312 THE BELL
And he seized hold of roots and climbing plants, and clambered up the wet stones, where the water-snakes writhed and the toads seemed to be barking at him ; but he managed to climb up before the sun, which he could see from this elevation, had quite set. Oh, what splendour ! The sea, the great glorious sea, which rolled its long billows towards the shore, lay stretched out before him, and the sun stood aloft like a great flaming altar, there where the sea and sky met; everything melted together in glowing colours ; the wood sang and the sea sang, and his heart sang too. All nature was a great holy church, in which trees and floating clouds were the pillars and beams, flowers and grass the velvet carpet, and the heavens themselves the vaulted roof. The red colours faded up there when the sun sank to rest; but millions of stars were lighted up and diamond lamps glittered, and the Prince stretched forth his arms towards heaven, towards the sea, and towards the forest. Suddenly there came from the right hand the poor lad who had been confirmed, with his short jacket and his wooden shoes : he had arrived here at the same time, and had come his own way. And they ran to meet each other, and each took the other's hand in the great temple of nature and of poetry. And above them sounded the holy invisible bell; and blessed spirits surrounded them and floated over them, singing a rejoicing song of praise !
Grandmother is very old ; she has many wrinkles, and her hair is quite white; but her eyes, which shine like two stars, and even more beautifully, look at you mildly and pleasantly, and it does you good to look into them. And then she can tell the most wonderful stories ; and she has a gown with great flowers worked in it, and it is of heavy silk, and it rustles. Grandmother knows a great deal, for she was alive long before father and mother, that's quite certain ! Grandmother has a hymn-book with great silver clasps, and she often reads in that book ; in the middle