The Insane Root

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Is this reality or is this something that comes from the imagination? And it would seem that in this line, Banquo is taking that idea further. The idea of the reason being taken prisoner. The idea of an irrational sight. But what does he mean by the insane root? A root, some kind of root vegetable, some kind of plant.

Well, what this phrase takes us to, is the absolute centrality of plants, and customs and associations around plants and vegetable life in Shakespeare's time. What I've got out now is called "Gerard's Herbal". For each plant, Gerard has a picture, he gives the name and the Latin name, then he tells you the kind of place that the plant grows, the time of year that it flowers, the various different names of it, the temperature - the idea of whether plants are hot or cold. Rather strange idea to us but it's related to the so-called Theory of the Humors, which we'll talk about some more a little bit later - and then, crucially, Gerard lists, what he calls, the virtues of each plant.

Medicine, at this time, was fundamentally herbal medicine. What doctors did, was they gathered plants, they mixed them up. That power was in himself and yet was outside himself. He associated it in some way with the Force of which he had spoken, and which was his synonym for her conception of God. Doctor Marillier did not believe in the Churches' God, but he believed in a Force, just as he believed in the law of gravitation, in the law of chemical affinities, of mental affinities, such as were exemplified in telepathy and hypnotism, in the law of evolution, in certain other even more subtle, more occult laws, that his medical experience had compelled him to recognise--mysteries of the universe only to be attributed to the action of a First Cause, expressed by words and symbols that were but words and symbols, and after all, never really touched the heart of the mystery.

These were realities to be admitted, but not to be explained as either spiritual or material--though his tendency, as that of most scientists, was to the explanation that all is matter in a more or less rarefied form. She withdrew her hand slowly. Trust me in the matter of this operation upon the Pacha. There you are safe. I can be trusted in the most elementary sense because I know. But trust me, too, where I don't know. Don't ask me to explain the faculty.

That way madness lies.

The Insane Root

I do not attempt to reason about it, even to myself. But it is a fact--one that I have tested sufficiently to have scientific evidence of its truth. It is natural for me to bid you trust me, because this inward vision foreshadows a time when you will be required to trust me, and when perhaps--I can't say--but when probably I shall not know. Of this, however, I am certain--in the end, your trust will be justified.

I can only call it instinct. Something which draws or repels me, encourages or warns. I can rely upon it almost always. If I am standing by the bedside of a patient doomed by the Faculty to death, and that inward vision shows him to me safe and sound--there is no question, it is so. If, on the other hand, I see Death at the back of even a trifling ailment, that also is sure, and I do not question, because I know that to Death my science must bow.

I have heard before, that a doctor is only unerring when he does not love. But if you loved--then could you be sure? Marillier was silent. If there were a spirit in the girl's eyes, one seemed to be peering forth into futurity from his. Their grey had deepened to the colour of a mountain-locked pool. I cannot tell you, for till this day of my life I have never lived beyond the restrictions of reason and science. I have never known love. They seemed the ordinary expression of a cool-headed, steel--hearted scientist, who had not had time for the softer emotions.

She knew he was unmarried; she fancied that Ruel Bey had told her that he was himself Marillier's nearest relation. The remembrance spurred her speech. My father was an only child and an orphan; my mother had one sister. Ruel Bey is that sister's son. He represents to me, therefore, all the ties of kindred.

Insane root

The girl started as if he had struck her, and the blood rushed to her face. She recovered herself and replied, At the Pacha's ball his admiration of you was evident enough. I was naturally interested in observing how you received his attentions. Perhaps it would be well that I should tell you what he himself does not know--I am not a poor man and he is my heir. If you loved and consented to marry him, and the provision made by the Pacha or required by the Pacha were riot adequate, I would supplement it.

The sight of her perplexity roused in Marillier something of which he had never before been conscious. That's perhaps the meaning of the foreshadowing I have about you. I'll be true to it. Trust me; and by the Force that you call God, I'll protect you against him, if need be; against your own heart, if need be. If need be, too, against myself. He had abruptly turned from her and vanished through the open half of the folding doors. When she looked through them she was confronted by the sensuous face with its fateful Eastern melancholy, its terrible satiety of the flesh, which gazed out at her from the eyes of the Emperor of Abaria.

