Brave New World

Brave New World

Novel by Aldous Huxley

A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the mainentrance the words, CENTRAL LONDONHATCHERY AND CONDITIONINGCENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto,COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

The enormous room on the ground-floor faced towards the north. Cold forall the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the roomitself, a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seekingsome draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, butfinding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of alaboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness. The overalls of theworkers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-colouredrubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellowbarrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and livingsubstance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak afterluscious streak in long recession down the work-tables.

'And this,' said the Director opening the door, 'is the FertilizingRoom.'

Bent over their instruments, three hundred Fertilizers were plunged, asthe Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning entered the room, in thescarcely breathing silence, the absent-minded, soliloquizing hum orwhistle, of absorbed concentration. A troop of newly arrived students,very young, pink and callow, followed nervously, rather abjectly, at theDirector's heels. Each of them carried a note-book, in which, wheneverthe great man spoke, he desperately scribbled. Straight from the horse'smouth. It was a rare privilege. The D.H.C. for Central London alwaysmade a point of personally conducting his new students round the variousdepartments.

'Just to give you a general idea,' he would explain to them. For ofcourse some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to dotheir work intelligently--though as little of one, if they were to begood and happy members of society, as possible. For particulars, asevery one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities areintellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers, but fret-sawyers andstamp collectors compose the backbone of society.

'To-morrow,' he would add, smiling at them with a slightly menacinggeniality, 'you'll be settling down to serious work. You won't have timefor generalities. Meanwhile...'

Meanwhile, it was a privilege. Straight from the horse's mouth into thenote-book. The boys scribbled like mad.

Tall and rather thin but upright, the Director advanced into the room.He had a long chin and big, rather prominent teeth, just covered, whenhe was not talking, by his full, floridly curved lips. Old, young?Thirty? fifty? fifty-five? It was hard to say. And anyhow the questiondidn't arise; in this year of stability, A.F. 632, it didn't occur toyou to ask it.

'I shall begin at the beginning,' said the D.H.C., and the more zealousstudents recorded his intention in their note-books: Begin at thebeginning. 'These,' he waved his hand, 'are the incubators.' Andopening an insulated door he showed them racks upon racks of numberedtest-tubes. 'The week's supply of ova. Kept,' he explained, 'at bloodheat; whereas the male gametes,' and here he opened another door, 'theyhave to be kept at thirty-five instead of thirty-seven. Full blood heatsterilizes.' Rams wrapped in thermogene beget no lambs.

Still leaning against the incubators he gave them, while the pencilsscurried illegibly across the pages, a brief description of the modernfertilizing process; spoke first, of course, of its surgicalintroduction--'the operation undergone voluntarily for the good ofSociety, not to mention the fact that it carries a bonus amounting tosix months' salary'; continued with some account of the technique forpreserving the excised ovary alive and actively developing; passed on toa consideration of optimum temperature, salinity, viscosity; referred tothe liquor in which the detached and ripened eggs were kept; and,leading his charges to the work tables, actually showed them how thisliquor was drawn off from the test-tubes; how it was let out drop bydrop on to the specially warmed slides of the microscopes; how the eggswhich it contained were inspected for abnormalities, counted andtransferred to a porous receptacle; how (and he now took them to watchthe operation) this receptacle was immersed in a warm bouilloncontaining free-swimming spermatozoa--at a minimum concentration of onehundred thousand per cubic centimetre, he insisted; and how, after tenminutes, the container was lifted out of the liquor and its contentsre-examined; how, if any of the eggs remained unfertilized, it was againimmersed, and, if necessary, yet again; how the fertilized ova went backto the incubators; where the Alphas and Betas remained until definitelybottled; while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons were brought out again,after only thirty-six hours, to undergo Bokanovsky's Process.

'Bokanovsky's Process,' repeated the Director, and the studentsunderlined the words in their little note-books.

One egg, one embryo, one adult--normality. But a bokanovskified egg willbud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, andevery bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryointo a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where onlyone grew before. Progress.

'Essentially,' the D.H.C. concluded, 'bokanovskification consists of aseries of arrests of development. We check the normal growth and,paradoxically enough, the egg responds by budding.'

Responds by budding. The pencils were busy.

He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a rack-full of test-tubes wasentering a large metal box, another rack-full was emerging. Machineryfaintly purred. It took eight minutes for the tubes to go through, hetold them. Eight minutes of hard X-rays being about as much as an eggcan stand. A few died; of the rest, the least susceptible divided intotwo; most put out four buds; some eight; all were returned to theincubators, where the buds began to develop; then, after two days, weresuddenly chilled, chilled and checked. Two, four, eight, the buds intheir turn budded; and having budded were dosed almost to death withalcohol; consequently burgeoned again and having budded--bud out of budout of bud were thereafter--further arrest being generally fatal--leftto develop in peace. By which time the original egg was in a fair way tobecoming anything from eight to ninety-six embryos--a prodigiousimprovement, you will agree, on nature. Identical twins--but not inpiddling twos and threes as in the old viviparous days, when an eggwould sometimes accidentally divide; actually by dozens, by scores at atime.

'Scores,' the Director repeated and flung out his arms, as though hewere distributing largesse. 'Scores.'

But one of the students was fool enough to ask where the advantage lay.

'My good boy!' The Director wheeled sharply round on him. 'Can't yousee? Can't you see?' He raised a hand; his expression was solemn.'Bokanovsky's Process is one of the major instruments of socialstability!'

Major instruments of social stability.

Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factorystaffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.

'Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!' Thevoice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm. 'You really know where youare. For the first time in history.' He quoted the planetary motto.'Community, Identity, Stability.' Grand words. 'If we could bokanovskifyindefinitely the whole problem would be solved.'

Solved by standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform Epsilons. Millionsof identical twins. The principle of mass production at last applied tobiology.

'But, alas,' the Director shook his head, 'we can't bokanovskifyindefinitely.'

Ninety-six seemed to be the limit; seventy-two a good average. From thesame ovary and with gametes of the same male to manufacture as manybatches of identical twins as possible--that was the best (sadly asecond best) that they could do. And even that was difficult.

'For in nature it takes thirty years for two hundred eggs to reachmaturity. But our business is to stabilize the population at thismoment, here and now. Dribbling out twins over a quarter of acentury--what would be the use of that?'

Obviously, no use at all. But Podsnap's Technique had immenselyaccelerated the process of ripening. They could make sure of at least ahundred and fifty mature eggs within two years. Fertilize andbokanovskify--in other words, multiply by seventy-two--and you get anaverage of nearly eleven thousand brothers and sisters in a hundred andfifty batches of identical twins, all within two years of the same age.

'And in exceptional cases we can make one ovary yield us over fifteenthousand adult individuals.'

Beckoning to a fair-haired, ruddy young man who happened to be passingat the moment, 'Mr. Foster,' he called. The ruddy young man approached.'Can you tell us the record for a single ovary, Mr. Foster?'

'Sixteen thousand and twelve in this Centre,' Mr. Foster replied withouthesitation. He spoke very quickly, had a vivacious blue eye, and took anevident pleasure in quoting figures. 'Sixteen thousand and twelve; inone hundred and eighty-nine batches of identicals. But of course they'vedone much better,' he rattled on, 'in some of the tropical Centres.Singapore has often produced over sixteen thousand five hundred; andMombasa has actually touched the seventeen thousand mark. But then theyhave unfair advantages. You should see the way a negro ovary responds topituitary! It's quite astonishing, when you're used to working withEuropean material. Still,' he added, with a laugh (but the light ofcombat was in his eyes and the lift of his chin was challenging),'still, we mean to beat them if we can. I'm working on a wonderfulDelta-Minus ovary at this moment. Only just eighteen months old. Overtwelve thousand seven hundred children already, either decanted or inembryo. And still going strong. We'll beat them yet.'

'That's the spirit I like!' cried the Director, and clapped Mr. Fosteron the shoulder. 'Come along with us and give these boys the benefit ofyour expert knowledge.'

Mr. Foster smiled modestly. 'With pleasure.' They went.

In the Bottling Room all was harmonious bustle and ordered activity.Flaps of fresh sow's peritoneum ready cut to the proper size cameshooting up in little lifts from the Organ Store in the sub-basement.Whizz and then, click! the lift-hatches flew open; the Bottle-Liner hadonly to reach out a hand, take the flap, insert, smooth-down, and beforethe lined bottle had had time to travel out of reach along the endlessband, whizz, click! another flap of peritoneum had shot up from thedepths, ready to be slipped into yet another bottle, the next of thatslow interminable procession on the band.

Next to the Liners stood the Matriculators. The procession advanced; oneby one the eggs were transferred from their test-tubes to the largercontainers; deftly the peritoneal lining was slit, the morula droppedinto place, the saline solution poured in... and already the bottlehad passed, and it was the turn of the labellers. Heredity, date offertilization, membership of Bokanovsky Group--details were transferredfrom test-tube to bottle. No longer anonymous, but named, identified,the procession marched slowly on; on through an opening in the wall,slowly on into the Social Predestination Room.

'Eighty-eight cubic metres of card-index,' said Mr. Foster with relish,as they entered.

'Containing all the relevant information,' added the Director.

'Brought up to date every morning.'

'And co-ordinated every afternoon.'

'On the basis of which they make their calculations.'

'So many individuals, of such and such quality,' said Mr. Foster.

'Distributed in such and such quantities.'

'The optimum Decanting Rate at any given moment.'

'Unforeseen wastages promptly made good.'

'Promptly,' repeated Mr. Foster. 'If you knew the amount of overtime Ihad to put in after the last Japanese earthquake!' He laughedgood-humouredly and shook his head.

'The Predestinators send in their figures to the Fertilizers.'

'Who give them the embryos they ask for.'

'And the bottles come in here to be predestinated in detail.'

'After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store.'

'Where we now proceed ourselves.'

And opening a door Mr. Foster led the way down a staircase into thebasement.

The temperature was still tropical. They descended into a thickeningtwilight. Two doors and a passage with a double turn ensured the cellaragainst any possible infiltration of the day.

'Embryos are like photograph film,' said Mr. Foster waggishly, as hepushed open the second door. 'They can only stand red light.'

And in effect the sultry darkness into which the students now followedhim was visible and crimson, like the darkness of closed eyes on asummer's afternoon. The bulging flanks of row on receding row and tierabove tier of bottles glinted with innumerable rubies, and among therubies moved the dim red spectres of men and women with purple eyes andall the symptoms of lupus. The hum and rattle of machinery faintlystirred the air.

'Give them a few figures, Mr. Foster,' said the Director, who was tiredof talking.

Mr. Foster was only too happy to give them a few figures.

Two hundred and twenty metres long, two hundred wide, ten high. Hepointed upwards. Like chickens drinking, the students lifted their eyestowards the distant ceiling.

Three tiers of racks: ground-floor level, first gallery, second gallery.

The spidery steelwork of gallery above gallery faded away in alldirections into the dark. Near them three red ghosts were busilyunloading demi-johns from a moving staircase.

The escalator from the Social Predestination Room.

Each bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks, each rack, thoughyou couldn't see it, was a conveyor travelling at the rate ofthirty-three and a third centimetres an hour. Two hundred andsixty-seven days at eight metres a day. Two thousand one hundred andthirty-six metres in all. One circuit of the cellar at ground level, oneon the first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred andsixty-seventh morning, daylight in the Decanting Room. Independentexistence--so called.

'But in the interval,' Mr. Foster concluded, 'we've managed to do a lotto them. Oh, a very great deal.' His laugh was knowing and triumphant.

'That's the spirit I like,' said the Director once more. 'Let's walkround. You tell them everything, Mr. Foster.'

Mr. Foster duly told them.

Told them of the growing embryo on its bed of peritoneum. Made themtaste the rich blood surrogate on which it fed. Explained why it had tobe stimulated with placentin and thyroxin. Told them of the corpusluteum extract. Showed them the jets through which at every twelfthmetre from zero to 2040 it was automatically injected. Spoke of thosegradually increasing doses of pituitary administered during the finalninety-six metres of their course. Described the artificial maternalcirculation installed on every bottle at metres 112; showed them thereservoir of blood-surrogate, the centrifugal pump that kept the liquidmoving over the placenta and drove it through the synthetic lung andwaste-product filter. Referred to the embryo's troublesome tendency toanæmia, to the massive doses of hog's stomach extract and foetal foal'sliver with which, in consequence, it had to be supplied.

Showed them the simple mechanism by means of which, during the last twometres out of every eight, all the embryos were simultaneously shakeninto familiarity with movement. Hinted at the gravity of the so-called'trauma of decanting,' and enumerated the precautions taken to minimize,by a suitable training of the bottled embryo, that dangerous shock. Toldthem of the tests for sex carried out in the neighbourhood of metre 200.Explained the system of labelling--a T for the males, a circle for thefemales and for those who were destined to become freemartins a questionmark, black on a white ground.

'For of course,' said Mr. Foster, 'in the vast majority of cases,fertility is merely a nuisance. One fertile ovary in twelvehundred--that would really be quite sufficient for our purposes. But wewant to have a good choice. And of course one must always leave anenormous margin of safety. So we allow as many as thirty per cent. ofthe female embryos to develop normally. The others get a dose of malesex-hormone every twenty-four metres for the rest of the course. Result:they're decanted as freemartins--structurally quite normal (except,' hehad to admit, 'that they do have just the slightest tendency to growbeards), but sterile. Guaranteed sterile. Which brings us at last,'continued Mr. Foster, 'out of the realm of mere slavish imitation ofnature into the much more interesting world of human invention.'

He rubbed his hands. For, of course, they didn't content themselves withmerely hatching out embryos: any cow could do that.

'We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socializedhuman beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers orfuture...' He was going to say 'future World Controllers,' butcorrecting himself, said 'future Directors of Hatcheries' instead.

The D.H.C. acknowledged the compliment with a smile.

They were passing metre 320 on rack eleven. A young Beta-Minus mechanicwas busy with screw-driver and spanner on the blood-surrogate pump of apassing bottle. The hum of the electric motor deepened by fractions of atone as he turned the nuts. Down, down... A final twist, a glance atthe revolution-counter, and he was done. He moved two paces down theline and began the same process on the next pump.

'Reducing the number of revolutions per minute,' Mr. Foster explained.'The surrogate goes round slower; therefore passes through the lung atlonger intervals; therefore gives the embryo less oxygen. Nothing likeoxygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par.' Again he rubbed hishands.

'But why do you want to keep the embryo below par?' asked an ingenuousstudent.

'Ass!' said the Director, breaking a long silence. 'Hasn't it occurredto you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as wellas an Epsilon heredity?'

It evidently hadn't occurred to him. He was covered with confusion.

'The lower the caste,' said Mr. Foster, 'the shorter the oxygen.' Thefirst organ affected was the brain. After that the skeleton. At seventyper cent. of normal oxygen you got dwarfs. At less than seventy, eyelessmonsters.

'Who are no use at all,' concluded Mr. Foster.

Whereas (his voice became confidential and eager), if they coulddiscover a technique for shortening the period of maturation what atriumph, what a benefaction to Society!

'Consider the horse.'

They considered it.

Mature at six; the elephant at ten. While at thirteen a man is not yetsexually mature; and is only full grown at twenty. Hence, of course,that fruit of delayed development, the human intelligence.

'But in Epsilons,' said Mr. Foster very justly, 'we don't need humanintelligence.'

Didn't need and didn't get it. But though the Epsilon mind was mature atten, the Epsilon body was not fit to work till eighteen. Long years ofsuperfluous and wasted immaturity. If the physical development could bespeeded up till it was as quick, say, as a cow's, what an enormoussaving to the Community!

'Enormous!' murmured the students. Mr. Foster's enthusiasm wasinfectious.

He became rather technical; spoke of the abnormal endocrineco-ordination which made men grow so slowly; postulated a germinalmutation to account for it. Could the effects of this germinal mutationbe undone? Could the individual Epsilon embryo be made to revert, by asuitable technique, to the normality of dogs and cows? That was theproblem. And it was all but solved.

Pilkington, at Mombasa, had produced individuals who were sexuallymature at four and full grown at six and a half. A scientific triumph.But socially useless. Six-year-old men and women were too stupid to doeven Epsilon work. And the process was an all-or-nothing one; either youfailed to modify at all, or else you modified the whole way. They werestill trying to find the ideal compromise between adults of twenty andadults of six. So far without success. Mr. Foster sighed and shook hishead.

Their wanderings through the crimson twilight had brought them to theneighbourhood of Metre 170 on Rack 9. From this point onwards Rack 9 wasenclosed and the bottles performed the remainder of their journey in akind of tunnel, interrupted here and there by openings two or threemetres wide.

'Heat conditioning,' said Mr. Foster.

Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was wedded todiscomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were decantedthe embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate tothe tropics, to be miners and acetate silk spinners and steel workers.Later on their minds would be made to endorse the judgment of theirbodies. 'We condition them to thrive on heat,' concluded Mr. Foster.'Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it.'

'And that,' put in the Director sententiously, 'that is the secret ofhappiness and virtue--liking what you've got to do. All conditioningaims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.'

In a gap between two tunnels, a nurse was delicately probing with a longfine syringe into the gelatinous contents of a passing bottle. Thestudents and their guides stood watching her for a few moments insilence.

'Well, Lenina,' said Mr. Foster, when at last she withdrew the syringeand straightened herself up.

The girl turned with a start. One could see that, for all the lupus andthe purple eyes, she was uncommonly pretty.

'Henry!' Her smile flashed redly at him--a row of coral teeth.

'Charming, charming,' murmured the Director and, giving her two or threelittle pats, received in exchange a rather deferential smile forhimself.

'What are you giving them?' asked Mr. Foster, making his tone veryprofessional.

'Oh, the usual typhoid and sleeping sickness.'

'Tropical workers start being inoculated at metre 150,' Mr. Fosterexplained to the students. 'The embryos still have gills. We immunizethe fish against the future man's diseases.' Then, turning back toLenina, 'Ten to five on the roof this afternoon,' he said, 'as usual.'

'Charming,' said the Director once more, and, with a final pat, movedaway after the others.

On Rack 10 rows of next generation's chemical workers were being trainedin the toleration of lead, caustic soda, tar, chlorine. The first of abatch of two hundred and fifty embryonic rocket-plane engineers was justpassing the eleven hundredth metre mark on Rack 3. A special mechanismkept their containers in constant rotation. 'To improve their sense ofbalance,' Mr. Foster explained. 'Doing repairs on the outside of arocket in mid air is a ticklish job. We slacken off the circulation whenthey're right way up, so that they're half starved, and double the flowof surrogate when they're upside down. They learn to associatetopsy-turvydom with well-being; in fact, they're only truly happy whenthey're standing on their heads.'

'And now,' Mr. Foster went on, 'I'd like to show you some veryinteresting conditioning for Alpha-Plus Intellectuals. We have a bigbatch of them on Rack 5. First Gallery level,' he called to two boys whohad started to go down to the ground floor.

'They're round about metre 900,' he explained. 'You can't really do anyuseful intellectual conditioning till the foetuses have lost their tails.Follow me.'

But the Director had looked at his watch. 'Ten to three,' he said. 'Notime for the intellectual embryos, I'm afraid. We must go up to theNurseries before the children have finished their afternoon sleep.'

Mr. Foster was disappointed. 'At least one glance at the DecantingRoom,' he pleaded.

'Very well, then.' The Director smiled indulgently. 'Just one glance.'

Mr. Foster was left in the Decanting Room. The D.H.C. and his studentsstepped into the nearest lift and were carried up to the fifth floor.

INFANT NURSERIES. NEO-PAVLOVIAN CONDITIONING ROOMS,announced the notice board.

The Director opened a door. They were in a large bare room, very brightand sunny; for the whole of the southern wall was a single window. Halfa dozen nurses, trousered and jacketed in the regulation whiteviscose-linen uniform, their hair aseptically hidden under white caps,were engaged in setting out bowls of roses in a long row across thefloor. Big bowls, packed tight with blossom. Thousands of petals,ripe-blown and silkily smooth, like the cheeks of innumerable littlecherubs, but of cherubs, in that bright light, not exclusively pink andAryan, but also luminously Chinese, also Mexican, also apoplectic withtoo much blowing of celestial trumpets, also pale as death, pale withthe posthumous whiteness of marble.

The nurses stiffened to attention as the D.H.C. came in.

'Set out the books,' he said curtly.

In silence the nurses obeyed his command. Between the rose bowls thebooks were duly set out--a row of nursery quartos opened invitingly eachat some gaily coloured image of beast or fish or bird.

'Now bring in the children.'

They hurried out of the room and returned in a minute or two, eachpushing a kind of tall dumb-waiter laden, on all its four wire-nettedshelves, with eight-month-old babies, all exactly alike (a BokanovskyGroup, it was evident) and all (since their caste was Delta) dressed inkhaki.

'Put them down on the floor.'

The infants were unloaded.

'Now turn them so that they can see the flowers and books.'

Turned, the babies at once fell silent, then began to crawl towardsthose clusters of sleek colours, those shapes so gay and brilliant onthe white pages. As they approached, the sun came out of a momentaryeclipse behind a cloud. The roses flamed up as though with a suddenpassion from within; a new and profound significance seemed to suffusethe shining pages of the books. From the ranks of the crawling babiescame little squeals of excitement, gurgles and twitterings of pleasure.

The Director rubbed his hands. 'Excellent!' he said. 'It might almosthave been done on purpose.'

The swiftest crawlers were already at their goal. Small hands reachedout uncertainly, touched, grasped, unpetaling the transfigured roses,crumpling the illuminated pages of the books. The Director waited untilall were happily busy. Then, 'Watch carefully,' he said. And, liftinghis hand, he gave the signal.

The Head Nurse, who was standing by a switchboard at the other end ofthe room, pressed down a little lever.

There was a violent explosion. Shriller and ever shriller, a sirenshrieked. Alarm bells maddeningly sounded.

The children started, screamed; their faces were distorted with terror.

'And now,' the Director shouted (for the noise was deafening), 'now weproceed to rub in the lesson with a mild electric shock.'

He waved his hand again, and the Head Nurse pressed a second lever. Thescreaming of the babies suddenly changed its tone. There was somethingdesperate, almost insane, about the sharp spasmodic yelps to which theynow gave utterance. Their little bodies twitched and stiffened; theirlimbs moved jerkily as if to the tug of unseen wires.

'We can electrify that whole strip of floor,' bawled the Director inexplanation. 'But that's enough,' he signalled to the nurse.

The explosions ceased, the bells stopped ringing, the shriek of thesiren died down from tone to tone into silence. The stiffly twitchingbodies relaxed, and what had become the sob and yelp of infant maniacsbroadened out once more into a normal howl of ordinary terror.

'Offer them the flowers and the books again.'

The nurses obeyed; but at the approach of the roses, at the mere sightof those gaily-coloured images of pussy and cock-a-doodle-doo andbaa-baa black sheep, the infants shrank away in horror; the volume oftheir howling suddenly increased.

'Observe,' said the Director triumphantly, 'observe.'

Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks--already in theinfant mind these couples were compromisingly linked; and after twohundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be weddedindissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.

'They'll grow up with what the psychologists used to call an"instinctive" hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterablyconditioned. They'll be safe from books and botany all their lives.' TheDirector turned to his nurses. 'Take them away again.'

Still yelling, the khaki babies were loaded on to their dumb-waiters andwheeled out, leaving behind them the smell of sour milk and a mostwelcome silence.

One of the students held up his hand; and though he could see quite wellwhy you couldn't have lower-caste people wasting the Community's timeover books, and that there was always the risk of their readingsomething which might undesirably de-condition one of their reflexes,yet... well, he couldn't understand about the flowers. Why go to thetrouble of making it psychologically impossible for Deltas to likeflowers?

Patiently the D.H.C. explained. If the children were made to scream atthe sight of a rose, that was on grounds of high economic policy. Not sovery long ago (a century or thereabouts), Gammas, Deltas, even Epsilons,had been conditioned to like flowers--flowers in particular and wildnature in general. The idea was to make them want to be going out intothe country at every available opportunity, and so compel them toconsume transport.

'And didn't they consume transport?' asked the student.

'Quite a lot,' the D.H.C. replied. 'But nothing else.'

Primroses and landscapes, he pointed out, have one grave defect: theyare gratuitous. A love of nature keeps no factories busy. It was decidedto abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes; toabolish the love of nature, but not the tendency to consume transport.For of course it was essential that they should keep on going to thecountry, even though they hated it. The problem was to find aneconomically sounder reason for consuming transport than a mereaffection for primroses and landscapes. It was duly found.

'We condition the masses to hate the country,' concluded the Director.'But simultaneously we condition them to love all country sports. At thesame time, we see to it that all country sports shall entail the use ofelaborate apparatus. So that they consume manufactured articles as wellas transport. Hence those electric shocks.'

'I see,' said the student, and was silent, lost in admiration.

There was a silence; then, clearing his throat, 'Once upon a time,' theDirector began, 'while Our Ford was still on earth, there was a littleboy called Reuben Rabinovitch. Reuben was the child of Polish-speakingparents.' The Director interrupted himself. 'You know what Polish is, Isuppose?'

'A dead language.'

'Like French and German,' added another student, officiously showing offhis learning.

'And "parent?"?' questioned the D.H.C.

There was an uneasy silence. Several of the boys blushed. They had notyet learned to draw the significant but often very fine distinctionbetween smut and pure science. One, at last, had the courage to raise ahand.

'Human beings used to be...' he hesitated; the blood rushed to hischeeks. 'Well, they used to be viviparous.'

'Quite right.' The Director nodded approvingly.

'And when the babies were decanted...'

'"Born",' came the correction.

'Well, then they were the parents--I mean, not the babies, of course;the other ones.' The poor boy was overwhelmed with confusion.

'In brief,' the Director summed up, 'the parents were the father and themother.' The smut that was really science fell with a crash into theboys' eye-avoiding silence. 'Mother,' he repeated loudly rubbing in thescience; and, leaning back in his chair, 'These,' he said gravely, 'areunpleasant facts; I know it. But, then, most historical facts areunpleasant.'

He returned to Little Reuben--to Little Reuben, in whose room, oneevening, by an oversight, his father and mother (crash, crash!) happenedto leave the radio turned on.

('For you must remember that in those days of gross viviparousreproduction, children were always brought up by their parents and notin State Conditioning Centres.')

While the child was asleep, a broadcast programme from London suddenlystarted to come through; and the next morning, to the astonishment ofhis crash and crash (the more daring of the boys ventured to grin at oneanother) Little Reuben woke up repeating word for word a long lecture bythat curious old writer ('one of the very few whose works have beenpermitted to come down to us'), George Bernard Shaw, who was speaking,according to a well-authenticated tradition, about his own genius. ToLittle Reuben's wink and snigger, this lecture was, of course, perfectlyincomprehensible and, imagining that their child had suddenly gone mad,they sent for a doctor. He, fortunately, understood English, recognizedthe discourse as that which Shaw had broadcasted the previous evening,realized the significance of what had happened, and sent a letter to themedical press about it.

'The principle of sleep-teaching, or hypnopædia, had been discovered.'The D.H.C. made an impressive pause.

The principle had been discovered; but many, many years were to elapsebefore that principle was usefully applied.

'The case of Little Reuben occurred only twenty-three years after OurFord's first T-Model was put on the market.' (Here the Director made asign of the T on his stomach and all the students reverently followedsuit.) 'And yet...'

Furiously the students scribbled. 'Hypnopædia, first used officially inA.F. 214. Why not before? Two reason. (a)...'

'These early experimenters,' the D.H.C. was saying, 'were on the wrongtrack. They thought that hypnopædia could be made an instrument ofintellectual education...'

(A small boy asleep on his right side, the right arm stuck out, theright hand hanging limp over the edge of the bed. Through a roundgrating in the side of a box a voice speaks softly.

'The Nile is the longest river in Africa and the second in lengthof all the rivers of the globe. Although falling short of the lengthof the Mississippi-Missouri, the Nile is at the head of all rivers asregards the length of its basin, which extends through 35 degrees oflatitude...'

At breakfast the next morning, 'Tommy,' some one says, 'do you knowwhich is the longest river in Africa?' A shaking of the head. 'But don'tyou remember something that begins: The Nile is the...'

'The-Nile-is-the-longest-river-in-Africa-and-thesecond-in-length-of-all-the-rivers-of-the-globe...' The words comerushing out. 'Although-falling-short-of...'

'Well now, which is the longest river in Africa?'

The eyes are blank. 'I don't know.'

'But the Nile, Tommy.'

'The-Nile-is-the-longest-river-in-Africa-and-second...'

'Then which river is the longest, Tommy?'

Tommy bursts into tears. 'I don't know,' he howls.)

That howl, the Director made it plain, discouraged the earliestinvestigators. The experiments were abandoned. No further attempt wasmade to teach children the length of the Nile in their sleep. Quiterightly. You can't learn a science unless you know what it's all about.

'Whereas, if they'd only started on moral education,' said theDirector, leading the way towards the door. The students followed him,desperately scribbling as they walked and all the way up in the lift.'Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to berational.'

'Silence, silence,' whispered a loud-speaker as they stepped out at thefourteenth floor, and 'Silence, silence,' the trumpet mouthsindefatigably repeated at intervals down every corridor. The studentsand even the Director himself rose automatically to the tips of theirtoes. They were Alphas, of course; but even Alphas have been wellconditioned. 'Silence, silence.' All the air of the fourteenth floor wassibilant with the categorical imperative.

Fifty yards of tiptoeing brought them to a door which the Directorcautiously opened. They stepped over the threshold into the twilight ofa shuttered dormitory. Eighty cots stood in a row against the wall.There was a sound of light regular breathing and a continuous murmur, asof very faint voices remotely whispering.

A nurse rose as they entered and came to attention before the Director.

'What's the lesson this afternoon?' he asked.

'We had Elementary Sex for the first forty minutes,' she answered. 'Butnow it's switched over to Elementary Class Consciousness.'

The Director walked slowly down the long line of cots. Rosy and relaxedwith sleep, eighty little boys and girls lay softly breathing. There wasa whisper under every pillow. The D.H.C. halted and, bending over one ofthe little beds, listened attentively.

'Elementary Class Consciousness, did you say? Let's have it repeated alittle louder by the trumpet.'

At the end of the room a loud-speaker projected from the wall. TheDirector walked up to it and pressed a switch.

'...all wear green,' said a soft but very distinct voice, beginningin the middle of a sentence, 'and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, Idon't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse.They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides, they wearblack, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta.'

There was a pause; then the voice began again.

'Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, becausethey're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta,because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than theGammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Deltachildren wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children.And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able...'

The Director pushed back the switch. The voice was silent. Only its thinghost continued to mutter from beneath the eighty pillows.

'They'll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake;then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday. A hundred and twentytimes three times a week for thirty months. After which they go on to amore advanced lesson.'

Roses and electric shocks, the khaki of Deltas and a whiff ofasafoetida--wedded indissolubly before the child can speak. But wordlessconditioning is crude and wholesale; cannot bring home the finerdistinctions, cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behaviour.For that there must be words, but words without reason. In brief,hypnopædia.

'The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time.'

The students took it down in their little books. Straight from thehorse's mouth.

Once more the Director touched the switch.

'...so frightfully clever,' the soft, insinuating, indefatigablevoice was saying. 'I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because...'

Not so much like drops of water, though water, it is true, can wearholes in the hardest granite; rather, drops of liquid sealing-wax, dropsthat adhere, incrust, incorporate themselves with what they fall on,till finally the rock is all one scarlet blob.

'Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum ofthe suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only.The adult's mind too--all his life long. The mind that judges anddesires and decides--made up of these suggestions. But all thesesuggestions are our suggestions!' The Director almost shouted in histriumph. 'Suggestions from the State.' He banged the nearest table. 'Ittherefore follows...'

A noise made him turn round.

'Oh, Ford!' he said in another tone, 'I've gone and woken the children.'

Outside, in the garden, it was playtime. Naked in the warm Junesunshine, six or seven hundred little boys and girls were running withshrill yells over the lawns, or playing ball games, or squattingsilently in twos and threes among the flowering shrubs. The roses werein bloom, two nightingales soliloquized in the boskage, a cuckoo wasjust going out of tune among the lime trees. The air was drowsy with themurmur of bees and helicopters.

The Director and his students stood for a short time watching a game ofCentrifugal Bumble-puppy. Twenty children were grouped in a circle rounda chrome-steel tower. A ball thrown up so as to land on the platform atthe top of the tower rolled down into the interior, fell on a rapidlyrevolving disk, was hurled through one or other of the numerousapertures pierced in the cylindrical casing, and had to be caught.

'Strange,' mused the Director, as they turned away, 'strange to thinkthat even in Our Ford's day most games were played without moreapparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit ofnetting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate gameswhich do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It's madness.Nowadays the Controllers won't approve of any new game unless it can beshown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the mostcomplicated of existing games.' He interrupted himself.

'That's a charming little group,' he said, pointing.

In a little grassy bay between tall clumps of Mediterranean heather, twochildren, a little boy of about seven and a little girl who might havebeen a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focussedattention of scientists intent on a labour of discovery, a rudimentarysexual game.

'Charming, charming!' the D.H.C. repeated sentimentally.

'Charming,' the boys politely agreed. But their smile was ratherpatronizing. They had put aside similar childish amusements too recentlyto be able to watch them now without a touch of contempt. Charming? butit was just a pair of kids fooling about; that was all. Just kids.

'I always think,' the Director was continuing in the same rather maudlintone, when he was interrupted by a loud boo-hooing.

From a neighbouring shrubbery emerged a nurse, leading by the hand asmall boy, who howled as he went. An anxious-looking little girl trottedat her heels.

'What's the matter?' asked the Director.

The nurse shrugged her shoulders. 'Nothing much,' she answered. 'It'sjust that this little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinaryerotic play. I'd noticed it once or twice before. And now again to-day.He started yelling just now...'

'Honestly,' put in the anxious-looking little girl, 'I didn't mean tohurt him or anything. Honestly.'

'Of course you didn't, dear,' said the nurse reassuringly. 'And so,' shewent on, turning back to the Director, 'I'm taking him in to see theAssistant Superintendent of Psychology. Just to see if anything's at allabnormal.'

'Quite right,' said the Director. 'Take him in. You stay here, littlegirl,' he added, as the nurse moved away with her still howling charge.'What's your name?'

'Polly Trotsky.'

'And a very good name too,' said the Director. 'Run away now and see ifyou can find some other little boy to play with.'

The child scampered off into the bushes and was lost to sight.

'Exquisite little creature!' said the Director, looking after her. Then,turning to his students, 'What I'm going to tell you now,' he said, 'maysound incredible. But then, when you're not accustomed to history, mostfacts about the past do sound incredible.'

He let out the amazing truth. For a very long period before the time ofOur Ford, and even for some generations afterwards, erotic play betweenchildren had been regarded as abnormal (there was a roar of laughter);and not only abnormal, actually immoral (no!): and had therefore beenrigorously suppressed.

A look of astonished incredulity appeared on the faces of his listeners.Poor little kids not allowed to amuse themselves? They could not believeit.

'Even adolescents,' the D.H.C. was saying, 'even adolescents likeyourselves...'

'Not possible!'

'Barring a little surreptitious auto-erotism andhomosexuality--absolutely nothing.'

'Nothing?'

'In most cases, till they were over twenty years old.'

'Twenty years old?' echoed the students in a chorus of loud disbelief.

'Twenty,' the Director repeated. 'I told you that you'd find itincredible.'

'But what happened?' they asked. 'What were the results?'

'The results were terrible.' A deep resonant voice broke startlinglyinto the dialogue.

They looked round. On the fringe of the little group stood a stranger--aman of middle height, black-haired, with a hooked nose, full red lips,eyes very piercing and dark. 'Terrible,' he repeated.

The D.H.C. had at that moment sat down on one of the steel and rubberbenches conveniently scattered through the gardens; but at the sight ofthe stranger, he sprang to his feet and darted forward, his handsoutstretched, smiling with all his teeth, effusive.

'Controller! What an unexpected pleasure! Boys, what are you thinkingof? This is the Controller; this is his fordship, Mustapha Mond.'

****

In the four thousand rooms of the Centre the four thousand electricclocks simultaneously struck four. Discarnate voices called from thetrumpet mouths.

'Main Day-shift off duty. Second Day-shift take over. Main Day-shiftoff...'

In the lift, on their way up to the changing-rooms, Henry Foster and theAssistant Director of Predestination rather pointedly turned their backson Bernard Marx from the Psychology Bureau: averted themselves from thatunsavoury reputation.

The faint hum and rattle of machinery still stirred the crimson air inthe Embryo-Store. Shifts might come and go, one lupus-coloured face giveplace to another; majestically and for ever the conveyors crept forwardwith their load of future men and women.

Lenina Crowne walked briskly towards the door.

****

His fordship Mustapha Mond! The eyes of the saluting students almostpopped out of their heads. Mustapha Mond! The Resident Controller forWestern Europe! One of the Ten World Controllers. One of the Ten...and he sat down on the bench with the D.H.C., he was going to stay, tostay, yes, and actually talk to them... straight from the horse'smouth. Straight from the mouth of Ford himself.

Two shrimp-brown children emerged from a neighbouring shrubbery, staredat them for a moment with large, astonished eyes, then returned to theiramusements among the leaves.

'You all remember,' said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, 'youall remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of OurFord's: History is bunk. History,' he repeated slowly, 'is bunk.'

He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible featherwhisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Harappa, wasUr of the Chaldees; some spider-webs, and they were Thebes and Babylonand Cnossos and Mycenae. Whisk, Whisk--and where was Odysseus, where wasJob, where were Jupiter and Gotama and Jesus? Whisk--and those specks ofantique dirt called Athens and Rome, Jerusalem and the MiddleKingdom--all were gone. Whisk--the place where Italy had been was empty.Whisk, the cathedrals; whisk, whisk, King Lear and the Thoughts ofPascal. Whisk, Passion: whisk, Requiem; whisk, Symphony; whisk...

****

'Going to the Feelies this evening, Henry?' enquired the AssistantPredestinator. 'I hear the new one at the Alhambra is first-rate.There's a love scene on a bearskin rug; they say it's marvellous. Everyhair of the bear reproduced. The most amazing tactual effects.'

****

'That's why you're taught no history,' the Controller was saying. 'Butnow the time has come...'

The D.H.C. looked at him nervously. There were those strange rumours ofold forbidden books hidden in a safe in the Controller's study. Bibles,poetry--Ford knew what.

Mustapha Mond intercepted his anxious glance and the corners of his redlips twitched ironically.

'It's all right, Director,' he said in a tone of faint derision, 'Iwon't corrupt them.'

The D.H.C. was overwhelmed with confusion.

****

Those who feel themselves despised do well to look despising. The smileon Bernard Marx's face was contemptuous. Every hair on the bear indeed!

'I shall make a point of going,' said Henry Foster.

****

Mustapha Mond leaned forward, shook a finger at them. 'Just try torealize it,' he said, and his voice sent a strange thrill quiveringalong their diaphragms. 'Try to realize what it was like to have aviviparous mother.'

That smutty word again. But none of them dreamed, this time, of smiling.

'Try to imagine what "living with one's family" meant.'

They tried; but obviously without the smallest success.

'And do you know what a "home" was?'

They shook their heads.

****

From her dim crimson cellar Lenina Crowne shot up seventeen stories,turned to the right as she stepped out of the lift, walked down a longcorridor and, opening the door marked GIRLS'DRESSING-ROOM,plunged into a deafening chaos of arms and bosoms and underclothing.Torrents of hot water were splashing into or gurgling out of a hundredbaths. Rumbling and hissing, eighty vibro-vacuum massage machines weresimultaneously kneading and sucking the firm and sunburnt flesh ofeighty superb female specimens. Every one was talking at the top of hervoice. A Synthetic Music machine was warbling out a super-cornet solo.

