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by Marie Corelli
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"But," said the Cardinal half aloud, with the gentle dawning of a tender smile brightening the fine firm curve of his lips, -- "it is not the end! The end here, no doubt; -- but the beginning -- _there!"_ He raised his eyes devoutly, and instinctively touched the silver crucifix hanging by its purple ribbon at his breast. The orange-red glow of the sun encompassed him with fiery rings, as though it would fain consume his thin, black-garmented form after the fashion in which flames consumed the martyrs of old, -- the worn figures of mediaeval saints in their half-broken niches stared down upon him stonily, as though they would have said, -- "So we thought, -- even we! -- and for our thoughts and for our creed we suffered willingly, -- yet lo, we have come upon an age of the world in which the people know us not, -- or knowing, laugh us all to scorn."
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