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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

M. de la Nox gazed at him in a marvellous stillness. We were silent. At last an admirable melody was heard. It was the voice of M. de la Nox praying. Of what angelic music, of what empyrean vibrations, of what syllables of heavenly glory and triumphant love, was that prayer composed! Who shall ever repeat it? Who shall ever re-compose it? Do you know the musician, incomparable Master of sound, who shall re-compose, once they have passed, the elements of that fragrant breeze of Spring which chants, for the first time, under the first leaves, its trembling song of hope and eternal life, on the threshold of the recurring seasons?

"I only know that that prayer began somewhat like this:

'In the beginning, you were Silence, Æon eternal, source of Æons! Silent, as thou wert, was Eunoia, and ye contemplated one another in an inexpressible embrace, Æon, source of Æons, Eunoia, source of love, fruitful germ from which the Abyss should bring forth life! In the beginning, you were the Silence, source of Æons!' …

"When the prayer came to an end, M. de la Nox took the hand of Theophrastus and commanded him. But since the lips of M. de