Love's Protest

Who has not felt a shuddering recoil upon discovering that the heart of a rare, sweet rose has become the banquet hall of a loathsome worm,—that into its perfumed chambers has come this hideously stupid creature, bent solely upon the satisfaction of a grossness that with consuming leisure enters the matchless halls of a palace of purity, and leaves them reeking with foulness and decay. The pitiful helplessness of the exquisite blossom thus invaded, and the blind indifference to everything save its maw which marks the gorging beast, impel one to visit swift vengeance upon the intruder and to turn away with mingled disgust and sorrow of heart.

The incongruity of such a fact, its assault upon every sense of fitness and of right, provokes instant and abiding protest, and one pronounces anathema upon the situation with a kind of despairing gusto. It is all so outrageously wrong,—he knows that; and yet he knows he has but touched a fact which is coextensive with physical nature, and as seemingly ineradicable as instinct. What can a man do to right these things that make his heart ache every hour of the day? The query is deep, and for the many quite unanswerable, and yet all know that the wrong has no right to be, and that in God's kingdom, in that ideal which at their best all recognize, it cannot be.

But if one is thus shocked and saddened over the tragedy disclosed in the heart of a flower, who can describe the intensity of one's feeling when he finds a kindred desolation in the heart, the inner thought and habit of, perchance, a dearly loved friend or brother? Once an aspiring man was thus unexpectedly called to enter the secret place of an individual life of which he had thought as approaching the ideal. He knew abundantly that this friend expressed the noblest sentiments, that he was altogether winsome in bearing and address, given to the constant doing of the most kindly, most unselfish deeds, a lover of the artistic and the beautiful, spontaneous in his generosity and goodness, faithful in his friendships, respected, trusted, and beloved as are the few. Yet there was found in the "holy of holies" of this life, a fleshly indulgence that has ever brought degradation and death to the home and to the finer instincts of human sense. He looked into what he had thought of as a temple of Truth, only to find therein a slow-feeding monster of falsity, and when he turned away it was with a grief too deep for utterance.

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"Well done"
May 22, 1915

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