She was about to say still more, but Huldbrand embraced her with the most heartfelt emotion and love, and bore her back again to the shore. It was not till he reached it that he swore, amid tears and kisses, never to forsake his sweet wife, calling himself more happy than the Greek sculptor Pygmalion, whose beautiful statue received life from Venus and became his loved one. In endearing confidence Undine walked back to the cottage, leaning on his arm, and feeling now for the first time with all her heart how little she ought to regret the forsaken crystal palaces of her mysterious father.
How they lived at Castle Ringstetten
The writer of this story, both because it moves his own heart and because he wishes it to move that of others, begs you, dear reader, to pardon him if he now briefly passes over a considerable space of time, only cursorily mentioning the events that marked it. He knows well that he might portray according to the rules of art, step by step, how Huldbrand’s heart began to turn from Undine to Bertalda; how Bertalda more and more responded with ardent love to the young knight, and how they both looked upon the poor wife as a mysterious being rather to be feared than pitied; how Undine wept, and how her tears stung the knight’s heart with remorse without awakening his former love, so that though he at times was kind and endearing to her, a cold shudder would soon draw him from her and he would turn to his fellow-mortal, Bertalda. All this the writer knows might be fully detailed, and perhaps ought to have been so; but such a task