideas:
    "Greenness," and "Cheese."
    "Greenness" depends on the sunlight, and the eye, and a thousand other
    "Cheese" depends on bacteria and fermentation and the nature of the cow.
    "Deeper, even deeper, into the mire of things!"
    Shall we cut the Gordian knot? shall we say "There is God"?
    What, in the devil's name, is God?
    If (with Moses) we picture Him as an old man showing us His back
parts, who shall blame us?  The great Question {119} --- "any" question is
the great question --- does indeed treat us thus cavalierly, the
disenchanted Sceptic is too prone to think!
    Well, shall we define Him as a loving Father, as a jealous priest, as
a gleam of light upon the holy Ark?  What does it matter?  All these images
are of wood and stone, the wood and stone of our own stupid brains!  The
Fatherhood of God is but a human type; the idea of a human father conjoined
with the idea of immensity.  Two for One again!
    No combination of thoughts can be greater than the thinking brain
itself; all we can think of God or say of Him, so long as our words really
represent thoughts, is less than the whole brain which thinks, and orders
    Very good; shall we proceed by denying Him all thinkable qualities, as
do the heathen?  All we obtain is mere negation of thought.
    Either He is unknowable, or He is less than we are.  Then, too, that
which is unknowable is unknown; and "God" or "There is God" as an answer to
our question becomes as meaningless as any other.
    Who are we, then?
    We are Spencerian Agnostics, poor silly, damned Spencerian Agnostics!
    And there is an end of the matter.


    It is surely time that we began to question the validity of some of
our data.  So far our scepticism has not only knocked {120} to pieces our
tower of thought, but rooted up the foundation-stone and ground it into
finer and more poisonous powder than that into which Moses ground the calf.
These golden Elohim!  Our calf-heads that brought us not out of Egypt, but
into a darkness deeper and more tangible than any darkness of the double
Empire of Asar.
    Hume put his little ? to Berkeley's God-!; Buddha his ? to the Vedic
Atman-! --- and neither Hume nor Buddha was baulked of his reward.
Ourselves may put ? to our own ? since we have found no ! to put it to; and
wouldn't it be jolly if our own second ? suddenly straightened its back and
threw its chest out and marched off as !?

    Suppose then we accept our scepticism as having destroyed our
knowledge root and branch --- is there no limit to its action?  Does it not
in a sense stultify itself?  Having destroyed logic by logic --- if Satan
cast out Satan, how shall his kingdom stand?
    Let us stand on the Mount, Saviours of the World that we are, and
answer "Get thee behind me Satan!" though refraining from quoting texts or
giving reasons.
    Oho! says somebody; is Aleister Crowley here? --- Samson blinded and
bound, grinding corn for the Philistines!
    Not at all, dear boy!
    We shall put all the questions that we can put --- but we may find a
tower built upon a rock, against which the winds beat in vain.
    Not what Christians call faith, be sure!  But what (possibly) the
forgers of the Epistles --- those eminent mystics! --- meant by faith.
What I call Samadhi --- and as "faith without {121} works is dead," so,
good friends, Samadhi is all humbug unless the practitioner shows the glint
of its gold in his work in the world.  If your mystic becomes Dante, well;
if Tennyson, a fig for his trances!
    But how does this tower of Samadhi stand the assault of Question-time?
    Is not the idea of Samadhi just as dependent on all the other ideas
--- man, time, being, thought, logic?  If I seek to explain Samadhi by
analogy, am I not often found talking as if we knew all about Evolution,
and Mathematics, and History?  Complex and unscientific studies, mere
straws before the blast of our hunchback friend!
    Well, one of the buttresses is just the small matter of common sense.
    The other day I was with Dorothy, and, as I foolishly imagined, very
cosy: for her sandwiches are celebrated.  It was surely bad taste on the
part of Father Bernard Vaughan, and Dr. Torrey, and Ananda Metteyya, and
Mr. G. W. Foote, and Captain Fuller, and the ghost of Immanuel Kant, and
Mr. Bernard Shaw, and young Neuburg, to intrude.  But intrude they did; and
talk!  I never heard anything like it.  Every one with his own point of
view; but all agreed that Dorothy was non-existent, or if existent, a most
awful specimen, that her buns were stale, and her tea stewed; "ergo," that I
was having a very poor time of it.  Talk!  Good God!  But Dorothy kept on
quietly and took no notice; and in the end I forgot about them.
    Thinking it over soberly, I see now that very likely they were quite
right: I can't prove it either way.  But as a mere practical man, I intend
taking the steamer --- for my sins I am {122} in Gibraltar --- back to
Dorothy at the earliest possible moment.  Sandwiches of bun and German
sausage may be vulgar and even imaginary --- it's the taste I like.  And
the more I munch, the more complacent I feel, until I go so far as to offer
my critics a bite.
    This sounds in a way like the "Interior Certainly" of the common or
garden Christian; but there are differences.
    The Christian insists on notorious lies being accepted as an essential
part of his (more usually her) system; I, on the contrary, ask for facts,
for observation.  Under Scepticism, true, one is just as much a house of
cards as the other; but only in the philosophical sense.
    Practically, Science is is true; and Faith is foolish.
    Practically, 3 x 1 = 3 is the truth; and 3 x 1 = 1 is a lie; though,
sceptically, both statements may be false or unintelligible.
    Practically, Franklin's method of obtaining fire from heaven is better
than that of Prometheus or Elijah.  I am now writing by the light that
Franklin's discovery enabled men to use.
    Practically, "I concentrated my mind upon a white radiant triangle in
whose centre was a shining eye, for 22 minutes and 10 seconds, my attention
wandering 45 times" is a scientific and valuable statement.  "I prayed
fervently to the Lord for the space of many days" means anything or
nothing.  Anybody who cares to do so may imitate my experiment and compare
his result with mine.  In the latter case one would always be wondering
what "fervently" meant and who "the Lord" was, and how many days made
    My claim, too, is more modest than the Christian's.  He {123} (usually
she) knows more about my future than is altogether pleasant; I claim
nothing absolute from my Samadhi --- I know only too well the worthlessness
of single-handed observations, even on so simple a matter as a boiling-
point determination!  --- and as for his (usually her) future, I content
myself with mere common sense about the probable end of a fool.
    So that after all I keep my scepticism intact --- and I keep my
Samadhi intact.  The one balances the other; I care nothing for the vulgar
brawling of these two varlets of my mind!


    If, however, you would really like to know what might be said on the
soldierly side of the question, I shall endeavour to oblige.
    It is necessary if a question is to be intelligibly put that the
querent should be on the same plane as the quesited.
    Answer is impossible if you ask: Are round squares triangular? or Is
butter virtuous? or How many ounces go to the shilling? for the "questions"
are not really questions at all.
    So if you ask me Is Samadhi real?  I reply: First, I pray you,
establish a connection between the terms.  What do you mean by Samadhi?
    There is a physiological (or pathological; never mind now!) state
which I call Samadhi; and that state is as real --- in relation to man ---
as sleep, or intoxication, or death.
    Philosophically, we may doubt the existence of all of these; but we
have no grounds for discriminating between them --- {124} the Academic
Scepticism is a wholesale firm, I hope! --- and practically, I challenge
you to draw valid distinctions.
    All these are states of the consciousness of man; and if you seek to
destroy one, all fall together.


    I must, at the risk of appearing to digress, insist upon this
distinction between philosophical and practical points of view, or (in
Qabalistic language) between Kether and Malkuth.
    In private conversation I find it hard --- almost impossible --- to
get people to understand what seems to me so very simple a point.  I shall
try to make it exceptionally clear.
    A boot is an Illusion.
    A hat is an illusion.
    "Therefore," a boot is a hat.
    So argue my friends, not distributing the middle term.
    But this argue I.
    All boots are illusions.
    All hats are illusions.
    "Therefore" (though it is not a syllogism), all boots and hats are
    I add:
    To the man in Kether no illusions matter.
    "Therefore:" To the man in Kether neither boots nor hats matter.
    In fact, the man in Kether is out of all relation to these boots and
hats. {125}
    You, they say, claim to be a man in Kether (I don't).  Why then, do
you not wear boots on your head and hats on your feet?
    I can only answer that I the man in Kether ('tis but an argument) am
out of all relation as much with feet and heads as with boots and hats.
But why should I (from my exalted pinnacle) stoop down and worry the headed
and footed gentleman in Malkuth, who after all doesn't exist for me, by
these drastic alterations in his toilet?  There is no distinction whatever;
I might easily put the boots on his shoulders, with his head on one foot
and the hat on the other.
    In short, why not be a clean-living Irish gentleman, even if you do
have insane ideas about the universe?
    Very good, say my friends, unabashed, then why not stick to that?  Why
glorify Spanish gipsies when you have married a clergyman's daughter?
    Why go about proclaiming that you can get as good fun for
eighteenpence as usually costs men a career?
    Ah! let me introduce you to the man in Tiphereth; that is, the man who
is trying to raise his consciousness from Malkuth to Kether.
    This Tiphereth man is in a devil of a hole!  He knows theoretically
all about the Kether point of view (or thinks he does) and practically all
about the Malkuth point of view.  Consequently he goes about contradicting
Malkuth; he refuses to allow Malkuth to obsess his thought.  He keeps on
crying out that there is no difference between a goat and a God, in the
hope of hypnotising himself (as it were) into that perception of their
identity, which is his (partial and incorrect) idea of how things look from
Kether. {126}
    This man performs great magic; very strong medicine.  He does really
find gold on the midden and skeletons in pretty girls.
    In Abiegnus the Sacred Mountain of the Rosicrucians the Postulant
finds but a coffin in the central shrine; yet that coffin contains
Christian Rosencreutz who is dead and is alive for evermore and hath the
keys of Hell and of Death.
    Ay! your Tiphereth man, child of Mercy and Justice, looks deeper than
the skin!
    But he seems a ridiculous object enough both to the Malkuth man and to
the Kether man.
    Still, he's the most interesting man there is; and we all must pass
through that stage before we get our heads really clear, the Kether-vision
above the Clouds that encircle the mountain Abiegnus.


    Running and returning, like the Cherubim, we may now resume our
attempt to drill our hunchback friend into a presentable soldier.  The
digression will not have been all digression, either; for it will have
thrown a deal of light on the question of the limitations of scepticism.
    We have questioned the Malkuth point of view; it appears absurd, be it
agreed.  But the Tiphereth position is unshaken; Tiphereth needs no telling
that Malkuth is absurd.  When we turn our artillery against Tiphereth, that
too crumbles; but Kether frowns above us.
    Attack Kether, and it falls; but the Yetziratic Malkuth is {127} still
there .... until we reach Kether of Atziluth and the Infinite Light, and
Space, and Nothing.
    So then we retire up the path, fighting rear-guard actions; at every
moment a soldier is slain by a hunchback; but as we retire there is always
a soldier just by us.
    Until the end.  The end?  Buddha thought the supply of hunchbacks
infinite; but why should not the soldiers themselves be infinite in number?
    However that may be, here is the point; it takes a moment for a
hunchback to kill his man, and the farther we get from our base the longer
it takes.  You may crumble to ashes the dream-world of a boy, as it were,
between your fingers; but before you can bring the physical universe
tumbling about a man's ears he requires to drill his hunchbacks so devilish
well that they are terribly like soldiers themselves.  And a question
capable of shaking the consciousness of Samadhi could, I imagine, give long
odds to one of Frederick's grenadiers.
    It is useless to attack the mystic by asking him if he is quite sure
Samadhi is good for his poor health; 'tis like asking the huntsman to be
very careful, please, not to hurt the fox.
    The ultimate Question, the one that really knocks Samadhi to pieces,
is such a stupendous Idea that it is far more of a ! than all previous !'s
whatever, for all its ? form.
    And the name of that Question is Nibbana.
    Take this matter of the soul.
    When Mr. Judas McCabbage asks the Man in the Street why he believes in
a soul, the Man stammers out that he has always heard so; naturally
McCabbage has no difficulty in proving to him by biological methods that he
has no soul; and with a sunny smile each passes on his way. {128}
    But McCabbage is wasted on the philosopher whose belief in a soul
rests on introspection; we must have heavier metal; Hume will serve our
turn, may be.
    But Hume in his turn becomes perfectly futile, pitted against the
Hindu mystic, who is in constant intense enjoyment of his new-found Atman.
It takes a Buddha-gun to knock "his" castle down.
    Now the ideas of McCabbage are banal and dull; those of Hume are live
and virile; there is a joy in them greater than the joy of the Man in the
Street.  So too the Buddha-thought, Anatta, is a more splendid conception
than the philosopher's Dutch-doll-like Ego, or the rational artillery of
    This weapon, too, that has destroyed our lesser, our illusionary
universes, ever revealing one more real, shall we not wield it with divine
ecstasy?  Shall we not, too, perceive the inter-dependence of the Questions
and the Answers, the necessary connection of the one with the other, so
that (just as 0 x м is an indefinite) we destroy the absolutism of either ?
or ! by their alternation and balance, until in our series ? ! ? ! ? ! ?
... ! ? ! ? ... we care nothing as to which may prove the final term, any
single term being so negligible a quantity in relation to the vastness of
the series?  Is it not a series of geometrical progression, with a factor
positive and incalculably vast?
    In the light of the whole process, then, we perceive that there is no
absolute value in the swing of the pendulum, thought its shaft lengthen,
its rate grow slower, and its sweep wider at every swing.
    What should interest us is the consideration of the Point from which
it hangs, motionless at the height of things!  We {129} are unfavourably
placed to observe this, desperately clinging as we are to the bob of the
pendulum, sick with our senseless swinging to and fro in the abyss!
    We must climb up the shaft to reach that point --- but --- wait one
moment!  How obscure and subtle has our simile become!  Can we attach any
true meaning to the phrase?  I doubt it, seeing what we have taken for the
limits of the swing.  True, it may be that at the end the swing is always
360ш so that the !-point and the ?-point coincide; but that is not the same
thing as having no swing at all, unless we make kinematics identical with
    What is to be done?  How shall such mysteries be uttered?
    Is this how it is that the true Path of the Wise is said to lie in a
totally different plane from all his advance in the path of Knowledge, and
of Trance?  We have already been obliged to take the Fourth Dimension to
illustrate (if not explain) the nature of Samadhi.
    Ah, say the adepts, Samadhi is not the end, but the beginning.  You
must regard Samadhi as the normal state of mind which enables you to begin
your researches, just as waking is the state from which you rise to
Samadhi, sleep the state from which you rose to waking.  And only from
Sammasamadhi --- continuous trance of the right kind --- can you rise up as
it were on tiptoe and peer through the clouds unto the mountains.
    Now of course it is really awfully decent of the adepts to take all
that trouble over us, and to put it so nicely and clearly.  All we have to
do, you see, is to acquire Sammasamadhi, and then rise on tiptoe.  Just so!
    But there there are the other adepts.  Hard at him! {130}  Little
brother, he says, let us rather consider that as the pendulum swings more
and more slowly every time, it must ultimately stop, as soon as the shaft
is of infinite length.  Good! then it isn't a pendulum at all but a
Mahalingam --- The Mahalingam of Shiva ("Namo Shivaya namaha Aum!") which is
all I ever thought it was; all you have to do is to keep swinging hard ---
I know it's hook-swinging! --- and you get there in the End.  Why trouble
to swing?  First, because you are bound to swing, whether you like it or
not; second, because your attention is thereby distracted from those lumbar
muscles in which the hook is so very firmly fixed; third, because after all
it's a ripping good game; fourth, because you want to get on, and even to
seem to progress is better than standing still.  A treadmill is admittedly
good exercise.
    True, the question, "Why become an Aarhat?" should precede, "How
become an Arahat?" but an unbiassed man will easily cancel the first
question with "Why not?" --- the How is not so easy to get rid of.  Then,
from the standpoint of the Arahat himself, perhaps this "Why did I become
an Arahat?" and "How did I become an Arahat?" have but a single solution!
    In any case, we are wasting our time --- we are as ridiculous with our
Arahats as Herod the Tetrarch with his peacocks!  We pose Life with the
question Why? and the first answer is: To obtain the Knowledge and
Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
    To attach meaning to this statement we must obtain that Knowledge and
Conversation: and when we have done that, we may proceed to the next
Question.  It is no good asking it now. {131}
    "There are purse-proud, penniless ones who stand at the door of the
tavern, and revile the guests."
    We attach little importance to the Reverend Out-at-Elbows, thundering
in Bareboards Chapel that the rich man gets no enjoyment from his wealth.
    Good, then.  Let us obtain the volume entitled "The Book of the Sacred
Magick of Abramelin the Mage"; or the magical writings of that holy
illuminated Man of God, Captain Fuller, and carry out fully their
    And only when we have succeeded, when we have put a colossal ! against
our vital ? need we inquire whether after all the soldier is not going to
develop spinal curvature.
    Let us take the first step; let us sing:

         "I do not ask to see
          The distant path; one step's enough for me."

