I AM SILENCED 195
though at present such an accident is unusual; here it has its inconveniences !'
He was again a raven, walking, with something stately in his step, toward the house, the door of which stood open.
I have not much to change !' I laughed; for I had flung aside my robe to climb the tree.
' It is a long time since I moulted a feather ! said the raven.
In the house no one seemed awake. I went to my room, found a dressing-gown, and descended to the library.
As I entered, the librarian came from the closet. I threw myself on a couch. Mr. Baven drew a chair to my side and sat down. For a minute or two neither spoke. I was the first to break the silence.
I What does it all mean ? ' I said.
' A good question !' he rejoined : ' nobody knows what anything is ; a man can learn only what a thing means! Whether he do, depends on the use he is making of it.'
' I have made no use of anything yet!' ' Not much; but you know the fact, and that is something ! Most people take more than a lifetime to learn that they have learned nothing, and done less! At least you have not been without the desire to be of use ! '
'I did want to do something for the children—the precious Little Ones, I mean.'
I know you did—and started the wrong way! ' I did not know the right way.' ' That is true also—but you are to blame that you did not.'