The Blossom and the Fruit
A True Story of a Black Magician
by Mabel Collins
"The Prettiest Woman in Warsaw."
"The Idyll of The White Lotus,"
"Through The Gates of Gold,"
[Lucifer, Vol I. London, Oct 15th, 1887, No 2.]
© 2004 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet
FATHER AMYOT on the next morning sent a message to Hilary praying him to come and see him. This Hilary did at once, and in much perplexity as to what the reason of such a summons could be. He went straight to the Cathedral, for there he knew the ascetic priest passed all his time. He found him, as he expected, prostrate before the altar, and almost in the same attitude he had seen him in yesterday. Horribly too it reminded him of the attitude of that figure lying on the floor of Fleta’s laboratory when he had entered it. He had to touch Father Amyot to attract his attention; then at once the priest rose and led the way out of the Cathedral into the cloisters, which joined it to the monastery close at hand. He went on, without speaking, his head drooped. Hilary could but follow. At last they reached a bare cell in which was no furniture but a crucifix and a perpetual lamp burning before it, and against the wall a bench.
Here Father Amyot sat down, and he motioned with his hand to Hilary to sit beside him.
Then he fell into a profound reverie; and Hilary watching him, wondered much what was in his mind. Was Fleta even now working her spells upon him and moulding his thoughts according to her will?
It almost seemed like it, for her name was the first word he uttered ”The Princess Fleta”, he commenced, ”is about to go upon a long and dangerous journey.”
Hilary started and turned his face away, for he knew that he had turned pale. Was she really going to leave the city! How unexpected! How terrible!
”In a very short time”, went on Father Amyot, ”the Princess will be married and she has a mission which she desires to accomplish before her wedding, and she says that you can assist her in this. It is for the fulfilment of this mission that she is undertaking the journey I speak of; supposing you should agree to help her you would have to accompany her.”
Hilary made no answer. He had no answer ready. His breath was taken away and he could not recover it all in an instant. The whole thing seemed incredible; he felt it to be impossible; and yet a conviction was already falling on him that it would take place.
”Of course”, resumed Father Amyot, seeing that Hilary was not disposed to speak”, you will want to know your errand, you will want to know why you are going on this journey. This it will be impossible for you to know. The Princess does not choose to inform any one of what her errand is.”
”Not even the person whom she says can help her?” exclaimed Hilary in amazement.
”Not even you.”
”Well”, said Hilary rising with a gesture of indignation, ”let her find some one else to go blindly in her wake. I am not the man.”
So saying he walked across the cell to the doorway, forgetting even to say good-bye to Father Amyot.
But the priest’s voice arrested him.
”You would travel alone, save for one attendant.”
Hilary turned and faced the priest in amazement.
”Oh, impossible!”, he exclaimed, ” – yet it is true.”
To Hilary the cynic, the thing suddenly assumed an intelligible form. Fleta wanted to take a journey in which she would prefer a companion because of its danger; yet she could not give her confidence to any one. She proposed to herself to use his love for her; she offered him her society as a bribe to take care of her, to ask no question and tell no tales. The idea did not please him.
”I have heard of princesses risking anything, relying on the power of their position; I have heard that the royal caprice is not to be measured by the reason of other men and women. Perhaps it is so. But Fleta! I thought her different even from her own family.”
These were the first thoughts that came into his mind. His ready conclusion was that Fleta was willing that he should be her lover if he would be her servant also. But immediately afterwards came the fair vision of Fleta herself in her white robes, and with the face of a priestess. Her purpose was inscrutable, like herself. He confessed this as he stood there, surging doubts in his mind. And then suddenly a fragrance came across his sense – a strong perfume, that he associated with Fleta’s dress – and next a breath of incense. His brain grew dizzy; he staggered back and leaned against the wall. He no longer appeared to himself to be in Father Amyot’s cell – he was in Fleta’s laboratory, and her hand touched his face, her breath was on his brow. Ah, what madness of joy to be with her! To travel with her, to be her associate and companion to pass all the hours of the day by her side: Suddenly he roused himself, and, starting forward, approach Father Amyot.
”I will go”, he said.
”It will cost you dear”, said the priest. ”Think again before you decide.”
”It is useless to think”, cried Hilary. ”Why should I think? I fell – and to fell is to live.”
Father Amyot seemed not to hear his words. He was apparently already buried in prayer. Evidently he had said all that he intended to say; and Hilary, after a glance at him, turned and left the cell. He knew the priest’s moods too well to speak again, when once that deep cloud of profound abstraction had descended on his face.
He went away, passing back as he had come, through the Cathedral. At the high altar he paused an instant, and then knelt and murmured a prayer. It was one he had learned, and he scarce attached any meaning to the familiar words. But it comforted him to feel that he had prayed, be it never so meaningless a prayer. For Hilary had been reared in all the habits of the devout Catholic.
Then he went out and took his way towards the Garden House, walking with long strides. He was determined to know the truth, and that at once. Amid all the brilliant men who drowded her father’s Court was he indeed the only one who could touch her heart? An hour ago he would have laughed at any one who had told him he had touched it; yet now he believed he had. And what intoxication that belief was! For the first time he began to feel the absolute infatuation of love. And looking back it seemed to him that an hour ago he had not loved Fleta – that he had never loved her till this minute.
He found her standing at the gate, among the flowers. She was dressed in white, and some crimson roses were fastened at her neck. Her face was like a child’s, full of gaiety and gladness. Hilary’s heart bounded with the delight it gave him to see her like this. She opened the gate for him, and together they walked towards the house.