    But (you will doubtless say) I pith your ? itself with another ?:  Why
question life at all?  Why not remain "a clean-living Irish gentleman"
content with his handicap, and contemptuous of card and pencil?  Is not the
Buddha's goad "Everything is sorrow" little better than a currish whine?
What do I care for old age, disease, and death?  I'm a man, and a Celt at
that.  I spit on your snivelling Hindu prince, emasculate with debauchery
in the first place, and asceticism in the second.  A weak, dirty, paltry
cur, sir, your Gautama!
    Yes, I think I have no answer to that.  The sudden apprehension of
some vital catastrophe may have been the exciting cause of my conscious
devotion to the attainment of Adeptship --- but surely the capacity was
there, inborn.  Mere despair and desire can do little; anyway, the first
impulse of {132} fear was the passing spasm of an hour; the magnetism of
the path itself was the true lure.  It is as foolish to ask me "Why do you
adep?" as to ask God "Why do you pardon?"  "C'est son m‚tier."
    I am not so foolish as to think that my doctrine can ever gain the ear
of the world.  I expect that ten centuries hence the "nominal Crowleians"
will be as pestilent and numerous a body as the "nominal Christians" are
to-day; for (at present) I have been able to devise no mechanism for
excluding them.  Rather, perhaps, should I seek to find them a niche in the
shrine, just as Hinduism provides alike for those capable of the Upanishads
and those whose intelligence hardly reaches to the Tantras.  In short, one
must abandon the reality of religion for a sham, so that the religion may
be universal enough for those few who are capable of its reality to nestle
to its breast, and nurse their nature on its starry milk.  But we
    My message is then twofold; to the greasy "bourgeois" I preach
discontent; I shock him, I stagger him, I cut away earth from under his
feet, I turn him upside down, I give him hashish and make him run amok, I
twitch his buttocks with the red-hot tongs of my Sadistic fancy -- until he
feels uncomfortable.
    But to the man who is already as uneasy as St. Lawrence on his silver
grill, who feels the spirit stir in him, even as a woman feels, and sickens
at, the first leap of the babe in her womb, to him I bring the splendid
vision, the perfume and the glory, the Knowledge and Conversation of the
Holy Guardian Angel.  And to whosoever hath attained that height will I put
a further Question, announce a further Glory. {133}
    It is my misfortune and not my fault that I am bound to deliver this
elementary Message.

         "Man has two sides; one to face the world with,
          One to show a woman when he loves her."

    We must pardon Browning his bawdy jest; for his truth is ower true!
But it is your own fault if you are the world instead of the beloved; and
only see of me what Moses saw of God!
    It is disgusting to have to spend one's life jetting dirt in the face
of the British public in the hope that in washing it they may wash off the
acrid grease of their commercialism, the saline streaks of their
hypocritical tears, the putrid perspiration of their morality, the
dribbling slobber of their sentimentality and their religion.  And they
don't wash it! ...
    But let us take a less unpleasing metaphor, the whip!  As some
schoolboy poet repeatedly wrote, his rimes as poor as Edwin Arnold, his
metre as erratic and as good as Francis Thompson, his good sense and frank
indecency a match for Browning!

         "Can't be helped; must be done ---
          So ..."

    Nay! 'tis a bad, bad rime.
    And only after the scourge that smites shall come the rod that
consoles, if I may borrow a somewhat daring simile from Abdullah Haji of
Shiraz and the twenty-third Psalm.
    Well, I would much prefer to spend my life at the rod; it is wearisome
and loathsome to be constantly flogging the tough hide of Britons, whom
after all I love.  "Whom the {134} Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son that He receiveth."  I shall really be glad if a few of you will
get it over, and come and sit on daddy's knee!
    The first step is the hardest; make a start, and I will soon set the
hunchback lion and the soldier unicorn fighting for your crown.  And they
shall lie down together at the end, equally glad, equally weary; while sole
and sublime that crown of thine (brother!) shall glitter in the frosty Void
of the abyss, its twelve stars filling that silence and solitude with a
music and a motion that are more silent and more still than they; thou
shalt sit throned on the Invisible, thine eyes fixed upon That which we
call Nothing, because it is beyond Everything attainable by thought, or
trance, thy right hand gripping the azure rod of Light, thy left hand
clasped upon the scarlet scourge of Death; thy body girdled with a snake
more brilliant than the sun, its name Eternity; thy mouth curved moonlike
in a smile, in the invisible kiss of Nuit, our Lady of the Starry Abodes;
thy body's electric flesh stilled by sheer might to a movement closed upon
itself in the controlled fury of Her love --- nay, beyond all these Images
art thou (little brother!) who art passed from I and Thou, and He unto That
which hath no Name, no Image. ...
    Little brother, give me thy hand; for the first step is hard.

                                        ALEISTER CROWLEY.

                        THE HERMIT


    AT last an end of all I hoped and feared!
    Muttered the hermit through his elfin beard.

    Then what art thou? the evil whisper whirred.
    I doubt me sorely if the hermit heard.

    To all God's questions never a word he said,
    But simply shook his venerable head.

    God sent all plagues; he laughed and heeded not;
    Till people took him for an idiot.

    God sent all joys; he only laughed amain,
    Till people certified him as insane.

    But somehow all his fellow-lunatics
    Began to imitate his silly tricks.

    And stranger still, their prospects so enlarged
    That one by one the patients were discharged.         {137}

    God asked him by what right he interfered;
    He only laughed into his elfin beard.

    When God reveled Himself to mortal prayer
    He gave a fatal opening to Voltaire.

    Our hermit had dispensed with Sinai's thunder,
    But on the other hand he made no blunder;

    He knew (no doubt) that "any" axiom
    Would furnish bricks to build some Donkeydom.

    But! --- all who urged that hermit to confess
    Caught the infection of his happiness.

    I would it were my fate to dree his weird;
    I think that I will grow an elfin beard.


                     THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON
                           THE KING


    To plead the organic causation of a
    religious state of mind, then, in
    refutation of its claim to possess
    superior spiritual value, is quite
    illogical and arbitrary, unless one have
    already worked out in advance some
    psycho-physical theory connecting
    spiritual values in general with
    determinate sorts of physiological
    change.  Otherwise none of our thoughts
    and feelings, not even our scientific
    doctrines, not even our "dis"-beliefs,
    could retain any value as revelations of
    the truth, for every one of them without
    exception flows from the state of their
    possessor's body at the time.
         It is needles to say that medical
    materialism draws in point of fact no
    such sweeping skeptical conclusion.  It
    is sure, just as every simple man is
    sure, that some states of mind are
    inwardly superior to others, and reveal
    to us more truth, and in this it simply
    makes use of an ordinary spiritual
    judgment.  It has no physiological
    theory of the production of these its
    favourite states, by which it may
    accredit them; and its attempt to
    discredit the states which it dislikes,
    by vaguely associating them with nerves
    and liver, and connecting them with
    names connoting bodily affliction, is
    altogether illogical and inconsistent.

                                           PROF. WILLIAM


                   And there was given me
                   a reed like unto a
                   rod: and the angel
                   stood, saying, Rise,
                   and measure the temple
                   of God and the altar,
                   and them that worship
                   therein. --- "Rev." xi.



                          THE QUESTION
    There must have been a time in the life of every
student of the Mysteries when he has paused whilst reading
the work or the life of some well-known Mystic, a moment of
perplexity in which, bewildered, he has turned to himself
and asked the question: "Is this one telling me the truth?"
    Still more so does this strike us when we turn to any
commentative work upon Mysticism, such as R‚c‚jac's "Bases
of the Mystic Knowledge," or William James's "Varieties of
Religious Experience."  In fact, so much so, that unless we
are more than commonly sceptical of the wordy theories which
attempt to explain these wordy utterances we are bound to
clasp hands with the great school of medical-materialism,
which is all but paramount at the present hour, and dismiss
all such as have had a glimpse of something we do not see as
"d‚traqu‚s," degenerates, neuropaths, psychopaths,
hypochondriacs, and epileptics.
    Well, even if we do, these terms explain very little,
and in most cases, especially when applied to mystic states,
nothing at all; nevertheless they form an excellent loophole
out of which the ignorant may crawl when faced with a
difficulty they have not the energy or wit to surmount.
    True, the utter chaos amongst all systems of magic and
mysticism that has prevailed in the West during the last two
thousand years, partially, if not entirely, accounts for the
uncritical manner in which these systems have been handled
by otherwise critical minds.
    Even to-day, though many thousand years after they were
first written down, we find a greater simplicity and truth
in the ancient rituals and hymns of Egypt and Assyria than
in the extraordinary entanglement of systems that came to
life during the first five hundred years of Christian era.
And in the East, from the most remote antiquity to the
present day, scientific systems of illuminism have been in
daily practice from the highest to the lowest in the land;
though, as we consider, much corrupted by an ignorant
priestcraft, by absurd superstitions and by a science which
fell to a divine revelation in place of rising to a sublime
    In the West, for some fifteen hundred years now,
Christianity has swayed the minds of men from the Arctic
seas to the Mediterranean.  At first but one of many small
excrescent faiths, which sprang up like fungi amongst the
superb "d‚bris" of the religions of Egypt, Babylonia, and
Greece, it was not long before (on account of its warlike
tenets and the deeply magical nature of its rites1) it
forced its head and then its arms above the shoulders of its
       1  Primitive Christianity had a greater adaptability than any other
         contemporary religion of assimilating to itself all that was more
         particularly pagan in polytheism; the result being that it won
         over the great masses of the people, who then were, as they are
         now, inherently conservative.
weaker brothers; and when once in a position to strike, so
thoroughly bullied all competitors that the few who inwardly
stood outside the Church, {144} to save the bruised skins of
the faiths they still held dear, were, for self-
preservation, bound to clothe them in the tinsel of
verbosity, in wild values and extravagant symbols and
cyphers; the result being that chaos was heaped upon chaos,
till at last all sense became cloaked in a truculent
obscurantism.  Still, by him who has eyes will it be seen
that through all this darkness there shone the glamour of a
great and beautiful Truth.
    Little is it to be wondered then, in these present
shallow intellectual days, that almost any one who has
studied, or even heard of, the theories of any notorious
nobody of the moment at once relegates to the museum or the
waste-paper basket these theories and systems, which were
once the very blood of the world, and which in truth are so
still, though few suspect it.
    Truth is Truth; and the Truth of yesterday is the Truth
of to-day, and the Truth of to-day is the Truth of to-
morrow.  Our quest, then, is to find Truth, and to cut the
kernel from the husk, the text from the comment.
    To start from the beginning would appear the proper
course to adopt; but if we commence sifting the shingle from
the sand with the year 10,000 B.C. there is little
likelihood of our ever arriving within measurable distance
of the present day.  Fortunately, however, for us, we need
not start with any period anterior to our own, or upon any
subject outside of our own true selves.  But two things we
must learn, if we are ever to make ourselves intelligible to
others, and these are, firstly an alphabet, and secondly a
language whereby to express our thoughts; for without some
definite system of expression our only course is to remain
silent, lest further confusion be added to the already
bewildering chaos. {145}
    It will be at once said by any one who has read as far
as this: "I lay you whatever odds you name that the writer
of this book will prove to be the first offender!"  And with
all humility will we at once plead guilty to this offence.
Unfortunately it is so, and must at first be so; yet if in
the end we succeed in creating but the first letter of the
new Alphabet we shall not consider that we have failed; far
from it, for we shall rejoice that, the entangled threshold
having been crossed, the goal, though distant, is at last in
    In a hospital a chart is usually kept for each patient,
upon which may be seen the exact progress, from its very
commencement, of the case in question.  By it the doctor can
daily judge the growth or decline of the disease he is
fighting.  On Thursday, let us say, the patient's
temperature in 100ш; in the evening he is given a cup of
beef-tea (the patient up to the present having been kept
strictly on milk diet); on the following morning the doctor
finds that his temperature has risen to 102ш, and at once
concludes that the fever has not yet sufficiently abated for
a definite change of diet to be adopted, and, "knocking off"
the beef-tea, down drops the temperature.
    Thus, if he be a worthy physician, he will study his
patient, never overlooking the seemingly most unimportant
details which can help him to realise his object, namely,
recovery and health.
    Not only does this system of minute tabulation apply to
cases of disease and sickness, but to every branch of
healthy life as well, under the name of "business"; the best
business man being he who reduces his special occupation in
life from "muddle" to "science."
    In the West religion alone has never issued from chaos;
{146} and the hour, late though it be, has struck when
without fear or trembling adepts have arisen to do for Faith
what Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton did for what is vulgarly
known as "Science."  And as Faith, growing old before its
day, held back Science with a cruel hand, so let us now,
whilst Science is still young, step briskly forward and
claim our rights, lest if we halt we too shall find the
child of the Morning once again strangled in the maw of a
second Night.
     Now, even to such as are still mere students in the
mysteries, it must have become apparent that there are
moments in the lives of others, if not in their own, which
bring with them an enormous sense of inner authority and
illumination; moments which created epochs in our lives, and
which, when they have gone, stand out as luminous peaks in
the moonlight of the past.  Sad to say, they come but
seldom, so seldom that often they are looked back upon as
miraculous visitations of some vastly higher power beyond
and outside of ourselves.  But when they do come the
greatest joys of earth wither before them like dried leaves
in the fire, and fade from the firmament of our minds as the
stars of night before the rising sun.
    Now, if it were possible to induce these states of
ecstasy or hallucination, or whatever we care to call them,
at will, so to speak, we should have accomplished what was
once called, and what is still known as, the Great Work, and
have discovered the Stone of the Wise, that universal
dissolvent.  Sorrow would cease and give way to joy, and joy
to a bliss quite unimaginable to all who have not as yet
experienced it.
    St. John of the Cross, writing of the "intuitions" by
which God reaches the soul, says: {147}
    "They enrich us marvellously.  A single one of them may
be sufficient to abolish at a stroke certain imperfections
of which the soul during its whole life has vainly tried to
rid itself, and to leave it adorned with virtues and loaded
with supernatural gifts.  A single one of the intoxicating
consolations may reward it for all the labours undergone in
its life --- even were they numberless.  Invested with an
invincible courage, filled with an impassioned desire to
suffer for its God, the soul then is seized with a strange
torment --- that of not being allowed to suffer enough."2
       2  "OEuvres," ii. 320.  Prof. William James writes: "The great
         Spanish mystics, who carried the habit of ecstasy as far as it
         has often been carried, appear for the most part to have shown
         indomitable spirit and energy, and all the more so for the
         trances in which they indulged."
            Writing of St. Ignatius, he says: "St. Ignatius was a mystic,
         but his mysticism made him assuredly one of the most powerful
         practical human engines that ever lived"  ("The Varieties of
         Religious Experience," p. 413).
    In the old days, when but a small portion of the globe
was known to civilised man, the explorer and the traveller
would return to his home with weird, fantastic stories of
long-armed hairy men, of impossible monsters, and countries
of fairy-like wonder.  But he who travels now and who
happens to see a gorilla, or a giraffe, or perchance a
volcano, forgets to mention it even in his most casual
correspondence!  And why? Because he has learnt to
understand that such things are.  He has named them, and,
having done so, to him they cease as objects of interest.
In one respect he gives birth to a great truth, which he at
once cancels by giving birth to a great falsehood; for his
reverence, like his disdain, depends but on the value of a
    Not so, however, the adept; for as a zoologist does not
lose {148} his interest in the simian race because he has
learnt to call a long-armed hairy man a gorilla; so he, by
learning to explain himself with clearness, and to convey
the image of his thoughts with accuracy to the brain of
another, is winnowing the wheat from the chaff, the Truth
from the Symbol of Truth.
    Now when St. John of the Cross tells us that a single
vision of God may reward us for all the labours of this
life, we are at perfect liberty, in these tolerant days, to
cry "Yea!" or "Nay!"  We may go further: we may extol St.
John to the position of a second George Washington, or we
may call him "a damned liar!" or, again, if we do not wish
to be considered rude, a "neuropath," or some other equally
amiable synonym.  But none of these expressions explains to
us very much; they are all equally vague --- nay (curious to
relate!), even mystical --- and as such appertain to the
Kingdom of Zoroaster, that realm of pure faith: "i.e.", faith
in St. John, or faith in something opposite to St. John.
    But now let us borrow from Pyrrho --- the Sceptic, the
keen-sighted man of science --- that word "WHY," and apply
it to our "Yea" and our "Nay," just as a doctor questions
himself and the patient about the disease; and we shall very
soon find that we are being drawn to a logical conclusion,
or at least to a point from which such a conclusion becomes
possible.3  And from this spot the toil of the husbandman
must not be condemned until the Season arrives in which the
tree he has {149} planted bears fruit; then by its fruit
shall it be known, and by its fruit shall it be judged.4
       3  "In the natural sciences and industrial arts it never occurs to
         any one to try to refute opinions by showing up their author's
         neurotic constitution.  Opinions here are invariably tested by
         logic and by experiment, no matter what may be their author's
         neurological type.  It should be no otherwise with religious
         opinions." --- "The Varieties of Religious Experience," pp. 17,
       4  "Dr. Maudsley is perhaps the cleverest of the rebutters of
         supernatural religion on grounds of origin.  Yet he finds himself
         forced to write ('Natural Causes and Supernatural Seemings,'
         1886, pp. 256, 257(:
            "'What right have we to believe Nature under any obligation to
         do her work by means of complete minds only?  She may find an
         incomplete mind a more suitable instrument for a particular
         purpose.  It is the work that is done, and the quality in the
         worker by which it was done, that is alone of moment; and it may
         be no great matter from a cosmical standpoint if in other
    This application of the word "Why" is the long and
short of what has been called Scientific Illuminism,5 or the
science of learning how not to say "Yes" until you know that
it "is" YES, and how not to say "No" until you know that it "is"
NO.  It is the all-important word of our lives, the corner-
stone of the Temple, the keystone of the arch, the flail
that beats the grain from the chaff, the sieve through which
Falsehood passes and in which Truth remains.  It is, indeed,
the poise of the balance, the gnomon of the sun-dial; which,
if we learn to read aright, will tell us at what hour of our
lives we have arrived.
    Through the want of it kingdoms have fallen into decay
and by it empires have been created; and its dreaded foe is
of necessity "dogma." {150}
    Directly a man begins to say "Yes" without the question
"Why?" he becomes a dogmatist, a potential, if not an actual
liar.  And it is for this reason that we are so bitterly
opposed to and use such scathing words against the present-
day rationalist6 when we attack him.  For we see he is doing
for Darwin, Huxley, and Spencer what the early Christian did
for Jesus, Peter, and Paul; and that is, that he, having
already idealised them, is now in the act of apotheosising
them.  Soon, if left unattacked, will "their" word become THE
WORD, and in the place of the "Book of Genesis" shall we
have the "Origin of Species," and in the place of the
Christian accepting as Truth the word of Jesus shall we have
the Rationalist accepting as Truth the word of Darwin.
    But what of the true man of science? say you; those
doubting men who silently work in their laboratories,
accepting no theory, however wonderful it may be, until
theory has given birth to fact.  We agree --- but what of
the Magi? answer we; the few fragments of whose wisdom which
escaped the Christian flames will stand in the eyes of all
men as a wonder.  It was the Christians who slew the magic
of Christ, and so will it be, if they are allowed to live,
         qualities of character he as singularly defective --- if indeed
         he were hypocrite, adulterer, eccentric, or lunatic. ... Home we
         come again, then, to the old and last resort of certitude, ---
         namely the common assent of mankind, or of the competent by
         instruction and training among mankind.'
            "In other words, not its origin, but "the way in which it works"
         "on the whole," is Dr. Maudsley's final test of a belief.  This is
         our own empiricist criterion; and this criterion the stoutest
         insisters on supernatural origin have also been forced to use in
         the end." --- "The Varieties of Religious Experience," pp. 19,
            To put it vulgarly, "the proof of the pudding is in the
         eating," and it is sheer waste of time to upbraid the cook before
         tasting of his dish.
       5  Or Pyrrho-Zoroastrianism.
       6  "We have to confess that the part of it [mental life] of which
         rationalism can give an account is relatively superficial.  It is
         the part that has the "prestige" undoubtedly, for it has the
         loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and
         put you down with words.  But it will fail to convince or convert
         you all the same, if your dumb intuitions are opposed to its
         conclusions.  If you have intuitions at all, they come from a
         deeper level of your nature than the loquacious level which
         rationalism inhabits." --- "The Varieties of Religious
         Experience," p. 73.
the Rationalists who will slay the magic of Darwin; so that
four hundred years hence perchance will some disciple of
Lamarck {151} be torn to pieces in the rooms of the Royal
Society by the followers of Haeckel, just as Hypatia, that
disciple of Plato, was torn to pieces in the Church of
Christ by followers of St. John.
    We have nothing to say against the men of science, we
have nothing to say against the great Mystics --- all hail
to both!  But such of their followers who accepted the
doctrines of either the one or the other as a dogma we here
openly pronounce to be a bane, a curse, and a pestilence to
    Why assume that only one system of ideas can be true?
And when you have answered this question there will be time
enough to assume that all other systems are wrong.  Start
with a clean sheet, and write neatly and beautifully upon
it, so that others can read you aright; do not start with
some old palimpsest, and then scribble all over it
carelessly, for then indeed others will come who will of a
certainty ready you awry.
    If Osiris, Christ, and Mahomet were mad, then indeed is
madness the key to the door of the Temple.  Yet if they were
only called mad for being wise beyond the sane, then ask you
why their doctrines brought with them the crimes of bigotry
and the horrors of madness?  And our answer is, that though
they loved Truth and wedded Truth, they could not explain
Truth; and their disciples therefore had to accept the
symbols of Truth for Truth, without the possibility of
asking "Why?" or else reject Truth altogether.  Thus it came
about that the greater the Master the less was he able to
explain himself, and the more obscure his explanations the
darker became the minds of his followers.  It was the old
story of the light that blinded the darkness.  You can teach
a bushman to add one to one, and he may after some teaching
grasp the idea of "two"; but do not try to tech him the
{152} differential calculus!  The former may be compared to
the study of the physical sciences, the latter to that of
the mental; therefore all the more should we persevere to
work out correctly the seemingly most absurd, infinitesimal
differences, and perchance one day, when we have learnt how
to add unit to unit, a million and a millionth part of a
unit will be ours.
    We will now conclude this part of our preface with two
long quotations from Prof. James's excellent book; the first
of which, slightly abridged, is as follows:
    "It is the terror and beauty of phenomena, the
'promise' of the dawn and of the rainbow, the 'voice' of the
thunder, the 'gentleness' of the summer rain, the
'sublimity' of the stars, and not the physical laws which
these things follow, by which the religious mind still
continues to be most impressed; and just as of yore the
devout man tells you that in the solitude of his room or of
the fields he still feels the divine presence, and that
sacrifices to this unseen reality fill him with security and
    "Pure anachronism! says the survival-theory; ---
anachronism for which deanthropomorphization of the
imagination is the remedy required.  The less we mix the
private with the cosmic, the more we dwell in universal in
impersonal terms, the truer heirs of Science we become.
    "In spite of the appeal which this impersonality of the
scientific attitude makes to a certain magnanimity of
temper, I believe it to be shallow, and I can now state my
reason in comparatively few words.  That reason is that, so
long as we deal with the cosmic and the general, we deal
only with the symbols of reality, but "as soon as we deal"
"with the private and personal phenomena as such, we deal"
"with realities in the" {153} "completest sense of the term."  I
think I can easily make clear what I mean by these words.
    "The world of our experience consists at all times of
two parts, an objective and a subjective part, of which the
former may be incalculably more extensive than the latter,
and yet the latter can never be omitted or suppressed.  The
objective part is the sum total of whatsoever at any given
time we may be thinking of, the subjective part is the inner
'state' in which the thinking comes to pass.  What we think
of may be enormous -- the cosmic times and spaces, for
example --- whereas the inner state may be the most fugitive
and paltry activity of mind.  Yet the cosmic objects, so far
as the experience yields them, are but ideal pictures of
something whose existence we do not inwardly possess, but
only point at outwardly, while the inner state is our very
experience itself; its reality and that of our experience
are one.  A conscious field "plus" its object as felt or
thought of "plus" an attitude towards the object "plus" the
sense of a self to whom the attitude belongs --- such a
concrete bit of personal experience may be a small bit, but
it is a solid bit as long as it lasts; not hollow, not a
mere abstract element of experience, such as the 'object' is
when taken all alone.  It is a "full" fact, even though it be
an insignificant fact; it is of the "kind" to which all
realities whatsoever must belong; the motor currents of the
world run through the like of it; it is on the line
connecting real events with real events.  That unshareable
feeling which each one of us has of the pinch of his
individual destiny as he privately feels it rolling out on
fortune's wheel may be disparaged for its egotism, may be
sneered at as unscientific, but it is the one thing that
fills up the measure of our concrete actuality, {154} and
any would-be existence that should lack such a feeling, or
its analogue, would be a piece of reality only half made up.
    "If this be true, it is absurd for science to say that
the egotistic elements of experience should be suppressed.
The axis of reality runs solely through the egotistic places
--- they are strung upon it like so many beads.  To describe
the world with all the various feelings of the individual
pinch of destiny, all the various spiritual attitudes, left
out from the description --- they being as describable as
anything else --- would be something like offering a printed
bill of fare as the equivalent for a solid meal.  Religion
makes no such blunders. ... A bill of fare with one real
raisin on it instead of the word 'raisin' and one real egg
instead of the word 'egg' might be an inadequate meal, but
it would at least be a commencement of reality.  The
contention of the survival-theory that we ought to stick to
non-personal elements exclusively seems like saying that we
ought to be satisfied forever with reading the naked bill of
fare. ... It does not follow, because our ancestors made so
many errors of fact and mixed them with their religion, that
we should therefore leave off being religious at all.  By
being religious we establish ourselves in possession of
ultimate reality at the only points at which reality is
given us to guard.  Our responsible concern is with our
private destiny after all."7
    "We must next pass beyond the point of view of merely
subjective utility, and make inquiry into the intellectual
content itself.
    "First, is there, under all the discrepancies of the
creeds, {155} a common nucleus to which they bear their
testimony unanimously?
    "And second, ought we to consider the testimony true?
    "I will take up the first question first, and answer it
immediately in the affirmative.  The warring gods and
formulas of the various religions do indeed cancel each
other, but there is a certain uniform deliverance in which
religions all appear to meet.  It consists of two parts:
    "(1) An uneasiness; and
    "(2) Its solution.
    "1. The uneasiness, reduced to its simplest terms, is a
sense that there is "something wrong about us" as we naturally
    "2. The solution is a sense that "we are saved from the"
"wrongness" by making proper connection with the higher
    "In those more developed minds which alone we are
studying, the wrongness takes a moral character, and the
salvation takes a mystical tinge.  I think we shall keep
well within the limits of what is common to all such minds
if we formulate the essence of their religious experience in
terms like these:
    "The individual, so far as he suffers from his
wrongness and criticises it, is to that extent consciously
beyond it, and in at least possible touch with something
higher, if anything higher exist.  Along with the wrong part
there is thus a better part of him, even though it may be
but a most helpless germ.  With which part he should
identify his real being is by no means obvious at this
stage; but when Stage 2 (the stage of solution or salvation)
arrives, the man identifies his real being with the germinal
higher part of himself; and does {156} so in the following
way: "He becomes conscious that this higher part is"
"conterminous and continuous with a MORE of the same quality,"
"which is operative in the universe outside of him, and which"
"he can keep in working touch with, and in a fashion get on"
"board of and save himself when all his lower being has gone"
"to pieces in the wreck."8
    These last few lines bring us face to face with the
subject of this volume, viz.: ---
                        FRATER P.

