Puslapio vaizdai

then, that whatever the special union of the sexes which the world calls marriage may be, entirely different demands are being made on it to-day than were being made fifty years ago. Is it any wonder that the certainty of its foundation is becoming impaired? And should it be regarded as an outrage on morality to envisage the possibility of some radical change, in which, maybe, the bonds of a legal contract would be abolished, and the new relationship be given free course to develop itself in the new age?

We need not be afraid. The ladder set up from earth to heaven is a long one. Countless millions have not yet set their foot on the first rung. For more ages than we need take stock of, men and women will eagerly demand that they be legally bound together, and, for all who so desire it, such bonds should be supplied. At the same time, we should fairly and squarely face the fact that the years as they pass must see an ever growing army of men and women who are beginning to catch a glimpse of the inevitable, who are beginning to see that completeness does not consist in the physical union of man and woman, but in the recognition and development, by the man, of the woman within him, and, by the woman, of the man which forever lies in the deeps of her own soul. And having so seen, men and women will claim the right to work side by side, free and independent, instead of crowding back into the acorn where the twain are one flesh.

As this vision grows clearer, as the spiritual man with his limitless outlook is ever held less and less in the

grasp of the material, the great fact will at last emerge that all the socalled human relationships are but the manifestation to our present state of consciousness of the one great cause, the one great Principle of which we are the effect.

"Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."

It was this same man whose last thoughts, as he hung nailed to a cross, were for his mother. We need never be afraid to face the new day.

And so the anxious and fearful may take heart of grace, while the courageous and far-seeing should push fearlessly on. They will have need of much patience and much faith. The material man with his hatreds, his fears, his lusts, and his makebelieve will fight to the last ditch against the onward movement of spirit, and at no point in the field will the struggle be more severe than around this battered blockhouse of the old concept of marriage.

But the man who saw so many things clearly has penetrated far on into time, to a period long after the last thunderclap of this struggle shall have faded away into silence, and has left this record:

"When they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."



VII-By Cleopatra's River


APOLEON was not accustomed to linger on the scene, once the footlights were dimmed. In fact, he usually preceded the curtain. So on Christmas in the year VI of the Republic, 1797 of Our Lord, the commander-in-chief came up from Italy, by way of Rastadt, where he had been conducting sundry little negotiations, and entered Paris, with the cries of Noël ringing faintly in his ears. He had been born, said Letizia on that memorable day back in Ajaccio, as our Saviour had been, without pomp and after a journey. But a new kind of savior was then more to the relish of most of the French people; one who came riding with a challenge on his lips instead of a beatitude.

But it was all to be expected, with memories so fresh of creaking tumbrils, and heads held up by the forelock, and succeeding these, an effete and inefficient oligarchy of Moulins and Barras robbing the exchequer in private and flaunting their scantclad mistresses in the public gardens. One may admit the ultimate dominion of the spirit; but the millennium is such a long way off; and it is only human to hail a more practical leader -in the year 1797 of Our Lord, the year VI of the infant Republic.

They received him in the Luxem

bourg Palace with something of acclaim and not a little of splendor; with heads uncovered, and bevies of beautiful ladies thronging the corridors. True, a little of coldness characterized the ceremonies. He did not thrust himself forward-they did that for him-and to disarm suspicion, he appeared in a blue and white uniform that was conspicuously plain when contrasted with the flamboyant plumes and tunics of the Directors. But the Directors could not guess his intentions, while he, though preserving an impressively calm demeanor, felt inwardly a little ill at ease. Indeed there was embarrassment everywhere, for the audience studied him covertly, as the staff of a counting-house might study a visitor inspecting the establishment, with the possible intention of taking it over, employees and all. An untoward incident occurred just as he began to address them in his jerky but vibrant phrases: a young man fell from the topmost gallery to the marble floor, his blood splashing the Greek gowns and the pink and white bosoms of the ladies. This accident was scarcely reassuring.

