"The city of Paris gave me a dinner at the new Hotel de

time:2023-12-02 00:27:12 source:Accumulated network author:food

"Si, senor." she meekly answered; and removing the things from her lap, she stood up; then, passing behind the old man, came and stood before me, her eyes still bent on the ground--a picture of humility.

She had the figure of the forest girl, but wore now a scanty faded cotton garment, while the loose cloud of hair was confined in two plaits and hung down her back. The face also showed the same delicate lines, but of the brilliant animation and variable colour and expression there appeared no trace. Gazing at her countenance as she stood there silent, shy, and spiritless before me, the image of her brighter self came vividly to my mind and I could not recover from the astonishment I felt at such a contrast.

Have you ever observed a humming-bird moving about in an aerial dance among the flowers--a living prismatic gem that changes its colour with every change of position--how in turning it catches

the sunshine on its burnished neck and gorges plumes--green and gold and flame-coloured, the beams changing to visible flakes as they fall, dissolving into nothing, to be succeeded by others and yet others? In its exquisite form, its changeful splendour, its swift motions and intervals of aerial suspension, it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description. And have you seen this same fairy-like creature suddenly perch itself on a twig, in the shade, its misty wings and fan-like tail folded, the iridescent glory vanished, looking like some common dull-plumaged little bird sitting listless in a cage? Just so great was the difference in the girl as I had seen her in the forest and as she now appeared under the smoky roof in the firelight.

After watching her for some moments, I spoke: "Rime, there must be a good deal of strength in that frame of yours, which looks so delicate; will you raise me up a little?"

She went down on one knee and, placing her arms round me, assisted me to a sitting posture.

"Thank you, Rima--oh, misery!" I groaned. "Is there a bone left unbroken in my poor body?"

"Nothing broken," cried the old man, clouds of smoke flying out with his words. "I have examined you well--legs, arms, ribs. For this is how it was, senor. A thorny bush into which you fell saved you from being flattened on the stony ground. But you are bruised, sir, black with bruises; and there are more scratches of thorns on your skin than letters on a written page."


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