    To enter upon a somewhat irrelevant matter, this is
what actually happened to the complier of this book:
    For ten years he had been a sceptic, in that sense of
the word which is generally conveyed by the terms infidel,
atheist, and freethinker; then suddenly, in a single moment,
he withdrew all the scepticism with which he had assailed
religion, and hurled it against freethought itself; and as
       7  "The Varieties of Religious Experience," pp. 498-501.
       8  "The Varieties of Religious Experience", pp. 507, 508.
the former had crumbled into dust, so now the latter
vanished in smoke.
    In this crisis there was no sickness of soul, no
division of self; for he simply had turned a corner on the
road along which he was travelling and suddenly became aware
of the fact that the mighty range of snow-capped mountains
upon which he had up to now fondly imagined he was gazing
was after all but a great bank of clouds.  So he passed on
smiling to himself at his own childlike illusion.
    Shortly after this he became acquainted with a certain
brother of the Order of A.'. A.'.; and himself a little
later became an initiate in the first grade of that Order.
    In this Order, at the time of his joining it, was a
certain {157} brother of the name of P., who had but just
returned from China, and who had been six years before sent
out by the Order to journey through all the countries of the
world and collect all knowledge possible in the time which
touched upon the mystical experiences of mankind.  This P.
had to the best of his ability done, and though he had only
sojourned in Europe, in Egypt, India, Ceylon, China, Burma,
Arabia, Siam, Tibet, Japan, Mexico, and the United States of
America, so deep had been his study and so exalted had been
his understanding that it was considered by the Order that
he had collected sufficient material and testimony whereon
to compile a book for the instruction of mankind.  And as
Frater N.S.F. was a writer of some little skill, the diaries
and notes of Frater P. were given to him and another, and
they were enjoined to set them together in such a manner
that they would be an aid to the seeker in the mysteries,
and would be as a tavern on a road beset with many dangers
and difficulties, wherein the traveller can find good cheer
and wine that strengtheneth and refresheth the soul.
    It is therefore earnestly hoped that this book will
become as a refuge to all, where a guide may be hired or
instructions freely sought; but the seeker is requested ---
nay, commanded --- with all due solemnity by the Order of
the A.'. A.'. to accept nothing as Truth until he has
proved it so to be, to his own satisfaction and to his own
    And it is further hoped that he may, upon closing this
book, be somewhat enlightened, and, even if as through a
glass darkly, see the great shadow of Truth beyond, and one
day enter the Temple.
    So much for the subject; now for the object of this
volume: {158}

                         THE AUGOEIDES.9

    "Lytton calls him Adonai in "Zanoni," and I often use
this name in the note-books.
    "Abramelin calls him Holy Guardian Angel.  I adopt
    "1. Because Abramelin's system is so simple and
    "2. Because since "all" theories of the universe are
absurd it is better to talk in the language of one which is
patently absurd, so as to mortify the metaphysical man.
    "3. Because a child can understand it.
       9  From a letter of Fra P.
    "Theosophists call him the Higher Self, Silent Watcher,
or Great Master.
    "The Golden Dawn calls him the Genius.
    "Gnostics say the Logos.
    "Zoroaster talks about uniting all these symbols into
the form of a Lion --- see Chaldean Oracles.10
    "Anna Kingsford calls him Adonai (Clothed with the
Sun).  Buddhists call him Adi-Buddha --- (says H. P. B.)
    "The Bhagavad-Gita calls him Vishnu (chapter xi.).
    "The Yi "K"ing calls him "The Great Person."
    "The Qabalah calls him Jechidah.11
    "We also get metaphysical analysis of His nature,
deeper and deeper according to the subtlety of the writer;
for this {159} vision --- it is all one same phenomenon,
variously coloured by our varying Ruachs12 --- is, I
believe, the first and the last of all Spiritual Experience.
For though He is attributed to Malkuth,13 and the Door of
the Path of His overshadowing, He is also in Kether (Kether
is in Malkuth and Malkuth in Kether --- "as above, so
beneath"), and the End of the "Path of the Wise" is identity
with Him.
    "So that while he is the Holy Guardian Angel, He is
also Hua14 and the Tao.15
    "For since Intra Nobis Regnum deI16 all things are in
Ourself, and all Spiritual Experience is a more of less
complete Revelation of Him.
    "Yet it is only in the Middle Pillar17 that His
manifestation is in any way perfect.
    "The Augoedes invocation is the whole thing.  Only it
is so difficult; one goes along through all the fifty gates
of Binah18 at once, more or less illuminated, more or less
deluded.  But the First and the Last is this Augoeides

                         THE BOOK
    This Book is divided into four parts: {160}
       10 "A similar Fire flashingly extending through the rushings of
         Air, or a Fire formless whence cometh the Image of a Voice, or
         even a flashing Light abounding, revolving, whirling forth,
         crying aloud.  Also there is the vision of the fire-flashing
         Courser of Light, or also a Child, borne aloft on the shoulders
         of the Celestial Steed, fiery, or clothed with gold, or naked, or
         shooting with the bow shafts of Light, and standing on the
         shoulders of the horse; then if thy meditation prolongeth itself,
         thou shalt unite all these symbols into the Form of a Lion."
       11 WEH note: In the sense used here, it might be more accurate to
         say "Neshamiah".
       12 Ruach: the third form, the Mind, the Reasoning Power, that which
         possesses the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
       13 Malkuth: the tenth Sephira.
       14 The supreme and secret title of Kether.
       15 The great extreme of the Yi King.
       16 I.N.R.I.
       17 Or "Mildness," the Pillar on the right being that of "Mercy,"
         and that on the left "Justice."  These refer to the Qabalistic
         Tree of Life.
       18 Binah: the third Sephira, the Understanding.  She is the
         Supernal Mother, as distinguished from Malkuth, the Inferior
         Mother.  (Nun) is attributed to the Understanding; its value is
         50.  "Vide" "The Book of Concealed Mystery," sect. 40.
         I. The Foundations of the Temple.
        II. The Scaffolding of the Temple.
       III. The Portal of the Temple.
        IV. The Temple of Solomon the King.
    Three methods of expression are used to enlighten and
instruct the reader:
        (a) Pictorial symbols.
        (b) Metaphorically expressed word-pictures.
        (c) Scientifically expressed facts.
    The first method is found appended to each of the four
Books, balancing, so to speak, Illuminism and Science.
    The second method is found almost entirely in the first
Book and the various pictures are entitled:19
        The Black Watch-tower, or the Dreamer.
        The Miser, or the Theist.
        The Spendthrift, or the Pantheist.
        The Bankrupt, or the Atheist.
        The Prude, or the Rationalist.
        The Child, or the Mystic.
        The Wanton, or the Sceptic.
        The Slave, or he who stands before the veil of the
            Outer Court.
        The Warrior, or he who stands before the veil of
            the Inner Court.
        The King, or he who stands before the veil of the
        The White Watch-tower, or the Awakened One. {161}
    The third method is found almost entirely in the second
    The third and fourth Books of this essay consist of
purely symbolic pictures.  For the Key of the Portal the
neophyte must discover for himself; and until he finds the
Key the Temple of Solomon the King must remain closed to


       19 Nine pictures between Darkness and Light, or eleven in all.  The
         union of the Pentagram and the Hexagram is to be noted; also  the
         eleven-lettered name ABRAHADABRA; 418; Achad Osher, or One and
         Ten; the Eleven Averse Sephiroth; and Adonai.