'Hullo, Fanny,' said Lenina to the young woman who had the pegs andlocker next to hers.

Fanny worked in the Bottling Room, and her surname was also Crowne. Butas the two thousand million inhabitants of the planet had only tenthousand names between them, the coincidence was not particularlysurprising.

Lenina pulled at her zippers--downwards on the jacket, downwards with adouble-handed gesture at the two that held trousers, downwards again toloosen her undergarment. Still wearing her shoes and stockings, shewalked off towards the bathrooms.

****

Home, home--a few small rooms, stiflingly over-inhabited by a man, by aperiodically teeming woman, by a rabble of boys and girls of all ages.No air, no space; an understerilized prison; darkness, disease, andsmells.

(The Controller's evocation was so vivid that one of the boys, moresensitive than the rest, turned pale at the mere description and was onthe point of being sick.)

****

Lenina got out of the bath, towelled herself dry, took hold of a longflexible tube plugged into the wall, presented the nozzle to her breast,as though she meant to commit suicide, pressed down the trigger. A blastof warmed air dusted her with the finest talcum powder. Eight differentscents and eau-de-Cologne were laid on in little taps over thewash-basin. She turned on the third from the left, dabbled herself withchypre and, carrying her shoes and stockings in her hand, went out tosee if one of the vibro-vacuum machines were free.

****

And home was as squalid psychically as physically. Psychically, it was arabbit hole, a midden, hot with the frictions of tightly packed life,reeking with emotion. What suffocating intimacies, what dangerous,insane, obscene relationships between the members of the family group!Maniacally, the mother brooded over her children (her children)...brooded over them like a cat over its kittens; but a cat that couldtalk, a cat that could say, 'My baby, my baby,' over and over again. 'Mybaby, and oh, oh, at my breast, the little hands, the hunger, and thatunspeakable agonizing pleasure! Till at last my baby sleeps, my babysleeps with a bubble of white milk at the corner of his mouth. My littlebaby sleeps...'

'Yes,' said Mustapha Mond, nodding his head, 'you may well shudder.'

****

'Who are you going out with to-night?' Lenina asked, returning from thevibro-vac like a pearl illuminated from within, pinkly glowing.

'Nobody.'

Lenina raised her eyebrows in astonishment.

'I've been feeling rather out of sorts lately,' Fanny explained. 'Dr.Wells advised me to have a Pregnancy Substitute.'

'But, my dear, you're only nineteen. The first Pregnancy Substituteisn't compulsory till twenty-one.'

'I know, dear. But some people are better if they begin earlier. Dr.Wells told me that brunettes with wide pelvises, like me, ought to havetheir first Pregnancy Substitute at seventeen. So I'm really two yearslate, not two years early.' She opened the door of her locker andpointed to the row of boxes and labelled phials on the upper shelf.

'SYRUP OF CORPUS LUTEUM.'Lenina read the names aloud. 'OVARIN,GUARANTEED FRESH: NOT TO BE USED AFTER AUGUST 1ST, A.F. 632. MAMMARYGLAND EXTRACT: TO BE TAKEN THREETIMES DAILY, BEFORE MEALS,WITH A LITTLE WATER. PLACENTIN:5CC TO BE INJECTED INTRAVENALLY EVERYTHIRD DAY...Ugh!' Lenina shuddered. 'How I loathe intravenals, don't you?'

'Yes. But when they do one good...' Fanny was a particularly sensiblegirl.

****

Our Ford--or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose tocall himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters--Our Freud hadbeen the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life. The worldwas full of fathers--was therefore full of misery; full ofmothers--therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity;full of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts--full of madness and suicide.

'And yet, among the savages of Samoa, in certain islands off the coastof New Guinea...'

The tropical sunshine lay like warm honey on the naked bodies ofchildren tumbling promiscuously among the hibiscus blossoms. Home was inany one of twenty palm-thatched houses. In the Trobriands conception wasthe work of ancestral ghosts; nobody had ever heard of a father.

'Extremes,' said the Controller, 'meet. For the good reason that theywere made to meet.'

****

'Dr. Wells says that a three months' Pregnancy Substitute now will makeall the difference to my health for the next three or four years.'

'Well, I hope he's right,' said Lenina. 'But, Fanny, do you really meanto say that for the next three months you're not supposed to...'

'Oh no, dear. Only for a week or two, that's all. I shall spend theevening at the Club playing Musical Bridge. I suppose you're going out?'

Lenina nodded.

'Who with?'

'Henry Foster.'

'Again?' Fanny's kind, rather moon-like face took on an incongruousexpression of pained and disapproving astonishment. 'Do you mean to tellme you're still going out with Henry Foster?'

****

Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. But there were also husbands,wives, lovers. There were also monogamy and romance.

'Though you probably don't know what those are,' said Mustapha Mond.

They shook their heads.

Family, monogamy, romance. Everywhere exclusiveness, everywhere afocussing of interest, a narrow channelling of impulse and energy.

'But every one belongs to every one else,' he concluded, citing thehypnopædic proverb.

The students nodded, emphatically agreeing with a statement whichupwards of sixty-two thousand repetitions in the dark had made themaccept, not merely as true, but as axiomatic, self-evident, utterlyindisputable.

****

'But after all,' Lenina was protesting, 'it's only about four months nowsince I've been having Henry.'

'Only four months! I like that. And what's more,' Fanny went on,pointing an accusing finger, 'there's been nobody else except Henry allthat time. Has there?'

Lenina blushed scarlet; but her eyes, the tone of her voice remaineddefiant. 'No, there hasn't been any one else,' she answered almosttruculently. 'And I jolly well don't see why there should have been.'

'Oh, she jolly well doesn't see why there should have been,' Fannyrepeated, as though to an invisible listener behind Lenina's leftshoulder. Then, with a sudden change of tone, 'But seriously,' she said,'I really do think you ought to be careful. It's such horribly bad formto go on and on like this with one man. At forty, or thirty-five, itwouldn't be so bad. But at your age, Lenina! No, it really won't do.And you know how strongly the D.H.C. objects to anything intense orlong-drawn. Four months of Henry Foster, without having anotherman--why, he'd be furious if he knew...'

****

'Think of water under pressure in a pipe.' They thought of it. 'I pierceit once,' said the Controller. 'What a jet!'

He pierced it twenty times. There were twenty piddling little fountains.

'My baby. My baby...!'

'Mother!' The madness is infectious.

'My love, my one and only, precious, precious...'

Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamythe wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. Nowonder those poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Theirworld didn't allow them to take things easily, didn't allow them to besane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with theprohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with thetemptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and theendless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and thepoverty--they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (andstrongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individualisolation), how could they be stable?

****

'Of course there's no need to give him up. Have somebody else from timeto time, that's all. He has other girls, doesn't he?'

Lenina admitted it.

'Of course he does. Trust Henry Foster to be the perfectgentleman--always correct. And then there's the Director to think of.You know what a stickler...'

Nodding, 'He patted me on the behind this afternoon,' said Lenina.

'There, you see!' Fanny was triumphant. 'That shows what he standsfor. The strictest conventionality.'

****

'Stability,' said the Controller, 'stability. No civilization withoutsocial stability. No social stability without individual stability.' Hisvoice was a trumpet. Listening, they felt larger, warmer.

The machine turns, turns and must keep on turning--for ever. It is deathif it stands still. A thousand millions scrabbled the crust of theearth. The wheels began to turn. In a hundred and fifty years there weretwo thousand millions. Stop all the wheels. In a hundred and fifty weeksthere are once more only a thousand millions; a thousand thousandthousand men and women have starved to death.

Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be mento tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men,obedient men, stable in contentment.

Crying: My baby, my mother, my only, only love; groaning: My sin, myterrible God; screaming with pain, muttering with fever, bemoaning oldage and poverty--how can they tend the wheels? And if they cannot tendthe wheels... The corpses of a thousand thousand thousand men andwomen would be hard to bury or burn.

****

'And after all,' Fanny's tone was coaxing, 'it's not as though therewere anything painful or disagreeable about having one or two menbesides Henry. And seeing that, you ought to be a little morepromiscuous....'

****

'Stability,' insisted the Controller, 'stability. The primal and theultimate need. Stability. Hence all this.'

With a wave of his hand he indicated the gardens, the huge building ofthe Conditioning Centre, the naked children furtive in the undergrowthor running across the lawns.

****

Lenina shook her head. 'Somehow,' she mused, 'I hadn't been feeling verykeen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn't. Haven'tyou found that too, Fanny?'

Fanny nodded her sympathy and understanding. 'But one's got to make theeffort,' she said sententiously, 'one's got to play the game. After all,every one belongs to every one else.'

'Yes, every one belongs to every one else.' Lenina repeated slowly and,sighing, was silent for a moment; then, taking Fanny's hand, gave it alittle squeeze. 'You're quite right, Fanny. As usual. I'll make theeffort.'

****

Impulse arrested spills over, and the flood is feeling, the flood ispassion, the flood is even madness: it depends on the force of thecurrent, the height and strength of the barrier. The unchecked streamflows smoothly down its appointed channels into a calm well-being. (Theembryo is hungry; day in, day out, the blood-surrogate pump unceasinglyturns its eight hundred revolutions a minute. The decanted infant howls;at once a nurse appears with a bottle of external secretion. Feelinglurks in that interval of time between desire and its consummation.Shorten that interval, break down all those old unnecessary barriers.)

'Fortunate boys!' said the Controller. 'No pains have been spared tomake your lives emotionally easy--to preserve you, so far as that ispossible, from having emotions at all.'

'Ford's in his flivver,' murmured the D.H.C. 'All's well with theworld.'

****

'Lenina Crowne?' said Henry Foster, echoing the AssistantPredestinator's question as he zipped up his trousers. 'Oh, she's asplendid girl. Wonderfully pneumatic. I'm surprised you haven't hadher.'

'I can't think how it is I haven't,' said the Assistant Predestinator.'I certainly will. At the first opportunity.'

From his place on the opposite side of the changing-room aisle, BernardMarx overheard what they were saying and turned pale.

****

'And to tell the truth,' said Lenina, 'I'm beginning to get just a tinybit bored with nothing but Henry every day.' She pulled on her leftstocking. 'Do you know Bernard Marx?' she asked in a tone whoseexcessive casualness was evidently forced.

Fanny looked startled. 'You don't mean to say...?'

'Why not? Bernard's an Alpha-Plus. Besides, he asked me to go to one ofthe Savage Reservations with him. I've always wanted to see a SavageReservation.'

'But his reputation?'

'What do I care about his reputation?'

'They say he doesn't like Obstacle Golf.'

'They say, they say,' mocked Lenina.

'And then he spends most of his time by himself--alone.' There washorror in Fanny's voice.

'Well, he won't be alone when he's with me. And anyhow, why are peopleso beastly to him? I think he's rather sweet.' She smiled to herself;how absurdly shy he had been! Frightened almost--as though she were aWorld Controller and he a Gamma-Minus machine minder.

****

'Consider your own lives,' said Mustapha Mond. 'Has any of you everencountered an insurmountable obstacle?'

The question was answered by a negative silence.

'Has any of you been compelled to live through a long time-intervalbetween the consciousness of a desire and its fulfilment?'

'Well,' began one of the boys, and hesitated.

'Speak up,' said the D.H.C. 'Don't keep his fordship waiting.'

'I once had to wait nearly four weeks before a girl I wanted would letme have her.'

'And you felt a strong emotion in consequence?'

'Horrible!'

'Horrible; precisely,' said the Controller. 'Our ancestors were sostupid and short-sighted that when the first reformers came along andoffered to deliver them from those horrible emotions, they wouldn't haveanything to do with them.'

****

'Talking about her as though she were a bit of meat.' Bernard ground histeeth. 'Have her here, have her there. Like mutton. Degrading her to somuch mutton. She said she'd think it over, she said she'd give me ananswer this week. Oh, Ford, Ford, Ford.' He would have liked to go up tothem and hit them in the face--hard, again and again.

'Yes, I really do advise you to try her,' Henry Foster was saying.

****

'Take Ectogenesis. Pfitzner and Kawaguchi had got the whole techniqueworked out. But would the Governments look at it? No. There wassomething called Christianity. Women were forced to go on beingviviparous.'

****

'He's so ugly!' said Fanny.

'But I rather like his looks.'

'And then so small' Fanny made a grimace; smallness was so horriblyand typically low-caste.

'I think that's rather sweet,' said Lenina. 'One feels one would like topet him. You know. Like a cat.'

Fanny was shocked. 'They say somebody made a mistake when he was stillin the bottle--thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into hisblood-surrogate. That's why he's so stunted.'

'What nonsense!' Lenina was indignant.

****

'Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was somethingcalled liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a lawagainst it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject.Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in asquare hole.'

****

'But, my dear chap, you're welcome, I assure you. You're welcome.' HenryFoster patted the Assistant Predestinator on the shoulder. 'Every onebelongs to every one else, after all.'

One hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years, thoughtBernard Marx, who was a specialist on hypnopædia. Sixty-two thousandfour hundred repetitions make one truth. Idiots!

****

'Or the Caste System. Constantly proposed, constantly rejected. Therewas something called democracy. As though men were more thanphysico-chemically equal.'

****

'Well, all I can say is that I'm going to accept his invitation.'

****

Bernard hated them, hated them. But they were two, they were large, theywere strong.

****

'The Nine Years' War began in A.F. 141.'

****

'Not even if it were true about the alcohol in his blood-surrogate.'

****

'Phosgene, chloropicrin, ethyl iodoacetate, diphenylcyanarsine,trichlormethyl chloroformate, dichlorethyl sulphide. Not to mentionhydrocyanic acid.'

****

'Which I simply don't believe,' Lenina concluded.

****

'The noise of fourteen thousand aeroplanes advancing in open order. Butin the Kurfürstendamm and the Eighth Arrondissement, the explosion ofthe anthrax bombs is hardly louder than the popping of a paper bag.'

****

'Because I do want to see a Savage Reservation.'

****

CH3C6H2(NO2)3+Hg(CNO)2=well, what? An enormous hole inthe ground, a pile of masonry, some bits of flesh and mucus, a foot,with the boot still on it, flying through the air and landing, flop, inthe middle of the geraniums--the scarlet ones; such a splendid show thatsummer!

****

'You're hopeless, Lenina, I give you up.'

****

'The Russian technique for infecting water supplies was particularlyingenious.'

****

Back turned to back, Fanny and Lenina continued their changing insilence.

****

'The Nine Years' War, the great Economic Collapse. There was a choicebetween World Control and destruction. Between stability and...'

****

'Fanny Crowne's a nice girl too,' said the Assistant Predestinator.

****

In the nurseries, the Elementary Class Consciousness lesson was over,the voices were adapting future demand to future industrial supply. 'Ido love flying,' they whispered, 'I do love flying, I do love having newclothes, I do love...'

****

'Liberalism, of course, was dead of anthrax, but all the same youcouldn't do things by force.'

****

'Not nearly so pneumatic as Lenina. Oh, not nearly.'

****

'But old clothes are beastly,' continued the untiring whisper. 'Wealways throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending, ending isbetter than mending, ending is better...'

****

'Government's an affair of sitting, not hitting. You rule with thebrains and the buttocks, never with the fists. For example, there wasthe conscription of consumption.'

****

'There, I'm ready,' said Lenina; but Fanny remained speechless andaverted. 'Let's make peace, Fanny darling.'

****

'Every man, woman and child compelled to consume so much a year. In theinterests of industry. The sole result...'

****

'Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches; themore stitches...'

****

'One of these days,' said Fanny, with dismal emphasis, 'you'll get intotrouble.'

****

'Conscientious objection on an enormous scale. Anything not to consume.Back to nature.'

****

'I do love flying, I do love flying.'

****

'Back to culture. Yes, actually to culture. You can't consume much ifyou sit still and read books.'

****

'Do I look all right?' Lenina asked. Her jacket was made of bottle-greenacetate cloth with green viscose fur at the cuffs and collar.

****

'Eight hundred Simple Lifers were mowed down by machine guns at GoldersGreen.'

****

'Ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending.'

****

Green corduroy shorts and white viscose-woollen stockings turned downbelow the knee.

****

'Then came the famous British Museum Massacre. Two thousand culture fansgassed with dichlorethyl sulphide.'

****

A green-and-white jockey cap shaded Lenina's eyes; her shoes were brightgreen and highly polished.

****

'In the end,' said Mustapha Mond, 'the Controllers realized that forcewas no good. The slower but infinitely surer methods of ectogenesis,Neo-Pavlovian conditioning and hypnopædia...'

****

And round her waist she wore a silver-mounted green morocco-surrogatecartridge belt, bulging (for Lenina was not a freemartin) with theregulation supply of contraceptives.

****

'The discoveries of Pfitzner and Kawaguchi were at last made use of. Anintensive propaganda against viviparous reproduction...'

****

'Perfect!' cried Fanny enthusiastically. She could never resist Lenina'scharm for long. 'And what a perfectly sweet Malthusian belt!'

****

'Accompanied by a campaign against the Past; by the closing of museums,the blowing up of historical monuments (luckily most of them had alreadybeen destroyed during the Nine Years' War); by the suppression of allbooks published before A.F. 150.'

****

'I simply must get one like it,' said Fanny.

****

'There were some things called the pyramids, for example.'

****

'My old black-patent bandolier...'

****

'And a man called Shakespeare. You've never heard of them of course.'

****

'It's an absolute disgrace--that bandolier of mine.'

****

'Such are the advantages of a really scientific education.'

****

'The more stitches the less riches; the more stitches the less...'

****

'The introduction of Our Ford's first T-Model...'

****

'I've had it nearly three months.'

****

'Chosen as the opening date of the new era.'

****

'Ending is better than mending; ending is better...'

****

'There was a thing, as I've said before, called Christianity.'

****

'Ending is better than mending.'

****

'The ethics and philosophy of under-consumption...'

****

'I love new clothes, I love new clothes, I love...'

****

'So essential when there was under-production; but in an age of machinesand the fixation of nitrogen--positively a crime against society.'

****

'Henry Foster gave it me.'

****

'All crosses had their tops cut and became T's. There was also a thingcalled God.'

****

'It's real morocco-surrogate.'

****

'We have the World State now. And Ford's Day celebrations, and CommunitySings, and Solidarity Services.'

****

'Ford, how I hate them!' Bernard Marx was thinking.

****

'There was a thing called Heaven; but all the same they used to drinkenormous quantities of alcohol.'

****

'Like meat, like so much meat.'

****

'There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality.'

****

'Do ask Henry where he got it.'

****

'But they used to take morphia and cocaine.'

****

'And what makes it worse, she thinks of herself as meat.'

****

'Two thousand pharmacologists and bio-chemists were subsidized in A.F.178.'

****

'He does look glum,' said the Assistant Predestinator, pointing atBernard Marx.

****

'Six years later it was being produced commercially. The perfect drug.'

****

'Let's bait him.'

****

'Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant.'

****

'Glum, Marx, glum.' The clap on the shoulder made him start, look up. Itwas that brute Henry Foster. 'What you need is a gramme of soma.'

****

'All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.'

****

'Ford, I should like to kill him!' But all he did was to say, 'No, thankyou,' and fend off the proffered tube of tablets.

****

'Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without somuch as a headache or a mythology.'

****

'Take it,' insisted Henry Foster, 'take it.'

****

'Stability was practically assured.'

****

'One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments,' said the AssistantPredestinator, citing a piece of homely hypnopædic wisdom.

****

'It only remained to conquer old age.'

****

'Damn you, damn you!' shouted Bernard Marx.

****

'Hoity-toity.'

****

'Gonadal hormones, transfusion of young blood, magnesium salts...'

****

'And do remember that a gramme is better than a damn.' They went out,laughing.

****

'All the physiological stigmata of old age have been abolished. Andalong with them, of course...'

****

'Don't forget to ask him about that Malthusian belt,' said Fanny.

****

'Along with them all the old man's mental peculiarities. Charactersremain constant throughout a whole lifetime.'

****

'...two rounds of Obstacle Golf to get through before dark. I mustfly.'

****

'Work, play--at sixty our powers and tastes are what they were atseventeen. Old men in the bad old days used to renounce, retire, take toreligion, spend their time reading, thinking--thinking!'

****

'Idiots, swine!' Bernard Marx was saying to himself, as he walked downthe corridor to the lift.

****

'Now--such is progress--the old men work, the old men copulate, the oldmen have no time, no leisure from pleasure, not a moment to sit down andthink--or if ever by some unlucky chance such a crevice of time shouldyawn in the solid substance of their distractions, there is alwayssoma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme fora week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for adark eternity on the moon; returning whence they find themselves on theother side of the crevice, safe on the solid ground of daily labour anddistraction, scampering from feely to feely, from girl to pneumaticgirl, from Electro-magnetic Golf Course to...'

****

'Go away, little girl,' shouted the D.H.C. angrily. 'Go away, littleboy! Can't you see that his fordship's busy? Go and do your erotic playsomewhere else.'

****

'Poor little children!' said the Controller.

****

Slowly, majestically, with a faint humming of machinery, the Conveyorsmoved forward, thirty-three centimetres an hour. In the red darknessglinted innumerable rubies.

§ 1

The lift was crowded with men from the Alpha Changing Rooms, andLenina's entry was greeted by many friendly nods and smiles. She was apopular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almostall of them.

They were dear boys, she thought, as she returned their salutations.Charming boys! Still, she did wish that George Edzel's ears weren'tquite so big (perhaps he'd been given just a spot too much parathyroidat metre 328?). And looking at Benito Hoover, she couldn't helpremembering that he was really too hairy when he took his clothes off.

Turning, with eyes a little saddened by the recollection of Benito'scurly blackness, she saw in a corner the small thin body, the melancholyface of Bernard Marx.

'Bernard!' she stepped up to him. 'I was looking for you.' Her voicerang clear above the hum of the mounting lift. The others looked roundcuriously. 'I wanted to talk to you about our New Mexico plan.' Out ofthe tail of her eye she could see Benito Hoover gaping withastonishment. The gape annoyed her. 'Surprised I shouldn't be begging togo with him again!' she said to herself. Then aloud, and more warmlythan ever, 'I'd simply love to come with you for a week in July,' shewent on. (Anyhow, she was publicly proving her unfaithfulness to Henry.Fanny ought to be pleased, even though it was Bernard.) 'That is,'Lenina gave him her most deliciously significant smile, 'if you stillwant to have me.'

Bernard's pale face flushed. 'What on earth for?' she wondered,astonished, but at the same time touched by this strange tribute to herpower.

'Hadn't we better talk about it somewhere else?' he stammered, lookinghorribly uncomfortable.

'As though I'd been saying something shocking,' thought Lenina. 'Hecouldn't look more upset if I'd made a dirty joke--asked him who hismother was, or something like that.'

'I mean, with all these people about...' He was choked withconfusion.

Lenina's laugh was frank and wholly unmalicious. 'How funny you are!'she said; and she quite genuinely did think him funny. 'You'll give meat least a week's warning, won't you,' she went on in another tone. 'Isuppose we take the Blue Pacific Rocket? Does it start from theCharing-T Tower? Or is it from Hampstead?'

Before Bernard could answer, the lift came to a standstill.

'Roof!' called a creaking voice.

The liftman was a small simian creature, dressed in the black tunic ofan Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron.

'Roof!'

He flung open the gates. The warm glory of afternoon sunlight made himstart and blink his eyes. 'Oh, roof!' he repeated in a voice of rapture.He was as though suddenly and joyfully awakened from a dark annihilatingstupor. 'Roof!'

He smiled up with a kind of doggily expectant adoration into the facesof his passengers. Talking and laughing together, they stepped out intothe light. The liftman looked after them.

'Roof?' he said once more, questioningly.

Then a bell rang, and from the ceiling of the lift a loud-speaker began,very softly and yet very imperiously, to issue its commands.

'Go down,' it said, 'go down. Floor Eighteen. Go down, go down. FloorEighteen. Go down, go...'

The liftman slammed the gates, touched a button and instantly droppedback into the droning twilight of the well, the twilight of his ownhabitual stupor.

It was warm and bright on the roof. The summer afternoon was drowsy withthe hum of passing helicopters; and the deeper drone of therocket-planes hastening, invisible, through the bright sky five or sixmiles overhead was like a caress on the soft air. Bernard Marx drew adeep breath. He looked up into the sky and round the blue horizon andfinally down into Lenina's face.

'Isn't it beautiful!' His voice trembled a little.

She smiled at him with an expression of the most sympatheticunderstanding. 'Simply perfect for Obstacle Golf,' she answeredrapturously. 'And now I must fly, Bernard. Henry gets cross if I keephim waiting. Let me know in good time about the date.' And waving herhand, she ran away across the wide flat roof towards the hangars.Bernard stood watching the retreating twinkle of the white stockings,the sunburnt knees vivaciously bending and unbending, again, again, andthe softer rolling of those well-fitted corduroy shorts beneath thebottle-green jacket. His face wore an expression of pain.

'I should say she was pretty,' said a loud and cheery voice just behindhim.

Bernard started, and looked round. The chubby red face of Benito Hooverwas beaming down at him--beaming with manifest cordiality. Benito wasnotoriously good-natured. People said of him that he could have gotthrough life without ever touching soma. The malice and bad tempersfrom which other people had to take holidays never afflicted him.Reality for Benito was always sunny.

'Pneumatic too. And how!' Then, in another tone, 'But, I say,' he wenton, 'you do look glum! What you need is a gramme of soma.' Diving intohis right-hand trouser-pocket, Benito produced a phial. 'One cubiccentimetre cures ten gloomy... But, I say!'

Bernard had suddenly turned and rushed away.

Benito stared after him. 'What can be the matter with the fellow?' hewondered, and, shaking his head, decided that the story about thealcohol having been put into the poor chap's blood-surrogate must betrue. 'Touched his brain, I suppose.'

He put away the soma bottle, and taking out a packet of sex-hormonechewing-gum, stuffed a plug into his cheek and walked slowly awaytowards the hangars, ruminating.

Henry Foster had had his machine wheeled out of its lock-up and, whenLenina arrived, was already seated in the cockpit, waiting.

'Four minutes late,' was all his comment, as she climbed in beside him.He started the engines and threw the helicopter screws into gear. Themachine shot vertically into the air. Henry accelerated; the humming ofthe propeller shrilled from hornet to wasp, from wasp to mosquito; thespeedometer showed that they were rising at the best part of twokilometres a minute. London diminished beneath them. The hugetable-topped buildings were no more, in a few seconds, than a bed ofgeometrical mushrooms sprouting from the green of park and garden. Inthe midst of them, thin-stalked, a taller, slenderer fungus, theCharing-T Tower lifted towards the sky a disk of shining concrete.

Like the vague torsos of fabulous athletes, huge fleshy clouds lolled onthe blue air above their heads. Out of one of them suddenly dropped asmall scarlet insect, buzzing as it fell.

'There's the Red Rocket,' said Henry, 'just come in from New York.'Looking at his watch, 'Seven minutes behind time,' he added, and shookhis head. 'These Atlantic services--they're really scandalouslyunpunctual.'

He took his foot off the accelerator. The humming of the screws overheaddropped an octave and a half, back through wasp and hornet tobumble-bee, to cockchafer, to stag-beetle. The upward rush of themachine slackened off; a moment later they were hanging motionless inthe air. Henry pushed at a lever; there was a click. Slowly at first,then faster and faster, till it was a circular mist before their eyes,the propeller in front of them began to revolve. The wind of ahorizontal speed whistled ever more shrilly in the stays. Henry kept hiseye on the revolution-counter; when the needle touched the twelvehundred mark, he threw the helicopter screws out of gear. The machinehad enough forward momentum to be able to fly on its planes.

Lenina looked down through the window in the floor between her feet.They were flying over the six kilometre zone of park-land that separatedCentral London from its first ring of satellite suburbs. The green wasmaggoty with foreshortened life. Forests of Centrifugal Bumble-puppytowers gleamed between the trees. Near Shepherd's Bush two thousandBeta-Minus mixed doubles were playing Riemann-surface tennis. A doublerow of Escalator Fives Courts lined the main road from Notting Hill toWillesden. In the Ealing stadium a Delta gymnastic display and communitysing was in progress.

'What a hideous colour khaki is,' remarked Lenina, voicing thehypnopædic prejudices of her caste.

The buildings of the Hounslow Feely Studio covered seven and a halfhectares. Near them a black and khaki army of labourers was busyrevitrifying the surface of the Great West Road. One of the hugetravelling crucibles was being tapped as they flew over. The moltenstone poured out in a stream of dazzling incandescence across the road;the asbestos rollers came and went; at the tail of an insulatedwatering-cart the steam rose in white clouds.

At Brentford the Television Corporation's factory was like a small town.

'They must be changing the shift,' said Lenina.

Like aphides and ants, the leaf-green Gamma girls, the black Semi-Moronsswarmed round the entrances, or stood in queues to take their places inthe monorail tram-cars. Mulberry-coloured Beta-Minuses came and wentamong the crowd. The roof of the main building was alive with thealighting and departure of helicopters.

'My word,' said Lenina, 'I'm glad I'm not a Gamma.'

Ten minutes later they were at Stoke Poges and had started their firstround of Obstacle Golf.

§ 2

With eyes for the most part downcast and, if ever they lighted on afellow creature, at once and furtively averted, Bernard hastened acrossthe roof. He was like a man pursued, but pursued by enemies he does notwish to see, lest they should seem more hostile even than he hadsupposed, and he himself be made to feel guiltier and even morehelplessly alone.

'That horrible Benito Hoover!' And yet the man had meant well enough.Which only made it, in a way, much worse. Those who meant well behavedin the same way as those who meant badly. Even Lenina was making himsuffer. He remembered those weeks of timid indecision, during which hehad looked and longed and despaired of ever having the courage to askher. Dared he face the risk of being humiliated by a contemptuousrefusal? But if she were to say yes, what rapture! Well, now she hadsaid it and he was still wretched--wretched that she should have thoughtit such a perfect afternoon for Obstacle Golf, that she should havetrotted away to join Henry Foster, that she should have found him funnyfor not wanting to talk of their most private affairs in public.Wretched, in a word, because she had behaved as any healthy and virtuousEnglish girl ought to behave and not in some other, abnormal,extraordinary way.

He opened the door of his lock-up and called to a lounging couple ofDelta-Minus attendants to come and push his machine out on to the roof.The hangars were staffed by a single Bokanovsky Group, and the men weretwins, identically small, black and hideous. Bernard gave his orders inthe sharp, rather arrogant and even offensive tone of one who does notfeel himself too secure in his superiority. To have dealings withmembers of the lower castes was always, for Bernard, a most distressingexperience. For whatever the cause (and the current gossip about thealcohol in his blood-surrogate may very likely--for accidents willhappen--have been true) Bernard's physique was hardly better than thatof the average Gamma. He stood eight centimetres short of the standardAlpha height and was slender in proportion. Contact with members of thelower castes always reminded him painfully of this physical inadequacy.'I am I, and wish I wasn't'; his self-consciousness was acute anddistressing. Each time he found himself looking on the level, instead ofdownward, into a Delta's face, he felt humiliated. Would the creaturetreat him with the respect due to his caste? The question haunted him.Not without reason. For Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons had been to someextent conditioned to associate corporeal mass with social superiority.Indeed, a faint hypnopædic prejudice in favour of size was universal.Hence the laughter of the women to whom he made proposals, the practicaljoking of his equals among the men. The mockery made him feel anoutsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increasedthe prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostilityaroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense ofbeing alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoidhis equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned,self-consciously on his dignity. How bitterly he envied men like HenryFoster and Benito Hoover! Men who never had to shout at an Epsilon toget an order obeyed; men who took their position for granted; men whomoved through the caste system as a fish through the water--so utterlyat home as to be unaware either of themselves or of the beneficent andcomfortable element in which they had their being.

Slackly, it seemed to him, and with reluctance, the twin attendantswheeled his plane out on the roof.

'Hurry up!' said Bernard irritably. One of them glanced at him. Was thata kind of bestial derision that he detected in those blank grey eyes?'Hurry up!' he shouted more loudly, and there was an ugly rasp in hisvoice.

He climbed into the plane and, a minute later was flying southwards,towards the river.

The various Bureaux of Propaganda and the College of EmotionalEngineering were housed in a single sixty-story building in FleetStreet. In the basement and on the lower floors were the presses andoffices of the three great London newspapers--The Hourly Radio, anupper-caste sheet, the pale-green Gamma Gazette, and, on khaki paperand in words exclusively of one syllable, The Delta Mirror. Then camethe Bureaux of Propaganda by Television, by Feeling Picture, and bySynthetic Voice and Music respectively--twenty-two floors of them. Abovewere the research laboratories and the padded rooms in which theSound-Track Writers and Synthetic Composers did their delicate work. Thetop eighteen floors were occupied by the College of EmotionalEngineering.

Bernard landed on the roof of Propaganda House and stepped out.

'Ring down to Mr. Helmholtz Watson,' he ordered the Gamma-Plus porter,'and tell him that Mr. Bernard Marx is waiting for him on the roof.'

He sat down and lit a cigarette.

Helmholtz Watson was writing when the message came down.

'Tell him I'm coming at once,' he said and hung up the receiver. Then,turning to his secretary, 'I'll leave you to put my things away,' hewent on in the same official and impersonal tone; and, ignoring herlustrous smile, got up and walked briskly to the door.

He was a powerfully built man, deep-chested, broad-shouldered, massive,and yet quick in his movements, springy and agile. The round strongpillar of his neck supported a beautifully shaped head. His hair wasdark and curly, his features strongly marked. In a forcible emphaticway, he was handsome and looked, as his secretary was never tired ofrepeating, every centimetre an Alpha-Plus. By profession he was alecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing)and in the intervals of his educational activities, a working EmotionalEngineer. He wrote regularly for The Hourly Radio, composed feelyscenarios, and had the happiest knack for slogans and hypnopædic rhymes.

'Able,' was the verdict of his superiors. 'Perhaps' (and they wouldshake their heads, would significantly lower their voices) 'a littletoo able.'

Yes, a little too able; they were right. A mental excess had produced inHelmholtz Watson effects very similar to those which, in Bernard Marx,were the result of a physical defect. Too little bone and brawn hadisolated Bernard from his fellow men, and the sense of this apartness,being, by all the current standards, a mental excess, became in its turna cause of wider separation. That which had made Helmholtz souncomfortably aware of being himself and all alone was too much ability.What the two men shared was the knowledge that they were individuals.But whereas the physically defective Bernard had suffered all his lifefrom the consciousness of being separate, it was only quite recentlythat, grown aware of his mental excess, Helmholtz Watson had also becomeaware of his difference from the people who surrounded him. ThisEscalator-Squash champion, this indefatigable lover (it was said that hehad had six hundred and forty different girls in under four years), thisadmirable committee man and best mixer had realized quite suddenly thatsport, women, communal activities were only, so far as he was concerned,second bests. Really, and at the bottom, he was interested in somethingelse. But in what? In what? That was the problem which Bernard had cometo discuss with him--or rather, since it was always Helmholtz who didall the talking, to listen to his friend discussing, yet once more.

Three charming girls from the Bureau of Propaganda by Synthetic Voicewaylaid him as he stepped out of the lift.

'Oh, Helmholtz darling, do come and have a picnic supper with us onExmoor.' They clung round him imploringly.

He shook his head, he pushed his way through them. 'No, no.'

'We're not inviting any other man.'

But Helmholtz remained unshaken even by this delightful promise. 'No,'he repeated, 'I'm busy.' And he held resolutely on his course. The girlstrailed after him. It was not till he had actually climbed intoBernard's plane and slammed the door that they gave up pursuit. Notwithout reproaches.

'These women!' he said, as the machine rose into the air. 'These women!'And he shook his head, he frowned. 'Too awful.' Bernard hypocriticallyagreed, wishing, as he spoke the words, that he could have as many girlsas Helmholtz did, and with as little trouble. He was seized with asudden urgent need to boast. 'I'm taking Lenina Crowne to New Mexicowith me,' he said in a tone as casual as he could make it.

'Are you?' said Helmholtz, with a total absence of interest. Then aftera little pause, 'This last week or two,' he went on, 'I've been cuttingall my committees and all my girls. You can't imagine what a hullabaloothey've been making about it at the College. Still, it's been worth it,I think. The effects...' He hesitated. 'Well, they're odd, they'revery odd.'

A physical shortcoming could produce a kind of mental excess. Theprocess, it seemed, was reversible. Mental excess could produce, for itsown purposes, the voluntary blindness and deafness of deliberatesolitude, the artificial impotence of asceticism.

The rest of the short flight was accomplished in silence. When they hadarrived and were comfortably stretched out on the pneumatic sofas inBernard's room, Helmholtz began again.

Speaking very slowly, 'Did you ever feel,' he asked, 'as though you hadsomething inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chanceto come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren't using--you know,like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through theturbines?' He looked at Bernard questioningly.

'You mean all the emotions one might be feeling if things weredifferent?'

Helmholtz shook his head. 'Not quite. I'm thinking of a queer feeling Isometimes get, a feeling that I've got something important to say andthe power to say it--only I don't know what it is, and I can't make anyuse of the power. If there was some different way of writing... Orelse something else to write about...' He was silent; then, 'Yousee,' he went on at last, 'I'm pretty good at inventing phrases--youknow, the sort of words that suddenly make you jump, almost as thoughyou'd sat on a pin, they seem so new and exciting even though they'reabout something hypnopædically obvious. But that doesn't seem enough.It's not enough for the phrases to be good; what you make with themought to be good too.'

'But your things are good, Helmholtz.'

'Oh, as far as they go.' Helmholtz shrugged his shoulders. 'But they gosuch a little way. They aren't important enough, somehow. I feel I coulddo something much more important. Yes, and more intense, more violent.But what? What is there more important to say? And how can one beviolent about the sort of things one's expected to write about? Wordscan be like X-rays, if you use them properly--they'll go throughanything. You read and you're pierced. That's one of the things I try toteach my students--how to write piercingly. But what on earth's the goodof being pierced by an article about a Community Sing, or the latestimprovement in scent organs? Besides, can you make words reallypiercing--you know, like the very hardest X-rays--when you're writingabout that sort of thing? Can you say something about nothing? That'swhat it finally boils down to. I try and I try...'

'Hush!' said Bernard suddenly, and lifted a warning finger; theylistened. 'I believe there's somebody at the door,' he whispered.

Helmholtz got up, tiptoed across the room, and with a sharp quickmovement flung the door wide open. There was, of course, nobody there.

'I'm sorry,' said Bernard, feeling and looking uncomfortably foolish. 'Isuppose I've got things on my nerves a bit. When people are suspiciouswith you, you start being suspicious with them.'

He passed his hand across his eyes, he sighed, his voice becameplaintive. He was justifying himself. 'If you knew what I'd had to putup with recently,' he said almost tearfully--and the uprush of hisself-pity was like a fountain suddenly released. 'If you only knew!'

Helmholtz Watson listened with a certain sense of discomfort. 'Poorlittle Bernard!' he said to himself. But at the same time he felt ratherashamed for his friend. He wished Bernard would show a little morepride.

§ 1

By eight o'clock the light was failing. The loud-speakers in the towerof the Stoke Poges Club House began, in a more than human tenor, toannounce the closing of the courses. Lenina and Henry abandoned theirgame and walked back towards the Club. From the grounds of the Internaland External Secretion Trust came the lowing of those thousands ofcattle which provided, with their hormones and their milk, the rawmaterials for the great factory at Farnham Royal.

