THE PERSIAN CAT 205
one child of her body she fears and hates, and would kill, asserting a right, which is a lie, over what God sent through her into His new world. Of creating, she knows no more than the crystal that takes its allotted shape, or the worm that makes two worms when it is cloven asunder. Vilest of God's creatures, she lives by the blood and lives and souls of men. She consumes and slays, but is powerless to destroy as to create.'
The animal lay motionless, its beryl eyes fixed flaming on the man : his eyes on hers held them fixed that they could not move from his.
' Then God gave me another wife—not an angel but a woman—who is to this as light is to darkness.'
The cat gave a horrible screech, and began to grow bigger. She went on growing and growing. At last the spotted leopardess uttered a roar that made the house tremble. I sprang to my feet. I do not think Mr. Raven started even with his eyelids.
' It is but her jealousy that speaks,' he said,' jealousy self-kindled, foiled and fruitless ; for here I am, her master now whom she would not have for her husband ! while my beautiful Eve yet lives, hoping immortally ! Her hated daughter lives also, but beyond her evil ken, one day to be what she counts her der struction—for even Lilith shall be saved by her child-bearing. Meanwhile she exults that my human wife plunged herself and me in despair, and has borne me a countless race of miserables ; but my Eve repented, and is now beautiful as never was woman or angel, while her groaning, travailing world is the nursery of our Father's children. I too have repented, and am blessed. —Thou, Lilith, hast not yet repented; but thou must. —Tell me, is the great Shadow beautiful? Knowest