                            BOOK I
                 The foundations of the Temple
                       SOLOMON THE KING
                 The nine cunning Craftsmen who
                     laid them between the
                         Watch-towers of
                          Night & Day.


                   And from that place are cast
                   out all the Lords who are the
                   exactors of the debts of man-
                   kind, and they are subjugated.

                            "The Greater Holy Assembly, "xx.


{Illustration on this page:  This is a nine-pointed star,
unicursal in design, with the points filled in by black
triangle wedges about 1/16 inch from the outline.  The
unicrusality is such that lines connecting the points of the
star pass centerward of three points in every instance.  The
center is occupied by a white disk such that the
circumference of the disk is 1/16 inch larger than a disk
coterminus with the inner angles of the points of the outer
star.  This disk completely obscures the continuations of
the lines which make the noneagram unicursal, but the inner
angles complete themselves upon it.  The white disk cuts
arcs to form bases for the black "triangle" wedges.  On top
of this disk are two triangles, one white (black outlined
and white between the outlines) and the other black
(composed of thick lines or bars), which form a hexagram
exactly circumscribed by an invisible circle coterminus with
the points of the inner angles of the noneagram and 1/16
inch smaller than the concentric white disk.  The triangles
oriented with the black triangle apex down and white
triangle apex up.  The outer edges of the black triangle are
continuations of lines forming the unicursal nine-pointed
star for three lines.  These two triangles are interlaced in
such fashion that traveling from any apex counterclockwise
crosses over a line of the opposite color, then under a line
of the opposite color and then reaches an adjacent apex of
the same triangle}


                     THE BLACK WATCH-TOWER

WHO has not, at some period during his life, experienced
that strange sensation of utter bewilderment on being
awakened by the sudden approach of a bright light across the
curtained threshold of slumber; that intoxicating sense of
wonderment, that hopeless inability to to open wide the
blinded eyes before the dazzling flame which has swept night
into the corners and crannies of the dark bedchamber of
    Who, again, has not stepped from the brilliant sunlight
of noon into some shadowy vault, and, groping along its dark
walls, has found all there to be but as the corpse of day
wrapped in a starless shroud of darkness?
    Yet as the moments speed by the sight grows accustomed
to the dazzling intruder; and as the blinding, shimmering
web of silver which he has thrown around us melts like a
network of snow before the awakening fire of our eyes, we
perceive that the white flame of bewilderment which had but
a moment ago enwrapped us as a mantle of lightnings, is, but
in truth, a flickering rushlight fitfully expiring in an
ill-shapen socket of clay.  And likewise in the darkness, as
we pass along the unlit arches of the vault, or the lampless
recesses which, toad-like, squat here and there in the
gloom, dimly at first do the mouldings of the roof and the
cornices of the {167} walls creep forth; and then, as the
twilight becomes more certain, do they twist and writhe into
weirdly shapen arabesques, into fanciful figures, and
contorted faces; which, as we advance, bat-like flit into
the depths of a deeper darkness beyond.
    Stay! --- and but for a moment hurry back, and bring
with you that little rushlight we left spluttering on the
mantel-shelf of sleep.  Now all once again vanishes, and
from the floor before us jut up into the shadowland of
darkness the stern grey walls of rock, the age-worn
architraves, the clustered columns, and all the crumbling
capitols of Art, where the years alone sit shrouded
slumbering in their dust and mould --- a haunting memory of
long-forgotten days.
    O dreamland of wonder and mystery! like a tongue of
gold wrapped in a blue flame do we hover for a moment over
the Well of Life; and then the night-wind rises, and wafts
us into the starless depths of the grave.  We are like gnats
hovering in the sunbeams, and then the evening falls and we
are gone: and who can tell whither, and unto what end?
Whether to the City of Eternal Sleep, or to the Mansion of
the Music of Rejoicing?
    O my brothers! come with me! follow me!  Let us mount
the dark stairs of this Tower of Silence, this Watch-tower
of Night; upon whose black brow no flickering flame burns to
guide the weary wanderer across the mires of life and
through the mists of death.  Come, follow me!  Grope up
these age-worn steps, slippery with the tears of the fallen,
and bearded with the blood of the vanquished and the salt of
the agony of failure.  Come, come!  Halt not!  Abandon all!
Let us ascend.  Yet bring with ye two things, the flint and
the steel {168} --- the slumbering fire of Mystery, and the
dark sword of Science; that we may strike a spark, and fire
the beacon of Hope which hangs above us in the brasier of
Despair; so that a great light may shine forth through the
darkness, and guide the toiling footsteps of man to that
Temple which is built without hands, fashioned without iron,
or gold, or silver, and in which no fire burns; whose
pillars are as columns of light, whose dome is as a crown of
effulgence set betwixt the wings of Eternity, and upon whose
altar flashes the mystic eucharist of God. {169}

                          THE MISER

"GOD."  What a treasure-house of wealth lies buried in that
word! what a mine of precious stones! --- Ptah, Father of
Beginnings, he who created the Sun and the Moon; Nu, blue,
starry lady of Heaven, mistress and mother of the gods; Ea,
Lord of the Deep; Istar --- "O Thou who art set in the sky
as a jewelled circlet of moonstone";  Brahma the golden,
Vishnu the sombre, and Siva the crimson, lapped in seas of
blood.  Everywhere do we find Thee, O Thou one and awful
Eidolon, who as Aormuzd once didst rule the sun-scorched
plains of Euphrates, and as Odin the icy waves and the
shrieking winds, round the frozen halls of the North.
    Everywhere! --- everywhere!  And yet now Thou art again
God, nameless to the elect --- O Thou vast inscrutable
Pleroma built in the Nothingness of our imagination! --- and
to the little ones, the children who play with the units of
existence, but a myriad-named doll a cubit high, a little
thing to play with --- or else: an ancient, bearded Father,
with hair as white as wool, and eyes like flames of fire;
whose voice is as the sound of many waters, in whose right
hand tremble the seven stars of Heaven, and out of whose
mouth flashes forth a flaming sword of fire.  There dost
Thou sit counting the orbs of Space, and the souls of men:
and we tremble before Thee, {170} worshipping, glorifying,
supplicating, beseeching; lest perchance Thou cast us back
into the furnace of destruction, and place us not among the
gold and silver of Thy treasury.
    True, Thou hast been the great Miser of the worlds, and
the Balances of Thy treasure-house have weighed out Heaven
and Hell.  Thou hast amassed around Thee the spoil of the
years, and the plunder of Time and of Space.  All is Thine,
and we own not even the breath of our nostrils, for it is
but given us on the usury of our lives.
    Still from the counting-house of Heaven Thou hast
endowed us with a spirit of grandeur, an imagination of the
vastness of Being.  Thou hast taken us out of ourselves, and
we have counted with Thee the starry hosts of night, and
unbraided the tangled tresses of the comets in the fields of
Space.  We have walked with Thee at Mamre, and talked with
Thee in Eden, and listened to Thy voice from out the midst
of the whirlwind.  And at times Thou hast been a Father unto
us, a joy, strong as a mighty draught of ancient wine, and
we have welcomed Thee!
    But Thy servants --- those self-seeking, priestly
usurers --- See! how they have blighted the hearts of men,
and massed the treasure of Souls into the hands of the few,
and piled up the coffers of the Church.  How they racked
from us the very emblems of joy, putting out our eyes with
the hot irons of extortion, till every pound of human flesh
was soaked as a thirsty sponge in a well of blood: and life
became a hell, and men and women went singing, robed in the
"san-benito" painted with flames and devils, to the stake; to
seek in the fire the God of their forefathers --- that stern
Judge who with sworded hand was once wont to read out the
names of the living from {171} the Book of Life, and exalt
the humble on the golden throne of tyrants.
    Yet in these ages of crucifix, of skull, and of candle;
these ages of "auto-da-f‚" and "in pace;" these ages when the
tongue jabbered madness and the brain reeled in delirium,
and the bones were split asunder, and the flesh was crushed
to pulp, was there still in the darkness a glamour of truth,
as a great and scarlet sunset seen through the memory of
years.  Life was a shroud of horror, yet it was life!  Life!
life in the awful hideous grandeur of gloom, until death
severed the dull red thread with a crooked sword of cruel
flame.  And Love, a wild, mad ecstasy, broken-winged,
fluttering before the eyeless sockets of Evil, as the souls
of men were bought and sold and bartered for, till Heaven
became a bauble of the rich, and Hell a debtor's dungeon for
the poor.  Yet amongst those rotting bones in the "oubliette,"
and in those purple palaces of papal lust, hovered that
spirit of life, like a golden flame rolled in a cloud of
smoke over the dark altar of decay.
    Listen: "Have you got religion? ... Are you saved? ...
Do you love Jesus?" ... "Brother, God can save you. ...
Jesus is the sinner's friend. ... Rest your head on Jesus
... dear, dear Jesus!"  Curse till thunder shake the stars!
curse till this blasphemy is cursed from the face of heaven!
curse till the hissing name of Jesus, which writhes like a
snake in a snare, is driven from the kingdom of faith!  Once
"Eloi, Eloi, Lamma Sabachthani" echoed through the gloom
from the Cross of Agony; now Jerry McAuley, that man of God,
ill-clothed in cheap Leeds shoddy, bobbing in a tin Bethel,
bellows, "Do you love Jesus?" and talks of that mystic son
of Him who set forth the sun and the moon, and {172} all the
hosts of Heaven, as if he were first cousin to Mrs. Booth or
to Aunt Sally herself.
    Once man in the magic land of mystery sought the elixir
and the balsam of life; now he seeks "spiritual milk for
American babes, drawn from the breasts of both Testaments."
Once man, in his frenzy, drunken on the wine of Iacchus,
would cry to the moon from the ruined summit of some temple
of Zagraeus, "Evoe ho!  Io Evoe!"  But now instead,
"Although I was quite full of drink, I knew that God's work
begun in me was not going to be wasted!"
    Thus is the name of God belched forth in beer and
bestial blasphemy.  Who would not rather be a St. Besarion
who spent forty days and nights in a thorn-bush, or a St.
Francis picking lice from his sheepskin and praising God for
the honour and glory of wearing such celestial pearls in his
habit, than become a smug, well-oiled evangelical Christian
genteel-man, walking to church to dear Jesus on a Sabbath
morning, with Prayer-book, Bible, and umbrella, and a three-
penny-bit in his glove?  {173}

                        THE SPENDTHRIFT

"ARCADIA, night, a cloud, Pan, and the moon."  What words to
conjure with, what five shouts to slay the five senses, and
set a leaping flame of emerald and silver dancing about us
as we yell them forth under the oaks and over the rocks and
myrtle of the hill-side.  "Bruised to the breast of Pan" ---
let us flee church, and chapel, and meeting-room; let us
abandon this mantle of order, and leap back to the heaths,
and the marshes, and the hills; back to the woods, and the
glades of night! back to the old gods, and the ruddy lips of
    How the torches splutter in the storm, pressing warm
kisses of gold on the gnarled and knotted trunks of the
beech trees!  How the fumigation from musk and myrrh whirls
up in an aromatic cloud from the glowing censer! --- how for
a time it greedily clings to the branches, and then is
wafted to the stars!  Look! --- as we invoke them, how they
gather round us, these Spirit of Love and of Life, of
Passion, of Strength, and of Abandon --- these sinews of the
manhood of the World!
    O mystery of mysteries!  "For each one of the Gods is
in all, and all are in each, being ineffably united to each
other and to God; because each, being a super-essential
unity, their {174} conjunction with each other is a union of
unities."  Hence each is all; thus Nature squanders the gold
and silver of our understanding, till in panic frenzy we
beat our head on the storm-washed boulders and the blasted
trunks, and shout forth, "Io ... Io ... Io ... Evoe!  Io ...
Io!" till the glades thrill as with the music of syrinx an
sistrum, and our souls are rent asunder on the flaming horns
of Pan.
    Come, O children of the night of Death, awake, arise!
See, the sun is nodding in the West, and no day-spring is at
hand in this land of withered dreams; for all is dull with
the sweat of gloom, and sombre with the industry of Evil!
Wake!  O wake!  Let us hie to the summits of the lonely
mountains, for soon a sun will arise in us, and then their
white peaks will become golden and crimson and purple as the
breasts of a mighty woman swollen with the blood and milk of
a new life.  There, amongst those far-off hills of amethyst,
shall we find the fair mistress of our heart's desire ---
that bountiful Mother who will clasp us to her breast.
    Yours are the boundless forests, and the hills, and the
far-off purple of the horizon.  Call, and they shall answer
you; ask, and they shall shower forth on you the hoarded
booty of the years, and all the treasure of the ages; so
that none shall be in need, and all shall possess all in the
longing for all things.  Come, let us shatter the vault of
Circumstance and the walls of the dungeon of Convention, and
back to Pan in the tangled brakes, and to the subtle beauty
of the Sorceress, and to the shepherd-lads --- back to the
white flocks on the hill-side, back to Pan --- to Pan --- to
Pan!  Io! to Pan.
    Under the mistletoe and the oak there is no snickering
of the chapel-pew, no drawing-room grin of lewd desire, no
{175} smacking of wanton lips over the warm flesh and the
white skin of life; but a great shout of joyous laughter
arises, which sways the winds from their appointed courses,
and rattles down the dead branches from the leafy boughs
overhead: or, all is solemn and still as a breathless night;
for here life is ever manly in turmoil as in repose.
    Here there is no barter, no usury, no counting of the
gains and losses of life; and the great Sower leaps over the
fields like a madman, casting forth the golden grain amongst
the briars, and on the rocks, as well as between the black
furrows of the earth; for each must take its chance, and
battle to victory in manliness and strength.  Here there is
neither sect nor faction: live or die, prosper or decay!  So
the great live, and the little ones go back to the roots of
life.  Neither is their obedience outside the obedience
which is born of Necessity; for here there is no support, no
resting on others --- ploughshares are beaten into swords,
and spindles are fashioned into the shafts of arrows, and
the winds shriek through our armour as we battle for the
strength of the World.
    The rain falleth upon the deserts as upon the fertile
valleys; and the sun shineth upon the blue waters as upon
the verdant fields; and the dew heedeth not where it
sleepeth, whether on the dung-hill, or betwixt the petals of
the wild rose; for all is lavish in this Temple of the
World, where on the throne of inexhaustible wealth sits the
King of Life, tearing the jewels from his golden throat, and
casting them out to the winds to be carried to the four
corners of the Earth.  There is no thrift here, no storing
up for the morrow; and yet there is no waste, no wantonness,
for all who enter {176} this Treasure-house of Life become
one with the jewels of the treasury.
    Words! ... words! ... words!  They have shackled and
chained you, O children of the mists and the mountains; they
have imprisoned you, and walled you up in the dungeon of a
lightless reason.  Fancy has been burnt at the stake of
Fact; and the imagination cramped in the irons of tort and
quibble.  O vanity of vain words!  O cozening, deceitful
art!  Nimbly do the great ones of to-day wrestle with the
evil-smelling breath of their mouths, twisting and
contorting it into beguilements, bastardising and corrupting
the essence of things, sucking as a greedy vampire the blood
from your hearts, and breathing into your nostrils the rigid
symbols of law and of order, begotten on the death-bed of
their understanding.
    O children of Wonder and of Fancy, fly to the wild
woods whilst yet there is time!  Back to the mysteries of
the shadowy oaks, to the revolt of imagination, to the
insurrection of souls, to the moonlit festivals of love:
back where the werewolf lurks, and the moonrakes prowl.
Back, O back to the song of life, back to the great God Pan!
And there, wrapped in your goat-skins, drink with the
shepherds of Tammuz out of the skin of a suckling yet
unborn, and ye shall become as the silver-gleaming waters of
Istar --- pure and bright!  Speed, for he is the divine king
of the fauns and the satyrs, the dryads and the oreads; the
Lord of the Crowns; the Decider of Destiny; the God who
prospers all above and beneath!  And tarry not, lest as ye
wander along the shore of the Ionian Sea ye hear a voice of
lamentation crying, "Great Pan is dead!" {177}