The operation was over. It had been wholly successful, and a new cure was added to those which were rapidly making Doctor Marillier famous. But there were dissensions among members of the Faculty; the Pacha's regular physician in especial was opposed to Marillier's view of the case. Quickly comprehending the situation, his brain became alert as ever, and that wonderful power in him of diagnosing men, to which his brilliant diplomatic career was largely attributable, now made itself felt. It was a strange interview, during which the Pacha's gleaming eyes shining out of cavernous orbits from beneath the wrinkled brows remained fixed upon the face of Marillier, reading the man's soul as, it seemed to the doctor, no human eyes had ever before read that closed book.

The Pacha discussed his own symptoms, weighed the arguments of the consulting physician and surgeon, demanded reasons and details, and the grounds which Marillier had for his conclusions, differing as they did from those of Mr Ffolliot and Dr Carus Spencer. In his questions he displayed a knowledge, not only of ordinary medical science, but of certain occult methods taught in the East, but not generally admitted in Western schools, which greatly surprised the doctor. Still more surprised was he when, after he had explained his proposed treatment, the Pacha remarked in that deep yet faint voice, which seemed already as though it issued from a tomb,--'I see that you have studied under the Medicine Moor.

A grim expression--an odd distortion of the features as by a spasm of pain--passed over the Pacha's face as he answered,--'At one period of my life I knew the Medicine Moor intimately. I have spent days with him in the Kabyle hills. His was, as you say, a singular personality. He knew many secrets of Nature and effected some wonderful cures. If he were alive I would send for him now, for I believe that if my life is to be prolonged he could do most to prolong it.

And yet--' A dreamy note came into the old man's voice; he paused, and the distortion of his features was more painful, while the gleam in his eyes hardened and intensified. Marillier said nothing. He felt that here he was treading upon the thin crust of a still active volcano. I cannot altogether blame the Medicine Moor, though I think he might have done more. Even the dread sentence--as he put it, "Will of Allah"--might have been defied. Had I but understood then the power of human will--' The metallic glare in the old man's eyes flickered. Weakness of the body overpowered him for a minute or two.

Marillier administered a restorative and presently he went on. Those forces are Love and Will. Take an old man's prophecy. Believe that you have capacity to draw down power to accomplish your desire. Do not, as was the case with me, realise that capacity when it is too late. There was a short silence. Marillier's grim look had given place to a puzzled one. The Pacha watched him carefully.

Presently the old man spoke again, this time with fiery determination. If I live, we will talk of these things by-and-by. I foresee that we shall have interesting subjects in common. Doctor Marillier, I have decided. I place myself unreservedly in your hands. Save me for a few years, a few months--it may be even a few weeks. Strange as it may seem to you, I still find life sweet. The Immensities spread beyond, yet I cling to this prison of flesh.

I know that there is one master to whom all must bow--the master Death. When Death gives his sentence its execution cannot be delayed. But in my case the fiat is perhaps not yet delivered. Stay it for awhile if you can. Have no hesitation. Perform the operation you propose. Carry out the after treatment you have described. I care not a jot for the opinion of Ffolliot and Carus Spencer, since they do not offer me life.

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They may go to the devil. They shall hear from my own lips, however, that I consent to what they consider useless and dangerous. Have the goodness to ring. A strange scene followed. He then, in the most courteous terms, announced his intentions, and took leave of the physicians, who departed, indignantly repudiating responsibility, and leaving Marillier in possession of the case. Before the operation, the Pacha again spoke privately to Marillier, placing in his hand a sealed packet inscribed with directions that the enclosure should be delivered to his Majesty the Emperor of Abaria.

