And the daughter sighed very quietly. And how much may lie in one little sigh, or be placed in it! The young man placed a great deal in it. The two blue eyes, lit up that evening in honour of him, must conceal treasures— treasures of the heart and mind—richer than all the glories of Rome ; and when he left the party that night he had lost his heart—lost it completely, to the young lady.
The house of the widow was now the one which Mr. Alfred the sculptor frequented ; and it was understood that his visits were not intended for that lady, though he and she were the people who kept up the conversation : he came for the daughter's sake. They called her Kala. Her name was really Karen Malena, and these two names had been contracted into the one name, Kala. She was beautiful; but a few said she was rather dull, and slept late of a morning.
' She has always been accustomed to that,' her mother said. ' She 's a beauty, and they always are easily tired. She sleeps rather late, but that makes her eyes so clear.'
What a power lay in those bright eyes ! ' Still waters run deep.' The young man felt the truth of this proverb, and his heart had sunk into the depths. He spoke and told his adventures, and the mamma was as simple and eager in her questioning as on the first evening of their meeting.
It was a pleasure to hear Alfred describe anything. He spoke of Naples, of excursions to Mount Vesuvius, and snowed coloured prints of several of the eruptions. And the widow had never heard of them before, or taken time to consider the question.
1 Good heavens ! ' she exclaimed. ' So that is a burning mountain ! But is it not dangerous to the people round about ? '
' Whole cities have been destroyed,' he answered ; ' for instance, Pompeii and Herculaneum.'
' But the poor people !—And you saw all that with your own eyes ? '
1 No, I did not see any of the eruptions represented in these pictures, but I will show you a picture of my own of an eruption I saw.'
He laid a pencil sketch upon the table, and mamma,