+ ~ -
 
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
 
Report an Error
Go!
 
Go!
 
TOC
 

but a pair of dark eyes lying beneath
the shadow of a broad brow, and a mass of
raven hair resting heavy on her check to
redeem it from absolute ugliness; a tall lean
figure, not even graceful in its movements,
nor fine in its proportions; and hands with
fingers so long and thin they were almost
transparentill-formed, and ungainly too; a
mode of dress that was not picturesque, and
most certainly was not fashionable, scanty,
black, and untrimmed;—all this made up an
exterior which the most facile admiration
could not admire. And few in the passing
world care to discover the spiritual beauty
which an outward form of unloveliness may
hide.

No, Margaret stood in the moonlight
by the side of an artist of high poetic
temperamenta man who lived in the sunniest
places of human happinessa woman shut
out from all the beauty of life; a woman
who had never been fair, and who was now
no longer young, to whom hope and love are
impossible; the handmaid only to another's
happiness, mistress of none herself. Was
she thinking of the difference between
herself and the stars as she looked at them
shedding light on the black rocks and the
barren fells? Was she measuring the distance
between her and her fate, her desires and
her possessions, as she watched the waves
striving to reach the soft cool moss upon the
bank, to be thrust back by shingles and
the stones? Or was she dreaming of a
possible future, when the rocks should be
beautiful with flowers, and the fells golden
with furze, and when the waves would have
passed that rough bar, and have crept peacefully
to the foot of the mossy bank? Was she
dreaming of happiness, or was she learning to
suffer? Narrowing her heaven to within the
compass of the earth, or losing earth in the
heaven of nobleness and sacrifice? Who
could tell? Thoughts are but poorly
interpreted by eyes, and a sigh gives no more
than the indication of a feeling.

"Let us go on the lake, Margaret, and take
Ada with us," said Horace, suddenly rousing
himself from his reverie, and leaving the
shadow in which he had been standing.

"Yes," said Margaret, in a low voice, and
with the start of one awakened out of a sleep
in which she had been dreaming pleasantly.
"Ada will enjoy that!"

"She turned her face to the window where
Ada sat, poring over a book of pictures by
the lamplight, her little head hidden under
its weight of ringlets, like an apple-blossom
spray bent down with flowers.

"Child, will you come to Lily Island with
Horace and me? " she said, caressingly.
"Your vase is empty, and the old enchanters
used to say that flowers should be gathered
when the moonlight is upon them, if they
were to have any spell. And you know you
said you wished to enchant Horace. Will
you come?"

She smiled and held out her hand
caressingly.

The girl flung her book on the floor with a
little cry of pleasure. " Oh, that will be
delightful! "  she exclaimed, clapping her
hands. " It was so stupid, Margaret, in here
all alone, with nothing but those wearisome old
pictures that I have seen hundreds of times
before. I was wondering when you and Horace
would be tired of talking philosophy together,
for you are always wandering away among
minds and starsfar out of my depth."
Which, perhaps would not have been difficult
to any one who could wade deeper than the
hornbook.

All the time Ada was chattering thus,
she was gathering up from the sofa her
gloves, shawl, and bonnet; losing vast
quantities of time in searching behind the pillars
for her shawl pin, which she did not find after
all. For the sofa was Ada's toilette-table
and unfathomable well generally, serving
various kinds of duties. " We will go,
Margaret,'' she continued, running through the
room on to the balcony, her shawl thrown
on to her shoulders awry, and holding her
straw bonnet by its long blue strings.
"Remember, I am to crown you like a naiad,
and Horace is to be your triton. Are those
words pronounced properly, Horry? " And
she put her arms round the artist as a child
might have done, and looked into his face
prettily.

"You are to do just as you like, fairy
Ada," said Horace, fondly, patting her round
cheek. " You are too childish to contradict,
and not wise enough to convince; so you
must even be indulged for weakness' sake if
not for love." This was to correct his
flattery.

But it was not flattery after all; for she
was like a fairy, hanging round him and
caressing him so childishly; her little feet
falling without echo as they glanced
restlessly from beneath her wide flounces, and
her yellow hair hanging down like golden
strands. She was like one of those flowers in
fairy books from whose heart flows out an,
elfin queen; like a poet's vision of a laughing
nymph: a wandering peri masked for awhile
in human features; like a dewdrop sparkling
in the sun; a being made up of light, and
love, and laughter; so beautiful and innocent
that the coldest cynic must have praised,
the sternest stoic must have loved.

"What a child! What a lovely child!"
said Horace, half to himself, turning from
her and yet still holding her hand against his
shoulder. " You are repaid now, Margaret"
he added, tenderly, " for your long years of
thought and care. Your life is blessed
indeed; far more so than many which have
more the appearance of fulfilment."

"Yes," said Margaret, raising her dark
eyes full into his. " My life is very, very
happy now, Horace. Nothing is wanting to
it, nothing. A home, a child, a friend;

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.013 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.017 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.073 seconds, 3.64 MB
Application afterRender: 0.126 seconds, 3.98 MB

Memory Usage

4201632

21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '6d3938db6ab7f8b799f085374f429dd0'
  2. DELETE
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1656441394' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '6d3938db6ab7f8b799f085374f429dd0'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( '6d3938db6ab7f8b799f085374f429dd0','1656443194','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-13'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-13'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '74'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='74'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 86)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-13'
      AND id_volume = 10
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '10'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '188'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 10
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 10
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 10
      AND ordering > 23
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 10
      AND ordering < 23
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 86 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic

None

Untranslated Strings Designer

None