Eyes Have Revealed The Shock You Have Experienced.
hide it; her heart is stabbed with a sudden pain, and she is
filled with shame and confusion; and the pain is but greater
if her life has glided smoothly - if she cannot appeal to your
compassion, finding a melancholy relief in that saddest cry:
O Grief has changed me since you saw me last!
For not grief, nor sickness, nor want, nor care, nor any
misery or calamity which men fear, is her chief enemy. Time
alone she hates and fears - insidious Time who has lulled her
mind with pleasant flatteries all these years while subtly
taking away her most valued possessions, the bloom and colour,
the grace, the sparkle, the charm of other years.
Here is a true and pretty little story, which may or may not
exactly fit the theme, but is very well worth telling. A lady
of fashion, middle-aged or thereabouts, good-looking but pale
and with the marks of care and disillusionment on her
expressive face, accompanied by her pretty sixteen-years-old
daughter, one day called on an artist and asked him to show
her his studio. He was a very great artist, the greatest
portrait-painter we have ever had and he did not know who she
was, but with the sweet courtesy which distinguished him
through all his long life - he died recently at a very advanced
age - he at once put his work away and took her round his
studio to show her everything he thought would interest her.
But she was restless and inattentive, and by and by leaving
the artist talking to her young daughter she began going round
by herself, moving constantly from picture to picture.
Presently she made an exclamation, and turning they saw her
standing before a picture, a portrait of a girl, staring
fixedly at it.
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