Christianity was readily accepted by the Irish. The pathetic tale of the beautiful young Virgin-Mother and the Child-God, for central objects, touched all the deepest chords of feeling in the tender, loving, and sympathetic Irish heart. The legends of ancient times were not overthrown by it, however, but taken up and incorporated with the new Christian faith. The holy wells and the sacred trees remained, and were even made holier by association with a saint’s name. And to this day the old mythology holds its ground with a force and vitality untouched by any symptoms of weakness or decay. The Greeks, who are of the same original race as our people, rose through the influence of the highest culture to the fulness and perfectness of eternal youth; but the Irish, without culture, are eternal children, with all the childlike instincts of superstition still strong in them, and capable of believing all things, because to doubt requires knowledge. They never, like the Greeks, attained to the conception of a race of beings nobler than themselves—men stronger and more gifted, with the immortal fire of a god in their veins; women divinely beautiful, or divinely inspired; but, also, the Irish never defaced the image of God in their hearts by infidelity or irreligion. One of the most beautiful and sublimely touching records in all8 human history is that of the unswerving devotion of the Irish people to their ancient faith, through persecutions and penal enactments more insulting and degrading than were ever inflicted in any other land by one Christian sect upon another.
But meanwhile, Hartford wanted to sleep.
It was one Sunday afternoon, I remember, not long after Bill Gracy’s edifying end. I had not gone out of town that week-end, and after a long walk in the frosty blue twilight of Central Park I let myself into my little flat. To my surprise I saw Hayley Delane’s big overcoat and tall hat in the hall. He used to drop in on me now and then, but mostly on the way home from a dinner where we happened to have met; and I was rather startled at his appearance at that hour and on a Sunday. But he lifted an untroubled face from the morning paper.
And never these twain shall meet."
Round Four saw the Machine spring the first of its surprises.
said, little more than barracks compared with the houses that are now being erected for labouring people in some of the London suburbs, but they are clean and wholesome and, to any one familiar with the narrow, grimy streets in the East End of London, it was hard to believe that they stood in the midst of a region which a few years ago had been a typical London slum.
Physically they were nothing alike. Hatcher was a three-foot, hard-shelled sphere of jelly. He had "arms" and "legs," but they were not organically attached to "himself." They were snakelike things which obeyed the orders of his brain as well as your mind can make your toes curl; but they did not touch him directly. Indeed, they worked as well a yard or a quarter-mile away as they did when, rarely, they rested in the crevices they had been formed from in his "skin." At greater distances they worked less well, for reasons irrelevant to the Law of Inverse Squares.
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