Yet it is written, `He that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find mercy. May it not be too late for me!" "Assuredly not, my father. But what canst thou mean?" "Bruno, thy child did not die the day after she came hither." "Father! Thou art not going to tell me " Bruno's voice had in it a strange mixture of agony and hope. "Son, thy Beatrice lives."
The very last thing I saw of them was this Sylvie was stooping down with her arms round Bruno's neck, and saying coaxingly in his ear, "Do you know, Bruno, I've quite forgotten that hard word. Do say it once more. Come! Only this once, dear!" But Bruno wouldn't try it again. The Marvellous the Mysterious had quite passed out of my life for the moment: and the Common-place reigned supreme.
It appeared to me that a conversation would scarcely be 'comfable' while trees were being climbed, even if both the 'peoples' were doing it: but it was evidently dangerous to oppose any theory of Bruno's; so I thought it best to let the question drop, and to ask for an account of the machine that made things longer. This time Bruno was at a loss, and left it to Sylvie.
What on earth, too, does he mean by Bruno's "great obscurity" when he returned to Italy and fell into the jaws of the Inquisition? Every scholar in that age was more or less obscure, for the multitude was illiterate, and sovereigns and soldiers monopolised the public attention. But as notoriety then went, Bruno was a famous figure. Proof of this will be given presently.
Bruno furnished another example of those whose faith, having been at one time forced to accept dogmas bred of superstition, has been weakened and altogether destroyed when they have perceived the falseness and fallibility of that which before they deemed infallible. But in spite of these errors Bruno's learning was remarkable. He had an extensive knowledge of all sciences.
Waldo made light of all fears, prophesying complete success, and even going so far as to predict Bruno's return accompanied by the Children of the Sun; enthusiastic words which set the exile to trembling with excess of joy and anticipation.
But the unsolved problem did not worry me so much as at another time it might have done, there were so many other things to attend to. The old Beggar must have been very deaf, as he paid no attention whatever to Bruno's eager shouting, but trudged wearily on, never pausing until the child got in front of him and held up the slice of cake.
I shall write again from Marseilles; and, I hope, the letter from thence will reach you. Pull Bruno's ears for me, and don't let him forget his master; which will be one way, my dear, kind, Elinor, of obliging you to remember that individual also. Best respects to Mr. Wyllys and Aunt Agnes, with much love for yourself, dearest Elinor, from Your affectionate, present and FUTUR,
"All right! Fifty to thirty!" "Double it if you want to." "All right. The bulik belongs to my protector and I've just won. A hundred to sixty!" "Taken! Wait till I get the money." "But I'll hold the stakes," said the other, not confiding much in Bruno's looks. "It's all the same to me," answered the latter, trusting to his fists.
Hamlet remarked in a cheerful tone, and then turned head-over-heels several times, his cloak dropping off in the performance. I felt a little disappointed: Bruno's conception of the part seemed so wanting in dignity. "Won't he say any more of the speech?" I whispered to Sylvie. "I think not," Sylvie whispered in reply. "He generally turns head-over-heels when he doesn't know any more words."