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0100_005E 4. At Maidenhead H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Section 8

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Table Of Contents: The Secret Places of the Heart

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Dr. Martineau sat without a word.

"I can believe that over all things Righteousness rules. I can believe that. But Righteousness is not friendliness nor mercy nor comfort nor any such dear and intimate things. This cuddling up to Righteousness! It is a dream, a delusion and a phase. I've tried all that long ago. I've given it up long ago. I've grown out of it. Men do--after forty. Our souls were made in the squatting-place of the submen of ancient times. They are made out of primitive needs and they die before our bodies as those needs are satisfied. Only young people have souls, complete. The need for a personal God, feared but reassuring, is a youth's need. I no longer fear the Old Man nor want to propitiate the Old Man nor believe he matters any more. I'm a bit of an Old Man myself I discover. Yes. But the other thing still remains. "

"The Great Mother of the Gods," said Dr. Martineau--still clinging to his theories.

"The need of the woman," said Sir Richmond. "I want mating because it is my nature to mate. I want fellowship because I am a social animal and I want it from another social animal. Not from any God--any inconceivable God. Who fades and disappears. No. . . .

"Perhaps that other need will fade presently. I do not know. Perhaps it lasts as long as life does. How can I tell?"

He was silent for a little while. Then his voice sounded in the night, as if he spoke to himself. "But as for the God of All Things consoling and helping! Imagine it! That up there-- having fellowship with me! I would as soon think of cooling my throat with the Milky Way or shaking hands with those stars."

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The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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