Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/315

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A Study in Temptations.

fiery sword. There were none such in the Garden of Eden!"

"Ah, but in the Garden of Eden there was only one woman!" sighed Sophia.

"Why," he said, in an injured voice, "do you always pretend to be so cynical? I do not see why we cannot go back to—to the sort of existence—I mean the idyllic and perfect state of Adam and Eve before the Fall. Merely viewed as a philosophical experiment it might at least be attempted. If it proved successful, it would encourage others——"

"But if it failed——" said Sophia.

He cleared his throat. "You must let me translate for you some tremendous passages from the 'Phaedrus,'" he replied. "Plato deals with the whole question as only a poet can—for he was a poet. And I think you will say with me that it is a poet's subject; its philosophy is not of this world, but is, as it were, a figure of the True, and musical, as is Apollo's lute. I cannot agree with Browning when he speaks of—

"'The heroic for earth too hard,

The passion that left the world to lose itself in the sky.'

Why give so much consolation to those who have failed to realize their ideals—who have merely aspired, and utter no word of praise to those who have actually attained to Higher Things? All the teaching of the present day seems to assume that no man or woman ever yet accomplished a purpose, or thoroughly believed in anything or anybody!" It is so delightful to be young, and long-winded, and able to believe, at