Read Books Online, for Free
|The Man Who Was Thursday||Gilbert K. Chesterton|
|Page 4 of 6||
"It seems so silly that you should have been on both sides and fought yourself."
"l understand nothing, but I am happy. In fact, I am going to sleep."
"I am not happy," said the Professor with his head in his hands, "because I do not understand. You let me stray a little too near to hell."
And then Gogol said, with the absolute simplicity of a child--
"I wish I knew why I was hurt so much."
Still Sunday said nothing, but only sat with his mighty chin upon his hand, and gazed at the distance. Then at last he said--
"I have heard your complaints in order. And here, I think, comes another to complain, and we will hear him also."
The falling fire in the great cresset threw a last long gleam, like a bar of burning gold, across the dim grass. Against this fiery band was outlined in utter black the advancing legs of a black-clad figure. He seemed to have a fine close suit with knee-breeches such as that which was worn by the servants of the house, only that it was not blue, but of this absolute sable. He had, like the servants, a kind of word by his side. It was only when he had come quite close to the crescent of the seven and flung up his face to look at them, that Syme saw, with thunder-struck clearness, that the face was the broad, almost ape-like face of his old friend Gregory, with its rank red hair and its insulting smile.
"Gregory!" gasped Syme, half-rising from his seat. "Why, this is the real anarchist!"
"Yes," said Gregory, with a great and dangerous restraint, "I am the real anarchist."
"'Now there was a day,'" murmured Bull, who seemed really to have fallen asleep, "'when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.'"
"You are right," said Gregory, and gazed all round. "I am a destroyer. I would destroy the world if I could."
A sense of a pathos far under the earth stirred up in Syme, and he spoke brokenly and without sequence.
"Oh, most unhappy man," he cried, "try to be happy! You have red hair like your sister."
"My red hair, like red flames, shall burn up the world," said Gregory. "I thought I hated everything more than common men can hate anything; but I find that I do not hate everything so much as I hate you! "
"I never hated you," said Syme very sadly.
Then out of this unintelligible creature the last thunders broke.
"You!" he cried. "You never hated because you never lived. I know what you are all of you, from first to last--you are the people in power! You are the police--the great fat, smiling men in blue and buttons! You are the Law, and you have never been broken. But is there a free soul alive that does not long to break you, only because you have never been broken? We in revolt talk all kind of nonsense doubtless about this crime or that crime of the Government. It is all folly! The only crime of the Government is that it governs. The unpardonable sin of the supreme power is that it is supreme. I do not curse you for being cruel. I do not curse you (though I might) for being kind. I curse you for being safe! You sit in your chairs of stone, and have never come down from them. You are the seven angels of heaven, and you have had no troubles. Oh, I could forgive you everything, you that rule all mankind, if I could feel for once that you had suffered for one hour a real agony such as I--"
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Man Who Was Thursday
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004