1 So we fought against this curse.
2 For we are not like our brothers.
3 But we cannot change our bones nor our body.
4 By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives.
5 It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own.
6 This is our wonder and our secret fear, that we know and do not resist.
7 We know that we are evil, but there is no will in us and no power to resist it.
8 And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone.
9 We were just like all our brothers then, save for the one transgression: we fought with our brothers.
10 The Council of the Home told us so, and of all the children of that year, we were locked in the cellar most often.
11 In the Home of the Students we arose when the big bell rang in the tower and we went to our beds when it rang again.
12 It matters only that the light is precious and we should not waste it to write when we need it for that work which is our crime.
13 When we were five years old, we were sent to the Home of the Students, where there are ten wards, for our ten years of learning.
14 But we must never speak of the times before the Great Rebirth, else we are sentenced to three years in the Palace of Corrective Detention.
15 What punishment awaits us if it be discovered we know not, for no such crime has come in the memory of men and there are no laws to provide for it.
16 We remember the Home of the Infants where we lived till we were five years old, together with all the children of the City who had been born in the same year.
17 And as we look back upon our life, we see that it has ever been thus and that it has brought us step by step to our last, supreme transgression, our crime of crimes hidden here under the ground.
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