Short stories that shatter the conventional moulds and give out their own strange and enthralling perfume of genius.
The Veils of Isis
The Yellow Ticket
The Ugly Duckling
A Daughter of Eve
Isaac and Rebecca
A French Artist
A Fool's Paradise
Within the Shadow
A Miracle and No Wonder
And as his hands touched the Goddess, the High Priest saw that she trembled as if she had been flesh and blood, and his breath caught, for the Goddess spoke.
"If I refuse," said Isis, "it is for your sake, Amanthes," and her hand touched his hair.
And Amanthes cried aloud:
"To refuse one thing is to refuse all: love knows no denials: I would see you as you are, as the Gods see you face to face."
And the High Priest shuddered in fear, for the grave voice of the Goddess was heard again:
"No woman's soul can resist love: to-morrow it shall be as you desire."
And they saw Amanthes twine his arms round the Goddess and kiss her limbs, and with the last look the High Priest saw that he was prone before the Shrine with his lips pressed against the feet of Isis.
And the High Priest as he went would not even speak with the servitor, for he was full of apprehension, and torn in many ways, partly by affection for Amanthes, partly by curiosity, and most of
The Veils of Isis is a collection of eleven short stories from Frank Harris (1856 1931) was a naturalised American author of British origin.
The stories are quite mixed in theme and quality, a number suffering from very blunt endings giving the reader the impression that the entire story was not actually completed.
Nonetheless, there are some true gems:
The Veils of Isis is a fantasy that takes place in ancient Egypt and centers on one young priest's devotion to the ancient goddess.
Several stories deal candidly (for the day) with sexual themes from The Yellow Ticket (prostitution in Moscow) to A Miracle and No Wonder which is little more than a very long and protracted dirty joke.
A Daughter of Eve and Within the Shadow are in this reviewer's opinion, the most powerful of the collection, the former dealing with tensions aboard a small boat between a woman and the rest of the male crew and the latter which deals tells the tale of forbidden love between a westerner and the young wife of a Chinese mandarin.
C. Alan Loewen