Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/189

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The Centaurians

"The result of over-civilization," continued Saxe. with merciless deliberation. "They have reached the acme of that which we deem impossible, yet gaze upon in all its remarkable rarity—Perfection. And in the whole universe I see nothing so imperfect; yet these people are sublimely satisfied with themselves, their complacency and faith in their superiority is superb—I wouldn't be one of them! In their marvelous conceit they have dared penetrate and would crush Nature's final repose. Their indefatigable search for knowledge is spurred by the belief that everlasting existence is accomplished in conquering all mysteries. Death to them is full realization, having solved the problem of joy they forfeited immortality. Earth is their Paradise; they and their world beyond have reached perfection—there is nothing beyond."

I hastened to change the subject Saxe.'s words filled me with horror as I thought of the beautiful girl whose supreme ambition was for immortality, which she expected to gain through deeds, not death. Knowledge would be the ruination of this grand race. Saxe. spoke the truth, but I would not believe, and accused him of hasty judgment and ever on the alert for effect. He shook his head, gravely reiterating his statements of the "strange, repellant Centaurians," from whom he would learn all he could, considering them, from a scientific point of view, most interesting. He emphatically preferred the Potolilis and Octrogonas.

I hurried to the gardens to avoid further discussions, but my friends soon joined me. We strolled