It is possible that I may die under the knife,' he said, 'though I do not think it likely. Will you do me the favour of keeping this letter until the operation is over. If successful, you will return it to me. If not--, He paused, and for a few moments seemed to be calculating possibilities. I believe that you will live. It is important, and it is of a personal and strictly private nature. I do not care to run any risk of its being found and sent in the ordinary official course. It must be delivered by private messenger into my Emperor's own hands.

Within the outer covering you will find another letter addressed to the Grand Chancellor, who is my friend, by which an audience will be assured. You will also find a sum of money amply sufficient to cover all professional loss and expenses incurred, but totally insufficient as an expression of my gratitude for the fulfilment of a most sacred trust.

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Will you undertake this trust? Doctor Marillier hesitated. He had no mind to be mixed up Abarian state intrigues. The Pacha Eagerly waited for his reply. And what do you think of me? Where is your penetration? Do you not credit me with at least some knowledge of the nature of men? Ruel Bey is the last person I should choose for such a trust. I ask you to take charge of this letter in order that it may run no risk of falling into the hands of my first secretary. I have studied Ruel Bey.

I know to what heights his ambition soars. I have read his pleasure-loving nature. He has Greek blood in his veins--'. Forgive me, doctor. In my diplomatic career I have had reason to distrust Greek subtlety. And I am an autocratic old man, unaccustomed to be contradicted or argued with. Besides, you know I am ill--I am very ill. The confession of weakness appealed to Marillier much as the confession of fractiousness from a wayward child might appeal to one who held the temporary place of guardian to the child.

He gently put his hand on the old man, and his touch seemed to soothe the Pacha and to give him strength. But Marillier said nothing. I have seen the conflict between passion and ambition That is equal. I place no compulsion on either in their wooing. I wait to give my consent or my refusal as conditions dictate, when the matter is referred to me. But I may die before I am referred to. That is also equal. The old man had lapsed into French, a frequent habit at the Embassy, though English was the usual medium for social converse. The Pacha sank back exhausted.

Clearly, he was unfit for further discussion. For I am confident that I shall not be called upon to do so, and that before long this letter will be returned into your hands. Marillier's statement proved to be the case. His convalescence, however, was slow. Even Marillier, while he sedulously pursued the treatment which was as necessary as the operation had been, sometimes asked himself whether he had not been too sanguine, and whether Death were not merely awaiting a convenient season for carrying out the already pronounced sentence. This thought seemed vaguely also in the old man's mind.

He was gay, cynical, apparently not concerned with any idea of making his salvation, causing thereby some uneasiness to the Catholic priest who attended him; and yet the sense of impending finality was upon him, and often he would preface some witty and unusually sacrilegious story with the remark, 'Before I join the Immensities I must tell you this anecdote, which will amuse you.

Nurse Dalison was a lady trained in surgical cases, who had worked for some time under Doctor Marillier, and had been chosen by him to supersede the Pacha's former nurse as being possessed of a good manner and tact, and therefore more likely than another to adapt herself to the patient's peculiarities. He had reflected also that she might prove an agreeable companion to Rachel, who, except for her own maid, was without female company at the Embassy.

Nurse Dalison was graceful and sympathetic. Tall, slender and refined-looking, she had the sensibility of a woman towards the sufferings of man or beast, but the nerve of a man where her professional duties were in question. She was at once practical and romantic, therefore the luxury and social importance of the Embassy, the distinction of the Pacha and the timid sweetness of Rachel appealed to her worldly wisdom and to her imagination. Moreover, she was professionally interested in the success of Doctor Marillier's methods. One of her chief recommendations to the Pacha was that she had a good French accent and read aloud extremely well, but Marillier was often amused when he paid his calls to see the pained and bewildered expression on Nurse Dalison's face as she read to the Pacha from some one of his favourite authors, and the evident relief with which she put down the book on the doctor's entrance.

The Pacha would give a sardonic smile from among his cushions. Upon one occasion he remarked,--'My thanks, nurse: we'll continue later.

Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner? | MetaFilter

I hope that I am helping to assuage your thirst for Eastern knowledge. Mrs Dalison is devoted to the East, doctor. That gave her a taste. I am introducing her to The Arabian Nights--not the original version, bien entendu--but a most discreet translation; and entertaining, nurse, eh--entertaining? Most quaint. Only not quite English in the way of putting things, you know,' pleaded the nurse; then turning to Marillier, 'It is in French. Reading things in French makes such a difference. She is a most curious lady, your Mrs Grundy. She will leave the newspapers in the schoolroom; she will bowdlerise Shakespeare; she will put the Old Testament unexpurgated into her young daughters' hands; but she won't stand The Arabian Nights--except in French.

Marillier laughed and relieved Nurse Dalison's embarrassment by asking for her report. Thus a good many hours were passed by Marillier in the Ambassador's private sitting-room--that room at the end of the suite which adjoined his bedroom, and which was separated from the other apartments by folding doors and heavy velvet curtains.

Here the old man, as he got better, would sit in state, clothed in a gorgeous dressing-gown, his red fez surmounting the keen, wrinkled and yet indescribably-attractive face--so old and yet ever young with the immortal youth of intellect and of a psychological capacity for passion, scarcely weakened by the impossibility of material gratification. To the doctor, he was a strange--occasionally a revolting--study, as he told his stories of amours and intrigues in the cynical manner of an Eastern sensualist turned philosopher.

The Pacha's room was lined on one side with cabinets of Eastern design, gem-crusted and of extraordinary value, and with bookshelves containing rare editions, mostly of works on mysticism, as well as many old manuscripts and parchments in Hebrew, Arabic and other characters with which Marillier was unacquainted.

He had seen such manuscripts inscribed also as some of these were, in astrological figures, in the library of the Medicine Moor. On the other side of the room, flanking the fireplace, and in ironic contrast to these treasures, were ranges of ledges on which, closely massed, were photographs and portraits of lovely women--the acknowledged beauties of most of the European capitals, and of others, fairer and perhaps more frail, who presumably bad not such social distinction.

One of these, a snap-shot, taken evidently by artificial light, of an Eastern dancer, attracted Marillier's attention. The attitude was one of incomparable seduction, yet with nothing in it of coarseness, while the face of exquisite Oriental loveliness had a fascination which seemed not of the earth and yet not of heaven, but rather of the soulless under-world.

This was the idea which came into Marillier's mind. The face seemed that of some spirit enchained to flesh by a love which only in satisfying its mortal claims could attain deathless peace.

The Pacha did not at once answer his question concerning the photograph; the old man's eyes took that far-away gleam which, as Marillier had found occasion to observe, usually preluded the revelation of a side of his nature not apparent to most people. Marillier spoke of his own vague fancy about the photograph, and the Pacha nodded approvingly. I am glad to see that you have intuition of a certain kind. One does not often meet with it. That little picture represents my own sudden conviction of truths I had always doubted, and which I then realised--unfortunately too late.

I'll tell you something about it--the whole story is too long, and if it were not, I am bound to secrecy in some of its details. You have lived in Algeria, and you knew the Medicine Moor. Well, it is not improbable that you have heard of a peculiar sect living in the Kabyle hills, who still worship, according to almost prehistoric rites, the Great Generative Power in the Universe, and who use the same symbols as are found graven on the monoliths of Yucatan--symbols which belong to a civilisation and a faith extinct in that region centuries before the Spanish conquest.

Have you heard of this sect? But what has that to do with this portrait of the dancer? Nearly twenty-five years ago, there came into my life a phase of utter scepticism--a sense of abandonment by all spiritual powers, whether of good or evil. The desire of my soul had been taken from me beyond the possibility of recall, and all other things were as nothing to me--neither God nor the devil of greater or lesser account, for I scarcely believed in either.

The Pacha's sepulchral voice vibrated as if it were the echo, Marillier thought, of some bygone agony which had well-nigh rent body and spirit asunder. Then, all was as naught to me; and yet, I would, for the mere sake of sensation, and especially for certainty of something beyond matter, have penetrated Hades, or pledged a phantom Helen.

