Marie Corelli.

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Selections from tlje
Writings of i^arie
Corellt



Clje Beauties of

JHarte Corellt



Oh



Selected ^ ^tArraiiged^ with
the Author s permission^ by
ANNIE MACKAY



Published by George Redway
London # # # mdcccxcvii



Cl)e QBeauties of

M^vit Corellt



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



YOURS? Why, what can you
really call your own ? Every
talent you have, every breath you
draw, every drop of blood flowing in
your veins, is lent to you only ; you
must pay it all back. And as far as
the arts go, it is a bad sign of poet,
painter, or musician, who is arrogant
enough to call his work his own. It
never was his, and never will be. It
is planned by a higher intelligence than
his, only he happens to be the hired
labourer chosen to carry out the con-
ception ; a sort of mechanic in whom
boastfulness looks absurd ; as absurd
as if one of the stonemasons working
at the cornice of a cathedral were to
vaunt himself as the designer of the
whole edifice. And when a work, any



Lent, not
given



A



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



Human
reason



C!)e T5eautie0 of



work, is completed, it passes out of
the labourer's hands ; it belongs to
the age and the people for whom it
was accomplished, and, if deserving,
goes on belonging to future ages and
future peoples.

DOUBT is the destroyer of beauty
— the poison in the sweet cup of
existence — the curse which mankind
have brought on themselves. Avoid it
as you would the plague.

Believe in anything or everything
miraculous and glorious — the utmost
reach of your faith can with difficulty
grasp the magnetic reality and perfec-
tion of everything you can see, desire,
or imagine. Mistrust that volatile
thing called Human Reason, which
is merely a name for whatever opinion
we happen to adopt for the time — it
is a thing which totters on its throne
in a fit of rage or despair — there is
nothing infinite about it. Guide your-
self by the delicate Spiritual Instinct
within you, which tells you that with
God all things are possible, save that
He cannot destroy Himself or lessen
by one spark the fiery brilliancy of



^arie Cotelli



His ever-widening circle of produc-
tive Intelligence.



I PERCEIVE with almost cruel sud-
denness the true characters of all
those whom I meet. No smile of lip
or eye can delude me into accepting
mere surface matter for real depth,
and it is intensely painful for me to
be forced to behold hypocrisy in the
expression of the apparently devout
— sensuality in the face of some radi-
antly beautiful and popular woman —
vice under the mask of virtue — self-
interest in the guise of friendship, —
and spite and malice springing up like
a poisonous undergrowth beneath the
words of elegant flattery or dainty
compliment.



THE fatal finger of the electric
instinct within me points out
unerringly the flaw in every human
diamond, and writes Sham across
many a cunningly contrived imitation
of intelligence and goodness.



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



True

characters



The fatal
finger



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



Is it sense



Arbiters of

our own

fate



Cbe 15eautie0 of



Is it sense to imagine that the im-
mense machinery of the Universe
has been set in motion for nothing ?
Is it even common reason to consider
that the soul of man, with all its high
musings, its dreams of unseen glory,
its longings after the Infinite, is a
mere useless vapour, or a set of shift-
ing molecules in a perishable brain ?
The mere fact of the existence of a
desire clearly indicates an equally
existing capacity for the gratifica-
tion of that desire ; therefore I ask,
would the wish for a future state
of being, which is secretly felt by
every one of us, have been per-
mitted to find a place in our natures,
if there were no possible means of
granting it ?

Why all this discontent with the
present — why all this universal com-
plaint and despair and world -weari-
ness if there be no hereafter ?



WE are the arbiters of our own
fate, and that fact is the most
important one of our lives. Our Will
is positively unfettered ; it is a rudder



e^atiz CorelU



put freely into our hands, and with it
we can steer wherever we choose. God
will not compel our love or obedience.
We must ourselves desire to love and
o bey-
world.



desire it above all things in the



PHYSICIANS are very clever, and
estimable men, and there are
a few things which come within the
limit of their treatment ; but there
are also other things which bafQe their
utmost profundity of knowledge. One
of these is that wondrous piece of
human machinery, the nervous system;
that intricate and delicate network of
fine threads — electric wires on which
run the messages of thought, impulse,
affection, emotion. If these threads
or wires become, from any subtle cause,
entangled, the skill of the mere medical
practitioner is of no avail to undo the
injurious knot, or to unravel the con-
fused skein. The drugs generally used
in such cases are, for the most part,
repellant to the human blood and natu-
ral instinct, therefore they are always
dangerous, and often deadly.



