Page:Ninety-three.djvu/332

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328
NINETY-THREE.

The battle of good against evil.

A terrific soul had just been vanquished.

Gauvain had just seen a miracle performed in the case of a man full of all that is bad:—violence, error, blindness, unhealthy obstinacy, pride, selfishness.

The victory of humanity over man.

Humanity had conquered the inhuman.

And by what means? in what way? how had it overcome the giant of anger and hatred? What arms had it used? what engine of war? The cradle.

Gauvain had just been dazzled. In the midst of civil war, in the midst of the conflagration of all enmity and all vengeance, in the darkest and maddest moment of the tumult; just as the crime was giving forth all its fire and hatred, all its blackness; at that instant in conflict when everything becomes a projectile, when the struggle is so shrouded in darkness, that justice, honesty, and truth are lost sight of;—suddenly the Unknown, the mysterious monitor of souls, poured forth resplendently, above all human light and darkness, the great light eternal.

Above the dismal encounter, between the false and the relative, out of the depths, the face of truth had suddenly appeared.

All at once, the strength of the weak had intervened.

Three poor beings, almost newborn, unconscious, deserted, orphaned, alone, lisping, smiling, were seen face to face with civil war, retaliation, the frightful logic of reprisals, murder, carnage, fratricide, rage, malice, all the Gorgons, and yet triumphant. He had seen the failure and defeat of an infamous fire, set to commit a crime; he had seen atrocious intentions baffled and frustrated; he had seen the ancient feudal ferocity, the old inexorable disdain, the pretended experience of the necessities of war, the reason of State, all the arrogant determinations of a cruel old age, vanish before the blue eyes of those who had scarcely begun to live; and it was very natural, for one who has not yet lived can have done no harm; it was justice, it was truth, it was purity and the mighty angels of heaven are in little children.

A useful spectacle; advice; a lesson; the frantic participants in a merciless war had suddenly seen, in the face of all the crimes, of all the outrages, of all the fanaticism, of the murderer, of vengeance stirring the funeral pile, of