An incessant buzzing of helicopters filled the twilight. Every two and ahalf minutes a bell and the screech of whistles announced the departureof one of the light monorail trains which carried the lower-castegolfers back from their separate course to the metropolis.

Lenina and Henry climbed into their machine and started off. At eighthundred feet Henry slowed down the helicopter screws, and they hung fora minute or two poised above the fading landscape. The forest of BurnhamBeeches stretched like a great pool of darkness towards the bright shoreof the western sky. Crimson at the horizon, the last of the sunsetfaded, through orange, upwards into yellow and a pale watery green.Northwards, beyond and above the trees, the Internal and ExternalSecretions factory glared with a fierce electric brilliance from everywindow of its twenty stories. Beneath them lay the buildings of the GolfClub--the huge lower-caste barracks and, on the other side of a dividingwall, the smaller houses reserved for Alpha and Beta members. Theapproaches to the monorail station were black with the ant-likepullulation of lower-caste activity. From under the glass vault alighted train shot out into the open. Following its south-easterlycourse across the dark plain their eyes were drawn to the majesticbuildings of the Slough Crematorium. For the safety of night-flyingplanes, its four tall chimneys were flood-lighted and tipped withcrimson danger signals. It was a landmark.

'Why do the smoke-stacks have those things like balconies round them?'enquired Lenina.

'Phosphorus recovery,' explained Henry telegraphically. 'On their way upthe chimney the gases go through four separate treatments. P{2}O{5}used to go right out of circulation every time they cremated some one.Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent. of it. More than a kilo anda half per adult corpse. Which makes the best part of four hundred tonsof phosphorus every year from England alone.' Henry spoke with a happypride, rejoicing whole-heartedly in the achievement, as though it hadbeen his own. 'Fine to think we can go on being socially useful evenafter we're dead. Making plants grow.'

Lenina, meanwhile, had turned her eyes away and was lookingperpendicularly downwards at the monorail station. 'Fine,' she agreed.'But queer that Alphas and Betas won't make any more plants grow thanthose nasty little Gammas and Deltas and Epsilons down there.'

'All men are physico-chemically equal,' said Henry sententiously.'Besides, even Epsilons perform indispensable services.'

'Even an Epsilon...' Lenina suddenly remembered an occasion when, asa little girl at school, she had woken up in the middle of the night andbecome aware, for the first time, of the whispering that had haunted allher sleeps. She saw again the beam of moonlight, the row of small whitebeds; heard once more the soft, soft voice that said (the words werethere, unforgotten, unforgettable after so many night-long repetitions):'Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one. EvenEpsilons are useful. We couldn't do without Epsilons. Every one worksfor every one else. We can't do without any one...' Lenina rememberedher first shock of fear and surprise; her speculations through half awakeful hour; and then, under the influence of those endlessrepetitions, the gradual soothing of her mind, the soothing, thesmoothing, the stealthy creeping of sleep....

'I suppose Epsilons don't really mind being Epsilons,' she said aloud.

'Of course they don't. How can they? They don't know what it's likebeing anything else. We'd mind, of course. But then we've beendifferently conditioned. Besides, we start with a different heredity.'

'I'm glad I'm not an Epsilon,' said Lenina, with conviction.

'And if you were an Epsilon,' said Henry, 'your conditioning would havemade you no less thankful that you weren't a Beta or an Alpha.' He puthis forward propeller into gear and headed the machine towards London.Behind them, in the west, the crimson and orange were almost faded; adark bank of cloud had crept into the zenith. As they flew over theCrematorium, the plane shot upwards on the column of hot air rising fromthe chimneys, only to fall as suddenly when it passed into thedescending chill beyond.

'What a marvellous switchback!' Lenina laughed delightedly.

But Henry's tone was almost, for a moment, melancholy. 'Do you know whatthat switchback was?' he said. 'It was some human being finally anddefinitely disappearing. Going up in a squirt of hot gas. It would becurious to know who it was--a man or a woman, an Alpha or anEpsilon....' He sighed. Then, in a resolutely cheerful voice,'Anyhow,' he concluded, 'there's one thing we can be certain of; whoeverhe may have been, he was happy when he was alive. Everybody's happynow.'

'Yes, everybody's happy now,' echoed Lenina. They had heard the wordsrepeated a hundred and fifty times every night for twelve years.

Landing on the roof of Henry's forty-story apartment house inWestminster, they went straight down to the dining-hall. There, in aloud and cheerful company, they ate an excellent meal. Soma was servedwith the coffee. Lenina took two half-gramme tablets and Henry three. Attwenty past nine they walked across the street to the newly openedWestminster Abbey Cabaret. It was a night almost without clouds,moonless and starry; but of this on the whole depressing fact Lenina andHenry were fortunately unaware. The electric sky-signs effectively shutoff the outer darkness. 'CALVIN STOPES AND HISSIXTEEN SEXOPHONISTS.' From the façade of the new Abbey the giant letters invitingly glared.'LONDON'S FINEST SCENT ANDCOLOUR ORGAN.ALL THE LATEST SYNTHETICMUSIC.'

They entered. The air seemed hot and somehow breathless with the scentof ambergris and sandalwood. On the domed ceiling of the hall, thecolour organ had momentarily painted a tropical sunset. The SixteenSexophonists were playing an old favourite: 'There ain't no Bottle inall the world like that dear little Bottle of mine.' Four hundredcouples were five-stepping round the polished floor. Lenina and Henrywere soon the four hundred and first. The sexophones wailed likemelodious cats under the moon, moaned in the alto and tenor registers asthough the little death were upon them. Rich with a wealth of harmonics,their tremulous chorus mounted towards a climax, louder and everlouder--until at last, with a wave of his hand, the conductor let loosethe final shattering note of ethermusic and blew the sixteen merelyhuman blowers clean out of existence. Thunder in A flat major. And then,in all but silence, in all but darkness, there followed a gradualdeturgescence, a diminuendo sliding gradually, through quarter tones,down, down to a faintly whispered dominant chord that lingered on (whilethe five-four rhythms still pulsed below) charging the darkened secondswith an intense expectancy. And at last expectancy was fulfilled. Therewas a sudden explosive sunrise, and simultaneously, the Sixteen burstinto song:

Bottle of mine, it's you I've always wanted!Bottle of mine, why was I ever decanted?  Skies are blue inside of you,  The weather's always fine;ForThere ain't no Bottle in all the worldLike that dear little Bottle of mine.

Five-stepping with the other four hundred round and round WestminsterAbbey, Lenina and Henry were yet dancing in another world--the warm, therichly coloured, the infinitely friendly world of soma-holiday. Howkind, how good-looking, how delightfully amusing every one was! 'Bottleof mine, it's you I've always wanted...' But Lenina and Henry hadwhat they wanted... They were inside, here and now--safely insidewith the fine weather, the perennially blue sky. And when, exhausted,the Sixteen had laid by their sexophones and the Synthetic Musicapparatus was producing the very latest in slow Malthusian Blues, theymight have been twin embryos gently rocking together on the waves of abottled ocean of blood-surrogate.

'Good-night, dear friends. Good-night, dear friends.' The loud-speakersveiled their commands in a genial and musical politeness. Good-night,dear friends....'

Obediently, with all the others, Lenina and Henry left the building. Thedepressing stars had travelled quite some way across the heavens. Butthough the separating screen of the sky-signs had now to a great extentdissolved, the two young people still retained their happy ignorance ofthe night.

Swallowed half an hour before closing time, that second dose of somahad raised a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe andtheir minds. Bottled, they crossed the street; bottled, they took thelift up to Henry's room on the twenty-eighth floor. And yet, bottled asshe was, and in spite of that second gramme of soma, Lenina did notforget to take all the contraceptive precautions prescribed by theregulations. Years of intensive hypnopædia and, from twelve toseventeen, Malthusian drill three times a week had made the taking ofthese precautions almost as automatic and inevitable as blinking.

'Oh, and that reminds me,' she said, as she came back from the bathroom,'Fanny Crowne wants to know where you found that lovely greenmorocco-surrogate cartridge belt you gave me.'

§ 2

Alternate Thursdays were Bernard's Solidarity Service days. After anearly dinner at the Aphroditæum (to which Helmholtz had recently beenelected under Rule Two) he took leave of his friend and, hailing a taxion the roof, told the man to fly to the Fordson Community Singery. Themachine rose a couple of hundred metres, then headed eastwards, and asit turned, there before Bernard's eyes, gigantically beautiful, was theSingery. Flood-lighted, its three hundred and twenty metres of whiteCarrara-surrogate gleamed with a snowy incandescence over Ludgate Hill;at each of the four corners of its helicopter platform an immense Tshone crimson against the night, and from the mouths of twenty-four vastgolden trumpets rumbled a solemn synthetic music.

'Damn, I'm late,' Bernard said to himself as he first caught sight ofBig Henry, the Singery clock. And sure enough, as he was paying off hiscab, Big Henry sounded the hour. 'Ford,' sang out an immense bass voicefrom all the golden trumpets. 'Ford, Ford, Ford...' Nine times.Bernard ran for the lift.

The great auditorium for Ford's Day celebrations and other massedCommunity Sings was at the bottom of the building. Above it, a hundredto each floor, were the seven thousand rooms used by Solidarity Groupsfor their fortnightly services. Bernard dropped down to floorthirty-three, hurried along the corridor, stood hesitating for a momentoutside Room 3210, then, having wound himself up, opened the door andwalked in.

Thank Ford! he was not the last. Three chairs of the twelve arrangedround the circular table were still unoccupied. He slipped into thenearest of them as inconspicuously as he could and prepared to frown atthe yet later comers whenever they should arrive.

Turning towards him, 'What were you playing this afternoon?' the girl onhis left enquired. 'Obstacle, or Electro-magnetic?'

Bernard looked at her (Ford! it was Morgana Rothschild) and blushinglyhad to admit that he had been playing neither. Morgana stared at himwith astonishment. There was an awkward silence.

Then pointedly she turned away and addressed herself to the moresporting man on her left.

'A good beginning for a Solidarity Service,' thought Bernard miserably,and foresaw for himself yet another failure to achieve atonement. Ifonly he had given himself time to look round instead of scuttling forthe nearest chair! He could have sat between Fifi Bradlaugh and JoannaDiesel. Instead of which he had gone and blindly planted himself next toMorgana. Morgana! Ford! Those black eyebrows of hers--that eyebrow,rather--for they met above the nose. Ford! And on his right was ClaraDeterding. True, Clara's eyebrows didn't meet. But she was really toopneumatic. Whereas Fifi and Joanna were absolutely right. Plump, blonde,not too large... And it was that great lout, Tom Kawaguchi, who nowtook the seat between them.

The last arrival was Sarojini Engels.

'You're late,' said the President of the Group severely. 'Don't let ithappen again.'

Sarojini apologized and slid into her place between Jim Bokanovsky andHerbert Bakunin. The group was now complete, the solidarity circleperfect and without flaw. Man, woman, man, in a ring of endlessalternation round the table. Twelve of them ready to be made one,waiting to come together, to be fused, to lose their twelve separateidentities in a larger being.

The President stood up, made the sign of the T and, switching on thesynthetic music, let loose the soft indefatigable beating of drums and achoir of instruments--near-wind and super-string--that plangentlyrepeated and repeated the brief and unescapably haunting melody of thefirst Solidarity Hymn. Again, again--and it was not the ear that heardthe pulsing rhythm, it was the midriff; the wail and clang of thoserecurring harmonies haunted, not the mind, but the yearning bowels ofcompassion.

The President made another sign of the T and sat down. The service hadbegun. The dedicated soma tablets were placed in the centre of thedinner table. The loving cup of strawberry ice-cream soma was passedfrom hand to hand and, with the formula, 'I drink to my annihilation,'twelve times quaffed. Then to the accompaniment of the syntheticorchestra the First Solidarity Hymn was sung.

Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,  Like drops within the Social River;Oh, make us now together run  As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.

Twelve yearning stanzas. And then the loving cup was passed a secondtime. 'I drink to the Greater Being' was now the formula. All drank.Tirelessly the music played. The drums beat. The crying and clashing ofthe harmonies were an obsession in the melted bowels. The SecondSolidarity Hymn was sung.

Come, Greater Being, Social Friend,  Annihilating Twelve-in-One!We long to die, for when we end,  Our larger life has but begun.

Again twelve stanzas. By this time the soma had begun to work. Eyesshone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolencebroke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles. Even Bernard felthimself a little melted. When Morgana Rothschild turned and beamed athim, he did his best to beam back. But the eyebrow, that blacktwo-in-one--alas, it was still there; he couldn't ignore it, couldn't,however hard he tried. The melting hadn't gone far enough. Perhaps if hehad been sitting between Fifi and Joanna... For the third time theloving cup went round. 'I drink to the imminence of His Coming,' saidMorgana Rothschild, whose turn it happened to be to initiate thecircular rite. Her tone was loud, exultant. She drank and passed the cupto Bernard. 'I drink to the imminence of His Coming,' he repeated, witha sincere attempt to feel that the coming was imminent; but the eyebrowcontinued to haunt him, and the Coming, so far as he was concerned, washorribly remote. He drank and handed the cup to Clara Deterding. 'It'llbe a failure again,' he said to himself. 'I know it will.' But he wenton doing his best to beam.

The loving cup had made its circuit. Lifting his hand, the Presidentgave a signal; the chorus broke out into the third Solidarity Hymn.

Feel how the Greater Being comes!  Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die!Melt in the music of the drums!  For I am you and you are I.

As verse succeeded verse the voices thrilled with an ever intenserexcitement. The sense of the Coming's imminence was like an electrictension in the air. The President switched off the music and, with thefinal note of the final stanza, there was absolute silence--the silenceof stretched expectancy, quivering and creeping with a galvanic life.The President reached out his hand; and suddenly a Voice, a deep strongVoice, more musical than any merely human voice, richer, warmer, morevibrant with love and yearning and compassion, a wonderful, mysterious,supernatural Voice spoke from above their heads. Very slowly, 'Oh, Ford,Ford, Ford,' it said diminishingly and on a descending scale. Asensation of warmth radiated thrillingly out from the solar plexus toevery extremity of the bodies of those who listened; tears came intotheir eyes; their hearts, their bowels seemed to move within them, asthough with an independent life. 'Ford!' they were melting, 'Ford!'dissolved, dissolved. Then, in another tone, suddenly, startlingly.'Listen!' trumpeted the Voice. 'Listen!' They listened. After a pause,sunk to a whisper, but a whisper, somehow, more penetrating than theloudest cry. 'The feet of the Greater Being,' it went on, and repeatedthe words: 'The feet of the Greater Being.' The whisper almost expired.'The feet of the Greater Being are on the stairs.' And once more therewas silence; and the expectancy, momentarily relaxed, was stretchedagain, tauter, tauter, almost to the tearing point. The feet of theGreater Being--oh, they heard them, they heard them, coming softly downthe stairs, coming nearer and nearer down the invisible stairs. The feetof the Greater Being. And suddenly the tearing point was reached. Hereyes staring, her lips parted, Morgana Rothschild sprang to her feet.

'I hear him,' she cried. 'I hear him.'

'He's coming,' shouted Sarojini Engels.

'Yes, he's coming, I hear him.' Fifi Bradlaugh and Tom Kawaguchi rosesimultaneously to their feet.

'Oh, oh, oh!' Joanna inarticulately testified.

'He's coming!' yelled Jim Bokanovsky.

The President leaned forward and, with a touch, released a delirium ofcymbals and blown brass, a fever of tom-tomming.

'Oh, he's coming!' screamed Clara Deterding. 'Aie!' and it was as thoughshe were having her throat cut.

Feeling that it was time for him to do something, Bernard also jumped upand shouted: 'I hear him; he's coming.' But it wasn't true. He heardnothing and, for him, nobody was coming. Nobody--in spite of the music,in spite of the mounting excitement. But he waved his arms, he shoutedwith the best of them; and when the others began to jig and stamp andshuffle, he also jigged and shuffled.

Round they went, a circular procession of dancers, each with hands onthe hips of the dancer preceding, round and round, shouting in unison,stamping to the rhythm of the music with their feet, beating it, beatingit out with hands on the buttocks in front; twelve pairs of handsbeating as one; as one, twelve buttocks slabbily resounding. Twelve asone, twelve as one. 'I hear him, I hear him coming.' The musicquickened; faster beat the feet, faster, faster fell the rhythmic hands.And all at once a great synthetic bass boomed out the words whichannounced the approaching atonement and final consummation ofsolidarity, the coming of the Twelve-in-One, the incarnation of theGreater Being. 'Orgy-porgy,' it sang, while the tom-toms continued tobeat their feverish tattoo:

Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,Kiss the girls and make them One.Boys at one with girls at peace;Orgy-porgy gives release.

'Orgy-porgy,' the dancers caught up the liturgical refrain, 'Orgy-porgy,Ford and fun, kiss the girls...' And as they sang, the lights beganslowly to fade--to fade and at the same time to grow warmer, richer,redder, until at last they were dancing in the crimson twilight of anEmbryo Store. 'Orgy-Porgy...' In their blood-coloured and foetaldarkness the dancers continued for a while to circulate, to beat andbeat out the indefatigable rhythm. 'Orgy-porgy...' Then the circlewavered, broke, fell in partial disintegration on the ring of coucheswhich surrounded--circle enclosing circle--the table and its planetarychairs. 'Orgy-porgy...' Tenderly the deep Voice crooned and cooed; inthe red twilight it was as though some enormous negro dove were hoveringbenevolently over the now prone or supine dancers.

****

They were standing on the roof; Big Henry had just sung eleven. Thenight was calm and warm.

'Wasn't it wonderful?' said Fifi Bradlaugh. 'Wasn't it simplywonderful?' She looked at Bernard with an expression of rapture, but ofrapture in which there was no trace of agitation or excitement--for tobe excited is still to be unsatisfied. Hers was the calm ecstasy ofachieved consummation, the peace, not of mere vacant satiety andnothingness, but of balanced life, of energies at rest and inequilibrium. A rich and living peace. For the Solidarity Service hadgiven as well as taken, drawn off only to replenish. She was full, shewas made perfect, she was still more than merely herself. 'Didn't youthink it was wonderful?' she insisted, looking into Bernard's face withthose supernaturally shining eyes.

'Yes, I thought it was wonderful,' he lied and looked away; the sight ofher transfigured face was at once an accusation and an ironical reminderof his own separateness. He was as miserably isolated now as he had beenwhen the service began--more isolated by reason of his unreplenishedemptiness, his dead satiety. Separate and unatoned, while the otherswere being fused into the Greater Being; alone even in Morgana'sembrace--much more alone, indeed, more hopelessly himself than he hadever been in his life before. He had emerged from that crimson twilightinto the common electric glare with a self-consciousness intensified tothe pitch of agony. He was utterly miserable, and perhaps (her shiningeyes accused him), perhaps it was his own fault. 'Quite wonderful,' herepeated; but the only thing he could think of was Morgana's eyebrow.

§ 1

Odd, odd, odd, was Lenina's verdict on Bernard Marx. So odd, indeed,that in the course of the succeeding weeks she had wondered more thanonce whether she shouldn't change her mind about the New Mexico holiday,and go instead to the North Pole with Benito Hoover. The trouble wasthat she knew the North Pole, had been there with George Edzel only lastsummer, and what was more, found it pretty grim. Nothing to do, and thehotel too hopelessly old-fashioned--no television laid on in thebedrooms, no scent organ, only the most putrid synthetic music, and notmore than twenty-five Escalator-Squash Courts for over two hundredguests. No, decidedly she couldn't face the North Pole again. Added towhich, she had only been to America once before. And even then, howinadequately! A cheap week-end in New York--had it been withJean-Jacques Habibullah or Bokanovsky Jones? She couldn't remember.Anyhow, it was of absolutely no importance. The prospect of flying Westagain, and for a whole week, was very inviting. Moreover, for at leastthree days of that week they would be in the Savage Reservation. Notmore than half a dozen people in the whole Centre had ever been inside aSavage Reservation. As an Alpha-Plus psychologist, Bernard was one ofthe few men she knew entitled to a permit. For Lenina, the opportunitywas unique. And yet, so unique also was Bernard's oddness, that she hadhesitated to take it, had actually thought of risking the Pole againwith funny old Benito. At least Benito was normal. Whereas Bernard...

'Alcohol in his blood-surrogate,' was Fanny's explanation of everyeccentricity. But Henry, with whom, one evening when they were in bedtogether, Lenina had rather anxiously discussed her new lover, Henry hadcompared poor Bernard to a rhinoceros.

'You can't teach a rhinoceros tricks,' he had explained in his brief andvigorous style. 'Some men are almost rhinoceroses; they don't respondproperly to conditioning. Poor devils! Bernard's one of them. Luckilyfor him, he's pretty good at his job. Otherwise the Director would neverhave kept him. 'However,' he added consolingly, 'I think he's prettyharmless.'

Pretty harmless, perhaps; but also pretty disquieting. That mania, tostart with, for doing things in private. Which meant, in practice, notdoing anything at all. For what was there that one could do inprivate. (Apart, of course, from going to bed: but one couldn't do thatall the time.) Yes, what was there? Precious little. The firstafternoon they went out together was particularly fine. Lenina hadsuggested a swim at the Torquay Country Club followed by dinner at theOxford Union. But Bernard thought there would be too much of a crowd.Then what about a round of Electro-magnetic Golf at St. Andrews? Butagain, no: Bernard considered that Electro-magnetic Golf was a waste oftime.

'Then what's time for?' asked Lenina in some astonishment.

Apparently, for going walks in the Lake District; for that was what henow proposed. Land on the top of Skiddaw and walk for a couple of hoursin the heather. 'Alone with you, Lenina.'

'But, Bernard, we shall be alone all night.'

Bernard blushed and looked away. 'I meant, alone for talking,' hemumbled.

'Talking? But what about?' Walking and talking--that seemed a very oddway of spending an afternoon.

In the end she persuaded him, much against his will, to fly over toAmsterdam to see the Semi-Demi-Finals of the Women's HeavyweightWrestling Championship.

'In a crowd,' he grumbled. 'As usual.' He remained obstinately gloomythe whole afternoon; wouldn't talk to Lenina's friends (of whom they metdozens in the ice-cream soma bar between the wrestling bouts); and inspite of his misery absolutely refused to take the half-gramme raspberrysundae which she pressed upon him. 'I'd rather be myself,' he said.'Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.'

'A gramme in time saves nine,' said Lenina, producing a bright treasureof sleep-taught wisdom.

Bernard pushed away the proffered glass impatiently.

'Now don't lose your temper,' she said. 'Remember, one cubic centimetrecures ten gloomy sentiments.'

'Oh, for Ford's sake, be quiet!' he shouted.

Lenina shrugged her shoulders. 'A gramme is always better than a damn,'she concluded with dignity, and drank the sundae herself.

On their way back across the Channel, Bernard insisted on stopping hispropeller and hovering on his helicopter screws within a hundred feet ofthe waves. The weather had taken a change for the worse; asouth-westerly wind had sprung up, the sky was cloudy.

'Look,' he commanded.

'But it's horrible,' said Lenina, shrinking back from the window. Shewas appalled by the rushing emptiness of the night, by the blackfoam-flecked water heaving beneath them, by the pale face of the moon,so haggard and distracted among the hastening clouds. 'Let's turn on theradio. Quick!' She reached for the dialling knob on the dash-board andturned it at random.

'...skies are blue inside of you,' sang sixteen tremoloing falsettos,'the weather's always...'

Then a hiccough and silence. Bernard had switched off the current.

'I want to look at the sea in peace,' he said. 'One can't even look withthat beastly noise going on.'

'But it's lovely. And I don't want to look.'

'But I do,' he insisted. 'It makes me feel as though...' hehesitated, searching for words with which to express himself, 'as thoughI were more me, if you see what I mean. More on my own, not socompletely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body.Doesn't it make you feel like that, Lenina?'

But Lenina was crying. 'It's horrible, it's horrible,' she keptrepeating. 'And how can you talk like that about not wanting to be apart of the social body? After all, every one works for every one else.We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons...'

'Yes, I know,' said Bernard derisively. '"Even Epsilons are useful"! Soam I. And I damned well wish I weren't!'

Lenina was shocked by his blasphemy. 'Bernard!' she protested in a voiceof amazed distress. 'How can you?'

In a different key, 'How can I?' he repeated meditatively. 'No, the realproblem is: How is it that I can't, or rather--because, after all, Iknow quite well why I can't--what would it be like if I could, if I werefree--not enslaved by my conditioning.'

'But, Bernard, you're saying the most awful things.'

'Don't you wish you were free, Lenina?'

'I don't know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderfultime. Everybody's happy nowadays.'

He laughed, 'Yes, "Everybody's happy nowadays." We begin giving thechildren that at five. But wouldn't you like to be free to be happy insome other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybodyelse's way.'

'I don't know what you mean,' she repeated. Then, turning to him, 'Oh,do let's go back, Bernard,' she besought; 'I do so hate it here.'

'Don't you like being with me?'

'But of course, Bernard! It's this horrible place.'

'I thought we'd be more... more together here--with nothing but thesea and moon. More together than in that crowd, or even in my rooms.Don't you understand that?'

'I don't understand anything,' she said with decision, determined topreserve her incomprehension intact. 'Nothing. Least of all,' shecontinued in another tone, 'why you don't take soma when you havethese dreadful ideas of yours. You'd forget all about them. And insteadof feeling miserable, you'd be jolly. So jolly,' she repeated andsmiled, for all the puzzled anxiety in her eyes, with what was meant tobe an inviting and voluptuous cajolery.

He looked at her in silence, his face unresponsive and verygrave--looked at her intently. After a few seconds Lenina's eyesflinched away; she uttered a nervous little laugh, tried to think ofsomething to say and couldn't. The silence prolonged itself.

When Bernard spoke at last, it was in a small tired voice. 'All rightthen,' he said, 'we'll go back.' And stepping hard on the accelerator,he sent the machine rocketing up into the sky. At four thousand hestarted his propeller. They flew in silence for a minute or two. Then,suddenly, Bernard began to laugh. Rather oddly, Lenina thought; butstill, it was laughter.

'Feeling better?' she ventured to ask.

For answer, he lifted one hand from the controls and, slipping his armround her, began to fondle her breasts.

'Thank Ford,' she said to herself, 'he's all right again.'

Half an hour later they were back in his rooms. Bernard swallowed fourtablets of soma at a gulp, turned on the radio and television andbegan to undress.

'Well,' Lenina enquired, with significant archness when they met nextafternoon on the roof, 'did you think it was fun yesterday?'

Bernard nodded. They climbed into the plane. A little jolt, and theywere off.

'Every one says I'm awfully pneumatic,' said Lenina reflectively,patting her own legs.

'Awfully.' But there was an expression of pain in Bernard's eyes. 'Likemeat,' he was thinking.

She looked up with a certain anxiety. 'But you don't think I'm tooplump, do you?'

He shook his head. Like so much meat.

'You think I'm all right.' Another nod. 'In every way?'

'Perfect,' he said aloud. And inwardly, 'She thinks of herself that way.She doesn't mind being meat.'

Lenina smiled triumphantly. But her satisfaction was premature.

'All the same,' he went on, after a little pause, 'I still rather wishit had all ended differently.'

'Differently?' Were there other endings?

'I didn't want it to end with our going to bed,' he specified.

Lenina was astonished.

'Not at once, not the first day.'

'But then what...?'

He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense.Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind; but every now and thena phrase would insist on becoming audible. '...to try the effect ofarresting my impulses,' she heard him say. The words seemed to touch aspring in her mind.

'Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day,' she saidgravely.

'Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and ahalf,' was all his comment. The mad bad talk rambled on. 'I want to knowwhat passion is,' she heard him saying. 'I want to feel somethingstrongly.'

'When the individual feels, the community reels,' Lenina pronounced.

'Well, why shouldn't it reel a bit?'

'Bernard!'

But Bernard remained unabashed.

'Adults intellectually and during working hours,' he went on. 'Infantswhere feeling and desire are concerned.'

'Our Ford loved infants.'

Ignoring the interruption, 'It suddenly struck me the other day,'continued Bernard, 'that it might be possible to be an adult all thetime.'

'I don't understand.' Lenina's tone was firm.

'I know you don't. And that's why we went to bed togetheryesterday--like infants--instead of being adults and waiting.'

'But it was fun,' Lenina insisted. 'Wasn't it?'

'Oh, the greatest fun,' he answered, but in a voice so mournful, with anexpression so profoundly miserable, that Lenina felt all her triumphsuddenly evaporate. Perhaps he had found her too plump, after all.

'I told you so,' was all that Fanny said, when Lenina came and made herconfidences. 'It's the alcohol they put in his surrogate.'

'All the same,' Lenina insisted. 'I do like him. He has such awfullynice hands. And the way he moves his shoulders--that's very attractive.'She sighed. 'But I wish he weren't so odd.'

§ 2

Halting for a moment outside the door of the Director's room, Bernarddrew a deep breath and squared his shoulders, bracing himself to meetthe dislike and disapproval which he was certain of finding within. Heknocked and entered.

'A permit for you to initial, Director,' he said as airily as possible,and laid the paper on the writing-table.

The Director glanced at him sourly. But the stamp of the WorldController's Office was at the head of the paper and the signature ofMustapha Mond, bold and black, across the bottom. Everything wasperfectly in order. The Director had no choice. He pencilled hisinitials--two small pale letters abject at the feet of MustaphaMond----and was about to return the paper without a word of comment orgenial Ford-speed, when his eye was caught by something written in thebody of the permit.

'For the New Mexican Reservation?' he said, and his tone, the face helifted to Bernard, expressed a kind of agitated astonishment.

Surprised by his surprise, Bernard nodded. There was a silence.

The Director leaned back in his chair, frowning. 'How long ago was it?'he said, speaking more to himself than to Bernard. 'Twenty years, Isuppose. Nearer twenty-five. I must have been your age...' He sighedand shook his head.

Bernard felt extremely uncomfortable. A man so conventional, soscrupulously correct as the Director--and to commit so gross a solecism!It made him want to hide his face, to run out of the room. Not that hehimself saw anything intrinsically objectionable in people talking aboutthe remote past; that was one of those hypnopædic prejudices he had (sohe imagined) completely got rid of. What made him feel shy was theknowledge that the Director disapproved--disapproved and yet had beenbetrayed into doing the forbidden thing. Under what inward compulsion?Through his discomfort Bernard eagerly listened.

'I had the same idea as you,' the Director was saying. 'Wanted to have alook at the savages. Got a permit for New Mexico and went there for mysummer holiday. With the girl I was having at the moment. She was aBeta-Minus, and I think' (he shut his eyes). 'I think she had yellowhair. Anyhow, she was pneumatic, particularly pneumatic; I rememberthat. Well, we went there, and we looked at the savages, and we rodeabout on horses and all that. And then--it was almost the last day of myleave--then... well, she got lost. We'd gone riding up one of thoserevolting mountains, and it was horribly hot and oppressive, and afterlunch we went to sleep. Or at least I did. She must have gone for awalk, alone. At any rate, when I woke up, she wasn't there. And the mostfrightful thunderstorm I've ever seen was just bursting on us. And itpoured and roared and flashed; and the horses broke loose and ran away;and I fell down, trying to catch them, and hurt my knee, so that I couldhardly walk. Still, I searched and I shouted and I searched. But therewas no sign of her. Then I thought she must have gone back to therest-house by herself. So I crawled down into the valley by the way wehad come. My knee was agonizingly painful, and I'd lost my soma. Ittook me hours. I didn't get back to the rest-house till after midnight.And she wasn't there; she wasn't there,' the Director repeated. Therewas a silence. 'Well,' he resumed at last, 'the next day there was asearch. But we couldn't find her. She must have fallen into a gulleysomewhere; or been eaten by a mountain lion. Ford knows. Anyhow it washorrible. It upset me very much at the time. More than it ought to havedone, I dare say. Because, after all, it's the sort of accident thatmight have happened to any one; and, of course, the social body persistsalthough the component cells may change.' But this sleep-taughtconsolation did not seem to be very effective. Shaking his head, 'Iactually dream about it sometimes,' the Director went on in a low voice.'Dream of being woken up by that peal of thunder and finding her gone;dream of searching and searching for her under the trees.' He lapsedinto the silence of reminiscence.

'You must have had a terrible shock,' said Bernard, almost enviously.

At the sound of his voice the Director started into a guilty realizationof where he was; shot a glance at Bernard, and averting his eyes,blushed darkly; looked at him again with sudden suspicion and, angrilyon his dignity, 'Don't imagine,' he said, 'that I'd had any indecorousrelation with the girl. Nothing emotional, nothing long-drawn. It wasall perfectly healthy and normal.' He handed Bernard the permit. 'Ireally don't know why I bored you with this trivial anecdote.' Furiouswith himself for having given away a discreditable secret, he vented hisrage on Bernard. The look in his eyes was now frankly malignant. 'And Ishould like to take this opportunity, Mr. Marx,' he went on, 'of sayingthat I'm not at all pleased with the reports I receive of your behaviouroutside working hours. You may say that this is not my business. But itis. I have the good name of the Centre to think of. My workers must beabove suspicion, particularly those of the highest castes. Alphas are soconditioned that they do not have to be infantile in their emotionalbehaviour. But that is all the more reason for their making a specialeffort to conform. It is their duty to be infantile, even against theirinclination. And so, Mr. Marx, I give you fair warning.' The Director'svoice vibrated with an indignation that had now become wholly righteousand impersonal--was the expression of the disapproval of Society itself.'If ever I hear again of any lapse from a proper standard of infantiledecorum, I shall ask for your transference to a Sub-Centre--preferablyto Iceland. Good morning.' And swivelling round in his chair, he pickedup his pen and began to write.

'That'll teach him,' he said to himself. But he was mistaken. ForBernard left the room with a swagger, exulting, as he banged the doorbehind him, in the thought that he stood alone, embattled against theorder of things; elated by the intoxicating consciousness of hisindividual significance and importance. Even the thought of persecutionleft him undismayed, was rather tonic than depressing. He felt strongenough to meet and overcome affliction, strong enough to face evenIceland. And this confidence was the greater for his not for a momentreally believing that he would be called upon to face anything at all.People simply weren't transferred for things like that. Iceland was justa threat. A most stimulating and life-giving threat. Walking along thecorridor, he actually whistled.

Heroic was the account he gave that evening of his interview with theD.H.C. 'Whereupon,' it concluded, 'I simply told him to go to theBottomless Past and marched out of the room. And that was that.' Helooked at Helmholtz Watson expectantly, awaiting his due reward ofsympathy, encouragement, admiration. But no word came. Helmholtz satsilent, staring at the floor.

He liked Bernard; he was grateful to him for being the only man of hisacquaintance with whom he could talk about the subjects he felt to beimportant. Nevertheless, there were things in Bernard which he hated.This boasting, for example. And the outbursts of an abject self-pitywith which it alternated. And his deplorable habit of being bold afterthe event, and full, in absence, of the most extraordinary presence ofmind. He hated these things--just because he liked Bernard. The secondspassed. Helmholtz continued to stare at the floor. And suddenly Bernardblushed and turned away.

§ 3

The journey was quite uneventful. The Blue Pacific Rocket was two and ahalf minutes early at New Orleans, lost four minutes in a tornado overTexas, but flew into a favourable air current at Longitude 95 West, andwas able to land at Santa Fé less than forty seconds behind scheduletime.

'Forty seconds on a six and a half hour flight. Not so bad,' Leninaconceded.

They slept that night at Santa Fé. The hotel was excellent--incomparablybetter, for example, than that horrible Aurora Bora Palace in whichLenina had suffered so much the previous summer. Liquid air, television,vibro-vacuum massage, radio, boiling caffeine solution, hotcontraceptives, and eight different kinds of scent were laid on in everybedroom. The synthetic music plant was working as they entered the halland left nothing to be desired. A notice in the lift announced thatthere were sixty Escalator-Squash-Racquet Courts in the hotel, and thatObstacle and Electro-magnetic Golf could both be played in the park.

'But it sounds simply too lovely,' cried Lenina. I almost wish we couldstay here. Sixty Escalator-Squash Courts...'

'There won't be any in the Reservation,' Bernard warned her. 'And noscent, no television, no hot water, even. If you feel you can't standit, stay here till I come back.'

Lenina was quite offended. 'Of course I can stand it. I only said it waslovely here because... well, because progress is lovely, isn't it?'

'Five hundred repetitions once a week from thirteen to seventeen,' saidBernard wearily, as though to himself.

'What did you say?'

'I said that progress was lovely. That's why you mustn't come to theReservation unless you really want to.'

'But I do want to.'

'Very well, then,' said Bernard; and it was almost a threat.

Their permit required the signature of the Warden of the Reservation, atwhose office next morning they duly presented themselves. AnEpsilon-Plus negro porter took in Bernard's card, and they were admittedalmost immediately.

The Warden was a blond and brachycephalic Alpha-Minus, short, red,moon-faced, and broad-shouldered, with a loud booming voice, very welladapted to the utterance of hypnopædic wisdom. He was a mine ofirrelevant information and unasked-for good advice. Once started, hewent on and on--boomingly.

'...five hundred and sixty thousand square kilometres, divided intofour distinct Sub-Reservations, each surrounded by a high-tension wirefence.'

At this moment, and for no apparent reason, Bernard suddenly rememberedthat he had left the eau-de-Cologne tap in his bathroom wide open andrunning.

'...supplied with current from the Grand Canyon hydro-electricstation.'

'Cost me a fortune by the time I get back.' With his mind's eye, Bernardsaw the needle on the scent meter creeping round and round, ant-like,indefatigably. 'Quickly telephone to Helmholtz Watson.'

'...upwards of five thousand kilometres of fencing at sixty thousandvolts.'

'You don't say so,' said Lenina politely, not knowing in the least whatthe Warden had said, but taking her cue from his dramatic pause. Whenthe Warden started booming, she had inconspicuously swallowed half agramme of soma, with the result that she could now sit, serenely notlistening, thinking of nothing at all, but with her large blue eyesfixed on the Warden's face in an expression of rapt attention.

'To touch the fence is instant death,' pronounced the Warden solemnly.'There is no escape from a Savage Reservation.'

The word 'escape' was suggestive. 'Perhaps,' said Bernard, half rising,'we ought to think of going.' The little black needle was scurrying, aninsect, nibbling through time, eating into his money.

'No escape,' repeated the Warden, waving him back into his chair; and asthe permit was not yet countersigned, Bernard had no choice but to obey.'Those who are born in the Reservation--and remember, my dear younglady,' he added, leering obscenely at Lenina, and speaking in animproper whisper, 'remember that, in the Reservation, children stillare born, yes, actually born, revolting as that may seem...' (Hehoped that this reference to a shameful subject would make Lenina blush;but she only smiled with simulated intelligence and said, 'You don't sayso!' Disappointed, the Warden began again.) 'Those, I repeat, who areborn in the Reservation are destined to die there.'

Destined to die... A decilitre of eau-de-Cologne every minute. Sixlitres an hour. 'Perhaps,' Bernard tried again, 'we ought...'

Leaning forward, the Director tapped the table with his forefinger. 'Youask me how many people live in the Reservation. And Ireply'--triumphantly--'I reply that we do not know. We can only guess.'

'You don't say so.'

'My dear young lady, I do say so.'

Six times twenty-four--no, it would be nearer six times thirty-six.Bernard was pale and trembling with impatience. But inexorably thebooming continued.

