In the stillness of the night, as its darkness deepened and the subsiding tempest sounded more and more remote, encouraged by the sense of security and their fortunate escape, a confidential conversation arose between Huldbrand and Bertalda.
But when the temporary Life was changed, and "this mortal put on immortality," their eyes and souls were filled with the utter stillness and repose of its external aspects; its features became rigid and fixed, and were settled to an everlasting and immutable calm; the vibrating grace of its lines departed, and their ever-varying complexity became simplified, and assumed the straightness and stiffness of Death.
The audience sat spell-bound hushed into stillness by those transcendent harmonies which seemed like the very song of the angels themselves; like that "new song" which is spoken of in Revelation. The grandeur of Handel's stupendous chords was renewed, and every one present felt its power. Then came the second scene. Prometheus lay suffering.
He seemed to be comparing what we told him with something already known to him but unknown to us. The little servant stood all the while in respectful stillness by the door; but I could see by a glance at his alert face that he followed the whole scene with keen attention. At the end of the story, Rudolf turned to Sapt. "And your secret is it safe?" he asked. "Ay, it's safe enough!"
He is on the alert." "It may have been different persons." "It was the same man sh! there he comes on the porch." In the stillness of the night the sound was plainly heard. The next moment a key turned in the lock of the door, which was silently shoved inward. The visitor, whoever he was, acted with the coolness of a professional.
At last the brands were all expended and the fire extinct, and then, as I said, we went away to sleep under the boats' awnings. We were in the act of depositing our loaded rifles by our sides in a place of security, when the unearthly war cry rose in the jungle, and in the stillness of the night these discordant screams sounded like the yelling of a legion of devils.
They're coming!" cried the voice of the German soldier at the wall, and wrenching his wrist from the clasp of the dying man, Blakely sprang recklessly to his feet and to the mouth of the cave just as Stern's carbine broke the stillness with resounding roar. Half a dozen rifles barked their instant echo among the rocks. From up the hillside rose a yell of savage hate and another of warning.
Suddenly from the darkness there emerged, to recoil again, a man's tall figure. "Who is that? Who is it?" asked the hoarse, nervous voice of Gubin in dissipation of the deathlike stillness. Which said, he and I fell into step with one another. As we proceeded he inquired whence I had come, and why I was still abroad.
Nan thought of John, and in the stillness of her sleepless nights prayed Heaven to keep him safe, and make her worthy to receive and strong enough to bear the blessedness or pain of love.
He had been coming, on a wet autumnal afternoon, down the dark stairs from his attic and suddenly at the other end of the long passage there had been this sound, so sudden and so pitiful coming upon that dreary stillness that he had stopped with his hands clenched and his face white and his heart beating like a knock on a door.