Open main menu

Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/60

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
40
THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

incarnation. What is this theory of transformation except that living beings transform themselves into one another? Nature for ever presents herself to us as a creative flame unceasingly perfecting types, on her way to the attainment of an ideal which will be the final crown of the Law of Progress. Since Nature has only one aim, what she does for bodies, she does also for souls. I can assure you that this is the case, for I have studied this question, which is the very foundation of all sound Science."

None of the party understood Adolphe's discourse, a fact which filled him with quiet pride; but they listened to him in an ecstasy; and he was pleased to see that Theophrastus, as a rule so restive under such discussions, was listening with the liveliest interest. It was an attitude hardly to be wondered at in a man who was hearing that what seemed a wild imagining of his delirium rested on a firm scientific basis.

"The transmigration of souls was taught in India, the cradle of the human race," Adolphe continued in his most professorial tone, delighted to have caught the ear of the party. "Then it was taught in Egypt, then in Greece by Pythagoras. Plato took the doctrine from him; and adduced irrefutable proofs in his