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and could not refrain from touching his lips with a
gentle kiss. It did not awake him, though he must
have felt it, for, from the quiet smile which played
around his mouth, it seemed to have blended itself
with some pleasant dream, or to have called one forth.
Idalia leaned back in her chair, and turning her eyes
with a deepening tranquillity toward the sleeper, she
soon fell herself into that half sleep which is something
between waking and dreaming, and in which, some-
times with half-opened, sometimes with closed eyes, we
smile on the charming pictures of fancy ; as the child
who knows that the mother's loving face is over the
cradle, often in his light dreams throws through his
scarce lifted eyes a drowsy glance toward her.
  Bewildered, and uncertain whether she was waking
or sleeping, Idalia started from this slumber, as she
saw, standing at the foot of the bed, a dark figure
which was gazing fixedly at her and Godber, and which,
upon her suddenly waking, laid its finger upon its lips
with a sign toward Godber, as if begging silence for his
sake. The sign was scarcely necessary, as the unex-
pected appearance of Maria, whose countenance night-
watching and mental suffering had changed to a deadly
paleness, increased by her dress of deepest mourning,
completely paralyzed her rival. The black kerchief
which was thrown over her head, and almost entirely
covered her forehead and chin, making the pallor of her
cheek and the feeble glance of her eye still more con-
spicuous, gave to this figure a startling aspect. Maria
had very carefully clipped from Godber's finger, the
plain gold ring which she had given him and which he
still wore, and hidden it in the folds of her little shawl.