                          THE BANKRUPT

O WHERE are the terraced gardens of Babylon, with their
mighty groves towering up amongst the clouds?  O where is
the sun-god of Rhodes, whose golden brow was wont to blush
with the first fire of dawn, whilst yet the waters at his
feet were wrapped in the mists of night?  O where is the
Temple of Ephesus, and those who cried unto Diana?  O where
is the gleaming eye of Pharos that shone as a star of hope
over the wild waters of the sea?  Children of monsters and
of gods, how have ye fallen! for a whirlwind hath arisen and
swept through the gates of Heaven, and rushed down on the
kingdoms of Earth, and as a tongue of consuming flame hath
it licked up the handicrafts of man and cloaked all in the
dust of decay.  A yoke hath been laid on the shoulders of
the ancient lands; and where once the white feet of
Semiramis gleamed amongst the lilies and roses of Babylon
there now the wild goats leap, and browse the sparse rank
grass which sprouts in tufts from the red and yellow sand-
heaps, those silent memorial mounds which mark the spot
where once stood palaces of marble, and of jasper, and of
jade.  O woe!  O woe! for all is dust and ruin; the flood-
gates of the years have been opened, and Time has swept away
as a mighty wind the embattled castles of kings with the
mud-daubed {178} huts of shepherds.  Merodach has gone, and
so has Ea, and no longer doth Istar flame in the night, or
cast down her kisses on the sparkling goblets in the palace
of Belshazzar.  Isis, dark-veiled, hath departed, and Nu no
longer uplifteth the Sun-bark with the breath of dawn.  O
Amen, bull fair of face, where is thy glory?  Thebes is in
ruins!  O Lord of joy, O mighty one of diadems!  The Sekhet
crown has fallen from thy brow, and the strength of thy life
hath departed, and thine eyes are as the shrouded shadows of
night.  Olympus is but a barren hill, and Asgard a land of
sullen dreams.  Alone in the desert of years still crouches
the Sphinx, unanswered, unanswerable, inscrutable, age-worn,
coeval with the aeons of eld; even facing the east and
thirsting for the first rays of the rising sun.  She was
there when Cheops and Khephren builded the pyramids, and
there will she sit when Yahveh has taken his appointed seat
in the silent halls of Oblivion.
    The fool hath said in his heart, "There is no God!"
Yet the wise man has sat trembling over the ruins of the
past, and has watched with fearful eyes the bankruptcy of
Splendour, and all the glory of man fall victim to the usury
of Time.
    O God, what art Thou that Thou dost abandon the
kingdoms of this world, as a wanton woman her nightly
lovers; and that they depart from Thee, and remember and
regret Thee not?  Yet thou art so vast that I cannot grasp
Thee; Time flees before Thee, and Space is as a bauble in
thine hands.  O monstrous vacancy of vastness!  Thou
surpassest me, and I am lost in the contemplation of Thy
    The old gods slew Ymer the giant; and from his blood
they poured out the seas; and from his flesh they dug the
{179} land; and the rocks were fashioned out of his bones;
and Asgard, fair dwelling-house of gods, was builded from
the brows of his eyes; and from his skull was wrought the
purple vault of Immensity; and from his brains were woven
the fleecy clouds of heaven.  But thou art more than Ymer;
Thy feet are planted deeper than the roots of Igdrasil, and
the hair of Thine head sweepeth past the helm of thought.
Nay, more, vastly more; for Thou art bloodless, and
fleshless, and without bones; Thou (O my God!) art nothing
--- nothing that I can grasp can span Thee.  Yea! nothing
art Thou, beyond the Nothingness of the Nothingness of
    Thus men grew to believe in NO-GOD, and to worship NO-
GOD, and to be persecuted for NO-GOD, and to suffer and to
die for NO-GOD.  And now they torture themselves for him, as
they had of yore gashed themselves with flints at the
footstool of God His Father; and to the honour of His name,
and as a proof of His existence, have they not built up
great towers of Science, bastions of steam and of flame, and
set a-singing the wheels of Progress, and all the crafts and
the guiles and the artifices of Knowledge?  They have
contained the waters with their hands; and the earth they
have set in chains; and the fire they have bound up as a
wisp of undried straw; even the winds they have ensnared as
an eagle in a net; --- yet the Spirit liveth and is free,
and they know it not, as they gaze down from their Babel of
Words upon the soot-grimed fields, and the felled forests,
and the flowerless banks of their rivers of mud, lit by the
sun which glows red through the hooded mists of their magic.
    Yet he who gazeth into the heavens, and crieth in a
loud voice, "There is NO-GOD," is as a prophet unto mankind;
{180} for he is as one drunken on the vastness of Deity.
Better to have no opinion of God than such an opinion as is
unworthy of Him.  Better to be wrapped in the black robe of
unbelief than to dance in the stinking rags of blasphemy.
So they learnt to cry, "For the children, belief and
obedience; for us men, solitude" --- the monarchy of Mind,
the pandemoniacal majesty of Matter!
    "A Bible on the centre-table in a cottage pauperises
the monarchical imagination of man"; but a naked woman
weeping in the wilderness, or singing songs of frenzy unto
Istar in the night, from the ruined summit of Nineveh,
invoking the elemental powers of the Abyss, and casting the
dust of ages about her, and crying unto Bel, and unto Assur,
and unto Nisroch, and smiting flames from the sun-scorched
bones of Sennacherib with the age-worn sword of Sharezer and
Adrammelech, is a vision which intoxicates the brain with
the sparkling wine of imagination, and sets the teeth a-
rattling in the jaws, and the tongue a-cleaving to the
palate of the mouth.
    But the book-men have slain the Great God, and the
twitterers of words have twisted their squeaking screws into
his coffin.  The first Christians were called Atheists; yet
they believed in God: the last Christians are called
Theists; yet they believe not in God.  So the first
Freethinkers were called Atheists; yet they believed in NO-
GOD: and the last Freethinkers will be called Theists; for
they will believe not in NO-GOD.  Then indeed in these
latter days may we again find the Great God, that God who
liveth beyond the twittering of man's lips, and the
mumblings of his mouth.
    Filled with the froth of words, have these flatulent
fools argued concerning God.  Not as the bard sung of Ymer;
{181} but as the cat purrs to the strangling mouse: "Since
God is First Cause, therefore he possesses existence "a se;"
therefore he must be both necessary and absolute, and cannot
be determined by anything else."  Nevertheless these wise
doctors discuss him as if he were a corpse on the tables of
their surgeries, and measure his length with their foot-
rules, and stretch and lop him to fit the bed of their
Procrustean metaphysic.  Thus he is absolutely unlimited
from without, and unlimited also from within, for limitation
is non-being, and God is being itself, and being is all-
things, and all-things is no-thing.  And so we find Epicurus
walking arm in arm, from the temple of windy words, with
Athanasius, and enter the market-place of life, and the
throng of the living --- that great tongueless witness of
God's bounty; and mingle with the laughing boys, showering
rose-leaves on Doris and Bacchis, and blowing kisses to
Myrtale and Evardis.
    God or No-God --- so let it be!  Still the Sun rises
and sets, and the night-breeze blows the red flames of our
tourches athwart the palm-trees, to the discomfiture of the
stars.  Look! --- in the distance between the mighty paws of
the silent Sphinx rests a cubical temple whose god has been
called Ra Harmakhis, the Great God, the Lord of the Heaven,
but who in truth is nameless and beyond name, for he is the
Eternal Spirit of Life.
    Hush --- the sistrum sounds from across the banks of
the dark waters.  The moon rises, and all is as silver and
mother-of-pearl.  A shepherd's pipe shrills in the distance
--- a kid has strayed from the fold. ... O stillness ... O
mystery of God ... how soft is Thy skin ... how fragrant is
Thy breath!  Life as a strong wine flames through me.  The
{182} frenzy of resistance, the rapture of the struggle ---
ah! the ecstasy of Victory. ... The very soul of life lies
ravished, and the breath has left me. ... A small warm hand
touches my lips --- O fragrance of love!  O Life! ... Is
there a God?


                         THE PRUDE

A FLY once sat upon the axle-tree of a chariot, and said:
"What a dust do I raise!"  Now a swarm of flies has come ---
the fourth plague of Egypt is upon us, and the land is
corrupted by reason of their stench.  The mighty ones are
dead, the giants are no more, for the sons of God come not
in unto the daughters of men, and the world is desolate, and
greatness and renown are gone.  To-day the blue blow-flies
of decay sit buzzing on the slow-rolling wheel of Fortune,
intoxicated on the dust of the dead, and sucking
putrefaction from the sinews of the fallen, and rottenness
from the charnel-house of Might.
    O Reason!  Thou hast become as a vulture feasting off
the corpse of a king as it floats down the dark waters of
Acheron.  Nay! not so grand a sight, but as an old, wizened
woman, skaldy and of sagging breast, who in the solitude of
her "latrina" cuddles and licks the oleograph of a naked
youth.  O Adonis, rest in the arms of Aphrodite, seek not
the hell-fouled daughter of Ceres, who hath grown hideous in
the lewd embrace of the Serpent-God, betrayer of the
knowledge of good and of evil.  Behold her bulging belly and
her shrivelled breasts, full of scale and scab --- "bald,
rotten, abominable!"  Her tears no longer blossom into the
anemones of Spring; {184} for their purity has left them,
and they are become as the bilge which poureth forth from
the stern of a ship full of hogs.  O!  Eros, fly, speed!
Await not the awakening oil to scorch Thy cheek, lest Thou
discover that Thy darling has grown hideous and wanton, and
that in the place of a fair maiden there slimeth a huge slug
fed of the cabbage-stalks of decay.
    O Theos!  O Pantheos!  O Atheos!  Triple God of the
brotherhood of warriors.  Evoe!  I adore Thee, O thou
Trinity of might and majesty --- Thou silent Unity that
rulest the hearts of the great.  Alas! that men are dead,
their thrones of gold empty, and their palaces of pearl
fallen into ruin!  Grandeur and Glory have departed, so that
now in the Elysian fields the sheep of woolly understanding
nibble the green turnip-tops of reason and the stubble in
the reaped cornfields of knowledge.  Now all is rational,
virtuous, smug, and oily.  Those who wrestled with the suns
and the moons, and trapped the stars of heaven, and sought
God on the summits of the mountains, and drove Satan into
the bowels of the earth, have swum the black waters of Styx,
and are now in the halls of Asgard and the groves of
Olympus, amongst the jewels of Havilah and the soft-limbed
houris of Paradise.  They have left us, and in their stead
have come the carrion kites, who have usurped the white
thrones of their understanding, and the golden palaces of
their wisdom.
    Let us hie back to the cradle of Art and the swaddling
bands of Knowledge, and watch the shepherds, among the
lonely hills where the myrtle grows and the blue-bells ring
out the innocence of Spring, learning from their flocks the
mysteries of life. ... A wolf springs from the thicket, and
a lamb lies sweltering in its blood; then an oaken cudgel is
{185} raised, and Hermas has dashed out the brains from
betwixt those green, glittering eyes. There now at his feet
lie the dead and the dying; and man wonders at the writhing
of the entrails and the bubbling of the blood.  See! now he
gathers in his flock, and drives them to a dark cavern in
the sloping side of the mountain; and when the moon is up he
departs, speeding to his sister the Sorceress to seek of her
balsams and herbs wherewith to stanch his wound and to
soothe the burning scratches of the wolf's claws.  There
under the stars, whilst the bats circle around the moon, and
the toad hops through the thicket, and the frogs splash in
the mere, he whispers to her, how green were the eyes of the
wild wolf, how sharp were his claws, how white his teeth and
then, how the entrails wriggled on the ground, and the pink
brains bubbled out their blood.  Then both are silent, for a
great awe fills them, and they crouch trembling amongst the
hemlock and the foxgloves.  A little while and she arises,
and, pulling her black hood over her head, sets out alone
through the trackless forest, here and there lit by the
moon; and, guided by the stars, she reaches the city.
    At a small postern by the tower of the castle known as
the "lover's gate" she halts and whistles thrice, and then,
in shrill, clear notes as of some awakened night-bird,
calls: "Brother, brother, brother mine!"  Soon a chain
clanks against the oaken door, and a bolt rumbles back in
its staple, and before her in his red shirt and his leathern
hose stands her brother the Hangman.  And there under the
stars she whispers to him, and for a moment he trembles,
looking deep into her eyes; then he turns and leaves her.
Presently there is a creaking of chains overhead --- an owl,
awakened from the {186} gibbet above, where it had been
blinking perched on the shoulder of a corpse, flies
shrieking into the night.
    Soon he returns, his footsteps resounding heavily along
the stone passage, and in his arms he is carrying the dead
body of a young man.  "H‚," my little sister," he pants, and
for a moment he props his heavy load up against the door of
the postern.  Then these two, the Sorceress and the Hangman,
silently creep out into the night, back into the gloom of
the forest, carrying between them the slumbering Spirit of
Science and Art sleeping in the corse of a young man, whose
golden hair streams gleaming in the moonlight, and around
whose white throat glistens a snake-like bruise of red, of
purple, and of black.
    There under the oaks by an age-worn dolmen did they
celebrate their midnight mass. ... "Look you!  I must needs
tell you, I love you well, as you are to-night; you are more
desirable than ever you have been before ... you are built
as a youth should be. ... Ah! how long, how long have I
loved you! ... But to-day I am hungry, hungry for you! ..."
    Thus under the Golden Bough in the moonlight was the
host uplifted, and the Shepherd, and the Hangman, and the
Sorceress broke the bread of Necromancy, and drank deep of
the wine of witchcraft, and swore secrecy over the Eucharist
of Art.
    Now in the place of the dolmen stands the hospital, and
where the trilithons towered is built the "Hall of Science."
Lo! the druid has given place to the doctor; and the
physician has slain the priest his father, and with wanton
words ravished the heart of his mother the sorceress.  Now
{187} instead of the mystic circle of the adepts we have the
great "Bosh-Rot" school of Folly.  Miracles are banned, yet
still at the word of man do the halt walk, and the lame rise
up and run.  The devils have been banished, and demoniacal
possession is no more, yet now the most lenient of these
sages are calling it "hystero-demonopathy" --- what a jargon
of unmusical syllables!  Saul, when he met God face to face
on the dusty road of Damascus, is dismissed with a
discharging lesion of the occipital cortex; and George Fox
crying, "Woe to the bloody city of Lichfield!" is suffering
from a disordered colon; whilst Carlyle is subject to
gastro-duodenal catarrh.  Yet this latter one writes:
"Witchcraft and all manner of Spectre-work, and Demonology,
we have now named Madness, and Diseases of the Nerves;
seldom reflecting that still the new question comes upon us:
What is Madness, what are Nerves?" --- Indeed, what is
Madness, what are Nerves?
    Once, when a child, I was stung by a bee whilst dancing
through the heather, and an old shepherd met me, and taking
a black roll of tobacco from a metal box, he bit off a quid
and, chewing it, spat it on my leg, and the pain vanished.
He did not spend an hour racking through the dictionary of
his brain to find a suitable "itis" whereby to allay the
inflammation, and then, having carefully classified it with
another, declared the pain to be imaginary and myself to be
an hysterio-monomaniac suffering from apiarian illusions!
    To-day Hercules is a sun-myth, and so are Osiris and
Baal; and no may can raise his little finger without some
priapic pig shouting: "Phallus ... phallus!  I see a
phallus!  O what a phallus!"  Away with this church-spire
sexuality, {188} these atavistic obstetrics, these endless
survivals and hypnoid states, and all these orchitic
superficialities!  Back to the fruits of life and the
treasure-house of mystery!
    Let us leap beyond the pale of these pedantic
dictionary proxenetes and this shuffling of the thumbed
cards of Reason.  Let us cease gnawing at this philosophic
ham-bone, and abandon the thistles of rationalism to the
tame asses of the Six-penny Cult, and have done with all
this pseudo-scientce, this logic-chopping, this levelling
loquacity of loons, louts, lubbers, and lunatics!
    O Thou rationalistic Boreas, how Thou belchest the
sheep and with the flatulence of windy words!  Away with the
ethics and morals of the schoolmen, those prudish pedants
whose bellies are swollen with the overboiled spinach of
their sploshy virtues; and cease rattling the bread-pills of
language in the bladder of medical terminology!  The
maniac's vision of horror is better than this, even the
shambles clotted with blood; for it is the blood of life;
and the loneliness of the distant heath is as a cup of
everlasting wine compared with the soapsuds of these
clyster-mongers, these purge-puffed prudes, who loose forth
on us an evil-smelling gas from their cabbage-crammed
duodenary canals.
    Yea! it shall pass by, this gastro-epileptic school of
neurological maniacs; for in a little time we shall catch up
with this moulting ostrich, and shall slay him whilst he
buries his occipital cortex under the rubbish-heap of
discharging lesions.  Then the golden tree of life shall be
replanted in Eden, and we little children shall dance round
it, and shall banquet under the stars, feasting off the
abandon of the wilderness and the freedom of the hills.
Artists we shall {189} become, and in the storm shall we see
a woman weeping; and in the lightning and the thunder the
sworded warrior who crushes her to his shaggy breast.  Away
with laws and labours. ... Lo! in the groves of Pan the
dance catches us up, and whirls us onward!  O how we dash
aside the goblets and the wine-skins, and how the tangled
hair of our heads is blown amongst the purple clusters of
the vine that clambers along the branches of the plane-trees
in the Garden of Eros!
    But yet for a little while the mystic child of Freedom
must sit weeping at the footstool of the old prude Reason,
and spell out her windy alphabets whilst she squats like a
toad above her, dribbling, filled with lewd thoughts and
longings for the oleograph of the naked youth and the
stinking secrecy of her "latrina!"

