Page:Pierre.djvu/256

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242 PIERRE

the immense distances of sky and air, and there seemed no veto of the earth that could forbid her heavenly claim.

During the three days that he had personally known her, and so been brought into magnetic contact with her, other persuasions and potencies than those direct ones, involved in her bewildering eyes and marvellous story, had unconsciously left their ineffaceable impressions on him, and perhaps without his privity, had mainly contributed to his resolve. She had impressed him as the glorious child of Pride and Grief, in whose countenance were traceable the divinest lineaments of both her parents. Pride gave to her her nameless nobleness ; Grief touched that nobleness with an angelical softness ; and again that softness was steeped in a most charitable humility, which was the foundation of her loftiest excellence of all.

Neither by word or letter had Isabel betrayed any spark of those more common emotions and desires which might not unreasonably be ascribed to an ordinary person placed in circumstances like hers. Though almost penniless, she had not invoked the pecuniary bounty of Pierre ; and though she was altogether silent on that subject, yet Pierre could not but be strangely sensible of something in her which disdained to voluntarily hang upon the mere bounty even of a brother. Nor, though she by various nameless ways, manifested her consciousness of being surrounded by uncongenial and inferior beings, while yet descended from a generous stock, and personally meriting the most refined companionships which the wide world could yield ; nevertheless, she had not demanded of Pierre that he should array her in brocade, and lead her forth among the rare and opulent ladies of the land. But while thus evincing her intuitive, true lady-likeness and nobleness by this entire freedom from all sordid motives, neither had she merged all her feelings in any sickly sentimentalities of sisterly affection toward her so sud--