And he saw, moreover, that the delighted duke had discovered his daughter's passion likewise, and was already dreaming of a marriage. Every day somewhat of the deep sadness that had been in the princess's face faded away; every day hope and animation beamed brighter from her eye; and by and by even vagrant smiles visited the face that had been so troubled. Conrad was appalled.
But the applause of the world had not a sound so sweet to his ear, as, when, in doubt, humiliation, and sadness, the lips of his Helen had whispered "Hope! and believe!" Side by side with this picture of Woman the Consoler, let me place the companion sketch.
The nation had no more strong kings, no more wise lawgivers; its armies were beaten in battle, and neighbouring tribes conquered the country and took the fruitful lands; there were no more poets except a few who made songs of lamentation. The people had become a captive and humiliated people; and the bitterest part of all its sadness was the memory of past greatness.
Tea, late dinners, and the French Revolution, have played the devil, Mr Listless, and brought the devil into play. Having great wrath. This is no play upon words, but the sober sadness of veritable fact. Tea, late dinners, and the French Revolution. I cannot exactly see the connection of ideas. I should be sorry if you could; I pity the man who can see the connection of his own ideas.
With a practised and skilful hand, Adrian touched the strings; and selecting a song which was less elaborate than those mostly in vogue amongst his countrymen, though still conceived in the Italian spirit, and in accordance with the sentiment he had previously expressed to Adeline, he sang as follows: Love's Excuse for Sadness.
"She's not there," was the report carried to the poor old man, who tremblingly repeated his words: "Not there, not come," while over his aged face there broke a look of touching sadness, which Mark never forgot, remembering it always just as he remembered the big tear drops which from his seat by the window he saw the old man wipe away with his coat sleeve, whispering softly to Whitey of his disappointment as he unhitched the horse and drove away alone.
There was a long silence, the sound of a bell tinkling away in the dark forest opposite and the distant murmur of the village alone broke the stillness. Andrew rose to go in a much better frame of mind. "You an' me, Duncan," he said with some sadness, "belong to a past generation.
But, when she noted the sadness of her young relative's expression, she was seized with pity. Making an effort, however, to disguise her emotion, she pretended to accost him with the calm and cordial friendship of former times. "Why, good-morning, Claudet," said she, "you come just in time. A quarter of an hour later you would not have found me. Will you come in and rest a moment?"
Then came a stroll round our small estate, and an hour or so over books. Matthew Arnold's Thyrsis was a favourite poem with us all on these mornings. It breathed the very spirit of the life we lived, but for its sadness this we did not feel.
Jobson and the rest did not feel it, I with my finer senses caught nothing but the hopeless sadness of it. That which had stirred the passion in Lawson was only wringing my heart. It was almost too pitiful to bear. As the trees crashed down and the men wiped the sweat from their brows, I seemed to myself like the murderer of fair women and innocent children.