It was in this mood that I fell in with some members of that particular sect I spoke of. My curiosity, my intellect, were aroused. I was present at one of their evocatory ceremonies, held to the strains of music which is indescribable, and which, once and for all, made me realise the truth of that science of vibrations which has been practised by all occultists from time immemorial.

You know that strains of music, in varying and peculiar rhythm, played a large part in the Mysteries of old, as well as in all necromantic ceremonial. Witness the mere modern instances of snake jugglery and Obi-worship. Anyone who has studied these subjects must acknowledge that phenomena can be produced through the operation of certain vibrations of sound upon corresponding vibrations in the unseen universe.

We need only the apparatus by which to test them. Again the Pacha nodded. His voice had now become more even, and had its usual metallic resonance. I attended, as I said, one of the evocatory ceremonies of that particular sect.

I may not speak of the rites, but I may say that the spectacle was one of the weirdest and most impressive I ever witnessed, and, as you may now imagine, I had already gone through some strange experiences of the kind. I wanted to be convinced of the existence of something beyond matter, and I had my wish, though not to the gratification of any personal desire. A phantom Helen--that dancer, whose picture you see, photographed by myself--was called forth from the vapours above earth or the deeps of the underworld--which, I cannot tell--to prove to me the might of those forces I spoke to you of not long ago--the two supreme forces, Love and Will.

She was doubtless an emanation from the Vital Energy which creates and maintains life on the universe, and it was shown to me how, by means of love and will,--the indestructible principle may be drawn upon and used by those who have been initiated into a special form of magic, so that by it, life can literally be infused into that which was dead and inanimate.

Had I but known the secret a few months earlier, I, too, might have tasted, if but for one short hour, the fruit of my heart's desire. God or Satan mocked my unavailing agony, and if I had never before understood the full meaning of that hackneyed phrase, "The irony of Fate," I understood it then. With my own eyes I beheld that fair phantom, vitalised from the central source of life, pour living fire from her warm bosom into the cold breast of a corpse.

I saw her, in one glowing kiss upon the lips of a dead old man, restore the dried-up mummy to youth and vigour, to the joy of life and the ecstasy of love. So, for rapturous moments that to him and her might well have seemed eternity, the dead man lived. The moments passed; the phantom vanished; the dead became lifeless once more. But to me the great secret of Nature had been revealed, and I knew the latent power which exists in man, and by which, if he has learned the way, he may almost master his destiny.

Had I practised that power in earlier manhood, I, too, might have called down the Promethean fire. Had I learned the magic evocation--had I conquered my own weakness and turned love from my tyrant to my slave--had I, in truth, loved with such knowledge as well as such intensity, that, to secure my desire, I could have put forth my very soul in an effort of will which neither man nor angel nor demon might have gainsaid--oh! The Pacha's skinny fingers beat the coverlet in a feeble paroxysm of excitement, and for a moment or two he seemed, as he had himself phrased it, to be face to face with the Immensities.

It is the mystery of mysteries, doctor, that transfusion of life into death by the magic of love. Ponder it. Yearn for its key--the key which you hold almost in your hand--and by the strength of your will, wrest its secret from God or Nature or the Devil--what matter whose it be, so that you make it your own. But remember that, to accomplish such an end, you must project your very soul, as it were, out of your body upon the object of your desire. Take the prophecy of an old man who has overstepped the border of an unknown land. The desire will be born in you--the germ already lies in your heart; the hour of struggle will arrive, and with it the force, if you choose to put it forth, which will give you the mastery.

Bear in mind the words of one who has failed. The Pacha's wrinkled eyelids drooped over his brilliant eyes, and but for his quick breathing, he himself might have been taken for a corpse. While he spoke strange emotions surged up in Marillier's breast.

He, too, seemed on the borderland of a region hitherto untrodden. A fierce craving seized him and an immense regret. The regret found utterance. Is it likely that I shall ever inspire love, much less subdue it, to serve my desires, though it is true that I have always despised its lower gratifications. The only love I could ever feel would be one all-embracing--a blending of flesh and spirit, and yet unsatisfying; for though I might give my all to save the woman I loved suffering, I could scarcely dare to claim any recompense.