'...about sixty thousand Indians and half-breeds... absolutesavages... our inspectors occasionally visit... otherwise, nocommunication whatever with the civilized world... still preservetheir repulsive habits and customs... marriage, if you know what thatis, my dear young lady; families... no conditioning... monstroussuperstitions... Christianity and totemism and ancestor worship...extinct languages, such as Zuñi and Spanish and Athapascan... pumas,porcupines and other ferocious animals... infectious diseases...priests... venomous lizards...'

'You don't say so?'

They got away at last. Bernard dashed to the telephone. Quick, quick;but it took him nearly three minutes to get on to Helmholtz Watson. 'Wemight be among the savages already,' he complained. 'Damnedincompetence!'

'Have a gramme,' suggested Lenina.

He refused, preferring his anger. And at last, thank Ford, he wasthrough and, yes, it was Helmholtz; Helmholtz, to whom he explained whathad happened, and who promised to go round at once, at once, and turnoff the tap, yes, at once, but took this opportunity to tell him whatthe D.H.C. had said, in public, yesterday evening...

'What? He's looking out for some one to take my place?' Bernard's voicewas agonized. 'So it's actually decided? Did he mention Iceland? You sayhe did? Ford! Iceland...' He hung up the receiver and turned back toLenina. His face was pale, his expression utterly dejected.

'What's the matter?' she asked.

'The matter?' He dropped heavily into a chair. 'I'm going to be sent toIceland.'

Often in the past he had wondered what it would be like to be subjected(soma-less and with nothing but his own inward resources to rely on)to some great trial, some pain, some persecution; he had even longed foraffliction. As recently as a week ago, in the Director's office, he hadimagined himself courageously resisting, stoically accepting sufferingwithout a word. The Director's threats had actually elated him, made himfeel larger than life. But that, as he now realized, was because he hadnot taken the threats quite seriously; he had not believed that, when itcame to the point, the D.H.C. would ever do anything. Now that it lookedas though the threats were really to be fulfilled, Bernard was appalled.Of that imagined stoicism, that theoretical courage, not a trace wasleft.

He raged against himself--what a fool!--against the Director--howunfair not to give him that other chance, that other chance which,he now had no doubt at all, he had always intended to take. AndIceland, Iceland...

Lenina shook her head. 'Was and will make me ill,' she quoted, 'I take agramme and only am.'

In the end she persuaded him to swallow four tablets of soma. Fiveminutes later roots and fruits were abolished; the flower of the presentrosily blossomed. A message from the porter announced that, at theWarden's orders, a Reservation Guard had come round with a plane and waswaiting on the roof of the hotel. They went up at once. An octoroon inGamma-green uniform saluted and proceeded to recite the morning'sprogramme.

A bird's-eye view of ten or a dozen of the principal pueblos, then alanding for lunch in the valley of Malpais. The rest-house wascomfortable there, and up at the pueblo the savages would probably becelebrating their summer festival. It would be the best place to spendthe night.

They took their seats in the plane and set off. Ten minutes later theywere crossing the frontier that separated civilization from savagery.Uphill and down, across the deserts of salt or sand, through forests,into the violet depth of canyons, over crag and peak and table-toppedmesa, the fence marched on and on, irresistibly the straight line, thegeometrical symbol of triumphant human purpose. And at its foot, hereand there, a mosaic of white bones, a still unrotted carcase dark on thetawny ground marked the place where deer or steer, puma or porcupine orcoyote, or the greedy turkey buzzards drawn down by the whiff of carrionand fulminated as though by a poetic justice, had come too close to thedestroying wires.

'They never learn,' said the green-uniformed pilot, pointing down at theskeletons on the ground below them. 'And they never will learn,' headded and laughed, as though he had somehow scored a personal triumphover the electrocuted animals.

Bernard also laughed; after two grammes of soma the joke seemed, forsome reason, good. Laughed and then, almost immediately, dropped off tosleep and, sleeping, was carried over Taos and Tesuque; over Nambe andPicuris and Pojoaque, over Sia and Cochiti, over Laguna and Acoma andthe Enchanted Mesa, over Zuñi and Cibola and Ojo Caliente, and woke atlast to find the machine standing on the ground, Lenina carrying thesuit-cases into a small square house, and the Gamma-green octoroontalking incomprehensibly with a young Indian.

'Malpais,' explained the pilot, as Bernard stepped out. 'This is therest-house. And there's a dance this afternoon at the pueblo. He'll takeyou there.' He pointed to the sullen young savage. 'Funny, I expect.' Hegrinned. 'Everything they do is funny.' And with that he climbed intothe plane and started up the engines. 'Back to-morrow. And remember,' headded reassuringly to Lenina, 'they're perfectly tame; savages won't doyou any harm. They've got enough experience of gas bombs to know thatthey mustn't play any tricks.' Still laughing, he threw the helicopterscrews into gear, accelerated, and was gone.

The mesa was like a ship becalmed in a strait of lion-coloured dust. Thechannel wound between precipitous banks, and slanting from one wall tothe other across the valley ran a streak of green--the river and itsfields. On the prow of that stone ship in the centre of the strait, andseemingly a part of it, a shaped and geometrical outcrop of the nakedrock, stood the pueblo of Malpais. Block above block, each story smallerthan the one below, the tall houses rose like stepped and amputatedpyramids into the blue sky. At their feet lay a straggle of lowbuildings, a criss-cross of walls; and on three sides the precipicesfell sheer into the plain. A few columns of smoke mountedperpendicularly into the windless air and were lost.

'Queer,' said Lenina. 'Very queer.' It was her ordinary word ofcondemnation. 'I don't like it. And I don't like that man.' She pointedto the Indian guide who had been appointed to take them up to thepueblo. Her feeling was evidently reciprocated; the very back of theman, as he walked along before them, was hostile, sullenly contemptuous.

'Besides,' she lowered her voice, 'he smells.'

Bernard did not attempt to deny it. They walked on.

Suddenly it was as though the whole air had come alive and were pulsing,pulsing with the indefatigable movement of blood. Up there, in Malpais,the drums were being beaten. Their feet fell in with the rhythm of thatmysterious heart; they quickened their pace. Their path led them to thefoot of the precipice. The sides of the great mesa ship towered overthem, three hundred feet to the gunwale.

'I wish we could have brought the plane,' said Lenina, looking upresentfully at the blank impending rock-face. 'I hate walking. And youfeel so small when you're on the ground at the bottom of a hill.'

They walked along for some way in the shadow of the mesa, rounded aprojection, and there, in a water-worn ravine, was the way up thecompanion ladder. They climbed. It was a very steep path that zigzaggedfrom side to side of the gulley. Sometimes the pulsing of the drums wasall but inaudible, at others they seemed to be beating only just roundthe corner.

When they were half-way up, an eagle flew past so close to them that thewind of his wings blew chill on their faces. In a crevice of the rocklay a pile of bones. It was all oppressively queer, and the Indian smeltstronger and stronger. They emerged at last from the ravine into thefull sunlight. The top of the mesa was a flat deck of stone.

'Like the Charing-T Tower,' was Lenina's comment. But she was notallowed to enjoy her discovery of this reassuring resemblance for long.A padding of soft feet made them turn round. Naked from throat to navel,their dark-brown bodies painted with white lines ('like asphalt tenniscourts,' Lenina was later to explain), their faces inhuman with daubingsof scarlet, black and ochre, two Indians came running along the path.Their black hair was braided with fox fur and red flannel. Cloaks ofturkey feathers fluttered from their shoulders; huge feather diademsexploded gaudily round their heads. With every step they took came theclink and rattle of their silver bracelets, their heavy necklaces ofbone and turquoise beads. They came on without a word, running quietlyin their deerskin moccasins. One of them was holding a feather brush;the other carried, in either hand, what looked at a distance like threeor four pieces of thick rope. One of the ropes writhed uneasily, andsuddenly Lenina saw that they were snakes.

The men came nearer and nearer; their dark eyes looked at her, butwithout giving any sign of recognition, any smallest sign that they hadseen her or were aware of her existence. The writhing snake hung limpagain with the rest. The men passed.

'I don't like it,' said Lenina. 'I don't like it.'

She liked even less what awaited her at the entrance to the pueblo,where their guide had left them while he went inside for instructions.The dirt, to start with, the piles of rubbish, the dust, the dogs, theflies. Her face wrinkled up into a grimace of disgust. She held herhandkerchief to her nose.

'But how can they live like this?' she broke out in a voice of indignantincredulity. (It wasn't possible.)

Bernard shrugged his shoulders philosophically. 'Anyhow,' he said,'they've been doing it for the last five or six thousand years. So Isuppose they must be used to it by now.'

'But cleanliness is next to fordliness,' she insisted.

'Yes, and civilization is sterilization,' Bernard went on, concluding ona tone of irony the second hypnopædic lesson in elementary hygiene. 'Butthese people have never heard of Our Ford, and they aren't civilized. Sothere's no point in...'

'Oh!' She gripped his arm. 'Look.'

An almost naked Indian was very slowly climbing down the ladder from thefirst-floor terrace of a neighbouring house--rung after rung, with thetremulous caution of extreme old age. His face was profoundly wrinkledand black, like a mask of obsidian. The toothless mouth had fallen in.At the corners of the lips, and on each side of the chin a few longbristles gleamed almost white against the dark skin. The long unbraidedhair hung down in grey wisps round his face. His body was bent andemaciated to the bone, almost fleshless. Very slowly he came down,pausing at each rung before he ventured another step.

'What's the matter with him?' whispered Lenina. Her eyes were wide withhorror and amazement.

'He's old, that's all,' Bernard answered as carelessly as he could. Hetoo was startled; but he made an effort to seem unmoved.

'Old?' she repeated. 'But the Director's old; lots of people are old;they're not like that.'

'That's because we don't allow them to be like that. We preserve themfrom diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balancedat a youthful equilibrium. We don't permit their magnesium-calcium ratioto fall below what it was at thirty. We give them transfusions of youngblood. We keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. So, of course,they don't look like that. Partly,' he added, 'because most of them dielong before they reach this old creature's age. Youth almost unimpairedtill sixty, and then, crack! the end.'

But Lenina was not listening. She was watching the old man. Slowly,slowly he came down. His feet touched the ground. He turned. In theirdeep-sunken orbits his eyes were still extraordinarily bright. Theylooked at her for a long moment expressionlessly, without surprise, asthough she had not been there at all. Then slowly, with bent back, theold man hobbled past them and was gone.

'But it's terrible,' Lenina whispered. 'It's awful. We ought not to havecome here.' She felt in her pocket for her soma--only to discoverthat, by some unprecedented oversight, she had left the bottle down atthe rest-house. Bernard's pockets were also empty.

Lenina was left to face the horrors of Malpais unaided. They camecrowding in on her thick and fast. The spectacle of two young womengiving the breast to their babies made her blush and turn away her face.She had never seen anything so indecent in her life. And what made itworse was that, instead of tactfully ignoring it, Bernard proceeded tomake open comments on this revoltingly viviparous scene. Ashamed, nowthat the effects of the soma had worn off, of the weakness he haddisplayed that morning in the hotel, he went out of his way to showhimself strong and unorthodox.

'What a wonderfully intimate relationship,' he said, deliberatelyoutrageous. 'And what an intensity of feeling it must generate! I oftenthink one may have missed something in not having had a mother. Andperhaps you've missed something in not being a mother, Lenina. Imagineyourself sitting there with a little baby of your own....'

'Bernard! How can you?' The passage of an old woman with ophthalmia anda disease of the skin distracted her from her indignation.

'Let's go away,' she begged. 'I don't like it.'

But at this moment their guide came back and, beckoning to them tofollow, led the way down the narrow street between the houses. Theyrounded a corner. A dead dog was lying on a rubbish heap; a woman with agoitre was looking for lice in the hair of a small girl. Their guidehalted at the foot of a ladder, raised his hand perpendicularly, thendarted it horizontally forward. They did what he mutelycommanded--climbed the ladder and walked through the doorway, to whichit gave access, into a long narrow room, rather dark and smelling ofsmoke and cooked grease and long-worn, long-unwashed clothes. At thefurther end of the room was another doorway, through which came a shaftof sunlight and the noise, very loud and close, of the drums.

They stepped across the threshold and found themselves on a wideterrace. Below them, shut in by the tall houses, was the village square,crowded with Indians. Bright blankets, and feathers in black hair, andthe glint of turquoise, and dark skins shining with heat. Lenina put herhandkerchief to her nose again. In the open space at the centre of thesquare were two circular platforms of masonry and trampled clay--theroofs, it was evident, of underground chambers; for in the centre ofeach platform was an open hatchway, with a ladder emerging from thelower darkness. A sound of subterranean flute-playing came up and wasalmost lost in the steady remorseless persistence of the drums.

Lenina liked the drums. Shutting her eyes she abandoned herself to theirsoft repeated thunder, allowed it to invade her consciousness more andmore completely, till at last there was nothing left in the world butthat one deep pulse of sound. It reminded her reassuringly of thesynthetic noises made at Solidarity Services and Ford's Daycelebrations. 'Orgy-porgy,' she whispered to herself. These drums beatout just the same rhythms.

There was a sudden startling burst of singing--hundreds of male voicescrying out fiercely in harsh metallic unison. A few long notes andsilence, the thunderous silence of the drums; then shrill, in a neighingtreble, the women's answer. Then again the drums; and once more themen's deep savage affirmation of their manhood.

Queer--yes. The place was queer, so was the music, so were the clothesand the goitres and the skin diseases and the old people. But theperformance itself--there seemed to be nothing specially queer aboutthat.

'It reminds me of a lower-caste Community Sing,' she told Bernard.

But a little later it was reminding her a good deal less of thatinnocuous function. For suddenly there had swarmed up from those roundchambers underground a ghastly troop of monsters. Hideously masked orpainted out of all semblance of humanity, they had tramped out a strangelimping dance round the square; round and again round, singing as theywent, round and round--each time a little faster; and the drums hadchanged and quickened their rhythm, so that it became like the pulsingof fever in the ears; and the crowd had begun to sing with the dancers,louder and louder; and first one woman had shrieked, and then anotherand another, as though they were being killed; and then suddenly theleader of the dancers broke out of the line, ran to a big wooden chestwhich was standing at one end of the square, raised the lid and pulledout a pair of black snakes. A great yell went up from the crowd, and allthe other dancers ran towards him with outstretched hands. He tossed thesnakes to the first-comers, then dipped back into the chest for more.More and more, black snakes and brown and mottled--he flung them out.And then the dance began again on a different rhythm. Round and roundthey went with their snakes, snakily, with a soft undulating movement atthe knees and hips. Round and round. Then the leader gave a signal, andone after another, all the snakes were flung down in the middle of thesquare; an old man came up from underground and sprinkled them with cornmeal, and from the other hatchway came a woman and sprinkled them withwater from a black jar. Then the old man lifted his hand and,startlingly, terrifyingly, there was absolute silence. The drums stoppedbeating, life seemed to have come to an end. The old man pointed towardsthe two hatchways that gave entrance to the lower world. And slowly,raised by invisible hands from below, there emerged from the one apainted image of an eagle, from the other that of a man, naked, andnailed to a cross. They hung there, seemingly self-sustained, as thoughwatching. The old man clapped his hands. Naked but for a white cottonbreech-cloth, a boy of about eighteen stepped out of the crowd and stoodbefore him, his hands crossed over his chest, his head bowed. The oldman made the sign of the cross over him and turned away. Slowly, the boybegan to walk round the writhing heap of snakes. He had completed thefirst circuit and was half-way through the second when, from among thedancers, a tall man wearing the mask of a coyote and holding in his handa whip of plaited leather, advanced towards him. The boy moved on asthough unaware of the other's existence. The coyote-man raised his whip;there was a long moment of expectancy, then a swift movement, thewhistle of the lash and its loud flat-sounding impact on the flesh. Theboy's body quivered; but he made no sound, he walked on at the sameslow, steady pace. The coyote struck again, again; and at every blow atfirst a gasp and then a deep groan went up from the crowd. The boywalked on. Twice, thrice, four times round he went. The blood wasstreaming. Five times round, six times round. Suddenly Lenina coveredher face with her hands and began to sob. 'Oh, stop them, stop them!'she implored. But the whip fell and fell inexorably. Seven times round.Then all at once the boy staggered and, still without a sound, pitchedforward on to his face. Bending over him, the old man touched his backwith a long white feather, held it up for a moment, crimson, for thepeople to see, then shook it thrice over the snakes. A few drops fell,and suddenly the drums broke out again into a panic of hurrying notes;there was a great shout. The dancers rushed forward, picked up thesnakes and ran out of the square. Men, women, children, all the crowdran after them. A minute later the square was empty, only the boyremained, prone where he had fallen, quite still. Three old women cameout of one of the houses, and with some difficulty lifted him andcarried him in. The eagle and the man on the cross kept guard for alittle while over the empty pueblo; then, as though they had seenenough, sank slowly down through their hatchways, out of sight, into thenether world.

Lenina was still sobbing. 'Too awful,' she kept repeating, and allBernard's consolations were in vain. 'Too awful! That blood!' Sheshuddered. 'Oh, I wish I had my soma.'

There was the sound of feet in the inner room.

Lenina did not move, but sat with her face in her hands, unseeing,apart. Only Bernard turned round.

The dress of the young man who now stepped out on to the terrace wasIndian; but his plaited hair was straw-coloured, his eyes a pale blue,and his skin a white skin, bronzed.

'Hullo. Good-morrow,' said the stranger, in faultless but peculiarEnglish. 'You're civilized, aren't you? You come from the Other Place,outside the Reservation?'

'Who on earth...?' Bernard began in astonishment.

The young man sighed and shook his head. 'A most unhappy gentleman.'And, pointing to the bloodstains in the centre of the square, 'Do yousee that damned spot?' he asked in a voice that trembled with emotion.

'A gramme is better than a damn,' said Lenina mechanically from behindher hands. 'I wish I had my soma!'

'I ought to have been there.' The young man went on. 'Why wouldn'tthey let me be the sacrifice? I'd have gone round ten times--twelve,fifteen. Palowhtiwa only got as far as seven. They could have had twiceas much blood from me. The multitudinous seas incarnadine.' He flung outhis arms in a lavish gesture; then, despairingly, let them fall again.'But they wouldn't let me. They disliked me for my complexion. It'salways been like that. Always.' Tears stood in the young man's eyes; hewas ashamed and turned away.

Astonishment made Lenina forget the deprivation of soma. She uncoveredher face and, for the first time, looked at the stranger. 'Do you meanto say that you wanted to be hit with that whip?'

Still averted from her, the young man made a sign of affirmation. 'Forthe sake of the pueblo--to make the rain come and the corn grow. And toplease Pookong and Jesus. And then to show that I can bear pain withoutcrying out. Yes,' and his voice suddenly took on a new resonance, heturned with a proud squaring of the shoulders, a proud, defiant liftingof the chin, 'to show that I'm a man... Oh!' He gave a gasp and wassilent, gaping. He had seen, for the first time in his life, the face ofa girl whose cheeks were not the colour of chocolate or dogskin, whosehair was auburn and permanently waved, and whose expression (amazingnovelty!) was one of benevolent interest. Lenina was smiling at him;such a nice-looking boy, she was thinking, and a really beautiful body.The blood rushed up into the young man's face; he dropped his eyes,raised them again for a moment only to find her still smiling at him,and was so much overcome that he had to turn away and pretend to belooking very hard at something on the other side of the square.

Bernard's questions made a diversion. Who? How? When? From where?Keeping his eyes fixed on Bernard's face (for so passionately did helong to see Lenina smiling that he simply dared not look at her), theyoung man tried to explain himself. Linda and he--Linda was his mother(the word made Lenina look uncomfortable)--were strangers in theReservation. Linda had come from the Other Place long ago, before he wasborn, with a man who was his father. (Bernard pricked up his ears.) Shehad gone walking alone in those mountains over there to the North, hadfallen down a steep place and hurt her head. ('Go on, go on,' saidBernard excitedly.) Some hunters from Malpais had found her and broughther to the pueblo. As for the man who was his father, Linda had neverseen him again. His name was Tomakin. (Yes, 'Thomas' was the D.H.C.'sfirst name.) He must have flown away, back to the Other Place, awaywithout her--a bad, unkind, unnatural man.

'And so I was born in Malpais,' he concluded. 'In Malpais.' And he shookhis head.

****

The squalor of that little house on the outskirts of the pueblo!

A space of dust and rubbish separated it from the village. Twofamine-stricken dogs were nosing obscenely in the garbage at its door.Inside, when they entered, the twilight stank and was loud with flies.

'Linda!' the young man called.

From the inner room a rather hoarse female voice said, 'Coming.'

They waited. In bowls on the floor were the remains of a meal, perhapsof several meals.

The door opened. A very stout blonde squaw stepped across the thresholdand stood looking at the strangers, staring incredulously, her mouthopen. Lenina noticed with disgust that two of the front teeth weremissing. And the colour of the ones that remained... She shuddered.It was worse than the old man. So fat. And all the lines in her face,the flabbiness, the wrinkles. And the sagging cheeks, with thosepurplish blotches. And the red veins on her nose, the bloodshot eyes.And that neck--that neck; and the blanket she wore over her head--raggedand filthy. And under the brown sack-shaped tunic those enormousbreasts, the bulge of the stomach, the hips. Oh, much worse than the oldman, much worse! And suddenly the creature burst out in a torrent ofspeech, rushed at her with outstretched arms and--Ford! Ford! it was toorevolting, in another moment she'd be sick--pressed her against thebulge, the bosom, and began to kiss her. Ford! to kiss, slobberingly,and smelt too horrible, obviously never had a bath, and simply reeked ofthat beastly stuff that was put into Delta and Epsilon bottles (no, itwasn't true about Bernard), positively stank of alcohol. She broke awayas quickly as she could.

A blubbered and distorted face confronted her; the creature was crying.

'Oh, my dear, my dear.' The torrent of words flowed sobbingly. 'If youknew how glad--after all these years! A civilized face. Yes, andcivilized clothes. Because I thought I should never see a piece of realacetate silk again.' She fingered the sleeve of Lenina's shirt. Thenails were black. 'And those adorable viscose velveteen shorts! Do youknow, dear, I've still got my old clothes, the ones I came in, put awayin a box. I'll show them you afterwards. Though, of course, the acetatehas all gone into holes. But such a lovely white bandolier--though Imust say your green morocco is even lovelier. Not that it did me muchgood, that bandolier.' Her tears began to flow again. 'I suppose Johntold you. What I had to suffer--and not a gramme of soma to be had.Only a drink of mescal every now and then, when Popé used to bring it.Popé is a boy I used to know. But it makes you feel so bad afterwards,the mescal does, and you're sick with the peyotl; besides, it alwaysmade that awful feeling of being ashamed much worse the next day. And Iwas so ashamed. Just think of it: me, a Beta--having a baby, putyourself in my place.' (The mere suggestion made Lenina shudder.)'Though it wasn't my fault, I swear; because I still don't know how ithappened, seeing that I did all the Malthusian drill--you know, bynumbers, One, two, three, four, always, I swear it; but all the same ithappened; and of course there wasn't anything like an Abortion Centrehere. Is it still down in Chelsea, by the way?' she asked. Leninanodded. 'And still flood-lighted on Tuesdays and Fridays?' Lenina noddedagain. 'That lovely pink glass tower!' Poor Linda lifted her face andwith closed eyes ecstatically contemplated the bright remembered image.'And the river at night,' she whispered. Great tears oozed slowly outfrom between her tight-shut eyelids. 'And flying back in the eveningfrom Stoke Poges. And then a hot bath and vibro-vacuum massage... Butthere.' She drew a deep breath, shook her head, opened her eyes again,sniffed once or twice, then blew her nose on her fingers and wiped themon the skirt of her tunic. 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' she said in response toLenina's involuntary grimace of disgust. 'I oughtn't to have done that.I'm sorry. But what are you to do when there aren't any handkerchiefs?I remember how it used to upset me, all that dirt, and nothing beingaseptic. I had an awful cut on my head when they first brought me here.You can't imagine what they used to put on it. Filth, just filth."Civilization is Sterilization," I used to say to them. And"Streptocock-Gee to Banbury-T, to see a fine bathroom and W.C." asthough they were children. But of course they didn't understand. Howshould they? And in the end I suppose I got used to it. And anyhow, howcan you keep things clean when there isn't hot water laid on? And lookat these clothes. This beastly wool isn't like acetate. It lasts andlasts. And you're supposed to mend it if it gets torn. But I'm a Beta; Iworked in the Fertilizing Room; nobody ever taught me to do anythinglike that. It wasn't my business. Besides, it never used to be right tomend clothes. Throw them away when they've got holes in them and buynew. "The more stitches, the less riches." Isn't that right? Mending'santi-social. But it's all different here. It's like living withlunatics. Everything they do is mad.' She looked round; saw John andBernard had left them and were walking up and down in the dust andgarbage outside the house; but, none the less confidentially loweringher voice, and leaning, while Lenina stiffened and shrank, so close thatthe blown reek of embryo-poison stirred the hair on her cheek. 'Forinstance,' she hoarsely whispered, 'take the way they have one anotherhere. Mad, I tell you, absolutely mad. Everybody belongs to every oneelse--don't they? don't they?' she insisted, tugging at Lenina's sleeve.Lenina nodded her averted head, let out the breath she had been holdingand managed to draw another one, relatively untainted. 'Well, here,' theother went on, 'nobody's supposed to belong to more than one person. Andif you have people in the ordinary way, the others think you're wickedand anti-social. They hate and despise you. Once a lot of women came andmade a scene because their men came to see me. Well, why not? And thenthey rushed at me... No, it was too awful. I can't tell you aboutit.' Linda covered her face with her hands and shuddered. 'They're sohateful, the women here. Mad, mad and cruel. And of course they don'tknow anything about Malthusian drill, or bottles, or decanting, oranything of that sort. So they're having children all the time--likedogs. It's too revolting. And to think that I... Oh, Ford, Ford,Ford! And yet John was a great comfort to me. I don't know what Ishould have done without him. Even though he did get so upset whenever aman... Quite as a tiny boy, even. Once (but that was when he wasbigger) he tried to kill poor Waihusiwa--or was it Popé?--just because Iused to have them sometimes. Because I never could make him understandthat that was what civilized people ought to do. Being mad's infectious,I believe. Anyhow, John seems to have caught it from the Indians.Because, of course, he was with them a lot. Even though they always wereso beastly to him and wouldn't let him do all the things the other boysdid. Which was a good thing in a way, because it made it easier for meto condition him a little. Though you've no idea how difficult that is.There's so much one doesn't know; it wasn't my business to know. I mean,when a child asks you how a helicopter works or who made theworld--well, what are you to answer if you're a Beta and have alwaysworked in the Fertilizing Room? What are you to answer?'

Outside, in the dust and among the garbage (there were four dogs now),Bernard and John were walking slowly up and down.

'So hard for me to realize,' Bernard was saying, 'to reconstruct. Asthough we were living on different planets, in different centuries. Amother, and all this dirt, and gods, and old age, and disease...' Heshook his head. 'It's almost inconceivable. I shall never understandunless you explain.'

'Explain what?'

'This.' He indicated the pueblo. 'That.' And it was the little houseoutside the village. 'Everything. All your life.'

'But what is there to say?'

'From the beginning. As far back as you can remember.'

'As far back as I can remember.' John frowned. There was a long silence.

****

It was very hot. They had eaten a lot of tortillas and sweet corn. Lindasaid, 'Come and lie down, Baby.' They lay down together in the big bed.'Sing,' and Linda sang. Sang 'Streptocock-Gee to Banbury-T' and 'Bye,Baby Banting, soon you'll need decanting.' Her voice got fainter andfainter...

There was a loud noise, and he woke with a start. A man was standing bythe bed, enormous, frightening. He was saying something to Linda, andLinda was laughing. She had pulled the blanket up to her chin, but theman pulled it down again. His hair was like two black ropes, and roundhis arm was a lovely silver bracelet with blue stones in it. He likedthe bracelet; but all the same, he was frightened; he hid his faceagainst Linda's body. Linda put her hand on him and he felt safer. Inthose other words he did not understand so well, she said to the man,'Not with John here.' The man looked at him, then again at Linda, andsaid a few words in a soft voice. Linda said, 'No.' But the man bentover the bed towards him and his face was huge, terrible; the blackropes of hair touched the blanket. 'No,' Linda said again, and he felther hand squeezing him more tightly. 'No, no!' But the man took hold ofone of his arms, and it hurt. He screamed. The man put out his otherhand and lifted him up. Linda was still holding him, still saying 'No,no.' The man said something short and angry, and suddenly her hands weregone. 'Linda, Linda.' He kicked and wriggled; but the man carried himacross to the door, opened it, put him down on the floor in the middleof the other room, and went away, shutting the door behind him. He gotup, he ran to the door. Standing on tiptoe he could just reach the bigwooden latch. He lifted it and pushed; but the door wouldn't open.'Linda,' he shouted. She didn't answer.

****

He remembered a huge room, rather dark; and there were big wooden thingswith strings fastened to them, and lots of women standing roundthem--making blankets, Linda said. Linda told him to sit in the cornerwith the other children, while she went and helped the women. He playedwith the little boys for a long time. Suddenly people started talkingvery loud, and there were the women pushing Linda away, and Linda wascrying. She went to the door and he ran after her. He asked her why theywere angry. 'Because I broke something,' she said. And then she gotangry too. 'How should I know how to do their beastly weaving?' shesaid. 'Beastly savages.' He asked her what savages were. When they gotback to their house, Popé was waiting at the door, and he came in withthem. He had a big gourd full of stuff that looked like water; only itwasn't water, but something with a bad smell that burnt your mouth andmade you cough. Linda drank some and Popé drank some, and then Lindalaughed a lot and talked very loud; and then she and Popé went into theother room. When Popé went away, he went into the room. Linda was in bedand so fast asleep that he couldn't wake her.

Popé used to come often. He said the stuff in the gourd was calledmescal; but Linda said it ought to be called soma; only it made youfeel ill afterwards. He hated Popé. He hated them all--all the men whocame to see Linda. One afternoon, when he had been playing with theother children--it was cold, he remembered, and there was snow on themountains--he came back to the house and heard angry voices in thebedroom. They were women's voices, and they said words he didn'tunderstand; but he knew they were dreadful words. Then suddenly, crash!something was upset; he heard people moving about quickly, and there wasanother crash and then a noise like hitting a mule, only not so bony;then Linda screamed. 'Oh, don't, don't, don't!' she said. He ran in.There were three women in dark blankets. Linda was on the bed. One ofthe women was holding her wrists. Another was lying across her legs, sothat she couldn't kick. The third was hitting her with a whip. Once,twice, three times; and each time Linda screamed. Crying, he tugged atthe fringe of the woman's blanket. 'Please, please.' With her free handshe held him away. The whip came down again, and again Linda screamed.He caught hold of the woman's enormous brown hand between his own andbit it with all his might. She cried out, wrenched her hand free, andgave him such a push that he fell down. While he was lying on the groundshe hit him three times with the whip. It hurt more than anything he hadever felt--like fire. The whip whistled again, fell. But this time itwas Linda who screamed.

'But why did they want to hurt you, Linda?' he asked that night. He wascrying, because the red marks of the whip on his back still hurt soterribly. But he was also crying because people were so beastly andunfair, and because he was only a little boy and couldn't do anythingagainst them. Linda was crying too. She was grown up, but she wasn't bigenough to fight against three of them. It wasn't fair for her either.'Why did they want to hurt you, Linda?'

'I don't know. How should I know?' It was difficult to hear what shesaid, because she was lying on her stomach and her face was in thepillow. 'They say those men are their men,' she went on; and she didnot seem to be talking to him at all; she seemed to be talking with someone inside herself. A long talk which he didn't understand; and in theend she started crying louder than ever.

'Oh, don't cry, Linda. Don't cry.'

He pressed himself against her. He put his arm round her neck. Lindacried out. 'Oh, be careful. My shoulder! Oh!' and she pushed him away,hard. His head banged against the wall. 'Little idiot!' she shouted; andthen, suddenly, she began to slap him. Slap, slap...

'Linda,' he cried out. 'Oh, mother, don't!'

'I'm not your mother. I won't be your mother.'

'But, Linda... Oh!' She slapped him on the cheek.

'Turned into a savage,' she shouted. 'Having young ones like ananimal.... If it hadn't been for you, I might have gone to theInspector, I might have got away. But not with a baby. That would havebeen too shameful.'

He saw that she was going to hit him again, and lifted his arm to guardhis face. 'Oh don't, Linda, please don't.'

'Little beast!' She pulled down his arm; his face was uncovered.

'Don't, Linda.' He shut his eyes, expecting the blow.

But she didn't hit him. After a little time, he opened his eyes againand saw that she was looking at him. He tried to smile at her. Suddenlyshe put her arms round him and kissed him again and again.

****

Sometimes, for several days, Linda didn't get up at all. She lay in bedand was sad. Or else she drank the stuff that Popé brought and laughed agreat deal and went to sleep. Sometimes she was sick. Often she forgotto wash him, and there was nothing to eat except cold tortillas. Heremembered the first time she found those little animals in his hair,how she screamed and screamed.

****

The happiest times were when she told him about the Other Place. 'Andyou really can go flying, whenever you like?'

'Whenever you like.' And she would tell him about the lovely music thatcame out of a box, and all the nice games you could play, and thedelicious things to eat and drink, and the light that came when youpressed a little thing in the wall, and the pictures that you could hearand feel and smell, as well as see, and another box for making nicesmells, and the pink and green and blue and silver houses as high asmountains, and everybody happy and no one ever sad or angry, and everyone belonging to every one else, and the boxes where you could see andhear what was happening at the other side of the world, and babies inlovely clean bottles--everything so clean, and no nasty smells, no dirtat all--and people never lonely, but living together and being so jollyand happy, like the summer dances here in Malpais, but much happier, andthe happiness being there every day, every day.... He listened by thehour. And sometimes, when he and the other children were tired with toomuch playing, one of the old men of the pueblo would talk to them, inthose other words, of the great Transformer of the World, and of thelong fight between Right Hand and Left Hand, between Wet and Dry; ofAwonawilona, who made a great fog by thinking in the night, and thenmade the whole world out of the fog; of Earth Mother and Sky Father; ofAhaiyuta and Marsailema, the twins of War and Chance; of Jesus andPookong; of Mary and Etsanatlehi, the woman who makes herself youngagain; of the Black Stone at Laguna and the Great Eagle and Our Lady ofAcoma. Strange stories, all the more wonderful to him for being told inthe other words and so not fully understood. Lying in bed, he wouldthink of Heaven and London and Our Lady of Acoma and the rows and rowsof babies in clean bottles and Jesus flying up and Linda flying up andthe great Director of World Hatcheries and Awonawilona.

****

Lots of men came to see Linda. The boys began to point their fingers athim. In the strange other words they said that Linda was bad; theycalled her names he did not understand, but that he knew were bad names.One day they sang a song about her, again and again. He threw stones atthem. They threw back; a sharp stone cut his cheek. The blood wouldn'tstop; he was covered with blood.

****

Linda taught him to read. With a piece of charcoal she drew pictures onthe wall--an animal sitting down, a baby inside a bottle; then she wroteletters. THE CAT IS ON THE MAT.THE TOT IS IN THE POT. Helearned quickly and easily. When he knew how to read all the words shewrote on the wall, Linda opened her big wooden box and pulled out fromunder those funny little red trousers she never wore a thin little book.He had often seen it before. 'When you're bigger,' she had said, 'youcan read it.' Well, now he was big enough. He was proud. 'I'm afraid youwon't find it very exciting,' she said. 'But it's the only thing Ihave.' She sighed. 'If only you could see the lovely reading machines weused to have in London!' He began reading. The Chemical andBacteriological Conditioning of the Embryo. Practical Instructions forBeta Embryo-Store Workers. It took him a quarter of an hour to read thetitle alone. He threw the book on the floor. 'Beastly, beastly book!' hesaid, and began to cry.

****

The boys still sang their horrible song about Linda. Sometimes, too,they laughed at him for being so ragged. When he tore his clothes, Lindadid not know how to mend them. In the Other Place, she told him, peoplethrew away clothes with holes in them and got new ones. 'Rags, rags!'the boys used to shout at him. 'But I can read,' he said to himself,'and they can't. They don't even know what reading is.' It was fairlyeasy, if he thought hard enough about the reading, to pretend that hedidn't mind when they made fun of him. He asked Linda to give him thebook again.

The more the boys pointed and sang, the harder he read. Soon he couldread all the words quite well. Even the longest. But what did they mean?He asked Linda; but even when she could answer it didn't seem to make itvery clear. And generally she couldn't answer at all.

'What are chemicals?' he would ask.

'Oh, stuff like magnesium salts, and alcohol for keeping the Deltas andEpsilons small and backward, and calcium carbonate for bones, and allthat sort of thing.'

'But how do you make chemicals, Linda? Where do they come from?'

'Well, I don't know. You get them out of bottles. And when the bottlesare empty, you send up to the Chemical Store for more. It's the ChemicalStore people who make them, I suppose. Or else they send to the factoryfor them. I don't know. I never did any chemistry. My job was alwayswith the embryos.'

It was the same with everything else he asked about. Linda never seemedto know. The old men of the pueblo had much more definite answers.

'The seed of men and all creatures, the seed of the sun and the seed ofearth and the seed of the sky--Awonawilona made them all out of the Fogof Increase. Now the world has four wombs; and he laid the seeds in thelowest of the four wombs. And gradually the seeds began to grow...'

****

One day (John calculated later that it must have been soon after histwelfth birthday) he came home and found a book that he had never seenbefore lying on the floor in the bedroom. It was a thick book and lookedvery old. The binding had been eaten by mice; some of its pages wereloose and crumpled. He picked it up, looked at the title-page: the bookwas called The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Linda was lying on the bed, sipping that horrible stinking mescal outof a cup. 'Popé brought it,' she said. Her voice was thick and hoarselike somebody else's voice. 'It was lying in one of the chests of theAntelope Kiva. It's supposed to have been there for hundreds of years. Iexpect it's true, because I looked at it, and it seemed to be full ofnonsense. Uncivilized. Still, it'll be good enough for you to practiseyour reading on.' She took a last sip, set the cup down on the floorbeside the bed, turned over on her side, hiccoughed once or twice andwent to sleep.

He opened the book at random.

          Nay, but to liveIn the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making loveOver the nasty sty...

The strange words rolled through his mind; rumbled, like talkingthunder; like the drums at the summer dances, if the drums could havespoken; like the men singing the Corn Song, beautiful, beautiful, sothat you cried; like old Mitsima saying magic over his feathers and hiscarved sticks and his bits of bone and stone--kiathla tsilu silokwesilokwe silokwe. Kiai silu silu, tsithl--but better than Mitsima'smagic, because it meant more, because it talked to him; talkedwonderfully and only half-understandably, a terrible beautiful magic,about Linda; about Linda lying there snoring, with the empty cup on thefloor beside the bed; about Linda and Popé, Linda and Popé.

****

He hated Popé more and more. A man can smile and smile and be a villain.Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain. What did thewords exactly mean? He only half knew. But their magic was strong andwent on rumbling in his head, and somehow it was as though he had neverreally hated Popé before; never really hated him because he had neverbeen able to say how much he hated him. But now he had these words,these words like drums and singing and magic. These words and thestrange, strange story out of which they were taken (he couldn't makehead or tail of it, but it was wonderful, wonderful all the same)--theygave him a reason for hating Popé; and they made his hatred more real;they even made Popé himself more real.

One day, when he came in from playing, the door of the inner room wasopen, and he saw them lying together on the bed, asleep--white Linda andPopé almost black beside her, with one arm under her shoulders and theother dark hand on her breast, and one of the plaits of his long hairlying across her throat, like a black snake trying to strangle her.Popé's gourd and a cup were standing on the floor near the bed. Lindawas snoring.

