one writhing, contorted shudder, and I knew the worm was in her secret chamber.
' She is seeing herself!' said Mara ; and laying her hand on my arm, she drew me three paces from the settle.
Of a sudden the princess bent her body upward in an arch, then sprang to the floor, and stood erect. The horror in her face made me tremble lest her eyes should open, and the sight of them overwhelm me. Her bosom heaved and sank, but no breath issued. Her hair hung and dripped; then it stood out from her head and emitted sparks ; again hung down, and poured the sweat of her torture on the floor.
I would have thrown my arms about her, but Mara stopped me.
' You cannot go near her,' she said. She is far away from us, afar in the hell of her self-consciousness. The central fire of the universe is radiating into her the knowledge of good and evil, the knowledge of what she is. She sees at last the good she is not, the evil she is. She knows that she is herself the fire in which she is burning, but she does not know that the Light of Life is the heart of that fire. Her torment is that she is what she is. Do not fear for her; she is not forsaken. No gentler way to help her was left. Wait and watch.'
It may have been five minutes or five years that she stood thus—I cannot tell; but at last she flung herself on her face.
Mara went to her, and stood looking down upon her. Large tears fell from her eyes on the woman who had never wept, and would not weep.
' Will you change your way ?' she said at length.
Why did he make me such ?' gasped Lilith. ' I