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* Alas your Highness breathes full East,' I said,

• On that which leans to you. I know the Prince,

I prize his truth : and then how vast a work

To assail this gray prëeminence of man !
You grant me license ; might I use it ? think,
Ere half be done perchance your life may fail ;
Then comes the feebler heiress of your plan,

And takes and ruins all ; and thus your pains

May only make that footprint upon sand
Which old-recurring waves of prejudice
Resmooth to nothing : might I dread that you,
With only Fame for spouse and your great deeds

For issue, yet may live in vain, and miss,

Meanwhile, what every woman counts her due,
Love, children, happiness ? '

And she exclaim'd,

• Peace, you young savage of the Northern wild !

What! tho' your Prince's love were like a God's,

Have we not made ourself the sacrifice ?

You are bold indeed : we are not talk'd to thus :

Yet will we say for children, would they grew
Like field-flowers everywhere! we like them well :
But children die ; and let me tell you, girl,
Howe'er you babble, great deeds cannot die :
They with the sun and moon renew their light
For ever, blessing those that look on them.
Children—that men may pluck them from our hearts,
Kill us with pity, break us with ourselves—
0-children-there is nothing upon earth

More miserable than she that has a son

And sees him err ; nor would we work for fame ;

Tho' she perhaps might reap the applause of Great,

Who learns the one POU STO whence after-hands

May move the world, tho' she herself effect

But little : wherefore up and act, nor shrink
For fear our solid aim be dissipated

Of frail successors.

Would, indeed, we had been,

In lieu of many mortal flies, a race

Of giants living, each, a thousand years,

That we might see our own work out, and watch The sandy footprint harden into stone.'

I answer'd nothing, doubtful in myself
If that strange maiden could at all be won.
And she broke out interpreting my thoughts :

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• No doubt we seem a kind of monster to you :

We are used to that ; for women, up till this Cramp'd under worse than South-sea-isle taboo,

Dwarfs of the gynæceum, fail so far

In high desire, they know not, cannot guess
How much their welfare is a passion to us.
If we could give them surer, quicker proof-

Oh if our end were less achievable

By slow approaches, than by single act
Of immolation, any phase of death,
We were as prompt to spring against the pikes,
Or down the fiery gulf as talk of it,

To compass our dear sister's liberties.'

She bow'd as if to veil a noble tear ;

And up we came to where the river sloped
To plunge in cataract, shattering on black blocks

A breadth of thunder. O’er it shook the woods,

And danced the colour, and, below, stuck out

The bones of some vast bulk that lived and roar'd

Before man was.

She gazed awhile and said,

As these rude bones to us, are we to her

That will be.'

• Dare we dream of that,' I ask'd,

• Which wrought us, as the workman and his work,
That practice betters?' How,' she cried, you love
The metaphysics ! read and earn our prize,
A golden broach : beneath an emerald plane

Sits Diotima, teaching him that died

Of hemlock ; our device ; wrought to the life ;
She rapt upon her subject, he on her:
For there are schools for all.' • And yet’ I said
• Methinks I have not found among them all
One anatomic.'Nay we thought of that,'
She answer'd, ' but it pleased us not: in truth

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We shudder but to dream our maids should


Those monstrous males that carve the living hound,

And cram him with the fragments of the grave,

Or in the dark dissolving human heart,
And holy secrets of this microcosm,
Dabbling a shameless hand with shameful jest,
Encarnalize their spirits : yet we know
Knowledge is knowledge, and this matter hangs :

Howbeit ourself, foreseeing casualty,

Nor willing men should come among us, learnt,
For many weary moons before we came,
This craft of healing. Were you sick, ourself
Would tend upon you. To your question now,

Which touches on the workman and his work.

Let there be light and there was light : 'tis so :

For was, and is, and will be, are but is ;

And all creation is one act at once,

The birth of light : but we that are not all,
As parts, can see but parts, now this, now that,
And live, perforce, from thought to thought, and make

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