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



The
nervous
system



/



Cfje IBtnntiz^ of



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



Art



T



HOSE who adopt any art as a
means of livelihood begin the
world heavily handicapped — weighted
down, as it were, in the race for for-
tune. The following of art is a very
different thing to the following of trade
or mercantile business. In buying or
selling, in undertaking the work of im-
port or export, a good head for figures,
and an average quantity of shrewd
common-sense, are all that is necessary
in order to win a fair share of success.
But in the finer occupations, whose
results are found in sculpture, painting,
music, and poetry, demands are made
upon the imagination, the emotions, the
entire spiritual susceptibility of man.
Tl^ most delicate fibres of the brain
areltaxed ; the subtle inner workings of
thought are brought into active play ;
and the temperament becomes dailyand
hourly more finely strung, more sensi-
tive, more keenly alive to every pass-
ing sensation : — The men and women
I speak of as Artists are those who
work day and night to attain even a
small degree of perfection, and who
are never satisfied with their own best
efforts.



^atie Cotelli



MATERIALISM does not, and
can never still the hunger of
the Immortal Spirit in man for those
tilings divine, which are, by right, its
heritage. Nothing on earth can soothe
or console it — nothing temporal can
long delight it — in time the best gifts
the world can offer seem valueless ; for
while one spark of God's own essence
remains alit within us, it is impossible
that here, on this limited plane of
thought and action, we should ever be
satisfied.

It is those who feel the quick stir-
rings of a larger, grander life within
them — who realise with love and eager-
ness the wonders of the world to
come, and who gaze appealingly across
the darkness of present things, sti^ing
to see, no matter how indistinctly, the
first faint glimmer of the brightness
that glitters beyond the grave — to
these I speak inadequately and feebly
I know, yet with all my soul desiring
to cheer them, as they climb from
steep to steep of high thought, and
noble endeavour, onward and up-
ward.



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



Materialism



Cf)e 'Beautie0 of



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



Spiritual
progress



TRUE Spiritual progress and know-
ledge are shown in the cheerful,
sincere, and wholesome life of the per-
son possessing it, and in the encourag-
ing and ennobling influence that life
has on the lives of others. Moreover,
it is displayed in the buoyancy and
tireless energy of the body, in which
the beautiful, expanding, highly des-
tined spirit is for a time bidden to
work — the absence of all depression,
the contentment and tranquillity of the
disposition and temper.



The inner
self



THE people taken en masse are
never brought to realise the fact
of the imperishable inner self within
each one of them — that actual self
which claims as much and more suste-
nance than the outer body on which
we spend such a superabundance of
care — care which avails nothing at
death, while the attention bestowed
on the deathless part of us avails
everything.



I KNOW that men and women
of to-day must have proofs, or
what they are willing to accept as



a^atie Corclli



proofs, before they will credit any-
thing that purports to be of a spiritual
tendency; — something startling — some
miracle of a stupendous nature, such
as, according to prophecy, they are
all unfit to receive. Few will admit
the subtle influence and incontestable,
though mysterious, authority exercised
upon their lives by higher intelligences
than their own — intelligences unseen,
unknown, but felt. Yes ! felt by the
most careless, the most cynical ; in the
uncomfortable prescience of danger,
the inner forebodings of guilt — the
moral and mental torture endured by
those who fight a protracted battle to
gain the hardly-won victory in them-
selves of right over wrong — in the
thousand and one sudden appeals
made without warning to that com-
pass of a man's life, Conscience — and
in those brilliant and startling im-
pulses of generosity, bravery, and
self-sacrifice which carry us on, heed-
less of consequences, to the perform-
ance of great and noble deeds, whose
fame makes the whole world one
resounding echo of glory — deeds that
we wonder at ourselves even in the



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



No proofs



lO



Cl)e IBeautieg of



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



performance of them — acts of heroism
in which mere life goes for nothing,
and the Soul for a brief space is pre-
eminent, obeying blindly the guiding
influence of a something to itself, yet
higher in the realms of Thought,

There are no proofs as to why such
things should be ; but that they are,
is indubitable. The miracles enacted
now are silent ones, and are worked
in the heart and mind of man alone.



