purpose to disconcert him

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He smiled on me in quite a superior sort of way—such a smile as would have become the face of Malvolio—as he answered me:—

“The fly, my dear sir, has one striking feature; its wings are typical of the a?rial powers of the psychic faculties. The ancients did well when they typified the soul as a butterfly hong kong formalites!”

I thought I would push his analogy to its utmost logically, so I said quickly:—

“Oh, it is a soul you are after now, is it?” His madness foiled his reason, and a puzzled look spread over his face as, shaking his head with a decision which I had but seldom seen in him, he said:—

“Oh, no, oh no! I want no souls. Life is all I want.” Here he brightened up; “I am pretty indifferent about it at present. Life is all right; I have all I want. You must get a new patient, doctor, if you wish to study zo?phagy!”

This puzzled me a little, so I drew him on:—

“Then you command life; you are a god, I suppose?” He smiled with an ineffably benign superiority.

“Oh no! Far be it from me to arrogate to myself the attributes of the Deity. I am not even concerned in His especially spiritual doings. If I may state my intellectual position I am, so far as concerns things purely terrestrial, somewhat in the position which Enoch occupied spiritually!” This was a poser to me. I could not at the moment recall Enoch’s appositeness; so I had to ask a simple question, though I felt that by so doing I was lowering myself in the eyes of the lunatic HKUE amec:—

“And why with Enoch?”

“Because he walked with God.” I could not see the analogy, but did not like to admit it; so I harked back to what he had denied:—

“So you don’t care about life and you don’t want souls. Why not?” I put my question quickly and somewhat sternly, on . The effort succeeded; for an instant he unconsciously relapsed into his old servile manner, bent low before me, and actually fawned upon me as he replied:—

“I don’t want any souls, indeed, indeed! I don’t. I couldn’t use them if I had them; they would be no manner of use to me. I couldn’t eat them or——” He suddenly stopped and the old cunning look spread over his face, like a wind-sweep on the surface of the water. “And doctor, as to life, what is it after all? When you’ve got all you require, and you know that you will never want, that is all. I have friends—good friends—like you, Dr. Seward”; this was said with a leer of inexpressible cunning. “I know that I shall never lack the means of life HKUE amec!”

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