His heart seemed to have disappeared and left a hole. He was empty.Empty, and cold, and rather sick, and giddy. He leaned against the wallto steady himself. Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous... Like drums,like the men singing for the corn, like magic, the words repeated andrepeated themselves in his head. From being cold he was suddenly hot.His cheeks burnt with the rush of blood, the room swam and darkenedbefore his eyes. He ground his teeth. 'I'll kill him, I'll kill him,I'll kill him,' he kept saying. And suddenly there were more words.

When he is drunk asleep, or in his rageOr in the incestuous pleasure of his bed...

The magic was on his side, the magic explained and gave orders. Hestepped back into the outer room. 'When he is drunk asleep...' Theknife for the meat was lying on the floor near the fireplace. He pickedit up and tiptoed to the door again. 'When he is drunk asleep, drunkasleep...' He ran across the room and stabbed--oh, theblood!--stabbed again, as Popé heaved out of his sleep, lifted his handto stab once more, but found his wrist caught, held and--oh,oh!--twisted. He couldn't move, he was trapped, and there were Popé'ssmall black eyes, very close, staring into his own. He looked away.There were two cuts on Popé's left shoulder. 'Oh, look at the blood!'Linda was crying. 'Look at the blood!' She had never been able to bearthe sight of blood. Popé lifted his other hand--to strike him, hethought. He stiffened to receive the blow. But the hand only took himunder the chin and turned his face, so that he had to look again intoPopé's eyes. For a long time, for hours and hours. And suddenly--hecouldn't help it--he began to cry. Popé burst out laughing. 'Go,' hesaid, in the other Indian words. 'Go, my brave Ahaiyuta.' He ran outinto the other room to hide his tears.

****

'You are fifteen,' said old Mitsima, in the Indian words. 'Now I mayteach you to work the clay.'

Squatting by the river, they worked together.

'First of all,' said Mitsima, taking a lump of the wetted clay betweenhis hands, 'we make a little moon.' The old man squeezed the lump into adisk, then bent up the edges; the moon became a shallow cup.

Slowly and unskilfully he imitated the old man's delicate gestures.

'A moon, a cup, and now a snake.' Mitsima rolled out another piece ofclay into a long flexible cylinder, hooped it into a circle and pressedit on to the rim of the cup. 'Then another snake. And another. Andanother.' Round by round, Mitsima built up the sides of the pot; it wasnarrow, it bulged, it narrowed again towards the neck. Mitsima squeezedand patted, stroked and scraped; and there at last it stood, in shapethe familiar water-pot of Malpais, but creamy white instead of black,and still soft to the touch. The crooked parody of Mitsima's, his ownstood beside it. Looking at the two pots, he had to laugh.

'But the next one will be better,' he said, and began to moisten anotherpiece of clay.

To fashion, to give form, to feel his fingers gaining in skill andpower--this gave him an extraordinary pleasure. 'A, B, C, Vitamin D,' hesang to himself as he worked, 'The fat's in the liver, the cod's in thesea.' And Mitsima also sang--a song about killing a bear. They workedall day, and all day he was filled with an intense, absorbing happiness.

'Next winter,' said old Mitsima, 'I will teach you to make the bow.'

****

He stood for a long time outside the house; and at last the ceremonieswithin were finished. The door opened; they came out. Kothlu came first,his right hand outstretched and tightly closed, as though over someprecious jewel. Her clenched hand similarly outstretched, Kiakiméfollowed. They walked in silence, and in silence, behind them, came thebrothers and sisters and cousins and all the troop of old people.

They walked out of the pueblo, across the mesa. At the edge of the cliffthey halted, facing the early morning sun. Kothlu opened his hand. Apinch of corn meal lay white on the palm; he breathed on it, murmured afew words, then threw it, a handful of white dust, towards the sun.Kiakimé did the same. Then Kiakimé's father stepped forward, and holdingup a feathered prayer stick, made a long prayer, then threw the stickafter the corn meal.

'It is finished,' said old Mitsima in a loud voice. 'They are married.'

'Well,' said Linda, as they turned away, 'all I can say is, it does seema lot of fuss to make about so little. In civilized countries, when aboy wants to have a girl, he just... But where are you going,John?'

He paid no attention to her calling, but ran on, away, away, anywhere tobe by himself.

It is finished. Old Mitsima's words repeated themselves in his mind.Finished, finished... In silence and from a long way off, butviolently, desperately, hopelessly, he had loved Kiakimé. And now it wasfinished. He was sixteen.

****

At the full moon, in the Antelope Kiva, secrets would be told, secretswould be done and borne. They would go down, boys, into the kiva andcome out again, men. The boys were all afraid and at the same timeimpatient. And at last it was the day. The sun went down, the moon rose.He went with the others. Men were standing, dark, at the entrance to thekiva; the ladder went down into the red lighted depths. Already theleading boys had begun to climb down. Suddenly one of the men steppedforward, caught him by the arm, and pulled him out of the ranks. Hebroke free and dodged back into his place among the others. This timethe man struck him, pulled his hair. 'Not for you, white-hair!' 'Not forthe son of the she-dog,' said one of the other men. The boys laughed.'Go!' And as he still hovered on the fringes of the group, 'Go!' the menshouted again. One of them bent down, took a stone, threw it. 'Go, go,go!' There was a shower of stones. Bleeding, he ran away into thedarkness. From the red-lit kiva came the noise of singing. The last ofthe boys had climbed down the ladder. He was all alone.

All alone, outside the pueblo, on the bare plain of the mesa. The rockwas like bleached bones in the moonlight. Down in the valley, thecoyotes were howling at the moon. The bruises hurt him, the cuts werestill bleeding; but it was not for pain that he sobbed; it was becausehe was all alone, because he had been driven out, alone, into thisskeleton world of rocks and moonlight. At the edge of the precipice hesat down. The moon was behind him; he looked down into the black shadowof the mesa, into the black shadow of death. He had only to take onestep, one little jump.... He held out his right hand in themoonlight. From the cut on his wrist the blood was still oozing. Everyfew seconds a drop fell, dark, almost colourless in the dead light.Drop, drop, drop. To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow...

He had discovered Time and Death and God.

'Alone, always alone,' the young man was saying.

The words awoke a plaintive echo in Bernard's mind. Alone, alone...'So am I,' he said, on a gush of confidingness. 'Terribly alone.'

'Are you?' John looked surprised. 'I thought that in the OtherPlace... I mean, Linda always said that nobody was ever alone there.'

Bernard blushed uncomfortably. 'You see,' he said, mumbling and withaverted eyes, 'I'm rather different from most people, I suppose. If onehappens to be decanted different...'

'Yes, that's just it.' The young man nodded. 'If one's different, one'sbound to be lonely. They're beastly to one. Do you know, they shut meout of absolutely everything? When the other boys were sent out to spendthe night on the mountains--you know, when you have to dream which yoursacred animal is--they wouldn't let me go with the others; they wouldn'ttell me any of the secrets. I did it by myself, though,' he added.'Didn't eat anything for five days and then went out one night aloneinto those mountains there.' He pointed.

Patronizingly, Bernard smiled. 'And did you dream of anything?' heasked.

The other nodded. 'But I mustn't tell you what.' He was silent for alittle; then, in a low voice, 'Once,' he went on, 'I did something thatnone of the others did: I stood against a rock in the middle of the day,in summer, with my arms out, like Jesus on the cross.'

'What on earth for?'

'I wanted to know what it was like being crucified. Hanging there in thesun...'

'But why?'

'Why? Well...' He hesitated. 'Because I felt I ought to. If Jesuscould stand it. And then, if one has done something wrong... Besides,I was unhappy; that was another reason.'

'It seems a funny way of curing your unhappiness,' said Bernard. But onsecond thoughts he decided that there was, after all, some sense in it.Better than taking soma....

'I fainted after a time,' said the young man. 'Fell down on my face. Doyou see the mark where I cut myself?' He lifted the thick yellow hairfrom his forehead. The scar showed, pale and puckered, on his righttemple.

Bernard looked, and then quickly, with a little shudder, averted hiseyes. His conditioning had made him not so much pitiful as profoundlysqueamish. The mere suggestion of illness or wounds was to him not onlyhorrifying, but even repulsive and rather disgusting. Like dirt, ordeformity, or old age. Hastily he changed the subject.

'I wonder if you'd like to come back to London with us?' he asked,making the first move in a campaign whose strategy he had been secretlyelaborating ever since, in the little house, he had realized who the'father' of this young savage must be. 'Would you like that?'

The young man's face lit up. 'Do you really mean it?'

'Of course; if I can get permission, that is.'

'Linda too?'

'Well...' He hesitated doubtfully. That revolting creature! No, itwas impossible. Unless, unless... It suddenly occurred to Bernardthat her very revoltingness might prove an enormous asset. 'But ofcourse!' he cried, making up for his first hesitations with an excess ofnoisy cordiality.

The young man drew a deep breath. 'To think it should be comingtrue--what I've dreamt of all my life. Do you remember what Mirandasays?'

'Who's Miranda?'

But the young man had evidently not heard the question. 'O wonder!' hewas saying; and his eyes shone, his face was brightly flushed. 'How manygoodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!' The flushsuddenly deepened; he was thinking of Lenina, of an angel inbottle-green viscose, lustrous with youth and skin food, plump,benevolently smiling. His voice faltered. 'O brave new world,' he began,then suddenly interrupted himself; the blood had left his cheeks; he wasas pale as paper. 'Are you married to her?' he asked.

'Am I what?'

'Married. You know--for ever. They say "for ever" in the Indian words;it can't be broken.'

'Ford, no!' Bernard couldn't help laughing.

John also laughed, but for another reason--laughed for pure joy.

'O brave new world,' he repeated. 'O brave new world that has suchpeople in it. Let's start at once.'

'You have a most peculiar way of talking sometimes,' said Bernard,staring at the young man in perplexed astonishment. 'And, anyhow, hadn'tyou better wait till you actually see the new world?'

Lenina felt herself entitled, after this day of queerness and horror, toa complete and absolute holiday. As soon as they got back to therest-house, she swallowed six half-gramme tablets of soma, lay down onher bed, and within ten minutes had embarked for lunar eternity. Itwould be eighteen hours at the least before she was in time again.

Bernard meanwhile lay pensive and wide-eyed in the dark. It was longafter midnight before he fell asleep. Long after midnight; but hisinsomnia had not been fruitless; he had a plan.

Punctually, on the following morning, at ten o'clock, thegreen-uniformed octoroon stepped out of his helicopter. Bernard waswaiting for him among the agaves.

'Miss Crowne's gone on soma-holiday,' he explained. 'Can hardly beback before five. Which leaves us seven hours.'

He could fly to Santa Fé, do all the business he had to do, and be inMalpais again long before she woke up.

'She'll be quite safe here by herself?'

'Safe as helicopters,' the octoroon assured him.

They climbed into the machine and started off at once. At tenthirty-four they landed on the roof of the Santa Fé Post Office; at tenthirty-seven Bernard had got through to the World Controller's Office inWhitehall; at ten thirty-nine he was speaking to his fordship's fourthpersonal secretary; at ten forty-four he was repeating his story to thefirst secretary, and at ten forty-seven and a half it was the deep,resonant voice of Mustapha Mond himself that sounded in his ears.

'I ventured to think,' stammered Bernard, 'that your fordship might findthe matter of sufficient scientific interest...'

'Yes, I do find it of sufficient scientific interest,' said the deepvoice. 'Bring these two individuals back to London with you.'

'Your fordship is aware that I shall need a special permit...'

'The necessary orders,' said Mustapha Mond, 'are being sent to theWarden of the Reservation at this moment. You will proceed at once tothe Warden's Office. Good-morning, Mr. Marx.'

There was silence. Bernard hung up the receiver and hurried up to theroof.

'Warden's Office,' he said to the Gamma-green octoroon.

At ten fifty-four Bernard was shaking hands with the Warden.

'Delighted, Mr. Marx, delighted.' His boom was deferential. 'We havejust received special orders...'

'I know,' said Bernard, interrupting him. 'I was talking to his fordshipon the phone a moment ago.' His bored tone implied that he was in thehabit of talking to his fordship every day of the week. He dropped intoa chair. 'If you'll kindly take all the necessary steps as soon aspossible. As soon as possible,' he emphatically repeated. He wasthoroughly enjoying himself.

At eleven three he had all the necessary papers in his pocket.

'So long,' he said patronizingly to the Warden, who had accompanied himas far as the lift gates. 'So long.'

He walked across to the hotel, had a bath, a vibro-vac massage, and anelectrolytic shave, listened in to the morning's news, looked in forhalf an hour on the televisor, ate a leisured luncheon, and at half-pasttwo flew back with the octoroon to Malpais.

****

The young man stood outside the rest-house.

'Bernard,' he called. 'Bernard!' There was no answer.

Noiseless on his deerskin moccasins, he ran up the steps and tried thedoor. The door was locked.

They were gone! Gone! It was the most terrible thing that had everhappened to him. She had asked him to come and see them, and now theywere gone. He sat down on the steps and cried.

Half an hour later it occurred to him to look through the window. Thefirst thing he saw was a green suit-case, with the initials L. C.painted on the lid. Joy flared up like fire within him. He picked up astone. The smashed glass tinkled on the floor. A moment later he wasinside the room. He opened the green suit-case; and all at once he wasbreathing Lenina's perfume, filling his lungs with her essential being.His heart beat wildly; for a moment he was almost faint. Then, bendingover the precious box, he touched, he lifted into the light, heexamined. The zippers on Lenina's spare pair of viscose velveteen shortswere at first a puzzle, then, solved, a delight. Zip, and then zip; zip,and then zip; he was enchanted. Her green slippers were the mostbeautiful things he had ever seen. He unfolded a pair ofzippicamiknicks, blushed, put them hastily away again; but kissed aperfumed acetate handkerchief and wound a scarf round his neck. Openinga box, he spilt a cloud of scented powder. His hands were floury withthe stuff. He wiped them on his chest, on his shoulders, on his barearms. Delicious perfume! He shut his eyes; he rubbed his cheek againsthis own powdered arm. Touch of smooth skin against his face, scent inhis nostrils of musky dust--her real presence. 'Lenina,' he whispered.'Lenina!'

A noise made him start, made him guiltily turn. He crammed up histhieveries into the suit-case and shut the lid; then listened again,looked. Not a sign of life, not a sound. And yet he had certainly heardsomething--something like a sigh, something like the creak of a board.He tiptoed to the door and, cautiously opening it, found himself lookingon to a broad landing. On the opposite side of the landing was anotherdoor, ajar. He stepped out, pushed, peeped.

There, on a low bed, the sheet flung back, dressed in a pair of pinkone-piece zippyjamas, lay Lenina, fast asleep and so beautiful in themidst of her curls, so touchingly childish with her pink toes and hergrave sleeping face, so trustful in the helplessness of her limp handsand melted limbs, that the tears came to his eyes.

With an infinity of quite unnecessary precautions--for nothing short ofa pisto-shot could have called Lenina back from her soma-holidaybefore the appointed time--he entered the room, he knelt on the floorbeside the bed. He gazed, he clasped his hands, his lips moved. 'Hereyes,' he murmured,

'Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;Handlest in thy discourse, O! that her hand,In whose comparison all whites are inkWriting their own reproach; to whose soft seizureThe cygnet's down is harsh...'

A fly buzzed round her; he waved it away. 'Flies,' he remembered,

'On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand, may seizeAnd steal immortal blessing from her lips,Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.'

Very slowly, with the hesitating gesture of one who reaches forward tostroke a shy and possibly rather dangerous bird, he put out his hand. Ithung there trembling, within an inch of those limp fingers, on the vergeof contact. Did he dare? Dare to profane with his unworthiest handthat... No he didn't. The bird was too dangerous. His hand dropped back.How beautiful she was! How beautiful!

Then suddenly he found himself reflecting that he had only to take holdof the zipper at her neck and give one long, strong pull.... He shuthis eyes, he shook his head with the gesture of a dog shaking its earsas it emerges from the water. Detestable thought! He was ashamed ofhimself. Pure and vestal modesty...

There was a humming in the air. Another fly trying to steal immortalblessings? A wasp? He looked, saw nothing. The humming grew louder andlouder, localized itself as being outside the shuttered windows. Theplane! In a panic, he scrambled to his feet and ran into the other room,vaulted through the open window, and hurrying along the path between thetall agaves was in time to receive Bernard Marx as he climbed out of thehelicopter.

The hands of all the four thousand electric clocks in all the BloomsburyCentre's four thousand rooms marked twenty-seven minutes past two. 'Thishive of industry,' as the Director was fond of calling it, was in thefull buzz of work. Every one was busy, everything in ordered motion.Under the microscopes, their long tails furiously lashing, spermatozoawere burrowing head first into eggs; and, fertilized, the eggs wereexpanding, dividing, or if bokanovskified, budding and breaking up intowhole populations of separate embryos. From the Social PredestinationRoom the escalators went rumbling down into the basement, and there, inthe crimson darkness, stewingly warm on their cushion of peritoneum andgorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew or,poisoned, languished into a stunted Epsilonhood. With a faint hum andrattle the moving racks crawled imperceptibly through the weeks and therecapitulated æons to where, in the Decanting Room, the newly-unbottledbabes uttered their first yell of horror and amazement.

The dynamos purred in the sub-basement, the lifts rushed up and down. Onall the eleven floors of Nurseries it was feeding time. From eighteenhundred bottles eighteen hundred carefully labelled infants weresimultaneously sucking down their pint of pasteurized externalsecretion.

Above them, in ten successive layers of dormitory, the little boys andgirls who were still young enough to need an afternoon sleep were asbusy as every one else, though they did not know it, listeningunconsciously to hypnopædic lessons in hygiene and sociability, inclass-consciousness and the toddler's love-life. Above these again werethe playrooms where, the weather having turned to rain, nine hundredolder children were amusing themselves with bricks and clay modelling,hunt-the-zipper, and erotic play.

Buzz, buzz! the hive was humming, busily, joyfully. Blithe was thesinging of the young girls over their test-tubes, the Predestinatorswhistled as they worked, and in the Decanting Room what glorious jokeswere cracked above the empty bottles! But the Director's face, as heentered the Fertilizing Room with Henry Foster, was grave, wooden withseverity.

'A public example,' he was saying. 'In this room, because it containsmore high-caste workers than any other in the Centre. I have told him tomeet me here at half-past two.'

'He does his work very well,' put in Henry, with hypocriticalgenerosity.

'I know. But that's all the more reason for severity. His intellectualeminence carries with it corresponding moral responsibilities. Thegreater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It isbetter that one should suffer than that many should be corrupted.Consider the matter dispassionately, Mr. Foster, and you will see thatno offence is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behaviour. Murder kills onlythe individual--and, after all, what is an individual?' With a sweepinggesture he indicated the rows of microscopes, the test-tubes, theincubators. 'We can make a new one with the greatest ease--as many as welike. Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; itstrikes at Society itself. Yes, at Society itself,' he repeated. 'Ah,but here he comes.'

Bernard had entered the room and was advancing between the rows offertilizers towards them. A veneer of jaunty self-confidence thinlyconcealed his nervousness. The voice in which he said, 'Good-morning,Director,' was absurdly too loud; that in which, correcting his mistake,he said, 'You asked me to come and speak to you here,' ridiculouslysoft, a squeak.

'Yes, Mr. Marx,' said the Director portentously. 'I did ask you to cometo me here. You returned from your holiday last night, I understand.'

'Yes,' Bernard answered.

'Yes-s,' repeated the Director, lingering, a serpent, on the 's.' Then,suddenly raising his voice, 'Ladies and gentlemen,' he trumpeted,'ladies and gentlemen.'

The singing of the girls over their test-tubes, the preoccupiedwhistling of the Microscopists, suddenly ceased. There was a profoundsilence; every one looked round.

'Ladies and gentlemen,' the Director repeated once more, 'excuse me forthus interrupting your labours. A painful duty constrains me. Thesecurity and stability of Society are in danger. Yes, in danger, ladiesand gentlemen. This man,' he pointed accusingly at Bernard, 'this manwho stands before you here, this Alpha-Plus to whom so much has beengiven, and from whom, in consequence, so much must be expected, thiscolleague of yours--or should I anticipate and say thisex-colleague?--has grossly betrayed the trust imposed in him. By hisheretical views on sport and soma, by the scandalous unorthodoxy ofhis sex-life, by his refusal to obey the teachings of Our Ford andbehave out of office hours "like a babe in a bottle"' (here the Directormade the sign of the T), 'he has proved himself an enemy of Society, asubverter, ladies and gentlemen, of all Order and Stability, aconspirator against Civilization itself. For this reason I propose todismiss him, to dismiss him with ignominy from the post he has held inthis Centre; I propose forthwith to apply for his transference to aSub-Centre of the lowest order and, that his punishment may serve thebest interest of Society, as far as possible removed from any importantCentre of population. In Iceland he will have small opportunity to leadothers astray by his unfordly example.' The Director paused; then,folding his arms, he turned impressively to Bernard. 'Marx,' he said,'can you show any reason why I should not now execute the judgmentpassed upon you?'

'Yes, I can,' Bernard answered in a very loud voice.

Somewhat taken aback, but still majestically, 'Then show it,' said theDirector.

'Certainly. But it's in the passage. One moment.' Bernard hurried to thedoor and threw it open. 'Come in,' he commanded, and the reason came inand showed itself.

There was a gasp, a murmur of astonishment and horror; a young girlscreamed; standing on a chair to get a better view some one upset twotest-tubes full of spermatozoa. Bloated, sagging, and among those firmyouthful bodies, those undistorted faces, a strange and terrifyingmonster of middle-agedness, Linda advanced into the room, coquettishlysmiling her broken and discoloured smile, and rolling as she walked,with what was meant to be a voluptuous undulation, her enormoushaunches. Bernard walked beside her.

'There he is,' he said, pointing at the Director.

'Did you think I didn't recognize him?' Linda asked indignantly; then,turning to the Director, 'Of course I knew you; Tomakin, I should haveknown you anywhere, among a thousand. But perhaps you've forgotten me.Don't you remember? Don't you remember, Tomakin? Your Linda.' She stoodlooking at him, her head on one side, still smiling, but with a smilethat became progressively, in face of the Director's expression ofpetrified disgust, less and less self-confident, that wavered andfinally went out. 'Don't you remember, Tomakin?' she repeated in a voicethat trembled. Her eyes were anxious, agonized. The blotched and saggingface twitched grotesquely into the grimace of extreme grief. 'Tomakin!'She held out her arms. Some one began to titter.

'What's the meaning,' began the Director, 'of this monstrous...'

'Tomakin!' She ran forward, her blanket trailing behind her, threw herarms round his neck, hid her face on his chest.

A howl of laughter went up irrepressibly.

'...this monstrous practical joke,' the Director shouted.

Red in the face, he tried to disengage himself from her embrace.Desperately she clung. 'But I'm Linda, I'm Linda.' The laughter drownedher voice. 'You made me have a baby,' she screamed above the uproar.There was a sudden and appalling hush; eyes floated uncomfortably, notknowing where to look. The Director went suddenly pale, stoppedstruggling and stood, his hands on her wrists, staring down at her,horrified. 'Yes, a baby--and I was its mother.' She flung the obscenitylike a challenge into the outraged silence; then, suddenly breaking awayfrom him, ashamed, ashamed, covered her face with her hands, sobbing.'It wasn't my fault, Tomakin. Because I always did my drill, didn't I?Didn't I? Always... I don't know how... If you knew how awful,Tomakin... But he was a comfort to me, all the same.' Turning towardsthe door, 'John!' she called. 'John!'

He came in at once, paused for a moment just inside the door, lookedround, then soft on his moccasined feet strode quickly across the room,fell on his knees in front of the Director, and said in a clear voice:'My father!'

The word (for 'father' was not so much obscene as--with its connotationof something at one remove from the loathsomeness and moral obliquity ofchild-bearing--merely gross, a scatological rather than a pornographicimpropriety), the comically smutty word relieved what had become a quiteintolerable tension. Laughter broke out, enormous, almost hysterical,peal after peal, as though it would never stop. My father--and it wasthe Director! My father! Oh, Ford, oh Ford! That was really too good.The whooping and the roaring renewed themselves, faces seemed on thepoint of disintegration, tears were streaming. Six more test-tubes ofspermatozoa were upset. My father!

Pale, wild-eyed, the Director glared about him in an agony of bewilderedhumiliation.

My father! The laughter, which had shown signs of dying away, brokeout again more loudly than ever. He put his hands over his ears andrushed out of the room.

After the scene in the Fertilizing Room, all upper-caste London was wildto see this delicious creature who had fallen on his knees before theDirector of Hatcheries and Conditioning--or rather the ex-Director, forthe poor man had resigned immediately afterwards and never set footinside the Centre again--had flopped down and called him (the joke wasalmost too good to be true!) 'my father.' Linda, on the contrary, cut noice; nobody had the smallest desire to see Linda. To say one was amother--that was past a joke: it was an obscenity. Moreover, she wasn'ta real savage, had been hatched out of a bottle and conditioned like anyone else: so couldn't have really quaint ideas. Finally--and this was byfar the strongest reason for people's not wanting to see poorLinda--there was her appearance. Fat; having lost her youth; with badteeth, and a blotched complexion, and that figure (Ford!)--you simplycouldn't look at her without feeling sick, yes, positively sick. So thebest people were quite determined not to see Linda. And Linda, for herpart, had no desire to see them. The return to civilization was for herthe return to soma, was the possibility of lying in bed and takingholiday after holiday, without ever having to come back to a headache ora fit of vomiting, without ever being made to feel as you always feltafter peyotl, as though you'd done something so shamefully anti-socialthat you could never hold up your head again. Soma played none ofthese unpleasant tricks. The holiday it gave was perfect and, if themorning after was disagreeable, it was so, not intrinsically, but onlyby comparison with the joys of the holiday. The remedy was to make theholiday continuous. Greedily she clamoured for ever larger, ever morefrequent doses. Dr. Shaw at first demurred; then let her have what shewanted. She took as much as twenty grammes a day.

'Which will finish her off in a month or two,' the doctor confided toBernard. 'One day the respiratory centre will be paralysed. No morebreathing. Finished. And a good thing too. If we could rejuvenate, ofcourse it would be different. But we can't.'

Surprisingly, as every one thought (for on soma-holiday Linda was mostconveniently out of the way), John raised objections.

'But aren't you shortening her life by giving her so much?'

'In one sense, yes,' Dr. Shaw admitted. 'But in another we're actuallylengthening it.' The young man stared, uncomprehending. 'Soma may makeyou lose a few years in time,' the doctor went on. 'But think of theenormous, immeasurable durations it can give you out of time. Everysoma-holiday is a bit of what our ancestors used to call eternity.'

John began to understand. 'Eternity was in our lips and eyes,' hemurmured.

'Eh?'

'Nothing,'

'Of course,' Dr. Shaw went on, 'you can't allow people to go popping offinto eternity if they've got any serious work to do. But as she hasn'tgot any serious work...'

'All the same,' John persisted, 'I don't believe it's right.'

The doctor shrugged his shoulders. 'Well, of course, if you prefer tohave her screaming mad all the time...'

In the end John was forced to give in. Linda got her soma.Thenceforward she remained in her little room on the thirty-seventhfloor of Bernard's apartment house, in bed, with the radio andtelevision always on, and the patchouli tap just dripping, and thesoma tablets within reach of her hand--there she remained; and yetwasn't there at all, was all the time away, infinitely far away, onholiday; on holiday in some other world, where the music of the radiowas a labyrinth of sonorous colours, a sliding, palpitating labyrinth,that led (by what beautifully inevitable windings) to a bright centre ofabsolute conviction; where the dancing images of the television box werethe performers in some indescribably delicious all-singing feely; wherethe dripping patchouli was more than scent--was the sun, was a millionsexophones, was Popé making love, only much more so, incomparably more,and without end.

'No, we can't rejuvenate. But I'm very glad,' Dr. Shaw had concluded,'to have had this opportunity to see an example of senility in a humanbeing. Thank you so much for calling me in.' He shook Bernard warmly bythe hand.

It was John, then, they were all after. And as it was only throughBernard, his accredited guardian, that John could be seen, Bernard nowfound himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merelynormally, but as a person of outstanding importance. There was no moretalk of the alcohol in his blood-surrogate, no gibes at his personalappearance. Henry Foster went out of his way to be friendly; BenitoHoover made him a present of six packets of sex-hormone chewing-gum; theAssistant Predestinator came and cadged almost abjectly for aninvitation to one of Bernard's evening parties. As for the women,Bernard had only to hint at the possibility of an invitation, and hecould have whichever of them he liked.

'Bernard's asked me to meet the Savage next Wednesday,' Fanny announcedtriumphantly.

'I'm so glad,' said Lenina. 'And now you must admit that you were wrongabout Bernard. Don't you think he's really rather sweet?'

Fanny nodded. 'And I must say,' she said, 'I was quite agreeablysurprised.'

The Chief Bottler, the Director of Predestination, three DeputyAssistant Fertilizer-Generals, the Professor of Feelies in the Collegeof Emotional Engineering, the Dean of the Westminster Community Singery,the Supervisor of Bokanovskification--the list of Bernard's notabilitieswas interminable.

'And I had six girls last week,' he confided to Helmholtz Watson. 'Oneon Monday, two on Tuesday, two more on Friday, and one on Saturday. Andif I'd had the time or the inclination, there were at least a dozen morewho were only too anxious...'

Helmholtz listened to his boastings in a silence so gloomilydisapproving that Bernard was offended.

'You're envious,' he said.

Helmholtz shook his head. 'I'm rather sad, that's all,' he answered.

Bernard went off in a huff. Never, he told himself, never would he speakto Helmholtz again.

The days passed. Success went fizzily to Bernard's head, and in theprocess completely reconciled him (as any good intoxicant should do) toa world which, up till then, he had found very unsatisfactory. In so faras it recognized him as important, the order of things was good. But,reconciled by his success, he yet refused to forgo the privilege ofcriticizing this order. For the act of criticizing heightened his senseof importance, made him feel larger. Moreover, he did genuinely believethat there were things to criticize. (At the same time, he genuinelyliked being a success and having all the girls he wanted.) Before thosewho now, for the sake of the Savage, paid their court to him, Bernardwould parade a carping unorthodoxy. He was politely listened to. Butbehind his back people shook their heads. 'That young man will come to abad end,' they said, prophesying the more confidently in that theythemselves would in due course personally see to it that the end wasbad. 'He won't find another Savage to help him out a second time,' theysaid. Meanwhile, however, there was the first Savage; they were polite.And because they were polite, Bernard felt positively gigantic--giganticand at the same time light with elation, lighter than air.

****

'Lighter than air,' said Bernard, pointing upwards.

Like a pearl in the sky, high, high above them, the Weather Department'scaptive balloon shone rosily in the sunshine.

'...the said Savage,' so ran Bernard's instructions, 'to be showncivilized life in all its aspects....'

He was being shown a bird's-eye view of it at present, a bird's-eye viewfrom the platform of the Charing-T Tower. The Station Master and theResident Meteorologist were acting as guides. But it was Bernard who didmost of the talking. Intoxicated, he was behaving as though, at the veryleast, he were a visiting World Controller. Lighter than air.

The Bombay Green Rocket dropped out of the sky. The passengers alighted.Eight identical Dravidian twins in khaki looked out of the eightportholes of the cabin--the stewards.

'Twelve hundred and fifty kilometres an hour,' said the Station Masterimpressively. 'What do you think of that, Mr. Savage?'

John thought it very nice. 'Still,' he said, 'Ariel could put a girdleround the earth in forty minutes.'

****

'The Savage,' wrote Bernard in his report to Mustapha Mond, 'showssurprisingly little astonishment at, or awe of, civilized inventions.This is partly due, no doubt, to the fact that he has heard them talkedabout by the woman Linda, his m----.'

(Mustapha Mond frowned. 'Does the fool think I'm too squeamish to seethe word written out at full length?')

'Partly on his interest being focussed on what he calls "the soul,"which he persists as regarding as an entity independent of the physicalenvironment; whereas, as I tried to point out to him...'

The Controller skipped the next sentences and was just about to turn thepage in search of something more interestingly concrete, when his eyewas caught by a series of quite extraordinary phrases. '...though Imust admit,' he read, 'that I agree with the Savage in finding civilizedinfantility too easy or, as he puts it, not expensive enough; and Iwould like to take this opportunity of drawing your fordship's attentionto...'

Mustapha Mond's anger gave place almost at once to mirth. The idea ofthis creature solemnly lecturing him--him--about the social order wasreally too grotesque. The man must have gone mad. 'I ought to give him alesson,' he said to himself; then threw back his head and laughed aloud.For the moment, at any rate, the lesson would not be given.

****

It was a small factory of lighting-sets for helicopters, a branch of theElectrical Equipment Corporation. They were met on the roof itself (forthat circular letter of recommendation from the Controller was magicalin its effects) by the Chief Technician and the Human Element Manager.They walked downstairs into the factory.

'Each process,' explained the Human Element Manager, 'is carried out, sofar as possible, by a single Bokanovsky Group.'

And, in effect, eighty-three almost noseless black brachycephalic Deltaswere cold-pressing. The fifty-six four-spindle chucking and turningmachines were being manipulated by fifty-six aquiline and ginger Gammas.One hundred and seven heat-conditioned Epsilon Senegalese were workingin the foundry. Thirty-three Delta females, long-headed, sandy, withnarrow pelvises, and all within 20 millimetres of 1 metre 69 centimetrestall, were cutting screws. In the assembling room, the dynamos werebeing put together by two sets of Gamma-Plus dwarfs. The two lowwork-tables faced one another; between them crawled the conveyor withits load of separate parts; forty-seven blond heads were confronted byforty-seven brown ones. Forty-seven snubs by forty-seven hooks;forty-seven receding by forty-seven prognathous chins. The completedmechanisms were inspected by eighteen identical curly auburn girls inGamma green, packed in crates by thirty-four short-legged, left-handedmale Delta-Minuses, and loaded into the waiting trucks and lorries bysixty-three blue-eyed, flaxen and freckled Epsilon Semi-Morons.

'O brave new world...' By some malice of his memory the Savage foundhimself repeating Miranda's words. 'O brave new world that has suchpeople in it.'

'And I assure you,' the Human Element Manager concluded, as they leftthe factory, 'we hardly ever have any trouble with our workers. Wealways find...'

But the Savage had suddenly broken away from his companions and wasviolently retching, behind a clump of laurels, as though the solid earthhad been a helicopter in an air pocket.

****

'The Savage,' wrote Bernard, 'refuses to take soma, and seems muchdistressed because the woman Linda, his m----, remains permanently onholiday. It is worthy of note that, in spite of his m----'s senility andthe extreme repulsiveness of her appearance, the Savage frequently goesto see her and appears to be much attached to her--an interestingexample of the way in which early conditioning can be made to modify andeven run counter to natural impulses (in this case, the impulse torecoil from an unpleasant object).'

****

At Eton they alighted on the roof of Upper School. On the opposite sideof School Yard, the fifty-two stories of Lupton's Tower gleamed white inthe sunshine. College on their left and, on their right, the SchoolCommunity Singery reared their venerable piles of ferro-concrete andvita-glass. In the centre of the quadrangle stood the quaint oldchrome-steel statue of Our Ford.

Dr. Gaffney, the Provost, and Miss Keate, the Head Mistress, receivedthem as they stepped out of the plane.

'Do you have many twins here?' the Savage asked rather apprehensively,as they set out on their tour of inspection.

'Oh no,' the Provost answered. 'Eton is reserved exclusively forupper-caste boys and girls. One egg, one adult. It makes education moredifficult, of course. But as they'll be called upon to takeresponsibilities and deal with unexpected emergencies, it can't behelped.' He sighed.

Bernard, meanwhile, had taken a strong fancy to Miss Keate. 'If you'refree any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday evening,' he was saying. Jerkinghis thumb towards the Savage, 'He's curious, you know,' Bernard added.'Quaint.'

Miss Keate smiled (and her smile was really charming, he thought); saidThank you; would be delighted to come to one of his parties. The Provostopened a door.

Five minutes in that Alpha-Double-Plus classroom left John a triflebewildered.

'What is elementary relativity?' he whispered to Bernard. Bernardtried to explain, then thought better of it and suggested that theyshould go to some other classroom.

From behind a door in the corridor leading to the Beta-Minus geographyroom, a ringing soprano voice called, 'One, two, three, four,' and then,with a weary impatience, 'As you were.'

'Malthusian Drill,' explained the Head Mistress. 'Most of our girls arefreemartins, of course. I'm a freemartin myself.' She smiled at Bernard.'But we have about eight hundred unsterilized ones who need constantdrilling.'

In the Beta-Minus geography room John learnt that 'a savage reservationis a place which, owing to unfavourable climatic or geologicalconditions, or poverty of natural resources, has not been worth theexpense of civilizing.' A click; the room was darkened; and suddenly, onthe screen above the Master's head, there were the Penitentes of Acomaprostrating themselves before Our Lady, and wailing as John had heardthem wail, confessing their sins before Jesus on the cross, before theeagle image of Pookong. The young Etonians fairly shouted with laughter.Still wailing, the Penitentes rose to their feet, stripped off theirupper garments and, with knotted whips, began to beat themselves, blowafter blow. Redoubled, the laughter drowned even the amplified record oftheir groans.

'But why do they laugh?' asked the Savage in a pained bewilderment.

'Why?' The Provost turned towards him a still broadly grinning face.'Why? But because it's so extraordinarily funny.'

In the cinematographic twilight, Bernard risked a gesture which, in thepast, even total darkness would hardly have emboldened him to make.Strong in his new importance, he put his arm round the Head Mistress'swaist. It yielded, willowily. He was just about to snatch a kiss or twoand perhaps a gentle pinch, when the shutters clicked open again.

'Perhaps we had better go on,' said Miss Keate, and moved towards thedoor.

'And this,' said the Provost a moment later, 'is the Hypnopædic ControlRoom.'

Hundreds of synthetic music boxes, one for each dormitory, stood rangedin shelves round three sides of the room; pigeon-holed on the fourthwere the paper sound-track rolls on which the various hypnopædic lessonswere printed.

'You slip the roll in here,' explained Bernard, interrupting Dr.Gaffney, 'press down this switch...'

'No, that one,' corrected the Provost, annoyed.

'That one, then. The roll unwinds. The selenium cells transform thelight impulses into sound waves, and...'

'And there you are,' Dr. Gaffney concluded.

'Do they read Shakespeare?' asked the Savage as they walked, on theirway to the Bio-chemical Laboratories, past the School Library.

'Certainly not,' said the Head Mistress, blushing.

'Our library,' said Dr. Gaffney, 'contains only books of reference. Ifour young people need distraction, they can get it at the feelies. Wedon't encourage them to indulge in any solitary amusements.'

Five bus-loads of boys and girls, singing or in a silent embracement,rolled past them over the vitrified highway.

'Just returned,' explained Dr. Gaffney, while Bernard, whispering, madean appointment with the Head Mistress for that very evening, 'from theSlough Crematorium. Death conditioning begins at eighteen months. Everytot spends two mornings a week in a Hospital for the Dying. All the besttoys are kept there, and they get chocolate cream on death days. Theylearn to take dying as a matter of course.'

'Like any other physiological process,' put in the Head Mistressprofessionally.

Eight o'clock at the Savoy. It was all arranged.

****

On their way back to London they stopped at the Television Corporation'sfactory at Brentford.

'Do you mind waiting here a moment while I go and telephone?' askedBernard.