                           THE CHILD

UNDER the glittering horns of Capricornus, when the
mountains of the North glistened like the teeth of the black
wolf in the cold light of the moon, and when the broad lands
below the fiery girdle of many-breasted Tellus blushed red
in the arms of the summer sun, did Miriam seek the cave
below the cavern, in which no light had ever shone, to bring
forth the Light of the World.  And on the third day she
departed from the cave, and, entering the stable of the Sun,
she placed her child in the manger of the Moon.  Likewise
was Mithras born under the tail of the Sea-Goat, and Horus,
and Krishna --- all mystic names of the mystic Child of
    I am the Ancient Child, the Great Disturber, the Great
Tranquilliser.  I am Yesterday, To-day, and To-morrow.  My
name is Alpha and Omega --- the Beginning and the End.  My
dwelling-house is built betwixt the water and the earth; the
pillars thereof are of fire, and the walls are of air, and
the roof above is the breath of my nostrils, which is the
spirit of the life of man.
    I am born as an egg in the East, of silver, and of
gold, and opalescent with the colours of precious stones;
and with my Glory is the beast of the horizon made purple
and scarlet, and orange, and green, many-coloured as a great
peacock {191} caught up in the coils of a serpent of fire.
Over the pillars of AEthyr do I sail, as a furnace of
burnished brass; and blasts of fire pour from my nostrils,
and bathe the land of dreams in the radiance of my Glory.
And in the west the lid of mine Eye drops --- down smites
the Night of reckoning and destruction, that night of the
slaughter of the evil, and of the overthrow of the wicked,
and the burning of the damned.
    Robed in the flames of my mouth, I compass the heavens,
so that none shall behold me, and that the eyes of men shall
be spared the torture of unutterable light.  "Devourer of
Millions of Years" is my name; "Lord of the Flame" is my
name; for I am as an eye of Silver set in the heart of the
Sun.  Thou spreadest the locks of thine hair before thee,
for I burn thee; thou shakest them about thy brow, so that
thine eyes may not be blinded by the fire of my fury.  I am
He who was, who is, and who will be; I am the Creator, and
the Destroyer, and the Redeemer of mankind.  I have come as
the Sun from the house of the roaring of lions, and at my
coming shall there be laughter, and weeping, and singing,
and gnashing of teeth.  Ye shall tread upon the serpent and
the scorpion, and the hosts of your enemies shall be as
chaff before the sickle of your might: yet ye must be born
in the cavern of darkness and be laid in the manger of the
    Lo!  I am as a babe born in a crib of lilies and roses,
and wrapped in the swaddling bands of June.  Mine hands are
delicate and small, and my feet are shod in flame, so that
they touch not the kingdoms of this earth.  I arise, and
leave the cradle of my birth, and wander through the
valleys, and over the hills, across the sun-scorched deserts
of day, and {192} through the cool groves of night.
Everywhere, everywhere, I find myself, in the deep pools,
and in the dancing streams, and in the many-coloured surface
of the mere: there I am white and wonderful, a child of
loveliness and of beauty, a child to entice songs from the
wild rose, and kisses from the zephyrs of dawn.
    Herod would have slain me, and Kansa have torn me with
his teeth of fire; but I eluded them, as a flame hidden in a
cloud of smoke, and took refuge in the land of Ptah and
sought sanctuary in the arms of Seb.  There were the glories
of Light revealed to me, and I became as a daughter of Ceres
playing in the poppied fields of yellow corn: yet still as a
sun-limbed bacchanal I trampled forth the foaming must from
the purple grapes of Bacchus, and breathing it into the
leaven of life, caused it to ferment, and bubble forth as
the Wine of Iacchus.  Then with the maiden, who was also
myself.  I partook of the Eucharist of Love --- the corn and
the wine, and became one.
    Then there came unto me a woman subtle and beautiful to
behold, whose breasts were as alabaster bowls filled with
wine, and the purple hair of whose head was as a dark cloud
on a stormy night.  Dressed in a gauze of scarlet and gold,
and jewelled with pearls and emeralds and magic stones, she,
like a spider spun in a web of sunbeams and blood, danced
before me, casting her jewels to the winds, and naked she
sang to me: "O lover of mine heart, thy limbs are as
chalcedony, white and round, and tinged with the mingling
blush of the sapphire, the ruby, and the sard.  Thy lips are
as roses in June; and thine eyes as amethysts set in the
vault of heaven.  O! come kiss me, for I tremble for thee;
fill me with love, {193} for I am consumed by the heat of my
passion; say me, O slay me with kisses, burn me in the fire
of thy kingdom, O slay me with the sword of thy rapture!"
    Then I cried unto her in a loud voice saying: "O Queen
of the lusts of flesh!  O Queen of the lands haunted by
satyrs!  O Mistress of Night!  O Mother of the mysteries of
birth and death!  Who art girt in the flames of passion, and
jewelled with emerald, and moonstone, and chrysoleth.  Lo!
on thy brow burns the star-sapphire of heaven, thy girdle is
as the serpent of Eden, and round thine ankles chatter the
rubies and garnets of hell.  Hearken, O Lilith! O Sorceress
of the blood of life!  My lips are for those who suckle not
Good, and my kisses for those who cherish not Evil.  And my
kingdom is for the children of light who trample under foot
the garment of shame, and rend from their loins the
sackcloth of modesty.  When Two shall be One, then shalt
thou be crowned with a crown neither of gold nor of silver,
nor yet of precious stones; but as with a crown of fire
fashioned in the light of God's glory.  Yea! when my sword
falleth, then that which is without shall be like unto that
which is within; then tears shall be as kisses, and kisses
as tears; then all shall be leavened and made whole, and
thou shalt find in thine hand a sceptre, neither of lilies
nor of gold, but a sceptre of light, yea! a sceptre of the
holiness and loveliness of light and of glory!"
    O Children of the land of Dreams!  O ye who would cross
the bar of sleep, and become as Children of Awakenment and
Light.  Woe unto you! for ye cleanse outside the cup and the
platter; but within they are full of uncleanness.  Ye are
soaked in the blood of corruption, and choked with {194} the
vomit of angry words.  Close your eyes, O ye neophytes in
the mysteries of God, lest ye be blinded, and cry out like a
man whose sight has been smitten black by a burning torch of
tar.  O Children of Dreams! plough well the fields of night,
and prepare them for the Sower of Dawn.  Heed lest the
golden corn ripen and ye be not ready to pluck the swollen
ears, and feast, and become as Bezaleel, filled with a
divine spirit of wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge --
a cunning worker in gold, and in silver, and in brass, in
scarlet, in purple, and in blue.
    But woe unto ye who tarry by the wayside, for the
evening is at hand; to-day is the dawn, tomorrow the night
of weeping.  Gird up your loins and speed to the hills; and
perchance on the way under the cedars and the oaks ye meet
God face to face and know.  But be not downcast if ye find
not God in the froth or the dregs of the first cup: drink
and hold fast to the sword of resolution --- onwards, ever
onwards, and fear not!
    Devils shall beset the path of the righteous, and
demons, and all the elemental spirits of the Abyss.  Yet
fear not! for they add grandeur and glory to the might of
God's power.  Pass on, but keep thy foot upon their necks,
for in the region whither thou goest, the seraph and the
snake dwell side by side.
    "Sume lege."  Open the Book of THYSELF, take and read.
Eat, for this is thy body; drink, for this is the blood of
thy redemption.  The sun thou seest by day, and the moon
thou beholdest by night, and all the stars of heaven that
burn above thee, are part of thyself --- are thyself.  And
so is the bowl of Space which contains them, and the wine of
Time in {195} which they float; for these two are part of
thyself --- are Thyself.  And God also who casteth them
forth from the coffers of his treasury.  He, too, though
thou knowest it not, is part of thyself --- is THYSELF.
All is in thee, and thou art in all, and separate existence
is not, being but a net of dreams wherein the dreamers of
night are ensnared.  Read, and thou becomest; eat and drink,
and thou art.
    Though weak, thou art thine own master; listen not to
the babblers of vain words, and thou shalt become strong.
There is no revelation except thine own.  There is no
understanding except thine own.  There is no consciousness
apart from thee, but that it is held feodal to thee in the
kingdom of thy Divinity.  When thou knowest thou knowest,
and there is none other beside thee, for all becometh as an
armour around thee, and thou thyself as an invulnerable,
invincible warrior of Light.
    Heed not the pedants who chatter as apes among the
treetops; watch rather the masters, who in the cave under
the cavern breathe forth the breath of life.
    One saith to thee:
    "Abandon all easy, follow the difficult; eat not of the
best, but of the most distasteful; pander not to thy
pleasures, but feed well thy disgusts; console not thyself,
but seek the waters of desolation; rest not thyself, but
labour in the depths of the night; aspire not to things
precious, but to things contemptible and low."
    But I say unto thee: heed not this vain man, this
blatherer of words!  For there is Godliness in ease, in fine
dishes, and in pleasures, in consolations, in rest, and in
precious things.
    So if in thyself thou findest a jewelled goblet, I say
unto {196} thee, drink from it, for it is the cup of thy
salvation; seek not therefore a dull bowl of heavy lead!
    Yet another saith unto thee:
    "Will not anything, will nothing; seek not for the
best, but for the worst.  Despise thyself; slander thyself;
speak lightly of thyself."
    And again:
    "To enjoy the taste for all things, then have no taste
for anything."
    "To know all things; then resolve to possess nothing."
    "To be all; then, indeed be willing to be naught."
    But I say unto thee: this one is filed like a fool's
bladder with wind and a rattling of dried peas; for he who
wills everything, is he who seeks of the best; for he who
honours himself, he who prides himself most; and he who
speaks highly of himself, is he who also shall reign in the
City of God.
    "To have no taste for anything, then enjoy the taste of
all things.
    "To resolve to possess nothing, then possess all
    "To be naught, then indeed be all."
    Open the book of Thyself in the cave under the cavern
and read it by the light of thine own understanding, then
presently thou shalt be born again, and be placed in the
manger of the Moon in the stable of the Sun.
    For, children! when ye halt at one thing, ye cease to
open yourselves to all things.  For to come to the All, ye
must give up the All, and likewise possess the All.  Verily
ye must destroy all things and out of No-thing found and
build the Temple of God as set up by Solomon the King, which
is {197} placed between Time and Space; the pillars thereof
are Eternity, and the walls Infinity, and the floor
Immortality, and the Roof --- but ye shall know of this
hereafter!  Spoil thyself if so thou readest thyself; but if
it is written adorn thyself, then spare not the uttermost
farthing, but deck thyself with all the jewels and gems of
earth; and from a child playing with the sands on the sea-
shore shalt thou become God, whose footstool is the Abyss,
and from whose mouth goeth forth the sword of the salvation
and destruction of the worlds, and in whose hand rest the
seven stars of heaven.


                          THE WANTON

    THERE is a woman, young, and beautiful, and wise, who
grows not old as she dances down the centuries: she was in
the beginning, and she will be in the end, ever young, ever
enticing, and always inscrutable.  Her back is to the East
and her eyes are towards the night, and in her wake lieth
the world.  Wherever she danceth, there man casteth the
sweat from his brow and followeth her.  Kings have fled
their thrones for her; priests their temples; warriors their
legions; and husbandmen their ploughs.  All have sought her;
yet ever doth she remain subtle, enticing, virginal.  None
have known her save those little ones who are born in the
cave under the cavern; yet all have felt the power of her
sway.  Crowns have been sacrificed for her; gods have been
blasphemed for her; swords have been sheathed for her; and
the fields have lain barren for her; verily! the helm of
man's thoughts has been cloven in twain by the magic of her
voice.  For like some great spider she has enticed all into
the silken meshes of her web, wherein she hath spun the fair
cities of the world, where sorrow sits tongueless and
laughter abideth not; and tilled the fertile plains, where
innocence is but as the unopened book of Joy.  Yet it is she
also who hath led armies into battle; it is she who hath
brought frail vessels {199} safely across the greedy ocean;
it is she who hath enthroned priests, crowned kings, and set
the sword in the hand of the warrior; and it is she who hath
helped the weary slave to guide his plough through the heavy
soil, and the miner to rob the yellow gold from the bowels
of the earth.  Everywhere will you find her dancing down
empires, and weaving the destiny of nations.  She never
sleeps, she never slumbers, she never rests; ever wakeful,
day and night, her eyes glisten like diamonds as she danceth
on, the dust of her feet burying the past, disturbing the
present, and clouding the future.  She was in Eden, she will
be in Paradise!
    I followed her, I abandoned all for her; and now I lie,
as a fevered man, raving in the subtle web of her beauty.
    Lo! there she stands swaying between the gates of Light
and Darkness under the shadow of the Three of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil, whose fruits are death; yet none that have
not tasted thereof can tell whether they be sweet or bitter
to the tongue.  Therefore all must pluck and eat and dream.
But when the time cometh for the mystic child to be born,
they shall awake, and with eyes of fire behold that on the
summit of the mountain in the centre of the garden there
groweth the Tree of Life.
    Now round the trunk of the Tree and the lower branches
thereof there twines a woman, wild, wanton, and wise; whose
body is as that of a mighty serpent, the back of which is
vermilion, and the belly of red-gold; her breasts are
purple, and from her neck spring three heads.
    And the first head is as the head of a crown‚d
princess, and is of silver, and on her brow is set a crown
of pearls, and her eyes are as blue as the sapphire; but
upon perceiving {200} man they turn green and yellow as the
water of a troubled sea; and her mouth is as a moonstone
cleft in twain, in which lurks a tongue born of flame and
    And on beholding her, I cried to her in a loud voice,
saying: "O Priestess of the Veil who art throned between the
Pillars of Knowledge and Ignorance, pluck and give me of the
fruit of the Tree of Life that I may eat thereof, so that my
eyes shall be opened, and that I become as a god in
understanding, and live for ever!"
    Then she laughed subtly, and answered me saying:
"Understanding, O fool that art so wise, is Ignorance.  Fire
licketh up water, and water quencheth fire; and the sword
which one man fleeth from, another sheatheth in his breast.
Seek the Crown of Truth, and thou shalt be shod with the
sandals of Falsehood; unclasp the girdle of Virtue, and thou
shalt be wrapped in the shroud of Vice."
    And, when she had finished speaking, she wove from her
lips around me a net-work of cloud and of flame; and in a
subtle song she sang to me: "In the web of my tongue hast
thou been caught; in the breath of my mouth shalt thou be
snared.  For Time shall be given unto thee wherein to seek
all things; and all things shall be thy curse, and thine
understanding shall be as the waves of the sea ever rolling
onwards to the shore from whence they came; and when at the
height of their majesty shall their pride and dominion be
dashed against the rocks of Doubt, and all thy glory shall
become as the spume and the spray of shattered waters, blown
hither and thither by the storm."
    Then she caught me up in the web of her subtleties and
breathed into my nostrils the breath of Time; and bore me
{201} to the Abyss, where all is as the darkness of Doubt,
and there she strangled me with the hemp and the silk of the
abominations and arrogance of mine understanding.
    And the second head is as the head of a young woman
veiled with a veil as clear as rock crystal, and crowned
with a crown fashioned in the shape of a double cube around
which is woven a wreath of lilies and ivy.  And her
countenance is as that of Desolation yet majestic as an
Empress of Earth, who possessing all things yet cannot find
a helpmeet worthy to possess her; and her eyes are as opals
of light; and her tongue as an arrow of flame.
    And on beholding her I cried in a loud voice saying: "O
Princess of the Vision of the Unknown, who art throned as a
sphinx between the hidden mysteries of Earth and Air, give
me of the fruit of the Tree of Life that I may eat thereof,
so that mine eyes shall be opened, and I may become as a god
in understanding, and live for ever!"
    And when I had finished speaking she wept bitterly and
answered me saying: "Verily if the poor man trespass within
the palace gate, the king's dogs shall be let loose so that
they may tear him in pieces.  Also, if the king seek shelter
in the hut of the pauper the louse taketh refuge in his
hair, and heedeth not his crown nor his cap of ermine and
gold.  Now, thou, O wise man who art so foolish, askest for
Understanding; yet how shall it be given unto him who asketh
for it, for in the giving it it ceaseth to be, and he who
asketh of me is unworthy to receive.  Wouldst thou enter the
king's palace in rags and beg crumbs of his bounty?  Take
heed lest, the king perceiving thee not, his knaves set the
hounds upon thee, so that even the rags that thou possessest
are torn from thee: or, {202} even should the kind cast his
eyes on thee, that he be not overcome with fury at the
presumption of thine offence, and order thee to be stripped
naked and beaten from his garden with staves back to the
hovel whence thou camest.  And being a king, if thou seekest
knowledge and understanding in a beggar's hut, thou shalt
become as an abode of vermin, and a prey to hunger and
thirst, and thy limbs shall be bitten by cold and scorched
with fire, and all thy wealth will depart from thee and thy
people will cast thee out and take away thy crown.  Yet
there is hope for the beggar and the king, and the balances
which sway shall be adjusted, and the sun shall drink up the
clouds, and the clouds shall swallow the sun, and there
shall be neither darkness nor light.  Pledge thy pride and
it will become but the habitations of vermin, pledge thy
humility and thou shalt be cast out naked to the dogs."
    Then when she had finished speaking she bared her
breast to me, and it was as the colour of the vault of
heaven at the rising of the sun; and she took me in her arms
and did caress me, and her tongue of fire crept around and
about me as the hand of a sly maid.  Then I drank in the
breath of her lips, and it filled me as with the spirit of
dreams and of slumber, so that I doubted that the stars
shone above me, and that the rivers flowed at my feet.  Thus
all became as a vast Enigma to me, a riddle set in the
Unknowability of Space.
    Then in a subtle voice she sang to me: "I know not who
thou art, or whence thou camest; whether from across the
snowy hills, or from over the plains of fire.  Yet I love
thee; for thine eyes are as the blue of still waters, and
thy lips ruddy as the sun in the West.  Thy voice is as the
voice of a {203} shepherd at even, calling together his
flock in the twilight.  Thy breath is as the wind blown from
across a valley of musk; and thy loins are lusty as red
coral washed from the depths of the sea.  Come, draw nigh
unto me, O my love: my sister ensnared thee with her subtle
tongue, she gave thee to suck from the breasts of Time:
come, I will give thee more than she, for I will give unto
thee as an inheritance my body, and thou shalt fondle me as
a lover, and as a reward for thy love will I endow thee with
all the realms of Space --- the motes in the sunbeam shall
be thine, and the starry palaces of night, all shall be
thine even unto the uttermost depths of Infinity."  So she
possessed me, and I her.
    And the third head is as the head of a woman neither
young nor old, but beautiful and compasionate; and on her
forehead is set a wreath of Cypress and Poppies fastened by
a winged cross.  And her eyes are as star-sapphires, and her
mouth is as a pearl, and on the lips crouches the Spirit of
    And on beholding her I cried to her in a loud voice,
saying: "O Thou Mother of the Hall of Truth!  Thou who art
both sterile and pregnant, and before whose judgment-seat
tremble the clothed and the naked, the righteous and the
unjust, give me of the fruit of the Tree of Life, that I may
eat thereof so that mine eyes shall be opened, and that I
become as a god in understanding, and live forever!"
    Then I stood before her listening for her answer, and a
great shaking possessed me, for she answered not a word; and
the silence of her lips rolled around me as the clouds of
night and overshadowed my soul, so that the Spirit of life
left me.  Then I fell down and trembled, for I was alone.

