Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/181

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The Centaurians

amusement. Perceiving my glance she murmured: "Knowledge's tuition is: All emotions have their note of melody, rhythm."

"You worship Knowledge," I told her; "you can adore man."

"I know nothing of your country," she replied: "yet in your far zone, centuries ago, there were customs that never could be re-established—you have progressed above them. This strange sentiment you uphold is not of the intellect, the children of Centauri are followers of the divine light blessed with calmness, peace."

"Love still rules Centauri; your own words prove it!" I exclaimed stubbornly. "Knowledge is bait. You people are greatly advanced, but in love the whole world is equal. Pride, ambition, seeks Wisdom. We upon our side also bend the knee to Elevation. The passion for Fame, Glory is supreme. Love is the title for a thousand emotions—Greed, Wealth, Position—and sacrificial crimes are committed hourly to obtain them. Then there is the much-vaunted maternal love, the most unreliable of all instincts. I have known the life of a daughter made miserable, the sweet freshness of youth blighted in cynical thoughts roused by a pretty, passé, selfish, knife-tongued mother. Maternal affection! bah! it ceases the moment individuality is attained, thrusting aside yokish, slavish control. Show me the human being who appreciates the monstrous favor of birth. Is the Innocent responsible for creative desire? Yet not till dissolution does Result escape the harpy Reminder. There is