The Savage waited and watched. The Main Day-Shift was just going offduty. Crowds of lower-caste workers were queued-up in front of themonorail station--seven or eight hundred Gamma, Delta and Epsilon menand women, with not more than a dozen faces and statures between them.To each of them, with his or her ticket, the booking clerk pushed over alittle cardboard pillbox. The long caterpillar of men and women movedslowly forward.

'What's in those' (remembering The Merchant of Venice), 'thosecaskets?' the Savage enquired when Bernard had rejoined him.

'The day's soma ration,' Bernard answered, rather indistinctly; for hewas masticating a piece of Benito Hoover's chewing-gum. 'They get itafter their work's over. Four half-gramme tablets. Six on Saturdays.'

He took John's arm affectionately and they walked back towards thehelicopter.

****

Lenina came singing into the Changing Room.

'You seem very pleased with yourself,' said Fanny.

'I am pleased,' she answered. Zip! 'Bernard rang up half an hour ago.'Zip, zip! She stepped out of her shorts. 'He has an unexpectedengagement.' Zip! 'Asked me if I'd take the Savage to the feelies thisevening. I must fly.' She hurried away towards the bathroom.

'She's a lucky girl,' Fanny said to herself as she watched Lenina go.

There was no envy in the comment; good-natured Fanny was merely statinga fact. Lenina was lucky; lucky in having shared with Bernard agenerous portion of the Savage's immense celebrity, lucky in reflectingfrom her insignificant person the moment's supremely fashionable glory.Had not the Secretary of the Young Women's Fordian Association asked herto give a lecture about her experiences? Had she not been invited to theAnnual Dinner of the Aphroditæum Club? Had she not already appeared inthe Feelytone News--visibly, audibly and tactually appeared to countlessmillions all over the planet?

Hardly less flattering had been the attentions paid her by conspicuousindividuals. The Resident World Controller's Second Secretary had askedher to dinner and breakfast. She had spent one week-end with the FordChief-Justice, and another with the Arch-Community-Songster ofCanterbury. The President of the Internal and External SecretionsCorporation was perpetually on the phone, and she had been to Deauvillewith the Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Europe.

'It's wonderful, of course. And yet in a way,' she had confessed toFanny, 'I feel as though I were getting something on false pretences.Because, of course, the first thing they all want to know is what it'slike to make love to a Savage. And I have to say I don't know.' Sheshook her head. 'Most of the men don't believe me, of course. But it'strue. I wish it weren't,' she added sadly and sighed. 'He's terriblygood-looking; don't you think so?'

'But doesn't he like you?' asked Fanny.

'Sometimes I think he does and sometimes I think he doesn't. He alwaysdoes his best to avoid me; goes out of the room when I come in; won'ttouch me; won't even look at me. But sometimes if I turn round suddenly,I catch him staring; and then--well, you know how men look when theylike you.'

Yes, Fanny knew.

'I can't make it out,' said Lenina.

She couldn't make it out; and not only was bewildered; was also ratherupset.

'Because, you see, Fanny, I like him.'

Liked him more and more. Well, now there'd be a real chance, shethought, as she scented herself after her bath. Dab, dab, dab--a realchance. Her high spirits overflowed in song.

'Hug me till you drug me, honey;  Kiss me till I'm in a coma:Hug me, honey, snuggly bunny;  Love's as good as soma.'
****

The scent organ was playing a delightfully refreshing HerbalCapriccio--rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender, of rosemary, basil,myrtle, tarragon; a series of daring modulations through the spice keysinto ambergris; and a slow return through sandalwood, camphor, cedar andnew-mown hay (with occasional subtle touches of discord--a whiff ofkidney pudding, the faintest suspicion of pig's dung) back to the simplearomatics with which the piece began. The final blast of thyme diedaway; there was a round of applause; the lights went up. In thesynthetic music machine the sound-track roll began to unwind. It was atrio for hyper-violin, super-'cello and oboe-surrogate that now filledthe air with its agreeable languor. Thirty or forty bars--and then,against this instrumental background, a much more than human voice beganto warble; now throaty, now from the head, now hollow as a flute, nowcharged with yearning harmonics, it effortlessly passed from GaspardForster's low record on the very frontiers of musical tone to a trilledbat-note high above the highest C to which (in 1770, at the Ducal operaof Parma, and to the astonishment of Mozart) Lucrezia Ajugari, alone ofall the singers in history, once piercingly gave utterance.

Sunk in their pneumatic stalls, Lenina and the Savage sniffed andlistened. It was now the turn also for eyes and skin.

The house lights went down; fiery letters stood out solid and as thoughself-supported in the darkness.THREE WEEKS IN A HELICOPTER.AN ALL-SUPER-SINGING,SYNTHETIC-TALKING,COLOURED, STEREOSCOPIC FEELY.WITH SYNCHRONIZEDSCENT-ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT.

'Take hold of those metal knobs on the arms of your chair,' whisperedLenina. 'Otherwise you won't get any of the feely effects.'

The Savage did as he was told.

Those fiery letters, meanwhile, had disappeared; there were ten secondsof complete darkness; then suddenly, dazzling and incomparably moresolid-looking than they would have seemed in actual flesh and blood, farmore real than reality, there stood the stereoscopic images, locked inone another's arms, of a gigantic negro and a golden-haired youngbrachycephalic Beta-Plus female.

The Savage started. That sensation on his lips! He lifted a hand to hismouth; the titillation ceased; let his hand fall back on the metal knob;it began again. The scent organ, meanwhile, breathed pure musk.Expiringly, a sound-track super-dove cooed 'Oo-oh'; and vibrating onlythirty-two times a second, a deeper than African bass made answer:'Aa-aah.' 'Ooh-ah! Ooh-ah!' the stereoscopic lips came together again,and once more the facial erogenous zones of the six thousand spectatorsin the Alhambra tingled with almost intolerable galvanic pleasure.'Ooh...'

The plot of the film was extremely simple. A few minutes after the firstOoh's and Aah's (a duet having been sung and a little love made on thatfamous bearskin, every hair of which--the Assistant Predestinator wasperfectly right--could be separately and distinctly felt), the negro hada helicopter accident, fell on his head. Thump! what a twinge throughthe forehead! A chorus of ow's and aie's went up from the audience.

The concussion knocked all the negro's conditioning into a cocked hat.He developed for the Beta blonde an exclusive and maniacal passion. Sheprotested. He persisted. There were struggles, pursuits, an assault on arival, finally a sensational kidnapping. The Beta blonde was ravishedaway into the sky and kept there, hovering, for three weeks in a wildlyanti-social tête-à-tête with the black madman. Finally, after a wholeseries of adventures and much aerial acrobacy, three handsome youngAlphas succeeded in rescuing her. The negro was packed off to an AdultRe-conditioning Centre and the film ended happily and decorously, withthe Beta blonde becoming the mistress of all her three rescuers. Theyinterrupted themselves for a moment to sing a synthetic quartet, withfull super-orchestral accompaniment and gardenias on the scent organ.Then the bearskin made a final appearance and, amid a blare ofsexophones, the last stereoscopic kiss faded into darkness, the lastelectric titillation died on the lips like a dying moth that quivers,quivers, ever more feebly, ever more faintly, and at last is quite,quite still.

But for Lenina the moth did not completely die. Even after the lightshad gone up, while they were shuffling slowly along with the crowdtowards the lifts, its ghost still fluttered against her lips, stilltraced fine shuddering roads of anxiety and pleasure across her skin.Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes dewily bright, her breath came deeply.She caught hold of the Savage's arm and pressed it, limp, against herside. He looked down at her for a moment, pale, pained, desiring, andashamed of his desire. He was not worthy, not... Their eyes for amoment met. What treasures hers promised! A queen's ransom oftemperament. Hastily he looked away, disengaged his imprisoned arm. Hewas obscurely terrified lest she should cease to be something he couldfeel himself unworthy of.

'I don't think you ought to see things like that,' he said, making hasteto transfer from Lenina herself to the surrounding circumstances theblame for any past or possible future lapse from perfection.

'Things like what, John?'

'Like this horrible film.'

'Horrible?' Lenina was genuinely astonished. 'But I thought it waslovely.'

'It was base,' he said indignantly, 'it was ignoble.'

She shook her head. 'I don't know what you mean.' Why was he so queer?Why did he go out of his way to spoil things?

In the taxicopter he hardly even looked at her. Bound by strong vowsthat had never been pronounced, obedient to laws that had long sinceceased to run, he sat averted and in silence. Sometimes, as though afinger had plucked at some taut, almost breaking string, his whole bodywould shake with a sudden nervous start.

The taxicopter landed on the roof of Lenina's apartment house. 'Atlast,' she thought exultantly as she stepped out of the cab. Atlast--even though he had been so queer just now. Standing under alamp, she peered into her hand-mirror. At last. Yes, her nose was abit shiny. She shook the loose powder from her puff. While he was payingoff the taxi--there would just be time. She rubbed at the shininess,thinking: 'He's terribly good-looking. No need for him to be shy likeBernard. And yet... Any other man would have done it long ago. Well,now at last.' That fragment of a face in the little round mirrorsuddenly smiled at her.

'Good-night,' said a strangled voice behind her. Lenina wheeled round.He was standing in the doorway of the cab, his eyes fixed, staring; hadevidently been staring all this time while she was powdering her nose,waiting--but what for? or hesitating, trying to make up his mind, andall the time thinking, thinking--she could not imagine whatextraordinary thoughts. 'Good-night, Lenina,' he repeated, and made astrange grimacing attempt to smile.

'But, John... I thought you were... I mean, aren't you?...'

He shut the door and bent forward to say something to the driver. Thecab shot up into the air.

Looking down through the window in the floor, the Savage could seeLenina's upturned face, pale in the bluish light of the lamps. The mouthwas open, she was calling. Her foreshortened figure rushed away fromhim; the diminishing square of the roof seemed to be falling through thedarkness.

Five minutes later he was back in his room. From its hiding-place hetook out his mouse-nibbled volume, turned with religious care itsstained and crumpled pages, and began to read Othello. Othello, heremembered, was like the hero of Three Weeks in a Helicopter--a blackman.

Drying her eyes, Lenina walked across the roof to the lift. On her waydown to the twenty-seventh floor she pulled out her soma bottle. Onegramme, she decided, would not be enough; hers had been more than aone-gramme affliction. But if she took two grammes, she ran the risk ofnot waking up in time to-morrow morning. She compromised and, into hercupped left palm, shook out three half-gramme tablets.

Bernard had to shout through the locked door; the Savage would not open.

'But everybody's there, waiting for you.'

'Let them wait,' came back the muffled voice through the door.

'But you know quite well, John' (how difficult it is to sound persuasiveat the top of one's voice!), 'I asked them on purpose to meet you.'

'You ought to have asked me first whether I wanted to meet them.'

'But you always came before, John.'

'That's precisely why I don't want to come again.'

'Just to please me,' Bernard bellowingly wheedled. 'Won't you come toplease me?'

'No.'

'Do you seriously mean it?'

'Yes.'

Despairingly, 'But what shall I do?' Bernard wailed.

'Go to hell!' bawled the exasperated voice from within.

'But the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury is there to-night.'Bernard was almost in tears.

'Ai yaa tákwa!' It was only in Zuñi that the Savage could adequatelyexpress what he felt about the Arch-Community-Songster. 'Háni!' headded as an afterthought; and then (with what derisive ferocity!):'Sons éso tse-ná.' And he spat on the ground, as Popé might have done.

In the end Bernard had to slink back, diminished, to his rooms andinform the impatient assembly that the Savage would not be appearingthat evening. The news was received with indignation. The men werefurious at having been tricked into behaving politely to thisinsignificant fellow with the unsavoury reputation and the hereticalopinions. The higher their position in the hierarchy, the deeper theirresentment.

'To play such a joke on me,' the Arch-Songster kept repeating, 'onme!'

As for the women, they indignantly felt that they had been had on falsepretences--had by a wretched little man who had had alcohol poured intohis bottle by mistake--by a creature with a Gamma-Minus physique. It wasan outrage, and they said so, more and more loudly. The Head Mistress ofEton was particularly scathing.

Lenina alone said nothing. Pale, her blue eyes clouded with an unwontedmelancholy, she sat in a corner, cut off from those who surrounded herby an emotion which they did not share. She had come to the party filledwith a strange feeling of anxious exultation. 'In a few minutes,' shehad said to herself, as she entered the room, 'I shall be seeing him,talking to him, telling him' (for she had come with her mind made up)'that I like him--more than anybody I've ever known. And then perhapshe'll say...'

What would he say? The blood had rushed to her cheeks.

'Why was he so strange the other night, after the feelies? So queer. Andyet I'm absolutely sure he really does rather like me. I'm sure...'

It was at this moment that Bernard had made his announcement; the Savagewasn't coming to the party.

Lenina suddenly felt all the sensations normally experienced at thebeginning of a Violent Passion Surrogate treatment--a sense of dreadfulemptiness, a breathless apprehension, a nausea. Her heart seemed to stopbeating.

'Perhaps it's because he doesn't like me,' she said to herself. And atonce this possibility became an established certainty: John had refusedto come because he didn't like her. He didn't like her....

'It really is a bit too thick,' the Head Mistress of Eton was sayingto the Director of Crematoria and Phosphorus Reclamation. 'When I thinkthat I actually...'

'Yes,' came the voice of Fanny Crowne, 'it's absolutely true aboutthe alcohol. Some one I know knew some one who was working in theEmbryo Store at the time. She said to my friend, and my friend saidto me...'

'Too bad, too bad,' said Henry Foster, sympathizing with theArch-Community-Songster. 'It may interest you to know that ourex-Director was on the point of transferring him to Iceland.'

Pierced by every word that was spoken, the tight balloon of Bernard'shappy self-confidence was leaking from a thousand wounds. Pale,distraught, abject and agitated, he moved among his guests, stammeringincoherent apologies, assuring them that next time the Savage wouldcertainly be there, begging them to sit down and take a carotinesandwich, a slice of vitamin A pâté, a glass of champagne-surrogate.They duly ate, but ignored him; drank and were either rude to his faceor talked to one another about him, loudly and offensively as though hehad not been there.

'And now, my friends,' said the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury,in that beautiful ringing voice with which he led the proceedings atFord's Day Celebrations, 'Now, my friends, I think perhaps the time hascome...' He rose, put down his glass, brushed from his purple viscosewaistcoat the crumbs of a considerable collation, and walked towards thedoor.

Bernard darted forward to intercept him.

'Must you really, Arch-Songster?... It's very early still. I'd hopedyou would...'

Yes, what hadn't he hoped, when Lenina confidentially told him that theArch-Community-Songster would accept an invitation if it were sent.'He's really rather sweet, you know.' And she had shown Bernard thelittle golden zipper-fastening in the form of a T which theArch-Songster had given her as a memento of the week-end she had spentat the Diocesan Singery. To meet the Arch-Community-Songster ofCanterbury and Mr. Savage. Bernard had proclaimed his triumph on everyinvitation card. But the Savage had chosen this evening of all eveningsto lock himself up in his room, to shout 'Háni!' and even (it waslucky that Bernard didn't understand Zuñi) 'Sons éso tse-ná!' Whatshould have been the crowning moment of Bernard's whole career hadturned out to be the moment of his greatest humiliation.

'I'd so much hoped...' he stammeringly repeated, looking up at thegreat dignitary with pleading and distracted eyes.

'My young friend,' said the Arch-Community-Songster in a tone of loudand solemn severity; there was a general silence. 'Let me give you aword of advice.' He wagged his finger at Bernard. 'Before it's too late.A word of good advice.' (His voice became sepulchral.) 'Mend your ways,my young friend, mend your ways.' He made the sign of the T over him andturned away. 'Lenina, my dear,' he called in another tone. 'Come withme.'

Obediently, but unsmiling and (wholly insensible of the honour done toher) without elation, Lenina walked after him, out of the room. Theother guests followed at a respectful interval. The last of them slammedthe door. Bernard was all alone.

Punctured, utterly deflated, he dropped into a chair and, covering hisface with his hands, began to weep. A few minutes later, however, hethought better of it and took four tablets of soma.

****

Upstairs in his room the Savage was reading Romeo and Juliet.

****

Lenina and the Arch-Community-Songster stepped out on to the roof of theSingery. 'Hurry up, my young friend--I mean, Lenina,' called theArch-Songster impatiently from the lift gates. Lenina, who had lingeredfor a moment to look at the moon, dropped her eyes and came hurryingacross the roof to rejoin him.

****

'A New Theory of Biology' was the title of the paper which Mustapha Mondhad just finished reading. He sat for some time, meditatively frowning,then picked up his pen and wrote across the title-page. 'The author'smathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highlyingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present social order isconcerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published.'He underlined the words. 'The author will be kept under supervision. Histransference to the Marine Biological Station of St. Helena may becomenecessary.' A pity, he thought, as he signed his name. It was a masterlypiece of work. But once you began admitting explanations in terms ofpurpose--well, you didn't know what the result might be. It was the sortof idea that might easily de-condition the more unsettled minds amongthe higher castes--make them lose their faith in happiness as theSovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal wassomewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere; that thepurpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but someintensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement ofknowledge. Which was, the Controller reflected, quite possibly true. Butnot, in the present circumstance, admissible. He picked up his penagain, and under the words 'Not to be published' drew a second line,thicker and blacker than the first; then sighed. 'What fun it would be,'he thought, 'if one didn't have to think about happiness!'

****

With closed eyes, his face shining with rapture, John was softlydeclaiming to vacancy:

'O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!It seems she hangs upon the cheek of nightLike a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear;Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear....'
****

The golden T lay shining on Lenina's bosom. Sportively, theArch-Community-Songster caught hold of it, sportively he pulled, pulled.'I think,' said Lenina suddenly, breaking a long silence, 'I'd bettertake a couple of grammes of soma.'

****

Bernard, by this time, was fast asleep and smiling at the privateparadise of his dreams. Smiling, smiling. But inexorably, everythirty seconds, the minute hand of the electric clock above his bedjumped forward with an almost imperceptible click. Click, click,click, click... And it was morning. Bernard was back among themiseries of space and time. It was in the lowest spirits thathe taxied across to his work at the Conditioning Centre.The intoxication of success had evaporated; he was soberlyhis old self; and by contrast with the temporary balloon ofthese last weeks, the old self seemed unprecedentedly heavierthan the surrounding atmosphere.

To this deflated Bernard the Savage showed himself unexpectedlysympathetic.

'You're more like what you were at Malpais,' he said, when Bernard hadtold him his plaintive story. 'Do you remember when we first talkedtogether? Outside the little house. You're like what you were then.'

'Because I'm unhappy again; that's why.'

'Well, I'd rather be unhappy than have the sort of false, lyinghappiness you were having here.'

'I like that,' said Bernard bitterly. 'When it's you who were the causeof it all. Refusing to come to my party and so turning them all againstme!' He knew that what he was saying was absurd in its injustice; headmitted inwardly, and at last even aloud, the truth of all that theSavage now said about the worthlessness of friends who could be turnedupon so slight a provocation into persecuting enemies. But in spite ofthis knowledge and these admissions, in spite of the fact that hisfriend's support and sympathy were now his only comfort, Bernardcontinued perversely to nourish, along with his quite genuine affection,a secret grievance against the Savage, to meditate a campaign of smallrevenges to be wreaked upon him. Nourishing a grievance against theArch-Community-Songster was useless; there was no possibility of beingrevenged on the Chief Bottler or the Assistant Predestinator. As avictim, the Savage possessed, for Bernard, this enormous superiorityover the others: that he was accessible. One of the principal functionsof a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishmentsthat we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies.

Bernard's other victim-friend was Helmholtz. When, discomfited, he cameand asked once more for the friendship which in his prosperity he hadnot thought it worth his while to preserve, Helmholtz gave it; and gaveit without a reproach, without a comment, as though he had forgottenthat there had ever been a quarrel. Touched, Bernard felt himself at thesame time humiliated by this magnanimity--a magnanimity the moreextraordinary and therefore the more humiliating in that it owed nothingto soma and everything to Helmholtz's character. It was the Helmholtzof daily life who forgot and forgave, not the Helmholtz of a half-grammeholiday. Bernard was duly grateful (it was an enormous comfort to havehis friend again) and also duly resentful (it would be a pleasure totake some revenge on Helmholtz for his generosity.)

At their first meeting after the estrangement, Bernard poured out thetale of his miseries and accepted consolation. It was not till some dayslater that he learned, to his surprise and with a twinge of shame, thathe was not the only one who had been in trouble. Helmholtz had also comeinto conflict with Authority.

'It was over some rhymes,' he explained. 'I was giving my usual courseof Advanced Emotional Engineering for Third Year Students. Twelvelectures, of which the seventh is about rhymes. "On the Use of Rhymes inMoral Propaganda and Advertisement," to be precise. I always illustratemy lecture with a lot of technical examples. This time I thought I'dgive them one I'd just written myself. Pure madness, of course; but Icouldn't resist it.' He laughed. 'I was curious to see what theirreactions would be. Besides,' he added more gravely, 'I wanted to do abit of propaganda; I was trying to engineer them into feeling as I'dfelt when I wrote the rhymes. Ford!' He laughed again. 'What an outcrythere was! The Principal had me up and threatened to hand me theimmediate sack. I'm a marked man.'

'But what were your rhymes?' Bernard asked.

'They were about being alone.'

Bernard's eyebrows went up.

'I'll recite them to you, if you like.' And Helmholtz began:

'Yesterday's committee,Sticks, but a broken drum,Midnight in the City,Flutes in a vacuum,Shut lips, sleeping faces,Every stopped machine,The dumb and littered placesWhere crowds have been--All silences rejoice,Weep (loudly or low),Speak--but with the voiceOf whom, I do not know.Absence, say, of Susan's,Absence of Egeria'sArms and respective bosoms,Lips and, ah, posteriors,Slowly form a presence;Whose? and, I ask, of whatSo absurd an essence,That something, which is not,Nevertheless should populateEmpty night more solidlyThan that with which we copulate,Why should it seem so squalidly?

Well, I gave them that as an example, and they reported me to thePrincipal.'

'I'm not surprised,' said Bernard. 'It's flatly against all theirsleep-teaching. Remember, they've had at least a quarter of a millionwarnings against solitude.'

'I know. But I thought I'd like to see what the effect would be.'

'Well, you've seen now.'

Helmholtz only laughed. 'I feel,' he said, after a silence, 'as though Iwere just beginning to have something to write about. As though I werebeginning to be able to use that power I feel I've got inside me--thatextra, latent power. Something seems to be coming to me.' In spite ofall his troubles, he seemed, Bernard thought, profoundly happy.

Helmholtz and the Savage took to one another at once. So cordiallyindeed that Bernard felt a sharp pang of jealousy. In all these weeks hehad never come to so close an intimacy with the Savage as Helmholtzimmediately achieved. Watching them, listening to their talk, he foundhimself sometimes resentfully wishing that he had never brought themtogether. He was ashamed of his jealousy and alternately made efforts ofwill and took soma to keep himself from feeling it. But the effortswere not very successful; and between the soma-holidays there were, ofnecessity, intervals. The odious sentiment kept on returning.

At his third meeting with the Savage, Helmholtz recited his rhymes onSolitude.

'What do you think of them?' he asked when he had done.

The Savage shook his head. 'Listen to this,' was his answer; andunlocking the drawer in which he kept his mouse-eaten book, he openedand read:

'Let the bird of loudest lay,On the sole Arabian tree,Herald sad and trumpet be...'

Helmholtz listened with a growing excitement. At 'sole Arabian tree' hestarted; at 'thou shrieking harbinger' he smiled with sudden pleasure;at 'every fowl of tyrant wing' the blood rushed up into his cheeks; butat 'defunctive music' he turned pale and trembled with an unprecedentedemotion. The Savage read on:

'Property was thus appall'd,That the self was not the same;Single nature's double nameNeither two nor one was call'd.Reason in itself confoundedSaw division grow together...'

'Orgy-porgy!' said Bernard, interrupting the reading with a loud,unpleasant laugh. 'It's just a Solidarity Service hymn.' He wasrevenging himself on his two friends for liking one another more thanthey liked him.

In the course of their next two or three meetings he frequently repeatedthis little act of vengeance. It was simple and, since both Helmholtzand the Savage were dreadfully pained by the shattering and defilementof a favourite poetic crystal, extremely effective. In the end,Helmholtz threatened to kick him out of the room if he dared tointerrupt again. And yet, strangely enough, the next interruption, themost disgraceful of all, came from Helmholtz himself.

The Savage was reading Romeo and Juliet aloud--reading (for all thetime he was seeing himself as Romeo and Lenina as Juliet) with anintense and quivering passion. Helmholtz had listened to the scene ofthe lovers' first meeting with a puzzled interest. The scene in theorchard had delighted him with its poetry; but the sentiments expressedhad made him smile. Getting into such a state about having a girl--itseemed rather ridiculous. But, taken detail by verbal detail, what asuperb piece of emotional engineering! 'That old fellow,' he said, 'hemakes our best propaganda technicians look absolutely silly.' The Savagesmiled triumphantly and resumed his reading. All went tolerably welluntil, in the last scene of the third act, Capulet and Lady Capuletbegan to bully Juliet to marry Paris. Helmholtz had been restlessthroughout the entire scene; but when, pathetically mimed by the Savage,Juliet cried out:

'Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,That sees into the bottom of my grief?O, sweet my mother, cast me not away!Delay this marriage for a month, a week;Or, if you do not, make the bridal bedIn that dim monument where Tybalt lies...'

when Juliet said this, Helmholtz broke out in an explosion ofuncontrollable guffawing.

The mother and father (grotesque obscenity) forcing the daughter to havesome one she didn't want! And the idiotic girl not saying that she washaving some one else whom (for the moment, at any rate) she preferred!In its smutty absurdity the situation was irresistibly comical. He hadmanaged, with a heroic effort, to hold down the mounting pressure of hishilarity; but 'sweet mother' (in the Savage's tremulous tone of anguish)and the reference to Tybalt lying dead, but evidently uncremated andwasting his phosphorus on a dim monument, were too much for him. Helaughed and laughed till the tears streamed down his face--quenchlesslylaughed while, pale with a sense of outrage, the Savage looked at himover the top of his book and then, as the laughter still continued,closed it indignantly, got up and, with the gesture of one who removeshis pearl from before swine, locked it away in its drawer.

'And yet,' said Helmholtz when, having recovered breath enough toapologize, he had mollified the Savage into listening to hisexplanations, 'I know quite well that one needs ridiculous, madsituations like that; one can't write really well about anything else.Why was that old fellow such a marvellous propaganda technician? Becausehe had so many insane, excruciating things to get excited about. You'vegot to be hurt and upset; otherwise you can't think of the really good,penetrating, X-rayish phrases. But fathers and mothers!' He shook hishead. 'You can't expect me to keep a straight face about fathers andmothers. And who's going to get excited about a boy having a girl or nothaving her?' (The Savage winced; but Helmholtz, who was staringpensively at the floor, saw nothing.) 'No,' he concluded, with a sigh,'it won't do. We need some other kind of madness and violence. But what?What? Where can one find it?' He was silent; then, shaking his head, 'Idon't know,' he said at last, 'I don't know.'

Henry Foster loomed up through the twilight of the Embryo Store.

'Like to come to a feely this evening?'

Lenina shook her head without speaking.

'Going out with some one else?' It interested him to know which of hisfriends was being had by which other. 'Is it Benito?' he questioned.

She shook her head again.

Henry detected the weariness in those purple eyes, the pallor beneaththat glaze of lupus, the sadness at the corners of the unsmiling crimsonmouth. 'You're not feeling ill, are you?' he asked, a trifle anxiously,afraid that she might be suffering from one of the few remaininginfectious diseases.

Yet once more Lenina shook her head.

'Anyhow, you ought to go and see the doctor,' said Henry. 'A doctor aday keeps the jim-jams away,' he added heartily, driving home hishypnopædic adage with a clap on the shoulder. 'Perhaps you need aPregnancy Substitute,' he suggested. 'Or else an extra-strong V.P.S.treatment. Sometimes, you know, the standard passion-surrogate isn'tquite...'

'Oh, for Ford's sake,' said Lenina, breaking her stubborn silence, 'shutup!' And she turned back to her neglected embryos.

A V.P.S. treatment indeed! She would have laughed, if she hadn't been onthe point of crying. As though she hadn't got enough V.P. of her own!She sighed profoundly as she refilled her syringe. 'John,' she murmuredto herself, 'John...' Then 'My Ford,' she wondered, 'have I giventhis one its sleeping-sickness injection, or haven't I?' She simplycouldn't remember. In the end, she decided not to run the risk ofletting it have a second dose, and moved down the line to the nextbottle.

Twenty-two years eight months and four days from that moment, apromising young Alpha-Minus administrator at Mwanza-Mwanza was to die oftrypanosomiasis--the first case for over half a century. Sighing, Leninawent on with her work.

An hour later, in the Changing Room, Fanny was energetically protesting.'But it's absurd to let yourself get into a state like this. Simplyabsurd,' she repeated. 'And what about? A man--one man.'

'But he's the one I want.'

'As though there weren't millions of other men in the world.'

'But I don't want them.'

'How can you know till you've tried?'

'I have tried.'

'But how many?' asked Fanny, shrugging her shoulders contemptuously.'One, two?'

'Dozens. But,' shaking her head, 'it wasn't any good,' she added.

'Well, you must persevere,' said Fanny sententiously. But it was obviousthat her confidence in her own prescriptions had been shaken. 'Nothingcan be achieved without perseverance.'

'But meanwhile...'

'Don't think of him.'

'I can't help it.'

'Take soma, then.'

'I do.'

'Well, go on.'

'But in the intervals I still like him. I shall always like him.'

'Well, if that's the case,' said Fanny, with decision, 'why don't youjust go and take him. Whether he wants it or no.'

'But if you knew how terribly queer he was!'

'All the more reason for taking a firm line.'

'It's all very well to say that.'

'Don't stand any nonsense. Act.' Fanny's voice was a trumpet; she mighthave been a Y.W.F.A. lecturer giving an evening talk to adolescentBeta-Minuses. 'Yes, act--at once. Do it now.'

'I'd be scared,' said Lenina.

'Well, you've only got to take half a gramme of soma first. And nowI'm going to have my bath.' She marched off, trailing her towel.

****

The bell rang, and the Savage, who was impatiently hoping that Helmholtzwould come that afternoon (for having at last made up his mind to talkto Helmholtz about Lenina, he could not bear to postpone his confidencesa moment longer), jumped up and ran to the door.

'I had a premonition it was you, Helmholtz,' he shouted as he opened.

On the threshold, in a white acetate-satin sailor suit, and with a roundwhite cap rakishly tilted over her left ear, stood Lenina.

'Oh!' said the Savage, as though some one had struck him a heavy blow.

Half a gramme had been enough to make Lenina forget her fears and herembarrassments. 'Hullo, John,' she said, smiling, and walked past himinto the room. Automatically he closed the door and followed her. Leninasat down. There was a long silence.

'You don't seem very glad to see me, John,' she said at last.

'Not glad?' The Savage looked at her reproachfully; then suddenly fellon his knees before her and, taking Lenina's hand, reverently kissed it.'Not glad? Oh, if you only knew,' he whispered, and, venturing to raisehis eyes to her face, 'Admired Lenina,' he went on, 'indeed the top ofadmiration, worth what's dearest in the world.' She smiled at him with aluscious tenderness. 'Oh, you so perfect' (she was leaning towards himwith parted lips), 'so perfect and so peerless are created' (nearer andnearer) 'of every creature's best.' Still nearer. The Savage suddenlyscrambled to his feet. 'That's why,' he said, speaking with avertedface,' I wanted to do something first... I mean, to show I wasworthy of you. Not that I could ever really be that. But at any rate toshow I wasn't absolutely unworthy. I wanted to do something.'

'Why should you think it necessary...' Lenina began, but left thesentence unfinished. There was a note of irritation in her voice. Whenone has leant forward, nearer and nearer, with parted lips--only to findoneself, quite suddenly, as a clumsy oaf scrambles to his feet, leaningtowards nothing at all--well, there is a reason, even with half a grammeof soma circulating in one's blood-stream, a genuine reason forannoyance.

'At Malpais,' the Savage was incoherently mumbling, 'you had to bringher the skin of a mountain lion--I mean, when you wanted to marry someone. Or else a wolf.'

'There aren't any lions in England,' Lenina almost snapped.

'And even if there were,' the Savage added, with sudden contemptuousresentment, 'people would kill them out of helicopters, I suppose, withpoison gas or something. I wouldn't do that, Lenina.' He squared hisshoulders, he ventured to look at her and was met with a stare ofannoyed incomprehension. Confused, 'I'll do anything,' he went on, moreand more incoherently. 'Anything you tell me. There be some sports arepainful--you know. But their labour delight in them sets off. That'swhat I feel. I mean I'd sweep the floor if you wanted.'

'But we've got vacuum cleaners here,' said Lenina in bewilderment. 'Itisn't necessary.'

'No, of course it isn't necessary. But some kinds of baseness arenobly undergone. I'd like to undergo something nobly. Don't you see?'

'But if there are vacuum cleaners...'

'That's not the point.'

'And Epsilon Semi-Morons to work them,' she went on, 'well, really,why?'

'Why? But for you, for you. Just to show that I...'

'And what on earth vacuum cleaners have got to do with lions...'

'To show how much...'

'Or lions with being glad to see me...' She was getting more andmore exasperated.

'How much I love you, Lenina,' he brought out almost desperately.

An emblem of the inner tide of startled elation, the blood rushed upinto Lenina's cheeks. 'Do you mean it, John?'

'But I hadn't meant to say so,' cried the Savage, clasping his hands ina kind of agony. 'Not until... Listen, Lenina; in Malpais people getmarried.'

'Get what?' The irritation had begun to creep back into her voice. Whatwas he talking about now?

'For always. They make a promise to live together for always.'

'What a horrible idea!' Lenina was genuinely shocked.

'Outliving beauty's outward, with a mind that doth renew swifter thanblood decays.'

'What?'

'It's like that in Shakespeare too. "If thou dost break her virgin knotbefore all sanctimonious ceremonies may with full and holy rite..."'

'For Ford's sake, John, talk sense. I can't understand a word you say.First it's vacuum cleaners; then it's knots. You're driving me crazy.'She jumped up and, as though afraid that he might run away from herphysically, as well as with his mind, caught him by the wrist. 'Answerme this question: do you really like me, or don't you?'

There was a moment's silence; then, in a very low voice, 'I love youmore than anything in the world,' he said.

'Then why on earth didn't you say so?' she cried, and so intense was herexasperation that she drove her sharp nails into the skin of his wrist.'Instead of drivelling away about knots and vacuum cleaners and lions,and making me miserable for weeks and weeks.'

She released his hand and flung it angrily away from her.

'If I didn't like you so much,' she said, 'I'd be furious with you.'

And suddenly her arms were round his neck; he felt her lips soft againsthis own. So deliciously soft, so warm and electric that inevitably hefound himself thinking of the embraces in Three Weeks in a Helicopter.Ooh! ooh! the stereoscopic blonde and aah! the more than realblackamoor. Horror, horror, horror... he tried to disengage himself;but Lenina tightened her embrace.

'Why didn't you say so?' she whispered, drawing back her face to look athim. Her eyes were tenderly reproachful.

'The murkiest den, the most opportune place' (the voice of consciencethundered poetically), 'the strongest suggestion our worser genius can,shall never melt mine honour into lust. Never, never!' he resolved.

'You silly boy!' she was saying. 'I wanted you so much. And if youwanted me too, why didn't you?...'

'But, Lenina...' he began protesting; and as she immediately untwinedher arms, as she stepped away from him, he thought, for a moment, thatshe had taken his unspoken hint. But when she unbuckled her white patentcartridge belt and hung it carefully over the back of a chair, he beganto suspect that he had been mistaken.

'Lenina!' he repeated apprehensively.

She put her hand to her neck and gave a long vertical pull; her whitesailor's blouse was ripped to the hem; suspicion condensed into a too,too solid certainty. 'Lenina, what are you doing?'

Zip, zip! Her answer was wordless. She stepped out of her bell-bottomedtrousers. Her zippicamiknicks were a pale shell pink. TheArch-Community-Songster's golden T dangled at her breast.

'For those milk paps that through the window bars bore at men'seyes...' The singing, thundering, magical words made her seemdoubly dangerous, doubly alluring. Soft, soft, but how piercing!boring and drilling into reason, tunnelling through resolution.'The strongest oaths are straw to the fire i' the blood. Be moreabstemious, or else...'

Zip! The rounded pinkness fell apart like a neatly divided apple. Awriggle of the arms, a lifting first of the right foot, then the left:the zippicamiknicks were lying lifeless and as though deflated on thefloor.

Still wearing her shoes and socks, and her rakishly tilted round whitecap, she advanced towards him. 'Darling. Darling! If only you'd saidso before!' She held out her arms.

But instead of also saying 'Darling!' and holding out his arms, theSavage retreated in terror, flapping his hands at her as though he weretrying to scare away some intruding and dangerous animal. Four backwardsteps, and he was brought to bay against the wall.

'Sweet!' said Lenina and, laying her hands on his shoulders, pressedherself against him. 'Put your arms round me,' she commanded. 'Hug metill you drug me, honey.' She too had poetry at her command, knew wordsthat sang and were spells and beat drums. 'Kiss me'; she closed hereyes, she let her voice sink to a sleepy murmur, 'kiss me till I'm in acoma. Hug me, honey, snuggly...'

The Savage caught her by the wrists, tore her hands from his shoulders,thrust her roughly away at arm's length.

'Ow, you're hurting me, you're... oh!' She was suddenly silent.Terror had made her forget the pain. Opening her eyes, she had seen hisface--no, not his face, a ferocious stranger's, pale, distorted,twitching with some insane, inexplicable fury. Aghast, 'But what is it,John?' she whispered. He did not answer, but only stared into her facewith those mad eyes. The hands that held her wrists were trembling. Hebreathed deeply and irregularly. Faint almost to imperceptibility, butappalling, she suddenly heard the grinding of his teeth. 'What is it?'she almost screamed.

And as though awakened by her cry he caught her by the shoulders andshook her. 'Whore!' he shouted. 'Whore! Impudent strumpet!'

'Oh, don't, do-on't,' she protested in a voice made grotesquelytremulous by his shaking.

'Whore!'

'Plea-ease.'

'Damned whore!'

'A gra-amme is be-etter...' she began.

The Savage pushed her away with such force that she staggered and fell.'Go,' he shouted, standing over her menacingly, 'get out of my sight orI'll kill you.' He clenched his fists.

Lenina raised her arm to cover her face. 'No, please don't, John...'

'Hurry up. Quick!'

One arm still raised, and following his every movement with a terrifiedeye, she scrambled to her feet and still crouching, still covering herhead, made a dash for the bathroom.

The noise of that prodigious slap by which her departure was acceleratedwas like a pistol-shot.

'Ow!' Lenina bounded forward.

Safely locked into the bathroom, she had leisure to take stock of herinjuries. Standing with her back to the mirror, she twisted her head.Looking over her left shoulder she could see the imprint of an open handstanding out distinct and crimson on the pearly flesh. Gingerly sherubbed the wounded spot.

Outside, in the other room, the Savage was striding up and down,marching, marching to the drums and music of magical words. 'The wrengoes to't, and the small gilded fly does lecher in my sight.'Maddeningly they rumbled in his ears. 'The fitchew nor the soiled horsegoes to't with a more riotous appetite. Down from the waist they areCentaurs, though women all above. But to the girdle do the gods inherit.Beneath is all the fiends'. There's hell, there's darkness, there is thesulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption; fie, fie, fie,pah, pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten myimagination.'