The Pacha opened his eyes and scanned the strong moved face, the thick-set, awkward figure. As he studied Marillier a faint smile hovered about his lips. The hour, the desire and the knowledge will arrive together. In my case the hour and the desire ran a race with knowledge, and were stopped on their course by Death. Knowledge won the goal at last, and knowledge has served this body, and has given glory and power and a certain sense of satisfaction to a career that would otherwise have been barren.

We are told that when matter ceases to be, it changes into a higher form. I have found the process reversed. In my case, spirit has degenerated into matter. Twenty-five years ago I had a soul; I too, scorned the lower loves. I understood that spiritual love of which you speak. Then the soul died, but the flesh flourished exceedingly. In fact, I have barely regretted the loss of an ideal. So agreeable, indeed, has matter proved, as a substitute for spirit, that I am extremely anxious to retard its disintegration. And it strikes me that you are forgetting the patient, doctor, and that my medicine is due.

I had intended to-day to show you some uncanny possessions of mine that I mean to leave you in my will as a token of gratitude for keeping me in the world a little longer. Another time, however. Will you ring? I am inclined to sleep. Should Ruel Bey be with her, inform him, please, that this week's despatches are to be brought to me in good time for corrections, and send him about his business to the Chancellery.

The heavy curtains of the Pacha's sitting-room closed behind Marillier, and with a dazed sensation, as though he had been breathing some heady Oriental perfume, he lingered for a moment or two in the second reception-room, which was now used as a sort of ante-room to the Ambassador's private apartments. It was strewn with flowers, and had the usual row of cards of inquiry laid upon the inlaid centre table.

So absorbed were the two, that they did not hear the approach of Marillier, and he, standing with the curtain in his hand, could see the scene framed as if it were a picture. A pretty picture. The tea-table was set beneath a tall palm, of which one of the fronds hung over the portrait of the Emperor of Abaria, casting a shadow upon the refined features and the melancholy eyes with their haunting, world-wearied expression.

As Marillier's gaze dropped from the Emperor's portrait to the face of the girl below it, he was struck in a sudden and, as he thought, incongruous fashion by a faint similarity, an indescribable alikeness in the oval contour of both faces, and in the shape, and, he fancied, the expression of the eyes. He had, of course, seen her many times since the occasion of their first interview; indeed, it had become almost a habit that when leaving the Pacha he should, after his afternoon visit, receive a cup of tea at her hands; but beautiful as she had always seemed, never had her beauty struck him so forcibly as to-day.

There was a tinge of pink upon her cheeks, and a brighter light shone in her eyes, while at the same time, he noticed a suggestion of emotion, held in check, no doubt, by the presence of the butler, who was only now closing the door behind him. Marillier wondered at the sudden tightening in his own chest as he guessed the cause of the emotion. She chose the peach, and he seated himself and began to peel it, while just then Rachel perceived Marillier.

She welcomed him with her soft, friendly smile--no words. She made him his tea, Russian fashion, as he liked it, and pressed cakes upon him--little wafers encrusted with nougat. During all those years, they were so few that I could count them on my fingers. Thanks, monsieur,' as Ruel Bey handed her the peach, and with a new sensation of delight Marillier watched her little white teeth meet in the luscious fruit. By the way, he asked me to tell you that he wants the despatches brought him in good time for correction.

Marillier did not add the last part of the Pacha's injunction. It was not necessary, for the first secretary got up at once. A thousand thanks, mademoiselle. You will permit me to find you here this evening when I come to the Pacha after dinner?

Rosa Praed

It would be delightful to have some music. Marillier saw the two pairs of eyes meet. Ruel Bey's full of ardent beseeching and of a meaning at which he could only guess: the girl's troubled, he fancied reproachful. How have you--brought up in a foreign country--learned to sing Irish melodies with an entrain that seems born of the very soil, and, in truth, with the faintest touch of the Irish brogue, which is the most fascinating of all accents in a woman's speech?