                            THE SLAVE

THE blue vault of heaven is red and torn as the wound of a
tongueless mouth; for the West has drawn her sword, and the
Sun lies sweltering in his blood.  The sea moans as a
passionate bridegroom, and with trembling lips touches the
swelling breasts of night.  Then wave and cloud cling
together, and as lovers who are maddened by the fire of
their kisses, mingle and become one.
    Come, prepare the feast in the halls of the Twilight!
Come, pour out the dark wine of the night, and bring in the
far-sounding harp of the evening!  Let us tear from our
burning limbs the dusty robes of the morning, and, naked,
dance in the silver radiance of the moon.  Voices echo from
the darkness, and the murmur of many lips lulls the
stillness of departing day, as a shower in springtime
whispering amongst the leaves of the sprouting beech trees.
Now the wolves howl outside, and the jackals call from the
thicket; but none heed them, for all inside is as the mossy
bank of a sparkling streamlet --- full of softness and the
flashing of many jewels.
    O where art thou, my loved one, whose eyes are as the
blue of the far-off hills?  O where art thou whose voice is
as the murmur of distant waters?  I stretch forth mine hands
and feel {205} the rushes nodding in the wind; I gaze
through the shadows, for the night mist is rising from the
lake; but thee I cannot find.  Ah! there thou art by the
willow, standing between the bulrush and the water-lily, and
thy form is as a shell of pearl caught up by the waves in
the moonlight.  Come, let us madden the night with our
kisses!  Come, let us drink dry the vats of our passion!
Stay!  Why fleest thou from me, as the awakened mist of the
morning before the arrows of day?  Now I can see thee no
more; thou art gone, and the darkness hath swallowed thee
up.  O wherefore hast thou left me, me who loved thee, and
wove kisses in thine hair?  Behold, the Moon hath followed
thee!  Now I see not the shadows of the woods, and the
lilies in the water have become but flecks of light in the
darkness.  Now they mingle and melt together as snow-flakes
before the sun, and are gone; yea! the stars have fled the
skies, and I am alone.
    How cold has grown the night, how still!  O where art
thou!  Come, return unto me, that I stray not in vain; call
unto me that I lose not my way!  Lighten me with the
brightness of thine eyes, so that I wander not far from the
path and become a prey to the hunger of wild beasts!
    I am lost; I know not where I am; the mossy mountains
have become as hills of wind, and have been blown far from
their appointed places; and the waving fields of the valleys
have become silent as the land of the dead, so that I hear
then not, and know not whither to walk.  The reeds whisper
not along the margin of the lake; all is still; heaven has
closed her mouth and there is no breath in her to wake the
slumber of desolation.  The lilies have been sucked up by
the greedy waters, and now night sleeps like some mighty
{206} serpent gorged on the white flesh and the warm blood
of the trembling maidens of dawn, and the wild youths of the
    O my dove, my loved one!  Didst thou but approach as a
wanderer in the wilderness, thine hair floating as a raiment
of gold about thee, and thy breasts lit with the blush of
the dawn!  Then would mine eyes fill with tears, and I would
leap towards thee in the madness of my joy; but thou comest
not.  I am alone, and tremble in the darkness like the
bleached bones of a giant in the depths of a windy tomb.
    There is a land in which no tree groweth, and where the
warbling of the birds is as a forgotten dream.  There is a
land of dust and desolation, where no river floweth, and
where no cloud riseth from the plains to shade men's eyes
from the sand and the scorching sun.  Many are they who
stray therein, for all live upon the threshold of misery who
inhabit the House of joy.  There wealth taketh wing as a
captive bird set free, and fame departeth as a breath from
fainting lips; love playeth the wanton, and the innocence of
youth is but as a cloak to cover the naked hideousness of
vice; health is not known, and joy lies corrupted as a
corpse in the grave; and behind all standeth the great slave
master called Death, all-encompassing with his lash, all-
desolating in the naked hideousness and the blackness
wherewith he chastiseth.
    "I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought,
and behold all was vanity and vexation of spirit."  Yea! all
are of dust, and turn to dust again, and the dead know not
anything.  Health has left me, wealth has departed from me,
those whom I love have been taken from me, and now Thou
{207} (O my God!) hast abandoned me, and cast me out, and
setting a lock upon Thy lips hast stopped Thine ears with
wax and covered Thine eyes with the palms of Thine hands, so
that Thou seest me not, nor hearest me, nor answerest unto
my bitter cry.  Thus I am cast out from Thy presence and sit
alone as one lost in a desert of sand, and cry unto Thee,
thirsting for Thee, and then deny Thee and curse Thee in my
madness, until death stop the blasphemies of my lips with
the worm and the dust of corruption, and I am set free from
the horror of this slavery of sorrow.
    I am alone, yea! alone, sole habitant of this kingdom
of desolation and misery.  Hell were as Paradise to this
solitude.  O would that dragons came from out the deep and
devoured me, or that lions tore me asunder for their food;
for their fury would be as milk and honey unto the
bitterness of this torture.  O cast unto me a worm, that I
may no longer be alone, and that in its writhings on the
sand I read Thine answer to my prayer!  Would I were in
prison that I might hear the groans of the captives; would I
were on the scaffold that I might listen to the lewd jests
of bloody men!  O would I were in the grave, wound in the
roots of the trees, eyeless gazing up into the blackness of
    Between the evening and the morning was I born, like a
mushroom I sprang up in the night.  At the breast of
desolation was I fed, and my milk was as whey, and my meat
as the bitterness of aloes.  Yet I lived, for God was with
me; and I feared, for the devil was at hand.  I did not
understand what I needed, I was afraid, and fear was as a
pestilence unto my soul.  Yet was I intoxicated and drunken
on the cup of life, and joy was mine, and reeling I shrieked
blasphemies {208} to the storm.  Then I grew sober, and
diced with mine understanding, and cheated mine heart, and
lost my God, and was sold into slavery, and became as a
coffin-worm unto the joy of my life.  Thus my days grew
dark, and I cried unto myself as my spirit left me: "O what
of to-day which is as the darkness of night?  O what then of
to-morrow which is as the darkness of Eternity?  Why live
and tempt the master's lash?"  So I sought the knife at my
girdle to sunder the thread of my sorrow; but courage had
taken flight with joy, and my hand shook so that the blade
remained in its sheath.  Then I cried unto myself: "Verily
why should I do aught, for life itself hath become unto me
as a swordless scabbard" --- so I sat still and gloomed into
the darkness.


                           THE WARRIOR

THERE is an indifference which overleaps satisfaction; there
is a surrender which overthrows victory, there is a
resignation which shatters the fetters of anxiety, a
relaxation which casts to the winds the manacles of despair.
This is the hour of the second birth, when from the womb of
the excess of misery is born the child of the nothingness of
joy.  "Solv‚!"  For all must be melted in the crucible of
affliction, all must be refined in the furnace of woe, and
then on the anvil of strength must it be beaten out into a
blade of gleaming joy.  "Coagula!"
    Weep and gnash your teeth, and sorrow sits crowned and
exultant; therefore rise and gird on the armour of utter
desolation!  Slay anger, strangle sorrow, and drown despair;
then a joy shall be born which is beyond love or hope,
endurable, incorruptible.  Come heaven, come hell!  Once the
Balances are adjusted, then shall the night pass away, and
desire and sorrow vanish as a dream with the breath of the
    The war of the Freedom of Souls is not the brawling of
slaves in the wine-dens, or the haggling of the shopmen in
the market-place; it is the baring of the brand of life,
that unsheathing of the Sword of Strength which lays all low
before the devastation of its blade.  Life must be held in
{210} contempt --- the life of self and the life of others.
Here there must be no weakness, no sentiment, no reason, no
mercy.  All must taste of the desolation of war, and partake
of the blood of the cup of death.  O! warriors, ye cannot be
too savage, to barbarous, too strong.  On, O storm-blown
sons of the fire of life!  Success is your password;
destruction is your standard; Victory is your reward!
    Heed not the shrieking of women, or the crying of
little children; for all must die, and not a stone must be
left standing in the city of the World, lest darkness depart
not.  Haste! bring flint and steel, light the match, fire
the thatch of the hovel and the cedar rafters of the palace;
for all must be destroyed, and no man must delay, or falter,
or turn back, or repent.  Then from the ashes of Destruction
will rise the King, the birthless and the deathless one, the
great monarch who shall shake from his tangled beard the
blood of strife, and who shall cast from his weary hand the
sword of desolation.
    Yea! from out the night flashes a sword of flame, from
out the darkness speeds an arrow of fire!
    I am alone, and stand at the helm of the barque of
Death, and laugh at the fury of the waves; for the prow of
my laughter smiteth the dark waters of destruction into a
myriad jewels of unutterable and uttermost joy!
    I am alone, and stand in the centre of the desert of
Sorrow, and laugh at the misery of earth: for the music of
my laughter whirleth the sands of desolation into a golden
cloud of unutterable and uttermost joy!
    I am alone, and stand on the storm cloud of life, and
laugh at the shrieking of the winds; for the wings of my
{211} laughter sweep away the web of outer darkness, and
reveal the stars of unutterable and uttermost joy!
    I am alone, and stand on the flames of the mountains of
pleasure, and laugh at the fire of rapture; for the breath
of my laughter bloweth the bright flames into a pillar of
unutterable and uttermost joy.
    I am alone, and stand amongst the ghosts of the dead,
and laugh at the shivering of the shades, for the heart of
my laughter pulseth as a mighty fountain of blood clothing
the shadows of night with the spirit of unutterable and
uttermost joy!
    I am alone, yea alone, one against all; yet in my sword
have I all things; for in it lives the strength of my might,
and if joy come not at my beckoning, then joy shall be slain
as a disobedient slave, and if sorrow depart not at my
command, then shall sorrow speed through the valley of death
as a foe that passeth not his neck beneath the yoke.
    In the bastion of mine imagination lie all the
munitions of my might; and from the tower of my resolution
do I sweep away the stars, and pour forth fire and water on
the world of laughter and weeping.  I cannot be despoiled,
for none can approach me; I cannot be succoured, for I am
far beyond the path of man's help.  Yet neither would I if I
could; for if I could, I would not; and if I would, I could
not; for I have become as a giant amongst men, strong as he
can only be who has feasted on the agony of life, and
drunken of the cup of the sorrow of death, and towered above
all things.
    Laugher is mine, not the laughter of bitterness, nor
the laughter of jest; but the laughter of strength and of
life.  I live like a mighty conquering Lord and all things
are mine. {212}  Fair groves and gardens, palaces of marble
and fortresses of red sandstones; and the coffers of my
treasury are filled with gold and silver and precious
stones; and before my path the daughters of pleasure dance
with unbraided tresses, scattering lilies and roses along my
way.  Life is a joy indeed, a rapture of clinging lips and
of red wine, which flows in beads along the bronze and
purple tresses, and then like rubies of blood finds refuge
between the firm white breasts of maddened maidenhood.
    Hark! ... What is that, the yelping of a dog?  No, it
is the death-cry of a man! ... Ay! the biting of sharp
swords, and the shrieking of many women.  Ho! the feast has
indeed begun, the rabble have broken in, scythes glisten in
the torch-light and tables are overturned; wine is gulped
down by filthy mouths, and spilt and mingled with the blood
of the slaughtered children of Eros, so that the banquet of
love has become the shambles of death. ...
    Now all is still and the rose has given birth to the
poppy, and the bronze tresses of the revellers lie
motionless as snakes gorged on clotted blood, and shimmer
wantonly in the moonlight between discovered limbs and
disemboweled entrails.  Soon the quivering maggots, which
once were the brains of men, will lick up the crumbs of the
feast in the temple of love, and the farce will be ended.
    I rise from the corpse of her I kissed, and laugh; for
all is beautiful, more beautiful still; for I create from
the godless butchery of fiends the overpowering grandeur of
death.  There she stands before me, rose-limbed, crimson-
lipped, with breast of scarlet flame, her tresses floating
about her like a cloud of ruby fire, and the tongue which
creepeth from {213} her lips is as a carbuncle wet with the
strong blood of warriors.  I laugh, and in the frenzy of my
exultation she is mine; and on that soft bed of bloody
corpses do I beget on her the laughter of the scorn of war,
the joy of the contempt of sorrow.
    Life is a horror, a writhing of famished serpents, yet
I care not, for I laugh.  The deserts awe me not, neither do
the seas restrain the purpose of my mirth.  Life is as
prisoner in a dungeon, still I laugh; for I, in my strength,
have begotten a might beyond the walls of prisons; for life
and death have become one to me --- as little children
gambolling on the sands and splashing in the wavelets of the
sea.  I laugh at their pretty play, and upon the billows of
my laughter do I build up the Kingdom of the Great in which
all carouse at one table.  Here virgins mingle with
courtesans, and the youth and the old man know neither
wisdom nor folly.
    I have conquered the deserts and the forests, the
valleys and the mountains, the seas and the lands.  My
palace is built of fire and water, of earth and of air, and
the secret place within the sanctuary of my temple is as the
abode of everlasting mirth.  All is love, life, and laugher;
death and decay are not: all is joy, purity, and freedom;
all is as the fire of mystery; all is all; for my kingdom is
known as the City of God.
    The slave weepeth, for he is alone; O be not slaves
unto yourselves, lashing your backs with the sorrows of your
own begetting.  But rather become strong in the widowhood of
your joy, and evoke from the horror of your seclusion the
morion of the victory of resolution, and from the misery of
your loneliness, the sword of the destruction of desire.
Then {214} shall ye turn your faces towards the West, and
stride after the night of desolation, and on the cup of the
sunset shall ye become strong as warriors fed on the blood
of bulls, and shall step out past the morning and the night
in the manliness of might, to the conquest of thyself, and
to the usurpation of the Throne of God!