Nevertheless, he had brought them trophies, much moneys, and many kingdoms. And he had trumped the Royalists. For old

Augereau had ringed the Tuileries round, quite as Napoleon had expected. Even those who knew not of his manipulations knew that his was the directing hand. And forAnd fortunately he had incurred no odium for the transportation in barred cages of the intriguing Royalists and Councilors to the fever-ridden swamps of Guiana. The tenderhearted blamed others for this. And, as a matter of fact, the punishment had not been of Napoleon's invention, though it served his purpose very nicely.

Josephine, too, had come up to Paris, though by a different route, with the discreet Louise Compoint and, this time, with an equally discreet convoy, therefore without the black-haired Hippolyte Charles, though with Fortuna, the lap-dog, who had been most woefully indiscreet. She, it was said, had played false with a Milanese mongrel who had no right in the Palace of Montebello; and the puppies had been drowned to the accompaniment of much tears from the tender-hearted Josephine.

Napoleon did not haunt her bedroom now; the rouge-pots and colorful parrakeets amid the yellow-wood furniture had lost much of their allure. He appeared with her a few times in public, hiding himself in the rear of the theater box, and conducting himself, partly from caution, more from native good taste, with a modesty most becoming to a conqueror only twenty-eight years old.

Perhaps there were other reasons for his absorption. The world, conservatively speaking, was now his oyster. With his sword he had pried its shell partly open, only to discover

in the corner the pearl of the Orient. The bright coloring and elusive mystery of that pearl appealed to him-he had read much of it in his boyhood-for there had trod great Cæsar and Alexander; and manhood sometimes gives a triumphant solidity to the vague dreams of impressionable youth.

In these months of inactivity and comparative retirement he was not happy; had lost something of his sang-froid, had also become acutely suspicious. He had saved the Directors, but, like hounds and master, they watched him, he them, for the first move. To Josephine and Bourrienne he declared they were planning to poison him. And he was uncertain, too, of a larger pack.

"The public cheer me now," he said to Bourrienne. "To-morrow they will curse me. I must give them new cause for cheers."

Egypt seemed the one way out. And there were many practical reasons for the expedition, as he told the Directors at the Luxembourg Palace.

"Prussia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Naples, are against us. They will never rest until the Bourbons are restored. England uses her navies to help them and plays the banker for the rest of Europe. She is the most implacable foe of France. But capture Egypt, cut off Britain from Suez and her colonies, and she will be bankrupt, an easy prey."

This was artful, for not only would he be too far away for them to put poison in his snuff-box, a device they later tried, but he knew they were planning to send him on an expedition against England; and being always unlucky at sea, he had no mind

to be ignominiously dashed in pieces against the white cliffs of Dover.

Other motives there were, of course, having to do, no doubt, with that young Alexander and the bald Cæsar, whose records had stood too long; but the reasons he gave the Directors were sufficient; and on May 19, 1798, he set sail from Toulon-eluding the watchful Nelson cruising offshore-with a dozen tall ships of the line, as many frigates, and several brigs, also a learned company of scholars, astronomers, and chemists who were to pry out the gems of learning from the mummy Egypt, once Napoleon had unloosed the moldy wrappings. And if ever a mere man was fitted to galvanize a mummy, make quick the dead, it was this slight, frail soldier, muffled in a too-great greatcoat, with an odd, round little hat tilted forward over the sight of a telescope, through which he watched for far-distant shores.


With these savants he had many arguments. They tried to prove to him that no mind directed the movements of the stars above them, or controlled the tides of the sea that leaped in majesty to the quarterdeck. And there, on the quarterdeck, he unloosed on them one of his bulletins, as ringing as any he proclaimed on the field of battle. He, the stern realist, defending an unseen power! It was enlightening. His audience was confounded. Possibly his prestige had something to do with this. At any rate the savants were silent.

