Excerpt from The Haunted Student: Romance of the Fourteenth Century
For that once upon a time, then, let us thank the old magician. It becomes for us a spell potent as his own. As we breathe it, a new race of magicians arises amid the scenes of his power, new words of resistless might are uttered, new spells wrought, words framed by chiselled lips and silver voices, spells hidden amid golden curls or raven braid, charms impressed on the victim by the voiceless language of the eye and the twining of white arms amid the dance; but, alas! How oft it fared with these enchanters, as with many of old, that their gramarye took effect upon themselves! That they were subdued by their own weapons, caught in their own snares, delivered up by the very demons in whom they had trusted!
Among those bright enchantresses who graced the court of the Emperor Charles IV., the brightest was the young Count ess Ludmila, the most capricious, too, and the most bewilder ing, but only, as she said in self-defence, because she was the most sincere. And the defence was even more just than she herself fully understood it to be; for so disingenuous, so selfish, is this working-day world, so full of petty manoeuvres to accomplish ends as petty, that the most honest character is to that world's votaries the most incomprehensible. Sincerity is so utterly a stranger to their own hearts and brains that they as little recognise her when she appears, as did the patriarchs of old the angels whom they entertained.
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