Compen-
sations



TO have the serene sublimity of
the God-man Christ; and con-
sent to be crucified by a gibing world
that was fated to be afterwards civi-
lised and dominated by His teachings,
what can be more glorious ? To have
the magnificent versatility of a Shake-
speare, who was scarcely recognised
in his own day, but whose gifts were
so vast and various that the silly mul-
titudes wrangle over his very identity
and the authenticity of his plays to
this hour — what can be more trium-
phant ? To know that one's own
soul can, if strengthened and encour-
aged by the force of will, rise to a su-
preme attitude of power — is not that



a^atie CorelU



1 1



sufficient to compensate for the little
whining cries of the common herd of
men and women who have forgotten
whether they ever had a spiritual
spark in them, and who, straining up
to see the light of genius that burns
too fiercely for their earth-dimmed
eyes, exclaim : "We see nothing, there-
fore there can be nothing." Ah, " the
knowledge of one's own inner Self-
Existence is a knowledge surpassing
all the marvels of art and science ! "



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



IN this world there are no two
natures alike, yet all are born
with a small portion of Divinity within
them, which we call the Soul. It is a
mere spark smouldering in the centre
of the weight of clay with which we
are encumbered, yet it is there. Now
this particular germ or seed can be
cultivated if we WILL — that is, if we
desire and insist on its growth. As
a child's taste for art or learning can
be educated into high capabilities for
the future, so can the human Soul be
educated into so high, so supreme an
attainment, that no merely mortal
standard of measurement can reach its



^Vhat all

are born

with



12



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



Life is
heroism



Cj)e IBzautitsi of



magnificence. With much more than
half the inhabitants of the globe, this
germ of immortality remains always
a germ, never sprouting, overlaid and
weighted down by the lymphatic lazi-
ness and materialistic propensities of
its shell or husk — the body,

A NY one can die. A murderer has
xA. moral force enough to jeer at
his hangman. It is very easy to draw
the last breath. It can be accom-
plished successfully by a child or a
warrior. One pang of far less anguish
than the toothache, and all is over.
There is nothing heroic about it, I
assure you ! It is as common as
going to bed ; it is almost prosy. Life
is heroism, if you like ; but death is
a mere cessation of business. And to
make a rapid and rude exit off the
stage before the prompter gives the
sign is always, to say the least of it,
ungraceful. Act the part out, no
matter how bad the play.

DO you deem women all alike —
all on one common level, fit
for nothing but to be the t03^s or



^arie Cotelli



drudges of men ? Can you not realise
that there are some among them who
despise the inanities of everyday Hfe
— who care nothing for the routine of
society, and whose hearts are filled
with cravings that no mere human
love or life can satisfy ? Yes — even
weak women are capable of greatness ;
and if we do sometimes dream of what
we cannot accomplish through lack of
the physical force necessary for large
achievements, that is not our fault but
our misfortune. We did not create
ourselves. We did not ask to be
born with the over-sensitiveness, the
fatal delicacy, the highly-strung ner-
vousness of the feminine nature.



EACH circumstance that happens
to each one of us brings its
own special lesson and meaning —
forms a link, or part of a link, in the
chain of our existence. It seems
nothing to you that you walk down a
particular street at a particular hour,
and yet that slight action of yours
may lead to a result you wot not
of. "Accept the hint of each new



13



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS

Women



Circum-
stance



H



Cbe 16eautie0 of



A ROM-
ANCE OF

TWO
WORLDS



experience," says the American imitator
of Plato — Emerson. If this advice is
faithfully followed, we all have enough
to occupy us busily from the cradle to
the grave.



ARDATH

Silence



I HAVE kept silence so long ! You
know what it is in the world, —
one must always keep silence, always
shut in one's grief and force a smile,
in company with the rest of the tor-
mented forced - smiling crowd. We
can never be ourselves — our veritable
selves — for if we were, the air would
resound with our ceaseless lamenta-
tions ! It is horrible to think of all
the pent-up sufferings of humanity —
all the inconceivably hideous agonies
that remain for ever dumb and unre-
vealed !



