The rest of the night she lay motionless altogether.
With the gray dawn growing in the room, she rose, turned to Mara, and said, in prideful humility,
' You have conquered. Let me go into the wilderness and bewail myself.'
Mara saw that her submission was not feigned, neither was it real. She looked at her a moment, and returned :
'Begin, then, and set right in the place of wrong.'
'I know not how,' she replied—with the look of one who foresaw and feared the answer.
' Open thy hand, and let that which is in it go.'
A fierce refusal seemed to struggle for passage, but she kept it prisoned.
'I cannot,' she said. I have no longer the power. Open it for me.'
She held out the offending hand. It was more a paw than a hand. It seemed to me plain that she could not open it.
Mara did not even look at it.
' You must open it yourself,' she said quietly.
' I have told you I cannot! '
' You can if you will—not indeed at once, but by persistent effort. What you have done, you do not yet wish undone—do not yet intend to undo ! '
I You think so, I dare say,' rejoined the princess with a flash of insolence, ' but I know that I cannot open my hand!'
'I know you better than you know yourself, and I know you can. You have often opened it a little way. Without trouble and pain you cannot open it quite, but you can open it. At worst you could beat it open ! I pray you, gather your strength, and open it wide.'