And why should our cold, cynical Excellence show angry emotion over "Love's Young Dream"--the effect of which he might be supposed to have forgotten. But no--' and, with a whimsical shake of the head, Ruel Bey sang softly, Another glance at Rachel, and the whimsical manner changed to one of scarcely-veiled tenderness as he sang on, still more softly, Marillier saw that she was thrilled to the quick by a peculiar emotional note in the voice of Ruel Bey, and he thought of what the Pacha had said concerning the power of musical vibrations.

Then came, too, into his mind a remembrance of what Tolstoi has written on this subject in his novel The Kreutzer Sonata. There was silence for a few moments. But for myself, it is not strange that I should be able to sing Irish melodies, even with a touch of the brogue, as you say. We had an Irish nun in the convent, and she taught me how to sing that very song, which was one of many that I found in an old bundle of music left me by my Irish mother. Both men gave an involuntary exclamation. To both, the mystery of the Pacha's emotion seemed solved. But Marillier felt still a little perplexed, and unconsciously his eyes were again lifted to the portrait of the Emperor of Abaria.

And it was there! Now that he had once observed this, it appeared to him to proclaim itself remarkably. Yet the Pacha, he knew, belonged to an old Avaranese family. Again, Marillier was annoyed with Ruel Bey for his daring, knowing the thought which must be in the young man's mind as well as in his own. I know nothing of him. I suppose he must have died before I was born. That, at least, is the explanation I have given myself. When I once asked Excellence to tell me about my father he seemed to shrink so from the subject that I concluded it was a painful one to him and I never asked again.

After all,' she added with an unconscious cynicism, which seemed to Marillier infinitely pathetic, 'when one has been alone from babyhood there is no great need to distress the living by questions about a parent for whom his child had no existence. Mademoiselle, I shall bring up my violin this evening in the hope of having some music.

For the moment, adieu. She offered him some more tea; he accepted it mechanically and mechanically also ate some grapes she which handed him. I have never heard you sing. I wish I could do something better than that to prove to you my gratitude. How deeply you read into people's minds! That, I suppose, comes of your power of diagnosing patients. I have heard that it is wonderful. I have often tried to analyse my feelings towards him, and I cannot. I think that I could love him if he only cared for me.

He filled up the gap. Doctor Marillier, there is no reason why I should fear Ruel Bey; there can be none. Tell me that I may trust him. Your own pure instinct must that question. Trust your instinct, and remember what I said to you the first time we ever talked together. Trust me also, for I will defend you against him if need be; and, if need be, even against myself. A deep flush suffused Rachel's cheeks; her eyes dropped, and she reared her small head with, as he fancied, something of outraged dignity.

He had the sense of virginal pride aroused in her, of maidenly passion which had been unwarrantably laid bare. And yet I have some claim to your confidence and his; for, as I told you before, if practical difficulties should arise to interfere with your joint hapiness, it might be in my power to smooth them. He may be--is your lover, your future husband; think of me, to whom he stands in nearest blood relation, as your friend. Forgive me,' he went on, and ventured to touch the hand which Ruel Bey had kissed. Grant me its privileges; they shall not be abused.

I am deeply sympathetic with you. I long to know more of your inner feelings. If I understood them, I might be able to help you in circumstances we can neither of us fully foresee. Starring Bill Oberst, Jr. DIS is a highly visual film divided into three clearly labeled acts, requiring your attention of foreground and background. Dialogue is secondary, but not an afterthought, as it is used intentionally and only as necessary.

In fact, the first utterance comes 21 minutes in: an impulsive scream from Oberst as he witnesses a faceless woman jump presumably to her death. And yet, for its emphasis on visuals, it is an intentionally difficult film to watch. The graphic content of the film is apparent from the first scene, as we witness a naked woman abused by her torturer.

Much like the legends of the mandrake itself, the film blends several cultural elements. On the one hand, the magic and mythos of the mandrake is literally ancient. Setting the film among the scrubby brush of Mexico, with its own blend of traditional superstition and modernity, seems an inspired setting.


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