THE doubter and opposer of God,
is also the doubter and opposer
of his own well-being. Let this un-
natural and useless combat of Human



a^arie CorelU



Reason against Divine Instinct cease
within you. Freedom ! By the Gods,
'tis a delusive word embodying a
vain idea ! Where is there any free-
dom in life ? All of us are bound in
chains and restricted in one way or
the other, — the man who deems him-
self politically free is a slave to the
multitude and his own ambition, —
while he who shakes himself loose
from the trammels of custom and
creed, becomes the tortured bondsman
of desire, tied fast with bruising cords
to the rack of his own unbridled sense
and appetite. There is no such thing
as freedom, my friend, unless haply it
may be found in death !

THE rude licentiousness of an un-
cultivated boor has its safety-
valve in disgust and satiety, — but the
soft, enervating sensualism of a trained
and cultured epicurean aristocrat is a
moral poison whose effects are so in-
sidious as to be scarcely felt till all
the native nobihty of character has
withered, and nought is left but the
shadow-wreck of his former self.



15



ARDATH



Freedom



The
Epicurean



i6



ARDATH



Meaning of
love



Free Will



C{)e T5eautie0 of



WE men have yet to learn the
true meaning of love. We
consider it from the selfish standpoint
of our own unbridled passions, — we
wilhngly accept a fair face as the visible
reflex of a fair soul, and nine times
out of ten we are utterly mistaken !
We begin wrongly, and we therefore
end miserably ; — we should love a
woman for what she is, and not for
what she appears to be. Yet, how
are we to fathom her nature ? — how
shall we guess, — how can we decide ?
Are we fooled by an evil fate ? — or do
we, in our lives and marriages, de-
Hberately fool ourselves ?



IF you voluntarily choose evil, not
all the forces in the world can lift
you into good, — if you voluntarily
choose danger, not all the gods can
bring you into safety !

Free Will is the divine condition
attached to human life, and each man
by thought, word, and deed, deter-
mines his own fate, and decides his
own future !



^atie Corelii



SCIENCE somewhat resembles a
straight Hne drawn clear across
country, but leading, alas ! to an ocean
wherein all landmarks are lost and
swallowed up in blankness. Over and
over again the human race has trodden
the same pathway of research, — over
and over again has it stood bewildered
and baffled on the shores of the same
vast sea, — the most marvellous dis-
coveries are after all mere child's play
compared to the tremendous secrets
that must remain for ever unrevealed ;
and the poor and trifling comprehen-
sion of things that we, after a lifetime
of study, succeed in attaining, is only
just sufficient to add to our already
burdened existence, the undesirable
clogs of discontent and disappointed
endeavour. We die, — in almost as
much ignorance as we were born, —
and when we come face to face with
the Last Dark Mystery, what shall our
little wisdom profit us ?

A BUDDING republican! thought
Theos. That is how the
" liberty, equality, fraternity " system
always begins, — first among street-



17



ARDATH



Science



A budding
Republican



B



i8



ARDATH



Pent-up
woe



Cj)e I5eautte0 of



boys who think they ought to be
gentlemen, — then among shopkeepers
who persuade themselves that they
deserve to be peers — then comes a
time of topsy - turvydom and fierce
contention, and by and by everything
gets shaken together again in the form
of a Republic, wherein the street-boys
and shopkeepers are not a whit better
off than they were under a monarchy
— they become neither peers nor gen-
tlemen, but stay exactly in their origi-
nal places, with the disadvantage of
finding their trade decidedly damaged
by the change that has occurred in the
national economy ! Strange that the
inhabitants of this world should make
such a fuss about resisting tyranny
and oppression, when each particular
individual man, by custom and usage,
tyrannises over and oppresses his
fellow-man to an extent that would
be simply impossible to the fiercest
king.

SUPPRESSED sorrow is hardest
to endure, and when grief once
finds apt utterance, 'tis alreadyhalf con-
soled ! So should the world's great



Q^arie Corelli



singers tenderly proclaim the world's
most speechless miseries, and who
knows but vexed Creation, being thus
relieved of pent-up woe, may not take
new heart of grace and comfort ?



