There are other names on some of the small window-panes, which must have had young flesh-and-blood owners, and there is one of early date which elderly persons have whispered was borne by a fair woman, whose graces made the house beautiful in the eyes of the youth of that time.
After her marriage hundreds of persons who had sneered at her condition find her charming, thus showing the extent of their prejudice against feminine celibacy. Old maids in general, it is fair to presume, do not wait for opportunities, but for proposers of an acceptable sort. They may have, indeed they are likely to have, those, but not to meet these.
Indeed, it must be owned, that he himself, though at heart a keen partisan of the exiled family, had kept pretty fair with all the different turns of state in his time; so that Davie Gellatley once described him as a particularly good man, who had a very quiet and peaceful conscience, THAT NEVER DID HIM ANY HARM.
Oh, the sweet, sweet smell of the forest as it is borne down from the mountains and carried seaward, to gladden, it may be, the heart of some hard-worked, broken-spirited sailor, who, in a passing ship, sees from aloft this fair, fair island with its smiling green of lear, and soft, heaving valleys, above the long lines of curving beach, showing white and bright in the morning sun!
"Hardly twelve years old seemed the one, the other not much older; their faces fair and noble, but pale and wan with sickness. "They were all in rags, almost naked; and their lean bodies showed wounds, the marks of ill-usage; both of them shivered with fever. "They looked up at me out of the depth of their misery; 'Who, I cried in horror to Don Diego, 'are these pictures of wretchedness?
But it seems to me at this moment impossible that I should ever have such an ambition, because I have a sense of meanness in not starting fair, in beginning the world with advantages that my fellows have not." "Really this is not wise," said the Warden, bluntly, "How can the start in life be fair for all? Providence arranges it otherwise.
She looked so exquisitely pretty then, standing in the gloomy half-light of this squalid room, with the slanting golden sunshine which peeped in through the tiny west window outlining her delicate silhouette and touching her smooth fair hair with gold. Vanity, self-satisfaction, and mayhap something a little more tender, a little more selfless, stirred in the young man's heart.
'Sir, said the other, 'he will be known ere he depart. When the king caused the trumpet to sound the end of the day's jousting, the heralds cried that the prize was to go to the knight with the red sleeve. But when the northern knights came to Sir Lancelot and would have him go to the king and take the prize, he said: 'Fair lords, let me depart, I pray you.
Another explanation of the name is that the court was so called "because justice is there done as speedily as dust can fall from the foot." Whatever be the correct solution, the curious fact remains that this court was a serious affair, and had the power to enforce law and deal out punishment within the area of the Fair.
They believed that to talk about these books made the old gentleman worse, so they refused to answer him when he argued about knights and dragons and whether this fair lady was an enchantress in disguise or only a mortal woman, and whether that dragon actually did breathe forth fire from his nostrils, or only sulphur fumes and smoke.