'John!' ventured a small ingratiating voice from the bathroom. 'John!'

'O thou weed, who art so lovely fair and smell'st so sweet that thesense aches at thee. Was this most goodly book made to write "whore"upon? Heaven stops the nose at it...'

But her perfume still hung about him, his jacket was white with thepowder that had scented her velvety body. 'Impudent strumpet, impudentstrumpet, impudent strumpet.' The inexorable rhythm beat itself out.'Impudent...'

'John, do you think I might have my clothes?'

He picked up the bell-bottomed trousers, the blouse, thezippicamiknicks.

'Open!' he ordered, kicking the door.

'No, I won't.' The voice was frightened and defiant.

'Well, how do you expect me to give them to you?'

'Push them through the ventilator over the door.'

He did what she suggested and returned to his uneasy pacing of the room.'Impudent strumpet, impudent strumpet. The devil Luxury with his fatrump and potato finger...'

'John.'

He would not answer. 'Fat rump and potato finger.'

'John.'

'What is it?' he asked gruffly.

'I wonder if you'd mind giving me my Malthusian belt.'

Lenina sat listening to the footsteps in the other room, wondering, asshe listened, how long he was likely to go tramping up and down likethat; whether she would have to wait until he left the flat; or if itwould be safe, after allowing his madness a reasonable time to subside,to open the bathroom door and make a dash for it.

She was interrupted in the midst of these uneasy speculations by thesound of the telephone bell ringing in the other room. Abruptly thetramping ceased. She heard the voice of the Savage parleying withsilence.

'Hullo.'

......

'Yes.'

......

'If I do not usurp myself, I am.'

......

'Yes, didn't you hear me say so? Mr. Savage speaking.'

......

'What? Who's ill? Of course it interests me.'

......

'But is it serious? Is she really bad? I'll go at once....'

......

'Not in her rooms any more? Where has she been taken?'

......

'Oh, my God! What's the address?'

......

'Three Park Lane--is that it? Three? Thanks.'

Lenina heard the click of the replaced receiver, then hurrying steps. Adoor slammed. There was silence. Was he really gone?

With an infinity of precautions she opened the door a quarter of aninch; peeped through the crack; was encouraged by the view of emptiness;opened a little further, and put her whole head out; finally tiptoedinto the room; stood for a few seconds with strongly beating heart,listening, listening; then darted to the front door, opened, slippedthrough, slammed, ran. It was not till she was in the lift and actuallydropping down the well that she began to feel herself secure.

The Park Lane Hospital for the Dying was a sixty-story tower of primrosetiles. As the Savage stepped out of his taxicopter a convoy ofgaily-coloured aerial hearses rose whirring from the roof and dartedaway across the Park, westwards, bound for the Slough Crematorium. Atthe lift gates the presiding porter gave him the information herequired, and he dropped down to Ward 81 (a Galloping Senility ward, theporter explained) on the seventeenth floor.

It was a large room bright with sunshine and yellow paint, andcontaining twenty beds, all occupied. Linda was dying in company--incompany and with all the modern conveniences. The air was continuouslyalive with gay synthetic melodies. At the foot of every bed, confrontingits moribund occupant, was a television box. Television was left on, arunning tap, from morning till night. Every quarter of an hour theprevailing perfume of the room was automatically changed. 'We try,'explained the nurse, who had taken charge of the Savage at the door, 'wetry to create a thoroughly pleasant atmosphere here--something between afirst-class hotel and a feely-palace, if you take my meaning.'

'Where is she?' asked the Savage, ignoring these polite explanations.

The nurse was offended. 'You are in a hurry,' she said.

'Is there any hope?' he asked.

'You mean, of her not dying?' (He nodded.) 'No, of course there isn't.When somebody's sent here, there's no...' Startled by the expressionof distress on his pale face, she suddenly broke off. 'Why, whatever isthe matter?' she asked. She was not accustomed to this kind of thing invisitors. (Not that there were many visitors anyhow: or any reason whythere should be many visitors.) 'You're not feeling ill, are you?'

He shook his head. 'She's my mother,' he said in a scarcely audiblevoice.

The nurse glanced at him with startled, horrified eyes; then quicklylooked away. From throat to temple she was all one hot blush.

'Take me to her,' said the Savage, making an effort to speak in anordinary tone.

Still blushing, she led the way down the ward. Faces still fresh andunwithered (for senility galloped so hard that it had no time to age thecheeks--only the heart and brain) turned as they passed. Their progresswas followed by the blank, incurious eyes of second infancy. The Savageshuddered as he looked.

Linda was lying in the last of the long row of beds, next to the wall.Propped up on pillows, she was watching the Semi-finals of the SouthAmerican Riemann-Surface Tennis Championship, which were being played insilent and diminished reproduction on the screen of the television boxat the foot of the bed. Hither and thither across their square ofillumined glass the little figures noiselessly darted, like fish in anaquarium--the silent but agitated inhabitants of another world.

Linda looked on, vaguely and uncomprehendingly smiling. Her pale,bloated face wore an expression of imbecile happiness. Every now andthen her eyelids closed, and for a few seconds she seemed to be dozing.Then with a little start she would wake up again--wake up to theaquarium antics of the Tennis Champions, to the Super-Vox-Wurlitzerianarendering of 'Hug me till you drug me, honey,' to the warm draught ofverbena that came blowing through the ventilator above her head--wouldwake to these things, or rather to a dream of which these things,transformed and embellished by the soma in her blood, were themarvellous constituents, and smile once more her broken and discolouredsmile of infantile contentment.

'Well, I must go,' said the nurse. 'I've got my batch of childrencoming. Besides, there's Number 3.' She pointed up the ward. 'Might gooff any minute now. Well, make yourself comfortable.' She walked brisklyaway.

The Savage sat down beside the bed.

'Linda,' he whispered, taking her hand.

At the sound of her name, she turned. Her vague eyes brightened withrecognition. She squeezed his hand, she smiled, her lips moved; thenquite suddenly her head fell forward. She was asleep. He sat watchingher--seeking through the tired flesh, seeking and finding that young,bright face which had stooped over his childhood in Malpais, remembering(and he closed his eyes) her voice, her movements, all the events oftheir life together. 'Streptocock-Gee to Banbury-T...' How beautifulher singing had been! And those childish rhymes, how magically strangeand mysterious!

A, B, C, vitamin D:The fat's in the liver, the cod's in the sea.

He felt the hot tears welling up behind his eyelids as he recalled thewords and Linda's voice as she repeated them. And then the readinglessons; The tot is in the pot, the cat is on the mat; and theElementary Instructions for Beta Workers in the Embryo Store. And longevenings by the fire or, in summer time, on the roof of the littlehouse, when she told him those stories about the Other Place, outsidethe Reservation: that beautiful, beautiful Other Place, whose memory, asof a heaven, a paradise of goodness and loveliness, he still kept wholeand intact, undefiled by contact with the reality of this real London,these actual civilized men and women.

A sudden noise of shrill voices made him open his eyes and, afterhastily brushing away the tears, look round. What seemed an interminablestream of identical eight-year-old male twins was pouring into the room.Twin after twin, twin after twin, they came--a nightmare. Their faces,their repeated face--for there was only one between the lot ofthem--puggishly stared, all nostrils and pale goggling eyes. Theiruniform was khaki. All their mouths hung open. Squealing and chatteringthey entered. In a moment, it seemed, the ward was maggoty with them.They swarmed between the beds, clambered over, crawled under, peepedinto the television boxes, made faces at the patients.

Linda astonished and rather alarmed them. A group stood clustered at thefoot of her bed, staring with the frightened and stupid curiosity ofanimals suddenly confronted by the unknown.

'Oh, look, look!' They spoke in low, scared voices. 'Whatever is thematter with her? Why is she so fat?'

They had never seen a face like hers before--had never seen a face thatwas not youthful and taut-skinned, a body that had ceased to be slim andupright. All these moribund sexagenarians had the appearance of childishgirls. At forty-four, Linda seemed, by contrast, a monster of flaccidand distorted senility.

'Isn't she awful?' came the whispered comments. 'Look at her teeth!'

Suddenly from under the bed a pug-faced twin popped up between John'schair and the wall, and began peering into Linda's sleeping face.

'I say...' he began; but his sentence ended prematurely in a squeal.The Savage had seized him by the collar, lifted him clear over the chairand, with a smart box on the ears, sent him howling away.

His yells brought the Head Nurse hurrying to the rescue.

'What have you been doing to him?' she demanded fiercely. 'I won't haveyou striking the children.'

'Well, then, keep them away from this bed.' The Savage's voice wastrembling with indignation. 'What are these filthy little brats doinghere at all? It's disgraceful!'

'Disgraceful? But what do you mean? They're being death-conditioned. AndI tell you,' she warned him truculently, 'if I have any more of yourinterference with their conditioning, I'll send for the porters and haveyou thrown out.'

The Savage rose to his feet and took a couple of steps towards her. Hismovements and the expression on his face were so menacing that the nursefell back in terror. With a great effort he checked himself and, withoutspeaking, turned away and sat down again by the bed.

Reassured, but with a dignity that was a trifle shrill and uncertain,'I've warned you,' said the nurse, 'so mind.' Still, she led the tooinquisitive twins away and made them join in the game ofhunt-the-zipper, which had been organized by one of her colleagues atthe other end of the room.

'Run along now and have your cup of caffeine solution, dear,' she saidto the other nurse. The exercise of authority restored her confidence,made her feel better. 'Now, children!' she called.

Linda had stirred uneasily, had opened her eyes for a moment, lookedvaguely around, and then once more dropped off to sleep. Sitting besideher, the Savage tried hard to recapture his mood of a few minutesbefore. 'A, B, C, vitamin D,' he repeated to himself, as though thewords were a spell that would restore the dead past to life. But thespell was ineffective. Obstinately the beautiful memories refused torise; there was only a hateful resurrection of jealousies and uglinessesand miseries. Popé with the blood trickling down from his cut shoulder;and Linda hideously asleep, and the flies buzzing round the spiltmescal on the floor beside the bed; and the boys calling those namesas she passed.... Ah, no, no! He shut his eyes, he shook his head instrenuous denial of these memories. 'A, B, C, vitamin D...' He triedto think of those times when he sat on her knees and she put her armsabout him and sang, over and over again, rocking him, rocking him tosleep. 'A, B, C, vitamin D, vitamin D, vitamin D...'

The Super-Vox-Wurlitzeriana had risen to a sobbing crescendo; andsuddenly the verbena gave place, in the scent-circulating system, to anintense patchouli. Linda stirred, woke up, stared for a few secondsbewilderedly at the Semi-finalists, then, lifting her face, sniffed onceor twice at the newly perfumed air and suddenly smiled--a smile ofchildish ecstasy.

'Popé!' she murmured, and closed her eyes. 'Oh, I do so like it,I do...' She sighed and let herself sink back into the pillows.

'But, Linda!' The Savage spoke imploringly. 'Don't you know me?' He hadtried so hard, had done his very best; why wouldn't she allow him toforget? He squeezed her limp hand almost with violence, as though hewould force her to come back from this dream of ignoble pleasures, fromthese base and hateful memories--back into the present, back intoreality: the appalling present, the awful reality--but sublime, butsignificant, but desperately important precisely because of theimminence of that which made them so fearful. 'Don't you know me,Linda?'

He felt the faint answering pressure of her hand. The tears started intohis eyes. He bent over her and kissed her.

Her lips moved. 'Popé!' she whispered again, and it was as though he hadhad a pailful of ordure thrown in his face.

Anger suddenly boiled up in him. Balked for the second time, the passionof his grief had found another outlet, was transformed into a passion ofagonized rage.

'But I'm John!' he shouted. 'I'm John!' And in his furious misery heactually caught her by the shoulder and shook her.

Linda's eyes fluttered open; she saw him, knew him--'John!'--butsituated the real face, the real and violent hands, in an imaginaryworld--among the inward and private equivalents of patchouli and theSuper-Wurlitzer, among the transfigured memories and the strangelytransposed sensations that constituted the universe of her dream. Sheknew him for John, her son, but fancied him an intruder into thatparadisal Malpais where she had been spending her soma-holiday withPopé. He was angry because she liked Popé, he was shaking her becausePopé was there in the bed--as though there were something wrong, asthough all civilized people didn't do the same? 'Every one belongs toevery...' Her voice suddenly died into an almost inaudible breathlesscroaking, her mouth fell open: she made a desperate effort to fill herlungs with air. But it was as though she had forgotten how to breathe.She tried to cry out--but no sound came; only the terror of her staringeyes revealed what she was suffering. Her hands went to her throat, thenclawed at the air--the air she could no longer breathe, the air that,for her, had ceased to exist.

The Savage was on his feet, bent over her. 'What is it, Linda? What isit?' His voice was imploring; it was as though he were begging to bereassured.

The look she gave him was charged with an unspeakable terror--withterror and, it seemed to him, reproach. She tried to raise herself inbed, but fell back on to the pillows. Her face was horribly distorted,her lips blue.

The Savage turned and ran up the ward.

'Quick, quick!' he shouted. 'Quick!'

Standing in the centre of a ring of zipper-hunting twins, the Head Nurselooked round. The first moment's astonishment gave place almostinstantly to disapproval. 'Don't shout! Think of the little ones,' shesaid, frowning. 'You might decondition... But what are you doing?' Hehad broken through the ring. 'Be careful!' A child was yelling.

'Quick, quick!' He caught her by the sleeve, dragged her after him.'Quick! Something's happened. I've killed her.'

By the time they were back at the end of the ward Linda was dead.

The Savage stood for a moment in frozen silence, then fell on his kneesbeside the bed and, covering his face with his hands, sobbeduncontrollably.

The nurse stood irresolute, looking now at the kneeling figure by thebed (the scandalous exhibition!) and now (poor children!) at the twinswho had stopped their hunting of the zipper and were staring from theother end of the ward, staring with all their eyes and nostrils at theshocking scene that was being enacted round Bed 20. Should she speak tohim? try to bring him back to a sense of decency? remind him of where hewas? of what fatal mischief he might do to these poor innocents? Undoingall their wholesome death-conditioning with this disgusting outcry--asthough death were something terrible, as though any one mattered as muchas all that! It might give them the most disastrous ideas about thesubject, might upset them into reacting in the entirely wrong, theutterly anti-social way.

She stepped forward, she touched him on the shoulder. 'Can't youbehave?' she said in a low, angry voice. But, looking round, she sawthat half a dozen twins were already on their feet and advancing downthe ward. The circle was disintegrating. In another moment... No, therisk was too great; the whole Group might be put back six or sevenmonths in its conditioning. She hurried back towards her menacedcharges.

'Now, who wants a chocolate éclair?' she asked in a loud, cheerful tone.

'Me!' yelled the entire Bokanovsky Group in chorus. Bed 20 wascompletely forgotten.

'Oh, God, God, God...' the Savage kept repeating to himself. In thechaos of grief and remorse that filled his mind it was the onearticulate word. 'God!' he whispered it aloud. 'God...'

'Whatever is he saying?' said a voice, very near, distinct and shrillthrough the warblings of the Super-Wurlitzer.

The Savage violently started and, uncovering his face, looked round.Five khaki twins, each with the stump of a long éclair in his righthand, and their identical faces variously smeared with liquid chocolate,were standing in a row, puggily goggling at him.

They met his eyes and simultaneously grinned. One of them pointed withhis éclair butt.

'Is she dead?' he asked.

The Savage stared at them for a moment in silence. Then, in silence herose to his feet, in silence slowly walked towards the door.

'Is she dead?' repeated the inquisitive twin trotting at his side.

The Savage looked down at him and still without speaking pushed himaway. The twin fell on the floor and at once began to howl. The Savagedid not even look round.

The menial staff of the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying consisted ofone hundred and sixty-two Deltas divided into two Bokanovsky Groups ofeighty-four red-headed female and seventy-eight dark dolichocephalicmale twins, respectively. At six, when their working day was over, thetwo Groups assembled in the vestibule of the Hospital and were served bythe Deputy Sub-Bursar with their soma ration.

From the lift the Savage stepped out into the midst of them. But hismind was elsewhere--with death, with his grief, and his remorse;mechanically, without consciousness of what he was doing, he began toshoulder his way through the crowd.

'Who are you pushing? Where do you think you're going?'

High, low, from a multitude of separate throats, only two voicessqueaked or growled. Repeated indefinitely, as though by a train ofmirrors, two faces, one a hairless and freckled moon haloed in orange,the other a thin, beaked bird-mask, stubbly with two days' beard, turnedangrily towards him. Their words and, in his ribs, the sharp nudging ofelbows, broke through his unawareness. He woke once more to externalreality, looked round him, knew what he saw--knew it, with a sinkingsense of horror and disgust, for the recurrent delirium of his days andnights, the nightmare of swarming indistinguishable sameness. Twins,twins.... Like maggots they had swarmed defilingly over the mysteryof Linda's death. Maggots again, but larger, full grown, they nowcrawled across his grief and his repentance. He halted and, withbewildered and horrified eyes, stared round him at the khaki mob, in themidst of which, overtopping it by a full head, he stood. 'How manygoodly creatures are there here!' The singing words mocked himderisively. 'How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world...'

'Soma distribution!' shouted a loud voice. 'In good order, please.Hurry up there.'

A door had been opened, a table and chair carried into the vestibule.The voice was that of a jaunty young Alpha, who had entered carrying ablack iron cash-box. A murmur of satisfaction went up from the expectanttwins. They forgot all about the Savage. Their attention was nowfocussed on the black cash-box, which the young man had placed on thetable, and was now in process of unlocking. The lid was lifted.

'Oo-oh!' said all the hundred and sixty-two simultaneously, as thoughthey were looking at fireworks.

The young man took out a handful of tiny pillboxes. 'Now,' he saidperemptorily, 'step forward, please. One at a time, and no shoving.'

One at a time, with no shoving, the twins stepped forward. First twomales, then a female, then another male, then three females, then...

The Savage stood looking on. 'O brave new world, O brave new world...'In his mind the singing words seemed to change their tone. Theyhad mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with howhideous a note of cynical derision! Fiendishly laughing, they hadinsisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare.Now, suddenly, they trumpeted a call to arms. 'O brave new world!'Miranda was proclaiming the possibility of loveliness, the possibilityof transforming even the nightmare into something fine and noble. 'Obrave new world!' It was a challenge, a command.

'No shoving there, now!' shouted the Deputy Sub-Bursar in a fury. Heslammed down the lid of his cash-box. 'I shall stop the distributionunless I have good behaviour.'

The Deltas muttered, jostled one another a little, and then were still.The threat had been effective. Deprivation of soma--appalling thought!

'That's better' said the young man, and reopened his cash-box.

Linda had been a slave, Linda had died; others should live in freedom,and the world be made beautiful. A reparation, a duty. And suddenly itwas luminously clear to the Savage what he must do; it was as though ashutter had been opened, a curtain drawn back.

'Now,' said the Deputy-Bursar.

Another khaki female stepped forward.

'Stop!' called the Savage in a loud and ringing voice. 'Stop!'

He pushed his way to the table; the Deltas stared at him withastonishment.

'Ford!' said the Deputy Sub-Bursar, below his breath. 'It's the Savage.'He felt scared.

'Listen, I beg you,' cried the Savage earnestly. 'Lend me yourears...' He had never spoken in public before, and found it verydifficult to express what he wanted to say. 'Don't take that horriblestuff. It's poison, it's poison.'

'I say, Mr. Savage,' said the Deputy Sub-Bursar, smiling propitiatingly.'Would you mind letting me...'

'Poison to soul as well as body.'

'Yes, but let me get on with my distribution, won't you? There's a goodfellow.' With the cautious tenderness of one who strokes a notoriouslyvicious animal, he patted the Savage's arm. 'Just let me...'

'Never!' cried the Savage.

'But look here, old man...'

'Throw it all away, that horrible poison.'

The words 'Throw it all away' pierced through the enfolding layers ofincomprehension to the quick of the Deltas' consciousness. An angrymurmur went up from the crowd.

'I come to bring you freedom,' said the Savage, turning back towards thetwins. 'I come...'

The Deputy Sub-Bursar heard no more; he had slipped out of the vestibuleand was looking up a number in the telephone book.

****

'Not in his own rooms,' Bernard summed up. 'Not in mine, not in yours.Not at the Aphroditæum; not at the Centre or the College. Where can hehave got to?'

Helmholtz shrugged his shoulders. They had come back from their workexpecting to find the Savage waiting for them at one or other of theirusual meeting-places, and there was no sign of the fellow. Which wasannoying, as they had meant to nip across to Biarritz in Helmholtz'sfour-seater sporticopter. They'd be late for dinner if he didn't comesoon.

'We'll give him five more minutes,' said Helmholtz. 'If he doesn't turnup by then, we'll...'

The ringing of the telephone bell interrupted him. He picked up thereceiver. 'Hullo. Speaking.' Then, after a long interval of listening,'Ford in Flivver!' he swore. 'I'll come at once.'

'What is it?' Bernard asked.

'A fellow I know at the Park Lane Hospital,' said Helmholtz. 'The Savageis there. Seems to have gone mad. Anyhow, it's urgent. Will you comewith me?'

Together they hurried along the corridor to the lifts.

****

'But do you like being slaves?' the Savage was saying as they enteredthe Hospital. His face was flushed, his eyes bright with ardour andindignation. 'Do you like being babies? Yes, babies. Mewling andpuking,' he added, exasperated by their bestial stupidity into throwinginsults at those he had come to save. The insults bounced off theircarapace of thick stupidity; they stared at him with a blank expressionof dull and sullen resentment in their eyes. 'Yes, puking!' he fairlyshouted. Grief and remorse, compassion and duty--all were forgotten nowand, as it were, absorbed into an intense overpowering hatred of theseless than human monsters. 'Don't you want to be free and men? Don't youeven understand what manhood and freedom are?' Rage was making himfluent; the words came easily, in a rush. 'Don't you?' he repeated, butgot no answer to his question. 'Very well, then,' he went on grimly.'I'll teach you; I'll make you be free whether you want to or not.'And pushing open a window that looked on to the inner court of theHospital, he began to throw the little pill-boxes of soma tablets inhandfuls out into the area.

For a moment the khaki mob was silent, petrified, at the spectacle ofthis wanton sacrilege, with amazement and horror.

'He's mad,' whispered Bernard, staring with wide open eyes. 'They'llkill him. They'll...' A great shout suddenly went up from the mob; awave of movement drove it menacingly towards the Savage. 'Ford helphim!' said Bernard, and averted his eyes.

'Ford helps those who help themselves.' And with a laugh, actually alaugh of exultation, Helmholtz Watson pushed his way through the crowd.

'Free, free!' the Savage shouted, and with one hand continued to throwthe soma into the area while, with the other, he punched theindistinguishable faces of his assailants. 'Free!' And suddenly therewas Helmholtz at his side--'Good old Helmholtz!'--also punching--'Men atlast!'--and in the interval also throwing the poison out by handfulsthrough the open window. 'Yes, men! men!' and there was no more poisonleft. He picked up the cash-box and showed them its black emptiness.'You're free!'

Howling, the Deltas charged with a redoubled fury.

Hesitant on the fringes of the battle, 'They're done for,' said Bernardand, urged by a sudden impulse, ran forward to help them; then thoughtbetter of it and halted; then, ashamed, stepped forward again; thenagain thought better of it, and was standing in an agony of humiliatedindecision--thinking that they might be killed if he didn't help them,and that he might be killed if he did--when (Ford be praised!),goggle-eyed and swine-snouted in their gas-masks, in ran the police.

Bernard dashed to meet them. He waved his arms; and it was action, hewas doing something. He shouted 'Help!' several times, more and moreloudly so as to give himself the illusion of helping. 'Help! Help!HELP!'

The policemen pushed him out of the way and got on with their work.Three men with spraying machines buckled to their shoulders pumped thickclouds of soma vapour into the air. Two more were busy round theportable Synthetic Music Box. Carrying water pistols charged with apowerful anæsthetic, four others had pushed their way into the crowd andwere methodically laying out, squirt by squirt, the more ferocious ofthe fighters.

'Quick, quick!' yelled Bernard. 'They'll be killed if you don't hurry.They'll... Oh!' Annoyed by his chatter, one of the policemen hadgiven him a shot from his water pistol. Bernard stood for a second ortwo wambling unsteadily on legs that seemed to have lost their bones,their tendons, their muscles, to have become mere sticks of jelly, andat last not even jelly--water: he tumbled in a heap on the floor.

Suddenly, from out of the Synthetic Music Box a Voice began to speak.The Voice of Reason, the Voice of Good Feeling. The sound-track roll wasunwinding itself in Synthetic Anti-Riot Speech Number Two (MediumStrength). Straight from the depths of a non-existent heart, 'Myfriends, my friends!' said the Voice so pathetically, with a note ofsuch infinitely tender reproach that, behind their gas-masks, even thepolicemen's eyes were momentarily dimmed with tears, 'what is themeaning of this? Why aren't you all being happy and good together. Happyand good,' the Voice repeated. 'At peace, at peace.' It trembled, sankinto a whisper and momentarily expired. 'Oh, I do want you to be happy,'it began, with a yearning earnestness. 'I do so want you to be good!Please, please be good and...'

Two minutes later the Voice and the soma vapour had produced theireffect. In tears, the Deltas were kissing and hugging one another--halfa dozen twins at a time in a comprehensive embrace. Even Helmholtz andthe Savage were almost crying. A fresh supply of pill-boxes was broughtin from the Bursary; a new distribution was hastily made and, to thesound of the Voice's richly affectionate, baritone valedictions, thetwins dispersed, blubbering as though their hearts would break.'Good-bye, my dearest, dearest friends, Ford keep you! Good-bye,my dearest, dearest friends. Ford keep you. Good-bye, my dearest,dearest...'

When the last of the Deltas had gone the policeman switched off thecurrent. The angelic Voice fell silent.

'Will you come quietly?' asked the Sergeant, 'or must we anæsthetize?'He pointed his water pistol menacingly.

'Oh, we'll come quietly,' the Savage answered, dabbing alternately a cutlip, a scratched neck, and a bitten left hand.

Still keeping his handkerchief to his bleeding nose, Helmholtz nodded inconfirmation.

Awake and having recovered the use of his legs, Bernard had chosen thismoment to move as inconspicuously as he could towards the door.

'Hi, you there,' called the Sergeant, and a swine-masked policemanhurried across the room and laid a hand on the young man's shoulder.

Bernard turned with an expression of indignant innocence. Escaping? Hehadn't dreamed of such a thing. 'Though what on earth you want mefor,' he said to the Sergeant, 'I really can't imagine.'

'You're a friend of the prisoners, aren't you?'

'Well...' said Bernard, and hesitated. No, he really couldn't denyit. 'Why shouldn't I be?' he asked.

'Come on, then,' said the Sergeant, and led the way towards the door andthe waiting police car.

The room into which the three were ushered was the Controller's study.

'His fordship will be down in a moment.' The Gamma butler left them tothemselves.

Helmholtz laughed aloud.

'It's more like a caffeine-solution party than a trial,' he said, andlet himself fall into the most luxurious of the pneumatic arm-chairs.'Cheer up, Bernard,' he added, catching sight of his friend's greenunhappy face. But Bernard would not be cheered; without answering,without even looking at Helmholtz, he went and sat down on the mostuncomfortable chair in the room, carefully chosen in the obscure hope ofsomehow deprecating the wrath of the higher powers.

The Savage meanwhile wandered restlessly round the room, peering with avague superficial inquisitiveness at the books in the shelves, at thesound-track rolls and the reading-machine bobbins in their numberedpigeon-holes. On the table under the window lay a massive volume boundin limp black leather-surrogate, and stamped with large golden T's. Hepicked it up and opened it. MY LIFE AND WORK, BY OUR FORD. The book hadbeen published at Detroit by the Society for the Propagation of FordianKnowledge. Idly he turned the pages, read a sentence here, a paragraphthere, and had just come to the conclusion that the book didn't interesthim, when the door opened, and the Resident World Controller for WesternEurope walked briskly into the room.

Mustapha Mond shook hands with all three of them; but it was to theSavage that he addressed himself. 'So you don't much like civilization,Mr. Savage,' he said.

The Savage looked at him. He had been prepared to lie, to bluster, toremain sullenly unresponsive; but, reassured by the good-humouredintelligence of the Controller's face, he decided to tell the truth,straightforwardly. 'No.' He shook his head.

Bernard started and looked horrified. What would the Controller think?To be labelled as the friend of a man who said that he didn't likecivilization--said it openly and, of all people, to the Controller--itwas terrible. 'But, John,' he began. A look from Mustapha Mond reducedhim to an abject silence.

'Of course,' the Savage went on to admit, 'there are some very nicethings. All that music in the air, for instance...'

'Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about my ears, andsometimes voices.'

The Savage's face lit up with a sudden pleasure. 'Have you read it too?'he asked. 'I thought nobody knew about that book here, in England.'

'Almost nobody. I'm one of the very few. It's prohibited, you see. Butas I make the laws here, I can also break them. With impunity, Mr.Marx,' he added, turning to Bernard. 'Which I'm afraid you can't do.'

Bernard sank into a yet more hopeless misery.

'But why is it prohibited?' asked the Savage. In the excitement ofmeeting a man who had read Shakespeare he had momentarily forgotteneverything else.

The Controller shrugged his shoulders. 'Because it's old; that's thechief reason. We haven't any use for old things here.'

'Even when they're beautiful?'

'Particularly when they're beautiful. Beauty's attractive, and we don'twant people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like the newones.'

'But the new ones are so stupid and horrible. Those plays, where there'snothing but helicopters flying about and you feel the people kissing.'He made a grimace. 'Goats and monkeys!' Only in Othello's words could hefind an adequate vehicle for his contempt and hatred.

'Nice tame animals, anyhow,' the Controller murmured parenthetically.

'Why don't you let them see Othello instead?'

'I've told you; it's old. Besides, they couldn't understand it.'

Yes, that was true. He remembered how Helmholtz had laughed at Romeoand Juliet. 'Well, then,' he said, after a pause, 'something new that'slike Othello, and that they could understand.'

'That's what we've all been wanting to write,' said Helmholtz, breakinga long silence.

'And it's what you never will write,' said the Controller. 'Because, ifit were really like Othello nobody could understand it, however new itmight be. And if it were new, it couldn't possibly be like Othello.'

'Why not?'

'Yes, why not?' Helmholtz repeated. He too was forgetting the unpleasantrealities of the situation. Green with anxiety and apprehension, onlyBernard remembered them; the others ignored him. 'Why not?'

'Because our world is not the same as Othello's world. You can't makeflivvers without steel--and you can't make tragedies without socialinstability. The world's stable now. People are happy; they get whatthey want, and they never want what they can't get. They're well off;they're safe; they're never ill; they're not afraid of death; they'reblissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they're plagued with nomothers or fathers; they've got no wives, or children, or lovers to feelstrongly about; they're so conditioned that they practically can't helpbehaving as they ought to behave. And if anything should go wrong,there's soma. Which you go and chuck out of the window in the name ofliberty, Mr. Savage. Liberty!' He laughed. 'Expecting Deltas to knowwhat liberty is! And now expecting them to understand Othello! My goodboy!'

The Savage was silent for a little. 'All the same,' he insistedobstinately, 'Othello's good, Othello's better than those feelies.'

'Of course it is,' the Controller agreed. 'But that's the price we haveto pay for stability. You've got to choose between happiness and whatpeople used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have thefeelies and the scent organ instead.'

'But they don't mean anything.'

'They mean themselves; they mean a lot of agreeable sensations to theaudience.'

'But they're... they're told by an idiot.'

The Controller laughed. 'You're not being very polite to your friend,Mr. Watson. One of our most distinguished Emotional Engineers...'

'But he's right,' said Helmholtz gloomily. 'Because it is idiotic.Writing when there's nothing to say...'

'Precisely. But that requires the most enormous ingenuity. You're makingflivvers out of the absolute minimum of steel--works of art out ofpractically nothing but pure sensation.'

The Savage shook his head. 'It all seems to me quite horrible.'

'Of course it does. Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid incomparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course,stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And beingcontented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune,none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fataloverthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.'

'I suppose not,' said the Savage after a silence. 'But need it be quiteso bad as those twins?' He passed his hand over his eyes as though hewere trying to wipe away the remembered image of those long rows ofidentical midgets at the assembling tables, those queued-up twin-herdsat the entrance to the Brentford monorail station, those human maggotsswarming round Linda's bed of death, the endlessly repeated face of hisassailants. He looked at his bandaged left hand and shuddered.'Horrible!'

'But how useful! I see you don't like our Bokanovsky Groups; but, Iassure you, they're the foundation on which everything else is built.They're the gyroscope that stabilizes the rocket plane of state on itsunswerving course.' The deep voice thrillingly vibrated; thegesticulating hand implied all space and the onrush of the irresistiblemachine. Mustapha Mond's oratory was almost up to synthetic standards.

'I was wondering,' said the Savage, 'why you had them at all--seeingthat you can get whatever you want out of those bottles. Why don't youmake everybody an Alpha Double Plus while you're about it?'

Mustapha Mond laughed. 'Because we have no wish to have our throatscut,' he answered. 'We believe in happiness and stability. A society ofAlphas couldn't fail to be unstable and miserable. Imagine a factorystaffed by Alphas--that is to say by separate and unrelated individualsof good heredity and conditioned so as to be capable (within limits) ofmaking a free choice and assuming responsibilities. Imagine it!' herepeated.

The Savage tried to imagine it, not very successfully.

'It's an absurdity. An Alpha-decanted, Alpha-conditioned man would gomad if he had to do Epsilon Semi-Moron work--go mad, or start smashingthings up. Alphas can be completely socialized--but only on conditionthat you make them do Alpha work. Only an Epsilon can be expected tomake Epsilon sacrifices, for the good reason that for him they aren'tsacrifices; they're the line of least resistance. His conditioning haslaid down rails along which he's got to run. He can't help himself; he'sforedoomed. Even after decanting, he's still inside a bottle--aninvisible bottle of infantile and embryonic fixations. Each one of us,of course,' the Controller meditatively continued, 'goes through lifeinside a bottle. But if we happen to be Alphas, our bottles are,relatively speaking, enormous. We should suffer acutely if we wereconfined in a narrower space. You cannot pour upper-castechampagne-surrogate into lower-caste bottles. It's obvioustheoretically. But it has also been proved in actual practice. Theresult of the Cyprus experiment was convincing.'

'What was that?' asked the Savage.

Mustapha Mond smiled. 'Well, you can call it an experiment in rebottlingif you like. It began in A.F. 473. The Controllers had the island ofCyprus cleared of all its existing inhabitants and re-colonized with aspecially prepared batch of twenty-two thousand Alphas. All agriculturaland industrial equipment was handed over to them and they were left tomanage their own affairs. The result exactly fulfilled all thetheoretical predictions. The land wasn't properly worked; there werestrikes in all the factories; the laws were set at naught, ordersdisobeyed; all the people detailed for a spell of low-grade work wereperpetually intriguing for high-grade jobs, and all the people withhigh-grade jobs were counter-intriguing at all costs to stay where theywere. Within six years they were having a first-class civil war. Whennineteen out of the twenty-two thousand had been killed, the survivorsunanimously petitioned the World Controllers to resume the government ofthe island. Which they did. And that was the end of the only society ofAlphas that the world has ever seen.'

The Savage sighed, profoundly.

'The optimum population,' said Mustapha Mond, 'is modelled on theiceberg--eight-ninths below the water line, one-ninth above.'

'And they're happy below the water line?'

'Happier than above it. Happier than your friends here, for example.' Hepointed.

'In spite of that awful work?'

'Awful? They don't find it so. On the contrary, they like it. It'slight, it's childishly simple. No strain on the mind or the muscles.Seven and a half hours of mild, unexhausting labour, and then the somaration and games and unrestricted copulation and the feelies. What morecan they ask for? True,' he added, 'they might ask for shorter hours.And of course we could give them shorter hours. Technically, it would beperfectly simple to reduce all lower-caste working hours to three orfour a day. But would they be any the happier for that? No, theywouldn't. The experiment was tried, more than a century and a half ago.The whole of Ireland was put on to the four-hour day. What was theresult? Unrest and a large increase in the consumption of soma; thatwas all. Those three and a half hours of extra leisure were so far frombeing a source of happiness, that people felt constrained to take aholiday from them. The Inventions Office is stuffed with plans forlabour-saving processes. Thousands of them.' Mustapha Mond made a lavishgesture. 'And why don't we put them into execution? For the sake of thelabourers; it would be sheer cruelty to afflict them with excessiveleisure. It's the same with agriculture. We could synthesize everymorsel of food, if we wanted to. But we don't. We prefer to keep a thirdof the population on the land. For their own sakes--because it takeslonger to get food out of the land than out of a factory. Besides, wehave our stability to think of. We don't want to change. Every change isa menace to stability. That's another reason why we're so chary ofapplying new inventions. Every discovery in pure science is potentiallysubversive; even science must sometimes be treated as a possible enemy.Yes, even science.'

Science? The Savage frowned. He knew the word. But what it exactlysignified he could not say. Shakespeare and the old men of the pueblohad never mentioned science, and from Linda he had only gathered thevaguest hints: science was something you made helicopters with,something that caused you to laugh at the Corn Dances, something thatprevented you from being wrinkled and losing your teeth. He made adesperate effort to take the Controller's meaning.

'Yes,' Mustapha Mond was saying, 'that's another item in the cost ofstability. It isn't only art that's incompatible with happiness; it'salso science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefullychained and muzzled.'

'What?' said Helmholtz, in astonishment. 'But we're always saying thatscience is everything. It's a hypnopædic platitude.'

'Three times a week between thirteen and seventeen,' put in Bernard.

'And all the science propaganda we do at the College...'

'Yes; but what sort of science?' asked Mustapha Mond sarcastically.'You've had no scientific training, so you can't judge. I was a prettygood physicist in my time. Too good--good enough to realize that all ourscience is just a cookery book, with an orthodox theory of cooking thatnobody's allowed to question, and a list of recipes that mustn't beadded to except by special permission from the head cook. I'm the headcook now. But I was an inquisitive young scullion once. I started doinga bit of cooking on my own. Unorthodox cooking, illicit cooking. A bitof real science, in fact.' He was silent.

'What happened?' asked Helmholtz Watson.

The Controller sighed. 'Very nearly what's going to happen to you youngmen. I was on the point of being sent to an island.'

The words galvanized Bernard into a violent and unseemly activity. 'Sendme to an island?' He jumped up, ran across the room, and stoodgesticulating in front of the Controller. 'You can't send me. Ihaven't done anything. It was the others. I swear it was the others.' Hepointed accusingly to Helmholtz and the Savage. 'Oh, please don't sendme to Iceland. I promise I'll do what I ought to do. Give me anotherchance. Please give me another chance.' The tears began to flow. 'I tellyou, it's their fault,' he sobbed. 'And not to Iceland. Oh, please, yourfordship, please...' And in a paroxysm of abjection he threw himselfon his knees before the Controller. Mustapha Mond tried to make him getup; but Bernard persisted in his grovelling; the stream of words pouredout inexhaustibly. In the end the Controller had to ring for his fourthsecretary.

'Bring three men,' he ordered, 'and take Mr. Marx into a bedroom. Givehim a good soma vaporization and then put him to bed and leave him.'

The fourth secretary went out and returned with three green-uniformedtwin footmen. Still shouting and sobbing, Bernard was carried out.

