appearance of effeminacy.
A smile of voluptuous sweetness played, as he spoke, about his exquisite mouth, and disclosed rows of teeth as white and free from stain or blemish as bleached pearls newly taken from the oyster.
Still, a purity and even anxiety of expression relieved at intervals the mild brilliancy of his eyes, and a strength of arm almost gigantic was forgotten in the delicacy of his manners, and a certain indescribable grace which seemed beaming and floating, as it were, over his whole person.
He sang, and his soul seemed to warm every note and word; he looked up, and his curling hair, of a pale golden brown, shone so brightly between the flames of two waxen tapers that it was not difficult to imagine a halo round his forehead like that sometimes given by painters to the god of verse and the lyre.’
What wonder that the poor little wife, married at the age of fourteen to a man thrice her years, heavy, dull, uncongenial, should fall in love with this seraphic being!
She says to him: ‘Well may I desire you to remain; you seem to me like an incarnation of the sun, like a living Apollo
In your presence I forget there is anything like a pain in existence; when I look on you and hear you speak, I feel transported to the region of beauty and music.’
Idomen, however, remembers her duty as a wife, and Ethelwald leaves her.
Her husband, Burleigh
, loses his property; things go from bad to worse; among worse she mentions ‘the disgusting lamp, with its oil of sea-animals, which took the place of my neat waxen tapers.’
finally dies of fever, faithfully nursed to the last by Idomen.
After his death she goes to Cuba
, at the invitation of her uncle.
Her first sight of Havana
fills her with interest.
‘It was noon when we entered the fine harbor of Havana
, and the first day of the week; the scene that rose before us seemed too wildly ’