Why, observe the thing; turn it over; hold it up to the window; count the beads, long, oval, like some seaweed bulbs, each an amulet. See the tint; it’s very old; like clots of sunshine, aren’t they? Now bring it near; see the carving, here corrugated, there faceted, now sculptured into hideous, tiny, heathen gods. You didn’t notice that before! How difficult it must have been, when amber is so friable! Here’s one with a chessboard on his back, and all his kings and queens and pawns slung round him. Here’s another with a torch, a flaming torch, its fire pouring out inverted. They are grotesque enough; but this, this is matchless: such a miniature woman, one hand grasping the round rock behind, while she looks down into some gulf, perhaps, beneath, and will let herself fall. 0, you should see her with a magnifying-glass! You want to think of calm satisfying death, a mere exhalation, a voluntary slipping into another element? There it is for you. They are all gods and goddesses. They are all here but one; I’ve lost one, the knot of all, the love of the thing. Well! Wasn’t it queer for a Catholic girl to have at prayer?


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