Fair and empty they were, she felt sure, adorned only here and there with careful and becoming maxims. She smiled a little, not untenderly, as she thought of Althea. But, just before sinking to deeper drowsiness, and deciding that she must rouse herself and go upstairs to bed, a further consciousness came to her.
Pretty sentiments these, to set before a king already engaged in so critical a contest with his subjects; pleasant entertainment, one would say, for the representative of a monarchy that had contrived to wake the sleeping Brutus in its dominions, that was preparing, even then, for its own death-struggle on this very question, which this Brutus searches to its core so untenderly.
I saw myself far remote from her, and though she never spoke of him again I divined that her thoughts dwelt not untenderly on his memory. I was absurd, I know. But I had begun almost to believe in my make-believe paternity, and I was jealous of the rightful claims of the dead man.
The washing process was simple enough. From the dish-pan which stood upon the hearth half full of dirty water and some of the breakfast dishes, she took a greasy dish-cloth, wrung it out carefully, and with it proceeded to wash, not untenderly, the festering heads, faces and fingers of her children, resorting from time to time to the dish-pan for a fresh supply of water.
They were still closely face to face, and, yielding to the impulse to which he hadn't yielded just before, he laid his hands on her shoulders, held her hard a minute and shook her a little, far from untenderly, as if in expression of more mingled things, all difficult, than he could speak. Then bending his head he applied his lips to her cheek.
I would that you were in very truth my brother, as in love you have long been. And if I fall whilst you escape, be it your office to break the tidings to my mother and my gentle Anne; for methinks, were it told them suddenly or untenderly, their hearts would break with the sorrow."