Messer Marco Polo
And he told her of Paul, who had seen a vision and gone preaching through, the
world, who was persecuted, who was shipwrecked, who was bitten by a viper,
and who survived everything that he might preach the Lord Jesus. He was a
fierce, ragged man with burning eyes. . . And he told her of Paul's instructions to
women. . .
"You do not look at me when you speak, Marco Polo. Only your voice comes to
me, not your eyes. Is it because of Paul?"
And Marco Polo felt great trouble on him, because he could not explain. But
Golden Bells went on:
"There is little in your faith about women, Marco Polo. Is it a faith only for men,
then? Is it against women? Must the young men not look at the young women?"
"No, Golden Bells; the young men must not look too much on the young women."
"But that is very foolish, Marco Polo. Is it wrong to see the beauty of the almond
blossoms, wrong to taste the scented wind? Is it wrong to watch the kingfisher
seeking his nest? Is it wrong to watch the moon, the stars? All these are very
beautiful, Marco Polo, so beautiful as to make me cry. Is it wrong to watch
"It is not wrong, Golden Bells. The glory of God is in the beauty of his handicraft."
"Li Po is old and wise and a great poet, Marco Polo, and Li Po says there is
beauty in a running horse and beauty in a running stream; but there is no beauty
like the beauty of a young woman, and she letting down her hair. God made the
beauty of women, too, Marco Polo, as well as the beauty of the stars. Won't you
please explain to me, Marco Polo? Why should Li Po say one thing and Saint
"But Golden Bells, Saint Paul is inspired of God."
"But Li Po is inspired of God, too, Marco Polo. You mustn't be thinking 1ittle of Li
Po. He is fat and old and drunken, but when he sings, Marco Polo, it is the song
of the wandering stars. But why must not the young men look at the young
women, Marco Polo? Why must they not look with their eyes?"
"It will be hard for me to tell you, Golden Bells -- "