The girl paled, but she went on with outward calm. "That hawk or cat feels as you do. I wonder what that young rabbit thinks of life's problem?" "But we are neither hawks nor cats, nor even young rabbits," I answered warmly. "We can not bear the burthens of the whole animal world. Our own are sufficient for us." "You are right. They are more than sufficient."
He bowed his head and asked pardon of God because he had dared to sacrifice in that last effort the lives of many others. Mazzini rose again, resolved to do without friends and kindred, if duty should forbid those consolations. He thought of the lives of Juvenal, urging the Roman to ask for "the soul that has no fear of death and that endures life's pain and labour calmly."
The fires of a modest valour fluttered in her cheeks, and she pieced out his sentence: "With all my life's esteem." But she was a woman, and she added: "But I am not young now, and I am very poor." "Barbara," he said; "I am not rich and I am old; but you, you have not changed; you are beautiful, as you always were." The moment was crucial. He stepped towards her, but her eyes held him back.
Strong man though I am, there are things that I cannot bear." He leaned on the mantel-piece, shading his face with his hand. Lucy stood in silence, striving to suppress her emotion from breaking forth. "In the old days very long ago, they seem now, to look back upon I had the opportunity of assuring my life's happiness," he continued in a low, steady tone.
"Will you behold unheeding, Life's holiest feelings crushed, Where woman's heart is bleeding, Shall woman's voice be hushed?" Act on this subject. Some of you own slaves yourselves. If you believe slavery is sinful, set them at liberty, "undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free." If they wish to remain with you, pay them wages, if not let them leave you.
If Brian had lived his life in London and at Netherglen with no great shock, no terrible grief, no overthrow of all his hopes, he might not have experienced this glow and thrill of passionate emotion; he might have walked quietly into love, made a suitable marriage, and remained ignorant to his life's end of the capabilities for emotion which existed within him.
One who thinks that he has no power within him but that all the power is in circumstances, can never rise victorious over his troubles and become a conqueror over life's difficulties; but one who realizes that he possesses a wonderful power that can raise him up, no matter how crushed he may be, can never be a failure in life.
Unfortunately, human history has dealt mainly with wars and intrigues, and the rise and fall of dynasties; but compared with these coarse and superficial elements, how much more interesting and instructive to trace in all races of men the common and ceaseless yearnings after some solution of life's mysteries!
A brilliantly painted scene! Controlling everything, controlling herself, the lady of the house: hunting out her guests with some grace that befitted each; laughing and talking with the doctor; secretly giving most attention to the doctor's wife faded little sufferer; with strength in her to be the American wife and mother in the home of the poet's dream: the spiritual majesty of her bridal veil still about her amid life's snow as it never lifts itself from the face of the Jungfrau amid the sad most lovely mountains: the American wife and mother! herself the Jungfrau among the world's women!
As she turned slowly round, and the sunshine struck upon her face, the two watchers were amazed to see that this very active and energetic lady was far from being in her first youth, so far that she had certainly come of age again since she first passed that landmark in life's journey.