Now she might have been taken to be nearly forty, so much had her troubles preyed upon her spirit, and eaten into the vitality of her youth. "So you have come to say good-bye," she said, smiling as she rose to meet him. "Yes, Lady Laura; to say good-bye. Not for ever, I hope, but probably for long." "No, not for ever. At any rate, we will not think so."
How to prove it false in a civilized age, among sober-living men and women, with whom the violent assertion of bravery would certainly imperil his claim to brains? His head was like a stew-pan over the fire, bubbling endlessly. He railed at her to Algernon, and astonished the youth, who thought them in a fair way to make an alliance.
But when at last all was of no avail when the strongest youth or the dearest maiden had gone she went back to her hut and ate her heart out in the darkness. She wept for her children and would not be comforted because they were not.
"Yes," said Etienne Rambert; "when one gets to my age, little Thérèse, one always does remember the happy days of one's youth; one remembers recent events much less distinctly. Most likely that means, my dear, that the human heart declines to grow old and refuses to preserve any but pictures of childhood."
To any one ignorant of the actors in this scene, the indecision, of the savage would have appeared unaccountable; for there could be no doubt of his desire to slay the fair youth still less doubt of his ability to dart his formidable spear with precision.
In so far as the illusions of the theater succeed in giving youth the rest and recreation which comes from following a more primitive code of morality, it has a close relation to the function performed by public games. It is, of course, less valuable because the sense of participation is largely confined to the emotions and the imagination, and does not involve the entire nature.
If he saw aright, she might yet live a long time, and this gave him heartfelt joy. With her he would lose the last witness of his childhood, the chronicle, as it were, of his earliest youth. He could not understand why he had never before induced her to tell him her recollections.
We have gone back for a season to the freedom, the sports, the sights, the exercises which delighted our boyhood. And can it be called strange that the feelings, the thoughts, and emotions of our youth should come welling up from the long past, or that with the return of boyish emotions, the language and actions of boyhood should be indulged in again?"
When Lady Percy in Henry IV. is lamenting Hotspur she says: ... he was, indeed, the glass Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves. He had no legs that practised not his gait; And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish, Became the accents of the valiant; For those that could speak low and tardily, Would turn their own perfection to abuse. To seem like him.
Picturing her, he could not rest, and he rose and marched aimlessly to and fro. He had been a fool, he told himself: he had denied his youth and doubted her: proud in poverty, he should have gone to her and offered all he had, the love and labour of his body and brain, honouring her in asking her to take him empty-handed if she would take him at all.