Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/260

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IDALIA

almost mythical, though 'Syr Tristam' is immortal."

"Yes! because Sjr Tristam's folly is repeated by all men, through all ages."

"Folly? It merits a better name; it was, at least, fidelity?"

"Folly! Fidelity! They are synonyms for love. L'un vaut l'autre."

"Would you never, then, believe in passion as enduring as Tristam's?"

"For Ysonde, who is another man's wife? Oh yes! that is a very common feature. The love is so charming because it is forbidden!"

The evening was very still; the stars shining in myriads above the cypress and ilex woods, the heavy odours of roses and basilica on the air, and through the boughs of the cedars silvery gleams and flashes of the phosphorescent water. She left her seat as she spoke, and went out on to the terrace, and leaned a moment over the marble wall.

"How cool, how tranquil! And we spend such a night over hot wines, and idle jests, and feverish play!"

To his heart, to his lips, rose words in unison with that sweetness of the night, born from the intoxication of the hour: as though she felt them