THE QUESTION OF PONTIUS PILATE
others far and unseen, leaving in the disturbed atmosphere behind them a sinister portent of coming disaster. That is why I call him the Cometographer of the spirit-world.
And thus, what are called results are only beginnings according to Plato, who answered Pilate by offering him the Magic Carpet of Dreams. Which I, for one, prefer to Ibsen's cyanide of mercury or any other equivalent. For when I saw Brand, his master creation, dying on the snow-covered heights, I wished I were living in another age, when the art of caricature was not known. I thought of Socrates, the master creation of God, dying in prison, and I thought of the Christ dying on the cross. And what avails my philosopher's abstractions, and my Manuel Maker's practical wisdom, and my Dramatist's hectic inventions, in the face of these? Indeed, the world would be richer and happier for a few more seers and sages like Socrates and Tabrizi, who would not condescend to write a book. For not