'One would think he was going to have his throat cut,' said theController, as the door closed. 'Whereas, if he had the smallest sense,he'd understand that his punishment is really a reward. He's being sentto an island. That's to say, he's being sent to a place where he'll meetthe most interesting set of men and women to be found anywhere in theworld. All the people who, for one reason or another, have got tooself-consciously individual to fit into community-life. All the peoplewho aren't satisfied with orthodoxy, who've got independent ideas oftheir own. Every one, in a word, who's any one. I almost envy you, Mr.Watson.'

Helmholtz laughed. 'Then why aren't you on an island yourself?'

'Because, finally, I preferred this,' the Controller answered. 'I wasgiven the choice: to be sent to an island, where I could have got onwith my pure science, or to be taken on to the Controllers' Council withthe prospect of succeeding in due course to an actual Controllership. Ichose this and let the science go.' After a little silence, 'Sometimes,'he added, 'I rather regret the science. Happiness is a hardmaster--particularly other people's happiness. A much harder master, ifone isn't conditioned to accept it unquestioningly, than truth.' Hesighed, fell silent again, then continued in a brisker tone. 'Well,duty's duty. One can't consult one's own preferences. I'm interested intruth, I like science. But truth's a menace, science is a public danger.As dangerous as it's been beneficent. It has given us the stablestequilibrium in history. China's was hopelessly insecure by comparison;even the primitive matriarchies weren't steadier than we are. Thanks, Irepeat, to science. But we can't allow science to undo its own goodwork. That's why we so carefully limit the scope of itsresearches--that's why I almost got sent to an island. We don't allow itto deal with any but the most immediate problems of the moment. Allother enquiries are most sedulously discouraged. It's curious,' he wenton after a little pause, 'to read what people in the time of Our Fordused to write about scientific progress. They seemed to have imaginedthat it could be allowed to go on indefinitely, regardless of everythingelse. Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all therest was secondary and subordinate. True, ideas were beginning to changeeven then. Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis fromtruth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded theshift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth andbeauty can't. And, of course, whenever the masses seized politicalpower, then it was happiness rather than truth and beauty that mattered.Still, in spite of everything, unrestricted scientific research wasstill permitted. People still went on talking about truth and beauty asthough they were the sovereign goods. Right up to the time of the NineYears' War. That made them change their tune all right. What's thepoint of truth or beauty or knowledge when the anthrax bombs are poppingall around you? That was when science first began to becontrolled--after the Nine Years' War. People were ready to have eventheir appetites controlled then. Anything for a quiet life. We've goneon controlling ever since. It hasn't been very good for truth, ofcourse. But it's been very good for happiness. One can't have somethingfor nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for. You're paying for it, Mr.Watson--paying because you happen to be too much interested in beauty. Iwas too much interested in truth; I paid too.'

'But you didn't go to an island,' said the Savage, breaking a longsilence.

The Controller smiled. 'That's how I paid. By choosing to servehappiness. Other people's--not mine. It's lucky,' he added, after apause, 'that there are such a lot of islands in the world. I don't knowwhat we should do without them. Put you all in the lethal chamber, Isuppose. By the way, Mr. Watson, would you like a tropical climate? TheMarquesas, for example; or Samoa? Or something rather more bracing?'

Helmholtz rose from his pneumatic chair. 'I should like a thoroughly badclimate,' he answered. 'I believe one would write better if the climatewere bad. If there were a lot of wind and storms, for example...'

The Controller nodded his approbation. 'I like your spirit, Mr. Watson.I like it very much indeed. As much as I officially disapprove of it.'He smiled. 'What about the Falkland Islands?'

'Yes, I think that will do,' Helmholtz answered. 'And now, if you don'tmind, I'll go and see how poor Bernard's getting on.'

'Art, science--you seem to have paid a fairly high price for yourhappiness,' said the Savage, when they were alone. 'Anything else?'

'Well, religion, of course,' replied the Controller. 'There used to besomething called God--before the Nine Years' War. But I was forgetting;you know all about God, I suppose.'

'Well...' The Savage hesitated. He would have liked to say somethingabout solitude, about night, about the mesa lying pale under the moon,about the precipice, the plunge into shadowy darkness, about death. Hewould have liked to speak; but there were no words. Not even inShakespeare.

The Controller, meanwhile, had crossed to the other side of the room andwas unlocking a large safe let into the wall between the bookshelves.The heavy door swung open. Rummaging in the darkness within, 'It's asubject,' he said, 'that has always had a great interest for me.' Hepulled out a thick black volume. 'You've never read this, for example.'

The Savage took it. 'The Holy Bible, containing the Old and NewTestaments,' he read aloud from the title-page.

'Nor this.' It was a small book and had lost its cover.

'The Imitation of Christ.'

'Nor this.' He handed out another volume.

'The Varieties of Religious Experience. By William James.'

'And I've got plenty more,' Mustapha Mond continued, resuming his seat.'A whole collection of pornographic old books. God in the safe and Fordon the shelves.' He pointed with a laugh to his avowed library--to theshelves of books, the racks full of reading-machine bobbins andsound-track rolls.

'But if you know about God, why don't you tell them?' asked the Savageindignantly. 'Why don't you give them these books about God?'

'For the same reason as we don't give them Othello: they're old;they're about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.'

'But God doesn't change.'

'Men do, though.'

'What difference does that make?'

'All the difference in the world,' said Mustapha Mond. He got up againand walked to the safe. 'There was a man called Cardinal Newman,' hesaid. 'A cardinal,' he exclaimed parenthetically, 'was a kind ofArch-Community-Songster.'

'"I, Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal." I've read about them inShakespeare.'

'Of course you have. Well, as I was saying, there was a man calledCardinal Newman. Ah, here's the book.' He pulled it out. 'And while I'mabout it I'll take this one too. It's by a man called Maine de Biran. Hewas a philosopher, if you know what that was.'

'A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth,'said the Savage promptly.

'Quite so. I'll read you one of the things he did dream of in amoment. Meanwhile, listen to what this old Arch-Community-Songstersaid.' He opened the book at the place marked by a slip of paper andbegan to read. '"We are not our own any more than what we possess is ourown. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. Weare not our own masters. We are God's property. Is it not our happinessthus to view the matter? Is it any happiness, or any comfort, toconsider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young andprosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as theysuppose, their own way--to depend on no one--to have to think of nothingout of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment,continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will ofanother. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find thatindependence was not made for man--that it is an unnatural state--willdo for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end..."'Mustapha Mond paused, put down the first book and, picking up the other,turned over the pages. 'Take this, for example,' he said, and in hisdeep voice once more began to read: '"A man grows old; he feels inhimself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort,which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagineshimself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that thisdistressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, asfrom an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness isold age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is the fear ofdeath and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion asthey advance in years. But my own experience has given me the convictionthat, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religioussentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as thepassions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited andless excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, lessobscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to beabsorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels,sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally andinevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations itslife and charm has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenalexistence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or fromwithout, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, somethingthat will never play us false--a reality, an absolute and everlastingtruth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment isof its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it,that it makes up to us for all our other losses."' Mustapha Mond shutthe book and leaned back in his chair. 'One of the numerous things inheaven and earth that these philosophers didn't dream about was this'(he waved his hand), 'us, the modern world. "You can only be independentof God while you've got youth and prosperity; independence won't takeyou safely to the end." Well, we've now got youth and prosperity rightup to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent ofGod. "The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses."But there aren't any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment issuperfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthfuldesires, when youthful desires never fail? A substitute fordistractions, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the verylast? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue todelight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of somethingimmovable, when there is the social order?'

'Then you think there is no God?'

'No, I think there quite probably is one.'

'Then why?...'

Mustapha Mond checked him. 'But he manifests himself in different waysto different men. In pre-modern times he manifested himself as the beingthat's described in these books. Now...'

'How does he manifest himself now?' asked the Savage.

'Well, he manifests himself as an absence; as though he weren't there atall.'

'That's your fault.'

'Call it the fault of civilization. God isn't compatible with machineryand scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make yourchoice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine andhappiness. That's why I have to keep these books locked up in the safe.They're smut. People would be shocked if...'

The Savage interrupted him. 'But isn't it natural to feel there's aGod?'

'You might as well ask if it's natural to do up one's trousers withzippers,' said the Controller sarcastically. 'You remind me of anotherof those old fellows called Bradley. He defined philosophy as thefinding of bad reason for what one believes by instinct. As if onebelieved anything by instinct! One believes things because one has beenconditioned to believe them. Finding bad reasons for what one believesfor other bad reasons--that's philosophy. People believe in God becausethey've been conditioned to believe in God.'

'But all the same,' insisted the Savage, 'it is natural to believein God when you're alone--quite alone, in the night, thinking aboutdeath...'

'But people never are alone now,' said Mustapha Mond. 'We make them hatesolitude; and we arrange their lives so that it's almost impossible forthem ever to have it.'

The Savage nodded gloomily. At Malpais he had suffered because they hadshut him out from the communal activities of the pueblo, in civilizedLondon he was suffering because he could never escape from thosecommunal activities, never be quietly alone.

'Do you remember that bit in King Lear?' said the Savage at last:'"The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices make instruments toplague us; the dark and vicious place where thee he got cost him hiseyes," and Edmund answers--you remember, he's wounded, he's dying--"Thouhast spoken right; 'tis true. The wheel is come full circle; I am here."What about that, now? Doesn't there seem to be a God managing things,punishing, rewarding?'

'Well, does there?' questioned the Controller in his turn. 'You canindulge in any number of pleasant vices with a freemartin and run norisks of having your eyes put out by your son's mistress. "The wheel iscome full circle; I am here." But where would Edmund be nowadays?Sitting in a pneumatic chair, with his arm round a girl's waist, suckingaway at his sex-hormone chewing-gum and looking at the feelies. The godsare just. No doubt. But their code of law is dictated, in the lastresort, by the people who organize society; Providence takes its cuefrom men.'

'Are you sure?' asked the Savage. 'Are you quite sure that the Edmund inthat pneumatic chair hasn't been just as heavily punished as the Edmundwho's wounded and bleeding to death? The gods are just. Haven't theyused his pleasant vices as an instrument to degrade him?'

'Degrade him from what position? As a happy, hard-working,goods-consuming citizen he's perfect. Of course, if you choose someother standard than ours, then perhaps you might say he was degraded.But you've got to stick to one set of postulates. You can't playElectro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of CentrifugalBumble-puppy.'

'But value dwells not in particular will,' said the Savage. 'It holdshis estimate and dignity as well wherein 'tis precious of itself as inthe prizer.'

'Come, come,' protested Mustapha Mond, 'that's going rather far, isn'tit?'

'If you allowed yourselves to think of God, you wouldn't allowyourselves to be degraded by pleasant vices. You'd have a reason forbearing things patiently, for doing things with courage. I've seen itwith the Indians.'

'I'm sure you have,' said Mustapha Mond. 'But then we aren't Indians.There isn't any need for a civilized man to bear anything that'sseriously unpleasant. And as for doing things--Ford forbid that heshould get the idea into his head. It would upset the whole social orderif men started doing things on their own.'

'What about self-denial, then? If you had a God, you'd have a reason forself-denial.'

'But industrial civilization is only possible when there's noself-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygieneand economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning.'

'You'd have a reason for chastity!' said the Savage, blushing a littleas he spoke the words.

'But chastity means passion, chastity means neurasthenia. And passionand neurasthenia mean instability. And instability means the end ofcivilization. You can't have a lasting civilization without plenty ofpleasant vices.'

'But God's the reason for everything noble and fine and heroic. If youhad a God...'

'My dear young friend,' said Mustapha Mond, 'civilization has absolutelyno need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of politicalinefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has anyopportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to bethoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars,where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to beresisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended--there,obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't anywars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're soconditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what youought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulsesare allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations toresist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant shouldsomehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday fromthe facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcileyou to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the pastyou could only accomplish these things by making a great effort andafter years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or threehalf-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. Youcan carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianitywithout tears--that's what soma is.'

'But the tears are necessary. Don't you remember what Othello said? "Ifafter every tempest come such calms, may the winds blow till they havewakened death." There's a story one of the old Indians used to tell us,about the Girl of Mátsaki. The young men who wanted to marry her had todo a morning's hoeing in her garden. It seemed easy; but there wereflies and mosquitoes, magic ones. Most of the young men simply couldn'tstand the biting and stinging. But the one that could--he got the girl.'

'Charming! But in civilized countries,' said the Controller, 'you canhave girls without hoeing for them; and there aren't any flies ormosquitoes to sting you. We got rid of them all centuries ago.'

The Savage nodded, frowning. 'You got rid of them. Yes, that's just likeyou. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put upwith it. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrowsof outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and byopposing end them.... But you don't do either. Neither suffer noroppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It's too easy.'

He was suddenly silent, thinking of his mother. In her room on thethirty-seventh floor, Linda had floated in a sea of singing lights andperfumed caresses--floated away, out of space, out of time, out of theprison of her memories, her habits, her aged and bloated body. AndTomakin, ex-Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, Tomakin was stillon holiday--on holiday from humiliation and pain, in a world where hecould not hear those words, that derisive laughter, could not see thathideous face, feel those moist and flabby arms round his neck, in abeautiful world...

'What you need,' the Savage went on, 'is something with tears for achange. Nothing costs enough here.'

('Twelve and a half million dollars,' Henry Foster had protested whenthe Savage told him that. 'Twelve and a half million--that's what thenew Conditioning Centre cost. Not a cent less.')

'Exposing what is mortal and unsure to all that fortune, death anddanger dare, even for an egg-shell. Isn't there something in that?' heasked, looking up at Mustapha Mond. 'Quite apart from God--though ofcourse God would be a reason for it. Isn't there something in livingdangerously?'

'There's a great deal in it,' the Controller replied. 'Men and womenmust have their adrenals stimulated from time to time.'

'What?' questioned the Savage, uncomprehending.

'It's one of the conditions of perfect health. That's why we've made theV.P.S. treatments compulsory.'

'V.P.S.?'

'Violent Passion Surrogate. Regularly once a month. We flood the wholesystem with adrenin. It's the complete physiological equivalent of fearand rage. All the tonic effects of murdering Desdemona and beingmurdered by Othello, without any of the inconveniences.'

'But I like the inconveniences.'

'We don't,' said the Controller. 'We prefer to do things comfortably.'

'But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want realdanger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.'

'In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to beunhappy.'

'All right, then,' said the Savage defiantly, 'I'm claiming the right tobe unhappy.'

'Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the rightto have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; theright to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of whatmay happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to betortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.'

There was a long silence.

'I claim them all,' said the Savage at last.

Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome,' he said.

The door was ajar; they entered.

'John!'

From the bathroom came an unpleasant and characteristic sound.

'Is there anything the matter?' Helmholtz called.

There was no answer. The unpleasant sound was repeated, twice; there wassilence. Then, with a click, the bathroom door opened and, very pale,the Savage emerged.

'I say,' Helmholtz exclaimed solicitously, 'you do look ill, John!'

'Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?' asked Bernard.

The Savage nodded. 'I ate civilization.'

'What?'

'It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then,' he added, in a lower tone, 'Iate my own wickedness.'

'Yes, but what exactly?... I mean, just now you were...'

'Now I am purified,' said the Savage. 'I drank some mustard and warmwater.'

The others stared at him in astonishment. 'Do you mean to say that youwere doing it on purpose?' asked Bernard.

'That's how the Indians always purify themselves.' He sat down and,sighing, passed his hand across his forehead. 'I shall rest for a fewminutes,' he said. 'I'm rather tired.'

'Well, I'm not surprised,' said Helmholtz. After a silence, 'We've cometo say good-bye,' he went on in another tone. 'We're off to-morrowmorning.'

'Yes, we're off to-morrow,' said Bernard, on whose face the Savageremarked a new expression of determined resignation. 'And by the way,John,' he continued, leaning forward in his chair and laying a hand onthe Savage's knee, 'I want to say how sorry I am about everything thathappened yesterday.' He blushed. 'How ashamed,' he went on, in spite ofthe unsteadiness of his voice, 'how really...'

The Savage cut him short and, taking his hand, affectionately pressedit.

'Helmholtz was wonderful to me,' Bernard resumed, after a little pause.'If it hadn't been for him, I should...'

'Now, now,' Helmholtz protested.

There was a silence. In spite of their sadness--because of it, even; fortheir sadness was the symptom of their love for one another--the threeyoung men were happy.

'I went to see the Controller this morning,' said the Savage at last.

'What for?'

'To ask if I mightn't go to the islands with you.'

'And what did he say?' asked Helmholtz eagerly.

The Savage shook his head. 'He wouldn't let me.'

'Why not?'

'He said he wanted to go on with the experiment. But I'm damned,' theSavage added, with sudden fury, 'I'm damned if I'll go on beingexperimented with. Not for all the Controllers in the world. I shallgo away to-morrow too.'

'But where?' the others asked in unison.

The Savage shrugged his shoulders. 'Anywhere. I don't care. So long as Ican be alone.'

****

From Guildford the down-line followed the Wey valley to Godalming, then,over Milford and Witley, proceeded to Haslemere and on throughPetersfield towards Portsmouth. Roughly parallel to it, the up-linepassed over Worplesden, Tongham, Puttenham, Elstead and Grayshott.Between the Hog's Back and Hindhead there were points where the twolines were not more than six or seven kilometres apart. The distance wastoo small for careless flyers--particularly at night and when they hadtaken half a gramme too much. There had been accidents. Serious ones. Ithad been decided to deflect the up-line a few kilometres to the west.Between Grayshott and Tongham four abandoned air-lighthouses marked thecourse of the old Portsmouth-to-London road. The skies above them weresilent and deserted. It was over Selborne, Borden and Farnham that thehelicopters now ceaselessly hummed and roared.

The Savage had chosen as his hermitage the old lighthouse which stood onthe crest of the hill between Puttenham and Elstead. The building was offerro-concrete and in excellent condition--almost too comfortable, theSavage had thought when he first explored the place, almost toocivilizedly luxurious. He pacified his conscience by promising himself acompensatingly harder self-discipline, purifications the more completeand thorough. His first night in the hermitage was, deliberately, asleepless one. He spent the hours on his knees praying, now to thatHeaven from which the guilty Claudius had begged forgiveness, now inZuñi to Awonawilona, now to Jesus and Pookong, now to his own guardiananimal, the eagle. From time to time he stretched out his arms as thoughhe were on the cross, and held them thus through long minutes of an achethat gradually increased till it became a tremulous and excruciatingagony; held them, in voluntary crucifixion, while he repeated, throughclenched teeth (the sweat, meanwhile, pouring down his face), 'Oh,forgive me! Oh, make me pure! Oh, help me to be good!' again and again,till he was on the point of fainting from the pain.

When morning came, he felt he had earned the right to inhabit thelighthouse: yes, even though there still was glass in most of thewindows, even though the view from the platform was so fine. For thevery reason why he had chosen the lighthouse had become almost instantlya reason for going somewhere else. He had decided to live there becausethe view was so beautiful, because, from his vantage point, he seemed tobe looking out on to the incarnation of a divine being. But who was heto be pampered with the daily and hourly sight of loveliness? Who was heto be living in the visible presence of God? All he deserved to live inwas some filthy sty, some blind hole in the ground. Stiff and stillaching after his long night of pain, but for that very reason inwardlyreassured, he climbed up to the platform of his tower, he looked outover the bright sunrise world which he had regained the right toinhabit. On the north the view was bounded by the long chalk ridge ofthe Hog's Back, from behind whose eastern extremity rose the towers ofthe seven skyscrapers which constituted Guildford. Seeing them, theSavage made a grimace; but he was to become reconciled to them in courseof time; for at night they twinkled gaily with geometricalconstellations, or else, flood-lighted, pointed their luminous fingers(with a gesture whose significance nobody in England but the Savage nowunderstood) solemnly towards the plumbless mysteries of heaven.

In the valley which separated the Hog's Back from the sandy hill onwhich the lighthouse stood, Puttenham was a modest little village ninestories high, with silos, a poultry farm, and a small vitamin-D factory.On the other side of the lighthouse, towards the south, the ground fellaway in long slopes of heather to a chain of ponds.

Beyond them, above the intervening woods, rose the fourteen-story towerof Elstead. Dim in the hazy English air, Hindhead and Selborne invitedthe eye into a blue romantic distance. But it was not alone the distancethat had attracted the Savage to his lighthouse; the near was asseductive as the far. The woods, the open stretches of heather andyellow gorse, the clumps of Scotch firs, the shining ponds with theiroverhanging birch trees, their water lilies, their beds of rushes--thesewere beautiful and, to an eye accustomed to the aridities of theAmerican desert, astonishing. And then the solitude! Whole days passedduring which he never saw a human being. The lighthouse was only aquarter of an hour's flight from the Charing-T Tower; but the hills ofMalpais were hardly more deserted than this Surrey heath. The crowdsthat daily left London left it only to play Electro-magnetic Golf orTennis. Puttenham possessed no links; the nearest Riemann-surfaces wereat Guildford. Flowers and a landscape were the only attractions here.And so, as there was no good reason for coming, nobody came. During thefirst days the Savage lived alone and undisturbed.

Of the money which, on his first arrival, John had received for hispersonal expenses, most had been spent on his equipment. Before leavingLondon he had bought four viscose-woollen blankets, rope and string,nails, glue, a few tools, matches (though he intended in due course tomake a fire drill), some pots and pans, two dozen packets of seeds, andten kilogrammes of wheat flour. 'No, not synthetic starch andcotton-waste flour-substitute,' he had insisted. 'Even though it is morenourishing.' But when it came to pan-glandular biscuits and vitaminizedbeef-surrogate, he had not been able to resist the shopman's persuasion.Looking at the tins now, he bitterly reproached himself for hisweakness. Loathsome civilized stuff! He had made up his mind that hewould never eat it, even if he were starving. 'That'll teach them,' hethought vindictively. It would also teach him.

He counted his money. The little that remained would be enough, hehoped, to tide him over the winter. By next spring, his garden would beproducing enough to make him independent of the outside world.Meanwhile, there would always be game. He had seen plenty of rabbits,and there were water-fowl on the ponds. He set to work at once to make abow and arrows.

There were ash trees near the lighthouse and, for arrow shafts, a wholecopse full of beautifully straight hazel saplings. He began by felling ayoung ash, cut out six feet of unbranched stem, stripped off the barkand, paring by paring, shaved away the white wood, as old Mitsima hadtaught him, until he had a stave of his own height, stiff at thethickened centre, lively and quick at the slender tips. The work gavehim an intense pleasure. After those weeks of idleness in London, withnothing to do, whenever he wanted anything, but to press a switch orturn a handle, it was pure delight to be doing something that demandedskill and patience.

He had almost finished whittling the stave into shape, when he realizedwith a start that he was singing--singing! It was as though, stumblingupon himself from the outside, he had suddenly caught himself out, takenhimself flagrantly at fault. Guiltily he blushed. After all, it was notto sing and enjoy himself that he had come here. It was to escapefurther contamination by the filth of civilized life; it was to bepurified and made good; it was actively to make amends. He realized tohis dismay that, absorbed in the whittling of his bow, he had forgottenwhat he had sworn to himself he would constantly remember--poor Linda,and his own murderous unkindness to her, and those loathsome twins,swarming like lice across the mystery of her death, insulting, withtheir presence, not merely his own grief and repentance, but the verygods themselves. He had sworn to remember, he had sworn unceasingly tomake amends. And here was he, sitting happily over his bow-stave,singing, actually singing....

He went indoors, opened the box of mustard, and put some water to boilon the fire.

Half an hour later, three Delta-Minus land-workers from one of thePuttenham Bokanovsky Groups happened to be driving to Elstead and, atthe top of the hill, were astonished to see a young man standing outsidethe abandoned lighthouse stripped to the waist and hitting himself witha whip of knotted cords. His back was horizontally streaked withcrimson, and from weal to weal ran thin trickles of blood. The driver ofthe lorry pulled up at the side of the road and, with his twocompanions, stared open-mouthed at the extraordinary spectacle. One,two, three--they counted the strokes. After the eighth, the young maninterrupted his self-punishment to run to the wood's edge and there beviolently sick. When he had finished, he picked up the whip and beganhitting himself again. Nine, ten, eleven, twelve...

'Ford!' whispered the driver. And his twins were of the same opinion.

'Fordey!' they said.

Three days later, like turkey buzzards settling on a corpse, thereporters came.

Dried and hardened over a slow fire of green wood, the bow was ready.The Savage was busy on his arrows. Thirty hazel sticks had been whittledand dried, tipped with sharp nails, carefully nocked. He had made a raidone night on the Puttenham poultry farm, and now had feathers enough toequip a whole armoury. It was at work upon the feathering of his shaftsthat the first of the reporters found him. Noiseless on his pneumaticshoes, the man came up behind him.

'Good-morning, Mr. Savage,' he said. 'I am the representative of TheHourly Radio.'

Startled as though by the bite of a snake, the Savage sprang to hisfeet, scattering arrows, feathers, glue-pot and brush in all directions.

'I beg your pardon,' said the reporter, with genuine compunction. 'I hadno intention...' He touched his hat--the aluminium stove-pipe hat inwhich he carried his wireless receiver and transmitter. 'Excuse my nottaking it off,' he said. 'It's a bit heavy. Well, as I was saying, I amthe representative of The Hourly...'

'What do you want?' asked the Savage, scowling. The reporter returnedhis most ingratiating smile.

'Well, of course, our readers would be profoundly interested...' Heput his head on one side, his smile became almost coquettish. 'Just afew words from you, Mr. Savage.' And rapidly, with a series of ritualgestures, he uncoiled two wires connected to the portable batterybuckled round his waist; plugged them simultaneously into the sides ofhis aluminium hat; touched a spring on the crown--and antennæ shot upinto the air; touched another spring on the peak of the brim--and, likea jack-in-the-box, out jumped a microphone and hung there, quivering,six inches in front of his nose; pulled down a pair of receivers overhis ears; pressed a switch on the left side of the hat--and from withincame a faint waspy buzzing; turned a knob on the right--and the buzzingwas interrupted by a stethoscopic wheeze and crackle, by hiccoughs andsudden squeaks. 'Hullo,' he said to the microphone, 'hullo, hullo...'A bell suddenly rang inside his hat. 'Is that you, Edzel? Primo Mellonspeaking. Yes, I've got hold of him. Mr. Savage will now take themicrophone and say a few words. Won't you, Mr. Savage?' He looked up atthe Savage with another of those winning smiles of his. 'Just tell ourreaders why you came here. What made you leave London (hold on, Edzel!)so very suddenly. And, of course, that whip.' (The Savage started. Howdid they know about the whip?) 'We're all crazy to know about the whip.And then something about Civilization. You know the sort of stuff. "WhatI think of the Civilized Girl." Just a few words, a very few...'

The Savage obeyed with a disconcerting literalness. Five words heuttered and no more--five words, the same as those he had said toBernard about the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury. 'Háni! Sonséso tse-ná!' And seizing the reporter by the shoulder, he spun himround (the young man revealed himself invitingly well-covered), aimedand, with all the force and accuracy of a championfoot-and-mouth-baller, delivered a most prodigious kick.

Eight minutes later, a new edition of The Hourly Radio was on sale inthe streets of London. 'HOURLY RADIOREPORTER HAS COCCYX KICKED BYMYSTERY SAVAGE,' ran the headlines onthe front page. 'SENSATION IN SURREY.'

'Sensation even in London,' thought the reporter when, on his return, heread the words. And a very painful sensation, what was more. He sat downgingerly to his luncheon.

Undeterred by that cautionary bruise on their colleague's coccyx, fourother reporters, representing the New York Times, the FrankfurtFour-Dimensional Continuum, The Fordian Science Monitor, and TheDelta Mirror, called that afternoon at the lighthouse and met withreceptions of progressively increasing violence.

From a safe distance and still rubbing his buttocks, 'Benighted fool!'shouted the man from The Fordian Science Monitor, 'why don't you takesoma?'

'Get away!' The Savage shook his fist.

The other retreated a few steps, then turned round again. 'Evil's anunreality if you take a couple of grammes.'

'Kohakwa iyathtokyai!' The tone was menacingly derisive.

'Pain's a delusion.'

'Oh, is it?' said the Savage and, picking up a thick hazel switch,strode forward.

The man from The Fordian Science Monitor made a dash for hishelicopter.

After that the Savage was left for a time in peace. A few helicopterscame and hovered inquisitively round the tower. He shot an arrow intothe importunately nearest of them. It pierced the aluminium floor of thecabin; there was a shrill yell, and the machine went rocketing up intothe air with all the acceleration that its super-charger could give it.The others, in future, kept their distance respectfully. Ignoring theirtiresome humming (he likened himself in his imagination to one of thesuitors of the Maiden of Mátsaki, unmoved and persistent among thewinged vermin), the Savage dug at what was to be his garden. After atime the vermin evidently became bored and flew away; for hours at astretch the sky above his head was empty and, but for the larks, silent.

The weather was breathlessly hot, there was thunder in the air. He haddug all the morning and was resting, stretched out along the floor. Andsuddenly the thought of Lenina was a real presence, naked and tangible,saying 'Sweet!' and 'Put your arms round me!'--in shoes and socks,perfumed. Impudent strumpet! But oh, oh, her arms round his neck, thelifting of her breasts, her mouth! Eternity was in our lips and eyes.Lenina... No, no, no, no! He sprang to his feet and, half naked as hewas, ran out of the house. At the edge of the heath stood a clump ofhoary juniper bushes. He flung himself against them, he embraced, notthe smooth body of his desires, but an armful of green spikes. Sharp,with a thousand points, they pricked him. He tried to think of poorLinda, breathless and dumb, with her clutching hands and the unutterableterror in her eyes. Poor Linda whom he had sworn to remember. But it wasstill the presence of Lenina that haunted him. Lenina whom he hadpromised to forget. Even through the stab and sting of the juniperneedles, his wincing flesh was aware of her, unescapably real. 'Sweet,sweet... And if you wanted me too, why didn't you...'

The whip was hanging on a nail by the door, ready to hand against thearrival of reporters. In a frenzy the Savage ran back to the house,seized it, whirled it. The knotted cords bit into his flesh.

'Strumpet! Strumpet!' he shouted at every blow as though it were Lenina(and how frantically, without knowing it, he wished it were!), white,warm, scented, infamous Lenina that he was flogging thus. 'Strumpet!'And then, in a voice of despair, 'Oh, Linda, forgive me. Forgive me,God. I'm bad. I'm wicked. I'm... No, no, you strumpet, you strumpet!'

From his carefully constructed hide in the wood three hundred metresaway, Darwin Bonaparte, the Feely Corporation's most expert big-gamephotographer, had watched the whole proceedings. Patience and skill hadbeen rewarded. He had spent three days sitting inside the bole of anartificial oak tree, three nights crawling on his belly through theheather, hiding microphones in gorse bushes, burying wires in the softgrey sand. Seventy-two hours of profound discomfort. But now the greatmoment had come--the greatest, Darwin Bonaparte had time to reflect, ashe moved among his instruments, the greatest since his taking of thefamous all-howling stereoscopic feely of the gorillas' wedding.'Splendid,' he said to himself, as the Savage started his astonishingperformance. 'Splendid!' He kept his telescopic cameras carefullyaimed--glued to their moving objective; clapped on a higher power to geta close-up of the frantic and distorted face (admirable!); switchedover, for half a minute, to slow motion (an exquisitely comical effect,he promised himself); listened in, meanwhile, to the blows, the groans,the wild and raving words that were being recorded on the sound-track atthe edge of his film, tried the effect of a little amplification (yes,that was decidedly better); was delighted to hear, in a momentary lull,the shrill singing of a lark; wished the Savage would turn round so thathe could get a good close-up of the blood on his back--and almostinstantly (what astonishing luck!) the accommodating fellow did turnround, and he was able to take a perfect close-up.

'Well, that was grand!' he said to himself when it was all over. 'Reallygrand!' He mopped his face. When they had put in the feely effects atthe studio, it would be a wonderful film. Almost as good, thought DarwinBonaparte, as the Sperm Whale's Love-Life--and that, by Ford, wassaying a good deal!

Twelve days later The Savage of Surrey had been released and could beseen, heard and felt in every first-class feely-palace in WesternEurope.

The effect of Darwin Bonaparte's film was immediate and enormous. On theafternoon which followed the evening of its release, John's rusticsolitude was suddenly broken by the arrival overhead of a great swarm ofhelicopters.

He was digging in his garden--digging, too, in his own mind, laboriouslyturning up the substance of his thought. Death--and he drove in hisspade once, and again, and yet again. And all our yesterdays havelighted fools the way to dusty death. A convincing thunder rumbledthrough the words. He lifted another spadeful of earth. Why had Lindadied? Why had she been allowed to become gradually less than human andat last... He shuddered. A good kissing carrion. He planted his footon his spade and stamped it fiercely into the tough ground. As flies towanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport. Thunderagain; words that proclaimed themselves true--truer somehow than truthitself. And yet that same Gloucester had called them ever-gentle gods.Besides, thy best of rest is sleep, and that thou oft provok'st; yetgrossly fear'st thy death which is no more. No more than sleep. Sleep.Perchance to dream. His spade struck against a stone; he stooped to pickit up. For in that sleep of death, what dreams?...

A humming overhead had become a roar; and suddenly he was in shadow,there was something between the sun and him. He looked up, startled,from his digging, from his thoughts; looked up in a dazzledbewilderment, his mind still wandering in that other world oftruer-than-truth, still focussed on the immensities of death and deity;looked up and saw, close above him, the swarm of hovering machines. Likelocusts they came, hung poised, descended all around him on the heather.And from out of the bellies of these giant grasshoppers stepped men inwhite viscose-flannels, women (for the weather was hot) inacetate-shantung pyjamas or velveteen shorts and sleeveless,half-unzippered singlets--one couple from each. In a few minutes therewere dozens of them, standing in a wide circle round the lighthouse,staring, laughing, clicking their cameras, throwing (as to an ape)pea-nuts, packets of sex-hormone chewing-gum, pan-glandular petitsbeurres. And every moment--for across the Hog's Back the stream oftraffic now flowed unceasingly--their numbers increased. As in anightmare, the dozens became scores, the scores hundreds.

The Savage had retreated towards cover, and now, in the posture of ananimal at bay, stood with his back to the wall of the lighthouse,staring from face to face in speechless horror, like a man out of hissenses.

From this stupor he was aroused to a more immediate sense of reality bythe impact on his cheek of a well-aimed packet of chewing-gum. A shockof startling pain--and he was broad awake, awake and fiercely angry.

'Go away!' he shouted.

The ape had spoken; there was a burst of laughter and hand-clapping.'Good old Savage! Hurrah, hurrah!' And through the babel he heard criesof: 'Whip, whip, the whip!'

Acting on the word's suggestion, he seized the bunch of knotted cordsfrom its nail behind the door and shook it at his tormentors.

There was a yell of ironical applause.

Menacingly he advanced towards them. A woman cried out in fear. The linewavered at its most immediately threatened point, then stiffened again,stood firm. The consciousness of being in overwhelming force had giventhese sightseers a courage which the Savage had not expected of them.Taken aback, he halted and looked round.

'Why don't you leave me alone?' There was an almost plaintive note inhis anger.

'Have a few magnesium-salted almonds!' said the man who, if the Savagewere to advance, would be the first to be attacked. He held out apacket. 'They're really very good, you know,' he added, with a rathernervous smile of propitiation. 'And the magnesium salts will help tokeep you young.'

The Savage ignored his offer. 'What do you want with me?' he asked,turning from one grinning face to another. 'What do you want with me?'

'The whip,' answered a hundred voices confusedly. 'Do the whippingstunt. Let's see the whipping stunt.'

Then, in unison and on a slow, heavy rhythm, 'We--want--the whip,'shouted a group at the end of the line. 'We--want--the whip.'

Others at once took up the cry, and the phrase was repeated,parrot-fashion, again and again, with an ever-growing volume of sound,until, by the seventh or eighth reiteration, no other word was beingspoken. 'We--want--the whip.'

They were all crying together; and, intoxicated by the noise, theunanimity, the sense of rhythmical atonement, they might, it seemed,have gone on for hours--almost indefinitely. But at about thetwenty-fifth repetition the proceedings were startlingly interrupted.Yet another helicopter had arrived from across the Hog's Back, hungpoised above the crowd, then dropped within a few yards of where theSavage was standing, in the open space between the line of sightseersand the lighthouse. The roar of the air screws momentarily drowned theshouting; then, as the machine touched the ground and the engines wereturned off: 'We--want--the whip; we--want--the whip,' broke out again inthe same loud, insistent monotone.

The door of the helicopter opened, and out stepped, first a fair andruddy-faced young man, then, in green velveteen shorts, white shirt, andjockey cap, a young woman.

At the sight of the young woman, the Savage started, recoiled, turnedpale.

The young woman stood, smiling at him--an uncertain, imploring, almostabject smile. The seconds passed. Her lips moved, she was sayingsomething; but the sound of her voice was covered by the loud reiteratedrefrain of the sightseers.

'We--want--the whip! We--want--the whip!'

The young woman pressed both hands to her left side, and on thatpeach-bright, doll-beautiful face of hers appeared a strangelyincongruous expression of yearning distress. Her blue eyes seemed togrow larger, brighter; and suddenly two tears rolled down her cheeks.Inaudibly, she spoke again; then, with a quick, impassioned gesturestretched out her arms towards the Savage, stepped forward.

'We--want--the whip! We--want...'

And all of a sudden they had what they wanted.

'Strumpet!' The Savage had rushed at her like a madman. 'Fitchew!' Likea madman, he was slashing at her with his whip of small cords.

Terrified, she had turned to flee, had tripped and fallen in theheather. 'Henry, Henry!' she shouted. But her ruddy-faced companion hadbolted out of harm's way behind the helicopter.

With a whoop of delighted excitement the line broke; there was aconvergent stampede towards that magnetic centre of attraction. Pain wasa fascinating horror.

'Fry, lechery, fry!' Frenzied, the Savage slashed again.

Hungrily they gathered round, pushing and scrambling like swine aboutthe trough.

'Oh, the flesh!' The Savage ground his teeth. This time it was on hisshoulders that the whip descended. 'Kill it, kill it!'

Drawn by the fascination of the horror of pain and, from within,impelled by that habit of cooperation, that desire for unanimity andatonement, which their conditioning had so ineradicably implanted inthem, they began to mime the frenzy of his gestures, striking at oneanother as the Savage struck at his own rebellious flesh, or at thatplump incarnation of turpitude writhing in the heather at his feet.

'Kill it, kill it, kill it...' the Savage went on shouting.

Then suddenly somebody started singing 'Orgy-porgy,' and in a momentthey had all caught up the refrain and, singing, had begun to dance.Orgy-porgy, round and round and round, beating one another in six-eighttime. Orgy-porgy...

It was after midnight when the last of the helicopters took its flight.Stupefied by soma, and exhausted by a long-drawn frenzy of sensuality,the Savage lay sleeping in the heather. The sun was already high when heawoke. He lay for a moment, blinking in owlish incomprehension at thelight; then suddenly remembered--everything.

'Oh, my God, my God!' He covered his eyes with his hand.

****

That evening the swarm of helicopters that came buzzing across the Hog'sBack was a dark cloud ten kilometres long. The description of lastnight's orgy of atonement had been in all the papers.

'Savage!' called the first arrivals, as they alighted from theirmachine. 'Mr. Savage!'

There was no answer.

The door of the lighthouse was ajar. They pushed it open and walked intoa shuttered twilight. Through an archway on the further side of the roomthey could see the bottom of the staircase that led up to the higherfloors. Just under the crown of the arch dangled a pair of feet.

'Mr. Savage!'

Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turnedtowards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south,south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned asunhurriedly back towards the left. South-southwest, south, south-east,east...