Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/201

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until death — except when the Gods send sorrow among them; and faces then are veiled until the sorrow goes away. All folk in Hōrai love and trust each other, as of all were members of a single household ; —and the speech of the women is like birdsong, because the hearts of them are light as the souls of birds; — and the swaying of the sleeves of the maidens at play seems a flutter of wide, soft wings. In Hōrai nothing is hidden but grief, because there is no reason for shame; — and nothing is locked away, because there could not be any theft; — and by night as well as by day all doors remain unbarred, because there is no reason for fear. And because the people are fairies — though mortal — all things in Hōrai, except the Palace of the Dragon- King, are small and quaint and queer; — and these fairy-folk do really eat their rice out of very small bowls, and drink their wine out of very, very small cups. . . .

— Much of this seeming would be due to the inhalation of that ghostly atmosphere — but not all. For the spell wrought by the dead is only the charm of an Ideal, the glamour of an ancient hope; — and something of that hope has found fulfillment in many hearts, — in the simple beauty of unselfish lives, — in the sweetness of Woman. . . .