In a few moments, Arenta's pretty enthusiasms and welcomes dissipated all constraint, and Hyde placed his chair among the happy group and fell easily into his most charming mood. Even Rem could not resist the atmosphere of gaiety and real enjoyment that soon pervaded the room.
He wears Arenta's name on his sleeve. He drinks her health in all companies. He will talk to any stranger he meets, for an hour at a time, about his 'fair Arenta. I can but wonder at the fellow. It is inconceivable to me; for though I am passionately taken with Cornelia Moran, I hide her close in my heart. I should want to strike any man who breathed her name.
Arenta's feelings were in kind and measure shared by several other people; Doctor Moran held them in a far bitterer mood; but he, also, environed by circumstances he could neither alter nor command, was compelled to satisfy his disapproval with promises of a future change. For the wedding of Arenta Van Ariens had assumed a great social importance.
Then they found in delicious silence the eloquence that words were incompetent to translate; time was forgotten, and on earth there was once more an interlude of heavenly harmony in which two souls became one and Paradise was regained. Arenta's voice, petulant and not pleasant, broke the charm. With a sigh they rose, dropped each other's hand, and went out of their heaven on earth to meet her.
And while these words were being uttered, George delighted his eyes with the vision of Cornelia, who sat at a small table with some needlework in her hand. Arenta's tatting was over her foot, and she had to remove it in order to rise and meet Hyde. Rem sat idly fingering a pack of playing cards and talking to Cornelia.
The grandmother of Arenta was French. Very well I remember her a girl all alive, from head to foot; never still. Thy grandfather used to say, 'In her veins is quick-silver, not blood, And, too soon, she wore away her life; Arenta's mother was but a baby, when she died." "Ah! So it is! We are the past, as well as the present. As for myself "
Who can speak to us so well? without obscurity, without words, without passion. Yes, indeed: "I will talk to myself" is a very significant phrase. The ruling idea of any mind assumes the foreground of thought; and after Arenta's marriage the dominant desire of George Hyde was to have his betrothal to Cornelia recognized and assured.
George took them from Arenta's hand and folded the warm circular round Cornelia's slight figure; and then watched her tie her pretty pink hood, managing amid the pleasant stir of leave-taking to whisper some words that sang all night like sweetest music in her heart.
However, Ava, I am a great believer in sequences; there are few events that break off absolutely. In Arenta's life there will be sequences; let us hope that they will be happy ones. Where is Cornelia?" "I know not. She is asleep. The ball to-night is to be fairy-land and love-land, an Arabian night's dream and a midsummer night's dream all in one.
Then they laughed, and laughter is always fatal to feeling; the magical land of love was suddenly far away, and there was the sound of china, and the heavy tones of Rem's voice dissatisfied, if not angry and Arenta's lighter fret; and they stood once more among fetishes and forms so foreign, fabulous and fantastical, that it was difficult to pass from the land of love, and all its pure delights, into their atmosphere.