The Pagan Madonna (Chapter 1, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 1

Humdrum isn't where you live; it's what you are. Perhaps you are one of
those whose lives are bound by neighbourly interests. Imaginatively, you
never seek what lies under a gorgeous sunset; you are never stirred by any
longing to investigate the ends of rainbows. You are more concerned by
what your neighbour does every day than by what he might do if he were
suddenly spun, whirled, jolted out of his poky orbit. The blank door of an
empty house never intrigues you; you enter blind alleys without thrilling
in the least; you hear a cry in the night and impute it to some marauding
tom. Lord, what a life!

And yet every move you make is governed by Chance--the Blind Madonna of
the Pagan, as that great adventurer, Stevenson, called it. You never
stop to consider that it is only by chance that you leave home and arrive
at the office alive--millions and millions of you--poor old
stick-in-the-muds! Because this or that hasn't happened to you, you
can't be made to believe that it might have happened to someone else.
What's a wood fire to you but a shin warmer? And how you hate to walk
alone! So sheer off--this is not for you.

But to you, fenced in by circumstance, walls of breathless brick and
stone, suffocating with longing, you whose thought springs ever toward the
gorgeous sunset and the ends of rainbows; who fly in dreams across the
golden south seas to the far countries, you whose imagination transforms
every ratty old square-rigger that pokes down the bay into a Spanish
galleon--come with me.

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