A GROTESQUE TRAGEDY 127
' and in the bony stage of retrogression, with his skeleton through his skin, and his character outside his manners, does not look like one. The female is less vulgar, and has a little heart. But, the restraints of society removed, you see them now just as they are and always were!'
I Tell me, Mr. Raven, what will become of them,' I said.
' We shall see,' he replied. ' In their day they were the handsomest couple at court; and now, even in their dry bones, they seem to regard their former repute as an inalienable possession; to see their faces, however, may yet do something for them! They felt themselves rich too while they had pockets, but they have already begun to feel rather pinched! My lord used to regard my lady as a worthless encumbrance, for he was tired of her beauty and had spent her money; now he needs her to cobble his joints for him ! These changes have roots of hope in them. Besides, they cannot now get far away from each other, and they see none else of their own kind: they must at last grow weary of their mutual repugnance, and begin to love one another! for love, not hate, is deepest in what Love " loved into being." '
'I saw many more of their kind an hour ago, in the hall close by !' I said.
'Of their kind, but not of their sort,' he answered. ' For many years these will see none such as you saw last night. Those are centuries in advance of these. You saw that those could even dress themselves a little ! It is true they cannot yet retain their clothes so long as they would—only, at present, for a part of the night; but they are pretty steadily growing more capable, and