                           THE KING

THE King is the undying One; he is the life and the master
of life; he is the great living image of the Sun, the Sun,
and the begetter of the Sun.  He is the Divine Child, the
God-begotten One, and the Begetter of God.  He is the potent
bull, the jewelled snake, the fierce lion.  He is the
monarch of the lofty mountains, and the lord of the woods
and forests, the indweller of the globes of flame.  As a
royal eagle he soars through the heavens, and as a great
dragon he churns up the waters of the deep.  He holds the
past between his hands as a casket of precious stones, the
future lies before him clear as a mirror of burnished
silver, and to-day is as an unsheathed dagger of gold at his
    As a slave who is bold becomes a warrior, so a warrior
who is fearless becomes a king, changing his battered helm
of strength for a glittering crown of light; and as the
warrior walks upright with the fearlessness of disdain in
his eyes, so does the king walk with bowed head, finding
love and beauty wherever he goeth, and whatever he doeth is
true and lovely, for having conquered his self, he ruleth
over his self by love alone, and not by the laws of good and
evil, neither proudly nor disdainfully, neither by justice
nor by mercy.  Good and Evil is not his, for he hath become
as an Higher Intelligence, {216} as an Art enshrined in the
mind; and in his kingdom actions no longer defile, and
whatever his heart inclineth him to do, that he doeth purely
and with joy.  And as the countenance of a singer may be
ruddy or white, fair or dark, nevertheless, the redness or
the whiteness, the fairness or the darkness, affect not the
song of his lips, or the rapture of his music; similarly,
neither does man-made virtue and vice, goodness and
wickedness, strength and weakness, or any of the seeming
opposites of life, affect or control the actions of the
King; for he is free-born from the delusions and the dream
of opposites, and sees things as they are, and not as the
five senses reflect them on the mirror of the mind.
    Now he who would become as a king unto himself must not
renounce the kingdoms of this world, but must conquer the
lands and estates of others and usurp their thrones.  Should
he be poor he must aim at riches without forfeiting his
poverty; should he be rich he must aim at possessing poverty
as well, without taking one farthing from the coffers of his
treasury.  The man of much estate must aim at possessing all
the land, until there is no kingdom left for him to conquer.
The Unobtainable must be obtained, and in the obtaining of
it is to be found the Golden Key of the Kingdom of Light.
The virgin must become as the wanton, yet though filled with
all the itchings of lust, she must in no wise forfeit the
purity of her virginity; for the foundations of the Temple
are indeed set between Day and Night, and the Scaffolding
thereof is as an arch flung between Heaven and Hell.  For if
she who is a virgin become but as a common strumpet, then
she indeed falls and rises not, becoming in her {217} fall
but a clout in the eyes of all men, a foul rag wherewith to
sop up the lusts of flesh.  So, verily, if she who being a
courtesan, becometh as an untouched virgin, she shall be
considered as a thing of naught, being both sterile and
loveless; for what profit shall she be to this world who is
the mother of unfruitfulness?  But she who is both crimson
and white, a twisted pillar of snow and fire, soothing where
she burneth, and comforting where she chilleth, she shall be
held as queen amongst women; for in her all things are
found, and as an inexhaustible well of water around whose
mouth grows the wild apricot, in which the bees set their
sweet hives, she shall be both food and drink to the hearts
of men: a well of life unto this world, yea! a goodly tavern
wherein cool wine is sold, and good cheer is to be had, and
where all shall be filled with the joyaunce of love.
    Thus shall men attain to the unity of the crown and
become as kings unto themselves.  But the way is long and
hilly and beset with many pitfalls, and it traverses a foul
and a wild country.  Indeed we see before us the towers and
the turrets, the domes and the spires, the roofs and the
gables, glittering beyond the purple of the horizon, like
the helmets and spears of an army of warriors in the
distance.  But on approaching we find that the blue of the
sky-line encompasses a dark wood wherein are all things
unmindful of the Crown, and where there is darkness and
corruption, and where lives the Tyrant of the World clothed
in a robe of fantastic desires.  Yet it is here that the
Golden Key has been lost, where the hog, the wolf, the ape,
and the bearded goat hold revel.  Here are set the pavilions
of dreams and the tented encampments of sleep, in which are
spread the tables of demons, and where {218} feast the
wantons and the prudes, the youths and the old men, and all
the opposites of virtue and of vice.  But he who would wear
the crown must find the key, else the door of the Palace
remains closed, for none other than he can open it for him.
And he who would find the Key of Gold must seek it here in
the outer court of the World, where the flatterers, and the
parasites, and the hypocrites, buzz like flies over the
fleshpots of life.
    Now he who enters the outer court sees set before him
many tables and couches, at which with swollen veins revel
the sons of the gluttony of life.  Here men, in their
furious love of greed, stuff their jaws with the luxuries of
decay, which a little after go to the dunghill; and vomit
their sour drink on one another as a certain sign of their
good fellowship.  Here they carouse together drunkenly as in
a brothel filling the world with the noise of cymbal and
drum, and the loud-sounding instruments of delusion, and
with shouts of audacious shame.  Here are their ears and
eyes pleasantly titillated by the sound of the hissing of
the frying-pans, and the sight of the bubbling of stews; and
courting voracity, with necks stretched out, so that they
may sniff up the wandering steam of the dishes, they fill
their swollen bellies with things perishable, and drink up
the gluttonies of life.  Yet he who would partake of the
Banquet of Light must pass this way and sojourn a while
amongst these animals, who are so filled with swinish
itchings and unbridled fornications that they perceive not
that their manger and their dunghill lie side by side as
twins in one bed.  For a space he must listen to the
hiccuping of those who are loaded with wine, and the
snorting of those who are stuffed with food, and must {219}
watch these lecherous beasts who insult the name of man
rolling in their offal, gambolling, and itching with a
filthy prurience after the mischievous delights of lewdness,
drunkenly groping amongst the herds of long-haired boys and
short-skirted girls, from whom they suck away their beauty,
as milk from the udders of a goat.  He must dwell for a time
with these she-apes, smeared with white paint, mangled,
daubed, and plastered with the "excrement of crocodiles" and
the "froth of putrid humours," who are known as women.
Disreputable hags who keep up old wives' whispering over
their cups, and who, as filthy in body as in mind, with
unbridled tongues clatter wantonly as they giggle over their
sluttish whisperings, shamelessly making with their lips
sounds of lewdness and fornication.  And wanton young dabs
with mincing gait swing their bodies here and there amongst
the men, their faces smeared with the ensnaring devices of
wily cunning.  Winking boldly and babbling nonsense they
cackle loudly, and like fowls scratching the dunghill seek
the dirt of wealth; and having found it, pass their way to
the gutter and the grave loaded with gold like a filthy
    O seeker!  All this must thou bear witness to, and
become a partaker in, without becoming defiled or disgusted,
and without contempt or reverence; then of a certain shalt
thou find the Golden Key which turneth the bolt of evil from
the staple of Good, and which openeth the door which leadeth
unto the Palace of the King, wherein is the Temple.  For
when thou hast discovered Beauty and Wisdom and Truth in the
swollen veins, in the distended bellies, in the bubbling
lips, in the lewd gambollings, in the furious greed, the
wanton {220} whisperings, the sly winkings, and all the
shameless nonsense of the Outer Court, then indeed shalt
thou find that the Key of gold is only to be found in the
marriage of wantonness and chastity.  And taking it thou
shalt place it in the lock of cherubic fire which is
fashioned in the centre of the door of the King's house,
which is built of ivory and ebony and studded with jet and
silver; and the door shall open for a time as if a flame had
been blown aside, and thou shalt see before thee a table of
pearl on which are set the hidden waters and the secret
bread of the Banquet of Light.  And thou shalt drink and eat
and become bright as a stream of molten silver; and, as the
light of the body is the eye, so shalt thy true self become
as an eye unto thee, and see all things, even the cup of the
third birth; and, taking it, thou shalt drink from the cup
the eucharist of Freedom, the wine of which is more fragrant
than the sweet-scented grapes of Thrace, or the musk-
breathing vines of Lesbos, and is sweeter than the vintage
of Crete, and all the vineyards of Naxos and Egypt.  And
thou shalt be anointed with sweet-smelling nards, and
unguent made from lilies and cypress, myrtle and amaranth,
and of myrrh and cassia well mixed.  And in thine hair shall
be woven rose-leaves of crimson light, and the mingling
loveliness of lilies and violets, twined as the dawn with
night.  And about thee shall waft a sweeter fragrance than
the burning of frankincense, and storax, and lign-aloes; for
it is the breath of the Temple of God.  Then shalt thou step
into the King's Palace, O warrior! and a voice more musical
than the flute of ivory and the psaltery of gold, clear as a
bell of mingled metals in the night, shall call unto thee,
and thou shalt follow it to the throne which is as a perfect
cube of {221} flaming gold set in a sea of whiteness; and
then shalt thou be unrobed of sleep and crowned with the
silence of the King --- the silence of song, of thought, and
of reason, that unthinkable silence of the Throne.


                       THE WHITE WATCH-TOWER

CHAOS and ancient night have engulfed me; I am blind.  I
crouch on the tower of uttermost silence awaiting the coming
of the armies of the dawn.
    O whence do I come, where am I, O whither do I go?  For
I sit maddened by the terrors of a great darkness. ... What
do I hear?  Words of mystery float around me, a music of
voices, a sweetness, as of the scent of far burning incense;
yea!  I see, I hear, I am caught up on the wings of song.
Yet I doubt, and doubt that I doubt ... I behold!
    See! the night heaves as a woman great with child, and
the surface of the black waters shimmers as the quivering
skin of one in the agony of travail. ... The horizon is
cleft and glows like a womb of fire, the hosts of the night
are scattered, I am born, and the stars melt like flakes of
snow before mine eyes. ...
    Lo! there she stands, born in maturity, shaken from out
the loins of the darkness, as a rainbow from the purple jars
of the thunder.  Her hair is as a flood of dancing moon-
beams, woven with golden ears of corn, and caught up by
flashing serpents of malachite and emerald.  On her forehead
shines the crescent moon, pearl-like, and softly gleaming
with the light of an inner light.  Her garment is as a web
of translucent {223} silver, glistening white and dew-like,
now rippling with all the colours of the rainbow, now
rushing into flames crimson and gold, as the petals of the
red-rose, woven with poppy, and crocus, and tulips.  And
around her, as a cloud of irradiant mystery gleaming with
darkness, and partly obscuring the softness of her form,
sweeps a robe, woven of a network of misty waters, and
flashing with a myriad stars of silver; and in its midst, as
a great pearl of fire drawn from the depths of the seas, a
full moon of silver trembles glowing with beams of
opalescent light --- mystic and wonderful.  In her right
hand she holds a sistrum, and chimes forth the music of the
earth, and in her left an asp twisted to the prow of a boat
of gold, wherein lie the mysteries of heaven.
    Then clear and sweet as the breath of the hillside, I
heard a voice, as of the winds across a silver harp, saying:
    I am the Queen of the heavenly ones, of the Gods, and
of the Goddesses, united in one form.  I am She who was, who
is, and will be; my form is one, my name is manifold; under
the palm-trees, and in the deserts, in the valleys, and on
the snowy mountains, mankind pays me homage, and thunders
forth praises to my name.  Yet I am nameless in the deep, as
amongst the lightsome mountains of the sky.  Some call me
Mother of the Gods, some Aphrodite of the seas of pearl,
some Diana of the golden nets, some Proserpina Queen of
Darkness, some Hecate mistress of enchantments, some Istar
of the boat of night, some Miriam of the Cavern, and others
yet again Isis, veiled mother of Mystery.
    I am she who cometh in unto all men, and if not here,
then shalt thou behold Me amidst the darkness of Acheron,
and as Queen in the palaces of Styx.  I am the dark night
{224} that bringeth forth the bright day; I am the bright
day that swalloweth up the dark night; that bright day that
hath been begotten by the ages, and conceived in the hearts
of men; that dawn in which storms shall cease their roaring,
and the billows of the deep shall be smoothed out like a
sheet of molten glass.
    Then I was carried away on the wings of rapture, and in
the strength of my joy I leapt from the tower of Night; but
as I fell, she caught me, and I clung to her and she became
as a Daughter of this world, as a Child of God begotten in
the heart of man.  And her hair swept around and about me,
in clouds of gold, and rolled over me, as sunbeams poured
out from the cups of the noon.  Her cheeks were bright with
a soft vermilion of the pomegranate mingling with the
whiteness of the lily.  Her lips were half open, and her
eyes were deep, passionate, and tremulous, as the eyes of
the mother of the human race, when she first struggled in
the strong arms of man; for I was growing strong in her
strength, I was becoming a worthy partner of her glory.
    Then she clung to me, and her breath left her lips like
gusts of fire mingled with the odours of myrtle; and in mine
arms she sang unto me her bridal song:
    "Come, O my dear one, my darling, let us pass from the
land of the plough to the glades and the groves of delight!
There let us pluck down the clustered vine of our trembling,
and scatter the rose-leaves of our desire, and trample the
purple grapes of our passion, and mingle the foaming cups of
our joy in the glittering chalice of our love.  O! love,
what fountains of rapture, what springs of intoxicating
bliss well up from the depths of our being, till the foaming
wine jets {225} forth hissing through the flames of our
passion --- and splashes into immensity, begetting a million
    "I have watched the dawn, golden and crimson; I have
watched the night all starry-eyed; I have drunk up the blue
depths of the waters, as the purple juice of the grape.
Yet, alone in thine eyes, do I find the delights of my joy,
and in thy lips the vintage of my love.
    "The flowers of the fields have I gazed on, and the gay
plumage of the birds, and the distant blue of the mountains;
but they all fade before the blush of thy cheeks; and as the
ruby goblet of the Sun is drained by the silver lips of
night, so are they all swallowed up in the excess of thy
    "I have breathed in the odour of roses and the
fragrance of myrtle, and the sweet scent of the wild
jessamine.  I have drunk in the breath of the hillside, and
the perfume of the woods and the seas; yet thy breath is
more fragrant than they, it is sweeter still, it
intoxicateth me and filleth me with joy, as a rich jar of
wine found in the depths of a desert of salt --- I have
drunk deep and am bewildered with love.
    "I have listened to the lark in the sky, to the curlew,
and to the nightingale in the thicket, and to all the
warblers of the woods, to the murmur of the waters and to
the singing of the winds; yet what are they to the rapture
of thy voice? which echoes in the valley of my breast, and
trills through the depths of my being.
    "I have tasted the juice of the peach, and the
sweetness of honey and milk; but the wine of thy lips is
strong as the aromatic vintage of Egypt, and sweet as the
juice of the date-palms in the scented plains of Euphrates:
Ay! let me drink {226} till I reel bewildered with kisses
and pleasure ... O my love! ... my love! ... O my love!"
    Then I caught up her song and cried: "Yea!  O Queen of
the Night, O arrow of brightness drawn from the quiver of
the moon!  O Thou who hast ensnared me in the meshes of
thine hair, and caught me up on the kisses of thy mouth; O
thou who hast laid aside thy divinity to take refuge in mine
arms, listen!
    "I have drunk deep of the flagons of passion with the
white-veiled virgins of Vesta, and the crimson-girdled
daughters of Circe, and the drowsy-eyed maidens of Ind.  I
have woven love with the lithe girls of Hellas, and the
subtle-limbed women of Egypt whose fingers are created to
caress; all the virgins of Assyria, and the veiled beauties
of Arabia, have been mine; yet amongst them all have I not
found one to compare to a lash on the lid of thine eye.  O
Thou art as the wine of ecstasy, a thousand times more
delicious than all these.  Ah! but what is this languor
which cleaves to me?  My strength has left me; my soul has
mingled with thine; I am not, and yet I am.  Is it Thy
weakness that I feel?"
    "Nay, O lover, for it is only at the price of the
illusion of my strength that thou hast given me the pleasure
of unity which I have tasted in thine arms.  Beauty has
conquered me and drunk up the strength of my might; I am
alone, and all things are mine in the mystery of my
    "Evoe!" life burns in the brasier of love as a ruby
flame in a sapphire bowl.  I am dead, yet I live for ever!"
    Arise, O sleeper, for the night of loneliness hath
rolled up the hangings of her couch, and my heart is burning
like a sun of molten brass; awake before the Beast riseth
and enter the {227} sanctuary of Eden and defile the
children of dawn.  Thou Child-Man, cast off the cloak of
dreams who before thy sleep wast enraptured with the
strength of love.  Fair and fresh didst thou come from the
woods when the world was young, with breast like the snowy
hills in the sunlight, and thine hair as a wind-ravished
forest of oak, and thine eyes deep and still as the lakes of
the mountains.  No veil covered thee, and thou didst revel
naked in the laughter of the Dawn, and under the kisses of
mid-day didst thou leap with the sun, and the caressing
hands of night laid thee to rest in the cradle of the moon.
Thoughts did not tempt thee, Reason played not the prude
with thee, nor imagination the wanton.  Radiant child that
thou art, thou didst grow in the light that shone from thine
eyes, no shadow of darkness fell across thy path: thy love
was strong and pure --- bright as the stars of night, and
deep as the echoing depths of hills of amber, and emerald,
and vermilion.
    Awake! tear from thy limbs the hempen ropes of
darkness, arise! --- fire the beacon of the awakenment of
the nations, and night shall heave as an harlot great with
child, and purity shall be born of corruption, and the light
shall quiver through the darkness, an effulgence of opals
like the beams of many colours irradiated from the L. V. X.
    Through the night of reckoning hast thou passed,and thy
path hath been wound around the land of darkness under the
clouds of sleep.  Thou hast cleft the horizon as a babe the
womb of its mother, and scattered the gloom of night, and
shouted in thy joy: "Let there be light!"  Now that thou has
seized the throne, thou shalt pass the portals of the tomb
and enter the Temple beyond. {228}
    There thou shalt stand upon the great watch-tower of
Day, where all is awakenment, and gaze forth on the kingdom
of the vine and the land of the houses of coolness.  Thou
shalt conquer the Empire of the Sceptre, and usurp the
Kingdom of the Crown, for thou art as a little child, and
none shall harm thee, no evil form shall spring up against
thee.  For Yesterday is in thy right hand, and To-morrow in
thy left, and To-day is as the breath of thy lips. ........
    I am the Unveiled One standing between the two
horizons, as the sun between the arms of Day and Night.  My
light shineth upon all men, and none can do me harm, neither
can the sway of my rule be broken.  I am the Unveiled one
and the Unveiler and the Re-veiler; the world lieth below me
and before me, and in the brilliance of mine eyes crouch the
images of things that be.  Space I unroll as a scroll, and
Time chimeth from mine hand as the voice of a silver bell.
I ring out the birth and the death of nations, and when I
rise worlds pass away as feathers of smoke before the
hurricane. .....
    Yet, O divine Youth who has created thyself!  What art
thou?  Thou art the birthless and the deathless one, without
beginning and without end!  Thou paintest the heavens bright
with rays of pure emerald light, for thou art Lord of the
beams of Light.  Thou illuminest the two lands with rays of
turquoise and beryl, and sapphire, and amethyst; for Lord of
Love, Lord of Life, Lord of Immensity, Lord of
Everlastingness is thy name.  Thou hast become as a tower of
Effulgence, whose foundations are set in the hearts of me,
yea! as a mountain of chrysoleth slumbering in the Crown of
Glory! whose summit is God!


        [Book II "The Scaffolding" will appear in No. 2.]