Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/198

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The Centaurians

with every variety of expression. There were joyful, beaming smiles, and fierce glances of forbiddance, but all diffidence vanished before the sweet witchery of invitation. I had reached the hall of wonderful sculpture and at once sought the three famous loves of Centauri.

Perfection in art had been attained during the era of passion; plainly genius is a savage taint. The deadening of all emotion is productive of the marvelous in science, but abnormity is the result of too advanced civilization. In this motley collection acquired and natural inspiration is easily discernible and progression traceable in gradual sections. The Centaurians had reached the inartistic height and realized it. They treasured antiquity above all the miraculous inventions of modern times.

Conspicuously set apart and above in lofty azure niches, the three grand passions of the dark ages gazed down upon their stone dominion. I paused before a colossal figure in quartz richly veined with gold, a form of heavy, generous proportions, a dull, stupid face—this was Love. The sculptor was a master, but lacked originality, expression, and judging him by his work, he'd found Love deucedly slow. His winged child, however, was exquisite, but failed to impress, being the same fat, little boy trying to fly that we're all familiar with.

The third Love was produced in a later generation and tantalized with enticement. The artist betrayed a cynical, humorous genius in every curve of his exquisite creation and had transformed a huge block of virgin marble into a pair of lovers. It