”I have been to see Father Amyot”, said Hilary. ”He sent for me this morning.”
”Yes”, answered Fleta, quietly. ”He had a message to you from me. Are you willing to undertake a tiresome task for one you know so little?”
”My Princess”, murmured Hilary, bending his head as he spoke.
”But not your Queen”, said Fleta, with a laugh full of the glorious insolence only possible to one who had the royal blood in her veins, and knew that a crown was waiting for her.
”Yes, my Queen”, said Hilary.
”If you call me that”, said Fleta, quickly, and in a different tone, ”you recognise a royalty not recognised by courtiers.”
”Yes”, replied Hilary simply.
”The royalty of power”, added Fleta, significantly, and with a penetrating look into his eyes.
”Call it what you will”, answered Hilary, ”you are my Queen. From this hour I give allegiance.”
”Be it so”, said Fleta, with a light girlish laugh. ”Be ready then, tomorrow at noon. I will tell you where to meet me. I will send a message in the morning.”
Suddenly a recollection crossed Hilary’s mind which had hitherto been blotted out from it. ”My mother”, he said.
”Oh”, said Fleta, ”I have been to see Madame Estanol. My father oes into the country today and she believes you go with him. She is lad you should join the Court.”
”Strange”, said Hilary, unthinkingly, ”for she has always set her ace against it.” Then the smile on Fleta’s face made him think his words foolish.
”It is as my Queen orders. Seemingly, men and women obey her ven in their inmost hearts.”
”No”, said Fleta, with a sigh, ”that it just what they do not! It is that power which I have yet to obtain. They obey me, yes, but against he dictates of their inmost hearts. If you really loved me, we could obtain that power; but you are like the others. You do not love me with your inmost heart!”
”I do not!” exclaimed Hilary, in amazement, stunned by her words.
”No”, she answered, mournfully, ”you do not. If you really loved me you would not calculate chances and risks, you would not consider whether I am profligate or virtuous, whether I am my father’s daughter or a child of the stars! I tell you, Hilary Estanol, if you were capable of loving me truly, you might find your way to the gods with me and even sit among them. But it is not so with you. You vacillate even in your love. You cannot give yourself utterly. That means grief to you, for you cannot find perfect pleasure in a thing which you take doubtingly and give but by halves. Still you shall travel with me; and you shall be my companion and friend. There is none other to whom I would give this chance. How do you think you will reward me? Oh, I know too well. Go now, but be ready when I send for you.”
So saying she turned and went into the house, leaving him in the garden. For a few moments he stood there embarrassed, not knowing which way to turn or what to do. But he was not annoyed or disturbed, as his vanity might have led him to be at another time, by such cavalier treatment. He was aghast, horrified. Was this the girl he loved! This tyrant, this proud spirit, this strange woman, who before he had wooed her reproached him with not loving her enough! Within him lurked a conventional spirit, strong under all circumstances, even those of the most profound emotion, and Fleta’s whole conduct shocked and distressed that spirit so that it groaned, and more, upbraided him with his mad love. But the fierce growth of that love could not be checked. He might suffer because it lived, but he was not strong enough to kill it.
He turned and walked away from the house and slowly returned to the city. He was ashamed and disheartened. His love seemed to disgrace him. He had entertained lofty ideas which now were discarded for ever. For he knew that tomorrow he would start upon a long journey, the end of which was to him unknown, by the side of a girl whom he could never marry, yet of whom he was the avowed lover. Well, be it so. Hilary began to look at these things from a fatalistic point of view; his weakness led him to shrug his shoulders and say that his fate was stronger than himself. So he went home gloomily yet with a burning and feverish heart. He immediately set to work making ready for his departure for an indefinite period. His mother he found was prepared for this, as Fleta had told him; and more – seemed to regard Fleta as a kind of gentle goddess who had brought good fortune into his path.
”I have always resisted the idea of your hanging about the Court”, she said, ”but it is different if indeed the King wishes to have you with him. That must lead to your obtaining some honourable post. What I dreaded was your becoming a mere useless idler. And I am glad you are going into the country, dear, for you are looking very pale and quite ill.”
Hilary assented tacitly and without comment to the deceit with which Fleta had paved the way for him.
”Spiritually is not what we understand by the words ’virtue’ or ’goodness’. It is the power of perceiving formless, spiritual essences.” – (Jasper Niemand in the ”Path”.)
”The discovery and right use of the true essence of Being – this is the whole secret of life.” – (Jasper Niemand in the ”Path”.)
___________________________DESIRE MADE PURE
When desire is for the purely abstract – when it has lost all trace or tinge of ”self” – then it has become pure.
The first step towards this purity is to kill out the desire for the things of matter, since these can only be enjoyed by the separated personality.
The second is to cease from desiring for oneself even such abstractions as power, knowledge, love, happiness, or fame; for they are but selfishness after all.
Life itself teaches these lessons; for all such objects of desire are found Dead Sea fruit in the moment of attainment. This much we learn from experience. Intuitive perception seizes on the positive truth that satisfaction is attainable only in the infinite; the will makes that conviction an actual fact of consciousness, till at last all desire is centred on the Eternal.
Blossom and the Fruit:
| Introduction | Chap 1 | Chap 2 | Chap 3 | Chap 4 | Chap 5 | Chap 6a | Chap 6b | Chap 7 | Chap 8 | Chap 9 | Chap 10 | Chap 11-12 | Chap 13 |
| Chap 14 | Chap 15 |
| till Helena Blavatsky Online | till ULTs hemsida | till toppen av sidan | till Meditation Huvudindex |
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