But Barbara needed no place associated with his person in order to remember him; she always felt near him, and memories were the vital air which nourished her soul. Music remained the best ornament of her solitary existence, and never did the forms of the son and the father come nearer to her than when she sang the songs—or in after years played them on the harp and lute—to which her imperial lover had liked to listen.
The memory of her John’s father now taught her to change the “More, farther,” of his motto into the maxim, “Learn to be content,” the memory of the son, that every sacrifice which we make for the happiness of another is futile if, besides splendour and glory, fame and honour, it does not also gain the spiritual blessings whose possession first lends those gifts genuine value. These much-envied favours of Fortune had little to do with the indestructible monument which she erected in her heart to her son and her lover. What built it and lent it eternal endurance were the modest gifts of the heart.
She now knew the names of the blessings which might have guided her boy to a loftier happiness and, full of the love which even death could not assail and lessen, mourned by many, Barbara Blomberg, at an advanced age, closed her eyes upon the world.
The greatness he had gained he overlooked
Who does not struggle ward, falls back
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