Incidentally, he became quite seasick and stayed much of the time in his hammock, when he was not on deck elucidating the ways of God or

picking up an island or two, such as Malta, to put in the French pocket. But in spite of these captures he had no stomach for the sea and vaguely mistrusted it.

In sight of land and the ancient city of Alexandria where that other young conqueror once flourished and was now buried, he felt relieved; and there was no touch of mal de mer in his proclamation to the disembarking soldiers:

"The people among whom we are going to live are Mohammedans. The first article of their faith is: "There is no God but Allah; and Mohammed is his prophet.' Do not contradict this. Pay respect to their muftis and imams as you did to the rabbis and bishops. In all things accommodate yourselves to them.

"And remember that these people differ from us in their treatment of women. Nevertheless he who violates is a monster. And he who pillages dishonors us and makes enemies of those we would have as friends."

"No more tolerant," he dryly observed to Marmont, "than Elisha the prophet when he advised the captain on his conduct in the House of Rimmon. Still, now they will make me out a Mohammedan. I'll wager a hundred louis to ten that the English will start that rumor, and, tiens, before the week is out, have me circumcised!"

They found Alexandria, though it housed the dust of the immortal Alexander, shorn of its glory, full of filth and fleas and jackals. But the warriors in moth-eaten robes, who defended its donjons and ditches of dirty water, fought bravely enough; and many homesick Frenchmen

dotted the tawny sand with blue before the scaling-ladders were hooked into the crumbling old walls and they took the city.

Then began the march into the desert. It was hardly the picture of which the grumbling recruits and mustachioed veterans had dreamed this tawny waste like a vast and almost untouched canvas, with only the daubs of a few watermelon plants, the fronds of solitary palms, a cluster of dirty huts and, on the margins, a mirage to show the artist's hastily sketched conception, with bits of hieroglyphics for his undecipherable signature. It was sunny enough but not at all like Italy. And ever they were harried by dysentery and plague, and by bands of turbaned warriors who rode out of the night, on their swift steeds, to attack them and to vanish as mysteriously as they came.

And all the time Napoleon walked beside his men, refusing a mount, ate only lentils, sucked melons to quench his thirst, and slept on the parched sand. No hardship or misfortune was theirs that was not also his, and by choice.

So the weary columns came at the end of the third week within sight of the pyramids. To the south they crouched in all the cryptic solemnity of the ages; by them flowed the mighty river of Cleopatra; over on the other bank shimmered the minarets and hemisphere domes of the city of Cairo, a soft mystery even in the glare of the midday sun.

But between the Frenchmen and the flowing river lay the trenches with twisted turbans showing above; back of them dejerms and Turkish gunboats; and, farther along the

bank, the winged squadrons of the Mamelukes, the finest cavalry in the world until they met Murat's darlings.

At once, without pitching his tents, Napoleon divided his troops into two wings, one to rush the trenches and the flotilla, the other to sustain the charge of the Mamelukes, with a few puny field-pieces to support them. Now if ever, with these valiant but homesick soldiers before him, many scarcely able to stand, was the time for the right word. It came.

"Soldiers," he said, riding along the lines and pointing aloft at the massive piles of stone, "forty centuries look down upon you!"


It struck home, twanged just the right string in the Gallic nature. The disheartened soldiers were transformed into heroes once more. right dashed for the trenches-and they were trenches no longer but mere seams in the earth filled to the escarpment with distorted and tangled robes, turbans, and carbines.

Then on the squares of the left broke the Arab charge a sight to make the bravest heart tremble. Those swart faces and glittering eyes, the gesticulating carbines and the wild guttural cries, smacked to the superstitious of the supernatural. But wave after wave broke on the square, only to be deflected into the lane between the two wings, through which they danced madly, raked by fire from both sides, and vanished— those that were left of them-over the rim of the desert.

From the trenches on the shore the troops now swarmed over the decks of the gunboats and the dejerms, which, like wooden prehistoric monsters, patrolled the Nile,

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