Chapter 3

           AsMartinEdenwentdownthesteps,hishanddroppedintohiscoatpocket. ItcameoutwithabrownricepaperandapinchofMexicantobacco,whichweredeftlyrolledtogetherintoacigarette. Hedrewthefirstwhiffofsmokedeepintohislungsandexpelleditinalongandlingeringexhalation. "ByGod!"hesaidaloud,inavoiceofaweandwonder. "ByGod!"herepeated. Andyetagainhemurmured,"ByGod!" Thenhishandwenttohiscollar,whichherippedoutoftheshirtandstuffedintohispocket. Acolddrizzlewasfalling,buthebaredhisheadtoitandunbuttonedhisvest,swingingalonginsplendidunconcern. Hewasonlydimlyawarethatitwasraining. Hewasinanecstasy,dreamingdreamsandreconstructingthescenesjustpast. 

           Hehadmetthewomanatlastthewomanthathehadthoughtlittleabout,notbeinggiventothinkingaboutwomen,butwhomhehadexpected,inaremoteway,hewouldsometimemeet. Hehadsatnexttoherattable. Hehadfeltherhandinhis,hehadlookedintohereyesandcaughtavisionofabeautifulspirit; butnomorebeautifulthantheeyesthroughwhichitshone,northanthefleshthatgaveitexpressionandform. Hedidnotthinkofherfleshasflesh,whichwasnewtohim; forofthewomenhehadknownthatwastheonlywayhethought. Herfleshwassomehowdifferent. Hedidnotconceiveofherbodyasabody,subjecttotheillsandfrailtiesofbodies. Herbodywasmorethanthegarbofherspirit. Itwasanemanationofherspirit,apureandgraciouscrystallizationofherdivineessence. Thisfeelingofthedivinestartledhim. Itshockedhimfromhisdreamstosoberthought. Noword,noclew,nohint,ofthedivinehadeverreachedhimbefore. Hehadneverbelievedinthedivine. Hehadalwaysbeenirreligious,scoffinggood-naturedlyatthesky-pilotsandtheirimmortalityofthesoul. 

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