Over her broad forehead she had wound a large silk handkerchief in turban fashion. It hung down behind. She wished to conceal the thinness of her hair. He smiled to recognise her again in this. More spiritualised, more ethereal in her beauty, her innermost aspirations shone forth without effort. Her thin hands caressed his hair, and now she gazed into his eyes. "Rafael, my Rafael!"
Some of the fireworks had set fire to houses and were threatening them with destruction; for this reason men could be seen on the ridges of the roofs carrying buckets of water and long bamboo poles with cloths tied on the ends. Their dark shadows seemed descended from ethereal space to be present at the rejoicings of human beings.
He wants to rest a little, then to feed a little; then, if you will turn him loose in the pasture, he wants to roll. I have left my starry and ethereal companionship, not for a long time, I hope, for it has lifted me above my common self, but for a while. And now I want, so to speak, to roll in the grass and among the dandelions with the other pachyderms.
And perhaps I talk with one who is selecting some choice barrels to fulfil an order. He turns a specked one over many times before he leaves it out. If I were to tell what is passing in my mind, I should say that every one was specked which he had handled; for he rubs off all the bloom, and those fugacious ethereal qualities leave it.
To the high mountain-peaks of faith and sanctity he would have climbed, had not the tendency been thwarted by the burden, whatever it might be, of crime or anguish, beneath which it was his doom to totter. It kept him down, on a level with the lowest; him, the man of ethereal attributes, whose voice the angels might else have listened to and answered!
Some types of spinal disease seem to have a marvellously refining effect on the countenance; producing an ethereal clearness of skin, and brightness of eye, and a spiritual expression, which are seen on no other faces. Rachel Barlow was a striking instance of this almost abnormal beauty. As her fair face looked up at you from her pillow, your impulse was to fall on your knees.
Oh, tell me not of dark eyes swimming in their own ethereal essence; tell me not of pouting lips, of glossy ringlets, of taper fingers, and well-rounded insteps; speak not to me of soft voices, whose seductive sounds ring sweetly in our hearts; preach not of those thousand womanly graces so dear to every man, and doubly to him who lives apart from all their influences and their fascinations; neither dwell upon congenial temperament, similarity of taste, of disposition, and of thought; these are not the great risks a man runs in life.
But he stayed here and the audiences that sat spellbound were those little neighborhood audiences, who stood a long way off from a full understanding of his soul's ethereal web and woof.
It is recorded as "a blazing starre" such as "never appears but as a prognostic of afterclaps," and again, as "dreadful to be seen, with bloudie haires, and all over rough and shagged at the top." Another author complacently explains that comets "were made to the end that the ethereal regions might not be more void of monsters than the ocean is of whales and other great thieving fish!"
But electricity floats ethereal, apart, a subtle essence, shining in the changing splendors of the aurora yet existent in the very paper upon which one writes; mysteriously everywhere; silent, unseen, odorless, untouchable, a power capable of exemplifying the highest majesty of universal nature, or of lighting the faint glow of the fragile insect that flies in the twilight of a summer night.