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THE cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
THOUGH wandering in a strange land,
Take comfort thou art not alone
While Faith hath marked thee for her own.
Would'st thou a temple? Look above,
The holy band of saints renowned
And though no organ-peal be heard,
FROM THE WORKS OF THOMAS CARLYLE.
Now, when I look back, it was a strange isolation I then lived in. The men and women around me, even speaking with me were but figures; I had practically forgotten that they were alive, that they were not automatic. In the midst of their crowded streets and assemblages, I walked solitary; and (except as it was my own heart, not another's, that I kept devouring) savage also, as is the tiger in his jungle. Some comfort it would have been, could I, like a Faust, have fancied myself tempted and tormented of a Devil; for a Hell, as I imagine, without Life, though only diabolic Life, were more frightful: but in our age of Down-pulling and Disbelief, the very Devil has been pulled down. You cannot so much as believe in a Devil. To me the Universe was all void of Life, of Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility; it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb. Oh, the vast gloomy, solitary Golgotha, and Mill of Death! Why was the Living banished thither, companionless, conscious? Why, if there is no Devil; nay, unless the Devil is your God?
From suicide a certain aftershine of Christianity withheld
So had it lasted, as in bitter protracted Death-agony, through long years. The heart within me, unvisited by any heavenly dewdrop, was smouldering in sulphurous, slowconsuming fire. Almost since earliest memory I had shed no tear; or once only when I, murmuring half-audibly, recited Faust's Death song, that wild Selig der den er im Siegesglanze findet (Happy whom he finds in Battle's splendour), and thought that of this last friend even I was not forsaken,