ARDATH



o



iNLY" for the sake of custom !
Nay, custom should be surely
classified as an exceeding powerful
god, inasmuch as it rules all things,
from the cut of our clothes to the
form of our creeds ! And he who de-
spises custom becomes an alien from
his kind, — a moral leper among the
pure and clean. O say rather a lion
among sheep, a giant among pigmies !
For, by my soul, a man who had the
courage to scorn custom, and set the
small hypocrisies of society at defiance,
would be a glorious hero ! — a warrior
of strange integrity whom it w^ould be
well worth travelling miles to see !



Custom



METHINKS those who are best
beloved of the gods are chosen
first to die. Death is not difficult, —
but to live long enough for life to lose
all savour, and love to lose all charm,



Long life



20



ARDATH



After death



C!)e 15eautie0 of



— this is a bitterness that comes with
years and cannot be consoled,

AND this would end for ever my
Ix. mistakes and follies — and I
should perchance discover the small
hidden secret of things — the little
simple unguessed clue, that would
unravel the mystery and meaning of
Existence ! For can it be that the
majestic marvel of created Nature is
purposeless in its design ? — that we
are doomed to think thoughts which
can never be realised ? — to dream
dreams that perish in the dreaming ?
— to build up hopes without founda-
tion ? — to call upon God when there
is no God ? — to long for Heaven when
there is no Heaven ? Ah no, — surely
we are not the mere fools and dupes
of Time, — surely there is some Eternal
Beyond which is not Annihilation, —
some greater, vaster sphere of soul-
development, where we shall find all
that we have missed on earth !

THERE are others who are only
happy in the pursuit of wisdom,
and the more they learn, the more



^arie Cotelli



they seek to know. One wonders, —
one cannot help wondering, — are their
aspirations all in vain ? — and will the
grave seal down their hopes for ever? —
However great may be the imagination
and fervour of a poet, for instance,
he never is able wholly to utter his
thoughts. Half of them remain in
embryo, like buds of flowers that
never come to bloom, — yet they are
there, burning in the brain, and seem-
ing too vast of conception to syllable
themselves into the common speech of
mortals ! I have often marvelled why
such ideas suggest themselves at all,
as they can neither be written nor
spoken, unless — unless indeed they
are to be received as hints, — fore-
shadowings — of greater works destined
for our accomplishment, — hereafter !

GOOD women dislike flattery, while
bad ones court it.

IT needs something more than the
" moral " sense to rightly ennoble
man, — it needs the spiritual sense; —
the fostering of the instinctive Im-
mortal Aspirations of the creature, to



21



ARDA'IH

Thoughts in
embryo



Flattery



Spiritual
sense



22



ARDATH



Wrong and
right



C!)e 15eautie0 of



make him comprehend the responsi-
bility of his present Hfe, as a prepara-
tion for his higher and better destiny.
The cultured, the scholarly, the ultra-
refined, may live well and uprightly
by the " moral sense," — if they so
choose, provided they have some great
ideal to measure themselves by, — but
even these without faith in God, may
sometimes slip, and fall into deeper
depths of ruin than they dreamed of,
when self-centred on those heights of
virtue where they fancied themselves
exempt from danger.

WE men are cast, as it were,
between two swift currents.
Wrong and Right, — Self and God, —
and it seems more easy to shut our
eyes and drift into Self and Wrong,
than to strike out brave arms, and
swim, despite all difficulty, towards
God and Right, yet if we once take
the latter course, we shall find it the
most natural and the least fatiguing.
And with every separate stroke of
high endeavour we carry others with
us, — we raise our race, — we bear it
onward, — upward ! And the true



^arie Cotelli



reward, or best result, of fame is, that
having succeeded in winning brief
attention from the multitude, a man
may be able to pronounce one of God's
lightning-messages of inspired Truth
plainly to them, while they are yet
willing to stand and listen. This
momentary hearing from the people is,
as I take it, the sole reward any writer
can dare to hope for, — and, when he
obtains it, he should remember that
his audience remains with him but a
very short while, — so that it is his duty
to see that he employs his chance well,
not to win applause for himself, but to
cheer and lift others to noble thought,
and still more noble fulfilment.

THE heart-whole appreciation of
the million is by no means so
" vulgar" as it is frequently considered,
— it is the impulsive response of those
who, not being bound hand and foot
by any special fetters of thought or
prejudice, express what they instinc-
tively feel to be true. You cannot force
those "Vulgar" by any amount of
" societies " to adopt Browning as a
household god — but they will appro-



23



ARDATH



Popular
applause



24


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