three great aims—(1) self-knowledge, for a man can know himself only by comparison; (2) greater perfection, which can only be obtained by conflict; and (3) the attainment of the chief virtue—love of death. Only the corruptions of life can show us all its vanity, and strengthen our innate love for death, or rather regeneration into new life.’ These words were the more remarkable as Osip Alexyevitch, in spite of his grievous physical sufferings, is never weary of life, though he loves death, for which he does not, in spite of all the purity and loftiness of his inner man, yet feel himself prepared. Then my benefactor explained to me fully the significance of the great square of creation, and pointed out that the third and the seventh number are the basis of everything. He counselled me not to withdraw from co-operation with the Petersburg brothers, and while undertaking duties only of the second order in the lodge, to endeavour to draw the brothers away from the seductions of pride, and to turn them into the true path of self-knowledge and self-perfection. Moreover, for myself personally, he advised me first of all to keep a watch over myself, and with that aim he gave me a manuscript-book, the one in which I am writing now, and am to note down all my actions in the future.”

Petersburg, November 23.—I am reconciled with my wife. My mother-in-law came to me in tears, and said that Ellen was here, and that she besought me to hear her; that she was innocent, that she was miserable at my desertion of her, and a great deal more. I knew that if I once let myself see her, I should not be able to refuse to accede to her wishes. In my uncertainty, I did not know to whose help and advice to have recourse. If my benefactor had been here, he would have told me what to do. I retired to my own room, read over the letters of Osip Alexyevitch, recalled my conversations with him, and from all that I reached the conclusion that I ought not to refuse a suppliant, and ought to hold out a helping hand to every one, and, above all, to a person so closely connected with me, and that I must bear my cross. But if I forgive her for the sake of doing right, at least let my reunion with her have a spiritual end only. So I decided, and so I wrote to Osip Alexyevitch. I said to my wife that I begged her to forget all the past, that I begged her to forgive whatever wrong I might have done her, and that I had nothing to forgive her. It was a joy to me to tell her that. May she never know how painful it was to me to see her again! I have installed myself in the upper rooms in this great house, and I am conscious of a happy feeling of beginning anew.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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