But the wish, of which her mother was ignorant, remained unfulfilled, for Barbara, scarcely able to control her voice in her embarrassment, hurriedly replied that while with the lady in waiting she would no longer be her own mistress, pressed a hasty kiss upon the innocent child’s brow, released herself from her embrace, and rushed through the door, which Wolf was holding open for her, into the street.
The former gazed after her with a troubled heart, and, after she was out of sight, returned to the others. He conscientiously delivered Barbara’s farewell, and the praise which Frau Sabina lavished upon her pleased him as much as if nothing had come between them. Finally he made an engagement to see Erasmus Eckhart that evening in his lodgings, and then went to the Queen of Hungary.
After he had left the Hiltners Frau Sabina bent down to her mother-in-law’s ear—though she had lost her quickness of hearing, she had retained her sight perfectly—and, raising her voice, told her the name of the young lady who had just left them. Then she asked if she, too, did not admire Barbara’s beauty, and what she thought of her.
The grandmother nodded, exclaiming in a low tone, “Beautiful, beautiful— a wonderfully beautiful creature!” Then she gazed thoughtfully into vacancy, and at last asked whether she had heard correctly that Jungfrau Blomberg was also a remarkable singer.
Her daughter-in-law eagerly nodded assent to this question.
The aged woman silently bowed her head, but quickly raised it again, and there was a faint tinge of regret in her voice as she began: “Too much, certainly too much. Such marvels are rare. But one thing or the other. For women of her stamp there are only two conditions, and no other— rapturous happiness and utter misery. She will be content with no average. It does not suit such natures.”
Here she paused abruptly, for Martina entered the room, and with affectionate solicitude said to her granddaughter: “Young Trainer was here just now. Has anything happened between you? I see by your eyes that you have been weeping.”
ETEXT EDITOR’S BOOKMARKS:
Cunning which is often a characteristic of narrow
Pride in charms which we do not possess (vanity)
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